Diamondback Andean makes Kona splash

One of the most talked about bikes during the days before the Ironman World Championship was the Diamondback Andean. TriathlonWorld.com has a look at this made for triathlon speed machine.

| November 4, 2016 | GEAR

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

The buzz in Kona this year, when it came to aero bikes, was all around "systems." Instead of a focus just on the bike, or the bike and the rider, now the focus for all the companies was around the entire package - bike, rider and all the gear they were going to carry.

Diamondback hit all that with an added twist - thanks to the company's collaboration with aerodynamics specialist Kevin Quan Studios and Dr. Philippe Lavoie from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies. The resultant Andean looks more like a GP motorcycle than a traditional bike, with fairing-like features that hug the wheels and almost hide the fact that there's no seat stays.

According to Quan the design started with the wheels - in this case on Michi Weiss' bike Hed's Jet 6 on the front and the Jet 9 on the back. Then they filled in the space between the wheels in what Diamondback calls the "Aero Core" - which is basically one big airfoil that takes the air from the front wheel through and off the back wheel, reducing drag all the way through.

In keeping with the storage theme that was de rigueur in Kona the Andean has a crazy amount of options available including lots of space along the top tube, space behind the saddle and a nifty tool kit compartment just in front of the bottom bracket.

The Andean is another bike that uses disc brakes, a feature other companies (like Cervelo) have gone with too. While that does limit your wheel choices somewhat, the industry seems to be embracing disc brake options these days, so one would think that won't be much of a factor in future.

Weiss and another Diamondback speedster Rachel McBride were on hand in Kona with their bikes to show off the speedy new frames. Triathletes can order the bikes directly from the Diamondback website - pricing for built up bikes is between US$4,780 and $8,070 and are expected to be shipping in January, 2017.

The Andean has space for three water bottles, including the in \"between the arms\" mount.

The Andean has space for three water bottles, including the in "between the arms" mount.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

The storage box in front of the BB holds a repair kit and spare tube.

The storage box in front of the BB holds a repair kit and spare tube.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

Look mom - no brakes! Disc brakes make for a clean front end above the wheel.

Look mom - no brakes! Disc brakes make for a clean front end above the wheel.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

The wheel sits really close to the frame and there are no seat stays, increasing the aero properties.

The wheel sits really close to the frame and there are no seat stays, increasing the aero properties.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

Lots of storage is available for gels, bars and the like.

Lots of storage is available for gels, bars and the like.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon