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Carbon 456 meets the 7 Stanes

This weekend, whilst Stevo’s busy polishing his Whippet, a few of us lucky On-One types took the new Carbon 456 out of the showroom and up Scotland for a jolly on the Borders. After all, Glentress and Innerleithen are the natural habitat for this kinda hardcore trail bike, and some of us missed a chance to get it dirty in last winter’s testing.

The trip started like any other, 3 hours flat out on the M6 wondering if the roof rack would hold. The obligatory night in the Traquair Arms and then a late start Saturday morning at Glentress.

We seemed to attract a bit of attention in the car park. Might have been Jon's leggings and 80s crash hat, but more likely the radical, stealthy, carbon hardtail with white tyres. We were itching to hammer it around the red loop.

The ride got off to a rocky start – no pun intended. The steering felt sluggish, like the headset was sticking, but when we lifted the wheel it spun freely. It had us baffled for a moment but on closer inspection we realised that were missing something quite important. The top headset bearings! Nothing that couldn’t be fixed without some serious piss-taking on Monday, so we fixed it and headed on our way.

Note to self: Bikes work better bearings in your headset.

So what did we make of it? The overwhelming first impression is speed. For a monster like this designed to take every bit of punishment a rider can throw at it, this bike is super fast, agile and fun. The other factor you can't miss is how solid it feels. Not surprising really given it has 50% more carbon than the 29er. At 1.5 kg it’s still not heavy, just really really beefy.

With its all black-matt look it felt kinda military – in an SAS meets singletrack kinda way. The down tube has a V-shaped profile, like an armoured personnel carrier, deflecting any direct hits.  I remember Stevo going into some (too much) detail about the narrow end of an egg being stronger than the other. We skipped the science and left it to Jon to whack it with a rock. Not on purpose of course, but for anyone who’s been to Innerleithen, you’ll know how that it happens. And this one was a biggy; other than a really satisfying "thwack" and an "oh shit!" from Jon, the impact test was passed with flying colours.

Check out the pics and get ready. We think the carbon revolution is coming!

All in all, a great weekend.

Click here to get your own Carbon 456

PS – Thanks to Andy McKenna of Innerhaven for what has to be one of the best MTB pads in the country.

16 May 2010


  • SimonB

    We may in the future introduce a more downhill specific carbon frame - but unfortunately at present the drop-out's can not be adjusted.

  • RichardR

    Any Chance of making drop outs that will slacken the frame up 1- 1.5 degrees?

  • JonB

    Hi Alex, in answer to your question on fork crown offsets, here's On-One's technical guru Steve 'O' with his pro opinion: "G2 forks really need to run on a G2 geometry Frame... The "idea" of G2 is to have "sharper" steering response for 29ers. G2 geometry normally has a short TT and longer fork offset. Normal Fork offset is 40mm, so 52mm is a large difference. I suspect that 52mm offset would feel weird and would be too much?? I would post this on a forum and see if anyone else has done this".

  • adamh

    will the hope headsets be available in different colours? (the ones that are coming in on friday)

  • AlexC

    Whats the maximum fork Crown offset would you recommend for the 456? I've got a G2 fox fork i want to use on it, it has 52mm offset, to much?

  • JonB

    Headsets to fit the Carbon 456 tapered headtube are on their way! We'll have stocks of Hope 1 1/2in to 1 1/8in reducer headsets as of this Friday (4th June) to allow standard non-tapered forks to be used with the tapered headtube. These will retail for about £55. In addition we have a quantity of Token headsets due in about 2 weeks time and as soon as they are back in stock we'll have the FSA Gravity SX and SXE (expected end of June). Don't worry, we won't leave you stranded!

  • JonB

    Hi Colm, steel 456's in 14" are due the beginning of August. As for the Ti frames, our margin is already pretty slim so can't be making any promises! We'll do our best...

  • markw

    This must be covered somewhere, but can't a forum/post on it. Have ordered a carbon 456 frame, so looking at headset options. Hope do a step down 1.5-1 1/8th headset which I am interested in, but not sure on stack height. Anyone point me in the right direction with regard to options? Thanks

  • ColmB

    Hi Jonb,thanks for info. When will you have steel 456, 14inch frames in stock? Will the Ti frames have pre order special price?

