Ribble winter trainer/audax / Genesis Croix de Fer - Advice please!

by newbie101   October 23, 2011  

Having just moved 8 miles out of town, I'm looking for something I can use to run the commute and for a bit of weekend fun/fitness, and that I can maybe think about doing some light touring on. I'm after a decent balance of speed and comfort, and something I can ride year-round.

I had been looking at a Genesis Croix de Fer, as that seems to be a sturdy workhorse that could easily cope with winter commutes and would be a bit of fun for the weekends. My concerns, though, are the weight and the price.

Looking around online for a lighter, cheaper alternative, I came across the Ribble, which, kitted out with 105s, I could get for around £800 (£300 less than the CdF). It's a bit of a different animal, I know, but could still suit my needs - and could be a better fitness machine.

I've not been able to find much in the way of reviews for the Ribble, so was wondering whether anyone on here has any experience with it, especially with running it as a commuter. Would it be suitable? It comes with mud guards already, so I'd be looking to add a panier rack to carry the work essentials and a change of clothes.

On the other hand, is the additional weight of the CdF really noticeable day to day? And would it be much slower than something like the Ribble?

Does anyone have any alternative suggestions?


9 user comments

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This is definitely worth a look too:


you can have one for less than £800 online

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7857 posts]
23rd October 2011 - 9:30


You're right, they're very different animals but both will make perfectly workable commuting machines. The issue really is what else you plan to do; if it's joining the local cycling club and going out for 40 or 50 miles at the weekend, then go for the Ribble or something like it where the relative light weight and nimble handling will feel much more like a racing bike when you're nipping up hills unladen by the mid-week commuting burden. If you fancy some touring or clattering up green lanes and through the woods for some impromptu cyclo-cross, the CdF will be a more versatile beast. Dave's Dawes above would be somewhere in between. It's the pursuit of that elusive 'perfect' bike that means most cyclists end up with more than one bike for subtly different purposes.

posted by nick_rearden [864 posts]
23rd October 2011 - 11:53


I bought a tiagra equipped Ribble Winter Trainer a little over a year ago to keep commuting through the winter without destroying my usual road bike. I use it far more than I thought and commute on it almost exclusively. Even in summer I'll grab it if it looks wet - mudguards are great for keeping you dry. It is functional rather than an object of beauty but it gets the job done. Would I buy again - yes, as it I bought something with more bling I'd probably fret over it. The Ribble I can treat with a little less tlc, just a bit of chain oil and gt85 and all is good. So far.

jezzer's picture

posted by jezzer [66 posts]
23rd October 2011 - 18:34


Kinesis Racelight T2 is worth a look, it's got quite sporty geometry but you can run 28s and full guards and a rack. The Ribble looks hard to beat for value although I think the racelight has a slightly less industrial frame.
You could also look at the builds that Planet-X do, bikes like the Kaffenback and Uncle John could tick your boxes.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [1113 posts]
24th October 2011 - 9:37


Thanks all, and sorry for the delayed reply.
I'm torn still, as I really like the idea of lightweight and stiff, but really like the versatility of the CdF. The Danes looks like a good compromise though, so I'm trying to track one down to test ride. Also trying to figure out if I can get a discount on a CdF.
Will let you know how I get on.

posted by newbie101 [3 posts]
25th October 2011 - 22:30


T, I have a Genesis Croix de Fer, to me it is the perfect all rounder. I have used it for Commuting,Sportives,Cross racing,touring (JOGLE) & club rides. They are brilliantly built, not the lightest, take mud guards, stop on a penny due to excellent disc brakes and the steel frame makes them very comfortable. For the money I don't think you can go wrong. Mine is 6000 miles in and like new. A great bike.

posted by GodleySpinner [21 posts]
26th October 2011 - 15:28


Picked up my new Croix de Fer yesterday! It's awesome! Big Grin Not the lightest, but not too heavy either. And its incredibly comfortable and feels bomb-proof (as compared to the lighter aluminium offerings I tried which felt twitch and delicate). Just waiting for my proper front light (a Cree XM-L T6) to arrive so I can start to commute.

posted by newbie101 [3 posts]
16th November 2011 - 8:33


look at the moda bolero and rubato, these recently won best in test and are over a lb lighter than other bikes in their class and pricepoint

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iOptix's picture

posted by iOptix [7 posts]
29th November 2011 - 19:00


I do Audax & clubruns on my Croix de Fer. Love it - who cares if its a bit heavier than some carbon lightweight thing; you'll just get fit quicker!


posted by Michael5 [121 posts]
6th December 2011 - 21:47