Diamondback Atroz 3 Review



Photos by Dusten Ryen

Shootout Sponsored By:
ZOIC Clothing & USWE Sports

Our most affordable bike in the Sub-$2,000 Budget Bike Shootout, the Diamondback Atroz 3 is a tricky bike to review. On one hand, it possesses some truly capable traits that make it a fun and capable bike. On the other hand, the geometry is so outdated that it really affected our riders’ opinion of the bike and who they’d recommend it to when a more modern riding bike can be had for as little as $150-200 more. Read on to see how the Diamondback Atroz faired against the pack.

No matter how good a bike rides, it has to catch a consumer’s attention first. For most of our riders, Diamondback’s Atroz 3 is the aesthetic outlier in our roundup. The raised chainstays and chrome-legged forks give the bike a bit of a handicap for those who are apt to judge a book by its cover, which sadly, is most mountain bikers.

A 130mm Rock Shox Recon RL Solo Air fork suspends the front end while a Rock Shox Monarch R provides 4-inches of rear end squish. The Diamondback Atroz 3 is the only bike in our line up with an 11-speed drivetrain. The rest of the bikes, besides the Marin Hawk Hill which sports a 10-speed drivetrain, come with dropper posts and 12-speed drivetrains. No doubt a part of the reason Diamondback is able to come in at such a competitive price. SRAM’s NX X-Horizon group handle the pedaling and shifting duties. The 32-hole rims are wrapped in a pair of Vee Rubber Flow Snap 27.5×2.35” tires, which we’ll address later. A set of Shimano’s MT200 disc brakes gives the rider consistent braking power and were pretty well common across the entire shootout range of bikes. The Atroz does not come spec’d with a dropper post, however, Diamondback uses a quick release seat post collar for easy adjustment on the trail.

Diamondback Atroz 3 Review
Diamondback Atroz 3 Review
Diamondback Atroz 3

A couple month’s ago we reviewed the Diamondback Release 2, their $2,800 29er that blew our testers away. That extra $1,300 gets you a whole lot in performance and would be something we suggest looking into if you’ve got the budget to do so.

The Atroz 3 has the backbone of a decent bike. Initially the looks, geometry and in-saddle feel turned us off but the more we rode the bike, the more we realized, it could hang if we really wanted to. The slack seat tube angle combined with the stack height and reach left us with a weird climbing position that we fixed by sliding the seat all the way forward on the rails. Standing up and climbing the bike didn’t get much better as the bars were right in our knees on hard, steep efforts. Combine that with tires that do not have a very grippy compound and needless to say, it rode about what we expected a $1,500 bike to ride like. Which is fine, except the other bikes in our shootout rode like they cost over $2,000 and didn’t cost very much more.

When it came time to drop the post, manually, and hit the downhills, the Diamondback surprised us over and over. It wasn’t a standout in the crowd, but we were able to keep up with the crew and hit everything we wanted to hit. Honestly, the biggest limiting factor on the descents was the sideknobs on the Vee Rubber tires. They had a tendency to just fold right over or squirm out of the way depending on the terrain. Under optimal conditions though, the Diamondback Atroz 3 could handle big rock gardens, tight terrain, speed and we even sent it off a few skinny ladders to six-foot drops just to see how it would do. Each run ended the same, with a smile of disbelief. It still runs!

Diamondback Atroz 3

The Wolf’s Last Word

Diamondback makes some pretty capable and affordable bikes, and we love their Release lineup. If you’ve got the budget, be sure to check out our reviews of the Release, as they are great bikes. Sadly, the Diamondback Atroz 3 is not a bike we’d recommend for riders who are really looking to get into mountain biking as a sport when just a couple more bucks can yield a much more capable and relevant bike. The geometry is the big hangup for us, while looks are subjective, the geo is just not on par and the lack of a dropper post, and quality tires means riders are going to instantly be spending money to get to a spot where a better bike could be had for the same investment.

Highlights of the Atroz include a pretty active and capable suspension, thanks to the single pivot design and it really did keep up as we pushed the bike pretty hard down some rowdy terrain. It’s also oddly satisfying to hit drops, gap rock gardens and clean skinnies on a $1,500 bike while some onlookers walk their $8,000 carbon dream machines down the trail. When it came to childish revenge, not many bikes made us smile bigger than that Atroz 3. But hey, they pointed at our bikes and chuckled first, so it made us feel better!

Price: $1,500


Frame: 6061-Aluminum / 4″ (100mm)
Fork: RockShox Recon RL Solo Air / 130mm
Shock: RockShox Monarch R

Brakes: Shimano MT200
Handlebar: Raceface Chester, 780mm
Stem: Race Face Chester, 40mm
Shifter: SRAM NX 11 Speed X-Actuation Trigger
Seatpost: Alloy Micro Adjust
Saddle: DB Sync’r

Wheels: 32H DDM-5, Formula Hubs
Tires: VEE Rubber Flow Snap 27.5×2.35

Cassette: SRAM PG1130, 11 Speed, 11-42T
Cranks: Raceface Aeffect Cinch, 30t
Derailleur: SRAM NX X-Horizon, 11 Speed

Diamondback Atroz 3 Review

We Dig

Single Pivot Charges Rock Gardens
When Standing and Descending, It’ll Go!

We Don’t

Geometry is a Deal Breaker
Tire Compound


Want to win some free schwag? Leave a comment and vote up the most thoughtful comments and each month we’ll pick a winner. The person with the smartest and most helpful replies will earn some sweet new gear. Join the Pack and get the latest news and read the latest reviews on the top mountain and electric mountain bikes.