Genesis Croix de Fer Ti review

Zingy and smooth in any situation, with bags of class – but it'll cost you

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £3,000.00 RRP | AUD $6,697.00

Our review

The Croix de Fer range has a new ruler – this adventure bike has everything we love of the steel-framed version, in a better-looking and faster package.
Buy if, You ride mixed terrain, fast, and are willing to spend extra on titanium
Pros: The well-designed frame is classy and quick; spec choices are sensible
Cons: Some ride feel is robbed by the thick bar tape and well-padded saddle
Skip to view product specifications

Let’s not beat around the bush, the Genesis Croix de Fer Ti is very desirable. Its steel-framed predecessor has become one of the UK’s most popular adventure road bikes, for good reason – it can do nearly everything well, for a good price.


So can a finely worked titanium frame improve the riding experience to the point where it’s worth spending nearly double the asking price of its impressive steel-framed sibling? Let’s find out.

Gorgeous titanium frameset

Let’s begin with that titanium frameset. It’s a beauty. Made from 3AL-2.5V double-butted titanium, it looks chunkier than the skinny-tubed steel Croix de Fer. There’s a noticeably thicker down tube (oversized at 44mm), beefy S-bend chainstays, and a tapered head tube mated to a carbon fork.

The frame comes unpainted, of course
The frame comes unpainted, of course:
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

The frame comes unpainted, of course

The bottom bracket area looks considerably stiffer, inviting you to stamp on the pedals that bit harder and see if you can make the bike squirm. It is meant to be a faster CdF, after all. The seat tube tapers upwards to accept a skinny 27.2mm seatpost, for added comfort.

We love the understated graphics of the Croix de Fer Ti – the dark grey logo outlines look smashing against the unpainted Ti frame. That distinctive cross facing up from the top tube managed to goad me on beyond my normal riding efforts too.

There's room here for enormous 40mm tyres
There’s room here for enormous 40mm tyres:
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

There’s room here for enormous 40mm rubber

There’s external cable routing for brakes and mechanical shifting, and full internal routing if you’re planning on going the Di2 route – and for this kind of money, well you might do. It’s not too posh to forgo front and rear mudguard and rack eyelets, either.

Solid but unspectacular spec

The rest of the spec on our test bike was solid and well-chosen, if arguably a little below-par for a bike with this price tag. Shimano’s excellent 105 groupset provides shifting duties, and the compact 50/34 crankset can get you up nearly any hill.

The compact 50/34 crankset is specced in black _ our experience suggests this looks ace, until you scratch it
The compact 50/34 crankset is specced in black _ our experience suggests this looks ace, until you scratch it :
Robert Smith

The compact black 50/34 crankset will look great until you scratch it

Shimano’s outstanding hydraulic disc brakes were powerful, reliable and easy to modulate, though we didn’t get on so well with the new(ish) RS505 brake levers. Those brake hoods were a bit too large for our hands to ever feel comfortable on them.

Elsewhere there’s the new RandoX handlebar, which Genesis describes as the “bastard love child between a modern compact drop bar and a traditional randonneur handlebar”. Which means the drops are flared to 8 degrees, and the tops are backswept to 6 degrees, for added comfort and control.

A Genesis Road Comfort saddle is a comfy place to sit, but like the cork tape on the handlebars, the extra padding does rob a bit of road feel. The wheels are tubeless-ready Alex Draw rims running on Shimano HB/FH-RS505 Centrelock hubs, shod with Clement’s 35mm X’Plor USH tyres.

Zingy and responsive ride

Having a thorough acquaintance with the steel-framed CdF, I was excited to see how its posher titanium sibling measured up. So I rode it hard across a mix of my favourite local roads, through some very muddy fields and bridleways, up painfully steep 20% hills and as fast as I dared down the other side.

