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Specialized Sequoia Elite or Diamondback Haanjo EXP?

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 :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Specialized Sequoia Elite or Diamondback Haanjo EXP?

Old 10-01-16, 08:51 AM
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Specialized Sequoia Elite or Diamondback Haanjo EXP?

Two really different bikes with the same mission statement. They both appeal to me and I can't decide. Nobody has one to look at or ride. I can order the DB or wait weeks for the Spesh to show up in a local shop. I'm envisioning 60/40 road dirt use, often with a pretty good load. I like to put my 18 lb dog in a crate on a rear rack and ride pavement to dirt roads and trails, and then let her run along. Also some multi-day touring. I have a Domane and Roubaix for fast road rides, and a Disc Trucker for big tours. This bike would fall in between and introduce some off road ability.

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/bi...a-elite/116169

Diamondback Bikes - Haanjo - Haanjo EXP Carbon

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Old 10-01-16, 10:30 AM
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You can put bottle holders on the fork of the Sequoia. Also, with it being Cr-Mo, you won't have to be as gentle as you would with a carbon bike.

I know you said no one has one, but you may be able to find other models in the line up so you can at least get a feel for the fit.
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Old 10-01-16, 03:35 PM
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Specialized Sequoia Elite or Diamondback Haanjo EXP?

I rode the Haanjo EXP Carbon last week at the local Performance bike shop and I am definitely getting one. I took it for a test ride and ended up having it out for 45 minutes. Fortunately the Performance guys were very understanding.

For an all-rounder, I currently own a steel Gen 2 Salsa Fargo which has been a fantastic bike. I fell in love with it immediately upon the first test ride. I don't have the space here to bear witness to its fun awesomeness.

However, I've been looking for a lighter alternative. The Salsa Cutthroat intrigued me since it's a carbon cousin of the Fargo with similar (but not identical) geometry. It's nice but it didn't really bowl me over like the Fargo did when I rode it.

I have not seen the Sequoia yet. It looks nice and has a decent spec at all build levels. If you're looking for an all-rounder, I don't think you could go wrong.

That said, the Haanjo Carbon series ticks all the boxes for me.

1. Rugged and relatively light: The carbon Haanjo seems to be fairly tough. Sure, you could break the frame if you hit a tree at 30 mph in which case the bike is the least of your problems. On a purely facile level, the Haanjo's square tubes and olive drab green paint (in the case of the EXP) give it the appearance of a two wheeled jeep. It looks tough! It's also lighter than all but the most expensive steel bikes.

2. Versatility: When Gerard Vroomen's new Open UP ( https://opencycle.com/up/ ) was introduced a while back I was very excited. A carbon frame bike that can use 2.1" tires on 650B wheels or 700c road tires! YES! Very versatile and very fast-- but the price! A lovely bike but not something I could afford any time soon.

The Haanjo is like the poor man's Open UP in a way. It too can take 650B or 700c tires. It's not as light or as racy as the UP but in terms of value, the Haanjo is hard to beat.

3. Fun: The Haanjo EXP Carbon was the only model in stock at the Performance shop. My first choice would have been the Trail or Comp with the stock 700c wheels and compact crankset. With bar end shifted and a triple crank, the EXP seemed a bit dowdy in comparison.

Wow, was I wrong. The EXP is a blast and I would imagine the other Haanjos are as well. Even with 2.1" rubber, it was quick and responsive when I mashed the pedals. The handling felt agile like my carbon road bike. I'm not a fan of the PLACEMENT of the bar end shifters, but the indexed rear shifting was quick and precise. I haven't used a triple crank for a while but the friction mode shifting was extremely easy to master. My plan is to get get the EXP and put some Gevenalle CXV shifters on it. In terms of gear range, there is really no situation where you'd be wanting.

You should ride both the Haanjo and Sequoia to gauge the fit and feel. I don't think anything else in Specialized's line exactly matches the Sequoia though the AWOL may be close. I suspect you could be very happy with either choice. Specialized makes great products but Diamondback is putting some unique products out there and I think the Haanjo is a winner.

