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.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wow! Hello again!

It's been a month since I last posted, but not without reason. My General Agent (my manager) took off to the East Coast to visit family and I had to manage the agency for a short 3 weeks. It didn't eat into my riding time as much as it just ate into my general time, altogether.

A lot has happened in the last month, but I guess I'll start with the whole cyclocross racing thing.

I was getting in some good training rides, and with the help of a new Garmin Forerunner 305 with Heart Rate Monitor, I've been able to see my progression (or digression) from day-to-day. With the aid of this device, I would lay out some hard loops, beat my own times, etc. It has opened up a whole new aspect of riding that I didn't have before, and it's really nice.

All that being said, before I even lined up at the start line at the Surf City Classic last weekend, I was completely indifferent about the whole thing. I had a great start keeping up with the leaders, and after getting dropped on the climb, I just quit. DNF. No go. I asked myself, "WTF am I doing out here?" and I hung it up.

After last year's experience and this year's lack of drive - my Surf City experience was the true litmus test of whether racing is in the cards for me... and it's not. Riding for the sake of riding is what I love about riding. Mentally, I'm pretty exhausted from my career, and so maybe this is why I don't have the desire to compete outside of work. Anyhow... no more race reports from me, unless I'm taking pictures of my brother... but even he is a little "out of it" this year.

I converted my 29'er back to a single speed. If I ever get the wild hair to put gears on it again, please kick me. That bike was meant to be a SS - it is a perfect ride for one gear. It's still pretty heavy, but it is so much better than the heaviness of having multiple speeds - fully loaded it creeps up near 30 lbs. No thanks... I like it this way.

I'm selling my 26" SS if anybody is interested. $320 and it's yours; I'm also going to let my Leader 510 (geared) bike go for $600 o.b.o.

26" Single Speed

26" Leader 510 rigid XC

As always, you can e-mail at dion@dionridesbikes.com

I haven't been doing much in terms of true road riding, and so I've been averaging about 60 miles per week, mostly dirt. Also, since I was "training" for CX racing, my rides were short and hard. The cooler weather has come, so maybe some longer, slower rides are in the future.

One thing that I have been addicted to is Instagram. This is the only place I post pictures of my rides now, so if you're a fellow IG'er, follow me @dionridesbikes and I'll follow you back. I love this phone app, and it lets me document all my rides. Very addicting stuff!

Thanks for visiting my site. I am amazed to learn how many people actually read this thing and I'm glad to be of entertainment. Stay tuned for my "cheap parts" review! You can always support my site by clicking through the Amazon banner at the top to make future Amazon.com purchases. It costs you nothing extra (just a click), but it sure helps me a lot. Thanks again!