I make a living writing about bikes, so I'm never having to compromise on 'one bike to rule them all'. If I was just getting into cycling or lived in a smaller flat, the Haanjo would be the sort of bike I would pick as an excellent all-rounder. I don’t road race any more, but with a bike like the Haanjo and two sets of wheels I could comfortably go from sportives to singletrack with one bike and still ride to the office on Monday morning. For a bike that could cover just about all of my cycling needs at the cost of less than the wheels I used to time trial on, the Haanjo seems like a great deal.
Geometry won't suit all
By James Stout published
NB: Diamondback bikes are available online at diamondback.com, the Diamondback Haanjo 7C Carbon is priced at $2800. Currently, the brand only ships within the US, international shipping is not available.
Most readers will be familiar with Diamondback’s new road and off-road output, but the brand will still be associated with BMX for many. There have been a few changes in ownership since the glory days of 20-inch wheels, and Diamondback is now owned by Accel group who own Raleigh along with other cycling brands.
The Haanjo is Diamondback's first entry into the gravel market and like many of its bikes it offers a great value introduction to the gravel segment, offering a pretty great single bike solution to everything from road rides to rowdy trails.
Diamondback itself describes the Haanjo 7C Carbon as 'part road bike, part cyclocross bike, part mountain bike' - it's designed to cross the boundaries, offering versatility for riders wavering between the disciplines. It's fair to say that this bike sits most comfortably in the gravel bike stable, where we to put it into one.
The set up is the brand's 'Alternative Road Frame, Endurance Geometry'. The size 56 on test comes with a reach of 373mm and a stack of 593mm, that's pretty relaxed for a road bike, lending to comfort for those keen to avoid backache on long rides and off-road it's a stable and confidence-inspiring layout. The 1025mm wheelbase provides stability, paired with a reassuringly slack 71° headtube angle.
The 70mm bottom bracket drop prevents pedal clips off-road but doesn't feel unnatural at all on the tarmac. The slack 72.5° seat angle could cause issues if you prefer to run your saddle relatively forward, as you might struggle to find the perfect position on the Haanjo. This is an issue I have come across with almost every gravel bike I have tested and it's a common complaint on larger frames.
The frame itself is the same across the Haanjo range and it uses what is becoming the standard in gravel frames: a 12mm thru axle, flat mount brakes, and a 27.2mm seatpost. This means that in the future upgrading wheels, seatpost, and groupset will be easy.
There’s also a handy rack mount on the rear stays and another on the fork as well as eyelets for mudguards which makes this bike a fantastic candidate for a commuter.
The wide tyre clearance is also a bonus for commuting or just fun weekend rides. I found a 40mm tyre fit in the Haanjo frame fine.
The Haanjo 7c Carbon offers a great value gravel bike without cutting any major corners. Shifting comes from Shimano's gravel dedicated GRX groupset, with GRX600 levers and GRX810 front and rear mechs. The cabled GRX groupset is top-notch stuff and I have happily ridden it on bikes twice the price. The hood shape is the best I have found outside of Shimano’s excellent Di2 GRX hoods and the 2x11 shifting is reliable. The Praxis crank is both heavier and less crisp in its shifting that Shimano’s own unit, but it does help bring the price down.
I was happy with the gearing at 48/32 at the front and 11-34 on the back. The brakes are Shimano hydraulic discs, with 160mm rotors front and rear.
The wheels are an OEM model that HED make specifically for Diamondback and look a lot like a budget version of the Ardennes wheel that use pinned rims and budget hubs and spokes. Diamondback says these are tubeless ready and the bike comes with tubeless valves, I popped in some tubeless rim tape and rode them without issue. The tyres specced are WTB Riddlers, in a 37mm size. WTB has an excellent reputation for its off-road tyres.
The HED Eroica Aluminum handlebar comes with a 12 Degree Flare, which is designed to provide confidence when handling technical descents.
I used the Haanjo as my primary bike for several weeks, alternating between a road wheelset and the provided wheels set up tubeless. Of course, I’m not going to win a local crit on a bike that weighs 10.4kg but that is not what this bike is for anyway. If you want to work up to a 100 mile ride, or have a summer gravel bike that doubles as a winter training bike, this won’t slow you down.
With gravel wheels on, it’s a very capable bike. The relatively short reach and wide flared bars might not work for everyone, but they do make the bike responsive on trails and the higher stack puts you in a comfortable position for longer rides.
This bike is decidedly shorter and taller than more racy builds and for many beginners, this will feel like a comfortable position and avoid the need for an unsightly upturned stem. However, experienced riders should be sure to check their current fit (geometrygeeks.com is great for comparisons). Personally, I found myself looking for more length and reaching for a stem reminiscent of a boat-tiller.
Sadly as this is a bike normally only sold online, you will have limited options for negotiating a bar/stem swap. But that is the price you pay for a great value build. As far as online bike sales go, Diamondback does a fantastic job in including things like valves, a torque wrench too, and carbon grip paste that many other brands don’t send with their bikes even though they are really essential for a quality build.
At $2,800.00, the Diamondback Haanjo 7C Carbon offers a carbon frame, excellent GRX shifting and hydraulic disc brakes, paired with a quality pair of tyres representing excellent value. The only cost saving measure is the Praxis chainset, but this worked effectively and didn't detract from the ride.
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