../companies/Diamond Back

Sources: www.diamondback.com, os-db.net, BMX Action, ...
If you want to add any info, please contact buissonrouge@23mag.com.
www.diamondback.com, 2002: The name "Diamondback" has almost become synonymous with "BMX" over the years and for good reason. Diamondback's roots in BMX run as deep as any other brand's and deeper than most. You can trace them back to the very origins of the sport. If you look back to the days when the Diamondback race team "rattled the competition" and Mike Dominguez took freestyle to "new heights", it should be no surprise to see that the best BMX riders and racers in the world are still on Diamondbacks today. Like AA Pro World Champion Warwick Stevenson and X-games Park Gold Medalist Bruce Crisman and many others.
The birth of Diamond Back begins with the release of the first looptail model, encorporating a Euro bottom bracket and advertised as the 'MX'.
os-db.net: DiamondBack originated from the US in Southern California. It was a division of Western States Imports (WSI) and sister company to Centurion Bicycle Workshop who had been selling 10 speed bikes for the past ten or so years. Diamond Back was so called because Centurion thought the frame resembled two diamonds and snakes were 'kickin' The original frameset kits started to show up around the end in 1976, though manufacturing started in 1977 after early race testing and improvement recommendations by Wheels 'n Things. Their initial intention was to concentrate on getting the bike into the Californian market rather that national. When production started, early models were constructed by the same company who assembled FMF and SE using materials such as Chromoly and mild steel. The original forks were dual dropout copies of a race fork “speedo” because Sandy Finkelman liked their design and some early DiamondBack went with a similar format. Early bikes were more commonly known as just DiamondBack and not 'models' even though brochures advertise the 'very first' as MX.

It was TriMoly and can be easily identified by its Euro Bottom Bracket and square brake bridge.
diamond back mx  bmx
os-db.net: Release of the 2nd generation 'MX' with a variety of finishes available and upgraded to the more common US bottom bracket.
dbbmx.wordpress.com: It was still TriMoly but now offered a American Bottom Bracket.

os-db.net: In late 1978 manufacturing was moved to the Koizumi factory in Japan (which was probably due to the strength of trading overseas) with the launch of the early pro models, Small, Standard and Large, all Chromoly with Steel dropouts.
1979 os-db.net: By this time the Japanese (Koizumi) had got hold of manufacturing the framesets and a variety of framesets to choose from. Chrome had also been added added to the finishes available for the 1st generation Pro and the design given an update with the introduction of the box section. Notice the TK version and gussett variation of this model. Though not originally specified, the TK was also available with a Chrome finish.

In 1979 they debuted the “Pro” an all 4130 bike.

dbbmx.wordpress.com: This is a press release from “Bicycle Motocross Action” appearing in the Feb. ’80 issue. It must therefore have been taken in late ’79. It also says the new Kit. I believe it was late ’79 for Christmas sales that Diamond Back introduced the bike kits. This would be the first ’80 model. Its kit had a SunTour stem. Suntour seat clamp, Alloy bars, Fluted alloy seat post, Kashimax MX seat, Shimano Tourney rear brake, 3 piece alloy cranks (could be SunTour maybe). The bike at first (Late 79) had no large DB seat tube decal.
diamond back bmx radical reptile
1980 os-db.net: By 1980 (March) and backed up by the experience and assetts of Centurion, Diamond Back formed a race team to spearheard a National push, compiling of the already and well established DB rider David Clinton and additional names such as Harry Leary, Doug Davis, Mike Horton, Aaron Stevens, Eddy King and Pete Loncarevich under the umbrella of Sandy Finkelman.
Test of the Diamond Back BMX, the first ever tested, in BMX Action january 1981.

os-db.net: It wasn't until 1981 when the more successful updated Pro range was available in Mini, Medium and Senior, or a custom Kit was available (all were full Chromoly framesets)


Diamond Back's Scary Harry Leary on the cover of BMX Action november 1981.

Diamond Back Pro testing in BMX Action december 1981.
diamond back bmx
Harry Leary all kicked out on the cover of BMX Action january 1982.

os-db.net: With Harry Leary on board and design/development driven by Sandy Finkelman, the Senior Pro became the testing platform and benchmark for the later released Harry Leary signature 'Turbo' in mid 1982. Leary himself provided vast input into the Turbo since it was to be his signature model. Later that year cam the tri-moly Silver Streak, similar geometry to the medium pro, but a mild steel rear triangle and slightly thicker dropouts (steel).

os-db.net: In 1982 DiamondBack had already commisioned Akisu (Taiwan) to produce a low end model, the Pro-Star and with the economic climate weakening in the US by late 1983, some model production was moved to Akisu, these being the Pro-Star replacement Viper and Pacer 500. Higher end styles such as the Formula One and 2nd generation Harry Leary continued to be manufactured in Japan, but the original "large diamond" gusset underwent a facelift (as did the Harry Leary ) and were replaced by a noticeably smaller diamond/gusset amoungst other changes.

os-db.net: DiamondBack dropped the Pacer, fearing the name was the main reason for reduced BMX sales and decided to continue with the highly successful Viper, hence the Super Viper, which was primarily a Pacer 500 frame and forks and the last of the looptail frames.

