Singlespeeds and steel the stars of the Genesis 2010 road and cross range

Road bikes make a comeback at Genesis

by Tony Farrelly   September 18, 2009  

We went on a Milton Keynes double header earlier this week, checking out the new ranges from Genesis and Ridgeback and Trek and Gary Fisher. We've had a look at the G-man's new road bike so now let's turn our attention to some homegrown bikes from Genesis and Ridgeback. We had a sneak peak at some of these a few weeks back, but certainly not all of them… new bikes should start hitting the shops at the end of October so let's see what Genesis have in store, as it were. 

 

Genesis Flyer

For 2010 Genesis' flagship fixie gets a makeover looks and materials wise. For 2010 there's a more classic steel retro-feel. Out goes last year's carbon fork and acid yellow paint job and in comes an elegantly slim steel fork and a restrained sky blue instead – sky blue must be the colour for singlespeeds in MK this year, Gary Fisher's Triton (try saying that with a mouthful of cake) is almost exactly the same colour. Colours and fork aren't the only change on the 2010 Flyer though, the head angle has been tweaked to a more road bike 73 degrees and away from the track inspired 74 degree angle on last year's model. It's dropped a bit of weight too with slimmer stays and top tube.

The original intention with the Flyer was to create a fast handling, stiff road bike – that's why the geometry at the front end was more track than road. With the 2010 Flyer Genesis chief designer, James Olsen, says they have tried to create a bike with more forgiving handling when cornering or descending – particularly in the wet. Tyres are Continental Utra Race on Alex AT400 rims on unbranded white hubs – the chain is in white too, James assured the colour will last too with a dab of dry lube.

The carbon fork on the '09 bike fell victim to the need to keep bike prices down while component and raw material costs are soaring – the happy consequence according to James is that the new lugged steel fork actually gives a more comfortable ride – in fact the handling as a whole has been made more user friendly. Although the Flyer frame is made from TiG welded Reyolds 520 Chromoly the addition of some lug collars gives it a slightly more retro appearance which ties in with the lugged steel fork. As last year the rear brake cable is routed along the top tube and it's clipped on rather than run through cable guides giving you the option to remove back brake if you're riding fixed.
Expect to pay £599 for a Flyer when they hit the shops in a few weeks time.

Genesis Day 01

The Flyer isn't the only singlespeed with a flip flop hub in the Genesis range, the Day 01 cyclo cross bike also offers one geared simplicity – this time with added mud. If you are easily confused look away now because there are two Genesis Day 01s - a flat bar version in a lacquered steel finish, and a bright Orange beauty with drop bars. They look like completely different bikes but actually share the same frame (if not the same paint job) and most of the same parts with the exception of the bars and brake levers – the brakes themselves are the same, Tektro Mini Vs. Like the Flyer the Day 01 is made from Reynolds 520, unlike the Flyer you also get mudguard eyelets and a Crudguard mount, as you'd expect cables are routed along the top tube.

The drop bar Day 01 is new for 2010 we saw a prototype at the Ice Bike show earlier this year and given the reaction then it was a cert to pop up in this year's range. It certainly is a looker. Like the Flyer both Day 01s are made from TiG welded Reynolds 520, both feature Alex Ace-19 rims, matched up to Genesis branded hubs and Conti Speed King cyclo-cross tyres. Gearing, as on the Flyer is 42 x 16.

Both versions of the Day 01 will set you back £499, but on the face of it you are getting plenty of bike for your money - stick some slick tyres on it and either would be good road-going singlepeeds.

Genesis Equilibrium

For 2010 Genesis are doing three road bikes: two versions of the butted aluminium Aether that we saw in our earlier Sneak Peak, plus the range-topping, Equilibrium which we didn't see.

There has been an Equilibrium in the Genesis range before but this is a new model for 2010. Made from TiG welded Reynolds 520, it's designed to be one of those bikes you can ride all day, all year round, for everything from Sportives or Audaxes to commuting or even light touring – it's also a road bike designed very much with British road conditions in mind rather than the silky smooth tarmac found on the continent. So there's a strong emphasis on producing a good handling bike. James has been playing around with head angles on all the Genesis road bikes to produce machines that really handle. On the Equilibrium his aim has been to make a bike with confident handling on descents over poor surfaces without turning it into to a tourer. So the wheelbase has been kept road-bike short. As James explains:

"Handling of the front end of a bike is about weight distribution: 1/2 degree slacker head angle, 1/2 degree steeper on seat and balance that with a shorter top tube keeps your weight centred on the bike, which means you can zoom in to a corner and not worry."

"What we've ended up with is a nicely balanced bike, I've set personal bests on my regular descents on the Equilibrium: that slightly slacker head ange makes it less twitchy so if you encounter something unexpected you're able to take action and the balance of the bike means you can lay it down in to corners further and brake later too. This is a bike designed for somebody wants to spend a long time in the saddle, and for whom ride quality is the big thing."

Equipment on the bike is mainly 105 for the drivetrain: rear mech and levers, with non groupset Shimano chainset, the fork is carbon with alloy steerer painted to match the rest of the frame – it's got mudguard eyes too. Other nice touches include the white stem which echoes the Equilibrium logo on the top tube (you get three black carbon spacers too), the 'bars which have a fashionably shallow drop with a decently long bottom section to give plenty of alternative hand holds. Oh, and we liked the care instructions on the down tube too.

To underline the Equilibrium's all round nature the Equilibrium is priced at a Cycle to Work Scheme-friendly suggested retail price of £999.99.

The Equilibrium is a bike that we really like the sound of on paper – so we look forward to putting it through its paces as soon as possible.

Of the other road bikes on show, we talked about the new Aethers a few weeks back although we hadn't seen them then, in the flesh they look pretty good, same geometry as the Equilibrium, different material – butted alu for the Aether 10 and 20, the bikes share the same frame but different builds, with Shimano Sora and Tektro well in evidence.

For the two geared cyclo cross bikes in the Genesis range the Steel Croix de Fer and the aluminium Vapour. The story here, much as it was at the Trek UK launch, which we will be reporting on later, was of spec changes to keep the bikes at their normal price points.

One of the differences between the UK ranges and some of those on show at Eurobike is that the weakness of the pound makes maintaining the spec level much harder if you want to meet a specific price point. So the Croix de Fer is now nine speed and has a number of componentry changes – the frame remains the same but the spec moves down a little: 9 speed 105 instead of 10; a steel fork instead of a carbon one. The same applies to the Vapour where Sora replaces Shimano Tiagra in the mix.

All the Genesis bikes will be at the Cycle Show in October so why not come along and see them for yourself. If you order your tickets through the Cycle Show website  www.cycleshow.co.uk/rcc - and quote the ticket offer code RCC price is £10.

 

28 user comments

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Hey Tony, do you happen to know when these bikes will be available to buy?..as my cycle2work scheme kicks in soon, and that orange day one x-er for 500 notes fits the bill perfectly. Smile

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1081 posts]
18th September 2009 - 16:45

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Ah yes, that basic question that every story about a new bike range should have in it you mean… er, end of the year, but I'll check.

Yeah I'm liking that one too.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
18th September 2009 - 17:12

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Oh my.

I think it's safe to say that a drop bar Day 01 will be my next bike purchase. Smile

posted by grant [75 posts]
18th September 2009 - 17:24

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I heard that steel bikes are getting heavier because of some new safety standards. Are these much heavier than the last range? I quite like the look of the Equilibrium but not if it is built like a tank.

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posted by bicycle bob [19 posts]
18th September 2009 - 17:24

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End of October, didn't you notice it there right at the start Fringe?

Okay, maybe I just added it

Fear not bicycle bob - it looked like they were going to start getting heavier after some CEN testing done in Taiwan scared the bejasus out of a load of bike companies, but on further investigation it turned out that the Taiwanese test was flawed, basically they were testing a steel bike as if it was an alu one when they should have been testing it as if it was a steel one… that's my greatly dumbed down version so that I could understand a tech bod gave me the upshot of which is that this year's steel Genesis bikes should be lighter than last year's.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
18th September 2009 - 17:30

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Tony. Ta.

also is the resurgence in steel framed bikes to do with the fact that it is possibly cheaper and easier to produce than Alu/Carbon etc. ? (and quite possibly more enviromently friendly due to its longevity, and a better ride than cheap Alu..)

