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Quality of Diamonback Haanjo?

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Quality of Diamonback Haanjo?

Old 09-24-18, 08:17 AM
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Quality of Diamonback Haanjo?

I'm slowly narrowing down the bikes I'm interested in and the Diamondback Haanjo is sort of a wildcard on the list. With the corporate discount they're at the low end of the price range and definitely lower than the others when you look at what you get. Of the more widely accepted brands, Cannondale seems to be pushing prices down somewhat, and Diamondback is even lower than Cannondale. So the Haanjo 7C Carbon is just $100 more than the CAADX Ultegra, and you get a carbon frame instead of an aluminum frame. And the Haanjo 4 (which is only showing on Amazon for some reason) looks like it will be $50 less than the Topstone only it's got Ultegra instead of 105.

I was talking this weekend with a bike shop owner who's fairly reputable (sells mostly Specialized, but also Felt, etc.) and he said some good things about the Fuji Jari 1.1 (which he doesn't sell), but he was really skeptical about the Haanjo. He basically said that it was probably a lesser quality frame with high-ed components to make it seem like a good deal. And the fact that there are $470 Haanjos make me concerned that he might be right.

But when I read comments online, people who buy Haanjos seem to really like them. Even ones who test ride them back to back with well respected competitors say good things about them.

I guess what I'm asking is what's the frame quality of a Diamondback Haanjo compared to a comparable Specialized, Felt or Cannondale (comparing similarly spec'd bikes)? When the other brands charge more, where does that money go? Build quality? Marketing? The LBS' markup? Or a combination of all those things?
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Old 09-24-18, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by JayNYC
I'm slowly narrowing down the bikes I'm interested in and the Diamondback Haanjo is sort of a wildcard on the list. With the corporate discount they're at the low end of the price range and definitely lower than the others when you look at what you get. Of the more widely accepted brands, Cannondale seems to be pushing prices down somewhat, and Diamondback is even lower than Cannondale. So the Haanjo 7C Carbon is just $100 more than the CAADX Ultegra, and you get a carbon frame instead of an aluminum frame. And the Haanjo 4 (which is only showing on Amazon for some reason) looks like it will be $50 less than the Topstone only it's got Ultegra instead of 105.

I was talking this weekend with a bike shop owner who's fairly reputable (sells mostly Specialized, but also Felt, etc.) and he said some good things about the Fuji Jari 1.1 (which he doesn't sell),(1) but he was really skeptical about the Haanjo. He basically said that it was probably a lesser quality frame with high-ed components to make it seem like a good deal. (2)And the fact that there are $470 Haanjos make me concerned that he might be right.

(3)But when I read comments online, people who buy Haanjos seem to really like them. Even ones who test ride them back to back with well respected competitors say good things about them.

(4)I guess what I'm asking is what's the frame quality of a Diamondback Haanjo compared to a comparable Specialized, Felt or Cannondale (comparing similarly spec'd bikes)? When the other brands charge more, where does that money go? Build quality? Marketing? The LBS' markup? Or a combination of all those things?
Replying to the 4 bolded sections-

1- The guy guessed at why the pricing is lower. Hardly an authoritative voice on the matter.
2- Just because there is a $470 Haanjo models doesn’t mean that all other models are bad. That’s absurd reasoning. Similarly, Specialized sells a $500 mountain bike, but that has no meaning on Specialized’s more expensive mountain bikes.
3- Haanjo bikes are really great bang for the buck bikes. I almost bought a 2016 model that was full 105 drivetrain for something like $800, but ended up backing off when I realized it for sure wouldn’t be large enough. The Haanjo line is well liked by riders because they get good quality and value.
4- I am going to speculate just like the bike shop owner here. Typically, aluminum frames that are on bikes which cost less than competitors will be less refined- meaning less design went into the frames. The other thing it can mean is they aren’t finished as nicely. Im not saying Haanjo frames aren’t finished well, just that finish is a place where cost cutting can take place. Typically, carbon frames that are on bikes which cost less use a heavier version of carbon fiber.
Accell, the parent company of DBack and Raleigh, is a global company and well versed in navigating the bicycle industry. Kinesis, the company that makes at least some of DBack’s bikes(perhaps all, not sure), is a long standing manufacturer which contracts with a ton of other bike brands. So if you like the geometry, get the bike. It will be finished well enough to be square and last for years. Hardly cutting edge, but also not a lemon.
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Old 09-24-18, 11:04 AM
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Doesn't sound like that guy knew very much.

