Home
British bike brand explores a new category of road bike with 47mm wide tyres and steel frame

Genesis Bikes has unveiled a prototype RoadPlus bike, with a steel frame and carbon fibre fork built around 650b wheels with space for up to 50mm tyres.  In the video above Genesis brand manager Rick Hutchings talks us through the new bike and its key details. 

This prototype has been mashed together using tubes from other bikes in the British company’s range, so there’s a bit of the Croix de Fer and CDA in there, as well as some all-new parts. It’s an indication of what the final production bike will look like when it arrives later this year, but Genesis were keen to stress that much will change before then. 

genesis road plus 14.jpg

genesis road plus 14.jpg

Where does the new bike fit in the Genesis range? The company sees this new bike as being a distinct category from its more adventure and touring orientated Croix de Fer and it’s intended primarily for road riding, but where roads might not always be silky smooth. It’s a similar proposition to the Cannondale Slate, which is aimed not so much at gravel but more road and dirt. 

genesis road plus 6.jpg

genesis road plus 6.jpg

So 650b wheels then? Yes, the 650b wheelsize is hot right now, with more new adventure bikes, like the Open UP and Mason Bokeh, promoting the virtues of fatter tyres on smaller wheels.  Road Plus is another marketing term that has been doing the rounds for a couple of years and points to a bike that is primarily designed for road riding but can tackle dirt tracks, but not quite the gravel and mud that adventure bikes are designed for. Yes, it can get pretty confusing splitting the differences. It's all about choice.

- Is 650b the future for road bikes? road.cc investigates

genesis road plus 9.jpg

genesis road plus 9.jpg

This new Genesis is running 650b wheels with 47mm WTB Horizon tyres - the final bike will have space for 50mm tyres. To accommodate the tyres the Genesis designers have had to drop the chainstay out of the space between the tyre and chainset, in s similar fashion to the Open UP. This move also helps to keep the chainstay length reasonably short. Fit bigger tyres and you have to lengthen the chainstays to provide clearance and dropping the chainstay is a neat solution. 

genesis road plus 15.jpg

genesis road plus 15.jpg

It’s a working prototype and it’s a long way from being finished, so expect various details to change before production bikes drop hopefully this autumn. One thing that will change are the axles, the pictured quick release skewers will be gone in favour of 12mm thru-axles at both ends. There'll be a brand new carbon fork which as well as having a 12mm thru-axle will also have internal routing for a dynamo hub and light. Ideal for going the distance with no batteries to worry about. All other cables will be routed externally (and yes this prototype is missing a few cables...)

The final frame specification hasn’t been confirmed, but Genesis did let on that it will likely offer various steel, stainless and titanium options. And no, there won’t be a carbon version.

genesis road plus 8.jpg

genesis road plus 8.jpg

It's a really interesting looking bike and we can't wait to see the final production bike and to swing a leg over it. 

- Genesis reveals updated and brand new models for 2017

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

15 comments

Avatar
Dr_Lex [466 posts] 10 months ago
4 likes

650b? So hot right now.

//imgflip.com/s/meme/Mugatu-So-Hot-Right-Now.jpg)

Avatar
belabatnom [24 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

So this is meant to be more road oriented than a croix de fer? I would have thought that 650b wheels are more suited for off road than road but I've never ridden them so I haven't a clue really. 

Avatar
swmlon [28 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

It's an interesting looking bike, not to dissimilar in scope to the Mason and Open bikes.  It all comes down to price.  The Mason and Open bikes are way out of my league, if this can be closer to the Croix de Fer price for frameset, I'd be all over it.

Avatar
joules1975 [491 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes
belabatnom wrote:

So this is meant to be more road oriented than a croix de fer? I would have thought that 650b wheels are more suited for off road than road but I've never ridden them so I haven't a clue really. 

700c wheels are used extensively off-road (in '29er' form) and so why not bring 650b the other way, after all 650b started out on the road when fitted to french touring/go anywhere bikes how ever many decades ago it was.

