I love reading new MTB reviews but it seems like the reviews are lacking in one area. There are hundreds of reviews of $6,000+ bikes with thousand dollar drivetrains. However, there is a lack of reviews of entry-level bikes and bikes that most people can actually afford. I just purchased a Diamondback Overdrive 2 29er hardtail.
For the price I don't know if you can beat what you get with this bike. For me the stand out points are: a solid, lightweight aluminum frame, a SRAM NX/GX drivetrain, a Rock Shox Reba fork (100mm travel), and the WTB Nine Line tires. If you tried to build this bike yourself and bought all the parts separately you wouldn't be able to come close to the under $1,500 price tag. It even comes with some really cool extras that most bikes don't include, like a mud guard, pedals, and a basic torque wrench and tools (pictured below). Click here to see more https://www.zionbikes.store
There are some parts and components that the typical rider would want to upgrade after purchasing this bike. The handlebars (740mm) are not wide enough for my liking. Even though the rims and tires are tubeless compatible, the bike arrives with tubes. Tubeless stems are included and this would be an easy upgrade. The lack of a dropper post is the most evident missing ingredient, but it is understandable that Diamondback does not include one in this price point. If you plan to do any longer rides on this bike you would want to upgrade the saddle as well. The tread on the WTB NineLine tires are geared for cross-country riding. If you were to use this as a trail bike you would want to have a deeper, more aggressive tread pattern. See my list of Good, Better & Best Tires here https://www.zionbikes.store/extras
Putting all that aside the most important question is how does it ride? The Rock Shox Reba fork has only 100mm of travel. This bike is not designed to take down rocky, technical terrain. It is very much geared towards cross-country riding. I bought it to keep up with the high school kids on my local NICA team. As long as you stay on the trails that this machine is designed for it is an awesome bike, especially for the money.
Being a hardtail 29er this bike climbs very well and is very efficient. It handles smooth trails and some rocky terrain with ease. It climbs easily and carries momentum well. For a hardtail with more traditional geometry it descends remarkably well. If you are looking for a traditional hardtail you will not find a better one for the price. This would be an excellent bike if you are on a NICA team or if you just enjoy riding fast. See more at https://www.zionbikes.store