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First Impressions: The New Haro Saguaro 1 is a Fun, Well Spec’d, Shreddy, Slack, 29er Hardtail

First Impressions Haro Saguaro 1 Hero(Photos/Ron Frazelle)
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Well, I’ve mentioned it enough in a few of my recent articles… like this one, that one….oh, and this other one here. I guess it’s about time I let you know what my first impressions are of Haro Bike’s new Saguaro 1 hardtail mountain bike.

First Impressions Haro Saguaro 1 Front side
(Photos/Ron Frazelle)

Well, I like it… a lot. I’m having a really fun time on this bike. Quick confession, I’ve been “almost” exclusively riding rigid mountain bikes for close to ten years. I say almost because from 2018 through 2020 I did enjoy my RSD Middle Child until I got the itch during the pandemic to sell it and build something different. Regretted that decision almost instantly.

First Impressions Haro Saguaro 1 back side mountians

Anywho, on to the Haro Suguaro 1. It has a great spec sheet, and geometry that is both comfortable and aggressive at the same time. I’ve made a few small component upgrades, but for the most part, the bike is still in stock form. Let’s get into the details.

Hardtails Rule!

When I choose to ride a bike with suspension, my choices always seem to turn to hardtails. For me, a hardtail means less maintenance. It means a little more concentration on the trail, as picking your line on a descent becomes a little more important. This makes it fun for me the same way a fully rigid MTB would. And the Haro will be no exception. Although this FOX fork that’s spec’d on the Saguaro does make it more comfortable while doing it.

The Saguaro 1

The Haro Saguaro hardtails come in three spec levels – Saguaro 3, 2, and 1. The Saguaro 3 retails for $1899, the 2 retails for $2399 and the 1 retails for $3999 (tested). All of the bikes seem to have smart specs and are a good value for the money.

Haro sent me a large Saguaro 1. The electronic SRAM GX Transmission 12-speed drivetrain was fairly easy to set up. It obviously won’t have any cables to replace or adjust, which is nice. And the reliable, easy-to-set-up FOX fork adds to the bike’s simplicity.

Saguaro 1 Specsheet

That being said, let’s go over a few more of the great components this bike was spec’d with.

  • Frame: Hydroformed, heat-treated 6061-T6 aluminum frame. Double-butted top and down tubes with internal cable routing. the frame also uses size-specific chainstay lengths. Set up for a UDH derailleur hanger and clearance for 2.6″ tires.
  • Fork: FOX 36 Performance Elite, with 140mm travel. Grip X2. 44mm rake.
  • Cranks: SRAM GX Transmission 32t chainring
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM GX Transmission 12-speed
  • Derailleur Shifter: SRAM GX Transmission 12-speed
  • Cassette: SRAM GX Transmission 10/52t
  • Tires: Kenda Pinner 29X2.4 ATC (front) and Kenda Nevegal 2, 29X2.4 ATC (rear). Sealant included.
  • Wheels/Rims: DT Swiss XM 1700 Aluminum, hooked, tubeless TC, 30mm inner width, 32H
  • Front Hub: DT Swiss XM 1700 Spline, 110 x 15mm boost thru-axle
  • Rear Hub: DT Swiss XM 1700 Spline, 148 x 12mm boost thru-axle
  • Brakes: TRP Evo-4-piston brakes, 203mm rotor up front and 180mm in the rear
  • Grips: WTB Wavelength lock-on
  • Handlebar: Race Face Turbine R. 800mm wide X 20mm rise
  • Stem: Race Face Turbine R. 35mm
  • Headset: FSA Orbit sealed, tapered 1-1/8″- 1-1/5″
  • Saddle: WTB Volt Medium with chromoly rails. PU Leather. Flex tuned
  • Seatpost: TranzX JD-YSI35 dropper 210mm drop

Parts I’ve Replaced

Even though this bike is spec’d really well, I replaced a few things right off the bat. I’ve got this bike for a long-term review and will also use it to review other parts in the near and not-so-near future.


First Impressions Haro Saguaro 1 Teravail kessels

The very first thing I replaced, before I even rode the bike were the Kenda Tires. I replaced them with a set of Teravail Kessels, for both the front and rear, in the 29×2.6 flavor with the “durable” tan wall casing. I think Tan walls always make a bike look better.


First Impressions Haro Saguaro 1 Ergon saddle

The second thing I replaced was the saddle. I replaced it with one of my favorite “modern” saddles, the Ergon SM Pro Mens in the M/L size. I say “modern” because I usually ride the Brooks B17 exclusively… but the B17 won’t work well in this application.

Grips and Cockpit Additions

First Impressions Haro Saguaro 1 Ergon Grips

On to the grips. Although I am a big fan of just about everything WTB does, I didn’t care for the Wavelength grips that came stock on the Saguaro 1. Along with Ergon’s saddles, I am a big fan of their grips. I swapped in the Ergon GE1 Evo Factory in the Frozen Moss/Oil Slick color. They look marvelous and feel great.

