Diamondback Haanjo EXP

The New 2017 Diamondback Haanjo EXP Carbon Touring Bike

Ladies and gentlemen, we are entering a new era of touring bike. Say hello to the new 2017 Diamondback Haanjo EXP Carbon!

2017 Diamondback Haanjo
The 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!

2017 Diamondback Haanjo

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.

2017 Diamondback Haanjo
The 2017 Diamondback Haanjo EXP Carbon uses 27.5″ MTB 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.

2017 Diamondback Haanjo

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.

2017 Diamondback Haanjo
A Shimano Deore 48-36-26 crankset offers a very wide range of gears.

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.

2017 Diamondback Haanjo
The alloy Diamondback X-Durance seatpost is designed to offer some flex.

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. 

2017 Diamondback Haanjo
2017 Diamondback Haanjo Trail Carbon // US $3100
2017 Diamondback Haanjo
2017 Diamondback Haanjo Comp Carbon // US $2500
2017 Diamondback Haanjo
2017 Diamondback Haanjo Trail // US $2300
2017 Diamondback Haanjo
2017 Diamondback Haanjo Comp 2017 // US $1600
2017 Diamondback Haanjo
2017 Diamondback Haanjo Tero // US $900

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. The Bikepacking Bike Buyer’s Guide does the same thing, however, with a focus on lighter bikes and models with more off-road capability. Both of these guides are updated annually with the latest models at no extra cost!

Helpful Resources

All About Touring Bike Brakes
Frame Materials for Bicycle Touring
How to Select Touring Bike Gearing
Understand Bicycle Frame Geometry
What’s the Difference between Cyclocross and Touring Bikes?

Touring & Bikepacking Bike Overview

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  1. Hello there ,does anyone know why this bike is unavailable in the United kingdom?

  2. I can understand that, however Diamond Back USA have point blank refused to allow me to import one from the USA. It makes no sense.

    Many thanks for your excellent website


  3. Hello Allee . Not planning on a US holiday any time soon 🙂 It looks like this is going to be a non starter . Obviously there would be VAT and import duty which I was aware of ,however the bike would have no warranty . Diamond Backs attitude Its a complete mystery to me I cannot see there being more than a 1000 sold in the US so why not take the chance of a few more sales in Europe ?

    Your description of the bike as “Niche” brought a smile to me , Its a touring bike with a triple , and generous guard clearance. You can ride a bike like this all day in comfort on mutliple different surfaces .

    Keep up the good work with the website


  4. bit late to comment but the Specialized Sirrus Pro Ltd from 2008/9 was a carbon framed tourer long before this, also you cant mount a dynamo light on the fork and only available as a crappy disc brake setup.

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