The Core 30 from small UK-designed brand Genesis scored highly with our testers, packing in plenty of spec for the money.
Ride & handling: Adaptable point-shoot-and-play hardtail
We back-to-back our test bikes as often as possible for accurate comparisons, and initial impressions of the Core 30 didn’t sit comfortably with the pep of the shorter travel frames on test. Perseverance paid off however; after a few more hours in the woods the Core started to spill the beans.
Crunching the fork travel to an automatic minimum for ascents really doesn’t work; it’s much happier climbing at around 110mm than a bike with its nose this far in the clouds has any right to be.
Descents were equally muddied at ﬁrst and we wondered if slow and calm would morph into slovenly and sluggish. Worries were unfounded because we ended up really loving the surefooted way that the Core descends.
The capable fork and balanced frame make for a stable, easy ride that planted itself squarely on the best line with minimal forcefulness required. Shoving weight forwards on the fork livened things up but wasn’t necessary except in a tight squeeze.
Frame: Neat, purposeful and capable of taking some abuse
Triple-butted aluminium trims some weight, and top and down tube gussets drop a nod to the Core’s tougher tendencies.
The 27.2mm seatpost is incongruous slotted into an otherwise chunky frame but does a good job of removing some of the sting out of the oversized tubing used in the back end.
The hefty cofﬁn-proﬁle down tube keeps everything straight, with elegant CNC dropouts topping off a neat, purposeful frame.
Equipment: Grippy tyres plus SPDs, but budget shows in brakes and drivetrain
Shimano drivechain parts worked well, but the prevalence of functional but portly Deore highlights the pennies saved on the pricetag.
A 180mm rotor up front made modulation a breeze but the Shimano Deore 575 brakes failed to develop any signiﬁcant bite, staying spongy despite a checkover with the bleed kit.
Wheels stayed true throughout despite weathering the Core’s enthusiasm for taking the straight line over boulder drops and PD-M520 SPD pedals are a nice touch.