The Volare helped put steel back in the mind of performance focused cyclists when it was introduced in 2013, being used by the Madison-Genesis pro race team in crit and road races across the UK. For 2018 it’s available with disc brakes, so we've got one in to put it through its paces.
This is the Volare Disc 853 built using the classic Reynolds 853 tubeset. There’s also a pricier Reynolds 931 stainless option as well. Neither models are available as complete bikes, but UK distributor Madison kindly built up a bike with some parts to let us test it as a complete bike. The frameset costs £1,199, a £200 premium over the non-disc model. The 931 frameset is £2,199.
Let's furnish you with some more details on the frame. The disc brakes are attached to the frame and carbon fork via the now standard flat mount, there are 12mm thru-axles at both ends and external cable routing. Providing the necessary stiffness demanded by a bike racer is a tapered head tube and BB86 press-fit bottom bracket, while a 27.2mm seatpost lends a bit of seated comfort.
During the early years of its development, the Genesis team spent a lot of time working with Reynolds and the pro racers to tune the stiffness of the Volare. It changed many times before the final tubing profiles and dimensions were nailed down.
The result is an ovalised top tube tapering from 31.8 to 25.4mm diameter, an oval-round downtube going from 31.4, 41.4 to 36.4mm diameter, 24mm wide round-oval-round chainstays, and the aforementioned tapered head tube and BB86 bottom bracket. The company’s own ADK carbon monocoque fork, with a tapered steerer tube, slots into the beefy head tube.
A complete Shimano Ultegra R8000 groupset smothers the frame, with hydraulic disc brakes and mechanical shifting. Shimano RS 770 wheels sit under the Ultegra label and are tubeless-ready with a carbon wrapped rim that is lighter than the old 6800 wheels. They look very nice too.
A PRO PLT aluminium handlebar and stem, Genesis aluminium seatpost and chromoly railed saddle complete the build, which weighs in at 9.18kg (20.2lb).
When I tested the original Volare Team 953 back in 2014, I said it was a fast and inspiring ride with great handling and fine looks and a true contender for any performance road bike shortlist. It still rates as one of my favourite bikes.
We also reviewed the Volare 40 with a Reynolds 853 which got a similarly positive review. You can read that here.
It's fair to say steel is popular at the moment, with a lot more choice from bespoke to production frames, and a growing appreciation for its virtues, even in a bike designed for racing, or at least riding very fast. It’ll be interesting to see how this new model rides, so watch out for a review soon.
More info at www.genesisbikes.co.uk
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.