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Bike Check: Dan Slack's Pole Onni

May 4, 2024 at 16:08
by Nick Bentley  


We took a look at Dan Slack's Pole Onni. The English rider joined Pole Factory Racing this year, but sadly, due to Pole's declaration of bankruptcy, it's not been an easy start to the year for Dan or the team at the now renamed Seton Tuning DH team. The team has lost a lot of funding, but they haven't lost any of their willingness to compete at the highest level, and the team is determined to carry on.

The Onni is named after Dan's teammate, Onni Rainio, as he was the one who helped the team at Pole develop the bike. Dan is riding a K2 size frame, with a reach of 462mm. At Fort William Dan was running a reach-adjust headset from Works to bring that number up to 470, but he sticks with the stock setting for other tracks.

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Dan Slack // Seton Tuning DH team
Age: 22
Nationality: British
Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 93Kg
Instagram: @danslack_mtb

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Pole Bicycles Onni
Frame: Pole Bicycles Onni,
Shock: Rockshox Super Deluxe coil
Fork: Rockshox Boxxer
Wheels: DT Swiss 541 rims with 260 hubs
Tires: Maxxis Assegai and DHR 2
Drivetrain: SRAM GX DH 7 Speed
Brakes: SRAM Maven with Galfer Shark rotors
Cockpit: Title handlebars with a Renthal stem
Size: Medium

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The whole frame was machined in Finland from aerospace 7075-T6 aluminum, resulting in a lightweight design while ensuring high strength. And that can be felt behind the bars; the Pole Onni is one hell of a stiff bike, and after riding a few different bikes over the years and coming to Dan, he said he's enjoying the way the bike feels and the confidence it's been giving him.

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Dan has opted for a SRAM GX DH 7-speed derailleur combined with a GX cassette, mostly to keep the budget down for this small team when these parts eventually wear or get damaged.

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The shifter is a X0 SRAM 7-speed shifter. At Fort William Dan was running GX Eagle 170mm cranks, but that was a temporary measure as the team has picked up sponsorship from Pinned Cranks, and they will soon have some 165mm cranks. And finally, Dan uses the Crankbrothers Mallet DH pedals, like many other riders in the downhill paddock.

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Its just a small top only chain device fitted to Dan's pole

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It's more SRAM components for Dan when it comes to brakes, with the team using the new Maven Ultimate. These are run with some monstrous 223mm Galfer Shark 2mm thick brake rotors. The rotors are something that Dan really likes; he says they manage heat well and give him as much power as he needs. This is an interesting combination, as the new Maven offers a lot of power, but Dan likes his brakes to be very digital. By that, I mean he wants them to be on or off, and the new Maven gives him that.

To give him the optimum amount of braking with the minimal amount of effort, Dan has his Maven levers pulled in as close to the center of the bar as possible, so he is literally only using the very end of the lever.

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When it comes to the angle of his levers, Dan isn't too crazy; they're in a pretty neutral position. But he does like the bite point of his levers to be pretty close to the bars. This makes the lever pull really small and ensures that Dan doesn't creep into a bad habit of dragging his brakes.

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Dan has a set of aluminum Title bars bolted to the top crown of his fork using a 50mm Renthal direct mount set. The bars have a 30mm rise, and they are cut to 770mm wide with grips fitted. The bars are rolled fairly forward, something that comes from Dan's background riding moto trials; he feels it helps him get his weight forward and helps him avoid tucking the front wheel under him when he's cornering.

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Dan is running a very familiar tire setup, the ever-popular Maxxis duo of an Assegai on the front and a Minion DHR on the rear in a mixed wheel setup.

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The Assegai mounted to Dan's front wheel is 2.5" wide and unsurprisingly is in the DH casing. When it comes to tire pressure, Dan's front wheel has 25psi in it. The 27.5" Minion DHR II is 2.4" wide and again in DH casing, with a CushCore Pro inside for rockier courses like Fort William, where he ran 28 psi. These are mounted to a set of DT Swiss wheels using their FR541 rims fitted to DT Swiss's 240 hubs.

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The RockShox Super Deluxe Coil shock is set up with a 400lb spring. The compression, both high and low speed, are set in the middle setting, but the rebound is running pretty fast.

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Dan's new to the RockShox Boxxer fork, and he said he's really enjoying the stiffness of the new Boxxer compared to what he was using in his last team. Once again, the team at Seton Tuning has really leaned on their background in superbike racing, and there has been a fair amount of custom work with regards to the tune on Dan's fork. First off, there has been some customization in the damper itself that the team was not too keen to share, but they did say they have honed the bushings inside the Boxxer to make it run buttery smooth. Then, like many people, there are some changes in valving and oil viscosity.

The team is using a True Tune insert, an activated carbon insert that sits in the air chamber like tokens, and it allows you to increase effective air volume in a mountain bike air suspension without making any changes to external dimensions. Now, this is not a standard True Tune insert; this is a special one designed for the team with Dan in mind. Alongside this, Dan has 2 tokens inside and is running 140psi of pressure.

