Genesis has a reputation for no nonsense, no fuss bikes and the Core 30 is no exception as, despite its wallet-friendly, price this is the top specced version with two other models below it.
I've reviewed the £750 Core 20 before and gave it 3 stars because it was hampered by a heavy triple chainset and basic wooden tyres. So does this more costly model right those particular wrongs and how does it fair on the trails?
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Well the good news is that the Core 30 does away with the triple chainset and gets a double instead (though I would like to see a single ring set-up if I'm honest).
Your extra cash also gets you upgraded tyres in the shape of dual compound, tubeless-ready Ardents instead of basic, single compound versions.
The Core 30 gets a number of other important upgrades too over the cheaper model and a polished raw aluminium frame finish to boot.
While the Core 30’s fork is an OE only, RockShox Recon Silver TK with steel tubed uppers rather than the slightly nicer Recon Gold TK with aluminium uppers, it still gives a decent balance of trail smoothing and small to slightly bigger sized hit absorption.
It sits on a 15mm thru-axle, which stiffens up the fork and helps prevent front end flex. But take the bike down anything reasonably rocky or rooty and the limitations of a hardtail with a fairly basic 120mm travel fork are clear as the bike clatters along.
The Core range of bikes have fairly long frames, with the medium size on test here sporting a 435mm reach — roomier than some large sized bikes. This isn’t a slack-angled downhill sled though, as the rest of the geometry is much more conservative.
The Core 30 has a relaxed rider position that I found comfortable for riding all day and the planted feel of the bike gives extra stability and confidence on steeper descents than the 68-degree head angle might suggest.
While not as nimble as a similarly priced Vitus Sentier, the Genesis branded 740mm bars and 60mm stem help you negotiate tighter turns and the bike carries speed along fast flowing sections really well.
The dual compound 2.25 Ardent tyres are a great choice for fast riding on trail centre hardpack, but they seriously flounder in mud, spinning out on the climbs and sliding on the descents. I’d switch to a chunkier front tyre for most UK conditions.
The Shimano Deore crank and SLX gearing are solid performers with the 38 and 24t rings combining with the 11-36t cassette to give masses of gear options to ease you up any climb. A clutch-equipped rear mech completes the picture and helps prevent chainslap noise.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.