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.
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.
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.
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.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.