Genesis Altitude 30 review

Purist steel British trail bike

Our rating 
2.5 out of 5 star rating 2.5
GBP £1,799.99 RRP
Genesis Altitude 30

Our review

The Altitude 30 is a good steel hardtail but not the all-round great value ride it once was
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The Genesis Altitude is that rarest of beasts: a full production bike with an honest-to-goodness steel frame at its heart. Available as a complete bike only with a variety of spec and frame tubing options, we plumped to test the range-topping Altitude 30.


Boasting Reynolds’ peerless 853 plumbing throughout and a full Shimano Deore XT component group with an air-sprung RockShox Reba Race fork up front, it’s all the trail bike most riders will ever need. The question is, can a steel production bike hold its own against the specialist frame builders?

Ride & handling: Decent handling, but outgunned by the competition

Whether you’re a rider rediscovering your hardtail roots or a relative newcomer to the delights of unsprung simplicity, the Altitude 30 turns out to be an easy-going trail companion. With a geometry that’s neither laid-back nor nervy and a comfortable stretch from saddle to bars, Genesis’ steel range-topper makes light work of most common trail scenarios, with only a hint of front end wander on steep climbs to worry about.

Thin-walled 853 main tubes put some spring in its step, although the rear end can’t match frames like the Cove Handjob or Pipedream Sirius for overall comfort despite its narrow stays. The Altitude 30’s real problem is that it’s now expensive for a 100-130mm trail hardtail.

It’s £300 more than a similarly specced Sirius and £600 more than an On-One 456 with a full XT spec, albeit with a lower grade DN6 chromoly frame. Although the Genesis has scored well in previous years, it’s looking a tad pricy for a bike that’s good rather than excellent.

Frame & equipment: Classic steel chassis decked out with good kit

Pared down practicality is what the Altitude is all about, and to that end the complete absence of shape-shifted or curved tubes will come as a welcome relief to many. The few design flourishes simply add to the bike’s down-to-earth appeal. There’s an open-ended reinforcing gusset to add strength at the head tube/down tube join, a pair of Crud Catcher-friendly bosses beneath the down tube and a set of threaded eyelets at the rear for attaching a rack. And that’s it.

Throw in the magic air-hardening properties of Reynolds 853 main tubes and a geometry corrected for forks up to 130mm, and the Altitude is very much a classic steel hardtail subtly tweaked for trail riding in the 21st century. Despite notably uncurvy stays and a complete lack of clearance-increasing crimps, the Altitude has enough room at the rear to run decent sized tyres, and down tube gear routing means cleaner shifts, for longer.


There’s little to complain about on the kit front, too. The through-axle fork and oversize SLX front hub add useful extra front end precision at the expense of a small weight gain. Heavier or more aggressive trail riders will love this but lighter or more sedate singletrackers may find it slight overkill. If the Altitude 30 appeals but would stretch your budget, the cheaper Altitude 20 looks like a good buy.

Product Specifications


Name Altitude 30 (10)
Brand Genesis Bikes

Available Colours Candy Apple Red
Spoke Type Stainless steel, black finish
Seat Angle 70
Seatpost 2014 micro-adjust, 400 mm long / 27.2 mm diameter
Shifters SLX 9-speed
Stem OS 2014, 6 degree rise / 31.8 mm clamp
Weight (kg) 12
Weight (lb) 26.5
Brake Levers XT
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 12.5
Rims X430D 32 hole
Chainstays (in) 16.75
Seat Tube (in) 17.75
Standover Height (in) 31
Top Tube (in) 23.5
Wheelbase (in) 42.5
Tyres Continental Mountain King 2.2in
Front Wheel Shimano SLX 20mm axle hub, DT Swiss X430D rim
Saddle MTN2, Cr-Mo rail
Rear Tyre Continental Mountain King Kevlar 2.2 inch
Available Sizes 19" 16" 19" 19" 20.5" 19" 20.5" 19" 19" 19" 19" 17.5" 17.5" 17.5" 17.5" 17.5" 19" 16" 16" 16" 16" 16" 16" 16" 16" 16" 16" 19" 19" 19" 20.5" 19" 20.5" 19" 20.5" 19" 19" 17.5" 17.5" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 19" 20.5" 20.5" 20.5" 20.5" 20.5" 20.5"
Front Derailleur XT band
Bottom Bracket HTII external bearing
Brakes XT
Cassette Shimano HG61 11-32T
Chain HG53
Cranks XT HTII 22 / 32 / 44T
Fork Reba Race 120mm with lockout and Maxle
Frame Material Reynolds 853 heat-treated air-hardened UK-made steel
Front Hub SLX Centre-Lock Q/R
Rear Shock N/A
Front Tyre Continental Mountain King Kevlar 2.2 inch
Grips/Tape Diamond file pattern single-lock
Handlebar 2014, 660 mm wide / 30 mm rise
Head Angle 68.5
Headset Type Aheadset
Pedals PD-M520 clipless
Rear Derailleur XT SGS
Rear Hub SLX Centre-Lock Q/R
Rear Wheel Shimano SLX hub, DT Swiss X430D rim