Intended Use: Gravity / Park / All-mountain
Size Tested: Medium
Bike Weight: 32.2 lbs. (stock w/ pedals) 30.7 lbs. (after minor changes)
- Chain Stay Length: 17.3”
- Head Tube Angle: 66°
- Stand Over Height: 29.5″
- Seat Tube Angle: 70°
- Seat Tube Length: 17”
- Effective Top Tube Length: 23″
- Bottom Bracket Height: 13.7″
- Wheelbase: 43.6”
Days Tested: 10
Test Locations: Missoula, Montana
Usually around this time of year, I’m tuning skis and gearing up for winter. But after replacing my ’09 Giant Reign X1 with a Diamondback Scapegoat a few weeks ago, I’ve done nothing but ride the tacky singletrack around Missoula—rain, snow or shine.
I made the decision to swap out the Reign this spring, but I waited to pull the trigger till I found something that got me really excited.
I wanted a 6” travel all-mountain bike that could handle a few lift-served DH runs here and there, but for the most part, could serve as a one-bike-that-does-it-all sort of thing. A few options presented themselves: Pivot Firebird; Banshee Rune V2; and the new Reign X.
I never even considered the Scapegoat, till I saw it for a ridiculous price that I couldn’t pass up. With a stacked build kit (quite possibly the best off-the-rack build on the market), the Scapegoat is impressive on paper.
I was leery about the suspension design, and felt I’d be taking a step back from the Reign’s Maestro virtual-platform to a single-pivot four-bar. But I got over my name-brand bias, and ordered up my first Diamondback….
Top to bottom, Diamondback spared no expense picking out high-end parts (which is reflected in the $6,000 MSRP).
The Fox 36 180mm RC2 Kashima coated fork, and the DHX 5.0 Air Kashima are top-tier dampers. Diamondback built the Scapegoat around a 180mm fork, giving the bike a slack 66° head angle, and the RC2 is endlessly adjustable.
Easton Havoc wheels, bar, and stem keep things strong where it counts, but also light. The wheelset impressed me right away: the light weight (1,750g), stout hubs, and straight-pull spokes make for a DH wheel that can moonlight as an all-mountain charger.
This is the first Shimano bike I’ve had in a while, and I have to admit that the new XTR Shadow Plus rear derailleur is pretty trick. Shifting performance is accurate, and snappy-fast, but the “clutch” feature steals the show. The friction clutch essentially pushes down on the parallelogram, maintaining chain tension and eliminating chain slap. This translates into a quieter ride, and allows you to run a 1×10 without a chainguide, since chain slack is now taken up by the derailleur.