  • JonB

    Hi Colm. We hope to make 14" frames available in the future but due to the high cost of re-tooling for each size we are not able to offer both the carbon 456 and Whippet in 14" initially. The shorter travel whippet is lighter and we think better suited to smaller riders so it will be that model that is released first in the small size but unfortunately at present we don't have a due date. The Ti 456 frames will come in 14" however and are on track for availability end of June / early July.

  • ColmB

    Will there be 14inch frames available at some stage? What happen't to the Ti 456 frames?

  • MondoJ

    Thanks Jon! I just ordered a Chris King InSet headset for a 1-1/8 - 1.5 inch tapered head tube with their reducer crown race so I can run the Fox 32 Float 140 fork with the standard 1 1/8" steerer - that I also bought from you guys. Now comes the hard part... the waiting :o(

  • JonB

    Re: headsets Mondo- your tapered Chris King should do the trick. Bear in mind that there are 2 kinds of headsets to fit a tapered headtube frame such as this- a true tapered headset (to fit forks with a tapered steerer tube) and a reducer headset (steps the lower 1 1/2 bearings down to 1 1/8 for use with standard forks). We will be stocking the FSA Gravity SXE reducer and Gravity SX tapered to fit these frames.

  • JonB

    Yes Sam the Carbon 456 frames are once again available to pre-order, though again for the moment only in 18" (news on 16" and 20" arrival dates to follow). Follow this link to the product page:

  • SamR

    Are the frames still available to preorder?

  • MondoJ

    Just pre-ordered my frame and interested in information on the headset specs? Will the Chris King InSet Headset (1-1/8 - 1.5 inch tapered) work for this frame?

  • JonB

    Hi Sean yes you are correct the Carbon 456 will initially ship with vertical drop-outs. The horizontal single speed swap-outs will be available separately and are due to soon after the first batch of frames arrive.

  • SeanC

    Looks like I may drop the Kona Big Unit purchase I had planned for my return to mountain biking. I want to buy the 18" offer but am confused on the website details; "Swap-outs for a do everything frame (Replacement hanger and Singlespeed upgrade)" "Dropouts Vertical (Horizontal available seperately)" I want the option to run this as singlespeed first and maybe a hub gear later. Is that possible with the 399UKP offer frame? Do I have to wait for the horizontal drop outs to do this assuming they are not on sale already? P.S. A bike wise friend will hopefully help me build this so some basic guidance so I can buy the relevant parts would be handy. Thanks

  • JonB

    Hey up Russella currently we only have the 18" Carbon 456 available to buy on pre-order. Fear not when we receive an accurate shipping date for the 16" and 20" we will add those accordingly. Will keep you posted. Thanks.

  • russella

    How do I pre-order a 16"? Only 18" available on the 'to buy' screen.

  • JonB

    Ed, pre-orders at the limited £399 price will be offered in matt black only I'm afraid. There will be graphics / colour choices in the near future though and even a custom option is in the pipeline.

  • EdJ

    If I were to preorder a frame.. would I definitely get the matte black one you are talking about or is there still a choice? Cheers Ed

  • JonB

    Hi Martin, 20" frames are still due end of June, we still don't have an exact date I'm afraid. Trust me, it will be worth the wait. Goes like shit off a shovel this one.

  • Martinh

    It looks great, any news on when the 20" 456 will be available (I have one on pre-order)

  • JonB

    Forks are the rather excellent Fox Float 32's. We have these at £299, a never to be repeated price!!! These forks are awesome. Running out fast though be quick!

  • JonB

    Carbon 29er 18" due end of July, 19.5" end of August. 16" if there's sufficient demand...Price £699 or less...

  • michaelB

    What forks were you using?

  • MattC

    And 29er eta and pricing....?

  • JonB

    Production frames will look pretty much like this one. Matt black with gloss black logo, check out: We're talking half way between options 1 and 2. Mean.


    Is that what the production frames will look like then? Also any news about the On-One matching headset that was talked about?

  • JonB

    Whippets... 100mm travel 1.2kg XC 18" frames due early July, 16 and 20" end of July, complete bikes August/September(watch out will be VERY competitive...) then 14" frames to follow (early autumn).

  • MarkC

    looks ace, but PLEASE any info on the whippets date please ?

  • JonB

    Yeh it's much cooler than the rider that's for sure!... Conti Race King tyres, performed flawlessly much to the disdain of our chunky tyred full-sus mates. Bog standard Shimano MT15 wheels also did us proud. Recommended.

  • SimonT

    Looks good with that build - what rims and tyres are those?