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    • I have to admit, the bike is a head-turner. It is a stark contrast to my beloved Felt DA that I spent years upgrading and customizing every single component going as far as replacing the entire frame. But in the end it was still just another nice race bike in a sea of hundreds of other race bikes. No so with the Andean…

      The Andean is at another level. The unique frame design and a black matte finish make it distinctly unique looking and I’ve aptly named it "StealthBomber”. The solid ride quality, precise handling and integrated storage makes it a true racing machine.

    • When it came to ordering the bike the process was pretty straight forward. I used Diamondback’s online Custom Studio to configure the bike. A few days later I received an email from one of the builders with a worksheet to fill out the bike fit details. I then carefully took all of the measurements of my old Felt DA (size51). Based on that data the Andean size 50 was a perfect fit for me. 

      Another big decision was to pick a wheel set. I’ve always wanted to try a full disc on the back paired with a deep wheel in the front. The HED Jet 9 Black Disc front wheel and HED Jet Aero Disc seemed like a perfect choice. I can confirm now that it was the best possible choice for this setup, they feel amazingly solid. 

    • Looking at the Andean from the head on angle only confirms just how “slippery” this bike is in the wind. From the side it looks like a sail, but from the front it is incredibly low profile.

    • I run the bike in 2 different configurations: 1 hour or 2+ hours pictured here. In both configurations the bike computer stays in the same place, but I add 2 nutrition boxes and 2 water bottles. This allows for a quick transformation from 70.3 setup into an Olympic one and it only takes a few minutes.

    • Garmin 1030 is a star of the cockpit. I used to have Garmin 1000, but it didn’t age well with the battery draining fast and I had constant issue with charging it. The new version is an absolute joy to use, the screen is bigger, highly customizable and I’ve never ran out of battery juice. 

    • Over the years of racing and trying different nutrition options such as bars, gels, chews I’ve stumbled upon an ingenious solution and have been using it since. I now use a flexible gel flask filled with Huma gels in it. Before the race I fill it up with 4 gels each holding 400 calories in total with two gel flask it comes out to 800 calories. Each hour on the bike I consume the content of each flask knowing exactly how many calories are going in and there is no trash or sticky hands to deal with when dealing with handling gel packs.

    • Depending on the course and the weather conditions I rehydrate with 2 water bottles either 750ml (pictured) or 500ml for cooler courses. I fill them up only with water for easy cleaning and also to control the ratio of water vs gels that I consume during the race.

    • Over the years I've been plagued with ejected water bottles. I’ve tried many different combinations of cages and water bottles until I finally stumbled upon TriRig carrier, cages and bottles. Ever since I haven’t had a single bottle lost during races this season (19 races so far, 6 of them are Ironmans 70.3) where it was common for me to loose at least 1 every single race. I even practiced readjusting the bottles after hitting bumps during the race. It became an unnecessary habit and now I don’t need to worry about the bottles anymore. 

    • The saddle is a critical piece of the bike. After trying many different ones I’ve found that split nose ones like ISM worked better for me. Then I found the Dash saddles and they blew my mind. So for this bike I decided to get the best saddle I possibly could which was the custom Dash TRI.7 saddle with a hefty price worthy all of its 95 grams. 

    • For the pedals I went with Garmin Vector 3. They are minimal and integrate nicely with Garmin 1030 including displaying the battery status, making it easy to check before the race.

    • The most distinct feature of the Andean frameset is its integrated trunk. The hinged door opens up revealing a spacious cavity inside the frame where you can easily stash a tool pouch, tubes and still have room to spare. This is also where the internal Di2 battery is housed right behind the crankset.

    • The nice thing about the included tool pouch is that it fits perfectly inside the frame. It doesn’t rattle during the ride and is easily accessible on the roadside.

    • To fix mechanicals, I keep things pretty minimal to save weight and only bring the bare essentials. In the tool pouch there are 2 CO2 cartridges with a Lezyne Control Drive Inflator, a tire lever, multi tool, zip ties, valve core remover and a spare master chain link.

    • Behind the seat post is another storage place. Some people refer to it as a“creditcard holder” as you really can’t put much there. The rubber lid is a pain to close so I personally never use it and instead rely on the abundance of space in the trunk.

    • The Dura-Ace 9100 53/39 170 mm crankset is slightly larger than my older 52/38 which lets me keep pedaling on downhills without spinning out like I used to. Paired with the 11-28 Dura-Ace cassette plenty for flats and I can still comfortably climb.

    • Perhaps the nicest upgrade over my old race bike are the brakes. Specifically the integrated  Shimano Dura-Ace STI Hydraulic Disc levers and shifters feel so nice to hold. I can now both shift down while braking without digging into palms with the skinny levers. 

    • The newfound confidence in the hydraulic brakes is reflected in the higher average speed over the traditional cable brakes on steep descends. If you’ve ever ridden a mountain bike with disc brakes, they feel exactly the same. Always there, always predictable.

    • On all my bikes I’ve always ridden Continental Grand Prix 4000s II and never had problems with it. Perhaps there are better tires out there, but for me these roll fast and grip well.

    • Both front and rear are 25mm tires. Since they are mounted on a Jet Plus rims, which are wider than normal rims, I run them at the recommended 70-80psi tire pressure. This makes for a very smooth ride without the risk of a pinch flat. I wish there was a tubeless version of them, but for now these work great.

    • The only grievance I have with the Andean is the location and mount for a junction box. It is truly a pain in the ass to access for charging and derailleur micro adjustments. I’ve spoken with Diamondback about it and they have found a solution by moving the junction box to the trunk. As soon as this option is available I’ll makes sure to do so. 

    • I ride in a very aggressive, fully“slammed”position. That means there are no stem or pad spacers and a 200 mm drop from the top of the saddle to the top of the pads. 

    • What may have seemed like a crazy position a few years ago, when I was just getting my first bike fit, now seems totally normal. Since then I went through a number of fit sessions and self-adjustments to arrive to this position. To many this may seem too aggressive, but I got used to it and have no problem staying in it for the average of 2:30 hours it takes to finish the bike leg of a 70.3 triathlon.

    • About me: I’m 35 years old, 5’ 7” and 145 lbs. USAT All-American and Ironman All-World athlete and I think I race too much. Last year I raced 6 Olympic and 6 Half-Ironman 70.3 distance triathlons. This year I’ve raced 16 out of 21 races on this Diamondback Andean (6 Half Ironman distance, 9 Olympic and 1 Sprint). Oh and I’m also “plant-based” (Vegan) athlete.

      Bike specs: Diamondback Andean Frame, Di2 Dura-Ace Groupset, HED Jet Wheelset and a custom travel case, Garmin 1030 bike computer, Garmin Vector 3 power meter pedals, Dash Tri.7 custom saddle, TriRig carrier, cages and bottles. Total cost of the bike was $12,500.

      Would love to hear back from you with questions about the bike, position and racing strategies.

    • 1. How much does it weigh?

      As pictured in this setup it is around 23.5lbs.

      Barebones (no water bottles, cages, spare tube and tools) it is 22lbs.

      2. I assume fairings are illegal and I've heard recumbents have better aerodynamics. Any thoughts on the matter?

      This bike is fully legal for triathlon racing, but isn’t legal for UCI racing (time trials or draft-legal triathlons) due to its geometry. Adding any fairings to this bike would make it illegal for triathlons as well.

      Recumbent bikes are in fact even more aerodynamic but they can’t be used for triathlon.