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    • I fell in love with Diamondback’s Andean the first time I laid eyes on it in September 2016, when it was unveiled. 

      The problem was I had a custom Felt DA that I had meticulously upgraded so the only original parts left were the crankset and cassette. The frame, wheels and every other component had been replaced. The thought of getting a new racing machine made me feel like I was cheating on my beloved Felt…

      A year later a car swerved onto the bike course during a race destroying my Felt and sending me to the hospital. That gave me the excuse I needed to email Diamondback and order on my dream super bike. Three weeks later it arrived on my doorstep. Chills.

    • That setup 👆 is for Olympic distance triathlons where I only need one bottle and no nutrition. If the course is flat and the weather cool, I may ditch the water bottle and cage to reduce the total weight to 22 pounds, including the Garmin bike computer.

      For the longer 70.3 distance, I add the 2 nutrition boxes that Diamondback designed and 2 bottles. I don’t have 70.3 race-version pics but can shoot some if you’re interested.

    • The bike came with an ISM saddle, but I went with a custom Dash Cycles Tri.7 saddle.  It’s incredibly light (95grams) and shockingly small (the size of the palm of my hand). The hardest part of the bike customization was the placement of the water bottle. It took about a month of experiments to figure out which carrier, cage and bottle would tuck under the saddle without leaving a gap and would stay in place. 

      Finally the combination of TriRig Beta carrier paired with TriRig Kappa cage and a TriRig Snap-Top bottle proved to be the winning combo. I can’t count the number of bottles I have lost while racing. The most memorable occasion was at Wildflower triathlon, where less than a quarter mile into the 56-mile bike course both water bottles ejected on a speed bump. From that moment I became obsessed with finding a solution to hold the bottles in place.

    • The cockpit didn’t require much customization because I provided bike fit dimensions to Diamondback when ordering. The HED Corsaire - E Flat base bar with HED Clip Lite Low S-Bend feels stiff while climbing, throwing the bike side to side, yet has plenty of shock absorption over the rough terrain. I originally planned to buy the SRAM Force 1, but at the last minute decided to go all out and buy the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 with integrated brake levers and shifters. 

    • Another challenge was to find a good place to mount my bike computer. I am not a fan of putting water storage on bar extensions because it affects handling in cross winds. In my mind it’s an excuse to keep the cockpit clean and open for placing the bike computer anywhere. The Garmin 1030 fits nicely in between the bars on a K-edge Garmin Sport TT Mount. It fits so snug and flush that to remove it you have to unscrew the mount. I always leave it on the bike while charging.

    • The HED Jet 9 Black Disc front wheel and HED Jet Aero Disc back wheel feel amazingly solid. Continental GP4000 700x25c at 75 psi (recommended) on this wheel set feels very comfortable and is a big advantage of having Plus rims. The standard 110 psi I’m used to now feels way too harsh on rough roads. Both wheels have front and rear thru axles, which makes the bike feel incredibly solid. They remove the side flex I used to have with the standard quick release wheel set.

    • The Dura-Ace 9100 53/39 170mm crankset and Dura-Ace 11-28 cassette covers the whole spectrum of terrain. I almost never spin out on the downhills or grind down on the uphills. Paired with the Di2 groupset I can’t ask for anything better.

    • I wanted to get the new Dura-Ace R9100-P crankset with integrated power meter, but it wasn’t available yet and the new Garmin Vector 3 pedals were just released. I’ve ridden thousands of miles on Garmin Vector 1 pedals, so getting the newest version seemed like a no-brainer.

    • One of the most interesting features of the Diamondback Andean frameset is the integrated storage inside the frame. It is the most distinct feature of the bike and I don’t know how I lived without it. There is so much space there and it easily fits at least 2 spare tubes, a few CO2 cartridges and tools with plenty of room to spare.

      This is also where the Di2 battery is mounted and can easily be swapped. I didn’t realize how important this was until race day at the Bass Lake triathlon where I paid a price. The Di2 battery that I charged before leaving was dead on arrival. I didn’t bother checking it on race day. This was the hilliest olympic bike course (2100ft of gain) and I was stuck in one gear… A hard lesson was learned that day and now I carry the backup battery ready to swap via the hatch door.

    • Brakes were at the top of my mind when choosing a new super bike. There were only Cervélo P5x and Diamondback offering disc brakes at the time and it was a non-negotiable part of the bike for me. I couldn’t have been happier with the Shimano Dura-Ace STI Hydraulic Disc brakes. 

    • They are incredibly reliable and offer plenty of modulation. I’ve raced them in the rain and in the heat and they were “always there for me.” It is all I could ask from the brakes: to be reliable and predictable under any condition.

    • Probably the most asked question about this bike is how it handles in the wind. I can only make a comparison to a Felt DA that I raced before buying this bike. The two bikes feel the same when running with the same wheel depth in the front. Even though the bike looks like a sail, for me the wind really affects only the front wheel steering. I’ve always trained and raced on 80mm wheels in the front and I’m used to it. For extremely windy courses like Kona I might get a shallower front wheel, but this would be an issue for any super bike.

    • So far I’ve raced six olympic and two 70.3 triathlons on it in various weather conditions and courses. This bike is truly incredible, a joy to ride. Now I need to do it justice and ride faster!

      What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

    • The bottle is close enough where I can reach it with the right hand without coming out of the aero position. When I'm at home on a trainer I practice reaching for it and it really helps knowing where the bottle is on a race day.

    • The 70.3 setup is a little different with 2 nutrition boxes mounted at the front. I'll do another photo shoot of this setup to capture details. For now this is a photo from HITS 70.3 taken the day before and ready to race.

    • 53/39 is pretty macho, or so I’ve heard. That’s what I pedal too in tt and road. It’s a great choice for tt. But on road, am thinking of going to 52/36; what say you Vilen?

    • IMO 52/36 is a great gear ratio for road racing and very versatile, I'd recommend it for road if you pack race in an area with hills. Otherwise 50/34 would be fine for pretty much anybody. The only way to really need those high ratios is if you are in a big pack drafting at high speeds.
      Otherwise you'd likely be on a winding decent where putting out power and keeping high speeds will be really difficult. 53/39 is great for TT bikes or racing road on really flat terrain.

      Of course this is assuming you run a fairly standard cassette like an 11-28. If you found something wonky like a 14-40 or something then all bets are off ;).

    • It is wise to have a smaller gearing for the road than a tt bike. I totally agree with @xorius's recommendation. I feel very comfortable on my road bike with 50/34. Perhaps I can see myself going to 52/36 soon but I wouldn't want to ride anything bigger than that even if it makes me looks more macho on a road bike.

    • I have had some time to think about your question. Now I’m sold on going with 52/36 for the road bike. In fact knowing how fast you ride it seems like a necessity. So go for it! 😉