On One Scandal 29er Review…

8 08 2012

My On One Scandal 29er mountain bike in bikepacking mode…


The On One Scandal is a value priced lightweight aluminum 29er hardtail mountain frame with XC geometry and some interesting features like a tapered headset, dropper compatible seat tube and swappable dropouts for vertical or horizontal.

Lots of room for big rubber…


The tubes are big as you’d expect from an aluminum frame with decent industrial looking welds. The tapered headtube has a gusset at the downtube junction for added strength. The Dekerf-esque seat stays look nice and provide a lot of clearance for big rubber and mud. I got the black anodized finish which is robust and looks good with fairly subtle laser etched logos. For a low cost production frame the quality and attention to detail is very high. Frame weight is under 4lbs. I didn’t weigh my 19.5″ frame, but it was definitely not the usual 6lb Surly steel frame I’m used to. The swappable dropouts offer vertical or horizontal options that can be changed any time.


Here’s what On One has to say about the Scandal 29er:
“Our award winning Scandal is back in a new updated incarnation bringing even more to the big wheeled genre than before. Starting at the front, a new tapered head tube means big fork compatibility. Using our Smoothie Mixer taper headset standard, the Scandal 29 can take taper or straight steerer forks, and is even compatible with our new “slackset” to kick the head angle out for more all-mountain playful handling.

A curved seat tube gives better rear wheel clearance and takes a 31.6mm post, so is “dropper” compatible. Clamp size is 34.9mm.

Gear routing is under the BB for this model, so a bottom pull, low clamp, 34.9mm front mech is used.

BB shell is 68mm English threaded.

Out back, the frame gets the swapout treatment and is fitted as standard with our Type b2 vertical dropout for disc brake compatibility.

Rack mounts are integrated into the rear stays for those that want to do it a.

Frame tubing is a mix of 7046 high strength thin wall multi butted alloy main tubes and 7005 butted and shaped rear stays. Chainstays are bridge less with reinforcing gussets for increased fatigue strength and clearance.

Seatstays are classic on one wishbone style.

Two bottle mount points are fitted. One on the seat tube and one on the downtube. Seat tube one may be obstructed by a high mount front mech. Low mount mechs are possible only with a 42t or larger outer chainring. Sorry.

Likewise, brake hose routing should follow the top tube and seat tube guides due to possibility of interference with gear cabling on downtube.

Geometry is identical to classic Scandal and Inbred 29 geometry. 444mm rear stays with 72deg head angle on all but the 16in model which features a 71deg angle.

Frame weight is slightly more than previous models, but still certainly well under 4lb, which is best in class at this pricepoint.

Frame finish is either : “Super raw”. Rough brushed then anodised, with lazer graphics. This finish is factory raw so each frame is unique.Ano black. Blast finish with black anodise then lazer graphics.  Taiwan Racing Green paint with white outline graphics.

Scandal has our standard 2yr manufacturing defect warranty.”

On One Scandal 29er geometry chart…


The Scandal 29er shares On One’s XC geometry with the Inbred and other On One frames. The steep headtube angle can be slackened by using a longer travel suspension fork and/or an On One slackset headset. I’m using a standard headset with a 100mm Rock Shox Reba RLT fork. The steering isn’t overly quick and although the Scandal isn’t the ideal weapon for our steep & techy local all mountain style trails it’s been fine when pressed into service.

Being scandalous in Sedona…

The Ride

My Scandal was built with bikepacking in mind:

  • large 19.5″ frame
  • Rock Shox Reba RLT 100mm fork
  • Alfine 11 IGH
  • Stan’s Flow rims
  • Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.4″ tires
  • Porcelain Rocket bikepacking bags

For mountain bike touring and non-technical dirt/gravel riding it does very well. The handling is stable, but responsive. I’ve got the horizontal dropouts mounted and the IGH about mid-way back in them. Coupled with a large frame that gives me a pretty long wheelbase. The suspension fork and big wheels take the edge of rough surfaces. The wide supple tires roll well and provide excellent grip. The big wheels and rigid frame climb well. The large frame provides a stretched out riding position for covering ground efficiently and allows a decent sized frame bag to be used. The Alfine 11 provides a weatherproof drivetrain that can’t be damaged during a hike-a-bike or when the inevitable crash occurs.

When it comes to straight up mountain biking the Scandal 29er does great as long as the terrain doesn’t get too rough and steep. The steep angles and stiff frame are not BC all mountain riding friendly. That’s not really a fair test of an XC frame. Having said that the Scandal with a dropper post gets the job done on our local trails even though I’d rather be on my 6″ FS MTB most of the time. The frame has a ton of clearance for big rubber and mud which combined with an IGH make it an excellent winter mountain bike.

If I had bought the Scandal primarily for mountain biking I’d have picked an 18″ frame for a shorter wheelbase for more nimbleness and used a slack set to make the bike more stable on steep sections.