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Author Info:
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Member since Nov 28, 2019
302 articles

91 Comments
  • 71 0
 5’7” and 93kgs ?? Is he made of rocks ?
  • 24 0
 Neutron star exotic matter, more likely. The boy is DENSE.
  • 4 0
 400lbs spring?
  • 40 0
 Sounds like me, but I’m made of pies and beer.
  • 23 0
 Not rocks, but a CNC machined from a single rock
  • 2 0
 short people be like atlas stones
  • 5 16
flag PJSANAB (Jun 6, 2024 at 5:09) (Below Threshold)
 I'm 5'8" and hang around that 93kg +/- weight class. It's common for those who lift weights.
  • 2 0
 5'7" is 170cm
At 93kg, this makes him an average of 547g per cm height or 54,7kg/m.
  • 1 0
 Big boned!
  • 12 3
 @PJSANAB: no it’s not
  • 7 2
 @PJSANAB: Angry manlet.
  • 5 1
 My brother and I were also in this category. 5'8" and 200 lbs. 34 inch waist, medium or large shirts. Everyone guesses 20 lbs lighter. It's weird. And we don't lift weights.
  • 1 0
 A mountain biker singularity
  • 3 2
 @xciscool: under 200lbs is considered small by a lot in the lifting community, so he's not wrong.
  • 1 0
 iam 5.7 190 pound and iam a brick he must be solid as hell haha
  • 11 2
 Why is the height in imperial and the weight in metric? Can PB please use convert and show both metric and imperial for both stats as this is an international publication?
  • 3 0
 @grnmachine02: yeah by man let’s trying to convince themselves they aren’t fat and bloated
  • 3 0
 @agnostic: For us old guys that grew up on Mountain Bike Action Magazine. Weight- Imperial. Frame ETT, Size, seat tube length- Imperial. Chainstays- Metric. Headset- Imperial. Parts- Metric. Handlebar specs- Imperial. They went metric for a few months, people went insane. I know what a 430mm chainstay is, but 17.2 inches.. Not a clue.
  • 1 0
 @agnostic: Sorry, I meant to say they went to Imperial, all inches. I understand Metric in my head way more then Imperial
  • 2 0
 @jimmyricard: his mum was Dame Judy Dense I believe.
  • 1 2
 @xciscool: ok. You can check my profile picture on instagram same username as here. Let me know if you think that's fat or bloated.
  • 1 0
 @agnostic: @agnostic:
93 kg/205 lbs
5'7" ft/173 cm
  • 36 5
 I'm gonna be totally honest with you, I think this thing looks awesome!
In 20-30 years it's gonna be quite the classic, too. Please don't crack it Dan (since your bones seems to be made out of lead).
  • 1 0
 Looks cool but I would like to test the flex of the bottom bracket area...it looks quite flexi (Im not saying it is)!
  • 1 0
 Very nice bike. I would love one of these.
  • 2 0
 come here you little perv Smile
  • 28 2
 Could do with those protective, blurred out images that you can choose to look at or not for this post
  • 12 2
 We've detected that this image may contain offensive content. Would you like us to nuke it from orbit?
  • 7 3
 The looks is not a problem really, it looks industrial and unique. But the bad review on PB (for enduro version) is something to worry about. I mean ugly pricey unique bike is ok, ugly pricey bike which rides like sh*t is not ...
  • 8 1
 @chakaping: it´s the only way to be sure.
  • 4 1
 @Bruccio: f*ckin A!
  • 3 0
 @lkubica: I'd assume if the bike is as stiff as it looks you'd want to run the suspension softer to compensate. The standard reviewer setup of setting the suspension the same on every bike isn't really fair as settings should change based on a whole host of factors with suspension design, leverage ratio etc. Also 400lbs spring seems to light for a 93kg rider
  • 1 0
 To blur out the frames ball bag
  • 1 0
 @lkubica:
The enduro version that PB reviewed had 40mm less travel than this one here. The Onni was designed for 200mm of travel as a downhill bike (not enduro) and is beyond plush and controlled based on my experience with the 200mm motored version of this bike (Sonni).
  • 19 2
 i really do not want to start a discussion here...but as PB is so international, could you maybe at least write sth like:
Height: 5' 7" / 170cm

?
I think this is not too much asked :-)
Thanks!

