Genesis 2012 launch - Drop bar Day One Alfine 11, Flyer Classic, Equilibrium 00, Vapour Disc, Madison Track+more

Day One gets 853 steel frame and Alfine 11-spd, Flyer gets down tube shifters + new entry-level Equilibrium

by Mat Brett   July 20, 2011  

Genesis are launching a new version of their Day One all-rounder with Shimano’s 11-speed Shimano Alfine hub gear.  We're pretty sure that this is the first production Shimano Alfine 11-speed equipped drop bar bike – it's certainly the first we've seen. The combination of an Alfine 11-spd hub and drop bars is made possible by the new Versa 11-spd lever, a piece of kit almost as eagerly awaited as Shimano's Alfine hub itself.

We'll be updating this story with more bikes from the new Genesis range this morning and check out our mighty gallery of lavishly captioned* pics of the range highlighs - now with super-duper light box captioning too.

The bike is inspired by the Genesis Croix de Fer Cross bike that Vin Cox used to set his round the world cycling, hence the ‘163 days’ badge on the seat tube – referring to the amount of time his epic ride took. Had the 853 version of the Day One frame been available when Cox set out on his ride that is what his bike would have been based around. According to the guys from Genesis the inspiration provided by Cox's round the world record-setting bike extends beyond merely the way this Day One is built up – the frame geometry has changed a touch too becoming slightly more relaxed for a more stable ride.

You don’t have to think quite that ambitiously to get the most out of the Day One Alfine 11, though. Genesis see it as a multi-purpose set-up that’ll turn its hand to pretty much anything, including commuting duties. You can even take the Day One back to its roots by converting it to a singlespeed - removable cable guides are a nice tough offering a neat finish should you choose to go down the one gear route… although don't forget where you leave them.

The frame is made from Reynolds 853 steel – with heat-treated, air-hardened, butted tubes – whereas all the other Day Ones are Reynolds 520. The fork is cromo – that should lop a chunk of weight out of the frame and compensate for the extra weight of the 11-speed hub– and you get a full complement of mudguard and rack mounts for multiple set-up options.

The wheels are similar to those Vin Cox used on his global ride – or as close as Genesis could reasonably get on a production bike. That means you get the Alfine hub at the rear, obviously, and an alloy front hub laced up to Alex CXD rims with stainless black spokes – 32 per wheel. The tyres are 28mm Continental Ultra Gatorskins and the brakes are Avid BB-7 mechanical discs.

The Day One Afline 11 will be available in October and will cost £1,699.99.

If you can’t stretch that far, the Day One with an Alfine 8 hub is £1,149.99. It comes in a new orange finish and the removable cable guides are new too.

Flyer Classic

While the Day One Alfine does it's bit to push the boundaries of bicycle design just that little bit further, the equally eye-catching Flyer Classic comes at things from a very different direction… the Eighties.  It's retro with a modern twist again, or if you like the Eighties with better gears.

Genesis have spotted the trend for urban riders retrofitting gears to fixed and singlespeed bikes to opt for down tube shifters… well if you're making the psychological shift from one gear to some gears you can see there's a logic there - plus a lot of home made fixers started out as old bikes rescued from sheds and garages and given a new lease of life, so their owners are simply putting the original shifters back on… the Flyer Classic is for those that want that retro look without all the retro-fitting hassle.

For £899.99 you get the standard Flyer fixed Reynolds 520 frame and finishing kit but with some different wrinkles and a few extras. So, it's vertical rather than horizontal dropouts and gears – a Shimano Tiagra 9 speed rear mech and 12-25 cassette at the back with the other end of the drivetrain consisting of a Tiagra front mech and Sora compact double chainset. We're guessing that the limiting factor on the number of gears at the back is that Shimano don't currently make a 10-spd down tube shifter – many people will be surprised they make a 9-spd one. They do, and it's a beauty, the Dura Ace SL-7700 - it's indexed and it'll work with a double or triple set-up at the front. According to the spec sheet the Flyer Classic comes with the same 57mm Tektros as the Equilibrium, but the display bike we saw was kitted out with Shimano Sora brakes - we'd rather have them if it was us.

