UPDATED Priority Continuum Onyx review with Priority Rear Rack and 174HUDSON Pannier Backpack*
When the Priority Continuum Onyx arrived, our first thought was: since when did urban-commuter bikes become so aesthetically pleasing? This was followed with a bit of jealousy as the Gearminded team began calling “dib’s” on who would get to throw a leg over the new bike first. It was immediately apparent, the attention to detail and modern design of Priority’s new bike would make a lasting impression on us.
An upgrade from the previous silver Continuum, the new Onyx edition caught us off guard, revealing a side of commuting that many riders haven’t been exposed to. This bike proves that riding to work, the grocery store or even for a weekend spin doesn’t have to be stigmatized as boring and distant from the other categories of cycling. That’s right, it’s OK to enjoy bikes and classify yourself as a cyclist, even if you don’t own a kit or a five-thousand-dollar carbon racing machine (of course, that would be a modest race bike). Instead, the new Priority Continuum Onyx reminded us what riding a bike is truly supposed to be about: a fun, comfortable and simple form of transportation. And after some quality time with this new bike, we are confident you will agree.
But, before taking the first pedal-stroke, we discussed what could be the most important factor about the Priority Continuum Onyx; at $999 you will be hard-pressed to find a better-looking bike that offers the same features and riding experience. We get it, for the average person (unlike dedicated cyclists who are immune to their bikes costing more than their vehicles) $999 is still a difficult pill to swallow. However, after a few hours of your own research you will likely see this bike as a steal in comparison to bikes from larger manufacturers. And most importantly, if you are purchasing a bike for commuting purposes, you really don’t want to cut corners on quality, comfort and safety. The steel frame and aluminum parts make for a lively in-saddle experience, and bolster confidence in messy weather.
Priority Continuum Onyx Features
Nuvinci CVT Rear Hub: no shifting! Just twist the grip for more or less resistance and speed.
Rust-Free Gates Carbon Belt Drive: no chain. No mess. No maintenance. Tektro Hydraulic Disc Brakes: Smooth and easily controlled stopping power.
Dynamo Front and Rear Powered Lighting: available lighting when you need it. No batteries!
Durable Composite Color Matched Fenders: keep your attire clean and work ready, even in wet weather.
360 visibility with reflective decals: visible from all angles
Reflective Highlight Strip on Tire Sidewall: they see me rollin’
Internal gear routing: cables are out of the way; clean appearance.
Puncture-Resistant WTB Tires (700×32): nobody likes changing a tire… especially during the commute.
Pre-Drilled for Most Rear and Front Side Accessories: ready for racks and bags. Can you say, grocery-getter?
Kickstand Included: yew!
So, what do these features mean for the rider? Well, it’s simple: you get to ride more and worry less. A true blessing for urban commutes, the Continuum Onyx is similar to a modern vehicle with auto everything and protection for every important part; you just ride! Also, there’s no maintenance schedule or need to adjust a chain, derailleur, shifters, suspension, etc. This allows the rider to remain focused on the road ahead, or better yet… what’s for lunch today.
From a core roadie to a novice rider, we had a diverse spectrum of cycling enthusiasts ride the Priority Continuum Onyx. Even with the many biased opinions and varying degree of bike knowledge, every single person had the same feedback after riding this bike: “it just makes riding fun again; you can’t help but smile with every stroke of the pedal.”
With an emphasis on the CVT rear hub, Gates Belt Drive drivetrain and classic upright geometry, the Continuum Onyx proved to be the ultimate “gateway drug” for introducing friends, family members and co-workers to the #cyclinglife. The smooth, seamless shifting blew everyone away, leaving very little room for frustration or doubt for those still uncertain about their riding abilities. Whether it’s used for utilitarian purposes or to replace a costly gym membership, we all agree: bikes such as the Continuum can be used by everyone.
Top Accessories for the Priority Continuum Onyx:
For the past few years we have tested various urban commuters and city bikes looking for a bike that casual riders could fall in love with. The options we rode all passed the test and provided positive experiences but never completely hooked anyone into a long-term commitment to urban riding. Unexpectedly, this all changed with the Continuum Onyx. A product of simplicity and comfort, everyone we have shared this bike with still asks to borrow it for both fitness and weekly commuting purposes. It’s an activity they now thoroughly enjoy and consider to be fun. This is what riding a bike is all about. It’s what the sport of cycling needs more of. Its what people want.
Priority Rear Rack
As dynamic as the bike itself, the Priority Rear Rack fits the Continuum to a ‘T’ and offers adjustment for whatever it is you need to haul in your panniers or bag. Unique to this rack, We were impressed with the sliding adjustment feature, which allowed us to “customize” the tilt of the rack itself. With just two screws, the rack enables the rider to fit many pannier options, even adjusting to the bags contents – weight and size. For example, when riding with a backpack, simple slide the rack backwards on the rails to prevent your load from getting in the way or experiencing heel strike. Or, if you like us and always need your camera onboard, slide the rails back an inch, allowing the gear to sit stationary – this feature is also great for keeping groceries in place. In short, the Priority rear rack is simple; with one unique feature, it reinforces the idea that urban riding should be fun regardless if it’s for work or play.
174HUDSON Pannier Backpack
Contemporary design, utilitarian features; this is what makes Priority’s 174HUDSON Pannier Backpack so memorable. Already sold on the sliding rear rack, this backpack’s 2Wheel clasp system adds yet another dimension to the urban riding experience – one that’s a refreshing departure from both road and mountain riding. Think design. Think modern. Think user-friendly. The Pannier Backpack covers the spectrum. With padded straps that neatly fold into their own small compartment and magnetic pocket closures, we were able to access our carry items with ease, reducing the frustration we often feel when trying to commute. Now, back to the clip system: it’s not often we find a rack/pannier setup that can be used with one hand. Especially when the bag was loaded with gear, we consistently experienced a smooth transition from clipping in and removal. After a couple rides into the office, we are still asking ourselves how Priority accomplished this integration… well done.