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Anybody have info on early 80s Diamondbacks? 85-86 especially?

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Anybody have info on early 80s Diamondbacks? 85-86 especially?

Old 09-22-12, 08:28 PM
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frantik
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Anybody have info on early 80s Diamondbacks? 85-86 especially?

So, from my research on Diamondback MTBs, it seems they came out with the Ridge Runner in 82/83.

In 1984, DB had a small line of MTBs with various "Streak" names.. the Ridge Runner was renamed the "Mean Streak" and the Trail Streak and Sand Streak were also offered. (see 1984 Diamondback Catalog

I'm pretty sure the Apex and Ascent were added in 1986. I have an early Apex which was manufactured in late 1985 and I suspect was offered as a 1986 model based on the review of the Apex in Mountain bike magazine in early 1986


So this leaves me wondering about the line up for 85.. was it more of the "Streak" bikes?

Looks like the Arrival (aluminum) frame was introduced in 1987. I think the Ascent EX was first offered that year too. Here's the line up and specs from 1987

I think the Axis was added in 88. I wish I could find an Axis around here! Here's a real nice 1988 catalog

And to round out the decade, the 1989 catalog can be found on Retrobike thanks to Frotz. Looks like the Axis Team was the high end bike of the year. Something unique about 1989 is the higher end models all have straight tapered forks.

It seems like DB kept this basic naming scheme into the 90s, adding more variations of the higher end models and also adding the Response line of suspension bikes.

Any info on the early 80s thru 86 would be really appreciated
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Old 05-09-13, 10:07 PM
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bump
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Old 05-09-13, 10:36 PM
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In 1986 there was definitely the Ascent ($300, Tange MTB, Shimano Light Action derailleurs, Sugino GT crankset and Shimano AT-50 brakes) and the Apex ($470, Tange MTB, Shimano Deore XT derailleurs, crankset and front brake but with a chainstay mounted SunTour XC Sport roller-cam).

I don't appear to have anything for 1985. I may have some advertisements in old cycling magazines but that will require a search. I'll see if I can get though them over the weekend.
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Old 05-09-13, 11:52 PM
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man.. if even you don't have any info on Diamondback in 1985, I almost feel like it must not exist

Your description of the 86 Ascent matches the one i've got here, and the Apex I was lucky enough to find a review in a magazine with some good specs. Good to know the price info though

If you have time to take a look, it would definitely be appreciated. Thanks again
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Old 05-10-13, 02:45 PM
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Well googling around I find lots of mentions of 1985 Diamondback Viper, which was a BMX. The graphics on the 1985 Viper are the same graphics used in 1986 and 1987 (the cursive script font logo)

On another forum we're trying to nail down when the Ridge Runner II came out.. the graphics are 92-94 style, but it's not listed in the 94 catalog, meanwhile in 94 the Mean Streak looks identical to the old Ridge Runner
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Old 05-10-13, 03:25 PM
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I've ran across a couple FleetStreaks. it's been a few years since I had them, but IIRC, they were about 84-86 vintage.
At the time, I Googled them and saw versions with upright bars and drop bars**********????
Both were 2X6 drive trains (40-50 front 14-28 rear free wheel) with "upright" bars.
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Old 05-10-13, 05:08 PM
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yes the "fleet streak" is seen in the 87, 88 and 89 (i think) catalogs and is more of a cruiser / city bike
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Old 05-15-13, 08:18 AM
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Sorry Frantik, I don't appear to have anything for 1985. WSI was really pushing the new Centurion Cinelli Equipe and Centurion Ironman Dave Scott signative road models. I imagine they tied up a lot of money getting the rights to use the Cinelli, Ironman and Dave Scott names and understandably wanted to push those models. It makes one wonder if they had anything to put into expanding or changing the 1985 ATB lineup, as they don't appear to have had any marketing budget for Diamond Back that year. If they'd changed the ATB line, you'd think that they'd be advertising it.
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Old 05-15-13, 09:10 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to look Tmar I can't find any information that even confirms they had ANY ATB/MTB bikes in 1985 It seems like before 1986 the Diamondback brand was focused on BMX. I don't think they sold many mountain bikes before this time, as it's pretty rare to see the Ridge Runner / Mean Streak lugged mtbs or the other Sand Streak or Trail Streak models mentioned in the 1984 catalog

I'm beginning to suspect the Apex and Ascent lines were introduced for the 1986 model year. I think I actually own one of the earliest ones from that model year, as the SN indicates late 1985, and the tubing is Tange Infinity, which I haven't seen on any of the frames produced in 1986.

