Friday, 29 November 2013

Introducing the On One Pickenflick

My riding career, 'cross wise, started in steel - good old fashioned 531 and then 653, eventually handmade for me by a NW framebuilder. And great those frames were too - comfortable, light enough for the job and cost effective. As frame technology moved on, so did my taste in frames and a pair of aluminium Planet X Uncle John's served me well for many years. The Dirty Disco and XLS took things off in an interesting carbon direction but until last year, I hadn't ridden a 'cross bike made out of the one remaining mainstream material, titanium.

On One produced a Ti 'cross frame a few years ago - it was light and popular and ridden to winning effect by one of Britain's few 'cross pros, Matt Ellis and to 3 Peaks success by the ever-green Nick Craig, both of whom had a hand in the design. My old training partner had one too, and very nice they were, attaining a bit of a cult status amongst riders in the know. But production only lasted a couple of years and On One has never revisited the wonder material for 'cross.... until now.

Ignore the Planet X frame sticker - it's an On One!

The new On One Picknflick looks absolutely gorgeous - a sleek, Georg Jensen-esque tapered headtube doubles as home-art if your spouse allows you to keep it in the front room , the brushed Ti tubing is understated but beautiful and the tidy welds all give off an air of assured quality. Suffice to say that the frame has attracted many admiring glances and comments when myself and Dave have been out and about on the prototypes, including slightly breathless conversations about availability mid race in both the last two 3 Peaks Cyclocross events.

Formwise, a chunky 1 1/2" tapered headtube gives absolutely rock solid handling on the roughest of terrain, allied to a big beefy carbon fork, and the super clearance, even with a mini bridge across chain stays means that even at a Peel Park, Bradford mudbath, the Picknflick keeps running. In fact it clogs less than the other disc frames I've ridden, and they don't clog at all compared to many current canti offerings. Subtle changes in cross section accross the downtube and toptube allude to performance enhancing design of the tubeset - stiffer and broader in areas of most stress.  A lovely curved piece across the seat stays aids this, allied to rearward disc mounts and befitting a proper do-it-all 'cross bike, it has useful double bottle mounts. The toptube is left rounded rather than flattened and is still super comfy to carry, as many 3 Peaks-style Bull Hill sessions have proven as well as 2 outings in the Peaks itself.

The geometry has been tweaked from other On One offerings, and the overall effect is an extremely calm and compliant ride. The Ti tubing works to kill off much of the low level buzz, but is still more than stiff enough, superb for fast hacking across uneven surfaces, and with impeccable mud manners.

Whilst not a super stiff 'cross crit monster, it's still more than stiff enough to respond to sharp changes in pace and direction and has seen regular duty for me and Dave Haygarth at 'cross races over the last year or so, performing flawlessly in classic mudders at Bradford and Todmorden, as well as drier Yorkshire Summer Cross rounds. Finally, as a 3 Peaks/rougher off road machine it is imperious. Handling, compliance all come together to make it an all day bike on any terrain and the best Peaks bike either of us have ever ridden.


I have received the full production version of the Pickenflick now. Suffice to say that those little improvements that we asked for have all been included. It now boasts a brace between seat and chain stay by the rear disc, beefing up the braking performance at the back, a slightly flattened top tube for easier carrying, subtly moved cable mounts at the rear (away from rear wheel), more 'shaped' tube profiles for rigidity, and finally better clearance. 

Did I say clearance? It is now absolutely massive, when it was merely brilliant before.  If I had to have one bike (and not just one 'cross bike either), this is the bike I would have. It simply covers all the bases, and has a real 'wow' factor about it to boot.


Richard Gate said...

The production model apparently does not take a cross 36/46 due to chain / tyre clearance issues?

Richard Gate said...

Apparently on one do not recommend a 36/46 chainset due to chain/tyre clearance on the production version.

crossjunkie said...

It's been designed primarily to run an MTB crankset and full builds will come with this. However I am running a 46/34 chainset a la peaks, with a small spacer.

1x2.5mm spacer is ok but only works on Shimano or FSA cranks. Not SRAM, as SRAM chainline is fixed by the way the axle is held by the non driveside cup.

Andrew Deane said...

Is it just the 1x2.5mm BB spacer on the drive side? I was planning on getting one of these frames to replace my Dirty Disco but abandoned said plan when I learned about the dirvetrain issue. I use my bike for some light commuting duty as well so I need at least a 46T big ring. How well did it work? I hate to have to switch from SRAM to Shimano or the dreaded FSA, but if it works well I am willing to give it a go.

crossjunkie said...

An FSA Gossamer 46/34 works fine with the spacer. I haven't tried a 36 inner but suspect it would not go.

