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Priority Continuum Onyx Review

Last updated: May 15, 2020

Category: Hybrid Bikes

Priority Bicycles specialize in fuss-free bikes, built for long miles, and delivering value for money and the Continuum Onyx is a four-season machine for commuting and touring.

A carbon belt-drive keeps maintenance to a minimum, while the stopping power of all-weather hydraulic disc brakes offers safety and reassurance.

Little extra touches like reflective decals and a dynamo powered rear light add up to an impressive overall package. Commuters looking for a reliable bike to get them to and from work no matter what the season, should find plenty to like about the Continuum Onyx.

Specifications

A lightweight 6061-series alloy frame and fork form the heart of the bike, while stand-out features include a Gates Carbon belt drive and Tektro all-weather hydraulic disc brakes. This is a bike built for comfort, convenience, and four-season reliability.
Here’s a closer look at what makes the Priority Continuum Onyx a top value-for-money commuter bike.

Frameset

Frame and Geometry

Boasting the relaxed geometry of a typical commuter bike, the Continuum Onyx is based around a 6061-series alloy frame.

The ultralight aluminum tubing balance rigidity with durability – ideal for a bike likely to be put through its paces on trying conditions.

Priority’s latest iteration of the Continuum Onyx comes in a stylish matte black paintjob too, with 360-degree reflective decals as standard for extra safety.

Fork

Like the frame, the fork is also crafted from 6061-series aluminum. It keeps the weight down while offering a good blend of the stiffness of carbon and the durability of steel.

Aluminum is a popular choice for commuter bikes as it will not rust if it is constantly exposed to foul weather.

Sizes

Priority offer the Continuum Onyx in three sizes – 17”, 19” and 21” (or S, M, and L). They, therefore, range from riders heights of 5’4” through to 6’5”.

Drivetrain

Perhaps the most notable feature of the Continuum Onyx is the belt-drive, designed to keep maintenance levels to a minimum.

This is a bike built for convenience, so you can focus on your commute to and from work without having to worry about greasy chains and additional maintenance. The belt-drive is a Gates Carbon Drive, so it will not rust either.

Other stand-out features built for convenience include the Enviolo Trekking Rear Hub, using a modified and upgraded Nu-Vinci continuously variable transmission (CVT). The US-based firm specialize in stepless (or automatic) shifting, leaving you free to concentrate on the road.

Here’s a more detailed look over Onyx components:

It shifts seamlessly under heavy load too, so there is no risk of the chain dropping under hard pedaling, and it is fully enclosed for all-weather capability.

Furthermore, Enviolo’s Trekking range – as used for the shifters and rear hub – is optimized for longer, rolling rides. It highlights the Continuum Onyx’s versatility. While the bike is centered on the commuter market, it would not be out of place on a weekend ride either.

Another nod to the touring market is the Priority Low Drag Dynamo front hub.
Popular in bike-packing and ultra-racing circles, a dynamo front hub (in this instance a 3w/6v set-up) uses electromagnets to harvest pedal power into electric output.

On the Continuum Onyx, this helps power the integrated rear light and front headlight, which comes complete with USB charging capabilities.

Over significantly longer rides, there is a small cost in terms of additional drag, but for commuters, this should not be an issue. Even touring, the trade-off is USB charging and dynamic lights – worth the cost for an extra five minutes of riding in the long-term.

The smart drivetrain features all add up to a package that would not look out of place on a commuter or touring costing twice as much as the Priority Continuum Onyx.

Brakes

Stopping power is supplied by Tektro’s All-Weather Stopping hydraulic disc brakes. As the name suggests, they are designed to provide reliable braking in all seasons.

Tektro make some of the highest quality disc brakes in the cycling industry, so once again you are getting plenty of bang for your buck.
Increasingly popular in the bike industry, especially for touring bikes, discs provide the added confidence of enhanced stopping power.

Wheelset

With the dynamo hub at the front and virtually stepless shifting from the enviolo hub at the rear, the true strength of the wheelsets are at their heart. Nevertheless, Priority have ensured you have a reliable set of hoops and some top-class rubber to keep the quality of the Continuum Onyx high.

Wheels

Wrapped around those hubs are stainless spokes and double-wall alloy rims. They are built for strength and reliability. There is a small weight penalty to pay, for those who like to shave every last ounce off the overall package.

However, the wheels are befitting of the bike’s purpose and price point.

Tires

The tires are another area where the Continuum Onyx impresses on the other hand. Priority have wrapped the alloy rims in WTB’s Slick 700×32 tires. Wider tires mean more comfort, while WTB have designed these boots to be fast and grippy.

A reflective bead is a useful touch and adds a fair amount of extra visibility. They come highly rated for puncture resistance too.

In short, it is another area where Priority have focused to deliver a package ideal for commuting and long-distance riding, where comfort and durability are primary concerns.

Ergonomics

The Priority Continuum Onyx is well-specced out of the box too, including integrated lights and fenders.

Starting with those, the fenders are made from a composite blend of aluminum and plastic to keep you (and riders behind you) drier on wet, muddy roads.

The rear fender has a dynamo-powered rear light built in for added safety. Both the front and rear lights are made in-house by Priority and both are dynamo powered.

Up front, the LED light puts out 400 lumens – more than enough for good visibility on dark commutes. Generally, commuting lights only need to be good enough to be seen with. In other words, they should be bright enough for other road users to spot you, rather than you needing to illuminate the road before you.

The maximum output of 400 lumens up front is sufficiently powerful for rural riding, and more than you are ever likely to need on lit urban roads. The front light also features USB charging capability.

Other finishing kit includes a carbon fiber seat post with micro-adjustable rails for the perfect fit. Carbon seat posts are better for absorbing road vibrations and staving off fatigue caused by discomfort.