Genesis show prototype road, mountain and cyclocross bikes
By James Costley-White in Milton Keynes, UK | Wednesday, February 22, 2012 4.45pm
Genesis Bikes unveiled a series of Guild prototypes at this week's iceBike* show James Costley-White
Genesis Bikes were showing off their 2012 range at this week's iceBike* show, hosted by UK distributors Madison, but given that we'd already been given a sneak peek at those bikes back in the summer, what caught our eye were seven new prototypes.
Covering the full gamut of road, mountain and cyclo-cross, these bikes were all resplendent in the black, blue and orange of the new 'Guild' development programme. This is Genesis's equivalent of Orange's Strange project or SRAM's BlackBox, the idea being, why not promote the fact you're working on new ideas, rather than shrouding the process in secrecy – in this case with a distinctive paintjob and matching riding kit.
On the road side, they were showing a very tasty looking titanium version of the Equlibrium. The prototype uses the same geometry as the steel bike but is manufactured from proprietary 3Al\2.5v tubing.
Described as a "hard riding sportive bike for more aggressive riders" it's been designed to have a very stiff front end courtesy of an XX44 head tube and fat down tube. Out back, shaped and ovalised stays add vertical compliance for comfort. The frameset, which includes a headset and a tapered-steerer carbon fork with mudguard eyelets, is expected to cost around £1,500, with a complete bike equipped with Shimano 105 likely to cost £2,200.
If your budget won't stretch that far, the Volant may be more up your street. This entry-level alloy road bike is a replacement for the Aether. It's been designed from scratch by new Genesis designer Dom Thomas, who's deliberately avoided using hydroformed tubes in order to achieve a clean, simple look.
The top and down tubes are triple butted to save weight, the XX44 head tube allows you to run a straight- or tapered-steerer fork, and geometry is more race- than sportive-orientated. Three models will be available, all with a carbon fork. Prices are likely to be around £650 with Shimano 2300, £800 with Sora and £1,000 with 10-speed Tiagra.
Bridging the gap between the road and mountain prototypes is the Fugio. This 'cross racer combines a frame made from Reynolds 853 chromoly with a tapered fork made by US carbon specialists Whisky Parts Co. A frame, fork and headset package will be available for £800, with a complete bike equipped with Shimano 105 for £1,700.
All four of the mountain prototypes are 29ers. The High Latitude is a 29er version of the Latitude trail hardtail and comes in three variants – one geared, one designed to be run singlespeed and one based around a Shimano Alfine geared hub. A prototype frame made from Reynolds 853 and with a 1-1/8in head tube was on display at iceBike but Dom told BikeRadar that initial production bikes and frames will all be Reynolds 520, with an XX44 head tube.
The High Latitude is based around an 80-100mm fork and has a 69.5° head angle. The frame will cost £300, with either horizontal or vertical dropouts, with complete bike prices ranging from £1,000 to £1,700. Availability is slated for the summer.
Finally, there's also a prototype entry-level 29er, the Mantle. This is made from 6069 alloy, with triple-butted main tubes and a bent seat tube for improved wheel/tyre clearance – Genesis say there's room for up to a 2.35in. It's designed to be used with an 80 or 100mm fork; with the latter it has a 68.5° head angle.
An XX44 head tube up front allows use of a tapered-steerer fork for improved steering precision. Three models will be available, ranging from the £750 Mantle 10 to the £1,300 Mantle 30, with Shimano SLX kit and a RockShox Recon Gold fork.
If you can't wait that long, the new Fortitude range of 29ers, which we checked out earlier this year at The London Bike Show, should be hitting shops within weeks. The bikes were designed around a rigid fork, because Dom reckoned it was important to get the basics right without having to worry about suspension.
Genesis's first foray into big wheels is available as a singlespeed (£850), with an Alfine hub and rack mounts (£1,500), or a 1x10 drivetrain (£1,250). Apparently, all the contact points (grips, saddle) are in the same position as on a 26in-wheeled mountain bike.
Other bikes that caught our eye were the Day One Disc 'cross bike (£800, available from April), which we first saw back in the summer, and the CDF, a lower priced (£900) version of the popular Croix de Fer, designed to come in below the UK's £1,000 Cycle to Work tax incentive threshold.
This uses Reynolds 525 tubing instead of 725 and Shimano Sora not Tiagra but shares the same proven geometry, mechanical disc brakes and classic good looks. It's due to hit shops by the end of the month.
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