The Diamondback Sorrento is a reasonably priced mountain bike which holds up well to easy off-road or dirt-road riding. This is not a bike for technical riders, but may be perfect for your needs if you want to do just a bit more than paved-road touring.
Our family has a long history of road touring by bike. Nevertheless, I wanted a bike that I could ride on the dirt roads near our home. I wanted to be able to take a bike on various trails that might not be paved. And I wanted to be able to “spot” myself for hikes in whatever kind of terrain (to hike to the bike and then ride, usually via roads, back to the car).
I started looking for options and was fortunate enough to be offered a close-out price at a store that was going out of business. They had a model that was appropriate and also one that fit me. I know enough at my age to buy most anything on the spot that can accommodate my short legs! (Of course it is made in various sizes.) Mine is a men’s model. They also make a women’s model with a dropped top tube.
The specs on 2008 models:
- Butted 6061 Aluminum Frame w/ Oversize Down Tube
- Spinner Grind-1 70mm Suspension Fork
- Weinmann XTB-26 Double Wall Rims w/ Brushed Sidewalls
- Promax Linear Brakes
- Shimano EF-50 EZ-Fire Shifters
- 7-spd Cassette Rear Hub
Mine (2001) has Sram derailleurs and an Omni Cl RST fork, but these are all fairly comparable. I added toe clips. Within two months I also changed the seat to one that did not make my crotch go to sleep.
The bike has quick-release hubs and seat post. The brakes are side-pull (not disk type which is common on many mountain bikes). There are 21 gears, and the shifter is built into the handlebar grips. The wheels are 24 inch. This is a fairly heavy bike. It would be a real pain to have to carry very far. The fork suspension is stiff. I don’t ride anything rough enough for this to be much of an issue.
All I’ve ever had to do to this bike is tune it up a bit. It is prone to overshifting in the lowest rear cog... in other words, the chain will hop off the cog and lodge between the cog and the hub of the wheel. With the click-style shifters on most bikes today (such as this one) you can’t avoid this by careful shifting, you have to do adjustment work on the cables. I’ve replaced one tire and tube which I damaged, and tightened the rear brakes once. Other than lubrication... that’s it. I ride it maybe an average of 500 miles a year... sometimes more sometimes less. I’ve never babied it... that’s why I bought it... to take on all those dusty back roads! That said, I’m an “old” lady. I’m not flying down mountainsides and doing tricks either.
This is definitely geared for off-road use. If you try to ride with a group of people who have touring bikes you won’t be able to keep up unless you are somewhere closer to age 18 than I am (because you would have to pedal REALLY fast). The rear cog is 14-28, and the front is 22-42. When riding on pavement, I almost always ride in the highest gear unless climbing a hill. Even at my age, I really wish it had a higher gear, but it’s not intolerable except when riding with others who have road bikes.
If you want an entry level bike that will take some abuse, or a good bike for general off-pavement use by an adult, this would be a good choice.
Diamondback Sorrento Men’s
Diamondback Sorrento Women’s