Diamondback launches seriously fast new e-bikes for road and gravel

Diamondback Union 1
(Image credit: Diamondback)

Diamondback has launched a set of four new electric bikes, with two models for swift commuting, one for fast road riding, and one that's suited to both streets and trails.

Although electric bikes are often built with city cycling in mind, we've seen a growing interest in gravel e-bikes in recent months. These aren't mountain bikes built for serious hills and mud, but are more robust than a typical road bike, with more stable geometry and increased tire clearance that makes them suitable for both roads and tougher terrain.

The newly launched Diamondback Response is one such model, with plus-size Schwalbe tires fitted as standard, hydraulic disc brakes, front suspension fork, and a 350w Bosch Performance Speed motor capable of hitting speeds up to 28mph (with an estimated range of 35-65 miles).

Diamondback Response

Diamondback Response (Image credit: Diamondback)

It has straight handlebars rather than the drops you'd expect from a typical gravel bike, which has both pros and cons: you get more control with straight handlebars, and are likely to find them more comfortable if you're an occasional rider, but they mean the bike is a little wider and less aerodynamic.

Road riding

The Diamondback Union 1 and Union 2 are both intended for city riding, with lightweight aluminum frames and wide 25.5in tires to absorb knocks from potholes. Both bikes also feature built-in luggage racks and fenders for everyday chores and commuting.

Diamondback's chosen drive unit and battery are chunkier than the Mahle Ebikemotion system, resulting in a distinctly chunky downtube that means they're unlikely to be mistaken for conventional push-bikes, but that extra size comes with the benefit of a larger battery capacity.

The Union 1 features a 400W battery, while the Union 2 boasts 500W. This results in a range of around 35-55 miles for the Union 1, and 35-65 miles for the Union 2.

Diamondback Union 2

Diamondback Union 2 (Image credit: Diamondback)

Whereas many electric bikes use your mobile phone as a cycle computer, the two Union models have their own separate units so you can keep your handset tucked away safely out of sight.

The Union 1 features a Bosch Purion on-board computer, which shows key data such as speed, battery level, trip distance, and service warnings. The Union 2 features Bosch's more sophisticated Kiox computer, which also records trip data and transmits it to your phone via Bluetooth, and can link to a chest strap heart rate monitor.

Diamondback Current

Diamondback Current (Image credit: Diamondback)

Rounding out the new lineup, the Diamondback Current is another road bike, but one that's built for fun rather than commuting and chores, switching the fenders and luggage rack for extras like a WTB Volt Sport seat, and Maxxis Rambler gravel and adventure tires.

Otherwise, its components are very similar to those of the Union 2. It has the same battery and motor, with a range of 35-65 miles and a top speed of 28mph.

Priced to move

In terms of price, the new Diamondbacks sit in roughly the middle of the pack – more expensive than our current top-rated e-bike, the Ribble Hybrid AL e, but cheaper than the premium Specialized Turbo Creo SL Expert.

The Union 1 costs $3,500 (about £2,500 / AU$4,600), and the Union 2, Current and Response are priced at $4,100 (about £3,000 / AU$5,400). 

Via Autoevolution

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)