If you want to ride mixed terrain fast then the Genesis Croix de Fer Ti is an excellent choice
If you want to ride mixed terrain fast then the genesis croix de fer ti is an excellent choice:
Robert Smith

If you want to ride mixed terrain fast then the Genesis Croix de Fer Ti is an excellent choice

I came up smiling. This bike delivers on its promise – it really is a posher, faster Croix de Fer in all riding scenarios. It’s responsive and highly accurate in the corners, with a solid, rewarding feel to it. Rattling over farmland and sunken tractor tyre tracks to test just how far I could push those Clement X’Plor USH tyres, I found that the lack of shoulder lugs meant they did occasionally lose a bit of grip, but in a predictable way that rewarded rider corrections.

Inevitably, no rolling stock combination can excel at all things, and that’s true here. The Clements provide enough cushioning for deeply rutted bridleways, enough grip to (usually) keep spinning off-road provided it’s not too wet, and they’ll roll well enough on roads thanks to the firm central ridge. If you’ve got a sportive planned for summer you’ll want to stick some slicks on there, but otherwise they do a good job in most scenarios we found.

Clement X'Plor tyres in 35mm width adorn Alex Draw rims
Clement x’plor tyres in 35mm width adorn alex draw rims:
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

Clement X’Plor tyres in 35mm width adorn Alex Draw rims

The titanium frameset manages to feel brighter and more zingy than its steel stablemate. Which is quite an achievement. It skips through minor road blemishes and responds immediately to hard efforts when you put the hammer down – I recorded PBs for multiple sections of a regular riding route.

The extra control offered by the flared RandoX handlebars was noticeable: being able to angle your grip slightly by clutching onto the drops meant that rough, sketchy descents were taken with confidence. The backwards flare of the tops took a bit more getting used to though.

So what didn’t I like? Well, as mentioned above, the saddle and cork bar tape are a little on the over-padded side – they take the sting out of rough off-road riding, but for most of the test loop I felt a bit ‘overprotected’ by it. Our test bike came with non-spec Shimano Ultegra-level brake levers, presumably as the 105-level levers had only just reached the market when it was being built. But we know that the latter are great brakes, if you get on well with their shape that is.

Our test bike came with the older Ultegra-level brake levers, though as specced the bike will feature the newer 105-level levers
Shimano’s new 105-level disc brakes provide excellent stopping, though the large brake hoods felt awkward in our hands:
Oli Woodman / Immediate Media

And then there’s the price – is it too expensive? Well, on the one hand, it didn’t embarrass the steel-framed CdF, which remains a bike I love to ride. And the spec is middling for this kind of money, though the sum of the parts is a quick, classy riding experience. On the other hand, you do get the incredible look and feel provided by a titanium frame – and for some people that’s what matters.


The Genesis Croix de Fer Ti delivers a fantastic ride across all sorts of terrain right out of the box, but if you take the time to tune it to your individual riding preferences, you’ll be rewarded with a bike that can do everything, in real style.

Product Specifications


Name Croix de Fer Ti
Brand Genesis Bikes

Available Sizes XS S M L XL
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105 RD-5800-GS
Top Tube (cm) 58.2
Standover Height (cm) 82.6
Seat Tube (cm) 55
Chainstays (cm) 43
Spoke Type 14G Stainless Silver DB w/ Brass Nipples
Stem Genesis Road
Shifters Shimano ST-RS505
Seatpost Genesis
Seat Angle 73
Saddle Genesis Road Comfort
Rims Alex Rims Draw 1.9S TCS, 32H
Rear Tyre Clement X'Plor USH, 700x35c
Rear Hub Shimano RS505 Centrelock
Pedals VP-363S w/ Toeclip
Bottom Bracket Shimano SM-BBR60, 68mm
Headset Type FSA Orbit C-40-ACB/No.42 ACB
Head Angle 71.5
Handlebar Genesis RandoX Flared (D125/R70mm)
Grips/Tape Genesis Cork Gel
Front Tyre Clement X'Plor USH, 700x35c
Front Hub Shimano RS505 Centrelock
Front Derailleur Shimano 105 FD-5800
Frame Material 3AL-2.5V Double-Butted Titanium
Fork Full Carbon CX
Cranks Shimano 105 FC-5800, 50/34T
Chain KMC X11
Cassette Shimano CS-5800, 11-32T
Brakes Shimano BR-RS785 w/ SM-RT68 Icetech 160mm CL Rotors
Wheelbase (cm) 105.1