The Takeaway: The lightweight Haanjo 8C Carbon gravel bike is more versatile than most, at home on both smooth pavement and rugged backcountry adventures.

  • The carbon frame and fork make for a lightweight, smooth-riding gravel bike.
  • It has a Shimano GRX drivetrain, the company’s dedicated gravel groupset.
  • There are eyelet mounts for front and rear racks and fenders, plus a third bottle mount under the down tube.

Price: $4,400
Weight: 20.6 lb. (59cm)


The Haanjo 8C Carbon is the high-brow version of the $1,100 aluminum Haanjo 3 that earned a Bicycling Editors’ Choice award in 2019. This lightweight, carbon gravel bike is efficient on pavement and cinder paths, tough enough for daily commuting, and capable of overnight bikepacking adventures. At a time when bikes are becoming increasingly specialized, the Haanjo stands out as one that’s equally well-suited to both on- and off-road adventures.

diamondback Haanjo 8C Carbon

Haanjo 8C Carbon

diamondback Haanjo 8C Carbon

$4,600 at
Credit: Diamondback
  • LIghtweight carbon frame, fork, and wheels
  • Shimano GRX 2 x 11-speed drivetrain
  • Some riders may not like the short reach and high stack

A svelte carbon bike may not fit with your idea of the best choice for backcountry riding, but a large part of the Haanjo 8C Carbon’s appeal is that it lands somewhere between the heavier, more burly bikes that are tailor-made for bikepacking trips (though not as sluggish feeling on the road) and the lighter road bikes that aren’t great candidates for daily commuting.

5 Things We Love About the Haanjo 8C Carbon

diamondback haanjo
Clean Lines

Internal cable and brake line routing keeps the bike looking sharp.

Bobby Lea
diamondback haanjo
Wide-Range Gearing

48/32 chainrings and an 11-34 cassette are great for fast roads and slow gravel climbs.

Bobby Lea
diamondback haanjo
Adventure Ready

The frame has mounts for front and rear racks and fenders, and room for a large frame bag.

Bobby Lea
diamondback haanjo
Shimano GRX

Brake hoods are comfortable to hold and levers are easy to grab on rough roads.

Bobby Lea
diamondback haanjo
Extra Bottle Mount

For big adventures or really hot days, a third bottle can come in handy.

Bobby Lea

Room for Your Gear

Unlike most top tubes, which are typically either parallel to the ground or angled downward, the 8C’s curves slightly upward, creating more room in the main triangle. Besides giving the bike a distinct look, the design allows for a larger frame bag, ideal for hauling more gear. And although it’s not overloaded with eyelets, the frame is outfitted with front and rear rack and fender mounts, as well as a mount under the down tube for a third bottle.

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The high top tube feels funny at first, especially if you’re accustomed to sloping top tubes. But the additional space is great if you want to carry a large frame bag and still have room for tall water bottles.
Bobby Lea

Shimano’s dedicated gravel groupset, GRX, is a wonderful choice for this bike. The 2x drivetrain, with 48/32 rings and an 11-34 cassette, provides you with enough gearing at the high end to cruise quickly on smooth pavement. And the 32x34 lowest combination, while not small enough to make steep climbs easy, is adequate for hauling yourself up tough gravel climbs.

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The wide handlebar, with a 16-degree flare, provides great control on rough gravel roads.
Bobby Lea

Shifting is as smooth, crisp, and reliable as you’d expect from Shimano, and the hoods provide a comfortable and secure hand position for both cruising along on smooth pavement and rattling down bone-jarring trails. The brake levers are flared out and swept back, making them easier to grab no matter if you’re riding on the hoods or in the drops. The Easton EC70 carbon bar has a dramatic flare and an ergonomically shaped drop, which almost perfectly matches the backswept angle of the brake lever. When navigating technical roads, it felt great to hold the drops and easily grab a handful of brake without having to awkwardly reach for the lever.

Diamondback Haanjo 8C Carbon Details

Style: Gravel
Material: Carbon
Drivetrain: Shimano GRX810 2 x 11-speed
Cranks 175mm Praxis Girder
Chainring 48/32
Cassette 11-34
Brakes Shimano RX810 Flat Mount Hydraulic Disc
Wheels Easton EC70AX Carbon
Tires 37mm WTB Riddler
Saddle WTB Silverado Pro
Seatpost 27.2mm Easton EC70 carbon
Handlebar Easton EC70AX Carbon, 16-degree flare, 460mm wide
Stem Easton EA70
Tire Clearance 700c x 42mm or 650b x 2.1 inches

Haanjo Family

The Haanjo family is made up of eight models, ranging in price from $750 for the flat-bar, aluminum Haanjo 1 to $4,400 for the 8C carbon model reviewed here. Additionally, there are two carbon models (the $2,800 7C and the $2,400 6C) and four aluminum (the $875 2, $1,100 3, $1,400 4, and $1,800 5).

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A removable plastic clip across the seatstays is there if you want to add a rear fender—and easy to remove if you don’t.
Bobby Lea

Short and Tall

The Haanjo 8C Carbon is characterized by a high stack and short reach. The 378mm of reach on our size 59cm test bike wouldn’t be out of place on a bike two sizes smaller, and 622mm of stack favor a very upright riding position. When I rode my first Haanjo almost two years ago, I was unenthusiastic about a bike that short and high. I prefer a more aggressive fit—a holdover from my racing days—and riding a drop bar bike that put me in a less aggressive position than I use on even a mountain bike was far from appealing. That said, I’ll be the first to admit that the upright position of the Haanjo, paired with a 46cm handlebar, was pleasantly comfortable. The wide, flared-out bar felt great when riding down steep hills, and I appreciated the ease with which I could maneuver the bike at low speed with the bar so much closer to me than is typical on a road or gravel bike. I also enjoyed that the upright position put minimal pressure on my hands and gave me a powerful, upright position for crawling up steep climbs.

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It’s not by accident that the Haanjo logo resembles that of the National Parks. It’s an homage to the adventurous nature of this bike.
Bobby Lea

The Haanjo Can Do a Lot of Things Well

Gravel bikes are inherently versatile, but what’s most striking about the Haanjo 8C Carbon is how well and how wide it straddles the do-it-all spectrum. On gravel and ATV trails, which is where I most appreciated its upright position and wide bar, it gave me a level of control I’m not accustomed to having on more aggressive gravel bikes. On pavement, it’s smooth, comfortable, and spunky. In fact, it’s a real pleasure to ride on the road, which isn’t always the case with gravel bikes. All these characteristics combined make the Haanjo 8C a great daily rider, as well, on both paved and unpaved surfaces. It’s a bike that works—and works well—for a variety of rides and terrain.

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Carbon wheels wrapped in 37mm WTB Riddler rubber add nice vibration damping when chattering over rough roads.
Bobby Lea

Editor's Note: The Haanjo 8C Carbon will be available online in October.

Headshot of Bobby Lea
Bobby Lea
Test Editor, Bicycling
Bobby is part of the Bicycling Test Team and brings with him over a decade of professional racing experience, including 3 Olympic Team berths. Prior to joining Bicycling, he raced professionally on the road and track for over ten years and dabbled in cyclo-cross and cross-country mountain bike racing as a junior. His resume includes a bronze medal at the 2015 Track Cycling World Championships, three trips to the Olympic Games, Pan American titles, and dozens of National titles. In his spare time between testing bikes and continuing to race at a regional level, he can be found enjoying the quieter side of life and cheap beer on the farm he shares with his wife and their 2 dogs, 3 cats, and 14 chickens.