Iconic brand marks 25th anniversary with the development of two 27.5 and 29in steel hardtails
Onza was once a revered name in the early days of mountain biking, namely for its iconic white Porcupine tyres. After the craze for bar ends and purple anodised parts faded into the history books, the brand was bought by a UK company and turned into a successful trials company. This year, Onza, recently bought by distributor Moore Large, returns to the mountain bike world with two new hardtail frames: the Payoff and Jackpot.
(Onza did return to designing tyres four years ago, but that’s by a completely separate company, just to clear up any potential confusion.)
The brand name will certainly have connotations for mountain bikers of a certain age, but there’s still plenty to interest those unfamiliar with Onza the first time they arrived on the scene all those years ago.
So what does the brand have up its sleeves? Firstly, there’s the Payoff, a 29er hardtail with a Reynolds 520 double butted steel frame, tapered head tube, a very neat one-piece forged bottom bracket yoke, and a 12x142mm rear bolt-thru axle. Two sizes will be available, 17 and 19in, and it’ll cost £1,600.
Neither bikes shown are built in production specs, which on the Payoff will mean a RockShox Revelation fork with 120mm travel and Onza’s new Super T wheels with Kenda Nevegal 2.35in tyres, with a Shimano SLX 1x10 groupset using an Onza CNC 1x chainset and Buzzsaw chainring. No price has been confirmed for this full build yet.
The Jackpot is essentially a 27.5in version of the Payoff. It’ll cost £1,900 and come in 17 and 19in sizes. It’ll use a Reynolds 631 double butted steel frame, Reynolds 520 in this case, with the same external cable routing, tapered head tube, one-piece bottom bracket yoke and bolt-thru rear axle.
Onza are not only doing frames, they’re also producing a tiny line of bars and stem, and the two complete bikes will be fitted with a CNC Stubby stem and 760mm riser handlebar. The Jackpot is dropper post compatible, and fitted with a RockShox Reverb with Stealth hose routing. The Payoff isn’t, and uses a 27.2mm seatpost - that at least means you’ll be able to get a bit of deflection out of the post if you run enough extension.
Both bikes are still prototypes at this stage which explains the raw finish, expect to see painted options when the bikes are ready to hit production. There’s a bit more information, and a short video, over at the Onza website.
The official line from Onza:
Onza is now 25 years old. Its roots go back to being pioneers of MTB with revolutionary parts and original tyre designs. After 10 years, it stepped into mountain bike trials producing world champions and national titles along the way. Now 25 years on it returns to the MTB scene by producing 2 fresh steel frames. The Jackpot and Payoff are just the start of bright return to its heritage. New Chapter? More like the story has started again.