Diamondback bikes have a really strong pedigree as far as design and production go. I have a 2016 Haanjo Comp and it's a great bike with a really well designed and produced frame. Little things like fender mounts to work with disc brakes and varieties of fender stays, bottle boss location to allow bikepacking bags to be fitted properly as well as other small touches that show a deep understanding of how to make a well rounded bike without compromising too much and making an unworkable Homercar. As far as the actual tubing is concerned the tubes are regular hydroformed alu with proprietary butting profiles, welds are good and the weight is in line with pretty much all other gravel bikes on the market IMO.

Frame quality would be as good or better than any of the competitors listed IME. At this point the institutional knowledge and individual employee skill at the big Taiwan production houses is going to greater than anywhere else.

A lot of the mark up from other companies goes to indirect advertising by way of funding professional racing teams. Take a look at a professional service course sometime (link) the amount of cash given away as top tier parts is amazing. Diamondback does on a much smaller level so I expect the difference in that is a big factor as well. Combined with working to take and hold a share of the direct-to-consumer sales model as well as other factors mentioned above. Part of it also may be the company is willing to take a haircut on profits at the individual sales level that competitors are not.
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Old 09-24-18, 01:27 PM
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Another thing the Haanjo 5C and 7C have going for them are the HED wheels, which seem to be pretty decent mid-range wheels, at least according to someone's analysis here. They seem to be better wheels than you'd find on a lot of similarly priced bikes, at the very least. I have two friends who bought 105 level aluminum Diamondback road bikes a few years ago, and are pretty happy with how they've held up.

CX Magazine has the weight for the 5C at around 22 lbs, though, which does seem a bit heavy for full carbon, so perhaps mstateglfr is correct in the quality of carbon used.

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Old 09-24-18, 02:10 PM
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Thanks for your comments.
@mstateglfr – regarding #2 – the difference is that DB has cheap bikes under the Haanjo brand. It's different when other manufacturers have completely different lines of bikes that are cheaper. But the most expensive Haanjo costs 4.6x what the least expensive Haanjo costs. That raises questions. Perhaps it's just bad marketing skills, but it makes you wonder. For example, here's the description of the frame for the $470 (flat bar) version of the bike as well as the description of the frame for the Haanjo Trail which also has an alloy frame (I've bolded the differences)…

Haanjo Trail – DB Alternative Road, Endurance Geometry, Relaxed Head Tube Angle, Fully Butted 6061-T6 Alloy, Formed Top Tube, Tapered Headtube, Flat Mount Disc , 142x12mm Thru-axle w/ Replaceable Hanger

Haanjo 1 – DB Alternative Road, Disc Brake, Endurance Geometry, Relaxed Head Tube Angle, Fully Butted 6061-T6 Alloy, Formed Top Tube, 1 1/8" Headtube, Replaceable Hanger

So yes, there are some differences, but it would seem the frames are pretty similar, which is what #4 is all about. What quality level are you getting when you buy one of the higher end Haanjos with an alloy frame?
@Lava – Yeah, the components is where the Haanjo shines – whether it's the better-than-average stock wheels or the Ultegra derailleurs and brakes…
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Old 09-24-18, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by JayNYC
Thanks for your comments.
@mstateglfr – regarding #2 – the difference is that DB has cheap bikes under the Haanjo brand. It's different when other manufacturers have completely different lines of bikes that are cheaper. But the most expensive Haanjo costs 4.6x what the least expensive Haanjo costs. That raises questions. Perhaps it's just bad marketing skills, but it makes you wonder. For example, here's the description of the frame for the $470 (flat bar) version of the bike as well as the description of the frame for the Haanjo Trail which also has an alloy frame (I've bolded the differences)…

Haanjo Trail – DB Alternative Road, Endurance Geometry, Relaxed Head Tube Angle, Fully Butted 6061-T6 Alloy, Formed Top Tube, Tapered Headtube, Flat Mount Disc , 142x12mm Thru-axle w/ Replaceable Hanger

Haanjo 1 – DB Alternative Road, Disc Brake, Endurance Geometry, Relaxed Head Tube Angle, Fully Butted 6061-T6 Alloy, Formed Top Tube, 1 1/8" Headtube, Replaceable Hanger