Good luck. Either way, I think you'll do fine!
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Old 10-01-16, 04:34 PM
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I like to put my 18 lb dog in a crate on a rear rack
scratch the carbon Bike then..

and ride pavement to dirt roads and trails, and then let her run along. Also some multi-day touring.
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Old 10-01-16, 05:23 PM
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I couldn't stomach Specialized'S business practices so I'd recommend the Diamondback.
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Old 10-01-16, 07:26 PM
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Wow tcy, thanks for the good post. And it's your first one too.

I actually ordered the Haanjo EXP this morning from Performance Bike. Should have it in a few days. Your review of your test ride has got me more excited to get a hold of it. I'm hoping it is big enough. I ordered the 59cm (biggest size). I am 6'3" with 35" inseam, and my other bikes are 61s and 62s. The geometry numbers look good though. Long seat tube and short top tube. How did you find the fit to be? I'm not a fan of mechanical disc brakes (replaced them on my Disc Trucker with TRP Hylex), but maybe the Spyres are ok.

It has rack mounts, and although it is unheard of to load up a carbon bike for touring, I think this one is designed for it. I have not seen any weight ratings for rider or luggage. Are they out there somewhere?

I am still waiting for the Sequoia to show up some day, but if the Haanjo wins me over, my choice will be made.
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Old 10-02-16, 12:16 AM
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I usually ride a 56 and the EXP in that size was about what I'm used to. I had read that the top tube may be on the short side but it wasn't an issue for me. I hope the 59 works out for you!

I haven't seen any weight ratings but Diamondback is promoting the EXP in particular as a vehicle for bike packing. Kurt Gensheimer, Eric Porter and James Adamson are in a video for DB with highlights of their trip on EXP's on remote trails from Reno to Nevada City. The video shows them bombing downhill with 25+ lbs of gear with no problems.

Gensheimer wrote this review of the Haanjo on RoadBikeReview.com: http://www.roadbikereview.com/review...re-bike-review

You can also read about their trip in November 2016 issue of Bicycle Times (Rediscovering the Lost Sierra).

For my part, I'm not a small guy at over 200 lbs and I had no issues on the Haanjo. The bike feels light but tough. The squarish top tube and robust bottom bracket housing also lend to the impression of ruggedness.

Last edited by tcy2112; 10-02-16 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 10-02-16, 05:41 AM
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Sounds ideal. I'm 200 lbs exactly.
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Old 10-02-16, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jeff400650 View Post
Sounds ideal. I'm 200 lbs exactly.
Congrats on your purchase!

Please follow up and tell us about the fit. My brother wants to order one, but we are a little squeamish about the sizing. He's a little over 6' and the 56 looks a bit small.

Thanks.
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Old 10-02-16, 10:03 AM
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I will keep this thread updated. I am finding the Performance Bike website to be buggy and unresponsive. Various tabs I click on don't do anything. There is no record of my order, so I'm not sure when I will get the bike.
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Old 10-10-17, 05:59 PM
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Did you finally get the bike and what are your impressions?

I've been eyeing and researching this bike too...There's a guy nearby whose dad got in an accident and he's selling one (2017) in brand new condition asking 1200. I have a neck injury from a car crash, so I'm planning flat barring it and adding friction shifters with Ergon GP5s (BTW, my orthopedist insists I ride carbon).
I like the simplicity and ease of tuning/adjusting the friction shifters.

I do about 75/25 road/off-road and like the fact that it the frame has rack mounts & eyelets. I will be getting some 700c rims first thing.

About the video mentioned earlier-- it shows the guys doing the route, but they appear to be packed very light. I'll have to contact DB to see what the max load is...

