Priority Continuum Onyx Review

A low-maintenance and feature-rich urban commuter that is guaranteed to turn heads.

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Priority Continuum Onyx Bicycle
Priority Bicycles Continuum Onyx Grip
Rear Dynamo Light
Nuvinci CVT Rear Hub
Priority Continuum Onyx Front Wheel
Rear Bike Wheel Detail
Priority Continuum Onyx Seat Post
Gates Carbon Belt Drive
Continuum Onyx Shifter
Priority Continuum Onyx Front Light
Matte Black Priority Continuum Onyx Bike
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 Summary

  • The Priority Continuum Onyx is a top-of-the-line commuting bike from Priority Bicycles that’s loaded with city-friendly features. The primary focus of this model is safety and versatility with a special emphasis on maintenance-free design.
  • Bike commutes that last well into the night are made safer thanks to the 360-degree reflective decals of the Continuum Onyx. The dynamo-powered lights never need to be charged or replaced so you’ll have light on the road, no matter what happens.
  • The Continuum Onyx’s hydraulic disc brakes provide more braking power than caliper brakes and are more reliable in rainy or snowy weather compared to mechanical disc brakes. The brakes are perfectly complemented by puncture-proof WTB 700C tires that offer excellent grip on both road and gravel.
  • The best feature of the Continuum Onyx is the NuVinci continuous variable transmission (CVT) that allows for infinitely adjustable transmission. This is done through an intuitive twist grip, allowing you to set just the right resistance for any type of road conditions.
  • Priority Bicycles doesn’t have a physical store, which means that you’ll need to assemble the Continuum Onyx yourself. Don’t worry though, as Priority provides all the instruction, tools, and support you’ll need.
  • Because of its urban bike design, the Continuum Onyx doesn’t have a suspension system. Although the durability of the materials is unquestionable, you may be in for a bumpy ride if you decide to take the Continuum Onyx off-road.

 Reviews by our Readers


Introduction

MAKE:
Priority Bicycles
MODEL:
Continuum Onyx
TYPE:
All-season city commuter, sport touring
MSRP PRICE:
$1,099
WARRANTY:
Frame & Fork: 5-year, 30-day money back guarantee
MODEL YEAR:
2019
WHERE TO BUY IT:
Priority Bicycle’s official website

Bike Details

FEATURES:
Nuvinci CVT rear hub, pre-drilled for accessories, internal gear routing, kickstand, rust-free Gates Carbon Belt Drive, tough color-matched fenders, Dynamo front/rear powered lighting, reflective safety strips on tire sidewalls, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, reflective decals for 360-degree nighttime visibility
TIRES:
700×32 puncture-Resistant WTB tires
AVAILABLE COLORS:
Matte black
SIZES:
S (17″), M (19″), L (21″)

Written Review

As bikes become more complex and get loaded with advanced features, they tend to get more expensive and require additional ongoing maintenance. This level of complexity may be overwhelming for a simple biker who just wants a fuss-free but high-quality commuting bike. The good news is we’ve found a commuting bike that has it all: the Priority Continuum Onyx.

The Continuum Onyx is Priority’s top-of-the-line model designed with all the features that make it especially suited for daily commuting. Its unique combination of safety, versatility, ease of use, and simplicity make the Continuum Onyx one of the best city bikes we’ve come across. On top of an array of city-friendly features is a price tag that’s surprisingly mid-range, making the Continuum Onyx an excellent buy for people who do daily commutes in the city.

With a total focus on online sales, Priority Bicycles is able to keep their prices down by not maintaining a physical store. The downside of this fact is that you’ll have to do the assembly of the bike yourself. It’s not all that bad since Priority provides detailed directions and a complete set of tools with each of their bikes. The assembly process is fairly simple and should only take around 30 minutes, especially if you’ve had any sort of experience tinkering with bikes.

True to its design as a city bike, the Continuum Onyx is downright stylish. Although Priority offers no other color options, the Continuum Onyx’s stealthy matte black finish exudes an elegance that is guaranteed to turn heads during your daily commutes. The bike is adorned with 360-degree reflective decals that help keep it visible at night. Even the puncture-resistant WTB tires have a reflective highlight strip on the sidewalls for added visibility. If the safety of urban biking is a concern for you (and it should be), then you’ll be glad to know the Priority has pulled out all the stops with the Continuum Onyx to keep you safe and comfortable even at night.

The flat bars of the Continuum Onyx provides a riding position that’s a cross between casual and competitive – in other words, it’s perfect for urban biking. The stance is low and aggressive enough to gain speed but also upright enough to be comfortable. Speaking of comfort, the Continuum Onyx features a high-quality, comfortable saddle supported by a lightweight carbon fiber seat post. It doesn’t matter if your ride takes a few minutes or more than an hour – the Continuum Onyx is still a joy to ride. Another nice touch is the addition of fenders that perfectly match the color and finish of the rest of the bike.

One of our favorite parts of the Continuum Onyx is the front and rear dynamo-powered lights. These lights are powered by the rotation of the front hub, meaning you never have to worry about replacing or recharging the batteries. The bike is designed so the lights are built into the fenders. Since these lights don’t come off, you’ll never have to worry about them getting stolen.

