Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

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protagonist
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Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by protagonist »

I'm looking for a bike to ride for transportation, fun and exercise in western MA, and sometimes on shopping trips as well (I use panniers).
I mostly ride on bike trails but also sometimes on roads that can be rather hilly. I ride almost daily.
My rides tend to usually be in the 10-30 mi. range though I do ride farther on occasion.
Back and butt comfort are considerations given my age- they limit my riding distance more than fatigue.

The Priority bike and the Marin Fairfax are two top Wirecutter recommendations, with a big price difference (Fairfax 2 would cost me $720, no tax...Onyx would cost me $1300 plus tax.) https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/revi ... uter-bike/

The Onyx is an intriguing piece of engineering, and very appealing due to lack of maintenance (something I am quite lazy about), and it gets nothing but raves from all reviewers. Owners seem to universally love it, and say that it compares favorably with much pricier bikes. But it is considerably heavier, and is marketed as a "commuter" bike, rather than a conventional hybrid/fitness bike (which is what I am used to riding- Trek FX2 at least 10 yres. old- but my Trek is now permanently living in my winter home in FL).

So I wonder....

what is the difference between a "hybrid/fitness" bike and a high quality "commuter" bike? And does the Onyx perform both functions well?

And I also wonder from Priority Onyx owners:
- How well would this bike serve my purpose? And how would my riding experience compare with a "good" dedicated hybrid in the $750 range?
- How well does the bike perform in hills (compared with a decent hybrid)?
- How does it compare in comfort and riding efficiency with a decent hybrid?
- What is your experience in general with the bike? Should I spend the extra money if I can afford it, over a good hybrid?

I'm 6' tall, weight in the high 150s, so I would prob. get a 21" frame.

(I also own an e-bike ).

Thanks in advance.
livesoft
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by livesoft »

When was the last time you did maintenance on your Trek? Have you ever replaced the chain? If you are like me, the answers are Never and Never. That means that Wirecutter is a joke when writing about "lack of maintenance" that no one ever does anyways.

Also I think drop handlebars will reduce fatigue as well as back and arm soreness because one can move hands to multiple riding positions that one cannot do with flat handlebars.

I have had a commuter bike and road bike. I used a bike to get to work until I was about age 37. If I was riding more than 6 miles, then I would not use a commuter bike because my road bike could have panniers and fenders if I mounted those on it.
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Topic Author
protagonist
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by protagonist »

livesoft wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 4:36 pm When was the last time you did maintenance on your Trek? Have you ever replaced the chain? If you are like me, the answers are Never and Never. That means that Wirecutter is a joke when writing about "lack of maintenance" that no one ever does anyways.

Also I think drop handlebars will reduce fatigue as well as back and arm soreness because one can move hands to multiple riding positions that one cannot do with flat handlebars.

I have had a commuter bike and road bike. I used a bike to get to work until I was about age 37. If I was riding more than 6 miles, then I would not use a commuter bike because my road bike could have panniers and fenders if I mounted those on it.
Answer to question one: Never and never. I'm also lazy about tune-ups and oiling the chain.

Interesting what you say about road bikes vs. hybrids. I rode a vintage 1970s 10 speed for 30-40 years, that admittedly was probably too big for me. But I found the drop handlebars require a more aggressive riding position....you have to lean farther forward which is harder on the back....and, though it has been years since I rode a bike like that I found that riding position more uncomfortable than a more upright position. Swapping out the handlebar grips on my current bike for flat ones (I think these are the ones: https://www.ergonbike.com/en/product-de ... 36&s=gpmtb) did a lot to alleviate wrist pain and lets me shift position. I'm surprised that you find drop handlebars more comfortable over time.

Am I missing something?
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telemark
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by telemark »

I would avoid the Continuum Onyx; it not only costs considerably more, it weighs considerably more. The purchase price will soon fade from memory, but you will notice that 31 pounds every time you ride it. If you don't want to mess with a derailleur system, and I can understand that, look for a conventional internal gear hub. The continuously variable hub is a fascinating design, but when I look at Enviolo's web site it seems to be used mainly on ebikes, where weight is less of a consideration.

