Diamondback Insight 1 Performance Hybrid Bike Review

Price

Pros​​​​

Price, reliability, gear shifter, seat

Cons

Pedals

Summary

For a solid beginner or leisure bike, Diamondback’s 2016 Insight 1 is a compliant and responsive performance hybrid with a reputation that riders appreciate.

Our Rating

89/100

Manufacturer

Diamondback’s 2016 hybrid offering to the crossover market pleases consumers looking for a bike that can handle the demands of trail riding while delivering a smooth city cruising experience.

The unisex design scheme and build of the Diamondback Insight 1 Performance Hybrid Bike cater to men and women who want a casual bike without a lot of extras.

Introducing the Diamondback Insight 1

FRAME: ​Insight 6061-T6 Butted Aluminum Performance Hybrid
BRAKES: ​Alloy linear
SHIFTER: ​Shimano EF-51 Easyfire 7spd
RIMS: ​32h Equation R23 Doublewall
TIRES: ​Kenda Kwick Trax 700x32c
PRICE: Check latest price on Amazon.com

The Diamondback Insight line combines mountain bike and road bike features into an attractive form that is lightweight yet robust.

Its muted color scheme works well for both male and female riders. With sizing to suit riders from 5’4” all the way to 6’4”, the perfect fit awaits every cyclist.

The Insight 1’s frame is formed aluminum, which means it’s light and durable. According to Livestrong, aluminum bike frames are one-third the weight of steel frames. This lets bikes retain their design without sacrificing weight. Aluminum frames won’t rust, so they’re low-maintenance and great for riding in any weather. 

At the same time, aluminum frames are stiffer than other materials, meaning they have less give across demanding surfaces. Still, the stiffness means more stability on flat, straight bike paths.

The ride on this bike is upright the way a mountain bike seats the rider, but the wheels are road-size and smooth.

Prices range from around $200 to nearly $500, making the Insight 1 an affordable hybrid bike for a range of riders.

Assembly won’t take long since the bike goes in the box partially assembled. Each size allows for a variety of adjustments depending on the overall height and inseam of the individual rider.

Effective brakes and substantial handgrips make for a comfortable and controlled ride. Brand trust is strong with this bike, as Diamondback’s range of mountain, road, and city bikes cover every rider in the family. 

Along with a stock of replacement parts and upgrades, Diamondback has technical support and owner’s manual information on its website, so you can find the info you need to get you on the road.

Based on a few positive reviews, the Insight 1 shifts smoothly and lends comfort to new cyclists not familiar with daily riding. With a ride anywhere from ten miles to 50, riders report the need for slight adjustments, but also reliability that’s unsurpassed in bikes at this price point.

There is no kickstand in the box, another point of contention for many beginning cyclists, but this is common for Diamondback and other manufacturers too. At under thirty pounds, the Insight 1 can handle a few custom add-ons without becoming bogged down. 

What We Like

While any Diamondback bike can deliver a memorable ride, this lower-end model is a surprising contender for the city rider who needs a dependable workhorse. We don't recommend hitting the trail too hard with it, but the Insight's reputation as a complete hybrid bike means it performs well on more than flat pavement. 

We like that it’s a bit hardier than your typical street bike, without the fluff that comes with a cruiser. Its primary purpose is street transport, but it has all the functions of a bike that can tackle a trail, save for heavy suspension.

Diamondback’s bikes arrive partially disassembled, but that means about 85% of the assembly work is done for you. While this isn’t a hassle for most riders, you can always bring the bike to a pro for assembly and adjustments. Tools and an assembly manual come in the box.

A comfortable performance hybrid gel seat, durable and quick alloy linear brakes, plus accommodating dual density comfort handgrips make this an excellent commuter bike. Pedals come with it, which is rare for the price point and this type of bike in general. 

The gear shifter is a Shimano with 21 speeds that deliver satisfying control whether you’re coasting down the street or climbing an urban hill.

An alloy micro adjust seat post on each size bike allows for minute adjustments per rider and the tires have good grip. 

Although this model is ideal for city rides and trails, the tires are responsive without the knobby look of a trail bike’s set. 

Out of the box, the Insight 1 is a great buy for families who like leisurely rides, commuters with an eye on function, and riders who prefer variation in their cycle collection. With the relatively low price point, the Insight can almost compete on cost alone, although the addition of alternative pedals or a different seat can drive up the bottom line. 

What We Don’t Like

Non-experts might need some assistance with adjustments and tuning for an optimal riding experience. That means new cyclists will need outside support from a local shop or cycle pro. Plus, other models of Diamondback bikes arrive with Ready Ride, a feature that offers 95% assembly upon arrival. This is a drawback for riders who are familiar with that accommodation. 

This no-frills model appeals to new riders and casual cyclists, but experienced riders who are looking for more features might feel disappointed. Also, the need for fine tuning can turn off buyers who want to hop on the bike and take off. 

Since this bike is a merger between city and trail bicycles, it doesn’t offer the range and suspension of bikes that are strictly mountain models. The pedals are not high-performance, and while we appreciate that the bike comes with a set, the polymer models don’t withstand the miles we want to put on it. 

That said, finding alternative pedals is something most riders have experienced, so changing out the pedals isn’t a deal breaker in most cases. The only other drawback we can find in this bike is its understated paint job. A flashy color doesn’t do much for the ride, of course, but the paint doesn’t handle scuff marks well, so a more durable coat is preferable. 

Conclusion

For a solid beginner or leisure bike, Diamondback’s 2016 Insight 1 is a compliant and responsive performance hybrid with a reputation that riders appreciate.

If you’re looking for an adaptive bicycle for mainly on-road riding across a variety of terrain, the Insight provides utility at a surprisingly low price point.

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start BikesReviewed.com. In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

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