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Last Updated: January 3, 2023
There are countless exercise bikes to choose from when it comes to indoor cycling at home. With subscription fitness content and attached touchscreens becoming the new norm, it can be hard to find quality affordable indoor stationary bikes that have lower tech. The Diamondback Fitness 1260sc Studio Bike is just that. It doesn’t require a subscription or even an outlet to use and we’re pleased with its great construction and reasonable price point. I’ll describe our team’s experience extensively testing and using the Diamondback Fitness 1260sc Studio Bike in this review below. So, keep reading to find out if it’s for you.
Why You Should Trust Our Review Of The Diamondback Fitness 1260sc
Our team consists of spin instructors, fitness experts, and enthusiasts who spend a lot of time in the saddle. In our testing, we’ve used all kinds of indoor cycling bikes. During our review process, we analyze the overall performance, comfort, noise level, and features of each bike. We create these reviews to help buyers like you find the best home exercise bike.
When reviewing the Diamondback Fitness 1260sc, we pulled out other models that we have on hand so we can see how it compares to other popular bikes. The Life Fitness Ride CX, BowFlex C6, and Sole SB900 were among some of these models.
Our Diamondback 1260sc Video Review
- Digital Console with Watt Output Technology
- Custom Watt Trainer
- Console Displays: Watt Output, Time, Distance, Calories, RPM, Load, and Heart Rate
- Bluetooth Enabled
- Connects To Apps Like Zwift, Rouvy, Myzone, SPIVI, Garmin, Strava, and More
- Resistance Lever
- Tablet Holder
- East Lift Handle and Transport Wheels
- Water Bottle Holder
- Four Adjustment Points For Perfect Bike Fit
- No Electricity or Subscription Required
- Battery-Powered Console
- Footprint: 59” L x 23” W x 50” H
- Bike Weight: 147 lbs
- Weight Limit: 300 lbs
- 16 Levels of Adjustable Magnetic Resistance
- Hybrid Pedals (SPD Clips & Toe Cages)
- Multi-Position Handlebars
- Belt Drive System
- 31 lb Rear Flywheel
- Warranty: 3-year for parts and 1-year for labor (additional protection packages sold separately)
In-depth Review of the Diamondback Fitness 1260sc Studio Bike
A big selling point for the Diamondback 1260sc is that it doesn’t require a subscription to use. Although we love taking classes on platforms like iFit, we appreciate a quality exercise bike with a simple, straightforward console.
Starting out, the 1260sc doesn’t require electricity to use. Once you pedal, the digital display turns on and displays your metrics. These include watt output, speed (in miles or kilometers), distance, calories, time, RPM, load, and heart rate. The load is your resistance level, and you have to sync with compatible heart rate monitors to see your heart rate on the console.
Unfortunately, the console doesn’t come with any preprogrammed workouts to choose from, however, it does have a watt trainer feature. This allows you to select a target watt output and also customize your time, distance, and calorie goal. Once you preselect your targets for these metrics, the console will help encourage you to get to your target watt output. Up and down arrows next to your RPM and resistance (load) will pop up depending on if you need to increase or decrease these metrics to hit the target watt.
The watt trainer lets you do customized rides, but you can also just hop on and pedal for however long and hard you want to.
The console is also enabled with Bluetooth. You simply press the blue button labeled “Bluetooth ANT+” to connect to your device. I used my iPhone and was able to connect to apps like Zwift, easily. So, even though the Diamondback 1260sc doesn’t provide any subscription programming, you can certainly use and even connect to a wide variety.
The tablet holder above the console display holds your phone or tablet so you can really choose whatever content you want to read/stream. This means that if you want to take trainer-led classes from iFit or even Peloton, you can when you use the mobile apps. I suppose you could also place the 1260sc in front of a TV as well. The tablet holder adjusts to fit larger and smaller devices.
The Diamondback Fitness 1260sc Studio Bike comes with one water bottle holder. It’s simply a plastic clip mounted to the front of the handlebar post, but it holds a water bottle and is within reach yet out of the way so I don’t have to worry about knocking my water bottle while riding.
Construction Quality & Durability
We are impressed with the construction and features of the Diamondback Fitness 1260sc. I especially like that it is easy to move. A handle is built into the front stabilizer to lift the front of the bike and engage the rear transportation wheels. The rear transportation wheels are positioned a little close together so if you’re trying to move the bike around a corner, it could tip a little bit.
The Life Fitness Ride CX also has a handle, however, it’s positioned on the back. This placement on the 1260sc requires you to lift the lighter part of the bike, so there’s less stress involved on your back when moving. I wish more exercise bikes would include a transport handle.
The 1260sc has a stable frame with two stabilizers. Under each stabilizer are two adjustable leveling feet which allow the Diamondback bike to be planted to the floor. The feet are easy to adjust.
This bike has a 300 lb weight capacity, so it can handle users up to this limit. Diamondback Fitness claims that the 1260sc can handle users from 5’2” to 6’5”. I’m around 5’0” and I’m able to get a great bike fit, without having to lower the seat to the lowest setting. I don’t have very long legs, so I’m sure riders shorter than me, say around 4’11” or even 4’10” could use this bike. Our tallest reviewer is able to comfortably use the 1260sc, too.
