On-One Pompino - long term review

urban_winter Posts: 31
edited November 2013 in Workshop
I have owned a Pompino Pro for just over 2 years now. I use it for commuting in London, ride 100 miles a week year-round and weigh 14 stone. I thought it might be worth recording my experiences with the bike to help anyone thinking of buying one.

Things I have broken:
- front wheel (crash)
- back wheel (different crash)
- fork bung (failed)
- handlebar stem (failed)
- non-drive-side crank (damaged by coming loose)

Things I like about it:
- quite light (compares well with a colleagues alu Peason fixed)
- comfortable over rough London roads

Things I don't like about it:
- the chainset used to work loose every few 10s of miles to the extent that I used to carry a long-handled Allen key in my toolkit to tighten it every day. It was down to the non-drive-side crank not being a good fit on the BB spindle splines. I would avoid this type of chainset on future bikes
- there's not much clearance on the back for tyre and mudguard. I have 25mm tyres and narrow SKS guards and the clearance is wafer thin. It took much adjustment to get it to run without rubbing.
- the frame is going rusty (around the cable stops on the top tube)
- I hate cantilever brakes. After this bike I will never again buy a bike with them. When I first had it I rode into the back of a motorbike in Clapham because I hadn't got used to just how poor the stock brakes are. I tried Avid Shorty 6 brakes. These were more powerful but juddered dreadfully so it was a relief when they broke. I'm now back to the original Planet-X brakes but with Swiss-stop pads. They are now just about OK.
- The handlebar stem failed spectacularly while I was sprinting away from the lights at the North end of London bridge. I was lucky to stay on (and avoid being squashed by a bus).
- The stock chain was garbage.
- The front brake hanger/adjuster is useless and corrodes to dust in a few months.

Overall I wouldn't buy another one. The frame is good (although the finish is not great) but the finishing kit isn't up to the job.



  • il_principe
    il_principe Posts: 9,155
    Should have bought a Pearson! That's a fair litany of failures for two years aint it?
  • agnello
    agnello Posts: 239
    these kinds of review are gold dust.

    much more meaningful that magazines where they worry about offending british manufacturers

    what was the make of crank?
    Stumpjumper FSR Comp
    Eddy Merckx Strada
    Gios Compact KK
    Raleigh Dynatech Diablo
    Canyon CF CLX / Record
    Charge Plug 3
    Kinesis GF Ti disc - WIP...
  • graham_g
    graham_g Posts: 652
    I can concur with much of that althogh i don't remember having any problem whatsoever with mudguard clearance - there was a huge amount of room on mine, I even managed 32's.
  • I've been running one of these in London for getting on a year now. It's my first single speed and truly love the always smooth, no fuss running.

    I must have a newer model than the ones written about originally. Mine isn't the same spec of components, the notable difference is tektro mini-vs. I got mine second hand with little use, but pretty certain it was all original equipment. I would agree with most of the original contributor’s opinions. The mudguards can be a faff, I have 28mm Ultra Gator Skins with Tortec guards and they are very sensitive and combined with mini-vs there is almost always something rubbing. But this is a compromise on great braking performance because cantis are sooooo rubbish in comparison.

    I changed the stem and bars immediately so couldn't comment on stem failure because it hasn't happened with the 100mm planet x I replaced it with. I personally hated the look and feel of the midge bars so they were out immediately too. Again replaced with normal 42cm drop planet x bars. I also placed matching tektro cyclocross brake leavers on the top of these bars for filtering through the traffic getting my hands out of the way of busses and giving me a bit of extra height to see. I'd highly recommend these on any commuter bike.

    My chainset has been fine, although the stock chain isn't great, I'd agree. I lost the little square retaining pin nut when I had it off the clean it and occasionally the chain pin will unscrew itself. I'm working up for a change of drive now, but never get more than a year out of a drive so had done well. It's going to be cheap when I do have to do it, probably not much more if any than £40, bargain.

    I've had quite a bit of problems with the wheels, have had 3 rear spokes break and they quite regularly go out of true, which then makes the rub on the sensitive brakes. This is a bit of a pain but easily replaced and trued back up if you have the ability and tools but might be more of a hassle for others. The hubs have sealed bearings which is a good thing but I've not replaced a bearing like that on a hub like that before so they are getting a little rough these days so will hack them to death and then I'll have a new job to complete.

    Yeah mine us rusting up a bit around the cable lugs and down the head tube a bit and generally just taking a bit of a pounding. Not sure really what else you can expect from steel though so have just cleaned up and best bit is there are frame builders who will repair steel frames where aluminum is very very much harder to find specialist people to weld, so not overly concerned. I've sprayed some wax oil down the head tube of mine to try and help this and put some Vaseline down the cable lugs around the outside of the outer cables. On the plus though steel gives a lovely compliant comfortable ride around the battered bumpy potholed roads which is a true pleasure to ride.

    I swapped in a carbon stearered fork on mine as soon as I got it to give me a bit more speed to work. But I chose to put the steel one back the other weekend for the winter. Whilst doing that naturally I exposed the headset which was full of horrible brown nasty paste. It looked awful and wouldn't clean up nicely and then the bottom sealed race snapped apart and that was it, I broke the headset. So had to get another one were as if I had left it alone it would have worked for much longer probably. It did feel fine to ride. I looked at the same on-one smooth light headset but at £35 with a loose needle bearing upper race it was well over priced, so bought a Cane Creak S2 but was sent a Cane Creak 40 which is an even better replacement. It has the same colour blue in it which looks great and has sealed cartridge bearings top and bottom for £23, so a big improvement.

    The thing that is really troublesome for me but maybe not for others, is I have the 48cm and I am a small man, so I clip the front of my toes when turning sharp and have the peddle in the wrong place. This makes riding it fixed a bit impossible in the traffic so have always ridden it with a freewheel. I also like having the weight on a rack so makes turning the rear wheel at the lights a bit more difficult.

    Over all it is great and I love it, and really if you ride a bike hard all year round and a lot things are going to go wrong with it, you have to expect that and just fix and deal with them as they happen. It is a perfect compromise between having a really expensive bike to buy and run and having a bike good enough to cope with the punishment it's going to face on a daily basis.