Genesis High Latitude 2×10 review

Big wheeled, steel framed maverick

Our rating 
2.5 out of 5 star rating 2.5
GBP £1,550.00 RRP
Genesis High Latitude 2x10

Our review

Big wheeled oddball is an adept trail machine, but can’t match 26ers for chuckable fun and games
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Among a pack of 26in-wheeled, long-forked trail bruisers, the Genesis is the joker. With its 100mm air fork and big wheels it looks like it’s a whole different beast. But don’t dismiss it lightly. It’s a derivative of the well-respected Latitude series of steel-framed, 120mm-forked hardtails, plus we all know how well big wheels roll, right?

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Ride & handling: Big wheeled smoothness with old school steel zing

You can’t escape the laws of physics. Those big wheels have got more metal and rubber spinning further from the hub than their 26in counterparts. It makes a difference to handling, particularly at the front. 

In contrast to the (mostly) lively front ends of its smaller-hooped trail competitors, the High Latitude is more languid in its responses. If you’re the kind of rider who likes to duck and weave at speed, picking the front wheel up and replanting it a few inches away from where it used to be, you’ll have to work that bit harder to get on with the Genesis.

The flipside of that big wheel inertia is a glorious ability: it will roll over almost everything. Where 26ers fidget their way down the trail, the High Latitude glides serenely over just about anything.

The main tubes’ slender wall thicknesses lend a lively spring to its step, and the fork sucks up whatever the front wheel can’t cope with alone, though it’s easy to run out of travel and find yourself hitting the brakes.

Riders who like to get physical with their hardtail are probably better served elsewhere, but don’t dismiss the High Latitude because it looks odd next to the 26in competition. If you prefer to keep your wheels rolling on terra firma, it’s well worth a good look.

Frame & equipment: Held back by big wheels

The High Latitude 2×10’s old-school appearance is down to the plumbing. Reynolds 520 doesn’t do the air-hardening party trick of its 853 stablemate; it’s a more prosaic alloy, based on the classic 531 steel that’s been used for frames for as long as jumpers have been goalposts, but made under license in Taiwan. Genesis look to have specced some thin-walled top and down tubes, reinforced with open-ended gussets at the head tube junction. There are Crud Catcher bosses too.

Out back the skinny steel theme is taken to its logical conclusion with anorexic-looking stays and minimalist socket dropouts (available in a choice of vertical or horizontal if you buy the frame only). Mud clearance is fine, thanks partly to a driveside chainstay plate that looks, to our eyes at least, as though it’s taken some of its inspiration from Ragley’s three-finger chainstay bridge.

The go is provided by a slick-shifting SLX-based 2×10 transmission with the bonus of a 24T small ring, to make up for a 29er’s naturally higher gearing. The stop is handled by a pair of Shimano’s excellent Deore hydraulic discs, and the bouncy thing up front is 100m of air-sprung, RockShox Recon-powered travel – unless you opt for the 16in frame, in which case it’s 80mm to keep standover reasonable.

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This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Product Specifications

Product

Name High Latitude 2x10 (12)
Brand Genesis Bikes

Description 16, 17.5, 19, 20.5in
Shifters Shimano SLX
Front Wheel DT Swiss X430 rim, Shimano M678 hub, black stainless spokes
Tyres Continental X King, 2.2in
Wheelbase (in) 44
Top Tube (in) 24
Standover Height (in) 32
Seat Tube (in) 17.5
Chainstays (in) 17
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 12.7
Weight (lb) 28.7
Weight (kg) 13
Stem Genesis, 80mm
Seatpost Genesis
Bottom Bracket Shimano
Seat Angle 72
Saddle Madison Flux
Rear Derailleur Shimano SLX
Head Angle 66.5
Handlebar Genesis alu, 690mm
Front Derailleur Shimano SLX
Frame Material Reynolds 520 chromoly steel
Fork RockShox Recon, air, 100mm travel
Cranks Shimano SLX, 2x10, 24/38T
Chain Shimano HG-X
Cassette Shimano CS-HG62, 10spd, 11-34T
Brakes Shimano Deore hydraulic discs, 180/160mm rotors
Rear Wheel DT Swiss X430 rim, Shimano M435 hub, black stainless spokes