However, we have been running the bike with the MTB style chainset for racing, training and 3 Peaks stuff. With 42x11, we have always been geared enough and using a closer ratio block with the 28 inner brings a number of benefits. It's just a different take on things :-)

Steve Kirk said...

Hi Alan,

I'm interested to find out what drive train you're currently running on this frame.

I was looking at the pictures from Peel Park and it almost looks like you're running a single ring there?

Given the constraints for the drive train, it looks like a single ring would be ideal for this frame - perhaps a 42T ring up front and a reasonably wide ratio MTB cassette at the back?

crossjunkie said...

Yep, an AbsoluteBlack 38 or 42 works brilliantly and for winter cx really are the way to go. In summer I will run an MTB 39/26 or 42/28 for general off road, summer cx and of course Peaks duties. You can always resort to the FSA 46/34 as well.

Steve Kirk said...

That does seem a good route. What rear cassette and mech combination are you running for the CX season?


crossjunkie said...

AbsoluteBlack single ring 38, 26 or 28 SRAM cassette and SRAM Red normal short cage mech. Chain length is crucial but AbsoluteBlack give clear instructions.

Has performed almost flawlessly with a slight clod-of-grass induced blip today in very heavy conditions at TodCross. Really cuts down on build up of mud and sheds weight.

Anonymous said...

To me this would be a perfect rough stuff bike. Is there potential to run a road compact chainset or something else that would allow a 50t outer ring?

crossjunkie said...

It would, as you suggest make a perfect rough stuff bike. I've fitted a road compact chainset with 34 inner and 46/48/50 outer. You can also run an MTB chainset for lower gears eg 39/26.

Anonymous said...

The product description on the On One site shows a SRAM compact road chainset. Does this work then? Not overly worried about chain/tyre clearance as I intend this mostly for a road bike with 25s but it might end up as a rough stuff bike.
I would fiddle with chainsets to some extent.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, your reply to my first post didn't pop up on my screen until I had sent the 2nd

crossjunkie said...

A 34 inner ring on a compact works great with FSA not with SRAM though. I think that chainset in the pictures on the On One site is an MTB style despite what description says. I'll chat to them and confirm what it is.

Anonymous said...

Any update on the crankset?
The pic on the On-One site looks like MTB SRAM crankset, but funny enough the text says it is a SRAM S350 Crankset (no-specific-group i.e. cheaper roadbike crankset) with 50-34T ???
Now I am really confused!?
What is working and what crankset and tooth combination will be shipped? If anyone can share some light, that would be highly appreciated!

crossjunkie said...

The chainset in the picture is NOT a 50-34, looking at it. A recent email from PX about Pickenflick full builds states that a 42-28 mtb chainset is on the build - the picture of the full build definitely looks like a 42-28 to me too. I have had it confirmed that builds are coming out with SRAM S1000 42-28 chainsets. The website should reflect this now.

You can fit 50-34 if an FSA (only) chainset - I know as I have done it. But the package works better and gives wider options for rough riding with an mtb set up - I have a 39-26 XO chainset for this purpose.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch for the update! Highly appreciated! Very nice of you, knowing that this is not your regular job on this site!
Again thanks!

ColinB said...

Nice write up and great looking bike. As an crosser and off-roader at heart, who is often a reluctant roadie, do you think this would make a good account of being a road bike too? Im particularly thinking of the 300k Vatternrundan in June!

Keep up the great blogging

crossjunkie said...

Cheers Colin. I've used the Pickenflick as a fast winter trainer on the road. Great braking, smooth ride over bumpy roads but still stiff and sprightly enough not to feel compromised. For a long loong ride like that, as long as you got your position right I would say it would be really comfortable. I'm taking my Pickenflick on a family holiday to Scotland as I can use it for off road rides and on road rides round the Highlands. It'll be great for both.

Anonymous said...

Re my earlier comments about running a compact on it as a rough stuff I have now got one being delivered tomorrow,. Sadly the change of spec on the website happened after my order was put in and they decided to tell me after the thing was dispatched. Grr. Despite 3 calls and two emails asking if they could run 170mm versions of the 34/50 as on the website. Now got a 42/28 coming which is bugger all good. Will try to get them to swap for something like a 32/4 and 48 or maybe another crank set. Anyway
I am not sure what you suggest as a road compact. I take it, it would not be a SRAM one. Planning on running it for the moment with different wheels and 25mm tyres as a road bike as well.
Great site by the way. Tempting me to get one of these PX Flanders jerseys

crossjunkie said...

