The Genesis CDA 30 is an aluminium gravel-cum-adventure bike based around 10-speed Shimano gearing. It’s a spin-off of Genesis’s well-respected steel-framed all-rounder, the CDF – or Croix de Fer (iron cross) – so we reckon that CDA stands for the slightly less snappy-sounding Croix d’Aluminium.
Yep, CDA is probably a better name after all. But where this Genesis does stand out is in the sheer number of bosses on the frame and fork for carrying bags, bottles and all the kit you could muster for a big day out or perhaps an even longer adventure.
I’ve never seen such an array of fittings on any bike, with both the aluminium frame and skinny steel fork bedecked with bosses for everything, including a top-tube-mounted ‘bento box’ and a bottle cage underneath the down tube. You’re certainly not going to get thirsty.
With no aerodynamic ambitions whatsoever, Genesis sticks with external cabling, which is a boon to the home mechanic or if you were to have mechanical issues out in the wilds.
Genesis has also stuck with a threaded bottom bracket, which should be less prone to creaking than a press-fit unit and be easier to fettle and replace. A final major plus is that both the CDA frame and fork come with a lifetime guarantee.
Genesis CDA 30 geometry
The CDA’s geometry is very much as you’d expect for this type of bike, with a long wheelbase and shallow head angle adding stability and slowing the handling down.
The flared bar also comes into its own when you’re off-roading, though the moderate length head-tube means you can still get down reasonably low if you want to.
|Seat angle (degrees)||74||73.5||73.5||73||72.5|
|Head angle (degrees)||71||71||71.5||71.5||72|
|Seat tube (cm)||47||50||53||55||58|
|Top tube (cm)||52.4||54.4||56.1||58.2||60.5|
|Head tube (cm)||11.5||13.5||15.5||17.5||19.5|
|Fork offset (cm)||5||5||5||5||5|
|Bottom bracket drop (cm)||7.3||7.3||7.3||7.3||7.3|
Genesis CDA 30 ride impressions
Genesis has plumped for Shimano gears and drivetrain. The 10-speed Tiagra levers are paired with Shimano’s gravel-specific GRX derailleurs and sub-compact chainset.
The 46/30 chainset and 11-34 cassette combine for a low 24in bottom gear and a 114in top. The bottom gear isn’t quite low enough for touring in the mountains, but that’s about its only limiting factor. The 114in top is roughly the same as a 50×12, so you’ll rarely run out of gears that end.
While it would be great if all disc brakes were hydraulic, this isn’t the case yet and there’s no way that even the best cable-actuated discs can equal hydraulics. But some do a better job than others, and while the Promax 717 is a dual-piston design, the braking is very disappointing.
The 717s lack the power of TRP’s Spyre cable discs and the Rever Havits found on Planet X’s London Road. You really do need to grab a fistful of lever on descents for maximum stopping power.
Frankly, I even preferred the feel and stopping power of the Shimano 105 rim brakes on Van Rysel’s EDR AF.
Tyres on a bike designed for both road and gravel are always going to be a compromise between grip, weight and rolling resistance, and WTB’s 37mm Riddlers came up trumps on gravel – with very good grip from their small central knobbly tread and wider shoulder knobbles – without being too ponderous on tarmac.
If most of your riding is on the road and you rarely hit the trails, you’d probably be better off swapping them for slightly narrower, slicker rubber, which would give you greater speed without compromising comfort too much.
On the road, the CDA is best in cruise rather than attack mode. On the flat, even with the Riddlers, it’s a real pleasure to ride and those tyres also cope well with sketchy winter-ruined road surfaces.
It is a bit more laborious when you reach the climbs, though the low bottom gear is a great help here, and while it’s not an ultra-dynamic descender, the CDA’s excellent stability makes it very sure-footed on any downhill sections.
Genesis CDA 30 bottom line
Genesis’ top CDA model lacks the zing and wow factor of bikes such as Boardman’s ADV 8.9 and those Promax cable disc brakes are disappointing, but it is still a very enjoyable bike with loads of comfort and bags of versatility.
It’s well geared for gravel and rough-stuff riding, you can carry panniers or bikepacking bags – or both – and it’ll deliver the goods as a commuter, fitness bike, gravel machine and even occasional tourer.
|Available sizes||XS, S, M, L, XL|
|Handlebar||Genesis alloy, 16-degree flare|
|Stem||Genesis Code 7|
|Shifter||Shimano Tiagra ST R4700|
|Seatpost||Genesis alloy 27.2mm|
|Saddle||Genesis Road Comfort|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano GRX|
|Headset||PT-1606 upper, EC34 lower|
|Grips/Tape||Velo tape with gel|
|Bottom bracket||Shimano BB-ES300 sealed cartridge|
|Front derailleur||Shimano GRX|
|Cranks||Shimano GRX RX600 48/32|
|Cassette||Shimano HG500 11-34|
|Brakes||Promax DSK 717 cable discs, 160mm/140mm rotors|
|Wheels||Shining DB31 disc rims, KT-K68FR hubs|