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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My prior experience with Diamondback was as a kid in the 80s. Back then, in the heyday of BMX, if you were cool, you rode a Kuwahara, Redline, Mongoose or Diamondback. I, of course, was not cool and rode a Puch. But it was red and black...

Fast forward a few decades and I'm on the lookout for a do-everything bike that will serve mostly as a commuter. My wishlist is fairly straightforward:

Rack mounts
Clearance for wider tires
A frame that isn't carbon

Aside from that, I thought it might also be an opportunity to embrace some newer tech (i.e. 11sp and discs)... well, new to me, anyway. So I hit the interwebs and a few forums here to get some ideas about what's available. It was then that I came across the Haanjo. The Comp covered all the bases and the price was relatively reasonable. The few reviews I could find consistently labeled it an excellent bang-for-the-buck. So, I took the plunge.

The bike arrived partially assembled. There was one very small paint chip on the seat stay, but the bike was otherwise in good shape. I had to install the handlebars and the front wheel, which gave me the chance to see a thru-axel up close. My only complaint was that the front brake line was cut so short that it makes it impossible to raise the bars any higher, as I typically do. One pleasant surprise... the specs from Diamondback list 24h Hed Tomcat rims. This was the only component that gave me pause. Why would a gravel bike only have 24h rims??? Well, it turns out the rims are 28h, not 24h. It's still less than I'd prefer, but I'm hoping they're more durable.

I swapped out the seat post with a zero-setback from the parts bin, and the stock saddle with a B-17. Other than that, I added a Bor Yueh rack.

I'll update with pics when I get a chance and a ride report.
 

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What the what???
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Okay, gratuitous fence pic:



I haven't even removed the dork disk, reflectors and stickers yet...

I debated between the 53 and the 56 and chose the latter. I think I needed the 54.5 but sadly that wasn't an option :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Looks like a good choice - should be able to do just about anything you want to do on it! Congrats! :)
Thanks. 40c tires with plenty of extra room and a third bottle cage mount under the down-tube. It should do well in the coming zombie apocalypse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Yesterday was a shake-out ride. The tl;dr version is so far - so good. For everyone else:

I took the bike for a 25 mile out-and-back loop. It was 32 degrees, dry and sunny. The route was mostly road and MUT with a little bit of gravel road thrown in.

Positives:

Tires/clearance - The bike came with 40c Kenda Flintridge tires which I pumped to 50psi. It's been a while since I've ridden such a wide tire, and I had forgotten what that kind of cushioned ride felt like. They rolled surprisingly well on pavement and made the gravel section of the ride feel very stable. I had thought about swapping them for something a little narrower and slicker, but I may keep these on the bike for a while. BTW, the bike has lots of clearance even around the 40c.

Brakes - As a first experience with hydraulic brakes, I guess I was a little underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong, they stopped just fine. But I think my expectation was that they would be superior to calipers. I'm guessing they will be in the rain, but dry... I couldn't really feel a difference.

Apex 1 X 11 - The SRAM system uses a clutch mechanism that keeps tension on the chain to avoid chain slap. It made the ride remarkably quiet. I have Apex shifters on another bike (2X10) and I'm starting to appreciate them more and more. I like the crispness of the actuation. The one change I would make would be to swap the 44t ring with something just a little smaller. But then, the cassette does run 11 speeds from an 11 to a 42 tooth pie plate in back.

Geometry - I really like the look of the frame and admittedly it is probably the first thing that drew me to the bike. I like the formed, bent top tube and the subtle bow of the seat stays. While it looks good to me, it does effect stand-over height by elevating the top tube. The bike is a 56, and where I can comfortably straddle the top tube of other bikes that size, with the Haanjo, it's a dicier proposition. The takeaway is that while size matters, so does geometry.

Wheels - This is my biggest point of concern with the bike in the short-term. As a Clyde, I think I am right at the limit of what generic 28h hubs and spokes can handle. I had quite a bit of spoke "plinking"/de-stressing when I made my initial ride around the block. I gave all the nipples a 1/4 turn and then tuned them to roughly the same tension on each side. On the out-and-back I heard one small "plink" when I got out of the saddle, but other than that they seem to have settled down. I'm hoping they last a while but we'll see.