If you ride in the wet, plastic fenders are an inexpensive add-on.
livesoft
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by livesoft »

protagonist wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 5:10 pmAm I missing something?
The length of your stem was probably too long. If you had a custom fit, then the builder might have shortened the length of your stem.
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WhyNotUs
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by WhyNotUs »

Curious, why not buy another Trek like the one that you have?

Do you ride any bikes without suspension? The Fairfax is a stiffy. Your body will absorb more bumps and things like potholes get a little harder to recover from.

I do not have either of the bikes you are considering in my fleet of bikes. I do not have any bikes with no suspension but I do have a hardtail 29er that I like but would ride more if I had bought full suspension.
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protagonist
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by protagonist »

livesoft wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 6:23 pm
protagonist wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 5:10 pmAm I missing something?
The length of your stem was probably too long. If you had a custom fit, then the builder might have shortened the length of your stem.
Interesting food for thought.
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protagonist
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by protagonist »

WhyNotUs wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 6:25 pm Curious, why not buy another Trek like the one that you have?

Do you ride any bikes without suspension? The Fairfax is a stiffy.
I have no issues with my Trek. I originally bought it as a Wirecutter recommendation. More recent Wirecutter recommendations have bumped the Trek off their top recommendations due to a combination of a change in some of the components they use and an increase in price....Wirecutter, at least, suggests that the Fairfax offers more bang for the buck, and reviews of the Fairfax are pretty universally positive.

My Trek did not have suspension, though I would consider getting it for the seat post on a new bike as an upgrade.
Last edited by protagonist on Sun May 08, 2022 6:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Topic Author
protagonist
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by protagonist »

telemark wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 6:15 pm I would avoid the Continuum Onyx; it not only costs considerably more, it weighs considerably more. The purchase price will soon fade from memory, but you will notice that 31 pounds every time you ride it. If you don't want to mess with a derailleur system, and I can understand that, look for a conventional internal gear hub. The continuously variable hub is a fascinating design, but when I look at Enviolo's web site it seems to be used mainly on ebikes, where weight is less of a consideration.

If you ride in the wet, plastic fenders are an inexpensive add-on.
Yes, I am concerned about the weight difference. And with any pricey bike I would carry my Kryptonite New York lock that I use on my e-bike , which must weigh about 5 lb, and I would add panniers. When I ride my 10+ y.o. Trek FX2, unless I am in a city or at night, I feel safe with just a simple light cable combo lock, which is also easier to deal with. And that is a valid argument against an expensive bike.

That said, I don't know if the additional weight is significant enough to slow me down in a noticeable way. I weigh about 155- is an additional 5-10 lb of bike weight going to be noticeable? I used to weigh about 10 lb more than I do now. I can't say I noticed a perceptible increase in my speed /riding efficiency when I lost that weight (then again, there were other variables involved).
Last edited by protagonist on Sun May 08, 2022 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Normchad
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by Normchad »

There is nothing wrong with a ten year old Trek FX2. Sounds like you keep that it Florida though and are looking for a bike to keep up north.

There are lots of great hybrid bikes out there. I’m sure either if these two would be fine, but I don’t think I could ever buy a 31 pound bike. (And I’m nit a weight weenie either).

Proper fit and comfort are everything. I’ve put Jones H-Bars on my bike, and it’s made a big difference in comfort, for me. Might not for you though. Everybody needs something different.

Bikes are just astoundingly good now. I read about the maintenance people do, and I think I must be an aberration. Other than cleaning and lubrication, my bikes never need anything else. Never replaced the chain. Never broke a spoke (and I’m 250+). Haven’t bent a wheel since the 80s when I was curb hopping.

I have a bike very similar to the old FX2. I don’t need another bike. Still, I’m drawn to the Surly Bridge Club…. It’s completely irrational…..
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protagonist
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by protagonist »

Normchad wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 6:53 pm There is nothing wrong with a ten year old Trek FX2. Sounds like you keep that it Florida though and are looking for a bike to keep up north.
Yes, exactly.
I’ve put Jones H-Bars on my bike, and it’s made a big difference in comfort, for me.
These look interesting....never heard of them until now. Which version did you get?
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by Normchad »

protagonist wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 7:04 pm
Normchad wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 6:53 pm There is nothing wrong with a ten year old Trek FX2. Sounds like you keep that it Florida though and are looking for a bike to keep up north.
Yes, exactly.
I’ve put Jones H-Bars on my bike, and it’s made a big difference in comfort, for me.
These look interesting....never heard of them until now. Which version did you get?
I have the Loop 2.5 in black. So it moves my hand position up 2.5 inches, and back quite a bit from the straight bars I had before. I intentionally wanted an even more upright riding position….