In the mountain bike magazines i've found online, the first advertising for Diamondback mtbs I've seen is for the 87 Arrival
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Old 05-15-13, 09:13 AM
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Someday Frantik I will find all that we need about DB line ups, my boss never throws anything away & has been a dealer since the early to mid 80's & he wants to clean out his office, ( mounds & boxes everywhere ) I already found a bunch of killer dealer decals & his DB neon sign ( he won't give it up) hiding in there. We just sold our last 90-91 DB Apex & Ascent we had in stock, 25% off dealer price, going off 90-91 pricing, we have a few mid 90's mid & high End DB's left, I can't believe they never sold, our area is cruisers & hybrids only.

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Old 05-15-13, 09:19 AM
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wow that response comp would have been pretty much at the top of the line.. sweet got any Ti Axis frames buried in there some place? would love to see pics of any DB stickers or swag u come across
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Old 05-15-13, 09:34 AM
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I would have bought that Response at 10% off '91 dealer cost!

I think '85-86 is about the time most companies were jumping on the MTB bandwagon right? I would not be surprised if information is limited. I wouldn't doubt a lot of models came along after the catalogs and other advertising was set for the '85 model year.
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Old 05-15-13, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I would have bought that Response at 10% off '91 dealer cost!

I think '85-86 is about the time most companies were jumping on the MTB bandwagon right? I would not be surprised if information is limited. I wouldn't doubt a lot of models came along after the catalogs and other advertising was set for the '85 model year.
yes that is when mtbs started to really take off, though DB was offering 26" bikes since at least 1983


i "refound" this site which has a lot of early info on WSI and DB --> http://www.os-db.net the focus is on BMX but some info about MTBs may be gleaned
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Old 05-15-13, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by frantik View Post
wow that response comp would have been pretty much at the top of the line.. sweet got any Ti Axis frames buried in there some place? would love to see pics of any DB stickers or swag u come across
No, haven't seen a Ti DB around but we still have some NOS original Merlin frames kicking about & we still have one of these,





And a few of these,




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Old 05-15-13, 10:04 AM
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holy cow
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Old 05-15-13, 11:02 AM
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Personally, I always considered 1987 to be the big, breakthrough year for the ATB. While they had been constantly increasing in sales and popularity, that was the year that most of the big brand manufacturers discovered that they didn't need ultra-long wheelbases and ultra-shallow angles. With the quicker handling geometry, they became much more fun to wide.

The other notable 1987 development that increased the fun factor was the introduction of indexed shifting. That was the year that Simano introduced SIS on Deore XT and now there were indexed thumb shifters to mate with the long cage, indexed, Light Action derailleurs at lower price points. Competitor SunTour also introduced four AccuShift ATB groups. Off-roading is so much more fun when you're not worrying about trying to execute a good shift, while you're negotiating some tricky terrain.

On the WSI front, one aspect that I forgot to mention, that would have had an effect on the ATB line, was the departure of Cozy Yamakoshi to form Parkpre. While Parkpre didn't officially get under way until 1989, it's been reported that Cozy left WSI in 1986.
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Old 05-15-13, 02:32 PM
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My current project is a Diamondback Mountain Streak, but I have no idea what year it is.
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Old 05-15-13, 02:47 PM
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Frantik I know you love your Diamondback's. I dont own any vintage DB's but I do own a 2011 Response w/ 6061 Frame, SRAM X4, FSA wheelset, Deore LX cranks, panaracer FatTrax 202 tires, etc. Put a lot of money into this bike. Its 28.5 lbs as it sits. Need to get rid of the Junky SR Suntour fork on it. Here is a pic....
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Old 05-15-13, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by azgreg View Post
My current project is a Diamondback Mountain Streak, but I have no idea what year it is.
Post pictures and the serial number, and we may be able to tell you.
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Old 05-15-13, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by azgreg View Post
My current project is a Diamondback Mountain Streak, but I have no idea what year it is.
I'm an idiot. I got 2 bikes mixed up. The bike is a Trail Streak and the other one is a Olympia Mountain Tech which I have been unable to find anything out about it. I'll get some pictures up soon.
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Old 05-15-13, 06:29 PM
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^ i was thinking i had never heard of a "Mountain Streak"... in the 1984 catalog Trail Streak was the mid range ATB/entry level MTB
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Old 05-15-13, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by frantik View Post
^ i was thinking i had never heard of a "Mountain Streak"... in the 1984 catalog Trail Streak was the mid range ATB/entry level MTB
Like I said I'm an idiot. It's in my sig for darn sakes.
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Old 05-15-13, 07:06 PM
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your sig says 1985... care to flip it over and check the Serial # for us? the first number should be the year (ie if it's a 5 it's 1985)
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Old 05-15-13, 07:14 PM
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The serial number is F3113153. So it's a 83 then?
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Old 05-15-13, 07:24 PM
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I would guess so.. Diamondback seems to use a few different SN schemes but the first number generally indicates the year. does it have any shimano components? you could check the date codes on them
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