On-One Inbred review$1,139.78

Iconic steel ride

BikeRadar score3/5

This iconic steel frame is still a smooth riding beauty, but the kit selection of our sample doesn’t do it many favours, even if you’re into more leftfield riding.

Ride & equipment: Poor brakes, skinny tyres and bendy bars obscure potential

There are a lot of experienced riders who’ll like the idea of combining a smooth riding steel frame with a lightweight carbon-legged rigid fork. The fork and long, slim frame tubes both resonate and spring off obstacles together in a similar way. They also mean overall chassis weight is comparable to an alloy frame and fork.

Done right, this can create a really well balanced and enjoyable minimal maintenance ride for less technical trails, or riders who have their wits about them and enjoy a challenge. The low overall weight and long singlespeed-friendly top tube stretch make it an obvious foul weather cross-country/race choice too.

Steel framed bikes tend to appeal to experienced buyers looking to create a cult bike and On-One back up their frames with some distinctive equipment options. You need to know what you’re doing to navigate their ever-changing kit options, though, and get a complementary rather than compromising build like this one when you press the ‘buy now’ button.

The ‘forward then back’ sweep of the bar, with its very light steering action and heavily flexed wrists, takes some getting used to and technical leverage is definitely limited by the narrow width.

The Shimano M575 brakes are low on power and we had real problems stopping quickly. While they’re a big part of the light weight and fast rolling performance, the super-skinny Continental Speed King tyres create an uncomfortably rattly and skittery ride compared with previous 2.35in-shod Inbreds we’ve ridden.

The options will probably have changed by the time you read this, so as long as you know what you’re doing with spec you should be able to put together something that does the excellent basic chassis justice.

Chassis: Great value steel frame with lightweight rigid carbon fork

The ‘non-sliding dropout’ Inbred frame is the geared version of the original On-One singlespeed. The evolved own-blend DN6 tubing gives a great ride for the money, and the tubeset has been updated with a larger diameter top tube and lighter rear stays.

Small outside edge chainstay plates mean there’s no need for a cross brace and the Chris De Kerf-style wishbone seatstay arrangement means tyre clearance is massive. The rack mounts on the laser cut dropouts and wishbone won’t work with disc brakes though, so you’ll have to bolt the optional V-brake bosses back on.

On-One’s carbon fork costs the same as the frame (£125) – very impressive value for a fork that rides as well as more expensive big name options. On-One also provide a range of suspension fork options.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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