The sculpted, triangulated tubing and burly back end of the Onix Aurious mark it out as a purposeful looking machine. With lots of mass around the bike's major junctions – the seat-tube, top-tube and bottom bracket – we expected it to deliver a rigid ride. Out on the road the bike's purposeful potential immediately becomes apparent.
The sportive specific geometry – a relaxed 74/73 degrees for seat and head angles respectively and a 156mm head-tube – does approach what we'd look for in a bike designed for distance riding. Not overtly so; it's the rock solid nature of the frame that's most noticeable. Point the Aurious into a sharp bend and it responds perfectly, holding a line without any sense of drift or unbalanced movement to shake your confidence.
While we love the tractable nature of the bike's handling, we're far less convinced by the nods to sportive comfort. The riding position is nice enough but the way the bike responds to coarser surfaces is anything but pleasant: the trade-off from rigid stability and great handling is solidity over broken surfaces that transmits plenty of vibration through to your hands.
At the rear things are a little more comfortable, mostly down to the Selle Italia XO Gel flow saddle that you can choose as an upgrade. This offers couch-like comfort for your rear, although its deep padding and short, stout proportions look a little out of place on what is quite a racy looking machine. Our test bike was put together using Onix's dedicated bike builder website; we opted for a standard Shimano 105 package but upgraded to Shimano RS20 wheels (with a £100 premium over the base price) and Continental GP4000S tyres as well as that Selle Italia saddle.
The RS20s are good options, losing a bit of mass and being smooth rolling, and the grippy Continental tyres will offer big gains no matter what bike you're riding. Stick with the base model build of Tiagra though, and the price tag drops to a potentially great value £1209. The remainder of the kit is supplied by Deda: you get a nicely shaped Zero RHM O1 bar and Zero 1 stem combination, and an RS01 seatpost that, though a bit hefty and stiff, is nicely finished and does the job well.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.
Original: BikeRadar.com Road Bikes & Gear