Genesis unveil 2011 bikes at IceBike*
Quite a few familiar faces, and one that's not very familiar at all...
We got our first chance to look around the new range of Genesis road bikes at IceBike* on Tuesday, and a jolly nice looking set of machines they are too. The backbone of the range is the same but there's a couple of new models in there too, and one which starts a whole new sub-genre of bikes; it's not every day we get to say that. Steel still features heavily and the branding which worked pretty well last time around has been retained, albeit with a few tweaks. Let's have a look at what's coming in 2011.
Biggest news for next year's range is that Genesis have bitten the bullet and gone ahead with making the Alfine-equipped Day One, a bike we saw in concept at the February show. So what we have here is a hub-geared, drop-barred cyclocross iron with a Reynolds 520 frame. The Day One uses the Versa 8-speed integrated lever to shift the hub – it has a bit of a Sora-esque long sweep but it works – and Tektro Lyra mechanical disc brakes to do the stopping, which James at Genesis reckons are just as good as the Shimano ones even though they're a bit cheaper.
There's plenty of attention to detail too: note the lengthened rack mount braze-ons which give you a bit more clearance on the disc, and also a bit more thread to hold the bolt if you still need to space it out with a couple of washers. Best of all, Genesis have managed to spec the bike so that it sneaks under the £1000 Cyclescheme limit by a quid, so if your ride to work includes a bit of singletrack and some hurdles then this might be the bike for you. Or you could ride it on the road. Anyway we've scrawled our name at the top of the list for testing, so as soon as we've had a go we'll let you know whether hub-geared cyclocross is the future.
Genesis are persevering with the singlespeed Day Ones too, which is good news as they're a hoot to ride. This year's flat bar model is a rather fetching blue and the drop bar bike is yellow, other than that it's pretty much as you were with those two. You'll have to shell out an extra 50 quid this year though; they both retail at £549.
I've got an Equilibrium and I love it to bits; the bike was a huge hit last year and it's no surprise to see it back for 2011 – they may even make enough to meet demand, who knows. Last year you got 10-speed 105 for a grand, Genesis making the saving by downgrading the chainset to a cheaper Shimano one. This year that's not really an option as parts are more expensive and the new 105 running gear requires (so Shimano say) its dedicated chainset. So for 2011 Genesis have gone for two models of the Equlibrium, a £1199 version in red with full 105, Shimano RS10 wheels and upgraded finishing kit, and a £999 one with a Tiagra/Sora mix.
Where you're getting a downgrade in equipment, though, you are at least getting a frame upgrade. Last year's bike was Reynolds 520, this year it's heat treated 725 which means the main tubes can be made a touch thinner. It's difficult to believe that the ride will be any better than last year's bike though. I guess we'll wait and see.
2010's Flyer was all power blue and whiteness, this year it's had a bit of a makeover and come out the other end looking rather splendid in dark purple and orange livery. Underneath the formula is the same. It's still a Reynolds 520 steel frame with a smattering of good value Genesis finishing kit and Alex-rimmed, large flange wheels. There's a flip-flop hub at the back and brakes come as standard as it's singlespeed out of the box. £649 will net you one, which again is a bit dearer than last year.
That wasn't the only Flyer on display this year though: Genesis have teamed up with design agency All City Creative to knock up a flat-barred black and white version of the bike that's all bold chevrons and attitude. It's a limited edition and you'll need £749 of your hard-earned to secure one. You get semi-deep rims and clips and straps thrown in, but you lose a brake as it's set up fixed. Check out the retro saddle too.
The Aether is mostly unchanged from last year, although the Aether 20 has changed colour to a sort of primer grey which polarised opinion a bit (one of us like it, one of us didn't). Frame-wise it's still a triple butted ALX-9 aluminium frame that's more sportive than all-out race geometry. The 20 is a Sora/Tiagra mix and will retail for £849, and the 10 will cost £649. There'll also be an Aether 30 with a full 105 groupset for £1099, but we didn't see that one... it's 'Gloss Pure Silver', apparently...
The Vapour CX bike is a nice looking beast this year, decked out in a kind of matt olive finish with gloss decals. Kit-wise it's aTiagra drivetrain with 2300 non-series chainset to keep the cost down to a reasonable £899. You get Tektro cantis and secondary levers for the tops, and Genesis have positioned the cable stop on the fork crown (as opposed to hanging it from the spacer stack) as they reckon it makes the braking much less prone to wobbles. Which has to be a good thing.
Croix de Fer
The Croix de Fer is the same Tiagra-equipped, Reynolds-725-framed beast that we saw last year and the price remains at £1099. James at Genesis is looking at doing some work on the spec of the bike to get it back under the magic £1000 Cyclescheme mark, but that'll probably be work that comes to fruition in the 2012 range. Disc-equipped 'crossers are certainly selling on the Bike to Work Scheme – they're great all-rounders – so that looks to be a good move although arguably, if we're being picky, it wouldn't have taken much work to make it happen in 2011...