First Look: 2013 Diamondback Scapegoat

Diamondback ScapeGoat, Blister Gear ReviewBike: Diamondback Scapegoat

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….

The Build

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.

Shimano XTR Shadow Plus, Blister Gear ReviewThis 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.



1 comment on “First Look: 2013 Diamondback Scapegoat”

  1. I also have the Goat you have here and having lots of experience with DB bikes (mission, sortie) in the past, I have set it up to what I consider to be a more all around package. I took off the Fox 180 and put on a Marzocchi 55 RC3 Ti 160 to lower the front end, which REALLY helped it climb. To get the HA back to where it was I installed a set of offset bushings in the rear shock. This will do wonders to this bike. In order to get the front end down a bit you can also put spacers in that Fox 180 to lower it by 10mm increments. Having had RP23’s on my other DB bikes, I found that the DHX was way to linear for the knuckle box design. I bought a RP23 on ebay that came off of a Mission and swapped it out with the DHX, and that also greatly helped the pedaling and mid stroke support of the rear end, while in my opinion, also helped the small bump compliance. It is now basically a slacked out Mission with a burlier downtube. I love it for everything now! Good luck!

    P.S. I just installed a Works angle adjustable headset to get the HA to 65 degrees and it still climbs well. It has to do with the height of the fork and the height of the BB. If the BB is to high it will feel wandery. With my current set up the actual BB height is 13.7.

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