Please give us an update eon your experience with the EXP Carbon! THX.
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Old 10-11-17, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jeff400650 View Post
I will keep this thread updated. I am finding the Performance Bike website to be buggy and unresponsive. Various tabs I click on don't do anything. There is no record of my order, so I'm not sure when I will get the bike.
Originally Posted by michaelm101 View Post
I've been eyeing and researching this bike too...There's a guy nearby whose dad got in an accident and he's selling one (2017) in brand new condition asking 1200. I have a neck injury from a car crash, so I'm planning flat barring it and adding friction shifters with Ergon GP5s (BTW, my orthopedist insists I ride carbon).
I like the simplicity and ease of tuning/adjusting the friction shifters.

I do about 75/25 road/off-road and like the fact that it the frame has rack mounts & eyelets. I will be getting some 700c rims first thing.

About the video mentioned earlier-- it shows the guys doing the route, but they appear to be packed very light. I'll have to contact DB to see what the max load is...

Please give us an update eon your experience with the EXP Carbon! THX.
You have to quote him or there's a good chance he'll never see this.

BTW why does your orthopedist insist you ride carbon? Never heard that one before..
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Old 10-11-17, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
You have to quote him or there's a good chance he'll never see this.

BTW why does your orthopedist insist you ride carbon? Never heard that one before..
In reference to my spinal injuries, carbon fiber has much higher energy dissipation than other competing materials, all things being equal. Some carbon frames will be molded harder or softer than others, of course.

Theoretically, a full suspension bike would be best for a case like me. I certainly, can't (won't) go that route on the pavement and for light off road riding.


There are new formulations that help to make carbon fiber durable, & less hazardous in terms of internal fiber breakdown. I can't post the link here because I need 10 posts or more under my belt...

ON A DIFFERENT NOTE: from Dback this morning: "We have tested or Haanjo carbon frames to a maximum of 25lbs for the rear rack and a maximum of 20lbs for the front rack."

This makes it just fine for me!
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Old 10-11-17, 01:34 PM
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The EXP is an amazingly fun bike. I had a Di2 kit available and did a drivetrain/brake swap, put on my mtb or CX wheels and off I've gone. Love the bike and would buy it again. Versatile, comfortable and high grin factor. Given the tall standover, I went down a size and it's been okay.

27.5x2.1 and 700x40


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Old 10-11-17, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeedyChix View Post
The EXP is an amazingly fun bike. I had a Di2 kit available and did a drivetrain/brake swap, put on my mtb or CX wheels and off I've gone. Love the bike and would buy it again. Versatile, comfortable and high grin factor. Given the tall standover, I went down a size and it's been okay.

27.5x2.1 and 700x40
Nice! What wheelset did you go with on the 700s?
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Old 10-11-17, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by michaelm101 View Post
Nice! What wheelset did you go with on the 700s?
Thanks.
Had a set of Bontrager TLR 29 mtb wheels that I use for CX/gravel and share with the EXP now too. They are 23ish internal width so work well with mid-width tires. So far I tend to like the 27.5 setup a bit better. Could be treads and what I was riding on (off road most of the time with the 27.5s).
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Old 10-11-17, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeedyChix View Post
Thanks.
Had a set of Bontrager TLR 29 mtb wheels that I use for CX/gravel and share with the EXP now too. They are 23ish internal width so work well with mid-width tires. So far I tend to like the 27.5 setup a bit better. Could be treads and what I was riding on (off road most of the time with the 27.5s).
I'm a long-time backpacker dreaming of bikepacking/touring through beautiful places,........... but, for now, I'm forced to be a bit more street oriented and live/ride in an area where the traffic/street design often forces me off the pavement into the dirt shoulder (sometimes ungraded and downright brutal!) -- a form of "adventure-biking" I guess, LOL! Therefore, I'm seeking a set to accommodate 700c x 28-35s.

I'm getting mixed messages from D-back. One rep says the front is 15mm, the other says it's 12mm. Could you please clarify? THX!
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Old 10-11-17, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by michaelm101 View Post
I'm a long-time backpacker dreaming of bikepacking/touring through beautiful places,........... but, for now, I'm forced to be a bit more street oriented and live/ride in an area where the traffic/street design often forces me off the pavement into the dirt shoulder (sometimes ungraded and downright brutal!) -- a form of "adventure-biking" I guess, LOL! Therefore, I'm seeking a set to accommodate 700c x 28-35s.

