This Just In: Diamondback Mission Pro 27.5

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We first spied this all-new creation from Diamondback back at Sea Otter—hell it was hard not to, considering its electric orange paint can be seen from space. Now it’s in our hands and ready for a long-term test ride.

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At the heart of the Mission Pro 27.5 is a reworking of Diamondback’s venerable Knucklebox suspension, which is a linkage driven, four-bar, single-pivot design. By replacing the massive triangular linkage and vertical shock orientation we rode on the Sortie 29 last year with a more traditional shape, Diamondback was able to retain most of the kinematics while keeping the weight super low in the chassis.

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Viewed from the side it looks like the bike almost doesn’t even have seat stays. The new orientation does mean there is no provision for a water bottle cage, even under the down tube. Surrounding the threaded bottom bracket you’ll find ISCG-05 tabs.

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Equipped with the excellent Fox Float X rear shock, its 160mm of travel maintains a good pedaling platform but is clearly tuned for the downhills. Up front is a Fox Float 34 Kashima, also with 160mm of travel. The aluminum frame incorporates internal derailleur routing and is compatible with stealth dropper posts. Now, before you ask “Where is the Fox 36 fork?” I posed that question to Diamondback, and they pointed out that this bike was in production before the 36 became available.

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The build spec on the Pro models is pretty much everything you could ask for: SRAM X01 drivetrain, Shimano XT brakes, RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper, RaceFace Next carbon cranks with a narrow/wide ring (30t), RaceFace Atlas bar and stem and Easton Haven wheels. There isn’t a single piece that I would swap or upgrade, except for the stock lock-on grips, which are too slim for my taste.

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With a 66.5 degree head tube angle and 17.7 inch chainstays, it’s not nearly as progressive as some of its competition in the 155-170mm “enduro” range, but there’s a lot more to a bike than just the numbers.

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MSRP for the Mission Pro 27.5 you see here is $6,500, but the going street price is a bit lower. I’ve enjoyed my first few rides on so watch for a First Impression blog soon and a full review in an upcoming issue.

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