Diamondback Heist 2.0 27.5 review

A proper trail bomber with excellent spec, though a little harsh on rougher trails

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £725.00 RRP

Our review

A tough trail bomber with sorted geometry and spec highlights usually only found on more expensive bikes
Buy if, You're looking for a tough hardtail for the trails with an excellent spec but at a reasonable price
Pros: Proper technical trail hardtail geometry with controlled fork travel and the handling to match. Excellent component spec for the price
Cons: Stiff frame can be body and chain clattering on rougher trails. A thru-axle fork and shorter stem would better suit the aggro character
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With development funds limited, it’s perhaps inevitable most lower priced mountain bikes are relatively generic, slightly dated cross country designs that fight for attention via componentry, not ride character. That means Diamondback’s Heist really stands out in the shop and — more importantly — on the trail.

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The big rectangular frame tubes are definitely a clue to its tough, trail persona. Even if you don’t notice the forks sit at the same relaxed angle as the DBR Myers All Mountain Hardtail, you’ll certainly feel the confidence boosting, self centring effect on the steering. It’d feel even better if you bin the 80mm stem for something shorter and fit slimmer, clamp secured grips, but the 740mm Race Face handlebar adds authority and big brand kudos.

RockShox Recon fork
RockShox Recon fork
Russell Burton

The RockShox Recon fork is a much better quality unit than you’ll normally find at this price, complete with an easily adjustable air spring, consistently controlled damping, and even a handlebar lever to lock them out on climbs.

While you don’t get a thru-axle like you might on a Suntour fork, the big bar and quality fork structure means you’ve still got plenty of precision to exploit the grip of the Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5×2.25in tyres.

The 740mm Race Face handlebar
The 740mm Race Face handlebar
Russell Burton

While they’re basic by Shimano standards, the M396 brakes are much better controlled than most in this price category. The SLX and XT gearing is something you’d only normally find on more expensive bikes.

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If you think this year’s bike is a belter, you should see how the Heist looks for 2017. Unfortunately, we were a little too early to get a sample, but our insider mentions 1×11 Shimano XT, stealth dropper, and “extra bits” for a few quid more.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Heist 2.0 27.5
Brand Diamondback Bikes

Brakes Shimano AM396 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Fork Rockshox Recon Soloair 120mm forks
Front Derailleur Shimano XT
Front Tyre Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5x2.25in
Handlebar Race Face
Rear Derailleur Shimano XT
Rear Tyre Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5x2.25in
Shifters Shimano XT 2x10