Genesis Datum 20 review

Is the dynamic Datum still competitive?

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
£2,399.00 RRP

Our review

A surefooted, practical yet wonderfully responsive all-rounder that loves every ride
Buy if, You want a vibrant, versatile and enjoyable all-round ride
Pros: Excellent ride quality and versatility, sturdy wheels, great tyres and dependable Shimano kit
Cons: Heavy frame and wheels, expensive for 105, press-fit bottom bracket
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Heading into its third year, the Genesis Datum has its work cut out to compete in a bike genre that’s rapidly changing. However, a sweet riding frame and tyres offset hefty wheels to keep it a dynamic delight on the road and off.

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The 24/30t modulus frame with 1.125-1.5in tapered top full carbon fork has received rave reviews since it appeared so we can see why Genesis isn’t in a hurry to change what isn’t broken.

The tapered and sloped top tube, scooped back seat tube and flat spring stays still give an outstanding ride. Shimano Di2 electric shift compatibility, three bottle cage mounts, discreetly hidden mudguard fixtures and enough room for 45mm mudguards and 33mm tyres, or larger tyres without mudguards make it very versatile too.

There is plenty of room for big tyres to widen your riding horizons
There is plenty of room for big tyres to widen your riding horizons
David Caudery / Immediate Media

I’d rather it had a screw-in rather than press-fit bottom bracket standard, and at 1.9kg for the frameset it’s not light.

The fact it uses a mountain bike standard 15mm front axle rather than the road standard 12mm, and the back of the frame uses a quick-release not a bolt-thru axle also dates it slightly. I never suffered any back wheel security issues though and most wheels can still be configured like that, so upgrading shouldn’t be hard.

That would be the first thing I’d upgrade as, while they’re tough, the Jalco 29er mountain bike rims, plain gauge spokes, Formula hubs and basic brake rotors build into a hefty setup, and they’re not tubeless either. The centre ridge, herringbone shoulder Clement Strada USH tyres are impressively fast rolling but grippy in gravel (or worse) corners.

The ride quality managed to consistently keep it at the top of my enjoyment charts
The ride quality managed to consistently keep it at the top of my enjoyment charts
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Apart from the under-palm lump on the shifters, which some testers hated, there’s nothing to gripe about with the Shimano 105 stop and go kit. While I liked the 16-degree outward flare of the bar on descents, the compact curve does make it hard to reach the levers in the drops, even if you’ve got big hands, so small paw riders could really struggle.

The strength of the Datum is that despite a few niggles, the ride quality of the Genesis managed to consistently keep it top of my enjoyment charts. It might be heavy compared to bikes such as the Scott Addict 20 disc, Whyte Wessex and Specialized Roubaix Elite that were also on test, but the muscular main tubes and tapered chainstays give it an encouraging spring up to speed whenever you press the pedals.

The slightly longer and lower than average for its category ride position, and fast rolling Strada tyres, have no trouble turning that into sustained speed on the road. Its stretched front end, flared bar and 72-degree head angle underwrite a safe and stable feel that lets you push hard through corners or off-piste sections even when things get greasy or gravelly.

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Careful composite layering, a 27.2mm seatpost for forgiving flex and the leaf spring seatstays mean it skims and skips over rougher sections remarkably well. It always felt dynamic and encouraging rather than just damped and dutiful whenever I rode it, and was always being borrowed and taken home for extra helpings by our test team.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Datum 20
Brand Genesis Bikes

Available Sizes 46cm 49cm 52cm 54cm 57cm
Seat Tube (cm) 52
Shifters Shimano 105 RS505
Stem Genesis Code
Trail 6
Weight (kg) 9.29
Wheelset Jalco XCD22 rims, Formula hubs
Chainstays (cm) 42
Top Tube (cm) 56
Seat Angle 73.5
Wheelbase (cm) 101.5
Frame size tested 52cm
Head Tube (cm) 15.5
Stack (cm) 58.5
Reach (cm) 38.5
All measurements for frame size tested 52cm
Seatpost Genesis
Saddle Genesis Road Comfort
Bottom Bracket Shimano BB500
Frame Material 24/30T modulus carbon
Brakes Shimano RS505 hydraulic 160/ 140mm disc
Cassette Shimano 105 11-32
Chain KMC X11
Cranks Shimano 105 50/34
Fork Genesis full carbon
Fork Offset 5
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Rear Wheel Weight 2180
Front Tyre Clement Strada USH, 32mm
Front Wheel Weight 1560
Handlebar Genesis X-Race Pro
Head Angle 72
Headset Type FSA Orbit No.42 integrated
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Rear Tyre Clement Strada USH, 32mm
Bottom-bracket drop (cm) 7.2