Diamondback’s Haanjo gravel and adventure bike lineup was developed to be versatile and capable on both road and dirt. Since their initial introduction, Diamondback has continually updated and refined the lineup with both aluminum and carbon frame variations. The $2,050 Haanjo 5 is currently one of the top aluminum options available in the Haanjo lineup and what we think is one of the best values. Diamondback equips the Haanjo 5 with 11-speed gravel-specific Shimano GRX drivetrain, HED components and tubeless-ready HED Tomcat Disc wheelset. The 6061 alloy frame features Diamondback’s endurance geometry which uses a relaxed tall headtube for a more upright position that’s optimized for handling and long-distance riding. On paper, the price point and components make the Haanjo 5 an excellent gravel or all-road option for those looking to ride off the beaten track.
The Diamondback Haanjo 5 offers a highly competitive combination of Shimano GRX components and all-road geometry to allow you to explore new trails.
|Rating||Design: A |
|Weight (lb)||23.2 (large size)|
|Likes||+ Competitively priced|
+ Smooth and well damped ride from aluminum frame and carbon fork
+ High quality Shimano GRX drivetrain and HED finishing kit
|Dislikes||– No color options|
– Gearing is a bit too short for higher speeds
|Where to Buy (US)||Diamondback|
The Diamondback Haanjo 5 comes well packed in a large bicycle cardboard box with Diamondback branding. Once you’ve opened up the box you’ll find:
- Haanjo 5 bike with protective coverings
- Assembly tools (wrench and allen keys)
- Instruction manual
The bike is very well packed with foam and protective wrapping on all the components to avoid any damage from shipping. Our bike arrived without any damage or dents despite the size of the box.
Before you can start riding, there is some minor assembly required with the Haanjo 5. To allow the bike to fit in the box, Diamondback ships the bike with the front wheel and other components removed from the bike. You don’t need to be a mechanic to put the bike together as the all the drivetrain and cabling is pre-installed. Putting the bike together involves some basic tasks such installing the front wheel, front brake caliper, flat pedals and seatpost. We’d estimate the entire assembly process takes about 10-30 minutes depending on your speed. Diamondback includes basic tools to put the bike together, but we’d recommend using a torque wrench (i.e. something similar to Pro Bike Tool wrenches) on the more sensitive components.
FIT & FINISH
The Diamonback Haanjo series offers everything from the aluminum Haanjo 1 commuter bike to a full carbon Haanjo 8 and even previously offered a steel option. As the top aluminum frame option, the Haanjo 5 offers an impressive balance between features and value. As with the other Haanjo bikes, Diamondback only offers the Haanjo 5 in a single plum color scheme with bright blue accents. It’s an unusual color combination that may take some time to get used to but stands out on the road or trails. Metallic flakes in the plum color allow the color to shift in sunlight and provides more visual depth. While we aren’t a fan of the blue accents, we’re happy to see bike companies deviate from traditional all-black or matte color schemes. Branding is limited to the Diamondback logo on the headtube, downtube and a Haanjo 5 label on the top tube.
Although aluminum isn’t as sexy as carbon fiber, Diamondback has put research and development time into creating the 6061 alloy Haanjo 5 frame (which is shared with the Haanjo 2, 3, and 4). It’s an endurance style geometry with a tall head tube and slack headtube and seat tube angles. There are exposed welds at the intersection points of the frame but they are all uniform and clean. With the Haanjo 5 there are premium touches such as the tapered carbon monocoque fork and modern 12mm thru-axles. The shape of the aluminium frame also mimics carbon fiber designs with a tapered top tube that kinks downward before the seat tube. Combined with the bowed out seat stays, the frame has great compliance and dampening on harsh roads.
Thanks to the disc brake setup, the Haanjo 5 can also be used with 650b wheelsets and offers enough clearance for tires wider than the included 700×37 WTB tires. The bike earns its “allroad” designation thanks to a flared dropbar setup which allows the bike to be easily used on or off road. It’s an interesting bike segment that’s seen a substantial amount of growth over the years that blends elements of road bikes with mountain bike. As such, the Haanjo 5 has an endurance style geometry and enough utility to easily be used on the road, commuting and on gravel roads. For those looking to carry more gear, there are even hard mounts on the fork and seatstays for bottle cages or racks.
One of the best features of the Haanjo 5 is the high quality components. Instead of using a mix of house branded parts found on budget bikes, like the E11even Fitness bike or Decathlon Triban RC520, the Haanjo 5 features name brand HED finishing kit and Shimano drivetrain. The Haanjo 5 has Shimano GRX600 brifters, GRX600 crank, and GRX810 derailleur setup. It’s a 2×11 setup with a sub-compact 46/30T crank paired with a 11-34 Shimano HG70011 cassette. Shimano describes the drivetrain as a gravel specific setup as it offers a wide gear ratio that is optimized for climbing. The star of the show are the flat mounted Shimano BR-RX400 flat mount hydraulic disc brakes with 160mm rotors on the front and rear. Thanks to the smooth and consistent modulation the brake setup provides confidence and strong braking performance at all speeds.
We also appreciated the matching HED finishing kit that gives the bike a more premium appearance. You’ll find aluminum HED stem, 12 degree flared drop bars and 27.2mm seatpost. Diamondback has even used HED Tomcat wheelset which is a tubeless ready wheelset with 21mm inner width and tubeless rim tape pre-applied. It’s a well thought out set of components with simple HED branding on them and match the value-oriented approach of the bike. The bike has WTB 700×37 Riddler tires which have a knobby tread on them that feels great on gravel or loose trails.
We found the Diamondback Haanjo 5 to be fun and responsive bike and a great way to explore new routes and trails. The endurance style geometry, hydraulic disc brakes and smooth shifting Shimano drivetrain allow it to accelerate quickly and provides confidence on more challenging trails. It’s a comfortable bike on flat gravel trails or steep mountain passes with the sub-compact crankset and 11-34 cassette as there are plenty of granny gears. While the shifting on the mechanical Shimano drivetrain is fast and smooth, it’s optimized for lower gears. We found ourselves spinning out at higher speeds when riding on the road. Otherwise, the aluminum frame and carbon fork do a great job of dampening out vibrations and have enough compliance for taking on rutted trails.
Is the bike a replacement for a road bike or a true n=1 bike (where n is the number of bikes you need)? Maybe – it really depends on your riding style. As roadies ourselves, we still prefer more aggressive road bikes like our Specliaized Tarmac for long road cycling sessions and like the Haanjo 5 for gravel riding or even commuting. For those that prefer an endurance style geometry the Haanjo could be a great road bike but we’d highly recommend swapping tires or wheelsets for high performance road tires. Not surprisingly, the 700×37 WTB tires have a noticeable amount of resistance on the road compared to thinner road-specific tires.
Overall, we found the Diamondback Haanjo 5 is a fun allroad bike with high quality components and a competitive price point. As the top aluminum bike in the Haanjo lineup, the Haanjo has premium a premium 2×11 Shimano drivetrain and tapered carbon fiber fork. We found the bike fun to ride on coastal gravel trails and steep mountain trails thanks to the low gear ratios. Although the bike is only offered in one color scheme, the metallic plum color is unique and looks great in the sunlight. The main downside of the bike is that it’s not geared for higher speeds more common for road cycling and the fact that you’ll likely want to swap out the tires for high-performance road tires if you plan to do a lot of road cycling. That aside, the Haanjo 5 is a well priced gravel bike with a comfortable endurance geometry that can be used for a variety of riding disciplines.
Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Diamondback. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.