What helps make the Diamondback 1260sc so accommodating for a wide range of riders is that it has four adjustment points. This means that both the saddle and handlebars adjust up/down and forward/back. Typically, exercise bikes with attached touch screens only have three adjustment points. When measuring the leg span (top of the saddle to the top of the lowest pedal), it measured 27” – 39”. This is your inseam length. The reach (nose of the saddle to the back of the handles), was measured at 15” – 20”. Comparatively, the Life Fitness Ride CX has a leg span of about 28” – 41” and a reach of 14” – 23”. While the 1260sc doesn’t have as long of an inseam, it can still handle riders up to 6’5”.
I really like the flywheel on the Diamondback Fitness bike. It’s rear-mounted so it’s less prone to damage from sweat which can cause corrosion over time. So, if you get really sweaty, or sometimes spill your water while riding, this might be something to look into. We haven’t experienced any problems with bikes with front-mounted flywheels, but this is something that can help add longevity.
Another aspect that is a plus on the 1260sc is the 31 lb flywheel. On bikes at this price point, we hope to see heavy flywheels over 20 lbs. This helps ensure that your pedal stroke is fluid and even. Affordable bikes that have light flywheels tend to be less stable. Alternatively, bikes like the Life Fitness Ride CX that have very light flywheels (under 10 lbs), are typically more expensive.
This flywheel isn’t as heavy as the Sole SB900, which has a hefty 48 lb flywheel. The flywheel is plenty heavy and provides a balanced, smooth stroke.
The 1260sc also uses magnetic resistance which helps contribute to the overall quality and feel of the pedal stroke. Magnetic resistance offers less wear and tear to the flywheel making it less prone to maintenance and damage compared to friction-based resistance.
The Diamondback Fitness 1260sc uses a belt drive system that connects the flywheel to the pedals. Belt drives are commonly found on indoor cycling bikes and make for a quieter, smoother ride compared to chain drive systems.
The 1260sc has hybrid pedals which are the most ideal, in my opinion. This allows you to choose between wearing regular athletic shoes with your feet secured in the toe cages, or for you to clip in. This bike uses SPD clips which are popular and easy to use. I have a pair of SPD cycling shoes that I’ve had for years that clip into these pedals, easily.
The handlebars on the Diamondback 1260sc are among some of my favorites because they offer several grip options. The horizontal bar lets you grip narrow or wide, the same with the upper handles. Plus, the drop handles let riders ride a little lower. These handles also feel nice and wide, so users with broad shoulders should feel comfortable and not cramped.
The texture on the handles isn’t my favorite, I prefer the texture on the Run CX, but it’s great for keeping a good grip. It feels gritty and similar to bikes from NordicTrack, and it has enough padding to provide more comfort than the Sole SB900.
Performance & Functionality
Overall, the Diamondback Fitness 1260sc Studio Bike is a really solid home exercise bike that’s available at an affordable price. With all of the solid components in the construction that I just highlighted, before hopping on, we anticipated that the 1260sc would be sturdy and comfortable and it didn’t disappoint!
One thing to keep in mind is that even though it uses magnetic resistance, the bike isn’t silent to ride. It makes a little bit of noise when pedaling, and that noise increases the faster you pedal. It sounds like a whirring sound. It is by means excessive or distracting, but we were expecting this bike to be a little quieter to use.
This lever is a bit unique compared to most other bikes that include a resistance knob. However, it reminds me of the Keiser M3i Indoor Bike. I really like this lever because it makes it easy to select a specific resistance level, you can hear and feel every increment as it’s adjusted. Resistance knobs can be harder to input specific resistances, especially if they are sensitive to spin. This is the case for the knobs on the Peloton Bikes.
The 1260sc only has 16 levels to choose from versus 100 like Peloton and even the BowFlex C6. While there is less range, the resistance that the Diamondback provides is heavy, especially at the max level. Users of all abilities should find this bike plenty challenging to ride. Although the 1260sc doesn’t have a brake to push down on to stop the flywheel, the lever can be used to slow and even sometimes stop the flywheel when it is pushed all the way up.
Even though the saddle has a spring assist, it doesn’t feel springy when you’re using it. It feels like a standard exercise bike, however, I do like the padding. It manages to have enough give to provide some cushion while remaining narrow which is best for long rides.
As I mentioned above, the 1260sc has four adjustment points. It is pretty easy to adjust the bike. There are knobs for positioning the saddle and handles forward/back, and silver levers for adjusting the handle and seat posts. The levers lock the posts in place when they are pushed in. You pull them out to adjust the posts, and sometimes this can require a little effort, but they’re relatively easy overall.
With the purchase of the 1260sc Studio Bike, Diamondback Fitness includes their standard warranty which is 3 years for parts and 1 year for labor. This is a bit underwhelming, especially compared to Sole which offers a lifetime warranty for the Sole SB900. You can purchase a 5-year warranty at an additional price, but we would like to see Diamondback Fitness offer a longer warranty in general.