Sorry you've had frustration... before you ditch the 42/28 give it a go. Not sure what road stuff you plan on doing but 42/11 is quite a big gear. Not enough for road sportives perhaps but enough for me on the sections of the 3 Peaks.

Off road, in rough stuff the MTB gearing really comes into it's own.

Compact wise I have successfully used an FSA Gossamer 110bcd, standard Shimano/Hollowtech bottom
bracket. You couldn't use a 36 inner without problems but 34 is fine with a single spacer on the drive side.

crossjunkie said...

42x11 equates to about 50x13.....

Anonymous said...

Got and its great. going to stick with the chainrings but use a 11/25 cassette which will bring the ratios closer for the road. Can't recommend the Pickenflick stickers though. Naff and falling off mine before I opened the box. Makes it easy to remove them.
Recommended to anyone on first appearances.
thanks for the advice.

crossjunkie said...

Grand, hope you enjoy riding it as much as I do.

Re stickers: I've fed back already that they are not as good as one would hope. Will post any update on this here.

Anonymous said...

Pickenflick looks beautiful + sounds like it works a treat!

But the big question is, 'Should I wait for new stock of [cheaper by £400] Dirty Disco carbon frames to arrive... or is Ti better?!'

PS single chainring sounds like a nice idea but would leave Lefthand shifter redundant; does it rattle and flop around or is this not an issue?

crossjunkie said...

I know I have the 'rides for Planet X' disclaimer, but... the Pickenflick is my favourite 'cross bike of all time. Ti just has something about it, and this comes through with the Pickenflick.

It always puts a smile on my face, every time I ride.

So, wait for a Disco or pull the trigger now? If it comes down to budget then the Disco will do everything that the Pickenflick can, with ease. Take money out of the equation and you have the difference between a competent and workmanlike 'plastic' frame and something with real class. For the extra money you get that lovely brushed finish, the longevity and that indefinable 'something'. The gearing on the Pickenflick perhaps leans more toward general rough stuff, but works well enough in 1 hour races too. Clearance is better for sure, but the Disco is pretty good too, especially with a top-pull front mech. Your call....

As for single ring use, the spare lever doesn't present a problem at all and doesn't rattle around. I've used both Ultegra and SRAM Red levers with the single set up - no problems.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for those comments; all fair points from someone who actually has ridden both bikes extensively..!

How about using a SRAM Type 2 clutch-equipped rear mech to tame the chain? Should still be compatible with road shifters?

crossjunkie said...

Myself and Dave Haygarth have used SRAM road mechs with success on the absoluteBlack ring. Aside from being careful about multiple shifting unshipping the chain, the stiffer spring tension in a SRAM mech keeps the chain on well.

But, you certainly wouldn't do any harm putting say an XO clutched mech on. A friend of mine has matched one nicely with SRAM road levers on his cx bike - as long as it has 1:1 actuation on both levers and mech you are fine. It would simply add an extra element of stability for the chain when used with single ring. I may yet do this myself...

Per Poulsen said...

Thank you so much for your in depth review, opinions and feedback - and answering all of the comments -That helps a lot when haters are hating ;)

Ordered mine a week or so ago and am now waiting for it to arrive. Hope to pop back on your site in a month or two and give feedback from serious (ab)use.


Anonymous said...

Got the 2nd one ordered after the first was stolen.
Any idea who actually makes these?

crossjunkie said...

Stolen?! Heck, there aren't many around as it is without one going missing... Might be easy to spot when it resurfaces.

I'm not sure of the exact origin - whilst I had input on the actual design drawings, I wasn't involved in production as such.

Hope you have more success with the replacement :-)


Anonymous said...

27.2 carbon post with black alloy shim. Brown Charge spoon saddle. Chain has 2 quick links in it. 11/25 cassette and Michelin road tyres when it was taken about 3 weeks ago.

Gavin Thomas said...

What's the weight of the frame?

Just wanted to know if i can use an SRAM force crankset (130bcd) which will be set up singlering (42t)

Is this possible?

Is the issue the smaller chaingrings (and 110bcd)

This would be primarily as a race machine as i love the idea of good mud clearance

crossjunkie said...

Gavin, not sure what the weight of the frame is though with a full carbon fork it is lighter than the XLS Planet X do. Certainly with SRAM Red and carbon wheels on, it's definitely competitive with full carbon frames from other manufacturers and feels pretty light to me. Check the PX website?

I've built it up with an Ultegra 130bcd crankset and put a 38 ring on the outside position (usual 68mm road Hollowtech bb). It works great in terms of chainline. I can't see there would a problem at all with a Force chainset with the ring on the outer position.