In the past, I’ve always used and preferred straight bars. I’ve also had drop bar bikes, and I just never liked them. But something with my body has changed, and I’m tinkering trying to find a way to get multihour comfort on the bike.

There are several YouTube reviews of them out there…. Here is an article about them. https://www.cyclewerks.co.nz/article/th ... nes-h-bars
mrb09
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by mrb09 »

I have three bikes, a road bike, a touring/gravel bike, and an electric commuter bike. I don't actually commute, the commuter bike is my "errands" bike since we're down to one car between my wife and myself.

By electric commuter bike has an an internal geared hub and belt drive like the Onyx you mentioned. For its purpose, I love it, because I don't pay attention to it and it always ready when I need to. I take it a bike shop once a year because it is kinda of a pain to work on -- for one thing, it is too heavy for my to lift into my bike stand. So for an absolutely maintenance free, don't pay attention to it bike, it is great and I love it. The internal gear hub is nice in the city since you can change gears when stopped, although that seems to matter less with an electric bike.

For my other bikes, they don't take much maintenance but they do take some, and if I'm out in the rain I make sure to clean and oil/grease afterwards. My commute bike I maybe clean once in a while and never lubricate it.

I think you have the right trade-offs, it is maintenance vs weight. Might also check the gear ratios, you can get a wider gear ratio with derailleurs until you get to a really high end internal gear hub (rohloff).
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by baconavocado »

I like bicycles that come with integrated fenders, lights, chain protectors, racks, and so forth so I like the style of the Continuum Onyx. I have a bicycle that's somewhat similar and it came with a wider and lower pressure tire, 700x38 I believe. I switched them out for a 700x28 that takes 100 psi and it made a huge difference in the ride quality, much more efficient. The Onyx comes with a similar tire. I also like flat-bar road bikes for general riding and commuting. If I'm doing a 50-100 mile hilly ride, I'll pull out the road bike, but for shorter rides, commuting and errands, this style of bicycle is best.
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protagonist
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by protagonist »

baconavocado wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 7:17 pm I like bicycles that come with integrated fenders, lights, chain protectors, racks, and so forth so I like the style of the Continuum Onyx. I have a bicycle that's somewhat similar and it came with a wider and lower pressure tire, 700x38 I believe. I switched them out for a 700x28 that takes 100 psi and it made a huge difference in the ride quality, much more efficient. The Onyx comes with a similar tire. I also like flat-bar road bikes for general riding and commuting. If I'm doing a 50-100 mile hilly ride, I'll pull out the road bike, but for shorter rides, commuting and errands, this style of bicycle is best.
What is it that makes a road bike more comfortable on a long ride than something like the Continuum Onyx, or a hybrid?

And when you say "for shorter rides", do you mean pretty much anything less than 50 miles? Or do you mean just zipping around town and the like?
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by baconavocado »

protagonist wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 7:28 pm
baconavocado wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 7:17 pm I like bicycles that come with integrated fenders, lights, chain protectors, racks, and so forth so I like the style of the Continuum Onyx. I have a bicycle that's somewhat similar and it came with a wider and lower pressure tire, 700x38 I believe. I switched them out for a 700x28 that takes 100 psi and it made a huge difference in the ride quality, much more efficient. The Onyx comes with a similar tire. I also like flat-bar road bikes for general riding and commuting. If I'm doing a 50-100 mile hilly ride, I'll pull out the road bike, but for shorter rides, commuting and errands, this style of bicycle is best.
What is it that makes a road bike more comfortable on a long ride than something like the Continuum Onyx, or a hybrid?

And when you say "for shorter rides", do you mean pretty much anything less than 50 miles? Or do you mean just zipping around town and the like?
If I'm on a longer ride, like more than 50 miles, I'm usually just trying to get a workout and finish the ride without dropping dead. Although I've done some bicycle touring, when I do a long fitness ride I'm not carrying panniers or a laptop computer or stopping for groceries. So I'm usually trying to go as fast as possible and ride as light as possible. That's where drop handlebars come in handy for getting the most aerodynamic posture, and they give you multiple positions for ascending and descending hills.

