I recently had a chance to take a DiamondBack Corax 1.0 27+ out for a spin, so I thought I’d let you all know how I got on.
You may have noticed recently that there seems to be a huge trend in electric mountain bikes hitting the market. There’s also a lot more plus size tyres knocking around too. The DimondBack Corax is both of these – an electric mountain bike with 27.5 plus tyres – the ones I were using were 2.8inches wide on WTB Scraper rims.
I’ve only briefly tried out a plus size bike before and this was my first time on an electric mountain bike.
As a bike the DimondBack Corax was comfortable, pretty well specced out with Rockshox Sektor and Monarch suspension and SLX 11 speed a 400WH Bosch motor. The one obvious thing that I would immediately update would be the Shimano brakes – these did not have anywhere near enough power to stop the weight of the bike, a good suggestion instead would be four-pot brakes like the SRAM guide or the Shimano Zee.
First Ride Review of the DiamondBack Corax 1.0 27+
The first thing you notice is the sheer acceleration of the motor – barely touch the pedals and you find yourself at full speed almost straight away. You’ll be laughing in wonder as you hit 20mph with almost no effort whatsoever.
But then you notice just how heavy this bike is – it must weigh 40+lbs and you really notice it when trying to manhandle it past gates or even trying to pop the tyre. For me this really ruins the majority of the fun that the DiamondBack Corax could offer on the downhills and flat as there isn’t any playfulness there.
You can absolutely hoon this thing uphills which feels absolutely surreal. Combine the power of the motor with the huge amount of grip you can get from the plus size tyres and you’ll find yourself grinning like an idiot powering up muddy banks on a camber – definitely not something you could do on your average bike.
Because the engine is limited to 20mph, you find that you’re actually quite restricted when it comes to stamping on the pedals. While the bike is much quicker up longer, steeper hills – most riders will find it annoying that the speed is limited everywhere else. You can’t fly downhill as the rear hub will automatically start braking even if the motor is turned off.
There were a couple of different settings like Sport, Turbo and Eco – the only real difference seemed to be how fast it would accelerate, which I guess translated into how much power it matches to your power.
Final thoughts on the DiamondBack Corax
This bike is definitely not for me, although that’s not so much a problem with the DiamondBack Corax which has great specs and feels very comfortable. I’m afraid it’s one of those, “it’s not you, it’s me situations.” I’m just too young, too fit and enjoy going fast everywhere too much for an electric mountain bike.
I will gladly put in the extra effort for a lighter and far more playful bike. There’s definitely a future for electric mountain bikes like the DiamondBack Corax 1.0 and I really look forward to having much more 27.5 plus tyres and bikes to choose from, but I won’t be investing in either for quite some time yet. Give it another couple of years and I’m sure you’ll find that the overall weight of these electric bikes will drop quite substantially which might make them much more enjoyable.