Review of Diamondback Steilacoom CCX
Craig Fellers, January 1, 2015
There will come a point in your life when sitting in traffic on your way home from work, creeping towards that intersection watching the same green light cycle to yellow for the 3rd time, that you will realize why commuting to work in a car is terrible. No, worse, it is tortuous; it is miserable beyond belief to be parked inside a car as the last of your precious sunlight hours fade away along with your prospect of making that evening bike ride that you had planned. Even the casual bikers and pedestrians are ambling past your stationary vehicle while you pedal the clutch with a maddening melancholy.
Cycling to work might actually end up being faster and is indisputably more fun and relaxing. The only problem is most bike owners seem to have one of two bikes: a super-light race bike or a 1972 rusted clunker with two flat tires. You can’t justify commuting on a bike that is more expensive than your car or else you aren’t even sure if the pedals still turn on your “town” bike. Here’s my advice: go to the expense of buying a nice commuter bike between $800- $1000 – a cost that will actually pay for itself with fuel savings alone in 6 to 12 months. If racing bikes and collectors items from the early 70s are your forte, here’s an idea for a commuter bike – the Diamondback Steilacoom CCX.
Named after the famous cyclocross race in Seattle, Washington, the Steilacoom is designed with basic road bike geometry that will keep your commute fast and efficient, with the comfort of a hybrid bike design. The bike’s aluminium frame is coupled with a high end carbon fiber fork that will make your race bike envious and dampen road vibrations. The 700mm wheels are armed with semi-slick cyclocross tyres that have low rolling resistance while also getting fewer flats than a standard road tyre. If I had to give the Steilacoom a one word description it would be ‘smooth’; It does not have the aggressive geometry needed for serious racing, nor the over padded squish-squish saddle found on beach cruisers. Instead the bike is somewhere in between, right where a cross-town commuter needs to be.
You can tell that the Steilacoom comes from a racing pedigree as it does have some thoughtful features that set it apart from other commuting rigs. First of all, the top tube flattens as it moves towards the seat tube for cyclocross-style, over the shoulder carrying. Equipped with a progressive BB30 bottom bracket, the bike is made both lighter and more efficient due to the integrated bottom bracket bearings. It is the kind of bike that will get you to and from work with a desirable blend of speed and comfort, and if you decide to take the long way home, guarantees that you will have fun along the way.
If you are looking for an excuse to buy another bike, or simply are fed up with awful rush hour commuting, check out the Diamond Steilacoom and remember that life is more exciting on a bike.
Craig Fellers is based out of Santa Cruz where he is the owner and optometrist at Midtown Optometry.