Review: Diamondback Mason Pro Hardtail 29er Gives Confidence Boost On Tough Trails

Over a few months of riding, GearJunkie put three testers on the Diamondback Mason Pro, a hardtail 29er that is a true all-mountain crusher. It’s built to pedal strong on winding singletrack as well as climb efficiently with a rigid rear end.

But rolling with gravity’s tug is where this bike is most at home, its “slack” geometry and burly build lets a rider power through terrain heretofore reserved for full-suspension rigs.

Contributor T.C. Worley, who as a kid rode BMX then grew up to race XC, noted the Mason Pro is a “great choice for a rider who likes to bomb and jump stuff.” He continued, “The bike’s slung-low, setback position makes fast drops and berm corners feel easy — it’s an immediate confidence boost to the guy who’s used to a standard 29er.”

Another tester we saddled up, who has only minimal experience mountain biking, noted feeling stable even on advanced-level singletrack. “I did not feel over the handlebars but comfortable even on really steep trails.” He noted the Mason Pro as fast and fun on downhills, but “harder to corner in tight areas” than the 26-inch bike he was used to riding.

Overall, Worley noted, the bike was built for people who “like to ride up and down, but like to boost jumps and fun steep drops.” See below for our breakdown on the Diamondback Mason Pro bike.

10 × 1 gearing (32-tooth chainring)

The Bike: Diamondback Mason Pro

Price: $2,500

Where To Test It: Advanced singletrack with obstacles, flowing trail, and steep descents

Who’s It For: All-mountain riders who want to shred on a hardtail 29er

Boring But Important: 66.5-degree head angle. Comes in four sizes (15.5” Small, 17” Medium, 19” Large, 21” XLarge).

Important Specs: Aluminum frame. 10 × 1 gearing. 32-tooth chainring. Fox 34 TALAS 29 CTD fork. SRAM X-9 derailleur. AVID Elixir 5 hydraulic disc brakes. 740mm wide handlebar from Raceface. Stock tires: KENDA Nevegal 29×2.2 (front) and Slant 6 29×2.0 (rear).

Made In: Taiwan

Killer! The 125mm dropper seatpost with a switch on the handlebar worked flawlessly to transition when we needed to lower our position fast.

Dropper seatpost switch

Flaw: Heavy build for a hardtail. About 29 pounds in a size L frame. The 1X10 gearing setup, while fine on 90% of the terrain we rode, is narrow. We spun out on roads, yet the “granny gear” also was not low enough for some of the extra-steep ascents.

First Impressions: Large, powerful, fast going down (and over) almost anything in its path. Said one tester, “Every obstacle is easier, and you’ll find yourself going faster than you thought you’d be comfortable with.”

Racy saddle

Who Should Buy It: Intermediate or advanced riders looking for a fun, efficient bike for use across different terrain.

Contact Brand/More Beta: Diamondback / Mason

—T.C. Worley and Jon Regenold contributed to this report. Our “First Look” column highlights new gear arrivals at Photos © Monopoint Media LLC.

Wide grip and powerful ride
Stephen Regenold

Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.