Cockpit - HED supplied the bars, stem and post. I kept the bars, since they're a nice, wide 46c. I swapped out the post to a zero-setback and I'll swap the stem to something with a rise. I like my bars higher than stock allows. I replaced the saddle with a Brooks B-17. All the stock components seem to be of very good quality, the question for me was more one of getting the fit I know I need.

Extras - I like the inclusion of a third bottle cage mount under the down tube, as well as the separate mounts for both rack and fenders. The bike came with two bottle cages already attached. The stock pedals are decent sized aluminum (not plastic) platforms with good grip.

All in all, I am very pleased with the initial purchase. As other reviews have said, I think the Haanjo offers a lot of bang for the buck.
 

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Disc brakes take some work to "bed in". I recommend pedaling up to a decent speed, grab a handful of brakes and roll close to a stop, but release before stoping (important to not hold the heat on the pads to a stop).

Repeat this 20-50 times and alternate pressure front and rear. You should notice a solid improvement in bite after this process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Disc brakes take some work to "bed in". I recommend pedaling up to a decent speed, grab a handful of brakes and roll close to a stop, but release before stoping (important to not hold the heat on the pads to a stop).

Repeat this 20-50 times and alternate pressure front and rear. You should notice a solid improvement in bite after this process.
Good to know. I'll give it a try the next time out. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
So, I found a good deal on a 38t ring and swapped it out for the stock 44. This should let me use a little more of the cassette and give me a true granny gear to dump into if need be. I can now spin 38X42.

The ring swap was straight forward. Five bolts, 110 BCD. Interesting that the crankset is 1X, but the spider is notched on both sides and the chainring bolts use spacers that would accommodate two rings.

After, I noticed the rear derailleur brushing against the side of the next cog before jumping up to the next gear. A quick search revealed that the new ring now meant that the chain was one link too long. SRAM recommends wrapping the chain around the ring and largest cog, then add 4 links (3 links + quick link). So, I removed a link, made a minor adjustment to the B-screw, and the shifting is smooth as silk once again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Another ride today... a nice mix of road, MUT, and...



...this.
 

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I have a DB century disk and have been pretty happy with it. Build quality isn't astounding, but it's decent enough, and a good start to build a better bike off of.

Regarding disc brakes, the best way to bed them in is to get onto a long slope, pedal up to a decent head of speed, then brake HARD, but not to a complete stop. Accelerate as quickly as possible then hit those brakes again. Do that about six times in quick succession, then let them cool down. This has worked perfectly for all of my mountain brakes. Road brakes have consistently been a bit weaker than my mountains, but I have BB5s and they HyRds, so I don't expect earth shattering power, honestly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
A few new fiddly bits and the new wheels. I sprung for a set of Hope Pro 4s laced to H PLUS SON Archetype rims 32f/36r from prowheelbuilder.com. For tires I went with some inexpensive Kenda Kwests 35mm with some RuffyTuffy tire liners.







The Hope hubs take some getting used to. Compared to the silent Shimano 105s I have on my other bikes, the Hope sounds like I'm being chased by angry bees. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just an update. Now that I have a few more miles on the bike, I have to say I'm happy with the way it's performing. The Apex 1X11 is quiet and simple. I'm starting to wish I had it on my other bikes. The new wheels are fantastic. In the workstand, I can spin the front wheel and it just seems to roll forever. I'm slowly adjusting to the angry bees coming from the rear hub. It's better than having a horn on the bike :). The discs are still fairly lackluster but they work fine. All in all, it's shaping up to be a very good do-everything bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A while back I swapped the original 40c Kenda Flintridge tires back on the bike. Today, I decided to take the Haanjo out today for some honest-to-goodness single-track riding.



Despite having no suspension... anything... the bike was reasonably comfortable. One good rock strike left me with a scraped up pedal, but otherwise no problems. I won’t be riding single-track on a regular basis, but it’s nice to know the Haanjo is up for it if I decide to.
 
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