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1081 posts]
18th September 2009 - 18:28

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Well it's certainly more environmentally friendly than alu, and probably carbon and it's pretty cheap too, but the main reason for its comeback is simply cycling fashion. Cheap alu isn't that nice but then nor is gas pipe steel.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
18th September 2009 - 19:09

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ah ha... the vagaries of fashion eh. (also glad to see you can spell enviromeufdhgnltykmnlklly, unlike me!) .
Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1081 posts]
18th September 2009 - 20:10

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Interesting that many of the cyclocross bikes this year (from various manufacturers) have brake mods, such as fork mounted cable hangers and mini v's because of the Sh*te braking performance from previous incarnations with carbon forks. Almost actionably bad in the 2009 vapour's case. Oh and if anyone from Madison/Genesis reads this I'm still waiting for a reply to my emails about the Cr*p bike you marketed last year. Never again.

To summarise the 2010 range, heavier Flyer because of steel fork, everything else down-specced to hit a price point. Seems that 2008 was the year for best spec vs. price for the foreseeable future in The Industry.

posted by richardvaltos [18 posts]
18th September 2009 - 22:58

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The best would have been if you bought a 2009 bike when they first hit the shops in 2008. I need to check, but I think you might be wrong about the Flyer - I think it is lighter -according to Madison the frame is, and that fork may be steel, but it's pretty skinny.

Good point about the brake mods for 2010 and you're right about down speccing, as I said above that will apply to pretty much everyone's UK ranges certainly for this year. When the pound was strong we were getting a lot for our money, now it isn't with predictable consequences and it doesn't look like things are going to turn around soon on that score.

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
18th September 2009 - 23:24

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Yeeesss slightly too many beers last night. I'm just annoyed about having to modify my new bike (2009 vapour)straight out of the box. To be fair looks like all manufacturers have had this problem, and fixed it for 2010. Although an "at cost" retrofit mod. from Genesis would appease!

The new range looks great. I've got the 2007 Flyer which is a great bike, and I take the point about a steel fork being more comfortable. I'm very tempted to spend the next round of Cycle to Work cash on the Equilibrium, which looks great. That said, Specialized Langster Steel for best looking OTP singlespeed in 2010 anyone?

posted by richardvaltos [18 posts]
19th September 2009 - 9:00

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grant wrote:
Oh my.I think it's safe to say that a drop bar Day 01 will be my next bike purchase. Smile

Me too, I nearly bought the flat bar version this year with the plan of putting drops on it. Now I just need to think up an excuse for owning another singlespeed bike

Carpe Diem ab absentis: seize the day off

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posted by Coodsta [95 posts]
19th September 2009 - 20:44

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Hi Richard, sorry bit late to reply here.. the Vapour 2009 was as 'cross bikes have been for some time but we wanted to sort that front judder that some reported and it took a while. Cause - carbon forks flex and change the distance from pivot to hanger under heavy braking, so placing the hanger on the fork solves it. A lot of 'cross bikes still use steerer-mount hangers and i was using one on a Vapour until recently, but the new hanger is a simple improvement. This is nothing new though, these hangers have been around for a long time. I must have missed your mail - i generally try to reply same day but a few slip through, apologies.

enquiries@genesisbikes.co.uk - mail me and we'll sort it!

James / Genesis

posted by james-o [188 posts]
21st September 2009 - 16:34

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excuses for owning more single-speeds? easy..

-i can own 18 before i have as many speeds as one of your race bikes..

-i need different ratios for different rides and swapping sprockets takes too long

-they last longer so are a better VFM investment, even if i own 4 or 5

-off-road and on-road versions, plus simple city commuter and a fixie-upper project, well that's 4 again..

Smile

posted by james-o [188 posts]
21st September 2009 - 16:40

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I own 5 bikes, of which 4 only have one gear (well, my 08 Flyer and Giant Omnium both have 2 if you count the flip-flop and double track threaded rear hubs).

However. I need a geared road bike, and the Equilibrium has my name written all over it. So, the Flyer may become a dual-duty track and ss/fixed street bike, and the Omnium sold to make way. A quick removal of brakes, and swap-out of bar and wheelset - hey presto. Fine on the outdoor track I ride.

There is one point I'd like to check though. My inner geek has spotted the yellow and red of a Reynolds 520/525 badge on the Equilibrium, and not the yellow and purple of a 725 badge, as mentioned in the text. I also have some cheeky 'insider knowledge' on this bike and know that James had the prototype in 520. Could someone clarify please?

