It was back in January of this year during a training camp in Majorca that I first heard about Onix Bikes and the possibility of working together for the season. After a little browse of www.onixbikesonline.com I was soon to give the man behind Onix bikes, Craig Middleton, a call. From that very first conversation I soon realised how passionate Craig was for Onix Bikes and where he wanted to take Onix to. After returning from training camp I would make the trip up to Preston from Essex to meet the man himself and from that first meeting it was clear for all to see that a lot of work and thought had already gone into Onix Bikes and that was clearly set to continue in the year ahead. I got to see the equipment I would be using for the season and I was more than satisfied with what I saw. Over the coming weeks we would talk specifications and I would be given two bikes from Craig....one Azzuro (my race bike) and one Aurious (my training bike). As you will find out in this blog the two soon become interchangeable, as I found out quickly that the Aurious was more than capable for the demands of racing. In return I would publicize the bikes through my racing and training and something I saw as even more important, was a testing role. What better testing ground for an up and coming bike brand than a season racing in Belgium. If a bike can survive a season in the heartand that is Flanders then to me it has passed the ultimate test.
These bikes have not simply just survived this season....they have thrived! Lets start with the Onix Azzuro, given to me as my race bike and top of the range of the Onix collection. As in my initial review of the Azzuro earlier in the season, this bike is a stiff machine designed for performance. Initially we wondered would it be too stiff when it came to some of the rough roads, the pave sections and the cobbled bergs. Conclusion......it was never an issue! The Azzuro has been ridden over the rough stuff throughout the year and performed superbly from day one. Here Onix really have designed a top of the range frameset capable of any demands placed on it. When it comes to racing everyone wants a stiff bike and with the Azzuro you get that. But equally important is having a reliable bike that handles well and you feel in control of....exactly what you get with the Azzuro! And after all the demands that have been placed on the Azzuro throughout this season, it is still going strong and as a test of reliability I think that says a lot right there!
And onto the Aurious, the bike that little was known about prior to me testing one. The Aurious is maybe the dark horse of the collection and I think Craig was happy to here the positivity about this bike matching that of the Azzuro. Due to geometry differences I had to go with a size smaller when it came to the Aurious (52cm compared to 54cm Azzuro), but it was a good choice, something I was soon to find out as soon as I set out on my first ride on the Aurious. The bike just felt right. Normally with a new bike there will be the usual constant adjusting of components to get the desired position feeling right. It was simply not the case with the Aurious. A few little adjustments and I felt right at home. Feeling comfortable and in control of the bike underneath you is a big must and with the Aurious I certainly get that. This again like the Azzuro is one reliable bike. This bike has been ridden hard this year in Belgium, just as much as the Azzuro, as it has been ridden over the flanders pave and up the cobbled bergs countless times (sorry Craig I am drawn to the rough stuff in training) and like the Azzuro has held up perfectly and still going strong. And in terms of performance this bike could quite easily be mine or anyone's race bike. In fact it has been my race bike on many occasions this year. Racing in the hills of the Tour Nivermais Morvan, up the Muur de Huy in the Tour of Liege and on the kermesse circuit, in and out of the corners, over the pave, up the bergs, this bike has been able to cope with every demand placed on it and not let me down!
Onix Bikes is a company that is making its way and 2011 has been a big year in the development of the company. Craig is certainly not resting on his laurels. Much work is going into making the bikes even better for 2012. Trips to the production base, the Interbike show and constant hard work is going into Onix Bikes to take further steps forward for 2012. Craig was also very smart to produce Onix kit. Produced by BioRacer, this is for sure some quality kit and spreads the Onix name even further. I am not exaggerating when I say this is some of the most comfortable kit I have worn so far and it is a pleasure going out on my Onix bikes kitted up in my Onix Kit. If the bikes and kit are anything to go by, then anything coming from Onix in the future will not be short on quality!
It has been a pleasure to be involved with Onix Bikes in what is its real maidnen year and whatever team I find myself on in 2012, Onix has played a key role in getting me there throughout 2011. To have a company that is just starting out have confidence in my ability as a cyclist and to provide me with the equipment I need for a season in Belgium, is something I am truly grateful for. With only a couple of weeks of the season now remaining, Onix bikes have already taken me to two wins, two other podiums, eight further top ten placings and a two day overall classement all in Belgium this year. This again speaks volumes about the quality of bike coming from Onix. Onix Bikes are gathering momentum...join the Onix movement!
Onix Bikes Website: http://onixbikesonline.com
Twitter: @Onixbikes (http://twitter.com/#!/Onixbikes) & @Cyclecraig (http://twitter.com/#!/Cyclecraig)
Onix Bikes YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Onixbikes
Until next time....