PS amazing bike, let´s hope, Pole is coming back soon!
  • 2 0
 Next you'll be asking us to use base 10 measurements for things!! If you can't decide 1 by 12 and then into fractions how can calculate trail speed in inches per a nanosecond! BAN ALL NON METRIC WRITING
  • 1 0
 @tomjanas: fully agree. This site has a lot of international readers after all.
  • 14 0
 No way Dan is 93kg’s! He’d be the size of an NFL running back
  • 8 1
 Nothing's worse than a slack pole
  • 9 0
 I don't know man, there is a time for everything. Like when you try to pee, or walk through town without drawing too much attention.
  • 4 0
 True Tune insert and 2 tokens inside the fork at the same time? Makes total sense. Thanks a lot for this valuable piece of information!
  • 2 0
 "The bars are rolled fairly forward,.." based on the side on photo I would say that he has accurately matched the back sweep of the bar to the natural line of his arms when riding in the standing neutral or ready/ attack position. Lovely to see such attention to detail.
  • 5 0
 Just gotta admire the engineering finesse that went into these frames..
  • 1 0
 Seems like the engineering team was all about "can" not "should".
  • 3 2
 geometry over everything I guess, take away the bottom bracket area that's the best looking front triangle ever, straight trials bike. Wonder if it's physically possible to wheelie this thing
  • 1 0
 The voima is pretty reasonable to wheelie, but it’s got a motor which helps.
  • 1 0
 @andrewfif: Motors get in the way I find, the sudden burst makes them uncontrollable over a few miles.
  • 1 0
 @tempnoo1: that’s fair. Wheelies with a motor for me require a lot more brake drag. But once I got comfortable with that I like them bc it’s easy to hold one for a long time and at high speeds Smile
  • 3 0
 Thats a beautiful bike!!! Reminds me of the prototype sort of things you'd see in the 90s
  • 4 0
 Honestly so sick. Not exactly classic beauty but alternative for sure.
  • 3 0
 "a small top only chain device fitted to Dan's pole"
that's a way to wear it but not the most efficient
  • 1 0
 Isn't It the prince Albert piercing solution ??
  • 8 5
 This thing has a face for radio.
  • 2 0
 This bike is beautiful according to sram marketing department if you see his ads and I subscribe.
  • 1 2
 "The Seton Tuning Downhill Team is sponsored by SRAM, so it's no surprise to see their downhill groupset on Dan's bike. Dan has opted for a GX DH 7-speed derailleur combined with a GX cassette, mostly to keep the budget down for this small team when these parts eventually wear or get damaged."

Yeah, that's how sponsors work: you tend to see their stuff on the bikes of teams they sponsor. It's more surprising that SRAM is letting them keep the deal with someone else's cranks. Trying to stretch the word count here?

They're worried about the cost of sponsored parts? That also more surprising that just seeing a sponsors parts on the bike, as it's not how sponsors usually work. Maybe they only give them a couple few sets of some parts for a season's deal, but mechs and cassettes are not like tires, chains, brake pads, rotors, etc, in that they get swapped out for each weekend when possible. If they're really worried about breaking stuff anf having to buy parts out of their own pocket, at least they could run the best from the sponsor to maximize longevity, and then downgrade if they happen to need to make a purchase. But, expecting to break shit and then have to buy it out-of-pocket is a pretty pessimistic outlook.
  • 1 0
 Sponsors probably want GX run to advertise the lower tier options
  • 1 0
 @briain: Probably not, but if that were the case, then why give a bullshit answer like "trying to save money when shit breaks"? They would just say "we run GX because that's what they gave us".
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: the team doesn't actually say that. Do you believe they're buying the components? World tour teams have run 105 the don't all run dura ace. Also how much wear do you think there getting on drive train components on a dh bike. More likely to get broken in crashes then wear out
  • 1 0
 @briain: No, I don't believe, hence why I called out this article for stating that. It literally says "Dan chose GX to keep the budget down for when parts wear or break" right after mentioning the SRAM sponsorship. It's not me claiming that they are buying parts or that they wear enough to warrant worrying about that, it's the author of this article.
  • 1 0
 Wonder how many swingarms the team has, as on the Pole Ebikes they apparently crack alot
  • 1 0
 The tyre pressures and cushcore kinda check out that he is 5 7 but made entirely of granite
  • 3 1
 I can hear the sound of chainslap from a distance
  • 2 0
 I would think that it would slap less since the chain stay is above the chain.
  • 1 0
 @ichabodchain: can confirm, no chain slap.
  • 3 0
 such a cool bike
  • 2 0
 That does NOT look like a Session.
  • 1 0
 Dan gonna be the new Emmit Smith...
  • 2 0
 Nice 260 hubs
  • 1 0
 Whahahaha indeed, them new DT 260 hubs, proto
  • 2 0
 I reckon it looks rad.
  • 1 0
 Pinnd cranks with a normal spindle and chainring mount?? Am I dreaming???
  • 3 1
 R.I.P. Pole
  • 1 0
 Get a nice raw DH aluminium bike instead of this; get a Raaw Yalla.
  • 1 0
 Pole's website is down Frown
  • 2 0
 They declared bankruptcy a few weeks ago.
  • 1 0
 @WishIWazFaster: Yep, but I didn't realize they would shut the website so fast.
  • 1 0
 - how to make orange bike shine?
- with the pole
  • 1 0
 Damn Slack!
  • 3 3
 What seemed to be a very promising brand, doomed by ugly ass designs..
  • 1 0
 She’s got the (s)ack
  • 1 1
 So Pole’s gone now?
  • 3 4
 errrrrrm, nice fork?
  • 4 7
 Pole riders out here downvoting everyone who says their bikes are ugly. You don't have enough accounts to hide the truth.
  • 4 6
 Just when you hoped you'd never seen a Pole on PB again...
  • 1 0
 @h8terbike999: Can i see it please?
  • 5 7
 Scaffolding anyone?
  • 2 3
 Looking at this bike remind me when you switch a video 4/3 to 16/9 and some bad shits happen.
  • 8 11
 And the nominee for the ugliest bike..
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