The real star of the show when it comes to the Continuum Onyx is the NuVinci continuous variable transmission (CVT) located at the rear hub. The CVT provides seamless shifting between gears, although there really are no gears to speak of. Although the transmission range of the CVT is similar to that of any standard 8-speed bike, it is infinitely adjustable allowing you to set it at any increment you want. This is done via the shifter grip which you can simply twist to the desired resistance. It’s a novel technology that feels really intuitive, although it’s still aided by a resistance indicator located right beside the grip. Whether you’re going over hills or cruising along a level bike path, the CVT allows you to set the transmission exactly where it feels right for you.

Connected to the rear hub is a Gates Carbon Belt Drive. Aside from being extremely durable, the belt drive is maintenance-free, lightweight, very silent, and doesn’t rust even when exposed to the elements for a long period of time. The grease-free use of the Gates Carbon Belt Drive is heaven-sent for bike commuters, as you’ll no longer have to worry about clothes getting soiled by greasy chain drives.

Another surprising feature of Continuum Onyx, considering the price of the bike, are the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. These provide all-weather stopping power which is just perfect for an urban bike. A hydraulic disc brake has more stopping power than a traditional caliper brake and vastly outshines mechanical disc braking in rainy or snowy conditions.

The Continuum Onyx is rounded off by a pair of puncture-resistant WTB 700C wheels. These wheels are built for speed and can get a good grip on road and gravel.

One thing that the Continuum Onyx lacks is a suspension system. Since the bike is designed for urban commuting, it’s not exactly built for off-road conditions. That being said, the bike is made of durable materials that should be able to withstand some punishment. Minor bumps typically aren’t a problem, but you can expect a bumpy ride if you decide to bring the Continuum Onyx on a rugged trail. If you want something that handles rough terrain better, we’d recommend the Priority 600.

An oversight which we found surprising for a commuter bike is the absence of a rear rack. Although Priority sells a rear rack accessory that can fit the Continuum Onyx, it would have been nice to be given the option of adding it on to the bike. After all, a commuting bike without a rear rack doesn’t make much sense.

With a price tag that’s right around $1,000, the Continuum Onyx isn’t exactly a cheap bike. Viewed in a vacuum, the Continuum Onyx can be considered in the upper middle price range. However, this bike does come with a lot of premium features that are surprising for its price: a NuVinci CVT rear hub, hydraulic disc brakes, dynamo-powered lights, and the Gates Carbon Belt Drive. The Continuum Onyx basically has everything you could ever ask for on an urban commuting bike. If you’re in the need for something a little more affordable, then we’d recommend checking out the Priority Classic Plus or even the Classic Plus Gotham Edition.

 Warranty

Priority provides a 5-year general warranty for manufacturing defects which covers only the bicycle frame and fork. Bicycle components, parts, and accessories are all outside the scope of this warranty. Take note that any damage due to improper assembly, modifications, or use beyond the intended conditions will also not be covered by the warranty. Warranty claims due to product defects must be confirmed via photograph or diagnosis by a professional bicycle mechanic.

Priority also offers a 30-day, no-questions-asked return policy on all non-final sale products. If you are unsatisfied with your Priority product for any reason, you have the option of returning it and receiving a full refund. You’ll have to shoulder any shipping or assembly fees, and keep in mind that bicycles marked as final sale are not eligible for return.

Pros:

  • The Priority Continuum Onyx is a well-designed urban commuting bike loaded with city-friendly features in a package that combines safety, ease of use, simplicity, and unmistakeable style.
  • 360-degree reflective decals, reflective highlight strips, and dynamo-powered lights at the front and rear keep the Continuum Onyx highly visible even when you take it out for a late night cruise.
  • The Continuum Onyx features a NuVinci continuous variable transmission (CVT) at the rear hub that provides infinitely adjustable transmission. Adjusting resistance is simply and intuitively done using the twist grip which also features a helpful resistance indicator.
  • A Gates Carbon Belt Drive perfectly complements the CVT. It’s more durable than a chain drive, maintenance-free, and grease-free. With the Continuum Onyx, you’ll no longer need to tinker around with greasy chains, making for fuss-free regular commutes.
  • The hydraulic disc brake provides good braking response even in rainy or snowy weather. It also has more stopping power when compared with traditional caliper brakes.

Cons:

  • Since Priority Bicycles has no physical store, the bike will arrive in pieces that you’ll need to assemble yourself. Fortunately, the Continuum Onyx comes with all the directions and tools you’ll need.
  • The Continuum Onyx was made for urban biking, so it lacks a suspension system. As mentioned, those in need a bike with better off-road capabilities should check out the Priority 600.
  • Unusual for a commuting bike, the Continuum Onyx does not come with a rear storage rack. You can buy one as an add-on accessory from Priority, although it would’ve been nice if they bundled it up with the Continuum Onyx at a discount.

 Final Thoughts

As we’ve mentioned, the Continuum Onyx comes with almost all the features you could ever want out of an urban commuting bike. The wealth of reflective decals plus the dynamo-powered lights provides excellent nighttime visibility. The hydraulic disc brakes provide outstanding stopping power even in challenging conditions. Lastly, the NuVinci CVT allows for seamless transmission adjustment, even while you’re on the move or at a complete stop.

We like how every single feature of the Continuum Onyx was designed to be maintenance-free. If you like tinkering around with your bike, then this rig wasn’t meant for you. The Continuum Onyx was made for the busy commuter who wants to pick up their bicycle every day without having to worry about greasing a chain or charging batteries. It’s ultra reliable and just works – no ifs, ands, or buts.

Click Here to Buy the Priority Continuum Onyx

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