The original Flyer continues in the range for 2012 too, both Flyers are available in five sizes from 52cm through to 60cm in two centimetre increments, both also come with Continental Ultra Sport tyres - Genesis continuing their tradition of not just sticking any old rubber on their bikes. The two Flyers get different wheels Alex A400 rims laced up to Shimano 2200 non- series hubs for the Flyer Classic, while the Flyer gets Alex DA-28 rims on unbranded alloy hubs, the rear one being threaded.

We're certainly in the queue to give the Flyer Classic a go - for one thing we'd like to know if the Dura Ace down tube shifters are as much of a faff in traffic as the shifters on the Cooper we're testing have been… not to say we don't like 'em mind.

Equilibrium 00

Genesis have added a new base-level model to their Equilibrium range of road bikes –  last year Genesis added the Equilbrium 10 and renamed the original Eqilibrium the Equilibrium 20, this year they've gone and added a new base model the Equilibrium 00 – we're guessing that's so's they've got a sub-£1000 model for the bike to work scheme… ironically that was also the reasoning behind the introduction of the Equilibrium 10.

Since launching three years ago the Equilibrium has been a massive success for Genesis – we certainly liked it when we tested it. Designed for UK conditions the Equilibriums are built to offer both practicality and performance bikes – which is a neat trick if you can make it work. Whereas many other brands concentrate on producing wannabe race bikes right down the price points, What you get with an Equilibrium is a fast and efficient bike that can cope with real world conditions; that means coping with unexpected potholes halfway down a quick descent and all the other treats of riding over British roads in British weather. Where the Equilbrium has also scored is that it offers such a comfortable and engaging ride – something not unconnected, we reckon, to the fact it has a Reynolds 725 steel frame - upgraded last year from the original Equilibrium's Reynolds 520.

The new Equilibrium 00 comes in at £899.99. Like the other two Equilibriums, it’s based on a Reynolds 725 steel frame with a suitably skinny carbon fork up front – there’s really not much fat on those blades. The differences are in the spec choices.

The 00 gets a build that’s largely 9-speed Sora – the entry-level complete group in Shimano’s road range. The rear mech, though, is next-level-up Tiagra; that’s 9-speed Tiagra, rather than the new 10-speed version. The wheels consist of Shimano 2200 hubs laced up to Alex AT400 rims and most of the finishing kit is Genesis branded. We’ve got to say that the Tektro brakes that the 00 shares with the other Equilibriums don’t look too flash and if we're being honest they look a bit… what's the word we're grasping for here? Ah yes, cheap. Of course, cheap looking doesn't mean cheap performing. And while by comparison the similarly priced Ridgeback Mercury fast tourer (more on that in a separate story soon) has some classy looking Tektro R539s for much the same money, it doesn't have the benefit of a Reynolds 725 frame. The problem for Genesis here is that there aren't many long drop brakes to chose from when speccing a bike especially when you're trying to make a price point, too. Why go for long drops then? Well, functional is the name of the game and speccing long drops means you can fit a set of full mudguards in there comfortably for added protection when the going gets soggy. Naturally, too, you get eyelets both front and rear.

The £1,149.99 Equilibrium 10 still comes with a largely Shimano Tiagra groupset although it’s the new 10-speed version for 2012 so instead of the largest cassette sprocket being 25T it’s now a 28. It does jump in price by £150 over last year's model, though, bringing it over the bike to work £1000 limit. For 2012 the Genesis 10 reverts to the classy silver grey colour scheme of the original Equilibrium.

The top model in the range is the Equilibrium 20 which is £100 more expensive than last year at £1,399.99. The groupset is still Shimano’s ever-reliable mid-range 105 although there’s a wheel upgrade from Shimano RS10s to RS30s.

If none of these spec choices sounds quite right for you, the heat-treated cromo frame is available for £279.99 with the carbon blade/alloy steerer fork an extra £119.99.

Vapour & Croix de Fer

Genesis expand their 'cross bike range for 2012 where last year there was just one Vapour model last year, this time there are two with a new disc brake version; disc brakes now being UCI-legal for cyclocross. The Vapour Disc is a reasonably lightweight cross bike that’s built around an aluminium frame: 6069 alloy last year, 6061 for 2012. You can race it if you like, or you can add a rack or guards and use it for commuting. It’s another rough ’n’ tough do-it-all machine - an aluminium alternative to the Croix de Fer..

