Diamondback Haanjo Review [2016/2017]


The Haanjo.

For when you need a road bike that will go everywhere.

Road bikes have been getting more specialized as the years pass. They have racing road bikes for those of us who have something to prove.

They have comfort road bikes (even some with front shocks!) for those of us who want to ride for fun.

And then you have the gravel grinders. Those road bikes that have wider wheels and love gravel.

Even among the gravel grinders, we have a lot of specialties. There are the super-wide-tired grinders that designed to handle the insane distances of events such as the Ride The Divide.

Then you have the cyclocross bikes designed for racing. Light, with narrow, knobby tires, these bicycles are designed to be carried as well as ridden.

Then you have the touring bikes. Also a wide tired road bike and designed to handle being loaded down with hundreds of extra pounds for cross-country touring.

So where does the Haanjo fit in?

The Diamondback Haanjo is a road bike with an attitude. It offers the speed of road bikes with a penchant for off-road riding. It’s perfect for the cyclist who refuses to be tied down by norms.

It’s a gravel grinder, and then some. One of those bikes that offer more meat than a cyclocross bike without being cumbersome and slow like a touring bike.

It’s surprising how many serious riders are picking up the Haanjo. Sometimes it is their second bike, and sometimes it is a replacement.

Haanjo Road Bikes Are Drilled For Installing Touring Panniers

These riders particularly like its ultimate versatility. It doesn’t have the overpriced pretentiousness of a cyclocross bike. You could ride across America on this setup. You can commute with it and then catch the Thursday night club ride.

Or you could find a gravel road and pedal until there is no cell phone reception.

There are even some of the reviewers who have tried taking it on singletrack (analysis: not a mountain bike, but held up well).

At first glance, this bike looks to be just another “me too,” but it doesn’t take long before you realize there is more than meets the eye.

Comfort Endurance Geometry

A lot of our readers are beginners, and I don’t want to lose you guys. When I say “geometry,” I’m talking about “frame shape.”

Diamondback is known for their traditional frame designs. So much so that they are sometimes criticized for lack of originality.

For the Hannjo, they broke the mold for this bike and created a new frame.

This new frame has a significantly shorter top-tube, and the seat tube angle is about an entire degree forward of their already “comfortable” Century road bike design.

In other words, they took the “comfort road” configuration and tried to make it even more comfortable.

Now, some of the competition take this a step further and try to make their gravel grinders “uber comfortable” by using excessively tall head tubes (the part of the bike between the fork and the handlebar stem) that force you into an upright position.

And I get why they do that. However, that limits the bike to a minuscule population of riders who emphasize comfort over anything else.

Diamondback stopped just short of this “comfort craziness.”

The Haanjo uses the comfort geometry to get you set up for long days on the bike. But it still retains a “sporty” head tube angle and height for a snappier, more aggressive ride.

Diamondback does an excellent job delivering the best of both worlds in one bike.

And it’s one reason we see so many hardcore riders fall in love with this bike.

Is The Haanjo Good For Cyclocross Racing?

Yes, you could race this bike in Cyclocross.

However, I think you are going to miss some of the aggressive geometry of a true Cyclocross if you are serious about racing.

For doing the twice-a-year winter event your local bike club holds, this baby will do you just fine.

But I wouldn’t personally make it my top pick for a dedicated cyclocross racer.

Is There Room For Fenders On The Haanjo?

Best I can tell, all of the Haanjo setups has both the clearance for fenders and the proper frame drill-outs.

Go with a 40c width on that Fender. Something like this one should work nicely.

8 Models? What Were They Thinking? (Model Review)

(Actually, it’s 12 because they launched four women-specific models called the HaanJen! Click Here To Jump To The Women’s Specific Models)

Ok, so they got a little bit over-zealous on their launch. Let’s break down the key points of each model.

Haanjo Trail Carbon 2017

This bike is everything you could ever want.

The handbuilt carbon frameset harkens back to a day when bike companies cared about their craft.

The thru axels are a big sell point on this baby. And It’s something that you don’t see on a lot of the gravel grinders. This bike is reinforced to take the hits and deliver responsive turns in the most punishing environments.

The BR-RS805 brakes are another innovation. Not only do they deliver top of the line Shimano hydraulic stopping power, but they are also the first road brakes with flat mounting technology.

The flat mount tech provides a cleaner, more in line look, while the Shimano hydraulics promises you motorcycle stopping power in any condition.

The frames are drilled with touring mounts so you can load this baby down for cross-country touring. This is another area where that thru-axle can give you extra peace of mind.

The Ultegra drivetrain and Tubeless-ready HED wheels round out the flagship model of the Haanjo line.

If you are serious about your sport, this is the one to go with.

>> Click Here To Price The Haanjo Carbon Trail On Amazon

Haanjo Comp Carbon

I understand that both of these carbon offerings are new for 2017. Which just shows how popular the Haanjo has been.

Carbon versions are only offered for the best-selling bikes.

Just as with the Trail model, you have the strength where you need it: in the axles and frame. The thru axles are ready for crazy off road riding and heavy duty touring.

The frame is drilled out and ready for those touring racks while offering you a lightweight, powerful ride for those commuting runs.

The major downgrades from the Trail model are the Shimano 105 drivetrain and the mechanical brakes.

These are still excellent systems. They’ll handle your gravel rides and your touring. But you can’t deny that the stopping power of a hydraulic braking system is hugely better than that of a mechanical system.

In fact, I’d upgrade to the Haanjo Trail Carbon solely for those brakes.

Another downgrade I want to gripe about is the FSA cranks. I know that FSA is a great brand, but I seem always to get the problem crank that either has problems shifting or needs constant bottom bracket replacement.

It’s not fair to FSA for me to reflect my tiny experience across their entire brand and it’s not a deal breaker on this bike. It’s just another reason why I’d prefer to go with the Haanjo Trail Carbon if the money allows.

>> Click Here To Price The Carbon Comp Model On Amazon

The Haanjo EXP – 27.5″

Just when I had you convinced that the Haanjo was just another gravel grinder, the deranged little brother showed.

Let me introduce you to the Haanjo EXP.

This bad boy has 27.5 wheels and a 2.1″ tread.

Roads? What roads? Roads are optional.

If the Haanjo Trail Carbon is the Olympic marathon runner, the Haanjo EXP Carbon is the crazy little brother who did steroids and CrossFit.

Enough with the metaphors. Yes, you have mechanical brakes. But you are going to want that ease or repair where you are going. You also are going to appreciate those bar end shifters that can be repaired with baling twine should something go wrong.

This a full two x9 Shimano Deore drivetrain, with the upgraded Deore XT rear derailleur for a lower-profile experience (you’d likely rip an Ultegra or 105 derailleurs right off. The Deore XT tucks in close to the bike to avoid all the stuff you are gonna’ throw at it.)

If you want to to a lot of club road rides, or for some reason hate bar end shifters, stick with the other Haanjo models.

For touring. For Gravel. For Singletrack. For commuting to your CrossFit class.

The EXP is a perfect choice.

It is a true Adventure bike. And maybe the best one on the market. Strap your tent on and disappear.

>> Click For The Haanjo EXP On Amazon

Trail

High-end Aluminum Chameleon.

Yeah, they said it first, and I agree.

The carbon fork takes care of the road chatter and keeps your arms fresh and limber.

And you have that Ultegra drivetrain and Shimano Shimano BR-RS805 that raved about when reviewing the Carbon version.

The Carbon version is going give you a lot more comfort on those all-day tours.

This bike is going to deliver a better touring experience than most of the other rides out there.

Overall, it is one of the best aluminum gravel grinders out there.

>> Click Here For The Trail Ultegra Setup On Amazon

Comp

Ok. I do not know what is going on here.

You have an aluminum frame and carbon fork. Pretty standard stuff. Excellent setup.

And then a 1×11 Sram Apex set up.

Which, if high-end speed isn’t a big deal for you, then I guess you’ll be fine.

And if you are going to do a lot of hills climbing with a load, or off-road dirt riding, the 42 tooth rear, and 44 tooth front will give you that low-end power which makes that kind of exploration possible.

But then we’re running 700x40c tires. I would think this would be better with the 27.5″ setup.

I do like the Apex Hydraulic brakes.

But I’m kinda’ bummed they didn’t go with a more standard compact setup. I would do enough on-road riding that having the 48T or 50T front end would be nice.

Limiting me to a 44T on the front is suffocating.

With these bikes, you want the added functionality — the choice — of both on-road and off-road.

By making it a 1x, you are forced into only riding this model off-road.

I’m putting this bike it the “ideal for old farts who want to gravel grind” category.

It’s a well-built machine that can handle the weight of touring and the abuse of gravel riding.

But it isn’t built for speed.

Let me know if I got it wrong.

>> At The Time Of Publishing, This Bike Is Not Available For Sale Online. Click Here To Search On Amazon

Haanjo Standard

The first thing you will notice is that the handlebars are flat. We have now entered the realm of the flat handlebar road bike.

This one is running Shimano Sora for most of the drivetrain which gives you a 2×9 setup. It’s going to shift like a dream and outpace most of the bikes in its category when it comes to drivetrain performance.

You do have the solid alloy fork to contend with as well, which isn’t going to be as comfortable as a carbon fork.

Overall, this an excellent bike for urban riding and for forcing a century ride on the occasional off year that your friends talk you into it.

But I think the lack of carbon on the front fork and the flat handlebar is overall going to limit your distance to that sub-30-mile range.

It’s overkill for urban riding and under kill for long distance stuff.

>> Click Here For Haanjo Flat Bar Model On Amazon

Haanjo Tero

This is an excellent entry-level setup. You have the rack mounts in case you want to tour with it.

You don’t have the thru-axle of the higher end versions, but the 28 spoke wheels are going to handle some pretty aggressive gravel riding and touring.

The Shimano Claris is a little “clunkier” than I like. But that’s a personal preference. It shifts perfectly and holds up well.

Frankly, I wish they had put Shimano Sora on this or Sram Apex 2×11 and canceled the Haanjo Comp. Or maybe put Apex 2×11 on the Haanjo Comp and canceled this bike.

Either way, I’m not the one calling shots.

If you are looking for an excellent college commuter that will let you throw in a cross-country touring ride during the summer, this Haanjo will do you just fine.

>> At The Time Of Publishing I Could Not Find This Bike For Sale Online. Click Here To Search Amazon For It

Haanjo Metro

I love this bike.

Most of the customers I’ve worked with who just want an all-around fitness bike that is going not to give them problems need this.

The 1×9 gears mean that it is eas to get the correct gear.

The lightweight Aluminum frame is going to leave you feeling like you are flying.

And the disc brakes give you the re-assurance that you can stop whenever you need to.

>> Click Here To Price The Metro

HaanJenn: Women’s-Specific Adventure Bikes!

All too often we expect our ladies to ride the same bikes as the men.

These new women-specific models tend to have a shorter reach to the handlebars and narrower handlebars.

This is ideal for most women’s body types and provides a more comfortable ride with fewer modifications.

The big bummer with Diamondbacks Haanjenn offerings is the lack of carbon frames. For 2017 at least, if you want carbon, you are going to have to go with the Haanjo.

Haanjenn Comp

I was going to say that the HaanJenn Comp is the only bike you will ever need.

But then I saw that it was running the Sram Apex 1×11 setup.

For touring and gravel riding this is a great setup. And if you are worried about climbing hills, this gear setup is the one you want. It’ll deliver any hill to you in a cute box with a pink ribbon on top.

But if you are a speed demon who enjoys showing up the men on your Thursday night club rides… it’s going to be lacking that top end you are looking for.

The frame and fork are predrilled for adding fenders and panniers.

The Carbon fork will help absorb the road chatter, giving you a comfortable all-day riding experience.

And the hydraulic brakes are incredible. I absolutely love the hydraulic
disc brakes on this bike. It’s reassuring to be able to stop on a dime.

>> Click Here For The HaaJenn Comp

Haanjenn

This flat handlebar road bike is where a lot of ladies are going to find their first interest in cycling.

The wide tires make it a top choice for gravel, and you can always switch to narrower tires if you end up riding a lot of roads.

If you plan on doing distance I would eschew the flat handlebars, but for most of our serious fitness enthusiasts, this is an excellent ride with a top-of-the-line shifting system that will show up almost any bike in this category.

For the cyclist who is convinced that they want the flat handlebar setup, this is the bike to go with.

>> Click Here For The Haajenn 

Haanjenn Metro

This bike offers the best in fitness cycling.

For the urban cyclist who wants a worry-free ride, I couldn’t suggest a better bike.

The 1×9 gear system is perfect for getting around town without dealing with a complicated or confusing shifting system.

All of the componentry is top-notch, and you would be hard-pressed to find the limits of this equipment.

This isn’t the bike you’d buy an aspiring triathlete, but for the college student or the mother who wants to attach a bike trailer, this is an ideal setup.

>> Click Here For The Haajenn Metro

Criticisms (more applicable to the road versions with drop handlebars):

If there is one recurring piece of criticism, it has to do with the bike’s weight.

Even the carbon frame ends up weighing a couple of pounds more than you would expect.

Most of the users who have swapped out the stock wheels for a lighter pair have felt like that made a big difference in any perceived “sluggishness.”

Now, we’re talking about obsessive road bikers here. If you are looking for an all-around road bike that can do everything, you won’t notice the weight.

With the thru-axle, a wheel upgrade isn’t something to take lightly (Bling$!)

So if you are wanting a lightweight gravel-grinder, get a cyclocross bike.

If there were two pieces of criticism, the second would be the short top tube. It makes for a more comfortable fit but tends to size funny when compared to a road bike.

If you are between sizes (i.e., 5′ 11″ like me), definitely go with the larger size option.

A lot of folks are running 110 mm and 120 mm stems on these bikes.

 

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