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456 through the ages and beyond

456 through the ages and beyond

The first On-One frames were quite odd. Starting out we had just two frames – one a Dirt Jump model called “The Gimp”, designed for 100-135mm suspension forks. It was tough, strong and heavy. The other was a Reynolds 853 singlespeed frame, designed for rigid forks. Or very short suspension.

We evolved the inbred a little, and started offering geared models which took 80-100mm of suspension, but began to notice people using longer travel forks for cross country riding.

We thought about doing something in steel, but instead decided to make a long travel forked bike in alloy, under the Planet X brand. Called “Compo” as it was designed for mooching about on the moors, it was a low speed technical hardtail, featuring very high bottom bracket, steep seat angle, slackish head angle and tough construction. It was a bit odd – something of a “cult hit”, often used to describe commercial failures that only slightly weird people like…

But we liked the ride. And we kept hearing that people liked steel. And we liked steel too. So we had a go at something odd. Deciding that a good way to design a long travel forked bike was to work back from “how steep would it be at full compression”, we sketched a design which showed a 74deg head angle with the fork nearly bottomed out. Put all the bits in the sort of place we thought would work, beefed the tubes up, made some samples. Gave them to very fat and very fast friends to ride, we tested them fitted with small children fitted onto a trailer bike (he's 14 now) and with no issues to report went to production. We used the same spec top tube and downtube. Holding the headtube securely, spreading the stress between those two tubes and also giving excellent lateral stiffness so the front end wouldn’t get all waggy in the rocks.

We made friends with the Lynskey family who made titanium frames, and they did a version, we sold it at a fabulous price and What Mountain Bike awarded it a “perfect 10” – the highest rating (still) ever given to a bike. We made a carbon version – the worlds first 160mm tested full carbon freeride/all mountain hardtail, which is still one of the most innovative frames on the market.

And we sold them  They all sold great. But we knew we could do better.

The Evo design came about with riders pushing trails and forks and tyres more. Starting out with an angle adjusted headset on the 456 Carbon frame, the Evo geometry was a modified original 456 geometry. Still workable with 4, 5 or 6in forks, but with the bottom bracket height lowered slightly for better stability and use with contemporary smaller chainsets than the 46 tooth units of old. A steeper seat angle to allow people to climb hills without having to use a lock down fork. A slightly slacker head angle to give more stability, with the longer top tube to allow a shorter stem length to keep it all balanced.

Small changes, but ones that add up to a bike that’s another progression in mountainbiking. We’re committed to keeping progressing 26in wheeled hardtail design,  for riders that want it, in the face of 650 whotsit and full springy stuff.

So today we’re offering you the complete selection – a carbon 456 with the classic geometry and the Evo geometry 456’s are available in our own DN6 chromoly steel and 3/2.5 Titanium, exclusively from us at On-One, part of Planet X Ltd. We’re proud to be able to supply you with frames and bikes direct at unheard of value, cutting out the middle man, and giving you no nonsense pricing and more bang for your buck.


4 April 2013