The thought of a carbon 29er hardtail frame for less than £300 sounds enticing, but can it live up to the test?
Bicycle manufacturers are always banging on about the inherent damping characteristics of carbon, and on some bikes you can even feel the fibres working their magic — the Trek Fuel EX and Canyon Grand Canyon CF instantly spring to mind. The On-One Lurcher isn’t one of those bikes, however. Yes, it’s incredibly stiff and it’s impressively lightweight – our test bike weighed a scant 12.3kg with a bog-standard build-kit – but the frame offers a somewhat dead uninspiring ride…wooden even.
The shape’s not great either. OK, the steering geometry isn’t twitchy, which is good, but the 18in frame is at least 30mm too short at the front. It’s high too. I’m 5ft 11in with average leg length and I had zero standover clearance on the 18in Lurcher thanks to the upward curvature of the top tube. It’s not the only curve that I took issue with either. The kinked seat tube left me with no more than a couple of inches of saddle height adjustment. So if the top tube doesn’t hit you in the nuts, the back of the saddle certainly will.
At the discounted price of £279.99 the Lurcher is undeniably cheap, but given the lack of reach and standover, and the lifeless ride quality of the carbon lay-up, I’m not convinced that it’s particularly good value.