I’m not here to solve the debate over full suspension vs. hardtail. It basically depends whether you want shock absorption on just the front forks (hardtail) or suspension in the front and back (full suspension).
Generally, due to having more moving parts, full suspension bikes tend to be spendier. If you’re willing to stand up and use your legs as your suspension from time to time, a hardtail will serve you well. It might even make you a better rider. In the interest of fun and price, I go hardtail. Personally, my budget was under $1000. So let’s take a look at the Line from Diamondback, shall we?
Coming from Diamondback’s Hook, Line & Sync’r trail bike series, the Line makes trail riding fun at an awesome price. In this series of hardtail mountain bikes, the Hook is the intro bike, the Sync’r is more professional grade and the Line sits in that nice sweet spot in between. If you’ve got less than a grand and burning to get out there and ride, this is what I recommend.
A Great Hardtail Mountain Bike – Diamondback 2018 Line
You hear a lot of jargon around bikes. Low, low-slung, slack, long, It’s hard to know what’s what sometimes. Basically, a slack bike means the bottom of the front forks angle forward from the head tube (the part between the handlebars and the top of the fork) so the front wheel sticks out ahead of the bike. What this does is makes the bike feel more stable underneath you, especially at higher speeds.
The drawback is that it’s a bit harder to climb hills. The Line is nice and slack so you’ll feel stable. Add that to the low frame, which keeps your center of gravity nice and low, and you’ll feel even more stable. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or just trying it out, stability is always a good feeling.
Parts and Pieces
A bike made from junk parts is a junk bike. This is not a junk bike. Start with the drivetrain. It’s got a 1×9 drivetrain made by SRAM. 1×9? That means there’s just one front ring (the gear the pedals attach to).
This is sort of the standard in mountain bikes now, though you will find older or less sophisticated bikes with double rings. More rings makes for more gears, but also more parts, more clutter and more opportunities for your chain to derail. Not cool. Speaking of chain derailment, the Line has a chain guide to make sure that doesn’t happen.
If starting and stopping is important (it is) then you’ll like the serious traction the 27.5 inch knobby Schwalbe Tough Tom tires give you and stopping power of the Tektro hydraulic brakes and big rotors.
The Line is an entry level bike that performs like a much higher-end hardtail. It won’t cost you all your available funds yet it’s tough enough that even seasoned riders will enjoy how it handles a trail. Coming in at a price that surprised me, this is a bike that even the trail-curious can pick up without feeling the sting of a long-term commitment. But I think anyone who rides this bike will quickly become a fan of riding thanks to the Line’s superior handling and stability.
Features and Specifications
- 27.5 in. DB SL-7 Doublewall wheels
- SR Suntour fork (120mm travel)
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- 6061-T6 aluminum alloy hardtail frame
- Four available sizes: S/16″, M/18″, L/20″, XL/22″
- Seat: DB Sync’r Saddle
- Bike weight: 30.07 lbs
What People Say About It
The reviewers agree, this is an amazing bike for the price. Beginners love how it makes them feel confident on the trail thanks to the low center of gravity, the slack frame and the stop-on-a-dime brakes.
There just aren’t many drawbacks to this bike. One could take issue with the more difficult climb due to the slack frame, but a little extra effort going up is rewarded with the handling the Line provides on the way down.
Considering all the options out there for hardtail bikes, you could end up spending a lot of coin on a less impressive bike. I say, why do that when the Line provides all you want in an agressive, trail devouring mountain bike? This is the bike I recommend.
Who I Think Should Buy a Line
If anyone is just starting out their two wheeled love affair with dirt, this is the bike to choose. Absolutely this is the bike for beginners, but it’s also a bike more experienced riders might want to add to their repertoire for an option that’s rugged, affordable, but most of all fun.
Who Shouldn’t Buy It?
Downhill racers, professionals, these people are in the market to spend used-car money on bikes. The 1000 dollar threshold doesn’t apply to these people as the bike is their single passion. Those folks, while I think would really have some fun tooling around on the Line, their money is better spent on a higher end ride. And for those who want a cushier, softer ride on the trail, you might be better off going with a full suspension bike.
There’s just nothing like getting out on the trail for the first time and realizing how much you instantly love it. If more people took their first ride on a bike this well-built and designed, there’d be a whole nation of weekend riders out there.
If you’re just getting into trail riding, or if you’re looking for the best mountain bike on a budget, the Line is the bike for you.
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