Clearly, this online direct-to-consumer concept is catching on in the cycling world. The newcomer to the web is Clear Bicycle Company, which was recently hatched by industry veteran Skip Hess (whose resume includes some big names like Giant, Schwinn and Mongoose). The company is based in Julian, CA and their first complete bike is a commuter called the One.

The One is a slick-looking city bike that bears a simple appearance, but upon closer inspection offers an impressive and thoughtful component spec. With a pretty competitive price of $699 USD, Clear Bicycle Co. is definitely attempting to lure customers with a high bang for your buck ratio.

Clear Bicycle Company, the One commuter bike, top tube badge

The One’s frame is made from formed 6061 aluminum, and it’s matched up to an aluminum fork. As for construction features, the frame includes internal cable routing on the front triangle to keep the bike looking smooth, mounts for front and rear carrier racks, a water bottle mount on the down tube and a kickstand plate.

The One was built with “comfortable, fun geometry” which by the numbers means it has a 71° head tube, 73° seat tube, and stout 430mm chainstays. The BB shell is a threaded 73mm type, and the rear axle spacing is 135mm (note- the fork uses a 100m axle). Frames are available in Small (17”) Medium (19”) and Large (21”) sizes.

Clear Bicycle Company, the One commuter bike, locking axle nuts

The One’s 29” wheels are one component that shows these bikes are built by bike-saavy people. The rims are double-walled with stainless steel eyelets, and 14g stainless spokes connect them to sealed bearing hubs. The hoops are then wrapped with 40mm wide Kenda Flintridge micro-knob tires, and fixed to the bike with locking axle nuts (an excellent finishing touch for a commuter bike).

Clear Bicycle Company, the One commuter bike, narrow-wide chainring

It’s also nice to see the 1×9 drivetrain includes a CNC machined narrow-wide 40t front chainring. Shifting is handled by Sram’s X-5 derailleur and trigger shifter, and Avid’s BB5 mechanical disc brakes on 160mm front and 140mm rear rotors provide the stopping power.

Clear Bicycle Company, the One commuter bike, Black/silver, side

The One’s headset is a sealed unit, and the bike comes with two carbon spacers for height adjustment. The cranks are a two-piece type with a chromoly spindle, and a pair of wide-body aluminum platform pedals is included. Clear supplies their own micro-fiber padded saddle with chromoly rails, and the seat post clamp wisely forgoes the quick-release in favor of security.

Clear provides most of the other bits and pieces like the handlebars, stem, and their ergo-style grips. The grips’ stubby integrated bar ends allow for three different riding positions to ensure long-haul comfort.

Clear Bicycle Company, the One commuter bike, Yellow, side
*Photos c. Clear Bicycle Co.

The One frames are available in Lightning Black, Resort Blue, Summer Yellow, Real Red or Double Grey colors. Buyers can then choose if they want their components in polished black or polished silver. For further details or to place an order, check out Clear Bicycle Company’s website.


  1. Great thinking, love the wide range 1×9 drivetrain, but it’s a shame it’s speced with mechanical discs. Given they’re self adjusting, hydros make way more sense for commuting. Unfortunately I’m sure it was done to hit a price point and lots of people wouldn’t pony up the extra $50? (max) that it would cost to spec them. Also, in my part of the world, commuter bikes need fenders.

    • much less than that. You can find deal on hydro shimano brake below 50 on the web sometime. I bet mass price is lower. And you remove the cos of the mecanical one. Hydro brake would have been a better choice here.

      • Yes, I’d guess the cost to the manufacturer to spec hydro disc would have been less than $30 USD more. I was thinking how that would translate to the MSRP increase when I said $50.

  2. Are people actually buying “commuter” specific bikes? Most commuters I see are on flat-bar “fitness” hybrids or converted old MTBs.

  3. For actual usefulness (not perceived advantages like 29″ wheels or disc brakes, which are great for mountain biking but not in any way necessary for biking to work, shopping, etc), nothing comes close to the Breezer Uptown 8. I do not work in the bike industry but I have now set up four different people with those bikes and they all ride much more frequently now as a result. I’m really not a brand person, but find me another commuter bike with the following combo:

    Fenders and rack
    8-speed internal gearing with fully enclosed chain case.
    Dynohub and lights with very clever internal wiring to the taillight
    Aluminum frame with steel fork
    Can fit 2″ wide tires (and good old 26″ wheels)
    Step-through frame available.
    Cost was under $900 when I last checked

    Calling a bike without fenders, racks or lights a commuter bike is a joke. Every bike company should have at least one model to compete directly with the Uptown 8; I hate sounding like a broken record and recommending the same model to everyone who asks me, and yet no other company has anything even remotely close for real, actual, everyday use.

    • Disagree, that bike may be great up until the point you get a flat tire on the way to work. That looks like a lot of work to get the wheel off and back on again on the side of the road. I commuted at distances where roadside repairs were required, I couldn’t just say f-it and push the bike to get to work.

      • I wish the 8-speed Shimano hubs used a simpler external box to connect/disconnect the shift cable like their 3-speeds or my Rohloff hubs. Disconnecting that cable is a real impediment to tire changes but that is true for any bike using a 7- or 8-speed Shimano IGH; the chain case has a panel in the back that removes quickly with two screws.

        My experience is that a lot of the users of bikes like these don’t change flats in the field. They call for a ride and bring it to a shop. I set my Dad up with 26×2.0″ Big Apples, run them at low pressure (about 35psi) and he’s never had a flat in something like 5 years of having the bike.

        If you can learn to disconnect the shift cable quickly (a small pair of needlenose pliers helps immensely), then you can fix your own flats.

      • 98% of the market for a commuter bike like this is not going to fix a flat on the side of the road no matter how easy it is to get the wheel out of the bike.

        Seconding the complaint that a bike without lights and fenders at a minimum is not a commuter bike. This is a performance hybrid.

  4. Because the world needed another bike company… Cripes, hit any LBS drop $500-$600 on a nice steel or alloy hybrid and be done with it. Fuji, KHS, Masi, Giant and everyone already make bikes nicer and more useful than this for less money. But oh, yeah, I forgot that it’s direct sale so it must be a deal…

    • Exactly, how the heck is this bike needed? It’s not a better deal than almost anything an LBS sells for $700 and it looks like it got wrapped around a tree.

  5. This whole post feels off.

    How is this a commuter? This isn’t a commuter, it’s just a cheap bike with cheap components that isn’t any better than any bike at the same, or lower, price point, from one of the big brands you’d find at a local bike shop.

    The only difference here is that you don’t get LBS service.

  6. I think they’re onto something though. I’m so tire of seeing cheap “commuter” bikes (the manufacturer name for them) with crappy triples and sh*tty front derailleurs. A basic 1x with decent wide range 9spd rear would be so practical and better for “most” people. We constantly see these 3x setups where the customer never leaves the big/big or small/small because they either don’t understand or the the front mech is messed up. If Sram/shim or even suntour would develop a cheap 1x crank, and pair it with a wide range sunrace cassette, and you’d have a winner.

  7. I got a diamondback faux-mtb off ebay for $250 and it’s essentially the same as this bike with a suspension fork and 3 chainrings. If you don’t like chainrings, don’t use them. The price point of this bike is off by a factor of 2.

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