I'm getting mixed messages from D-back. One rep says the front is 15mm, the other says it's 12mm. Could you please clarify? THX!
The one I have is a 12TA. Bike will easily handle that width of tire.

Your road situation sounds like urban warfare and survival skills in high demand. Traffic is part of what finds me on back roads and trails now. Start making plans for those dreams so you get to 'em
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Old 10-27-17, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeedyChix View Post
The one I have is a 12TA. Bike will easily handle that width of tire.

Your road situation sounds like urban warfare and survival skills in high demand. Traffic is part of what finds me on back roads and trails now. Start making plans for those dreams so you get to 'em
Thanks for the advice... I just bought the EXP! The 650s are great off road (1st time riding this size) and I just love the geometry of this bike! Was planning on converting to flat bar and friction thumbies, but the drop bar with my experimental 35 degree stem is not affecting my neck issues...yet.

I need to get it ready for urban warfare, however (700 x 28-35) and am having a hard time finding a reasonably priced, disc capable 9spd wheelset in 12 x 100 & 12 x 142 thru axle... Any suggestions would be very appreciated!
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Old 10-27-17, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by michaelm101 View Post
Thanks for the advice... I just bought the EXP! The 650s are great off road (1st time riding this size) and I just love the geometry of this bike! Was planning on converting to flat bar and friction thumbies, but the drop bar with my experimental 35 degree stem is not affecting my neck issues...yet.

I need to get it ready for urban warfare, however (700 x 28-35) and am having a hard time finding a reasonably priced, disc capable 9spd wheelset in 12 x 100 & 12 x 142 thru axle... Any suggestions would be very appreciated!
Older 29er mtb disc wheelsets work great for this. They are narrower internal than mtb use for today. Something like these: https://www.ebay.com/itm/29er-Wheel-...d/172945367980
If they have convertible front hub you can swap caps from 15 to 12; or pick up one of the 15 to 12mm front axle shims available from ti cycles or at least one vendor on eBay. Another is to watch for a CX rider who is upgrading their stock wheels for something lighter.
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Old 10-27-17, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeedyChix View Post
Older 29er mtb disc wheelsets work great for this. They are narrower internal than mtb use for today. If they have convertible front hub you can swap caps from 15 to 12; or pick up one of the 15 to 12mm front axle shims available from ti cycles or at least one vendor on eBay. Another is to watch for a CX rider who is upgrading their stock wheels for something lighter.
Thanks for the tip! I'm thinking I'll need minimum 32 spokes in the rear for on / off road light touring...
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Old 08-13-18, 03:48 PM
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If I may resurrect the thread. I am looking real hard at the Haanjo 5C EXP, which looks to be the same as the old model except it doesn't have full knobby tires, it has WTB Byway's 650x47. $1575 with the corporate discount. I want to get it for overnight bikepacking trips sleeping in the woods. I have some nice routes with little traffic, mostly pavement but some off road sandy firebreak sections as well. It is correct that it weighs @21 lbs as I read in the review? Just wondering because the WTB tires on the current model would be almost a full pound lighter compared to the Schwalbe Smart Sam's on the old one. If it's a 20lb bike then that's pretty good, 21lbs was fine already.

Here's their newer video, the teal color is in stock now.

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Old 08-19-18, 06:58 PM
  #23  
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I say stop obsessing with minute weight differences. Diamondback changed the bike and made it less "bike-packer" and more broadly marketable by swapping out the olive drab color and the knobby tires. It's an amazing bike, and it has become my favorite bike for both touring, bike packing and road riding with a quick swap of wheels. Geometry is simply amazing and I have since purchased other Haanjo bikes for different applications. You can't go wrong at that price point...
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Old 08-20-18, 08:01 AM
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I'm not "obsessed" with weight, but when you pay a lot of money for a bike it's certainly something to look at. I see the '18 EXP made the switch to flat mount brakes as well. That's a plus.
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