Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Long Term Review - On One Inbred 29'er

Hello internet'ers...

I guess it's time to do a 2 year+ review of my beloved On-One Inbred 29'er. My initial build is HERE, from 2009.

This bike has gone through a handful of different configurations - standard singlespeed, suspension fork, rigid, 1X9, 18 speed, monster-cross, commuter, back to a standard single speed - and it has graced this blog many times over. I have gone on countless off-road adventures with it and will continue to do so until I am physically unable to ride anymore. It has hung in my garage for weeks at a time... and has also been the only bike I'd ride for weeks at a time. It's rigid, basic, no frills, lo-tech and high-passion. It looks good enough to have people checking it out, but it's also understated enough to be ignored.

I a nutshell: I love this bike.

I have bought, built, ridden and sold many bikes, but there are a handful of bikes that I never intend on selling unless I get into very serious financial trouble. Those three would be my Pake C'Mute, my Surly Pacer and my One-One Inbred... all three are steel with traditional geometry.

The On-One Inbred is a multi-purpose frame that can be built a number of ways, sort of like my other two lifelong bikes. No matter how I configured this frame, it has performed well. The Inbred isn't a high-class, ultra light race bike and it doesn't present itself as one. Conversely, it makes a statement of true passion... as if to convey a message, "Get to pedaling and find your purpose in life."

The steel ride, as I've expressed before in previous posts, has a quality that is soft enough to maintain comfort yet stiff enough to maintain a quick, responsive ride. The Inbred is not light (mine is 26.92 lbs. in its current form), and can probably stand to lose a few pounds with a carbon fork and lighter tires: but what's the point? It does what it's intended to do and an upgrade would be like polishing new chrome. In other words - there's really no point in trying to make this bike into what it's not.

It is well known in the mountain bike world that 29'er wheels have a rolling advantage over 26" wheels. Although you do sacrifice a small amount of steering responsiveness on 180 switchbacks, the big wheel with a fat 2.4, tubeless, cushy tire in front helps when there is no suspension. I am very used to riding without suspension, so what may be "fun" for me may be punishing for others. This frame is designed to be used with both suspension and rigid forks.

The geometry is more "all-around" than cross-country, so you 135lb., lycra wearing hammerheads may not appreciate the ride. I am sure that it would be a great bike to enter your local XC races with, or if configured correctly, would even be a candidate for some cyclocross... but this can't go without saying that there are better options available when you're intending on hardcore racing. No... this is a trail bike to go see the world on.

The extreme sloping top tube helps with stand over: when you need to stop, place a foot on a rock or log, and take in the sights. The frame is a bit long, so a slightly shorter stem from what you're used to riding with may be necessary. Bottom bracket, seat post and headset tubes are all very standard: 68mm English, 27.2 seat post, 1 1/8" headset. Buying this frame and gathering parts from your parts bin can be done. I've also taken into account that if this frame were ever to break, I could easily get it repaired by a local welder (unlike titanium, carbon or aluminum).

The vanilla yellow paint is a little ugly in my opinion. So, going on that theme, I've chosen late 70's "sunrise" colors to go with it: yellow, orange and red. I'd like to eventually get custom paint on there... but I'd probably go with another ugly, eye-sore color like neon-something.

If you are looking for a fast climbing, hardcore, tight steering XC bike, the On-One Inbred is not for you. If you are searching for passion and a life long companion - then look no further. The Inbred will never win a world championship... and that's the whole point.


  1. Thanks for the report. Based on my own research and your reports, I have recently purchased a Pake c'Mute. Is there any way you could go more into detail about that bike? Thanks again!

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