Last year’s Vapour has essentially morphed into the Vapour 10. Well, kind of. There are quite a few changes but you still get a carbon blade/alloy steerer fork plugged in up front and a largely Shimano Tiagra spec, although it’s the 10-speed version now. The brakes are cantis – Tektro’s CR-520s to be precise – and they work via both Tiagra STI levers and top-mounted ones from Tektro. That set-up costs £999.99, so you can get yourself one tax-free if your employer has a Cycle to Work scheme in place.

The new Vapour Disc is £200 more expensive. The discs in question are Avid BB-7s and they’re of the mechanical/cable operated variety (rather than hydraulic). This version has the same frame as the Vapour 10 but with a new disc-specific carbon-bladed fork instead of one with canti mounts - both forks are reinforced at the crown – effectively the alloy steerer extends down further and is wrapped in carbon with the carbon legs plugging in to it - the dropouts too add extra reinforcement with bayonet fittings extending up in to the fork leg to add further reinforcement against both the rigours of cross and the forces involved when a fork mounted disc brake stops a 700c wheel.  

Brakes aside, the two models have broadly similar specs, the Vapour Disc also coming with shifters and a rear mech from the Tiagra group. But instead of the Vapour 10’s Tiagra front mech and compact (50/34T) chainset, the Disc version comes with Shimano cyclocross options. Those are 46/36T chainrings. The wheels on both bikes combine Shimano hubs with Alex rims and they’re factory-produced especially for Genesis.

Top of the Genesis cyclocross range, the Croix de Fer has the same Reynolds 725 steel frame as before but it gets Shimano’s new 10-speed Tiagra groupset for 2012. This is one of the workhorse bikes in the Genesis range that really isn’t constrained by any particular category. Yes, it's top of the Genesis 'cross range but it is pretty much the definitive do it all cross bike that demonstrates the versatility of the cyclocross bike platform. Build to withstand the rigours of cyclocross it’s actually more used to handling the abuse of everyday commuting and can cope with whatever touring is thrown its way, too. It's potential as a light tourer was demonstrated to full effect last year when Vin Cox rode one when breaking the record for cycling around the world.

Genesis bill the Croix de Fer as a bike for exploring on, so as you'd expect you get a bunch of eyelets for fitting mudguards and racks both at the rear and onto the skinny-bladed cromo fork. Last year the brakes were Shimano’s BR-R505 discs. This time around they are Avid BB-7s – still mechanical discs. You can get disc-specific racks, including M:part models from Genesis’s owners Madison, that work fine around these.

Tiagra’s shift from 9-speed to 10-speed allows Genesis to offer a wider range of gears on the Croix de Fer this time around. Whereas last year the compact (50-34T) chainset was linked up to a 12-25T cassette, this time the biggest sprocket is a 28T, so you’ll have an easier time of it when you’re heading uphill heavily laden. The hubs are Tiagra too, laced up to Alex XD-Lite rims, which should prove to be a dependable wheelset without too much weight.

Buy the Croix de Fer as a complete bike and it’ll cost you £1,249.99. It’s available in a frame only format too for £279.99 with the fork at £59.99

Madison Track Bike

While Genesis have had fixed gear and singlespeed bikes in their range for a few years now they've never done and out and out track bike… if memory serves. That changes for 2012 with the addition of the Madison Track, Genesis getting to have their cake and eat it too on the bike naming front being able to get a reference in to their parent company and the famous track racing discipline in on one hit.  As is the way with track bikes, it’s a straightforward, no-nonsense piece of work.

As is also the way with modern track machines, it's aluminium rather than steel; the Madison Track comes with a 6061 aluminium frame and a bladed alloy fork. The chainset is a Driveline 50t model matched up to a 15t sprocket at the back – fixed, obviously, and there’s no flip-flop freewheel here. There are no brakes either, this being a track bike, although you can retro-fit them if you like; the holes are there if you want to sling some callipers on for riding on the road – you'll need to zip tie on the cables though.

Geometry is classic track with steep angles and short chainstays plus the obligatory high bottom bracket  to enable you to get the power down as rapidly as possible around the bankings. Off the track we'd hazard a guess that handling will be pin-sharp and punchy

The Madison Track will be available from March at £599.99

More details to follow on the new Day One Alfine 11 and other range highlights.