On shorter and commuting rides I might be carrying gear, might be riding after dark, might be locking my bike somewhere, and I'm not worried about getting there in the least amount of time so a bike styled more like the Onyx is more appropriate. Those are most of my rides these days.
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protagonist
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by protagonist »

baconavocado wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 7:47 pm [
On shorter and commuting rides I might be carrying gear, might be riding after dark, might be locking my bike somewhere, and I'm not worried about getting there in the least amount of time so a bike styled more like the Onyx is more appropriate. Those are most of my rides these days.
That's pretty much what I do. For exercise I just work harder. Though I have, on occasion, ridden over 50 miles, I only do that rarely, and usually am still carrying panniers and the like. My most typical rides are on bike trails, in the 20-30 mile range. Sometimes I will venture off onto the roads that can be hilly.
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by teniralc »

I bought my Trek Verve+2 bike from a sporting goods store that also specializes in bikes. The sales people really know bikes and I got some very good practical advice when speaking with them and trying out the bike. Also, this particular shop didn't have much of a selection, on purpose. They told me they don't want to sell junk and don't want to sell very high end bikes. They felt that this particular Trek model was a good balance of a bike that is well-built, comes with a good number of features and has parts that can be worked on or replaced easily. Though the price is higher than what you seem to be looking at, I have not looked back once I bought the bike. As for the comments about servicing bikes, I used to change tires and do basic things on my bikes. I still could do that with this one, but I learn something every time I go back to that shop so I just bring it there to get it serviced. I treat it like a car. I buy a good one, try to maintain it regularly and hope that it gives me few problems. So far that has worked out for me. Good luck!!

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bike ... rCode=blue
FrugalFed
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by FrugalFed »

What about a Marin Presidio 3? Like the Onyx without the commuter bike bells and whistles but a bit lighter (27 lbs. vs. 31 for the Onyx):

https://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/2021-presidio-3
AnEngineer
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by AnEngineer »

baconavocado wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 7:47 pm
protagonist wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 7:28 pm
baconavocado wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 7:17 pm I like bicycles that come with integrated fenders, lights, chain protectors, racks, and so forth so I like the style of the Continuum Onyx. I have a bicycle that's somewhat similar and it came with a wider and lower pressure tire, 700x38 I believe. I switched them out for a 700x28 that takes 100 psi and it made a huge difference in the ride quality, much more efficient. The Onyx comes with a similar tire. I also like flat-bar road bikes for general riding and commuting. If I'm doing a 50-100 mile hilly ride, I'll pull out the road bike, but for shorter rides, commuting and errands, this style of bicycle is best.
What is it that makes a road bike more comfortable on a long ride than something like the Continuum Onyx, or a hybrid?

And when you say "for shorter rides", do you mean pretty much anything less than 50 miles? Or do you mean just zipping around town and the like?
If I'm on a longer ride, like more than 50 miles, I'm usually just trying to get a workout and finish the ride without dropping dead. Although I've done some bicycle touring, when I do a long fitness ride I'm not carrying panniers or a laptop computer or stopping for groceries. So I'm usually trying to go as fast as possible and ride as light as possible. That's where drop handlebars come in handy for getting the most aerodynamic posture, and they give you multiple positions for ascending and descending hills.

On shorter and commuting rides I might be carrying gear, might be riding after dark, might be locking my bike somewhere, and I'm not worried about getting there in the least amount of time so a bike styled more like the Onyx is more appropriate. Those are most of my rides these days.
Huh, this is exactly the opposite of my line of thinking. If I want exercise, I'd pick an amount of time and do whatever distance fits in there and gives a good workout. If I'm just trying to get somewhere I want to get there as fast as possible. Bike choice ends up being similar, though, when you've got the options.

To OP's point, I don't have an Onyx, but I do have a belt-drive bike with internal gear hub that I love for all weather commuting and general use. Shifting gears while stopped is also a nice feature.
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by caffeperfavore »

protagonist wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 6:43 pm
WhyNotUs wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 6:25 pm Curious, why not buy another Trek like the one that you have?

