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Do-it-all commu-tourer with Alfine's 11-spd hub

We like rare and unusual beasts at road.cc. I myself am often to be found commuting on a Wyvern, especially if the Gryphon has a flat tyre. However, we currently have an even more rarefied specimen on test. Alfine 11 hub gear, drop bars, disc brakes and proper STI shifters? On the same bike? It’s a veritable chimera! What is this, an award winning cycling website or the Fortean Times?

The heart of this particular beast is a Pompino frame, much loved in its single speed form and very handsome in new black livery, with the Alfine hub dropped in at the rear. Shifting duties are taken care of by Versa STI shifters, a departure from the usual Shimano/Campag/Sram triumvirate and essential to work the hub effectively.

They also operate the Avid BB7 mechanical discs, another old favourite. The rest of the spec can be customised endlessly – ours came with FSA Wing Anatomic Aero bars, Selle Italia Flite XC saddle and Schwalbe Marathon tyres. The tyres are a logical choice on a workhorse, especially one where you really don’t want a flat on the rear, but they aren’t listed on the On-One website, which seems odd.

On-One are proud to call their Pompetamine (I hope I don’t have to spell it out for you) the worlds first Alfine equipped drop bar bike. For those of us who enjoy practical bikes, the prospect of an off-the-shelf, drop barred, disc braked, steel framed do-anything commuter/tourer has been a long time coming. A belt drive would tick all the boxes, but you can’t have everything.

We’ve been pretty excited about the prospect of testing one so now it’s arrived there are a few questions that need answering: Just how good is the Alfine hub? Is removing the rear wheel going to be as fearsome a task as it looks? Do those Versa shifters match up to those of the big boys? And more importantly, is it as much fun to ride as it should be? Our bike is even now being thrashed around the lanes of Devon, so we should have some answers soon. Watch this space…