Diamondback Podium Equipe SRAM Red 22 Complete Road Bike $7,499.95
What do the riders who claimed victories at Ardeche, Tour of the Gila, Road Nationals, Canadian Crit Nationals, and a top ten at their first World Time Trial Championships all have in common? They all ride the Diamondback Podium. More specifically, the Podium Equipe SRAM Red 22 Complete Road Bike is the choice for these riders. This one is red, just for you.
Diamondback's Podium Equipe frame is handmade using its AMMP process. This Advanced Monocoque Molding Process uses a polystyrene pre-form core, with a plastic bladder that has been designed in the shape of the frame. Using Clean Core Technology, Diamondback creates a form that minimizes rough edges on the inside of the mold. It prides itself on workmanship and, unlike some other manufacturers, does not use a cosmetic layer to cover structural carbon. It is as proud of the inside as of the outside of its frames. The carbon fibers you see are the structure. Individual carbon fibers are hand wrapped around this core so that each piece is laid precisely where engineers want it. Additionally to ensure that the mold is precise, the emerging product is surrounded with a plastic cavity. Now, even though the AMMP process allows the frames to be designed with specific load designs in different regions, silicone mandrel shells are placed at critical joint areas so as to create smooth overlapping fibers and additional reinforcement at vital junctions — such as the head tube and the bottom bracket. Once the frame is placed in the final mold, a proprietary Optimized Resin Compound is used for optimal adhesion of the carbon fibers. As a side note, Diamondback does not buy pre-impregnated sheets of carbon; it insists on making all of its carbon in-house to maintain full control over quality and consistency.
Now, not all carbon fibers are the same. They are designated by both tensile strength and modulus, and high tensile strength doesn't always mean high modulus — the same is true in reverse. Therefore, Diamondback used several fibers by two industry leaders. The MR40 and MR60 fibers were sourced from Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd., and T700 fibers are from Toray Industries. Higher strength fibers are more difficult to manipulate and require highly skilled carbon fiber designers, but once in place they allow the creation of frames with thinner walls. Following along these lines of logic, thinner walls equate to lighter weights. The frame used for the Podium Equipe is even more featherweight than that used in either the Vitesse or E'Tape. This was accomplished using a fiber with a greater tensile strength and elongation properties. Being able to utilize a fiber to wrap a larger area while maintaining strength results in weight savings — in this case to the tune of 100 grams.
Once the monocoque portion of the frame is formed, the front triangle, seatstays, and chainstays are bonded using a dynamic co-bonding technique. Completed frames are then tested by Diamondback's professional riders. Feedback from them allows Diamondback's engineers to go back and adjust the stiffness, comfort, and strength to find the optimal balance. This is one of the many benefits of working with carbon fiber and making the frames by hand. The final Podium frame for 2014 is being touted by team riders as more aggressive than the 2013. Be prepared to fly.
This version of the Podium Equipe is complemented by a full SRAM Red 22 Group. SRAM has been continually redesigning the Red group to place it at the top of its component groupsets. The marriage of the Diamondback Podium and SRAM Red 22 puts two American names together to create a steed that is worthy of the best riders in the US. The crankset is a standard 53/39t and it is paired with an 11-26t rear cassette. The Podium Equipe rolls on a set of HED Stinger S4 Carbon SCT Tubular Wheels that have been paired with Schwalbe Ultremo HT Race tires. The cockpit features Easton's EC90 SLX3 Handlebar, Diamondback's stem with a +/- 7 degree rise, and the Diamondback ODC carbon seatpost. For optimal comfort, you'll sit on a Prologo Zero-II Carbon Nack rail saddle. The frame features full internal routing and carbon dropouts. The Fork is Diamondback's Carbon Competition Road Fork with carbon dropouts and a tapered carbon steerer tube. The Bottom bracket is a PressFit30.
The Diamondback Podium Equipe SRAM Red 22 Complete Road Bike is available in even sizes from 52cm to 60cm in the color Red.
Effective Top Tube
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Reviews & Community
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
While Diamondback may not be the first brand that comes to your mind when thinking about road bikes, they did an excellent job on this frame.
Fit - with slightly less aggressive geo than a full fledged race bike, this frame has all day comfort while still maintaining quick handling and incredible stability on descents.
Ride - the Podium frame does a great job with balancing performance and comfort. While the frame didn't have superbike acceleration, it was quick to respond when getting on the pedals and turning the bike. Generally, I'd expect a bike with this type of response to be less compliant than the bike actually was, which ultimate made this frame a great balance of performance and all-day comfort.