Do you ride any bikes without suspension? The Fairfax is a stiffy.
I have no issues with my Trek. I originally bought it as a Wirecutter recommendation. More recent Wirecutter recommendations have bumped the Trek off their top recommendations due to a combination of a change in some of the components they use and an increase in price....Wirecutter, at least, suggests that the Fairfax offers more bang for the buck, and reviews of the Fairfax are pretty universally positive.

My Trek did not have suspension, though I would consider getting it for the seat post on a new bike as an upgrade.
I doubt Wirecutter's latest recommendations are going to be much different than your existing Trek.

You can buy a suspension seat post for your Trek. And if you want more comfort, a cushier seat, higher stem, and/or different handlebars can lend new life to your bike.

And if you've never done any maintenance, I recommend a tune up at the bike shop. After 10 years it might make a world of difference.
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protagonist
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by protagonist »

caffeperfavore wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 2:51 pm
protagonist wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 6:43 pm
WhyNotUs wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 6:25 pm Curious, why not buy another Trek like the one that you have?

Do you ride any bikes without suspension? The Fairfax is a stiffy.
I have no issues with my Trek. I originally bought it as a Wirecutter recommendation. More recent Wirecutter recommendations have bumped the Trek off their top recommendations due to a combination of a change in some of the components they use and an increase in price....Wirecutter, at least, suggests that the Fairfax offers more bang for the buck, and reviews of the Fairfax are pretty universally positive.

My Trek did not have suspension, though I would consider getting it for the seat post on a new bike as an upgrade.
I doubt Wirecutter's latest recommendations are going to be much different than your existing Trek.

You can buy a suspension seat post for your Trek. And if you want more comfort, a cushier seat, higher stem, and/or different handlebars can lend new life to your bike.

And if you've never done any maintenance, I recommend a tune up at the bike shop. After 10 years it might make a world of difference.
Thanks, but I am not getting rid of my Trek. My Trek now permanently lives in my winter home in FL. I need a bike for my summer home in MA.
rosalee
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by rosalee »

I've had a Marin Larkspur for 5 yrs. Welded aluminum and a super good buy. Went to the bike shop, totally ignorant, and needing a bike for a 3 day loop but living in the city and wanting a bike for town too. This bike 2nd hand but new (original owner paid for the bike, took it home and had a heart attack) and very well priced.

Bike, large frame with a flat bar, fenders and a carrying frame on the back turned out perfect. I can lift it easily onto my roof rack without removing any wheels, etc. Tires mid-sized so can handle gravel and such. Low maintenance, strong, easily fixed, will outlive me.

Highly recommend Marin.
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by alfaspider »

protagonist wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 5:10 pm
livesoft wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 4:36 pm When was the last time you did maintenance on your Trek? Have you ever replaced the chain? If you are like me, the answers are Never and Never. That means that Wirecutter is a joke when writing about "lack of maintenance" that no one ever does anyways.

Also I think drop handlebars will reduce fatigue as well as back and arm soreness because one can move hands to multiple riding positions that one cannot do with flat handlebars.

I have had a commuter bike and road bike. I used a bike to get to work until I was about age 37. If I was riding more than 6 miles, then I would not use a commuter bike because my road bike could have panniers and fenders if I mounted those on it.
Answer to question one: Never and never. I'm also lazy about tune-ups and oiling the chain.

Interesting what you say about road bikes vs. hybrids. I rode a vintage 1970s 10 speed for 30-40 years, that admittedly was probably too big for me. But I found the drop handlebars require a more aggressive riding position....you have to lean farther forward which is harder on the back....and, though it has been years since I rode a bike like that I found that riding position more uncomfortable than a more upright position. Swapping out the handlebar grips on my current bike for flat ones (I think these are the ones: https://www.ergonbike.com/en/product-de ... 36&s=gpmtb) did a lot to alleviate wrist pain and lets me shift position. I'm surprised that you find drop handlebars more comfortable over time.

Am I missing something?
Nothing inherent about drop bars that lead to an aggressive riding position. The riding position is a function of the frame geometry, stem length/angle, and seat position. Benefit of drop bars is mostly the ability to use different hand positions on longer rides.
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by mike152 »

Sounds to me like you might want to look at an endurance geometry road bike. "Endurance" means a more upright ride for comfort, rather than "race" geometry which will put you in a more aerodynamic position for speed.