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posted by andyspaceman [213 posts]
21st September 2009 - 21:35

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Which outdoor track do you ride Andyspaceman?

I ride at Reading Velodrome, although I have entirely missed this last track season, and my beautiful track bike has sat, unloved for a whole season!

I'm planning on getting up there for the Thursday evening training sessions, but that will be on a road bike, as I sold my Bianchi Pista, which I could put a brake on, and only have my proper track bike which has no drilling (and I wouldn't dream of sullying it with a brake anyway).
So it will be my first season on the track training days with a geared bike, which will make keeping pace a lot easier for sure. I was often spinning a crazy cadence on my 50x15 to keep pace with the fast riders on bikes with a 53x12 as an option!

Complicating matters since 1965

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posted by DaSy [648 posts]
22nd September 2009 - 9:37

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Sometimes attend the open track training sessions at Welwyn - really just for fun and fitness. But work travel and holidays on the part of myself and the friend I usually go with have put paid to that since about June.

Tend to run at a high cadence anyway, on a 49x14 for the track. So will likely stick with the 48x18 that the 08 Flyer came with for road duty, and run a 13 or 12 on the track wheels.

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posted by andyspaceman [213 posts]
22nd September 2009 - 9:46

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Andy you are right, you remembered the chat about steel road bikes from a few months ago huh ) hope you like it!

Equilibrium is 520 and 10 speed, Croix de Fer is 725 and 9 speed, both £999.99

posted by james-o [188 posts]
22nd September 2009 - 17:12

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Hi - the preview mentions the Equilibrium has mudguard eyes and can handle light touring; does it have lugs for rear rack? I can't see from the pictures....

posted by suebee [3 posts]
22nd September 2009 - 18:36

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Hi Suebee, no it doesn't, you could use p-clips to fit a rack - that's why we said light touring

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4132 posts]
22nd September 2009 - 21:17

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so whats the difference with 520 and 725 , glad i got my croix de fer last year !

posted by emblsi [8 posts]
23rd September 2009 - 7:13

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520 is Reynolds branded 4130 Cromoly, cold worked and made under license in Taiwan. 725 is heat treated, which gives it a higher tensile strength. stiffness is about the same.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7259 posts]
23rd September 2009 - 9:11

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so they have made a singlespeed cross bike but no geared version or I have I missed something (again)

posted by scottishcyclocross [31 posts]
23rd September 2009 - 11:47

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you've missed something: two things, in fact. The Vapour and the Croix de Fer. bottom of the article.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7259 posts]
23rd September 2009 - 12:30

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Thanks James - yep, been looking forward to seeing the Equilibrium since then. Will hopefully get down to see it in the flesh at the cycle show.

Glad to say that my 'steel snobbery' has not returned. Still absolutely loving the Flyer, and have no qualms about adding another 520 tubed bike to the stable Wink

andyspaceman's picture

posted by andyspaceman [213 posts]
23rd September 2009 - 13:14

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"Equilibrium has mudguard eyes and can handle light touring; does it have lugs for rear rack?"

Hi Suebee,

Compact frames and caliper brakes leave little space for seat-stay rack bosses, particularly on small frames. For the Aether, I'd go for a seat-clamp with built-in rack mounts (M:Part make them in a 31.8mm size, available from our distributor, Madison) or use a nice Tubus style 3-point rack on the Equilibrium. Another option is to use a 4-point rack with a 3-point central adaptor. I wouldn't put more than about 15bs on a bike like this so a 3-point rack is a more suitable and elegant solution.

James / Genesis

posted by james-o [188 posts]
23rd September 2009 - 14:07

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Glad to hear it Andy Smile that's the great thing about steel, if you don't need the strength of 853 for big forks and off-road riding, you can get a great feeling ride from cro-mo as modulus and density are the same as 'posh' steel.

posted by james-o [188 posts]
23rd September 2009 - 14:12

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On the Equilibrium/racks question - many thanks for suggestions; I'll look into those. I'm trying to decide between utilitarian road or cyclocross bike. Generally, is there an accepted standard being referred to when 'light touring' is cited? - in terms of carriage weight, comfort, duration of time out on bike? And would your cross frames be able to support a heftier load than 15lb max?

posted by suebee [3 posts]
23rd September 2009 - 20:37

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