Genesis Core 10 review

Focused 650b hardtail with neat features for the price

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £599.99 RRP
Genesis Core 10 – can be a handful at times, but its charisma shines through

Our review

Well balanced handling and ride quality let the Core punch above it’s price point component compromises
Skip to view product specifications

After a very successful launch, UK-designed Genesis bikes hit a lull. The company’s really tightened its focus for 2014 though and the single remaining full-sized Core model is outstanding for the money.

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  • Highs: Responsive, upgradeable ride; size-specific cockpit syncs well with the confidence boosting handling balance
  • Lows: No rebound damping means a bouncy ride after big impacts; hard compound shallow tread tyres sketchy on slippery ground grip

Frame and equipment: rising above the generic

It’s obvious straightaway that the Core isn’t just a generic, off-the-peg factory frame. The 44mm head tube can take tapered forks, and there are mounts for that most British of bolt-ons – a Crud Catcher mudguard – below the head tube-reinforcing gusset. The top tube slopes down to an extended seat tube with a forward facing clamp slot to keep spray from the rear wheel seeping into the frame. 

The SR chainset turns a transmission that’s totally Shimano (including chain and rear cogs) for guaranteed smoothness and durability and the excellent brakes are Shimano too. As if 650b wheels weren’t enough of an impressively up to date feature, the rims are shaped for easy conversion to tubeless running, which will add even more smoothness to the ride.

The main tubes are double butted (thin in the centre, thicker at either end) for a strong but springy feel and there are neat scoops and flat sections on the rear stays. With the skinny seatpost this gives the Core a high class ride, reducing chatter and sting from the trail.

Ride and handling: assured charisma, with a few inevitable compromises

As soon as we got rolling, our testers agreed that the 69-degree head angle geometry is absolutely spot on for the 650b wheels. While we didn’t like the stuck-on-foam style grips, the 700mm handlebars and short 75mm stem complete naturally neutral steering that’s encouraging without being intimidatingly eager. In a classic example of small details making a big difference, bar and stem sizes change according to frame size and so does crank length, so small riders still get a proportional fit.

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It’s a tribute to how good the rest of the ride is that the almost inevitable cost related compromises of the Genesis don’t stop its charisma shining through. With no rebound damping to calm the bounce back of the springs after bigger hits the Suntour fork can certainly become a handful. It doesn’t suffer from the metal on metal top out of other cheap forks, and there’s enough control in the geometry and cockpit to tame them. That same assured handling meant surfing the plasticky compound Continental tyres down damp descents was fun rather than frightening, and their easy speed certainly helped on the climbs.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Core 10 (14)
Brand Genesis Bikes

Available Sizes 14in 14in 16in 17.5in 19in 20.5in
Brakes Shimano M395, 160mm rotors
Cranks SR Suntour triple chainset
Fork SR Suntour XCM LO DS, 100mm
Frame Material ALX7+ double butted 6061 alloy frame
Front Tyre Continental X-King, 650bx2.2in
Rear Tyre Continental X-King, 650bx2.2in
Shifters Shimano Altus gears
Weight (kg) 13.79
Wheelset Alex MD21 650B rims, Formula disc hubs
Year 2014
Weight (lb) 30.4
Frame size tested 17.5in