For the 2014 Racing season Diamondback proudly announced it’s role as the sole bike sponsor for the Optum Presented By Kelly Benefit Strategies Pro Cycling Team. The Optum Pro Team is one of North Americas most well-known and respected men’s and women’s UCI professional cycling teams, and have also become one of the most successful and top ranked cycling teams on the domestic race campaign. For the women's team, the 2013 inaugural season resulted in a first-ever USPRO Road National Championship title won by Jade Wilcoxson, and on the men’s front Tom Zirbel captured the USPRO Time Trial National Championship. Diamondback now provides the horses these athletes will ride atop during North America’s biggest races, which happen to be some of the biggest races in the world as well, including the Tour of California, USA Pro Challenge and the Tour of Alberta. The team machine? None other than the Diamondback Podium Equipe
Your heart rate climbs, muscles burn and ache, the buzz of hundreds of cogs spinning in a giant swarm fills the air. With every movement your bike responds like it's reading your every thought, guiding you as you cut your way through the raging peloton. You ride up and down mountain passes, over cobblestones, dodging fanatical spectators and unruly media vehicles—you're on your way to the finish line. The roar of the crowd startles you back to reality and you find that you've been daydreaming again; yet another colorful vision just out of reach. The Diamondback Podium Equipe is the kind of bike daydreams are made of, the caliber of road race machine that demands admiration and respect. Designed to be a top-of-the-line carbon competition bike, the Podium Equipe has everything you need to take your riding to the next level. Whether you're a weekend warrior looking to add some pro style and performance to your bike stable, or a seasoned racer that needs a bike that will respond flawlessly and deliver the kind of performance that reinforces your well-honed skills, look no further than the front of the pack—the Diamondback Podium Equipe.
In initial development meetings, one thing was abundantly clear: Diamondback was determined to create the ultimate road frame. From the aggressive carbon shapes to the latest internal cable housing design, no expenses were spared in the production of the Podium Equipe. The process began with many discussions on how to make a carbon road bike more user and performance friendly not just for the top racers of the world but also the weekend road warriors that ride thousands of miles per year. At the same time, Diamondback strives to maintain the ride quality that is a trademark of Diamondback Podium bikes. The handling, feel, weight, geometry of each frame and each size is taken into account to ensure that every product embodies the signature Diamondback feel. Diamondback sets clear and concise goals to ensure that the Podium is a world-class frame, utilizing conceptual sketches, 3D Modeling, and Finite Element Analysis (FEA) before the first steel mold is even made.
The Podium is handmade using Diamondback's Advanced Monocoque Molding Process (AMMP). AMMP ensures that each piece of carbon ply is laid precisely where the engineers want it. These carbon plies are hand-wrapped around a polystyrene pre-form core, using a plastic bladder in the shape of the product. To achieve a precise mold during this layup process, the emerging product is surrounded with a plastic cavity, guaranteeing a perfect fit. Silicone mandrel shells are then used to reinforce critical joint areas, this process helps create smoother overlapping fibers at these vital junctions—such as the head tube and the bottom bracket. Each silicone shell is joined together prior to placing the product in the steel mold. In this final mold, a proprietary coating is used for optimal fiber adhesion.
For the Podium, Diamondback chose to use the latest MR60 and HR40 fibers produced by carbon fiber leader Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd. and industry workhorse T700 fibers by Toray Industries Inc. The Carbon SL frame featured on the Podium Equipe’ is a lighter version of the Carbon Competition frames (Podium Vitesse and E’Tape). The difference is the addition of higher modulus material which is stronger with greater elongation and tensile strength. Adding these properties makes frame thinner while maintaining and increasing stiffness because of the additional material properties. Because it’s thinner, it’s lighter, 100 grams lighter to be exact.
Another critical material is the resin used to bind the fibers together. Diamondback's signature Optimized Resin Compound (ORC) is used to bind the carbon fibers together with precision alignment during the heating process. Using too much resin makes a frame feel heavy and sluggish. Too little resin can result in fiber separation and frame failure. Optimizing the resin-to-fiber ratio allows for the enhancement of the ratio of material weight-to-strength. The result is an exceptionally impact-resistant frame as the ORC not only bonds the fibers together but also reinforces the strength of the thin carbon walls from collisions.
Unlike other companies that buy pre-impregnated carbon sheets with resin from a supplier factory, Diamondback makes all of it's carbon sheets in-house. This allows for full control over the quality and consistency of how much resin is applied onto each piece of carbon ply. Each piece is cut to the specific shapes and sizes needed. This gives Diamondback the advantage of having complete control of the carbon from the point that it’s in yarn form to the lay-up process. Only the highest quality of carbon is used as it cures in a low-heat oven and is then stored in a temperature and humidity controlled storage space to maintain optimal quality until needed.
Clean Core Technology ensures a clean inner core devoid of rough edges and excess material. When the product mold goes into the heat press, the air bladders are pressurized within the polystyrene pre-form core. This fills out the interior crevices and forces the fibers to conform to the shape. The heat softens the carbon plies making them malleable to the mold, and the excess resin is forced out. This makes for a product with light and consistent weight throughout and produces a smooth surface—inside as well as out.
After the layup process, separate formed pieces such as the front triangle, chain stay and seat stay sections are bonded using Diamondback's dynamic co-bonding technique. The frame is then removed from the curing process, cleaned, drilled, polished and painted. Now ready to test ride for road feel, the Podium is moved into the prototype phase. This part is one the most crucial steps in the process. In the final testing stage, Diamondback recruits pro team riders to test all of their products and give valuable feedback.
It's no wonder why the Podium Equipe is the choice rig for the Optum Pro Cycling Team. In Optum team colors, let the new King be crowned for there is none higher—the 2014 Diamondback Podium Equipe Optum Pro Team Road Machine.
Tires do not come pre-glued to the rim. Tires will need to be glued to the rim before the Podium Equipe is to be ridden. Failure to do so can result in serious injury or death.
Note: Components are subject to change without notice.