If your kids are interested in BMX, the Diamondback Viper is the ideal bike to get them started. It’s a 20-inch bike that is just as suitable for cycling to school and along park paths as it is for hitting the BMX park.
But what is BMX? The name itself is an abbreviation for ‘bicycle motocross’ or ‘bike motocross,’ and BMX is a popular style of sports biking performed on BMX bikes.
BMX bikes are normally ridden in competitive BMX racing or in a more freestyle manner focusing on stunts and tricks. BMX bikes are also commonly used for off-road recreation.
But whatever area of BMX your child is interested in, they’ll need a reliable, safe bike that is suitable for beginners.
The Diamondback Viper BMX bike fits this criteria and has been a popular entry-level bike for those interested in BMX for over a decade.
Today, we’ll take a look back at the history of Diamondback bikes, get into the details of the Diamondback Viper BMX and its advantages and disadvantages, as well as take a closer look at the differences between a BMX bike and a traditional bike.
The History Of Diamondback Bikes
Diamondback is a bicycle brand headquartered in Kent, Washington. It’s one of the most famous bike brands on the market, and was founded in California in 1977 by Western State Imports.
Since its inception the company has focused on the competitive field and has sponsored some true biking legends. Hundreds of accomplished riders have competed under the banner of Diamondback and won.
Diamondback was purchased by the Derby Cycle Corporation in 1999, one of the largest bicycle manufacturers in Europe. Derby Cycle Corporation is also a worldwide conglomerate that owns the Raleigh Bicycle Company.
They merged with Diamondback and were later sold off at an eye-watering price due to Derby’s reworking the brand and improving the overall quality of the bicycles they were producing.
Diamondback has only grown in popularity since then, becoming a huge player in several advocacy groups like Bikes Belong, the Cascade Bicycle Club, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, and the International Mountain Bike Association.
However, the biggest innovation to come out of Diamondback in the field of cycling is the Knuckle Box suspension that is found in pretty much all of their full-suspension mountain bikes.
Diamondback doesn’t just produce top-quality bikes though, they also own a fitness line that produces exercise equipment like ellipticals, uprights, and indoor cycles.
Diamondback began to expand the range of bikes it offers in 2016, now offering full suspension, BMX, youth bikes, women’s bikes, dual-sport, cruisers, comfort bikes, hybrid bikes, performance hybrid bikes, road bikes, hardtails, and a prototype bike platform called the Release.
Diamondback has a solid reputation for producing the most durable, affordable and high quality bikes out there.
They offer less customizable options than other brands, but this isn’t such a big loss as they offer such a wide and impressive range of bikes.
What they lack in customizable options they make up for in quality assurance and decades of experience that is evident in their bikes.
They have evolved from a BMX bike producer in 1977 to a world-renowned brand that manufactures pretty much all types of bikes.
- Frame size: Small, Medium, and Large
- Bike size: Boys/20”, ages 4-9
- Rider height: 4’4” - 5’4”
- Height range: 5’4”- 5’7” (Small), 5’7”- 5’10” (Medium), 5’8”- 5’11” (Large)
- Brake Type: Rush RX2.1 Brake Lever
- Shifter: Single-speed
- Saddle: DB BMX padded seat
- Rims: 30mm wide black rims
- Tires: BMX style 20x2.125” tires
- Handlebars: Hi-ten steel 2-piece 24” wide x 6” rise Grips DB Icon Grip with Nylon End Plug.
The Diamondback Viper is a versatile bike that has been designed for all kinds of BMX experiences.
The bike has practically everything out of the box except front and rear pegs for the axle hubs which are used for stunts.
They have standard resin pedals which isn’t uncommon for BMX bikes for beginners.
Specialized pedals will only be needed when your kids become more experienced, their riding becomes more aggressive, and their stunts become more challenging.
The brake type is Rush RX2.1 with a Rush linear rear with coaster hub. The brake levers along with the brake coaster helps ease the transition to braking with their hands.
In regards to the shifter, the Diamondback Viper is a single-speed bike with an 18t cog chain KMC Z410 ½ x ⅛.
It’s also equipped with a Diamondback BMX padded seat with a steel pillar Seatpost that makes the bike look more formidable with a black paint job!
The bike’s aluminium 30mm wide black rims are designed to cope with all the bumps and scrapes that come with BMX riding.
Meanwhile, the Diamondback Viper has BMX style 20x2.12.5” tires that provide a smooth ride and excellent grip.
Finally, the price range of a Diamondback Viper is around $150.
It may not be as lightweight as some other BMX models, but these can cost over $1000 and the Diamondback Viper offers excellent value for around half the cost of these more lightweight models.
