I’ve now had my Diamant 247 for a few months, and I’ve noticed people have been led to my blog searching for it, so it’s time to do a little review. Another first: I’ll do a German version of this post. With Diamant being a German company, I figured this might be useful. I’m going to write mostly about my personal experience with BB, so if you want all the technical specifications, looky here (unfortunately these don’t seem to be available in English).
Here’s a very quick round-up of technicalities:
- Gears: Shimano Nexus 8 internal hub gears
- Crank set: Bontrager Nebula with Gates Carbondrive, 55 teeth
- Brakes: Shimano IM45 roller brakes
- Saddle: Bontrager Nebula H1
- Wheels: aluminum hollow section rim
For the rest, please refer to the link above.
What I wanted
I’m going to start with what I was looking for when I decided to buy the Diamant 247. These were my requirements:
- Low maintenance. I have a lot of respect for folks who tinker with their bikes and am ready to admit that maybe I should know more about bike maintenance than I do (it’s empowering after all). But I have little time and I’d rather spend that riding my bike than fixing it, so I was looking for a solution that would require little maintenance work.
- Low weight. My previous bike weighed a ton, and I carry my bike up and down stairs almost every day.
- Sturdiness. I don’t treat my bike badly – in fact, I try to treat it well! But still, I use it almost every day. While I’m at work, I leave it outside, so it’s exposed to rain, sun, and whatnot. It may get pushed around by whoever locks their bike next to me. I didn’t need something that would start falling apart after two months.
- Comfort. I ride my bike a lot, so I’d like to be comfy. I ride in the city where there are cobbled streets and such – including the street I live on – so I wanted something reasonably soft-going on those.
- Style. Because who wants to ride an ugly bike?
The Diamant 247 seemed to tick all the boxes, and a few more:
- Roller brakes. The brakes on my old bike froze twice last winter. This isn’t a fun experience, and unsafe to boot. Hopefully, the roller brakes will not just perform better in the rain, but also in the cold.
- Carbon drive belt. The carbon drive belt instead of a chain is probably BB’s most unusual feature, and I admit that it attracted me mainly out of curiosity. No chain grease? No clanking? Sold. I’m very curious to find out how the carbon drive belt is going to age.
Before I could take my Diamant 247 on the road, I had to add a couple of extras though.
The Diamant 247 in its “natural” state is not road safe, because it doesn’t have built-in lights. In Germany you’re supposed to have a dynamo if you’re riding something other than a road bike under 11 kilograms. Adding a dynamo to a bike can be quite expensive. In my very own personal opinion it’s also ridiculous what with the battery-powered alternatives available (according to Wikipedia, even the Police union is pushing for a revision of the traffic code on this front). But the law’s the law and those who decide not to follow it do so at their own peril. Be careful though and carry spare batteries! You don’t want to be left in the dark.
In addition to lights, I also added a rear rack and basket (see picture at the top). I dump my handbag or shopping in it and I’m not a fan of backpacks. Work requires something smarter than a messenger bag as well, so even though the Diamant 247 looks sexier without the rack, I decided to go for practicality rather than style on this front.
Finally, I bought an Abus Bordo lock in the hope that it will help BB stay with me for as long as possible. The Abus Bordo is rubber-padded to avoid damage to your precious ride, and comes with an attachment system that allows you to stow the lock while you’re not using it. The attachment system is mounted to the frame with velcro straps, so you can attach it wherever is the most comfortable. In my case, I attached it to the seat tube (the black and grey boxy thing in the top picture). The drawback: it weighs a ton, but so do all good bike locks.
All in all, I spent almost €200 on extras, so you should factor this in!
So after about three months of riding, how does my Diamant 247 perform on the requirements and in general?
- Low maintenance. So far, I haven’t had any maintenance work except the check-up you’re supposed to do after two months, and topping up the air. I mentioned in my first post that I had some issues with the gears. Once they were properly adjusted, they haven’t been giving me any trouble at all. Given that it’s only been three months, how the bike will perform in the long run is difficult to say.
- Low weight. Yes, yes, and yes. I’m not sure how much it weighs exactly (especially with the rear rack, lock, and basket added), but the Diamant 247 is very light and easy to carry.
- Sturdiness. As with maintenance, it’s still a bit early to tell. But the riding experience feels really solid so far. The bike is well-made, there are no sharp edges, and it seems to be very carefully assembled.
- Comfort. The Diamant 247 is a dream to ride. It’s very smooth and extremely quiet. I sometimes feel a bit as if I was driving an electric car without motor noise. BB is positively stealthy – I’ve made extensive use of her bell, while with my previous bike you could hear me a mile away because of the rattling and clanking noises it had acquired in the roughly 15 years of its usage. It’s also a soft ride. Cobbled streets aren’t a problem. The handlebars are very comfortable as well. My one quip is with the saddle. Although not terribly uncomfortable, it’s very narrow and I’m still thinking about replacing it with a Brooks saddle, if I can ever find it in me to fork out the money. They say it’s worth it…
- Style. The Diamant 247 combines modern cycling (the frame) with classic style, e.g. with its black and white back fender and the round back reflector that comes with it. My additions of a rear rack and Basil Cento basket are a bit of a compromise on the style front, I’ll admit. I still like BB’s classic vibe though, she’s very suited to being ridden in a suit – serious and solid ;). One word of warning. The Diamant 247 is black all over, except for the white part on the rear fender. If you use your bike frequently and have to lock it to lamp posts or bike racks, there will be scratches.
- Other observations. I’m very happy with the Shimano Nexus 8 gear shifting system. My old bike had one of the earliest grip shift systems available and it was practically impossible to shift across several gears in one go. This is not the case at all here. You can comfortably shift across several gears while stopped. The roller brakes have been good to me so far. I’m curious to see how they perform in wintry conditions, but they’ve been great in the rain.
I’m very happy with my purchase. The Diamant 247 is a dream to ride. I love its look, how well-made it is, and how softly and quietly it rolls along. I like the sporty position, the pull of the 8 gear system combined with the carbon drive belt, and the low weight. I would definitely recommend this bike for the purposes I use it for: very regular (almost daily) city rides mostly below 10k each. What I can’t tell you is how it performs on regular very long rides, but it’s marketed as a city bike that you could potentially take on an occasional tour, so this should be an indication of what it’s meant for.
This bike is not a cheap option, but also not an extortionately expensive one: with all the extras (rear rack, lights, lock), and a (very small) discount for trading in my old bike, it set me back €915. Is it worth the money? I’m very inclined to say yes, but only time will tell!