The Flyer is a longstanding name in the Genesis lineup and the latest model has been realised as a fully be-fendered winter training wagon.
I spent much of October through December riding the Flyer, taking in some long days out as well as using it for commuting, clocking up just shy of 600 km on the bike.
Overall, I found the ride of the Flyer to be quite neutral and the bike is happiest plodding along at an average pace for many hours at a time.
It’s no standout descender or a spritely climber, but a predictable ride is no bad thing on a fixed gear bike that’s most likely to be used for winter riding, training and commuting.
The frame is constructed from Genesis’ own Mjolnir double-butted steel tubing. This isn’t the most lively ride compared to higher end steel bikes I’ve ridden but is perfectly acceptable for a £750 bike.
The frame is well equipped and easy to live with, with two bottle bosses, mounts for mudguards front and rear and semi-sloping dropouts. The dropouts are a particularly nice touch — track ends may look classy, but semi-sloping dropouts make it far easier to remove the rear wheel with mudguards fitted.
The finish of the bike is not astounding — the bike is a delightful shade of teal and the debossing under the paint is kind of cool, but the edges around this aren’t that nicely finished, with visible bubbles and gaps. This may seem like nitpicking, but it’s the sort of thing that would annoy me no end if I’d spent £750 on a bike.
The wheels are a fairly standard affair, with old-school looking boxy 32 hole rims from Jalco laced to a set of cheap, but perfectly serviceable, Quando hubs that spin on cup-and-cone bearings.
The 32 spoke wheelset is hardly the lightest, but it stood up to a fair amount of abuse during my test period.
It’s a small thing, but I did manage to marr the stock track nuts — even when using my lovely Runwell spanner — on the wheels with alarming ease. As such, I’d recommend spending a couple quid replacing the stock ones with something a little hardier. You don’t want to be stranded by the side of the road with stripped nuts!
The ride quality of the 28mm wide Clement (now Donnely) Strada LGG tyres is excellent. You hardly have many chances to go full-moto-GP-knee-down on a fixed gear, but the tyres never faltered in the corners, were puncture free throughout the test period and handled gravel detours with ease. Plus they’re tan wall, so what’s not to love?
I reckon you could probably squeeze 30mm tyres onto the bike without the mudguards, but I feel more generous clearances would be welcome on the Flyer, as it would improve the versatility of the bike.
I ran the bike fixed for the majority of my test period. However, a spec issue at the factory meant that the bike shipped with a 17t 1/8” cog, which was incompatible with the Flyer’s 3/32” drivetrain.
Genesis is aware of this issue, so if you’ve ordered a Flyer and it’s shipped with an incompatible cog, get in touch with your local dealer who will be able to sort you out with a replacement.
The short amount of time I spent riding the bike with the freewheel before a compatible fixed cog arrived was hasslefree. However, a cursory spin of the freewheel before I sent the bike back revealed that it was sounding quite rough after a few months of being sprayed with grit and grime.
I didn’t have the chance to open the freewheel up, but I suspect a strip down and lubing the internals with a thick, high-quality wet lube would do a world of good.
I was delighted to see that Genesis ships the Flyer with a set of proper full-cover mudguards that are fitted with generously long mudflaps. These did a wonderful job of keeping me and the bike clean and add to the value of the bike.
Sadly, both of my mudguards cracked during the test period. However, this is a known QC issue with this particular batch of mudguards and like the fixed cog, Genesis has a stock of free replacements at hand.
I really didn’t get on well with the ultra-compact bars on the Flyer.
Personal preference, of course, plays a part here, but the hoods of the Promax BL-253 levers are small in the first place, and matching them with the compact bars means you have next to no space to move about.
The super short drops and tiny hooks also mean that, unless you have particularly small phalanges, your hands get very smooshed up.
Genesis Flyer conclusion
I really enjoyed my time on the Genesis Flyer, but the spec isn’t astonishing for the money and a few spec choices let the bike down.
If you can pick the bike up at discount or get it through a Cycle to Work scheme, it presents better value for money, but at full RRP, I think your money can probably be better spent elsewhere.