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Reynolds-tubed singlespeed winter racer and trainer

Winter's here, folks. Long behind us are the sunny afternoons on sticky tarmac with a pristine road machine between the thighs: it's time to get muddy. That might be on your winter hack on muck-strewn lanes, or atop your MTB but what you really want is a a bit of cyclocross action. The season for the traditional winter fitness keeper-upper is in full swing now, and we'll be seeking out a couple of local races to put our new test machine through its paces: the Genesis Day One Cross.

We covered the Genesis 2010 launch way back when, but this is the first of the bikes we've had in the flesh. It's a Reynolds 520-tubed singlespeed 'cross machine that's born out of a prototype bike that the Genesis boys were riding last year. There's two Day One bikes, and although the flat bar and drop bar versions look very different at the heart they're the same frame and fork, which is fairly traditional 'cross geometry – the top tube is very slightly dropped but there's plenty of room to get your shoulder through for the hurdles.

The wheelset features genesis branded hubs; there's a flip-flop at the rear if you want to take your 'cross experience to the next level – and try it fixed. Don't think we'll be trying that though! They're laced to Alex Ace rims and driven by a 42/18 drivetrain which will probably suit flatter courses with hurdles more than the hills although we've ridden neither as yet. We did take it up the BMX track and trhough the woods though, as you can see from the POV video below. The bike comes with Conti Speed King tyres which VecchioJo found to be a bit sketchy in the wet on his Kona Major One, this is borne out by our first ride too and we'll probably swap them out for something knobblier.

Stopping is taken care of by Tektro RX-5 Mini-Vs laced to Shimano levers and first impressions are very good, they've certainlny got more bite than the tyres can handle in the wet... the Genesis shallow drop bar has a good feel too, the tight shoulder gives a nice big platform for wrestling the bike along tracks and the drops are in easy reach. Genesis describe the colour as 'fruit Juice' although if someone gave us fruit juice that hue we'd most likely pass. It's nice and bright for winter though and you should stand out on the roads too.

So who's it for? well at £499 the Day One isn't going to break the bank and there's very little to go wrong, so it's a perfect winter mount. You can fit guards and a rack for the commute, or just ride it naked on the trails - those skinny tyres will cut through the mud much better than your MTB and you won't have to worry about fouling up your gears. We'll be trying it out in all its guises, so stay tuned for the review in due course...

Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.

38 comments

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VecchioJo [396 posts] 6 years ago
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come and do a head-to-head SSCX comparison test with my Kona Major One at the Stanmer Park CX race on Nov 15th.

i've already proved that the Major One is better than a Speedvagen in a race situation so it would be good to see where the Genesis lies in the pecking order of things
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Shaun Audane [137 posts] 6 years ago
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Very similar to my beloved Ilpompino  1

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 6 years ago
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VecchioJo wrote:

i've already proved that the Major One is better than a Speedvagen in a race situation so it would be good to see where the Genesis lies in the pecking order of things

the genesis would have the distinct disadvantage of being piloted by me though  1

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Coodsta [112 posts] 6 years ago
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another bike to add to the wish list  7

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Fringe [1047 posts] 6 years ago
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i'll be interested to know how you get on in a flat-ish cross race lined up with only a single speed as them gear'd bikes dont half fly when in the right legs.

nice film btw.

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VecchioJo [396 posts] 6 years ago
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you just need a singlespeed with the right legs B)

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Fringe [1047 posts] 6 years ago
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those would be yours then, can i borrow them?

am actually in the process of making myself a single speed cross-er, although just have the bare frame at the moment (not even painted). so maybe i'll find out next season.

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 6 years ago
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swapped out the 42T for a 39, then immediately got offered out for a road ride with a fitter-than-me friend on his fixed. cue high cadence  1

should be just about right off road though. not expecting much of the tyres though, they were complaining about a bit of leaf mulch on the railway path...

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Fringe [1047 posts] 6 years ago
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high cadence indeed, all good for the knees and heart rate mind.  4

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austen [30 posts] 6 years ago
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Tyres seemed to be rolling pretty well this morning though, had a bit of a job catching you on the hill into town.

Very nice looking bike in the flesh, trying to avoid popping into John's Bikes and snapping up the one in the window, think they're going to sell out quite quickly.

How are you getting on with it offroad, new gearing helping?

