29-inch wheel mountain bikes are getting more popular for a reason. Their oversized profiles allow riders to conquer obstacles much easier, while also achieving higher top speeds. You can’t just fit 29ers on any bike frame however, it must be specifically built to handle them properly.
This leads many serious riders to hold off on getting a bike that can support 29-inch wheels and tires, as they want a quality bike over a wheel size.
Fortunately, the Diamondback Overdrive 29 exists, giving riders an easy and affordable way to get a high-level 29er that doesn’t require you to dish out a lot of money. You still get a bike built for serious riding, while keeping things under $1,000.
This is a rarity in the 29er world, so the Overdrive 29 is definitely providing you with incredible value.
If you’re someone who is looking to get into 29ers, this bike is your best choice to start with, and may soon become your favorite bike altogether.
Manufacturing a quality 29er involves more than just throwing some larger wheels on it. You also have to have not only solid components, but a strategic frame design that helps accommodate the 29-inch size in a proper manner.
The Overdrive 29 checks off all the boxes, delivering a well-thought design that is paired up with some very good components, many of which are found on certain mountain bikes costing double what you pay for.
A hand-built 6061-T6 aluminum alloy frame is the backbone of this bike. The frame is butted and crafted to deliver maximum strength in all of the major stress points, while still offering just a bit of give, and keeping the weight down to a more than manageable level.
Not only is the frame lightweight and reinforced, it also has an aggressive design and stance that places the rider in an ideal position when powering and steering a bike with wheels of this size.
This is backed up by an SR Suntour suspension fork. It gives you a suitable amount of travel with the shocks, but not at the expense of your pedal power, or creating a less-responsive level of steering.
This can definitely be noticed on the trail, and especially during flatter sections when you are trying to make up some time with your speed.
The bike’s drivetrain consists of Shimano components, and gives your 24 separate speeds. This is a bit less than some other cross country or trail models, but the ratio of the gearing and the design of the bike helps you get the most out each of the 24 speeds.
The 29-inch tires are courtesy of Schwalbe. They provide the Overdrive 29 with plenty of traction and an aggressive tread design, which is definitely needed when dealing with wheels of this size. The wheels are slightly more durable and heavier than smaller wheel sizes, but that’s to be expected.
Big wheels need quality brakes to help control them easier, and that’s exactly what the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes do. They offer excellent stopping power with minimal effort on the brake levers, saving you from repeated strain.
All of this for under $1,000. Again, if you’re looking into entering the 29-inch wheel world, you aren’t going to find a better deal in regards to what you get for your money. The ride and feel of the Overdrive 29 rival that of any bikes that are two or three times as much. It’s that good.
We love practically everything about this bike. It’s obvious that Diamondback did more than just come up with a 29er and tack on some random components.
They carefully designed the frame’s geometry to better accommodate the ride of 29-inch wheels. The frame provides better pedaling efficiency, and also helps redirect some of the shock from the trail away from the major areas. It also encourages a better riding position, which we certainly appreciate.
The SR Suntour fork is another great aspect of the Overdrive 29. This fork is the perfect match for this frame size, and offers the perfect amount of travel, along with the right amount of rigidness in order to sustain better speeds when traveling over obstacles or rocky terrain.
The tires aren’t to be overlooked either. When you have a bike with tires this big, every detail needs to be right in order for everything to work properly. The tread design and overall feel of the tires is precisely what it needed for this bike. So you don’t need to worry about going out and upgrading them as soon as you get the bike.
It would seem that Diamondback gave precise attention to everything except the saddle. We aren’t the only ones to voice a complaint about it either. Unless you’re someone who is somehow not bothered by crappy saddles, you’re definitely going to want to buy a different one, or use the one off an existing bike. Either way.
As we said, you’re going to need a new saddle with the Overdrive 29. Also realize that if you order the bike online, you’ll likely need to run it by a bike shop so they can finish the assembly part and give some fine-tuning to the brakes and gears.
We've encountered a few reviewers who said the derailleur will likely need some attention, which is not really something many will be able to do on their own.
The Diamondback Overdrive 29 is a great way to get into using mountain bikes with the larger wheels available.
The size aspect and quality of components makes it a solid bike for beginners as well, as the 29-inch wheels are very forgiving when it comes to handling rougher terrain, while also providing better balance and speed control.
Sure, a few minor parts of the Overdrive 29 could be better, but for the price, you simply aren’t going to find a better 29er out there right now. This bike is fun, affordable, and tough, which is all you can ask for.
This post was last updated on September 21st, 2018 at 08:49 pm
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.