Ladies and gentlemen, we are entering a new era of touring bike. Say hello to the new 2017 Diamondback Haanjo EXP Carbon!
Yup, you read it right – carbon fibre. That lightweight woven material that when moulded with resin creates the vast majority of high-end road and mountain bikes we see today. This is the first carbon touring bike!
But Alee, metal tubes are really reliable. Why would we want frames and forks made out of carbon fibre?
Well, it all comes down to the engineering. Every square centimetre of a carbon fibre frame and fork can be tweaked and tuned to optimise it towards being lightweight, comfortable, stiff and/or reliable. In comparison, a steel frame is only customisable down to an entire tube. Depending on the way that the carbon is selected and laid, it’s possible to make a carbon frame and fork better in every single way.
I’ll write about carbon in-depth soon because it’s a really exciting technology. This bike is the beginning of something great!
The 2017 Diamondback Haanjo EXP Carbon
The Haanjo series is Diamondback’s gravel and adventure road collection. The EXP Carbon is their off-road touring option, complete with barend shifters, cable disc brakes, an ultra-wide gear range and clearance for 2.1″+ mountain bike tyres. This carbon frame can handle front and rear racks and 3x bidon cages!
The bike is designed to accommodate both 27.5″ mountain bike wheels (with 2.1″ tyres) or 700c road wheels (with 40c tyres). The EXP Carbon is the only model that comes off-the-shelf with the smaller diameter mountain bike wheels.
Diamondback have somehow come across excess stock of the Shimano M770 derailleur, originally released in 2008. That allows the EXP Carbon to run a very utilitarian 9-speed drivetrain (you can find 9-speed components in shops all around the world).
Diamondback have chosen TRP Spyre cable disc brakes for the EXP Carbon. Unlike all other cable disc brakes, the Spyres employ a dual-sided activation which provides you with excellent braking performance and even pad/rotor wear. They are certainly the pick of the bunch.
Front and rear thru-axles are found on all Haanjo carbon bikes, reducing flex at the wheels.
The drivetrain on the Haanjo EXP Carbon is a highlight! A 48-36-26t front crankset when combined with the 11-34t cassette provides an ultra-wide range from 21 to 119 gear inches. That essentially means that you’ll have low enough gears for climbing steep dirt roads with all your gear, while still being able to hook along at 60km/h on long descents.
This bike uses a threaded bottom bracket shell which is music to my ears. This bottom bracket variety is very easy to service and replace yourself. In addition, the bearings are pressed into the cups very precisely from the factory, so they’re always perfectly flush.
In terms of sizing, the Haanjo’s ‘reach’ varies very little across all sizes (all frame sizes are between 371-378mm – in fact, the small is actually longer than both the medium and large). The end result is longer-than-normal small bikes, and shorter-than-normal large bikes. You can modify the bike’s reach by using longer or shorter stems, but ultimately, it’s best practice to create bike sizes in even increments using the stack and reach model, rather than the top-tube length.
The steering speed on the Haanjo is in-line with other gravel bikes; that is, quicker than a touring bike, but slower than a cyclocross or road bike. The chainstays are measured at 430mm which is also on par with similar adventure bikes.
The Diamondback Haanjo EXP Carbon will be available later this year for US $2300.
Other Diamondback Haanjo Models
Along with the Haanjo EXP Carbon are a few other models, perhaps more suited to light touring given the choice of gear specification.
Want To Compare These Touring Bikes With Dozens of Others?
Check out The Touring Bicycle Buyer’s Guide which compares touring bike steering, sizing, gear ratios, specification, pricing and more. This guide is updated annually with the latest models at no extra cost!
Touring Bikes Overview
2016 Advocate Lorax
2016 Basso Ulisse
2016 Bianchi Volpe and Lupo 2016
2016 Bombtrack Beyond
2017 Bombtrack Beyond
2016 Brodie Elan Vital
2016 Cannondale Touring
2016 Cinelli Hobootleg Geo
2017 Curve Grovel V2
2017 Diamondback Haanjo EXP Carbon
2016 Fuji Touring
2017 Fuji Touring
2016 Genesis Tour de Fer
2016 Giant ToughRoad
2017 Giant ToughRoad
2016 Jamis Aurora and Aurora Elite
2016 Kona Big Rove
2016 Kona Roadhouse and Sutra LTD
2016 Kona Sutra
2017 Kona Sutra
2016 Marin Four Corners
2017 Marin Four Corners
2016 Masi Giramondo
2016 Niner RLT9
2016 Rawland Ulv and Ravn
2016 Salsa Deadwood
2017 Salsa Fargo
2016 Salsa Marrakesh
2017 Salsa Marrakesh
2017 Salsa Vaya
2016 Specialized AWOL
2017 Specialized AWOL
2017 Specialized Diverge
2017 Specialized Sequoia
2017 Surly Troll
2016 Traitor Wander
2016 Trek 920, 720, 520 & CrossRip
2017 Trek CrossRip