Test in BMX Action february 1983 and BMX Action Bike april 1982.

Test of a Diamond Back Turbo in BMX Action september 1982 and BMX Torke march 1983.
1983 os-db.net: 1983 brought the replacement for the entry level 'Pro-Star' (europe) and Moto-1 (US), the 'Viper 1st generation' and the 1st generation Turbo Lite.

os-db.net: Sandy had just finalised his previous project, the Formula One and a very questionable replacement to the Silver Streak was launched.

Test in BMX Action Bike october 1983.
1984 os-db.net: Diamond Back expanded their range somewhat, their lower end manufacturing continued to be manufactured by Akisu (Taiwan) and higher end models by Koizumi (Japan). There was also the overhauling of some existing models, noticeably the 'Harry Leary'... and who would have thought Diamond Back would drop a name due to poor sales, bye-bye 'Pacer 500'.
There were also some framesets decalled up as 'VIPER' on the chainstay, which were primarily Pacer 500 / Super Viper framesets, had an 'ABA No.1Factory Team Diamond Back' decal for the Seatstay and a 'CHROMO MAIN TUBES' decal on the seat post tube. Official literature about these model is somewhat lacking so I've used images sourced from searches.
1984 starts to see an almost waywood direction for DB.

Testing the Diamond Back Formula One in BMX Action may 1984.

Lookback on the cover of BMX Action july 1984. Photo by Jim Cassinus.

Test of a Diamond Back Turbo in BMX Action october 1984.
1985 os-db.net: Freestyle was upon us and so was the hideous 'Hot Streak', so get ready for the shell suit colours. Start of the non Diamond gussett models and possibly the limited availability of models destined for the UK marketplace.

Tests on a Diamond Back Super Viper with Harry Leary in BMX Action february 1985.
Diamond Back Super Viper test in BMX Action september1986.

Testing Diamond Back Super Streak in BMX Action july 1985 and BMX Plus! january 1985.

Testing Diamond Back Hot Streak in BMX Plus! november 1985.
1986 os-db.net: 1986 came which saw the end of the Diamond gussett, DB were using the same frame for several models and for some, the end of an era.

Diamond Back Mike Dominguez Strike Zone test in American Freestyler september 1987.
Diamond Back Strike Zone Test with Mike Dominguez as test rider in Freestylin october 1986.

Mike Dominguez on the cover of Bicross magazine december 1986.
1987 WSI.
Bicross Magazine, mars 1987: WSI, la maison mère de Diamond Back est le deuxième groupe US en volume de ventes.
Diamond Back Reactor bike test in BMX Action may 1988.
BMX Action, january 1988: Diamond Back's new top'o the line race bike is called the Reactor. This bike replaces the Harry Leary Turbo model.

Woody Itson worked with Diamond Back to come up with an all-new freestyle frame design. They introduced it as the Woody Itson Strike Zone and started selling them early 1988.
Sampling: Diamond Back Woody Itson Strike zone in Freestylin june 1988.

Diamond Back has sent Mike Dominguez a letter informing the 1987 AFA Pro Ramps champ that they have terminated his sponsorship due to contract violations on his part. Among the offenses of which he was accused, Diamond Back cited Mike for wearing Haro pants in a contest, using a Hutch stem on his bike, not being a team player, and allowing his phone to remain disconnected for an extended period of time.

Diamond Back has canceled their plans for their summer freestyle tour. Thirty shows were booked, but the goal was 50, according to Woody Itson. So the company decided to drop the plans. The company's dissatisfactions with Dominguez might have had something to do with the decision.
1989 The '89 lineup of freestyle bikes remained unchanged from the '88 designs, except that the Mike Dominguez Strike Zone was renamed the Strike Zone.

Diamond Back Hot Streak test in Freestylin february 1989.
Bike test: Diamond Back Reactor Pro in Ride BMX UK february 1996.
December 2000, Bruce Crisman signs with Diamond Back.
Bruce: Scott Matual, the team manager gave me a call and we pretty much worked things from there. They understand the fact that I like to ride a custom bike... basically what I'm comfortable with, because I'm not just going to run anything that I don't trust my life with. They're pretty cool with that, they made me a custom frame... I run the frame and I run the pedals, seat, stuff like that.
2003 Diamondback a viré entièrement son team BMX. Bruce Crisman roule maintenant pour Hoffman bikes. diamond back logo 2003
Essai du Diamond Back Mister Lucky dans le BMX Air numéro 10.
Test: Diamond Back Reactor Pro in Transworld BMX january 2005.
Nate Berkheimer

Bruce Crisman 2000, Scott Matual, the team manager gave me a call and we pretty much worked things from there. -2003

Mike Dominguez (1986 - 1988) Diamond Back has sent Mike Dominguez a letter informing the 1987 AFA Pro Ramps champ that they have terminated his sponsorship due to contract violations on his part.

Reuel Erickson 2002

Woody Itson 1987, Hutch had filed for bankruptcy and I was owed some money and had bills to pay and Mike Dominguez was on Diamond Back at the time and he asked me if I wanted to ride with him again, this time on DB, I said yes and spent my last sponsored years there.

Eddie King (1982-1983)

Harry Leary devient responsable commercial en 1988

Colin MacKay