Genesis Dual Track 1.0£400.00

Big wheels and big potential

BikeRadar score4/5

Genesis is the new name - nicked from its flat bar road bike range - for all Ridgeback's premium brand bikes. It's not the only change for 2007, as the Dual Track 29ers have new geometry plus fittings for a rear rack.

The Dual Track 1.0 blurs the distinction between 29er and hybrid, yet its off-road credentials are clearer in the frame alone, which has a higher bottom bracket, a wedge-gusseted head tube and room for proper mountain bike treads - 2.1in Continental Vapor. The front end is rather 'hybrid high' and it's not just the bigger wheel, as bar height is significantly lower on an 18in Inbred 29er. While you can flip the stem and move spacers, it'll never be XC low.

However, the reach is quite roomy and so you're not sat up short like a sack of potatoes. On singletrack it's not so flickable, but overall performance is good. It holds its momentum well, especially over armoured trails, and its 'stop at nothing' bigger wheels mean that, despite its hybrid suspension fork, it descends faster and smoother than any of the other bikes bar the Saracen.

Climbing is good, and would be excellent but for the fact that it's over-geared.

With wheels 10.5 per cent bigger, every gear ratio is that much taller. A 48/38/28 crankset - already big off-road - is actually the equivalent to a 53/42/31 crankset on a 26er. The large chainring saw no use off-road or on - even with slicker tyres. On road you can lock-out the fork, although the head-up position is much better suited to town traffic than fast commutes.

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