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Video: Genesis Bikes unveil RoadPlus 650b prototype

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. 

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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. 

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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? investigates

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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. 

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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.

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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 worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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