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On-One Vandal GX review

Titanium desirability for a moderate price

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
From GBP £1,599.00 RRP | USD $2,048.00 | EUR €2,032.00
£1,939 for bike as tested
Pack shot of the On One Vandal GX hardtail mountain bike

Our review

The Vandal is a capable shredder for a wide variety of trails and is prime for upgrades because its frame should last a lifetime
Pros: Titanium frame should maintain its desirability for years to come; versatility
Cons: The tall stack limits bar-height options; moderate reach and fairly tall seat tube may prevent sizing up
Skip to view product specifications

The On-One Vandal is the popular UK-based direct sales brand’s titanium-framed hardtail mountain bike.

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On-One has been releasing competitively priced bikes for years, covering everything from gravel bikes to hardcore hardtails. The Vandal is peddled as a trail-thrashing rig with all-day adventure capabilities.

So, does it deliver performance to match the desirability of its titanium frame?

On-One Vandal GX frame and geometry

The heart of the Vandal is its titanium frame, designed for 29in wheels. Long has titanium been a premium bike material due to its strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion and impact resistance, durability and compliance.

The frame uses simple yet user-friendly external cable routing with an inlet for a dropper cable. In addition, there’s a bottle cage mount in the front triangle, a BSA threaded bottom bracket and Boost hub spacing.

Geometry-wise, the Vandal sports a capable 65-degree head tube angle and hardtail-friendly 74.5-degree seat tube angle.

There are four sizes available, with reach figures of 417mm to 437mm, 455mm and 495mm, from small to extra-large.

I tested the large size here due to the relatively short reach figures – it’s common for me to test a medium frame. All sizes share the stable 445mm chainstays. Seat tubes are moderate, with a 460mm length on the size large tested.

SMLXL
Seat angle (degrees)747474.574.5
Head angle (degrees)65656565
Chainstay (mm)445445445445
Seat tube (mm)415430460485
Top tube (mm)602624635678
Head tube (mm)105110120130
Bottom bracket drop (mm)65656565
Wheelbase (mm)1,185.31,2071,225.21,271
Stack (mm)637642651660
Reach (mm)417437455495

On-One Vandal GX specifications

On One enables you to customise the Vandal’s build on its website. My test bike featured the brand’s stock build with a dropper post and tyre upgrade.

The Vandal GX comes with SRAM’s GX Eagle derailleur, shifter and cranks, paired with a SRAM SX Eagle cassette (11-50t) and chain. Also from SRAM are the Guide G2 R brakes with 180mm rotors.

A RockShox 35 Gold RL fork delivers 130mm of travel. It features a Motion Control damper sporting a low-speed compression damping adjuster with a lock-out and low-speed rebound-damping adjustment.

WTB i30 rims are laced to Formula hubs and the test bike was fitted with Schwalbe Nobby Nic Addix Performance tyres. The Vandal is finished with kit from Selcof, including the 780mm bars and 50mm stem. The dropper post is upgraded to a Selcof Watchtower.

This build weighed in at 13.42kg.

On-One Vandal GX ride impressions

It’s a comfortable rather than playful ride downhill.
Russell Burton / Our Media

I rode the Vandal GX around the Forest of Dean and more local trails in the Mendips. This presented a mix of smooth-gravel trail centre trails and hand-cut trails littered with roots, rocks and drops.

On-One Vandal GX climbing performance

The first thing I noticed about the Vandal was its high front end. The frame’s tall stack height, at 451mm, sits you upright. That isn’t necessarily a negative and gives a comfortable seated position.

You might be thankful for it if you’re riding steady all-day epics. However, it’s not aggressive enough if you want to race up flowing singletrack. Flatter handlebars or a zero-stack headset could help lower the front end.

It also means you must actively shift your weight forward on steep climbs to help get the front wheel to track well.

This isn’t an issue on most blue trails, but on some red routes and access to wilder trails, steep sections need a little more concentration to stop the front wheel lifting and wandering about.

Pedalling up rougher trails, a wider mountain bike tyre would help enable the Vandal to seek out more traction, but overall the supplied tyres were fine for most trails.

The Vandal is a comfortable climber and gets the job done without much fuss, but it’s more suited to cruising up the hills rather than hard charging.

On-One Vandal GX descending performance

While the tall front end keeps you feeling safe on the descents and adds reassurance that you’re not going to be pitched over the handlebars when tackling steeper or rougher trails, it doesn’t deliver the most direct steering response.

The steering isn’t vague, but it’s not the most urgent either. The 65-degree head tube angle helps give the bike a confident geometry. However, the tall stack height didn’t allow the bike to be flicked into turns with the commitment you would expect.

The high front end kept me from finding an ideal position over the front wheel, preventing me from using my arms to throw the bike around as I would like.

For most trail-centre riding, its cornering ability doesn’t dampen the fun you can have. However, when riding less well-built trails, the high handlebar height means it reacts a little more casually than I would like.

The titanium frame gave a good ride feel over various trails and tackled rough, rooty descents with composure. Even with 2.3in tyres that are quite narrow for a hardtail, the Vandal never felt as if it was harsh or delivered a rider-beating feel. This is great for long rides, where comfort is more important.

The fairly long 445mm chainstay means it’s not the most playful or easy hardtail to pop a manual or hop around on the trail. Other hardtails, such as the Specialized Fuse, have a more nimble rear end to boost ‘flickablilty’ on certain features. However, it helps offer stability when the speed picks up.

The RockShox 35 Gold RL forks did an admirable job of taking the sting out of the trail and are a capable unit. Even better, the 35mm chassis should be upgradable to RockShox’s Charger damper internals found on more expensive models.

The SRAM drivetrain and brakes worked well and were up to the task of trail duties. The rest of the kit didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the bike either.

On-One Vandal GX bottom line

The Vandal GX’s titanium frame should last you a lifetime.
Russell Burton / Our Media

The Vandal is a good bike with great potential for upgrades. It might not suit those looking for a stretched-out ride, or those who want an aggressive riding position.

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However, it’s got most rides and trails covered with a character that’s impressive and stable at speed. For riders looking for a competent titanium hardtail that will get you everywhere comfortably, this is worth a look.

Product Specifications

Product

Price EUR €2032.00GBP £1599.00USD $2048.00
Weight L
Brand On-one

Features

Available sizes S, M, L, XL
Headset Selcof Semi-Integrated Cup Cartridge Bearing
Tyres Schwalbe Nobby Nic Addix Performance 29x2.3in
Stem Selcof Hot Box, 50mm
Shifter SRAM GX Eagle
Seatpost Selcof Watchtower
Saddle San Marco Monza Start
Rear derailleur SRAM GX Eagle (1x12)
Handlebar Selcof Enduro6 Riser, 780mm
Bottom bracket SRAM DUB BSA 73mm
Grips/Tape On-One Knurl Grip / Black
Frame Titanium, Ti-3Al-2.5V
Fork RockShox 35 Gold RL, 130mm (5.1in) travel
Cranks SRAM GX Eagle (1x12)
Chain SRAM SX Eagle
Cassette SRAM PG-1210.11-50t
Brakes SRAM Guide G2 R, 180/160mm rotors
Wheels WTB I30 29er On Formula Boost 6 Bolt hubs