So yes, there are some differences, but it would seem the frames are pretty similar, which is what #4 is all about. What quality level are you getting when you buy one of the higher end Haanjos with an alloy frame?
I gotcha. Yeah, similar description frame. A hydroformed alloy frame isnt really expensive.

there are a ton of differences between the Haanjo 1 and Haanjo Trail.
the Trail has a tapered headtube which places less stress on the headset and helps improve the firm's steerer strength due the the gradual curve vs 90degree angle from fork to steerer. The Trail is thru axle. The Trail has a full carbon fork. The Trail's frame shape is different from the 1 too(visually). Flat mount disc on the Trail too.
you mentioned that stuff, but it's worth pointing out in detail because its significantly different from the Haanjo 1.


The frames are both aluminum, but they are significantly different.
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Old 09-24-18, 02:33 PM
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As noted above "Diamondback" is not making the frames. They are subcontracting to one of, if not the, largest aluminum bicycle frame manufacturers in the world. The frame will be welded together by a craftsman that has probably stuck together more frames than every domestic frame-builder combined. There are welders who have been developing their skills for 40 years.
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Old 09-24-18, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot
As noted above "Diamondback" is not making the frames. They are subcontracting to one of, if not the, largest aluminum bicycle frame manufacturers in the world. The frame will be welded together by a craftsman that has probably stuck together more frames than every domestic frame-builder combined. There are welders who have been developing their skills for 40 years.
But not all aluminum frames are of equal quality, right? The bike shop owner was telling me about different ways to do the welding that make a difference. And some frames are hydroformed and others not. Correct? And in another thread someone was raving about Cannondale's alloy frames, though I didn't quite understand what it is exactly that makes them special/different.

So even if they're all made by the same subcontractor, the specs differ. Right?
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Old 09-26-18, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by JayNYC
But not all aluminum frames are of equal quality, right? ... So even if they're all made by the same subcontractor, the specs differ. Right?
True. Results vary according to spec. Some years back I bought some Specialized Rockhopper Pro frames on eBay. These were made from Specialized's so-called M4 alloy, and they were notably lighter in weight than my other Rockhopper Comp and Pro frames from earlier years that were made in the A1 alloy. Probably all those frames were made in the same factory, and for a couple of seasons Specialized must have paid for -- I'm guessing -- more butting and a more expensive alloy for their Rockhopper Pro frames. Then came the Carve, and the Rockhoppers all went back to being A1, and the Carve now gets the M4 treatment. So the weight and other characteristics of a frame do vary depending upon how much a brand chooses to spend.

FWIW, my impression of Diamondback is quite good. Last year I bought a bike from their sister brand, Raleigh, and it's been great value for the money spent.
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Old 09-26-18, 07:47 PM
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I bought a Haanjo Trail not very long ago and I can't say enough good about it. I was a bit apprehensive about the fact that I couldn't ride the bike before ordering one, but the return policy helped with that concern (a little). The only reason I bought the Hannjo Trail was the price. I had been looking at other gravel bikes and I try my best to support my LBS, but nothing had jumped out at me. I really like Trek, but their Checkpoint isn't a very impressive gravel bike IMO. Then I came upon a sale for the Haanjo Trail. It was more than I was looking for and more than I had planned on paying, but it was attractive in almost every way. I had never paid four figures for a bike before and was having buyer's remorse almost immediately. Then it showed up and I immediately fell in love. This bike has been my daily commuter, my weekend fun, and almost everything else bike. I can say that I have only ridden my MTB twice since the Haanjo Trail arrived. The idea of a go almost anywhere bike is while I was attracted to gravel bikes in the first place. I cannot speak of the quality of the aluminum, but I think the likelihood of it being a quality built frame has already been discussed. I am not someone who rides thousands of miles each year, but I foresee this bike being my goto bike for years to come. Visually, the frame appears to be just as well built as any of the other bikes in the $2000+ price range.
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Old 09-27-18, 01:37 PM
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Specialized makes one super great aluminum frame which is the Allez Sprint which used to be called the E5 which is over $1300. Even that frame doesn't compare to a Cannondale aluminum frame in terms of finishing. Cannondale is the king because of the finish. You have to look insanely close on a Cannondale alu frame to find the welds. On my Slate when looking from a normal distance you would think the frame is carbon because you just can't see the welds.

DB uses hydroformed aluminum just like everyone else. If you want pristine finish go with Cannondale. If you don't care go with pretty much everyone else.
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