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On One's Titanium Vandal Is a Hardtail Rocking Solid Components on a Budget
By now, you may have realized that I like hardtail mountain bikes. Well, this time around, we'll be looking at a machine that can basically outlive you if you take care of it the right way.

On One's Titanium Vandal Is a Hardtail Rocking Solid Components on a Budget

Vandal Titanium BikeVandal ForkVandal SaddleVandal DrivetrainVandal Rear TriangleVandal FrameVandal Rear TriangleVandal Frame
Folks, before you, is a hardtail MTB dubbed Vandal. It's a machine designed and created by a crew from out in the U.K., On-One Bikes. If you haven't heard of this crew, you aren't alone, but that doesn't make the work they achieve any less meaningful; once you've gotten to know Vandal, you'll see what I mean.

Now, as I was combing through the manufacturer's website, I couldn't help but notice that they build an array of bikes from just about any material out there. However, I've chosen the Vandal for one reason and one reason only; it's built out of titanium.

Why should you be at all interested in a titanium bike? Well, there are actually a few reasons. First off, it's lighter than steel, is more corrosion resistant, stiffer (better at transferring power), and surprisingly, much more affordable than carbon fiber and aluminum bikes. Did I mention that with the proper love and care, these babies can be passed down to your kids? Yes, some titanium bikes happen to outlive their owners. I think you're starting to understand why I keep bringing up trinkets made from this stuff.

As for Vandal, and what I enjoy most about titanium bikes, is their ability to be sleek and yet compete with cycles that yield tube sizes much more significant than what titanium gives forth. Beyond that, a proven trail-worthy geometry that's been expressed by countless manufacturers is part of the deal too.

Geometry and frame aside, let's look at what else On-One adds to this shiny mountain goat. At the front of the bike, the manufacturer adds an essential suspension fork provided by RockShox. A 35 Gold RL DebonAir fork with 130 mm (5.12 in) of travel is perfectly tuned to the 29 in tires that you see stock. However, 27.5 in tires are also suitable. Speaking of this component, this will also be the only other source of suspension for a hardtail, and Schwalbe is the crew in charge of the rubbers on this one.

Now, before I go on, I'd like to point out that the machine you're looking at is priced at no more than 1,600 GBP ($2,116 USD at current exchange rates). Well, with that out of the way, who do you think is the drivetrain manufacturer that could squeeze in for that price? If you answered Shimano, you'd be so wrong.

Believe it or not, SRAM is the manufacturer making a home on the Vandal and helping you achieve the ride you want. You'll be shifting with GX Eagle triggers and moving an SX Eagle chain on a 12-speed cassette with 11-50T. The crankset is part of the GX Eagle lineup, and while brakes are hydraulic SRAM Guide G2, the rotors are a pair of Avid Centerline with 160 mm (6.3 in) and 180 mm (7.1 in) diameter.

Secondary components like handlebar, seat post, and seat clamp are provided by On-One; yes, they build their own components too. Speaking of this aspect, it's how quite a few manufacturers have become globally recognized names. Nearly forgot, Vandal is dropper post ready with "stealth" cable routing, and for a medium-sized bike, you're looking at a weight of 13.4 kg (29.5 lbs).

Personally, I've only recently discovered the On-One team, and you may have, too. But, if they keep at it with machines like Vandal, and they do, I've had a peek, then it won't be very long until we see their bikes winning some competitions if they haven't already. That said, Vandal is a hardtail worth considering if you're looking for a capable bike at a price that won't feel like you need to take out a loan.


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