Looking at the genesis though, I can't help but think it looks rather odd - kind of moulton odd, in a 'those wheels look too small for that bike' kind of way.

Stick a smaller frame on those wheels and they'll look OK, or stick bigger wheels on that frame and again, it'll look OK.

I wonder if we'll start to see different wheel sizes for different bike sizes in the road/gravel market like such design differences are becoming more popular in the MTB world. 650b for short arses like myself (frames in region of 52cm and below, and 700c for anyone 5' 10" + (frame sizes 54cm +), with maybe a couple of sizes in the middle where you have a choice.

 

 

Avatar
swmlon [28 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

Doesn't Surly do that already? I think they spec the smaller frames with 650b, and the larger frames from 54 with 700c. Of course, I could be dreaming all of this.

Avatar
SingleSpeed [401 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

Trek also do it, they call it Smart Sizing or something like that.

Avatar
joules1975 [491 posts] 10 months ago
1 like
SingleSpeed wrote:

Trek also do it, they call it Smart Sizing or something like that.

My point was that various comparines are doing it with MTBs, but are we going to see it with Gravel/Adventure/Road bikes?

And here's another question, given that many of the road plus proponents have mentioned that such bikes have the same overall wheel/tyre diameter as 700x23 (40-584 approx same as 23-622), could we soon see an alternative to 700c road bike wheels/tyres with an outer diameter to match the 700x50 tyres some of the gravel bikes are coming with ... something like the 32 inch seen on some unicycles and novelty machines (so 50-622 is approx same overall diameter as 28-686).

Part of me want's that to happen just to piss all the flat earth roadies off -  with any luck someone will kick the concept off just as the disc brake 'debate' is starting to calm down a little, just so they can have a go at something else they don't think anyone 'needs'.

Avatar
TypeVertigo [421 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes
swmlon wrote:

Doesn't Surly do that already? I think they spec the smaller frames with 650b, and the larger frames from 54 with 700c. Of course, I could be dreaming all of this.

Yes they do. The Straggler is a notable example. A friend of mine had to go 650B because he ordered a size 48.

Avatar
castlejames [4 posts] 10 months ago
2 likes

You can get 650b's into the Day One frame, then just weld a rear mech hanger on to it, add XT di2 groupset and voila!

Avatar
macrophotofly [298 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes
castlejames wrote:

You can get 650b's into the Day One frame, then just weld a rear mech hanger on to it, add XT di2 groupset and voila!

I like a lot! - thanks for the photo.

Quick question, is there still room for some (wide) fenders with those 650b wheels? If so it would make the perfect commuter (even in single gear form)

Avatar
castlejames [4 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes
macrophotofly wrote:
castlejames wrote:

You can get 650b's into the Day One frame, then just weld a rear mech hanger on to it, add XT di2 groupset and voila!

I like a lot! - thanks for the photo.

Quick question, is there still room for some (wide) fenders with those 650b wheels? If so it would make the perfect commuter (even in single gear form)

 

front clearance is fine but it's a bit more snug at the back for fenders.

Avatar
DarKris [1 post] 10 months ago
0 likes
castlejames wrote:

You can get 650b's into the Day One frame, then just weld a rear mech hanger on to it, add XT di2 groupset and voila!

I wonder if 47c is the limit. There's currently more 50-52mm tires that are more ideal for me and my riding.

Avatar
facemanuk [2 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Chuffed to see the Day One alive and well!

That was a mad build and I still miss the bike now! How's the bike? All ok?

Avatar
Trekpro [144 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
castlejames wrote:

front clearance is fine but it's a bit more snug at the back for fenders.

 

You just tin snip your guards to fit in the triangle above the brace.  Done it on couple of bikes to get things to fit - looks fine if you take your time.

Avatar
castlejames [4 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes
facemanuk wrote:

Chuffed to see the Day One alive and well!

That was a mad build and I still miss the bike now! How's the bike? All ok?

 

Its running well thanks mate, still loving it! How's your next project going!?