Reviewed: Diamondback Century 5 Ultegra
Lab data: 17.6/20 (.67mm head tube deflection; 1.02mm BB deflection)
Pedaling response: 11.4/15
Though Diamondback is now a few years into its road-bike efforts, the Century surprised several testers who still know DB as a BMX and mountain bike brand. The Century is clearly made for going long and hard on the road, with an Ultegra 11-speed drivetrain and frame angles that veer more toward race than endurance.
The frame does boast the taller head tube and shorter top tube of the endurance category, but the (relatively) steep head tube angle (73 degrees in a size 56) gives the bike something of a split personality. It feels like it should be a snappy handler, but it ends up being a bit unpredictable. This was most notable during standing climbs, when the bike “felt like it wanted to go anywhere but where I wanted,” said one tester.
Several testers called attention to the bike’s rear triangle. Even with the relatively forgiving shallow Hed wheels, the rear end felt particularly stiff. This was great for hammering on smooth roads, but it did translate into a lot of road chatter reaching the saddle.
This is a commendably aggressive take on an endurance bike, but it could probably do with a stiffer front end and more compliant stays.
Component Highlights: Shimano Ultegra drivetrain with a 50/34 crankset and 11-32 cassette; Shimano Ultegra brakes; Hed Flanders C2+ wheels
Weight: 16.4 pounds (size 56cm)