At 10-30 miles per day, it's worth buying a bike from a local bike shop and getting a good bike fit. They will get you a bike that's the right frame size, with the geometry you're looking for, help you choose a comfortable saddle (with a device to measure the distance between your sit bones) and handlebars, and make adjustments to fine tune the position.

It seems to me like in general, bikes with drop handlebars need to be fit well to be comfortable, and flat bar bikes are a bit more forgiving. But, there's a reason that almost everyone who rides long distances uses drop bars... once you get the fit right, it's very nice.
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by duckcalldan »

Like you, I noticed the Continuum Onyx when looking for an in-town, errand-running bike. The idea of a belt drive, dynamo hub and CVT transmission sounded enticing. I also grew to like and appreciate Priority as a very responsive company with a dedication to customer service. But I don’t commute (retired) and the idea of a heavy aluminum bike in a city with hills made it seem like a bike I would use but not love to use.

So I decided to get another bike by Priority: the Brilliant L Train with disc brakes. A chromoly frame, 8-speed Alfine hub, belt drive, I’ll probably swap the handlebars to something more upright. I can choose my own fender and lighting system, all for under $1000. On back order but it seems to check all of the boxes important to me.
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by typical.investor »

duckcalldan wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 9:51 pm Like you, I noticed the Continuum Onyx when looking for an in-town, errand-running bike. The idea of a belt drive, dynamo hub and CVT transmission sounded enticing. I also grew to like and appreciate Priority as a very responsive company with a dedication to customer service. But I don’t commute (retired) and the idea of a heavy aluminum bike in a city with hills made it seem like a bike I would use but not love to use.

So I decided to get another bike by Priority: the Brilliant L Train with disc brakes. A chromoly frame, 8-speed Alfine hub, belt drive, I’ll probably swap the handlebars to something more upright. I can choose my own fender and lighting system, all for under $1000. On back order but it seems to check all of the boxes important to me.
I just bought the Continuum Onyx (and assembled it myself).

I love it. Don’t commute. Have massive hills. Think it’s perfect for me. There’s just no slippage shifting on hills. I always found shifting to be jarring and just like the way it smoothly works.

Gotta get it up some stairs to store in a shed after each ride and don’t find it too heavy. I guess I have no frame of reference for what riding a lighter bike would be.

Hadn’t ridden a bike in maybe 15 years.
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by We're wolves »

protagonist wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 4:20 pm I'm looking for a bike to ride for transportation, fun and exercise in western MA, and sometimes on shopping trips as well (I use panniers).
I mostly ride on bike trails but also sometimes on roads that can be rather hilly. I ride almost daily.
My rides tend to usually be in the 10-30 mi. range though I do ride farther on occasion.
Back and butt comfort are considerations given my age- they limit my riding distance more than fatigue.

The Priority bike and the Marin Fairfax are two top Wirecutter recommendations, with a big price difference (Fairfax 2 would cost me $720, no tax...Onyx would cost me $1300 plus tax.) https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/revi ... uter-bike/

The Onyx is an intriguing piece of engineering, and very appealing due to lack of maintenance (something I am quite lazy about), and it gets nothing but raves from all reviewers. Owners seem to universally love it, and say that it compares favorably with much pricier bikes. But it is considerably heavier, and is marketed as a "commuter" bike, rather than a conventional hybrid/fitness bike (which is what I am used to riding- Trek FX2 at least 10 yres. old- but my Trek is now permanently living in my winter home in FL).

So I wonder....

what is the difference between a "hybrid/fitness" bike and a high quality "commuter" bike? And does the Onyx perform both functions well?

And I also wonder from Priority Onyx owners:
- How well would this bike serve my purpose? And how would my riding experience compare with a "good" dedicated hybrid in the $750 range?
- How well does the bike perform in hills (compared with a decent hybrid)?
- How does it compare in comfort and riding efficiency with a decent hybrid?
- What is your experience in general with the bike? Should I spend the extra money if I can afford it, over a good hybrid?

I'm 6' tall, weight in the high 150s, so I would prob. get a 21" frame.

