Genesis Core 10£599.99

Focused 650b hardtail with neat features for the price

BikeRadar score4/5

After a very successful launch, UK-designed Genesis bikes hit a lull. The company’s really tightened its focus for 2014 though and the single remaining full-sized Core model is outstanding for the money.

    Frame and equipment: rising above the generic

    It’s obvious straightaway that the Core isn’t just a generic, off-the-peg factory frame. The 44mm head tube can take tapered forks, and there are mounts for that most British of bolt-ons – a Crud Catcher mudguard – below the head tube-reinforcing gusset. The top tube slopes down to an extended seat tube with a forward facing clamp slot to keep spray from the rear wheel seeping into the frame. 

    The SR chainset turns a transmission that’s totally Shimano (including chain and rear cogs) for guaranteed smoothness and durability and the excellent brakes are Shimano too. As if 650b wheels weren’t enough of an impressively up to date feature, the rims are shaped for easy conversion to tubeless running, which will add even more smoothness to the ride.

    The main tubes are double butted (thin in the centre, thicker at either end) for a strong but springy feel and there are neat scoops and flat sections on the rear stays. With the skinny seatpost this gives the Core a high class ride, reducing chatter and sting from the trail.

    Ride and handling: assured charisma, with a few inevitable compromises

    As soon as we got rolling, our testers agreed that the 69-degree head angle geometry is absolutely spot on for the 650b wheels. While we didn’t like the stuck-on-foam style grips, the 700mm handlebars and short 75mm stem complete naturally neutral steering that’s encouraging without being intimidatingly eager. In a classic example of small details making a big difference, bar and stem sizes change according to frame size and so does crank length, so small riders still get a proportional fit.

    It’s a tribute to how good the rest of the ride is that the almost inevitable cost related compromises of the Genesis don’t stop its charisma shining through. With no rebound damping to calm the bounce back of the springs after bigger hits the Suntour fork can certainly become a handful. It doesn’t suffer from the metal on metal top out of other cheap forks, and there’s enough control in the geometry and cockpit to tame them. That same assured handling meant surfing the plasticky compound Continental tyres down damp descents was fun rather than frightening, and their easy speed certainly helped on the climbs.

    This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

    Guy Kesteven

    Freelance Writer, UK
    Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
    • Age: 44
    • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
    • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
    • Waist: 76cm / 30in
    • Chest: 91cm / 36in
    • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
    • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
    • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
    • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
    • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
    • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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