As a bikepacking rig or for XC riding the Scandal is a good choice. If your riding leans towards the steep gnar I’d look for a frame with slacker angles and for really rough terrain you’ll want a FS bike not a stiff aluminum hardtail.

Me and my Scandal with The Porcelain Rocket…

My Recommendation

For a value priced hardtail with a lot of versatility I don’t think you can go wrong with a Scandal 29er. The On One US store has them on sale at the moment for $299USD! The Scandal takes a rear rack, tapered forks as well as standard 1 1/8″ forks, dropper posts, derailleurs, IGHs, or SS/FG setups with clearance for 2.4″ wide 29er MTB rubber. That means you can do just about anything you want with this bike. You can get an On One Inbred 29er in steel if you prefer that frame material, but it will weigh 2lbs more.

If you want to ride all mountain/freeride terrain pick something else like a Canfield Nimble 9 or a Kona Honzo.

Horizontal dropouts with disc brake mounts inside the rear triangle so you can use any standard rack…



10 responses

8 08 2012
Nick L

Nice summary. After reading about your initial search for a hardtail 29er, I was inspired to build a Scandal of my own. My bike went on tour to Iceland and the Swiss Alps a couple months ago, and has performed wonderfully over about 1200 miles of riding on gravel, dirt, and pavement.

A couple of quirks I discovered the hard way, for anyone who’s shopping:

There are 2 frames for sale now under the Scandal 29er name, with slightly different features. When I ordered, they hadn’t yet distinguished between them on the site, and I was sent a newer V2 model. The V2 frame does NOT have rack mounts, has changed the cable routing, and the vertical and horizontal swapout dropouts both put your brakes inside the rear triangle. So, in particular if you want rack mounts, make sure the frame you’re ordering has them. The V2 frame is currently only in the England store, I think, but since the US store seems to be going through its stock, it may end up there soon.

The brake mounts inside the rear triangle were a problem for me because they don’t provide enough clearance for Avid BB7s. It seems you need leaner brakes (hydraulic only?) to fit in there. I’m running drop bars (On One Midge- very nice) with road brakes, so I didn’t want to switch to hydraulics. So, with no rack and no way to run my brakes, I returned the V2 frame for an original model, the one you have. However, I had dreamed of taking advantage of the swapouts and eventually running an IGH, but it seems that the horizontal drops for won’t ever be compatible with mechanical disc brakes. Ah well.

When I exchanged frames I also upped the size from a 16″ to an 18″ (I’m 5’8″). Many miles later, I don’t regret that for a second, in part because the 16″ frame only has 1 set of bottle bosses, which was not listed anywhere on the shopping page. However, as you note, sizing up the frame also gives a longer, more stable wheelbase for more hours on gravel roads than technical trails.

Anyway, thanks for these writeups you do. I had some adventures with this bike before it was even built, but since it’s been done I’ve loved it, and I doubt I would have picked up the frame without your original posts.

Here’s a pic of my Scandal with drop bars and touring load: http://tinyurl.com/9retur9

Writing about bikes makes me want to go for a ride. I think I’ll go do that now…

8 08 2012

@Nick – thanks for the comment. Those are good points to keep in mind. I didn’t realize there was a new version out. Things don’t stay still for a moment!

I’m glad you are having fun on your Scandal. The link above doesn’t work for me. If you have any other links I’d love to see your bike.

8 08 2012
Nick L

@Vik – Oops- that album was set to private. The above link should work now, but here’s a link to my travel journal Blogspot entry with that pic and others: http://leinuo.blogspot.com/2012/06/69-riding-inland.html

However, looking through my photo albums, there aren’t a lot of bike porn shots- more scenery and people with some bikes hanging out. That’s hardly fair for a bike-centered trip. Next time I’ll make sure to document the hardware a little better- obviously my priorities were screwed up. 😉

8 08 2012

Love all the nice reviews of fat bikes.
One day, may be I will play around on a fat bike, when I move to some place cooler!
Peace 🙂

9 08 2012

Been looking for a new winter commuter and this would fit the bill. I’m curious where you sourced your alfine/stan’s wheels set from, or if you built them yourself?

9 08 2012

@Kobe – I had the Alfine11 wheel built locally from parts I selected.

12 12 2012

Since you used a 100 mm fork your head angle was probably 71 degrees, right? The geo chart is based on a 80mm sagged.

13 12 2012

I don’t have a way to accurately measure the HT angle on my Scandal, but 71 deg is in the ballpark. I wouldn’t want to ride this bike with a shorter fork.

4 05 2013
For Sale On One Scandal 29er MTB Frame and Fork… | The Lazy Rando Blog...

[…] can read my review of the Scandal 29er here and you can read another review of the Scandal 29er […]

5 05 2013
Will Zager (@willzager)

So, if I’m reading Nick’s comment at the top correctly BB7’s won’t work with horizontal dropouts? That would be a HUGE bummer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: