Commuting around large cities can be a headache, so many urbanites opt for travel choices that avoid sitting stuck in traffic or crammed into public transportation. One of those choices is environmentally-friendly bike commuting, and the Continuum Onyx from Priority Bicycles is the perfect bike for the job. You’re getting some unique and standout features with the Onyx, and at a lower cost than many commuter bikes with similar components. Riding around bike-friendly Denver has been a pleasure on the Onyx.
The first steps when you receive the bike is assembly, which I completed easily on my own in under an hour following Priority’s assembly video. Self-assembly saves money, immediately offsetting part of the bike’s initial cost. And of course, there’s always a bit of pride putting something together. One note, the company recommends having a professional double-check your work if you choose self-assembly.
Next jump on the bike, pedal around, and grab the NuVinci shifter. A continuously variable transmission utilizes a rubber belt that gradually adjusts resistance, providing a range of ratios rather than using fixed gears. Shifting is a thing of silent beauty, so smooth and quiet you may not realize it’s happening. But the resistance indicator is fool-proof: whether on a hill or cruising flat ground, simply rotate the handle until the graphic matches the pitch. The rear hub is completely self-contained, so you don’t have to worry about slipping a chain, or belt in this case, and fewer moving parts means less maintenance.
Other components include Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, puncture-resistant Continental tires to protect from glass and other hazards, rechargeable back light and kinetically-powered Dynamo front light that charges while you ride and remains on for a time after you stop, such as for a stoplight. Finally, this bike looks great. The sleek black with reflective accents looks tough, and its overall style is eye-catchingly simple and clean.
The Onyx is not the lightest commuter bike, mostly due to the CTV rear hub. That said, this 5’5” 120lb lady had little difficulty carrying it up and down two flights of stairs. Also, the $999 pricetag may be more than what some people want to spend, despite all the features you’re getting for the price: you can certainly find a commuter bike for less.
Bottom Line: Top to bottom, assembly to every ride after, this is a solid city bike, especially for the cost with everything included. Shifting is unexpectedly seamless for an all-around incredibly smooth ride. It’s everything a city commuting bike should be.
Best for: Regular city commuters; casual rides on bike trails and around parks