Until recently, Diamondback has been best known for BMX bikes and MTBs. So its new radically designed IO aero bike has lead to it becoming an unlikely front-runner in the aero market.
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Following on from the Andean disc TT bike, Diamondback worked with bike designer Kevin Quan and a team from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies to make the IO as slippery as possible.
“The groundbreaking design of our Andean triathlon bike solved several aerodynamic puzzles for our team,” said Steve Westover, Diamondback vice president of marketing.
“With that experience, we wanted to push even further, fusing those innovations with several new groundbreaking technologies. The result is the IO — a bike that is unlike anything else on the market — a wicked-fast, lightweight and slippery road bike.”
The IO is based on what Diamondback calls SpeedCore, which the company says gives the bike a competitive advantage and includes the Wake Control system.
The Wake Control system has strategically shaped depressions in the tubing to create areas of counter-rotating turbulent airflow — similar technology is seen on aeroplanes, helicopter blades, wind turbines and Zipp’s 454 NSWs with its vortex generators.
According to Diamondback, when placed on the trailing edge of truncated airfoils these depressions create areas of counter-rotating turbulent flow to interfere with natural air flow across the frame, which helps the air flow to stick to the tubing and improve the bike’s aerodynamic performance.
Diamondback also took the tubing and the frame shape into consideration, which led to the IO’s extremely low seatstays.
While lowered seatstays have been a recent design trend across the industry, the IO’s are considerably lower than anything we’ve seen thus far. Diamondback claims that by significantly lowering the seatstays it improves aerodynamic efficiency while still maintaining lateral stiffness and vertical compliance.
The IO also sees an in-bike storage area in front of the bottom bracket and in the top tube, so you can ditch the saddle bag and clear some space in your pockets.
While Diamondback is speccing the IO with an aero handlebar it is not a proprietary/integrated job, as seen on many modern aero bikes. The advantage here though is that you can choose a bar with the shape you prefer.
However, the bike does use a proprietary stem to allow for the brand's Covert Routing Process internal cable routing.
When this works together as a system Diamondback claims the IO is 20 percent more aero than the Podium and only 10 percent slower than the Serios TT bike.
Pricing for the IO starts at $3,999 for a SRAM Force gruppo and goes up to $9,749 for a build with a Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain and brakes, and Enve carbon wheels.
The IO will be available with customizable build options through Diamondback's online Custom Studio. Custom bikes can be shipped to over 100 countries worldwide.