On One S36 DH Bike Review

By in Bikes,Reviews

vProduct Full Name | On One S36 Downhill Bike

Retail Price | from £1799.99

Available From |  On One

On One S36 – Homegrown Downhill Destroyer

Words | Tony Williams of evolvemtb.co.uk | Photos | Chris Davison

I must admit, On One aren’t a brand that springs to mind when the conversation comes to downhill bikes, but overlook this little beauty at your pockets peril!

On One S36

Photo | Chris Davison

On One has an impressive array of bikes listed on their website, but until now one bike was missing; a full on downhill beast.  That gap has now been filled by the S36, but has the wait been worth it?

The Detail

When I first laid my eyes on the On One S36, it didn’t immediately grab at my lust strings for all things new & shiny.  That said however, the more I studied it’s somewhat familiar shape, the more I began to really like the design of the frame with it’s dropped top tube with seat post tower welded on top, it’s different to the norm, which I like.

On One S36

Photo | Chris Davison

First up the frame. Born and bred in Sheffield, the On One S36 takes its name from the postcode of the steep sided Wharncouver trails as the locals know them; or Wharncliffe Woods if yer from darn Souf.

The frame is made from Double Butted 6061-T6 and is built with oversized bushings and burly shock mounts to help ensure service intervals are minimal.  The head tube is massively reinforced, which supports the oversized tapered headset and has beefy gussets to help distribute the loads.  The On One S36 uses an 83mm threaded BB shell and 157x12mm rear axle offering perfect chain line.

With a competitive 63degree head angle and 200mm of front and rear wheel travel the On One S36 is ready to eat up the steepest, gnarliest tacks you dare to ride for breakfast, and come back asking for more.
What competition is the S36 up against in the downhill market?  Well if you go by specification then the Specialized 2017 Alloy Demo 8 at£3300 is incredibly similar in spec. But the S36 comes as standard at the £1799.99 price bracket with an astonishing array of kit.

Up front is a Rockshox Boxxer RC, which out of the box is a simple, yet effective fork, simple to tune and does the job of smoothing out the trail really well.  Rockshox Kage RC rear shock – again super simple – with compression & rebound adjustment.  The Kage and the Boxxer RC offer a really well balanced feeling bike, with a nice progressive feel at either end.

On One S36

Photo | Chris Davison

Bringing the S36 to a stop are SRAM Guide R brakes, again simple.  They have a lever adjust dial which adjusts the bite point of the brakes, which for me is all I want in a brake lever along with a good shape. SRAM GX1 DH groupset takes care of gear shifting duties, incorporating the same championship-winning SRAM 1X technologies as their German engineered, industry-leading X01 DH drivetrain. Not the lightest in the world, but the GX1 DH kit gives crisp, positive shifting, and great durability.
Getting the S36 rolling along the trail are WTB 650b Frequency i29 rims on El Guapo Rattlesnake hubs, with sealed bearings and a burly freehub body. They’re super strong, fast rolling and can be trusted to take a good beating when be pushed hard in the turns.

On One S36

Photo | Chris Davison

Out On The Trail

If you can sit on a bike for the first time and it feels like your own bike, then you kind of know that it’s going to rock!  The On One S36 is one of those bikes.  I had a quick standard bounce along the fire road and I then nodded to Chris the photographer that I was ready to give it some welly.

On One S36

Photo | Chris Davison

First run and I felt totally at home – hitting a tight, rooty trail into left hander berm, straight into a double. Boom, this baby can fly – the S36 jumps like my trail bike.  On-One says on their website that it feels like an oversize BMX – they’re not wrong. I had one of the biggest, cheesiest grins on my face!

We proceeded to shoot some steeper, rocky technical tracks with bigger and more technical jump lines – and some varied loamy, muddy trails. I couldn’t quite get my head around that I was thrashing the living daylights out of a bike that costs less than £1800 fully built.  The On One S36 is a machine – a bloody fun bike that just pushes you to go that bit faster and bigger.  It is super stable in the air, completely predictable on take off and in flight, and encourages you to throw shapes and get the back end out.  On the rough stuff, it is planted, precise and goes where you want it to go.

On One S36

Photo | Chris Davison

We Say

If you’re looking at getting into downhill, then look no further than the On One S36. It’s an absolutely amazing entry level down hill bike – with performance that shines well above the price tag.  Wherever you point it, it’ll get you to the bottom of the hill in one piece with no worries at all – be that your local DH trails or the Fort William WC track. 

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