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, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.