The Genesis Grapil 10 is a brand new entrant into the mid-travel trail full sus market for 2013. Coming from a brand best known for their hardtails and niche products such as cyclocross and track bikes, it is a bold move. How does it stack up next to the opposition?
Ride & handling: No-nonsense design copes well with UK trail conditions
Genesis have a proven track record building long-forked, trail-orientated hardtails that handle extremely well. The Grapil 10 has a lot to live up to, which is possibly why Genesis spent two years tinkering with linkage designs before launching. The result is pretty good.
The long, low frame with short stem blends easy chuckability with enough stability to keep things pointed where they should be when you just want to cruise. The bottom bracket is high enough to keep pedalling through choppy trail scenarios, without fear of grounding a pedal, and the combination of 15mm front and 12mm rear axles means that there’s barely a trace of frame shimmy in the rough.
We didn’t miss the lack of adjustable compression damping on the rear shock, which complements the fork’s can-do quantities of rock swallowing ability with a plush performance that’s just the right blend of small bump sensitive and big hit capable.
The only fly in the ointment is that all this ability comes at a price that’s arguably a bit steep for the kit on offer. If you don’t mind paying a small premium for a British-designed trail bike then the Grapil 10 is well worth a second look, but there are better value options out there.
Frame & equipment: Great handling frame but spec looks a bit miserly
Genesis have built a reputation on the back of no-nonsense designs built with British riding in mind. The Grapil comes from the same mould. There are no shape-shifting, complex hydroformed tubing shapes here – just a collection of mildly manipulated, mostly round tubes neatly welded into a classic faux-bar setup with a linkage-activated shock. Genesis have gone for a 120mm (4.7in) rear, 140mm (5.5in) front travel setup, claiming their testing has shown this to work best.
Tidy cable routing with bolt-on guides gives the option of running a remote-operated dropper post. Our only niggle is that the 142mm rear end combined with wide, low seatstays isn’t good for riders with a heels-inward pedalling stance – our heels hit the stays on almost every pedal stroke.
The RockShox Sektor fork and Monarch high volume rear shock don’t have the easy control over compression damping that the Fox CTD-equipped competition can boast, although the fork does have an adjustable gate and can be locked out for climbing or sprinting. In practice it’s not a major issue, although it does make the Grapil look marginally less adaptable to different trail conditions and riding styles.
The kit is all functional and works well. It’s based around a 2x10 SRAM X5 transmission that simplifies gear selection but loses a couple of the lower wall-climbing gear ratios of a 3x10 setup. Having said that, X5 isn’t as well finished as some of the Shimano SLX-equipped competition. You pays your money...