Home > bicycling, Fit Kit, Review > Fit Kit–2012 Diamondback Podium Sport (aka Podium 3)

Fit Kit–2012 Diamondback Podium Sport (aka Podium 3)


I promise this is (probably) the last bike I will buy for a while, been buying a few too many bikes lately. It’s a bit of an addiction especially as you get so much out of a bike, and for comparatively little money.

I needed a bike to fulfill a fairly small niche in my stable so to speak. The office bike. This would be a training bike that could be left at the office. It had to be fairly simple and robust, as I would use it during the winter and cheap, as it could be stolen more easily as it may be left for weeks during travel and vacation. I set a budget of about $1000.

As you may recall I was doing a lot of winter commuting with my Mountain bike. Well that only ended up being frustrating and cold so stopped that. Still I wanted to take advantage of the odd Dec-Feb day where it was nice enough then to have it the rest of the year just sitting there and if an hour or so opened up on a nice day, boom, out on the bike!

So the search began. I had a few criteria.

1- As stated under $1000 delivered

2- I wanted something that matched my group selection, so 10 speed Shimano

3- Full on road bike, not a hybrid or mountain bike

4- A known brand

Anybody who doesn’t use the internet to save money is a fool these days. I have had great success buying bike bits from Nashbar, Ribble, MEC and Jensonusa so began with those.

I was shocked to find all kinds of bikes at good prices, but in the end the 2012 DiamondBack Podium Sport from JensonUsa seemed to fit the bill.  I simply could not find a better deal. I have picked up a few things from Jenson so knew it would be delivered properly and promptly. Also had to cancel an order in the past with them and they were great about that so had some trust with them. I had them ship directly to my office.

To my office including shipping and Canadian duty was around $950. If you are in the US you can skip the duty making this an even better deal. Never found a Canadian sourced bike to this spec at this price.

You can still get the bike today for $749.99 at this link.

I knew DiamondBack back in the day and now they are part of the Raleigh Bicycle, which is now part of Accell (which owns Lapierre and Ghost bicycles). Lots of consolidation going on in this business.

Corporate site is at http://www.diamondback.com/, but you won’t find the Podium Sport there. This is a JensonUSA exclusive (I think, have not found it anywhere else) and closely matches the Podium 3 (which Jenson also sells for $799).  Hard to see the difference between the two but I’ll take the $50 savings. I think Jenson just ordered a bunch and got $50 volume discount per unit.

Diamondback info on Podium 3 is here. High end for the Podium aluminum frames is the Podium 4 which is Ultegra equipped. Above that Podiums are Carbon. Podium 2 has Tiagra and Podium 1 has Sora.

What does your $750 get you?

1- Nice Aluminum Frame from a well known brand

2- 105 levers, front and read derailleur

3- Carbon Fork

4- Road bike look and feel

Here are the full specs

  • Frame: DBR Custom Butted 7005 Alloy EPG Enhanced Performance Geometry Frame,
  • Formed Top Tube, w/Intgrated Headtube, BB30
  • Fork: DBR AMMP Carbon Competition Road Fork, Carbon Drop outs, w/Taper Carbon steerer tube, CFT Contiunuous Fiber Technology
  • Headset: FSA No.42 , Sealed ACB for Taper Headtube
  • Cranks: FSA Omega Compact 50/34
  • Bottom Bracket: PRESS FIT 30
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano 105, Clamp-on
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano 105 10spd
  • Shifter: Shimano 105 Dual Control 10spd
  • Cogset (Cassette/Freewheel): Shimano CS-4600 12-30T
  • Chain: FSA CN910 10spd
  • Wheels: DBR Equation RS Wheels
  • Tires: Michelin Dynamic Sport 700x23c
  • Brakes: Tektro R540 dual pivot
  • Brake Levers: Shimano 105 Dual Control 10spd
  • Handlebar: DBR Drop Bar Road 31.8
  • Grips: DBR Race tape w/Gel
  • Stem: DBR 3D forged, +/-7 degree, 31.8
  • Seat: DBR Competition Road with NiCro Rails
  • Seat Post: DBR Performance Post, Alloy Micro Adjust, 27.2mm
  • Weight: 20.7 lb. 54cm no pedals

Bit heavy at 20.7 pounds, but a lot of that is wheels and crank I think. Can be lightened over time if desired.