*The ones that need lavish captions

23 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

christ that's expensive!!!

Looks like a great bike but well over a grand? Looks like a great commuter, but I'd rather get a decent cross bike instead for that money.


posted by kaptnkrunch [57 posts]
21st July 2011 - 8:21


Looks really practical if you're planning to cycle a fair old distance, round the world perhaps

I wonder how many people who shellout for one have that in mind

posted by lazyusername [140 posts]
21st July 2011 - 9:02


Stand by, kapt! More to follow on the more er, 'popularly priced' Genesis cross bikes, which looked very nice. But they won't have an 11-speed Alfine hub or 853 frame.

lazy: not many if they have any sense but the Genesis folks were making a point when they sponsored Mr Cox. That if a bike could survive riding round the world in 163 days, it would survive the daily grind of a longish and lumpy commute.

Just remembered overnight that the Croix de Fer 'cross frame is going to be available as a frame only....and the popular Equilibrium road frame.... Matt & Tony are typing feverishly....

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
21st July 2011 - 9:39


A fair chunk of that price is going to be in that Alfine 11 hub plus that fact that they've upped the frame material from Reynolds 520 to Reynolds 853.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4157 posts]
21st July 2011 - 10:38


I love the look of the new Flyer Classic, best thing is its the same colour as my fixed Flyer so I could buy one and the missus would never realise I had another new bike Big Grin

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posted by stuke [327 posts]
21st July 2011 - 10:42


The gear/brake lever on that Day-One is a Sun-Race lever, not Shimano - I know this because there is a bike about 3 metres from me with the same lever.

Is that just a temporary thing while waiting for the Shimano lever, or couldn't Shimano be arsed to make an 11 speed lever themselves and asked someone else to do it for them?

posted by joules1975 [73 posts]
21st July 2011 - 11:40


I'm sure it has been asked many times and obviously it depends on chain ring and rear sprocket used BUT. What does the Alfine 11 compare to on a deraileur geared bike? More range I'm interested in, obviously won't be all of the increments that say a triple would give. Would I get anywhere near to the top and bottom of a 50/34 with a 11-25?

posted by 1961BikiE [87 posts]
21st July 2011 - 13:25


The Alfine 11 has a 408% range, which is a lot more than the eight but not as much as an mtb triple setup or a rohloff (both over 500%)

so, if you set it up to run with a bottom gear equivalent to 34/25 (ie 36") the top gear would be a very long 146"

More likely you'd set the low gear to be the same as a triple 30/25 (31.5") and the top gear would be 128.5", about the same as a triple's 53/11 (126.5").

Worth bearing in mind that the lowest gear is a big jump (24%) and all the others are evenly spaced (13-14%), so that first ratio is a bail-out gear.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7485 posts]
21st July 2011 - 13:41

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4157 posts]
21st July 2011 - 13:45


Joules1975 the actual metal bit of the lever might be made by Sunrace but the whole thing, or at least the internals is made by Versa.

Shimano may or may not be interested in producing an 11 spd Alfine lever, but we probably shouldn't hold our breath - they haven't got round to making an 8-spd version yet, which is why Versa have spotted a gap and stepped in.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4157 posts]
21st July 2011 - 13:48


I think the lack of a Shimano made Alfine drop bar lever reflects that its generally only the Brits who ride/tour with hub gears and drop bars, so its probably not worth the big 'S' making them.

I hope the Versa 11 spd lever is better made than the 8 spd ones I have on my bike. The build quality and design could best be described as 'agricultural', requiring some careful filing just to get the cable running properly in my case. I've now done about 600 miles and the changer mechanism is already starting to wear out. I think I'll be going back to a flat bar soon. Not impressed..

posted by don_don [149 posts]
21st July 2011 - 16:32


I had a rohloff hub on a Birdy and the 14 evenly spaced gears were terrific - now get that with drop bars on an 853 would be great. A word of caution - I ride my Argos (Racing Cycles of Bristol) fast Audax custom 853 frame 531 fork into London each day and 853 forgiving it is NOT on London's disgraceful road surfaces.- I wonder if Genesis have solved that or it will be a case of form over function - shame 'cos it looks a nice bike


posted by pjhwalter [11 posts]
21st July 2011 - 20:50


The badge on the steel will make no difference to the comfort or the way it rides if the tube gauges are the same.