(I also own an e-bike ).

Thanks in advance.
I own and ride a different Priority bike, the gravel oriented Apollo. It is not cheap, but it's a really wonderful and versatile bike. It also uses an internally geared hub, albeit different than the Onyx. I find it conceptually interesting and pragmatic and responsive in practice. It is also significantly lighter than the Onyx. I would have no issues recommending it for someone doing 10-30 mile rides on groomed trails.
cbs2002
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by cbs2002 »

A lot of these terms (hybrid, commuter, gravel, road) are marketing words and secondary to what will make the bike work well for you.

If you are a reasonably fit rider than the difference between a 20 lb and 30 lb bike will be noticeable. It still may not matter to you. The feeling of riding a light and responsive bike quickly is lovely, but you may not care. 25-30 lbs for a bike with fenders, racks, and a triple chainring is not crazy if you need all those things. A single ring in the front with 10 or 11 speeds at the back is plenty for casual riding. I''d want at least two rings up front if riding with loads/packs or doing a lot of climbing.

fit is everything.

Make sure the bars are high enough that they are approaching the height of the saddle. Bar type is a personal preference, but it's more important to start with bars at a decent height no matter what you choose. by all means avoid bikes where the bar is visibly lower than the saddle when you look at it in profile.

Get a nice saddle that molds to your body; I like a Brooks but there are others.

Look for a slack seat tube and head tube. This means the vertical tubes look like they are relaxing backward rather than sticking straight up and down.

Basic chain cleaning and lube is easy, doesn't take long and doesn't need to be done too often unless you are riding in sloppy conditions.

Suspension for riding roads and flat trails just adds weight and complexity, and saps energy, I would avoid.

Jamis, Surly, Salsa, and lots of other brands are good options too. have fun!
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protagonist
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by protagonist »

cbs2002 wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 4:57 pm A lot of these terms (hybrid, commuter, gravel, road) are marketing words and secondary to what will make the bike work well for you.

If you are a reasonably fit rider than the difference between a 20 lb and 30 lb bike will be noticeable. It still may not matter to you. The feeling of riding a light and responsive bike quickly is lovely, but you may not care. 25-30 lbs for a bike with fenders, racks, and a triple chainring is not crazy if you need all those things. A single ring in the front with 10 or 11 speeds at the back is plenty for casual riding. I''d want at least two rings up front if riding with loads/packs or doing a lot of climbing.

fit is everything.

Make sure the bars are high enough that they are approaching the height of the saddle. Bar type is a personal preference, but it's more important to start with bars at a decent height no matter what you choose. by all means avoid bikes where the bar is visibly lower than the saddle when you look at it in profile.

Get a nice saddle that molds to your body; I like a Brooks but there are others.

Look for a slack seat tube and head tube. This means the vertical tubes look like they are relaxing backward rather than sticking straight up and down.

Basic chain cleaning and lube is easy, doesn't take long and doesn't need to be done too often unless you are riding in sloppy conditions.

Suspension for riding roads and flat trails just adds weight and complexity, and saps energy, I would avoid.

Jamis, Surly, Salsa, and lots of other brands are good options too. have fun!
Thanks for the detailed info!!
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protagonist
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by protagonist »

OK, follow-up on this for those interested.
I bought a used Priority Continuum Onyx yesterday from a private seller for $745. I did about a 25 mile ride today, mostly pretty flat with a few intermittent steep hills.
My first impressions are mostly positive:
WHAT I LIKED:
1. The shifting was awesome....no clunking....always perfectly dialed in, even starting from a stop.
2. The ride was quiet. Completely.
3. The brakes were quiet and smooth.
4. The integrated lights are cool.
5. Maintenance-free.
6. Small thing, but cool kickstand and good rack.
7. I was able to pedal up the steep hills, including one that was quite long.
8. It is easy to put in the back of my Hyundai Tucson without removing a wheel.
DOWNSIDES:
1. It is definitely slower than my Trek FX 7.2 in high gear.
2. The gear range is narrower than on a typical hybrid bike, both on the low end and on the high end.
3. The saddle is OK, not great....same with the handlebar grips (both much better than the ones that came on my Trek when I bought it new years ago). That said, I have yet to find a saddle on any bike I like and always wind up swapping out the grips, so this is not a major critique. I had some mild wrist, ischial tuberosity and pubic rami discomfort, but I get that on my other bikes as well. I found myself constantly shifting riding position. I plan to replace the grips with Ergon GP5s (I have GP3s on another bike and think they are great). I will ride with the stock saddle for awhile and ultimately sort the saddle puzzle out. I should mention that at my age (plus my skinny butt), I have yet to find a saddle that is comfortable on longer bumpy rides....what limits my distance is not lack of endurance, rather body aches. I don't know if that can be solved or not.
4. I wanted to raise the handlebars (the seat is in the highest position and quite a bit higher than the bars)...I was told that to do so, I would have to swap out the cables (internally routed) for longer ones which is a moderately big deal on this kind of bike and would be fairly costly. I would have to do the same if I switched handlebars. I'm hoping the Ergon grips will give me more options.