What’s So Good About The Diamondback Viper BMX Bike?
The Diamondback Viper is the ideal bike for children, as it is versatile, durable, and packed with safety features like the chain guard that will protect your child’s skin and clothing.
This is surprisingly a feature that gets overlooked by a lot of BMX bikes made for young riders.
Its sturdy steel frame and fork are designed to withstand the trials of riding, and the single-speed drivetrain is simple and low maintenance while still being good value.
The linear-pull rear brake provides excellent stopping power, and the 20-inch wheels are outfitted with Comp III style tires for consistently good performance.
What Could Be Better About The Diamondback Viper BMX?
A lot of parents who have children interested in BMX are concerned about how their children will adjust to a handbrake.
But this is something that all young riders will face and is an expected learning curve.
Two other slight letdowns are the lack of kickstand and pegs for the front and rear hubs.
Where Can You Buy Diamondback Bikes?
Diamondback is a popular brand that you can buy almost anywhere in the US and Europe. Diamondbacks are sold in most sport stores and bike stores, and are also available online.
What’s The Difference Between BMX Bikes And Regular Bikes?
The biggest difference between BMX bikes and traditional bikes is the design. Traditional bikes are designed for long-distance riding and commutes, while BMX bikes offer more liberal movement.
It’s because of this freedom of movement that BMX bikes tend not to come with front brakes.
Let’s take a look at a couple more differences between BMX bikes and traditional bikes.
While all bikes need to be durable, it’s especially important in BMX bikes.
This is because riders of BMX bikes regularly perform intense jumps, spins and turns, and they need a bike that can handle these aggressive feats. If a bike isn’t durable enough it could break in the middle of the ride - disaster!
Therefore, BMX bikes are made of the best materials to withstand the pressure of jumps and spins. You’ll mainly find aluminum and chrome steel in BMX frames as well as in their other components.
This is another big difference, as traditional bikes are made with more components. This makes them heavier and bigger than BMXs.
Frame tubes on BMX bikes are usually about 20” long, meanwhile regular bikes usually have a 45” frame tube.
This shorter frame lets BMX riders perform 360° tricks and stunts without breaking the frame or falling off the bike.
The material found in the frame of BMX bikes is normally aluminum or chrome steel alloy.
These materials are usually more lightweight than the materials used to manufacture traditional bikes. The materials used to manufacture BMX bikes are also more durable.
In order for BMX bikes to consistently perform good jumps they need to have robust wheels.
While there is a difference between the wheels needed for BMX bikes and traditional bikes, this is also true for every other type of bike. Different riding styles require different wheels.
The wheels of a BMX need to have a good grip for dirt and off-road trails.
You usually won’t find this level of grip on traditional bikes. BMX bikes also include robust rims which lets them sustain a lot of damage without harming the mechanism.
Since BMX bikes are used for short-distance riding and tricks, pedalling efficiency isn’t a priority.
Plus, as BMX bikes need to be lightweight, manufacturers will avoid adding too many parts. BMX bikes also don’t use a freewheel assembly which makes performing tricks and stunts easier.
Probably one of the biggest differences between a traditional bike and a BMX bike is the brakes. Most manufacturers of BMX bikes will not include brakes because simple hydraulic cables compromise movement.
BMX bikes need to be free to perform different maneuvers and these would be hindered by a cable.
Although there are cheaper styles of mountain bikes from big retailers, Diamondback Viper is definitely worth the money. You get what you pay for with this high-quality bike that is sure to last for years.
This perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise, as Diamondback has been a consistent leader in the BMX market, and their years of experience manufacturing bikes is reflected in the bike’s engineering.
It’s also heartening to see the same care, expertise, and high-quality craftsmanship being poured into the manufacturing of their bikes for children as well as their bikes for adults.
Riding a ‘big kid’ bike is a significant transition for most children, and requires a lot of support and encouragement from the adults in their life - and a lot of research on your part too!
The Diamondback Viper is the perfect bike for your children to make this transition with.
It may be designed for young riders, but it’s designed like a grown-up bike - which we’re sure your kids will appreciate!
Its solid steel frame and forks, along with its sturdy rims and tires are sure to stand the test of time as your children discover the world of BMX.
You may also find it so durable that by the time your child is ready to move onto their next bike you can hand it down to siblings or other children in the family.
But this bike is also great for more casual use, and can be used to explore the neighborhood as well as to practice their new BMX skills!
The frame sizing and crankshaft position along with the location of the handlebar also make it an ideal upgrade four your child.
Bottom line, we can’t think of a better introduction to BMX than the Diamondback Viper.