To get benefit from a pricier tubeset you need to take advantage of its added hardness by taking material away - but then, you don't want to take away in the wrong places - i.e. areas where there are no strong twisting / torsional forces.

I've ridden 520 frames that are more forgiving but equally responsive as similar looking 853 equivalents. It's all about the tube weight/gauge selection.

I've owned and ridden many many steel frames, and find Genesis to be just on the stiff side of 'medium' in terms of comfort, but very very responsive. I have a custom-build Equilibrium currently, which is absolutely superb. I raced it at Hog Hill a month or so back, and even in uphill sprint finishes I was able to come round riders who normally ride in a faster group than me on their $$$ superbikes.

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posted by andyspaceman [232 posts]
21st July 2011 - 22:04


@pjhwalter really good point about 853, been trying to get back to the guys at Genesis all day to ask why they went for 853 instead of 725 on this one?

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4157 posts]
21st July 2011 - 22:26


@don_don I get that impression from talking to them that Shimano are definitely thinking about making a drop bar lever for Alfine 11, they were certainly keen to have a good look at the Versa lever at last year's Eurobike (mind you that could just as much have been to check for patent infringement) it's just they don't move that fast. Also I think they would want to make Alfine lighter so they could expand the range of possible applications.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4157 posts]
21st July 2011 - 22:30


I got last years Croix de Fer and have found it to be a stunning all rounder. Only thing I did was change the 12-25 at the back to an 11-28 (mainly for the Sunday Munch and the haul up to Upper Colwall). I've used it for everything, light touring, muddy trails and sportives. Interested to see that Genesis have essentially done the same gear change as I did (well plus one more). Shame the price has gone up again though as my mate wanted one. I hope he can pick up an old one in time Confused

Shut up legs

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posted by slow-cyclo [74 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 0:45


The new Equilibrium 00 comes in at £899.99. Like the other two Equilibriums, it’s based on a Reynolds 725 steel frame with a suitably skinny carbon fork up front – there’s really not much fat on those blades.

The forks in this picture looks decidedly fat, un-blade-like, and steel-ish to me. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing.

posted by handlebarcam [531 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 10:58


Yes, does look a bit steely, but it is supposed to be carbon - reckon they might have put last year's forks on for the launch cos they didn't have the uprated new fork, but according to the spec it is going to be a carbon alloy job on the production version

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4157 posts]
22nd July 2011 - 18:04


Has the Aether range been dropped for 2012 then? It would be a shame if so as they are a nice alternative to the Trek/Specialized/Giant bike at the same price point.

posted by shaws [5 posts]
23rd July 2011 - 14:12


Yeah, handlebarcam and tony, according to their new product chap Dom (who comes from Pace, which sounds like good provenance to me) that IS just a temporary fork in our pics.

And shaws, it does look like the end of the Aether bikes although to an extent the new Flyer fills the the niche and arguably does a better job in that it fills the original Genesis brief to be interesting and distinctive. No shortage of sub-£1,000 alloy-framed road bikes, as you say, and some of them are brilliant.

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
23rd July 2011 - 17:55

1 Like

I'm pleased to see they have switched to avid brakes on the day 01 alfine.
I had last years version and the mix of shimano rotors and tektro brakes was a death wish, they barely worked and in the end i had to return the bike to the shop i bought it from. Genesis didn't seem to care about how dangerous it was when me and the big name bike shop contacted them.
Unless someone is competent with hub gears, disc brakes and chain tugs then i would avoid the day 01 alfine, rear punctures are a pain to change and get the wheel back in at the right angle so the brake works.

posted by gaz545 [12 posts]
25th July 2011 - 15:38


The shifter bosses on the Flyer Classic are too high. One-handed shifts of both levers can't be done because the head tube is in the way. Somebody hasn't looked at why 80's gear levers were positioned where they were. Otherwise, it looks pretty good.

Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

posted by LWaB [48 posts]
25th July 2011 - 17:52


I like your idea, might copy it... but don't have to worry about a wife!

posted by Jobjohn [5 posts]
26th July 2011 - 19:32