2020 was the year of many things, many of which don’t bear thinking about. But in our world of outdoor recreation, it was one thing above all else: the year of the bike. Shops big and small all over the country were totally sold out of their inventory as people got outside on two wheels. It was amazing, but it also got really hard to get a bike. One of the models that was swept away in the crazy was the Diamondback Haanjo 4 which has been sold out for months. Stock is slowly trickling back in now. I managed to get my hands on one for review, and had a crazy good time on it.
2020 Diamondback Haanjo 4 Features:
- Frame: Fully Butted 6061-T6 Alloy, Formed Top Tube, Tapered Headtube, Flat Mount Disc, 142x12mm Thru-axle w/Replaceable Hanger
- Fork: Full Monocoque Carbon, Carbon 12mm Thru Axle Drop Outs, Flat Mount Disc ready, w/Tapered Steerer Tube
- Bottom Bracket: Praxxis M30 Sealed
- Headset: FSA No.42, Sealed Cartridge
- Stem: HED Eroica, 6061 Alloy, 3D Forged, +/-7° Rise, 31.8 Bar Bore
- Handlebar: HED Eroica, 7050 Alloy, 12 Degree Flare, 31.8mm Bar Bore
- Saddle: WTB Silverado Race
- Seatpost: HED Eroica, 6061 Alloy, 27.2mm
- Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra RX RD-R8000, Shadow Plus, 11 Speed, GS
- Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra FD-R8000, 31.8mm Band Clamp
- Crank: Praxis Alba, Direct Mount, 48/32T
- Shifters: Shimano ST-R8020, Dual Control 2×11 Speed
- Cassette: Shimano 105 CS-7001 Cassette, 11 Speed, 11-34T
- Brakes: Shimano BR-R8070 Flat Mount Hydraulic Disc, w/160mm Front / 160mm Rear Rotors
- Brake Levers: Shimano ST-R8020
- MSRP: $2399
The bike your buddies have been telling you to get:
If it’s felt to you like gravel bikes are all the rage these days, there’s a solid chance that you’re thinking that even more now that we’ve lived through a COVID-19 pandemic summer. It was hard to get your hands on any kind of bike, and friends in the business told me that local bike shops all across the country were sold out of the majority of their inventory.
The Diamondback Haanjo series got hit hard by this wave of enthusiasm and demand, too. As a matter of fact, the Haanjo 4 that I snagged was one of Diamondback’s last in-stock Haanjo’s – I got lucky. The other thing this means, though, is that the Haanjo 4 that I’m reviewing was sold out by Diamondback and doesn’t have an exact replacement in the current lineup. The current Haanjo 4 is substantially different than the one I bought. The current Haanjo 4 has the same frame and cockpit, but less fancy components. the better option is the Haanjo 5, with Shimano’s GRX groupset.
So the upshot is, the particular model that I’m reviewing is no longer available for the sale, but all of the current Haanjo’s have substantial similarity. The current Haanjo 3, 4 and 5 all have the same frame, carbon fork, and HED/WTB cockpit. The Haanjo 6C and 7C are the carbon lineups, and obviously they have a full carbon frame and slightly different geometries.
You can use this review as a good guide to the aluminum models. The biggest difference is that the Haanjo 4 that I reviewed (which is no longer available) is a high-zoot, Ultegra-laden model and the current aluminum Haanjos all have more budget-friendly components.
Let’s go ahead and start off with the frame and geometry. Basically, it’s a good balance of comfort and performance. There’s definitely an eye towards bike touring here with some important nods towards comfort. I’m testing a medium frame: the stack height is tall at 583mm, and the reach is short at 367mm. Diamondback calls this their ‘alternative road’ geometry, and to me it just felt like a comfortable ride that didn’t stretch me out too badly. Riders looking for a racy fit will likely need to stretch this bike out with a longer stem. I had plenty of long saddle days with the Haanjo, and the geometry helped spare my back. With a wheelbase of 1041cm and a head tube angle of 70, I’d call this ride ‘stable.’
Other frame things are pretty standard too, like the 12mm thru axle and flat mount brakes. Coupled with handy rack mounts, this means it’ll be easy to upgrade the Haanjo frame down the road.
The drivetrain on my model is a Shimano Ultegra RX rear derailleur, an Ultegra RD clamping front derailleur, a sleek Praxis Alba 48/32T chainring and a Shimano 105 11-34T cassette. This is nice, generous range for climbing that didn’t feel like it held back too badly on long downhills either. The rear derailleur has a clutch that minimizes noise and chain slap, as well as dropped chains. It’s effortless to disengage the clutch if you need to pop off the wheel.
According to road.cc, this is adapted from Shimano’s Shadow MTB technology, and while I was pleased with the range, buyers should know that the Ultegra RX is limited to setups with “a largest sprocket between 28-tooth and 34-tooth, and with chainsets from 46-36t up to 50-34t, with a 16-tooth maximum chainring capacity (the difference in teeth numbers between large and small chainring).” The shifters work fine and the housings are tall enough for adequate grip, but they’re maybe not quite as prominent as comparable SRAM CX offerings (which I appreciate on rough terrain).
Stopping is accomplished via Shimano BR-R8070 Flat Mount Hydraulic Disc with 160mm front and rear rotors. Hilariously, that is far larger than the rotors on my first mountain bike – and, of course, this setup works totally well. The hydraulic stopping power coupled with extra heat management both on the rotor and caliper housing meant that I never experienced break fade, even on long descents with weight on the bike and rider.
Beyond these parts, Diamondback’s cockpit is mostly aluminum components from HED and a WTB Silverado saddle. I like the HED components: decent aesthetic, all very functional if not particularly sexy. The bars have a 12 degree flare which is confidence-inspiring on descents. We also have a set of HED Tomcat wheels, which are 21mm wide and are tubeless ready. I ran the stock WTB Riddler 700x37c tires set up tubeless which I really enjoyed on the highly variable terrain in the PNW. Personally I felt like they were capable when cornering and roll fast at speed.
I set mine up with a front and rear rack from Old Man Mountain and appreciated the built-in mounts. The frame also has three water bottle spots as well as mounting options up front, and I’m looking forward to building mine out further as a touring bike.
- Reasonably priced for excellent specs
- Handling is comfortable and confidence inspiring, but not sluggish
- Plenty of versatility for adding racks and fenders
- Fun to ride just about anywhere
- Wish the hoods had a slightly taller profile for better grip
The Bottom Line: Diamondback Haanjo 4
It is pretty easy for me to recommend bikes from the Haanjo family. I like Diamondback a lot because, as bikes get more and more expensive, they continue to pack in a lot of value. It’s hard to argue with the groupsets and quality frames that you get for the price. Beyond that, though, the Haanjo is a particularly good bike: sturdy frame, quality parts, and standard frame dimensions that make it easy to upgrade. This bike has been with me on pavement, two track and single track, and it’s never held me back.
Buy Now: Visit Diamondback.com
Doesn't matter if you're on single track, double track, gravel or pavement: the Haanjo is a blast and won't hold you back. Capable gearing and brakes, coupled with a stable geometry, make this a confidence-inspiring ride. Forgiving enough for beginners, versatile enough for experienced cyclists - the Haanjo has something for everyone.
- RIDE QUALITY/COMFORT
- CLIMBING (ROAD)
- CLIMBING (GRAVEL/DIRT)
- DESCENDING (ROAD)
- DESCENDING (GRAVEL/DIRT)
- PEDALING EFFICIENCY