You can run a compact 110bcd chainset eg Gossamer but only with a 34 inner ring. A 36 fouls the chainstay with a normal bb though arguably you could space it out but risk a duff chainline.

My teammate Dave had a choice between the P'flick and XLS and chose the 'flick for normal 1 hour cx racing - it just flies and handles so nicely. The clearance is superb and there is no trade off as far as we can see in terms of race ability despite its suitability for the 3 Peaks/rough off road stuff too.

Helmut said...

I just bought a frame for myself. What kind of fork do i need?

crossjunkie said...

Helmut, you need a fork with a 1 1/2" bottom race, for a tapered head tube (ie 1" to 1 1/2" at the bottom). They are pretty standard so look around for a full carbon fork with disc tabs.

If in doubt contact On One/Planet X and ask - they will also be getting a new version of the Pickenflick fairly soon.

Helmut said...

Thx, but isn´t it 1-1/8" to 1-1/2"?

crossjunkie said...

Doh, sorry yes. 1 1/8" to 1 1/2" :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I wondered if you would mind helping, I am about to buy an On One PKNFK, but like you I want to also use it on the road occasionally, could you recommend a good wheel/tire choice? Also is it worth upgrading to the new cx carbon wheels that planet x sell? Thanks in advance. AP

crossjunkie said...

Most disc clinchers designed for cx will work fine on the road - just steee clear of really wide 29er type rims as thinner road tyres won't seat so well on the wider rim. I use 25mm road tyres for comfort, you could go wider again if you wanted to 28mm. Gatorskins, Vittoria Open Paves and Conti GP4000s have all worked well for me. I assume you are referring to the tubular carbon Cx wheels? Brilliant for cx but tubular tyres might be a bit of a hassle for you on the road in terms of carrying spares etc. enjoy your Pickenflick :-)

Andrew Gadd said...

I'm thinking of buying a Pickenflick to use as an adventure/general rough training bike, for use on local circuits consisting of rough forestry fire roads, country lanes and off road.

Currently using a MTB with a triple, and its a dog on the hills, so a lightweight Pickenflick that can take a bit of rough stuff sounds ideal for me as I am also a fell runner who likes to get into the hills so could link up some nice circuits by shouldering it up some grassy slopes.

My only concern is I live in a very hilly area with many vicious road climbs and although I'm trying hard to get better at climbing I don't think the 46-36t & 11-32 cassette are going to be low enough.(yes, I have lost weight, and train hard etc, but progress is slow!)

What would be the easiest way to get some lower gearing on this bike, bearing in mind that I am a relative newbie and afraid to go messing about too much with the setup.

Any advice would be appreciated.

crossjunkie said...

That 36x32 set up is not far off one-to-one and would work for most hilly areas - it's the sort of gearing that 3 Peaks riders use. I'm sure your fell running strength would help too - similar types of movement climbing on the bike compared to stomping up steep fells.

I use a 2x10 set up with an mtb chainset - 39/26 x 11/26. That gives one to one gearing but you might need to get a bike shop to set that up for you as the bottom bracket and chain line need getting right.

However,with a long cage Rival mech you could always get a 34 or even 36 cassette without problems if you wanted to go down that route.

Hope that helps,


Andrew Gadd said...

So I think I'll get the Pickenflick as it is built with the 46/36t and see how I get on.
Thanks for your advice.

Andrew Gadd said...

Ah someone has now suggested to me that I could swap out the 36t ring for a 34t; would this be possibLe? Would it be a straight swap?

crossjunkie said...

Doh! Of course, no idea why I didn't think of that. Straight swap, will give you all the gears you should need, even with the standard 32.

Charlie M said...

having just come back from three weeks in Portugal and my poor road bike being battered by the cobbled/unsurfaced roads out there I've decided to buy a pickenflick. the only problem I have is what size - I ride a 56cm top tube road bike and so assumed that a medium (56cm) frame size would be best - however being 5'10" I am right at the top of their sizing range so thought that large would be best, however the top tube seems really long (585mm)! how do these bikes feel - do they feel short due to the more relaxed angles? thanks for any help you can give


crossjunkie said...

I'm 6' 5" so not overly qualified to comment on smaller frame sizes really. However, my own XL frame has a taller headtube and longer top tube than many XL frames I have ridden so I would suggest that the frame does size quite large compared to say an XLS or Disco which I have also ridden. As far as I am aware, that generosity of size extends down through the other frame sizes. Hope that helps, at least a little. Alan

charliem said...

alan, many thanks for your help - it sounds like a medium is correct for me - i'll have a chat with the guys at on-one to see if they concur - if only I still lived in Bradford - I could pop over and check one out in their showroom - however Cardiff is a lot further away!

thanks charlie