For what I paid I am happy to own the bike. If I were to spend the amount that the bike costs new I would probably get something faster. Interesting that very few online reviews express that....the vast majority (in fact I think all I have read) think it is an incredible buy for the money. It is probably a really great bike in areas with flatter terrain. I will use it for exercise, shopping, tooling around town, etc....for those purposes it is great- I love that it is maintenance-free. When I want to go fast I will use my wife's e-bike.
Last edited by protagonist on Tue May 17, 2022 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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baconavocado
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by baconavocado »

Congratulations! The more you like your bike, the more likely you are to ride it, and riding it is the most important thing. Re: saddle/bar height, I prefer to have them the same height or the bar very slightly lower.

It's important to find a saddle that's comfortable but IMO you have to put in the miles so your body adjusts. I experienced this at the beginning of every riding season. I would start with a short stem and gradually increase the length as the season progressed and I could get in a more stretched out position.
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protagonist
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by protagonist »

baconavocado wrote: Tue May 17, 2022 7:44 pm Congratulations! The more you like your bike, the more likely you are to ride it, and riding it is the most important thing. Re: saddle/bar height, I prefer to have them the same height or the bar very slightly lower.
I agree with that. I am at the upper limit of height for the size of the bike, so I have to raise my seat up well beyond the height of the handlebars to extend my legs almost fully on the pedals.
typical.investor
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by typical.investor »

protagonist wrote: Tue May 17, 2022 6:43 pm
2. The gear range is narrower than on a typical hybrid bike, both on the low end and on the high end.
Yeah, it is. I'd prefer a greater range but I guess that is a consequence of the mechanism. In the end, I prefer the smooth shifting to a greater range.
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protagonist
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by protagonist »

typical.investor wrote: Wed May 18, 2022 3:06 am
protagonist wrote: Tue May 17, 2022 6:43 pm
2. The gear range is narrower than on a typical hybrid bike, both on the low end and on the high end.
Yeah, it is. I'd prefer a greater range but I guess that is a consequence of the mechanism. In the end, I prefer the smooth shifting to a greater range.
Btw, like you I don't find it too heavy.

I'm no expert when it comes to cycling, so I could be wrong but I think the whole "weight" issue is overstated. I weigh about 160 lb. The bike weighs about 31 lb....roughly 5 lb more than some of its competitors. Unless I was a serious competitive racer, I can't imagine a noticeable performance difference between a combined rider/bike weight of 186 vs. 191 lb. My personal weight has varied within at least a 10 pound range and I have noticed no significant effect on my riding performance. When I carry a 6+ lb. lock I don't perceive a difference.

The only advantage I can perceive to a lighter bike for a rider who just rides for fun and exercise is ease of carrying it, and that is no big deal for me.

(I am basing this on anecdote....if somebody more knowledgeable about this says otherwise I will concede the issue *giggle*)
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bluquark
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by bluquark »

I replaced the saddle on my Continuum Onyx with an Ergon ST Core saddle, I've never felt saddle-related pain since.
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protagonist
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Re: Priority Continuum Onyx vs.conventional hybrid bike

Post by protagonist »

bluquark wrote: Wed May 18, 2022 4:17 pm I replaced the saddle on my Continuum Onyx with an Ergon ST Core saddle, I've never felt saddle-related pain since.
Interesting. How far do you ride, on what kind of roads, and do you have any orthopedic issues?
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