I added a Spurcycle Original Bell to the cockpit as well. I need a bell on a lot of trails that I ride. And for me, there is no other bell on the market like this one. I also got the new Denim/Indigo color. It’s beautiful.

First Impressions Haro Saguaro 1 Paul dropper trigger

I’ve always wanted to review the Paul Components Dropper Trigger, so when I got the Saguaro 1 and built it up, I noticed the dropper lever didn’t feel great. So, I opted to install and review the Paul Dropper Trigger on the Saguaro. Check out that review here.

Bottle Cage and Computer Mount

First Impressions Haro Saguaro 1 King Cage

I don’t like riding with a hydration pack. I can tolerate a nice hip pack, but I prefer a good ol’ water bottle on my bike, and the Saguaro 1 comes with a bottle mount in the front triangle. So that’s nice. I then added the King Cage Stainless Steel Side Loading bottle cage to the Haro. I wrote a review of this cage here.

First Impressions Haro Saguaro 1 K-edge Gravity Mount

Lastly, the unsung heroes of all of the gear I use are my K-Edge computer mounts. They very rarely get mentioned and are always there doing what they are supposed to do, without a complaint or issue. So, of course, I added my K-Edge Gravity Top Cap Mount.

Haro Suguaro 1 Geometry

Comes in sizes S, M, L (tested), and XL

The colors are Metallic Green (tested) and Matte Mauve


My Initial Thoughts on the Ride

I’ve found the first couple of rides on the Haro Saguaro 1 refreshingly familiar. As I mentioned earlier, it’s been a while since I’ve ridden a bike with a slack front end and decent front suspension. As someone who prefers to ride steel bikes, I found myself very conscious of the way the frame rode on the first few rides.

First Impressions Haro Saguaro 1 on the Loop

I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t notice any overt harshness in the rear end. Although it’s early in the review period, there’s been none of that crazy harsh ride that I remember aluminum frames to dish out. Don’t mistake what I am saying, the Saguaro 1 rides like you’d expect a hardtail would. But, not because the frame is overly stiff.

29er For the Win

I like the way this bike handles with the 29″ wheels. It rolls over everything with grace. The FOX 36 Performance Elite fork helps a lot with that. But, that being said when compared to the 27.5 RSD Middle Child I had, I find the Saguaro 1 much more capable and nimble.

As suspected, it is fast on the descent. On the trail that I’ve been riding, there is a 1.5-mile descent that has a few chunky, rocky sections and the Saguaro 1 bulldozed right through it where I clocked 34.1 MPH….like buttah. The high volume, low pressure, 2.6 Kessles helped here as well, I’m sure.

It’s a Hardtail

But, it’s a hardtail and there were parts of the trail, on the descent, where that fact was painfully obvious. With the lower bottom bracket, the bike seemed to stay planted and stable. Even on the fast rocky parts of the trail, the bike never felt like it was going to bounce or skip offline. If I picked the line, the Saguaro took it.


First Impressions Haro Saguaro 1 front rotor

The TRP Trail EVO brakes feel fantastic. With the 210mm front rotor and the 180mm rear rotor, stopping power is on hand and very present. The modulation is great, and there is so much power on hand.

First Impressions Haro Saguaro 1 TRP Tail EVo

The levers have a quick reach adjustment by just twisting the dial right behind the lever. It reminded me of the kick-ass ol’ Avid Speed Dial Levers. Remember those? Those were sick!

First Impressions Haro Saguaro 1 FOX 36 fork

Due to the reach and longer front end and bigger wheels, it seems to be a lil’ bit hard to pull the front end up over some obstacles. As you’d expect from a hardtail, it climbs well, even though it’s on the heavier end of the spectrum at 34lbs.

Riding the Saguaro in the New Hood

First Impressions Haro Saguaro 1 First Ride
First “shake down” ride

The terrain I am riding it on the most is around our new house up in the mountains. It’s very rocky at times with a lot of loose over hard pack, and the occasional sandy sections. I still have yet to find a lot of places to ride here. So, I am excited to get it down the mountain on familiar trails, where I can make some good comparisons. But, more on that in the full review.

Wait, What About The Transmission?

SRAM Shift Pod

I know I haven’t talked about the electronic SRAM GX Transmission yet, and I don’t think I will until the full review, as it’s way too early for me to make a final judgment call. What I will say is that on the 3 or 4 rides I’ve done on the SRAM GX, I’m not very impressed.

First Impressions Haro Saguaro 1 SRAM Shift pod

I will say setting it up with the app was pretty neat, and fairly easy. The shift pod is unnatrual and awkward to use. Maybe I could get used to it…again too early to tell. But we’ll dive into that after a bit longer on the product.

There’s More to Come!

Well, I’m very excited to have this bike and to run it through its paces over the next few months. It’s a fun bike so far, that just wants to go fast. And I am anticipating many, many miles of fun to come. Stay tuned here for more!


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16 days ago

single speed capability would be cool

15 days ago
Reply to  hibye

@hibye–just don’t charge the ‘transmission’ haha

12 days ago

How much does this bike weigh? How is it for dirt jumping? How many miles do you have on it so far?

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