Paid with paypal and she was on her way. Arrived a mere 4 days later.  As part of the offer it included their Bronze Build option which is pretty basic but includes the following:

  • Tune and check of bikes that arrive at Jenson USA in Dealer-Ready condition
  • General inspection
  • Tune/adjust shifting
  • Tune/adjust brakes

Here is how it looked like in the box when I opened it.


It was easy to pull out everything then I had the core of the bike to view. The packing was very well done, took a long time to get it all apart and I could not find a single scratch or dent, well done!


Was pretty easy to assemble as it reminded me of what I had to do for when I travelled with my own bike. Within I would say 60 minutes I had it assembled.


And within 2 hours of opening the box was out in the wild with it.


A few things hit me and maybe room for upgrade.

1- Seat is uncomfortable

2- Wheels are heavy and basic

3- Crank is heavy

But..it was fun to ride and was comfortable enough for 1-2 hour rides with the saddle as provided.The front derailleur wasn’t perfect and needed to be adjusted, but that was it. A perfectly fantastic bike at a price I can justify. I didn’t do a proper fitting and may at some point, but again this is for training and has been fine for the short rides I have been doing.

Let’s dig into the bits.

The Frame

The Frame is Aluminum and is build by Kinesis, which builds frames for lots of companies including Trek, Felt, Jamis etc. Diamondback did their own design then pass it over to the factory. So the frame is well build and looks great. Grey is a bit under stated but this is a training bike for me. Based on the geometry charts I choose a 54cm bike and seems to fit.


Fork is carbon, and has been comfortable to ride in general.

Drive Train

It’s all 105 and that is a good thing. Was thinking I may end up with Tiagra or Sora at this price point but 105 matches what I have on my Tarmac and its solid kit.

Levels are nice and have the fully routed cables


Front Derailleur was a bit off and is held on by a collar but was easy to adjust. And getting some abuse as you can see!


Rear Derailleur did not need any adjustment before I began riding.


Overall it doesn’t shift as well as my Tarmac and sometimes needs a second click to move between the gears, I think it just needs a bit of adjustment which I hope to get to soon but its not stopping me from cycling on it right now.


Brakes are unmarked and like the ones on my Tarmac, but according to the specs are Tekno R540. They have been fine, at least for what I am using this bike for. Looks like they sell for about $50-60 if you were to buy them as a pair online. I’m happy with them but a possible future upgrade?



Not great, haven’t really bonded with it and really like Fizik seats these days. But works for the short 1-2 hour rides I plan to do with it. Branded Diamondback and fits the color scheme of the bike.




FSA is pretty standard on bikes in these price ranges, so no surprise to see an FSA crank here.

It is the Omega crank. Compact, 50/34 and BB30.


This crank is a bit chunky and I don’t like how the left side arm sticks out a bit more than I would like. I have a spare FSA Gossamer crank off of my Cervelo that I may slap on here with a BB30 adaptor. Again hasn’t stopped me from riding but does add some weight. Omega BB30 crank is 925g and the Gossamer Pro one I would slap on this is 813g for a savings of 112 grams.


Wheels are very basic, not sure who builds them, they are branded Diamondback as Equation R. White spokes (so mine got dirty) and when I did switch on some of my other wheel sets made a big difference.


They come with very basic Michelin Dynamic tires, so a simple tire swap could make a big difference as well? I won’t use the wheels in the summer but for the winter I decided to slap on some Cross tires. Choose the Schwalbe CX Pro 700×30 which have been great for the snowy roads I have been on.

Clearances were a concern. Front was fine but back was very very tight and the wheel rubbed a bit on the brake. Thought that may go away after a few kilometers and it did. Not optimum but spins up well now. Anything above a 700×30 would not fit I think.



For the price no concerns from my side. Good frame, 105 drivetrain are the highlights. Wheels and crank maybe a bit of a low point, but at this price they are perfectly fine.


Categories: bicycling, Fit Kit, Review
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