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 6 years ago
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hey austen! good to bump into you this morning. funnily enough I just swapped the tyres out for some panaracer cindercross folders - the speed kings are all very well on the road but in the mud they're no use at all. the bike's set up out of the box as more of a do-it all machine than a genuine off-roader, that's reflected in the gearing and the rubber. now it's running 2:1 with some proper knobblies it should be a hoot off-road, i'll find out this weekend hopefully  1

i'm 97kg - doesn't matter what i'm riding, i'm hard to catch downhill  1

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james-o [235 posts] 6 years ago
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VecchioJo - er.. i reckon the Genesis could beat the Kona downhill, i dunno about a race situ though, the kona's probably lighter..

but i've already proven locally that a steel f+f plus mini-v's make the Day One a better off-roader / mountain bike-chaser than lighter, proper-spec 'cross bikes  1

love that video btw Dave! post a video of it clearing those doubles and you can keep what's left of it!!

James / Genesis

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 6 years ago
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that sounds like a challenge... might have to put the 42T back on though... or maybe my dura ace 55T off of the '90s

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 6 years ago
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do i have to be riding it, or can i entrust it to one of the happy band of bmxers up at the tumps?  1

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james-o [235 posts] 6 years ago
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it depends on those happy bmx'ers skill levels! i can imagine most of them being happy to launch a bike they have no responsibility for )

i saw a great pic a while back, of a guy in the states table-topping a 'cross bike off a jump mid-race and it got me thinking.. so far i've only managed minor cross-ups over very small bumps (

SS moto-'cross is the next niche..

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Simon E [2720 posts] 6 years ago
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I know someone who raced 'cross today (Sunday) on one of these. The mini-Vs were clogged with mud & grass, he'll be fitting cantis.

Piccy

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 6 years ago
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I know someone who raced cross on one of these today too: me. my mini vs didn't clog but the mud was more like day 3 of a rainy glastonbury, all gloopy and wet. wasn't loving the lack of adjustment on the brakes though. other than that the bike fared really well and beat plenty of geared bikes. the other guy on a singlespeed turned me over though. he had a tiny gear on his, which turned out to be the right gear  1

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 6 years ago
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mine didn't look quite as muddy at the end. saddle's at a funny angle cause it worked itself loose after an incident with a puddle that was a lot deeper than i thought it was - slammed into it and the bike stopped dead and i hit the saddle hard.

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 6 years ago
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...and this was the scene in my bath tub after the race  1

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Simon E [2720 posts] 6 years ago
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Dave, it looks like your bath quickly resembled the puddles on the course!

Tym found the stock gearing (42x18?) too high. Although the course wasn't hilly the grass & mud clogged all the bikes and slowed the bike down so much. The stock tyres probably didn't help his case either.

I was divided between being slightly envious and thinking thank god I didn't have to clean my bike and myself again afterwards. Photos from WMCCL round 9 here.

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 6 years ago
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mine's running 39x18 (59in) at the moment which was still a bit heavy going, especially uphill on boggy grass. The other guy running 1 gear had a 50in and he beat me  1

ideally for proper offroad and wet races i reckon i'd run a 2:1 or less, maybe a 32x16 or 32x18 and have a 14t on the other side for the road or dry races if there is such a thing.

The stock tyres are no use in the mud either, they're more for general arsing around. I put panaracer cinder-x's on for sunday, they worked a treat

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Fringe [1047 posts] 6 years ago
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so where was your final placing Mr. Atkinson?..(out of a field of how many)  4

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 6 years ago
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dunno. haven't seen any results yet. normally i'm about 2/3 of the way down the field, don't see any reason why sunday wouldn't continue that trend  1

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 6 years ago
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oh, and there was about 40-50 i guess. not everyone made it to the end, one poor guy didn't make it out of the starting straight on his Cannondale Killer V...

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Simon E [2720 posts] 6 years ago
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A fair number of mechanicals at Sundorne yesterday too - a young lad from the local club had his rear mech crunch into the spokes (on a borrowed bike!), while a senior riders actually ran 3/4 of a lap after he punctured. He managed to laugh about it.... at least I think it was a laugh.

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james-o [235 posts] 6 years ago
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mini-v's clogging? anything but a canti would in conditions like that, the mini-v's were fitted for the braking power rather than the clearances - it's all pros/cons like so many things.

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 6 years ago
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look out for an amusing vid soon james-o, we're off to the tumps tomorrow  1

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james-o [235 posts] 6 years ago
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me and my big mouth.. )

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Fringe [1047 posts] 6 years ago
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dave_atkinson wrote:

look out for an amusing vid soon james-o, we're off to the tumps tomorrow  1

which will it be that breaks first..bike or big dave atkinson!  39

(this could be worth doing a sickie just to come and watch)

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 6 years ago
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if you're expecting to see anything sick/rad/gnarly/etc then prepare to be disappointed  4

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