A sweet-riding frame with premium kit where it matters makes the Mantle a blisteringly quick distance-shrinker that’s a lot of fun to ride.
Genesis Mantle 30 frame
With no rear suspension and not much front travel (100mm) or tyre volume (2.2in) to hide how the chassis itself rides, frame quality is crucial in a cross-country race hardtail. The Genesis is stiff enough to please carbon-shoe wearers but not so punishing that every rough section will rattle the muscles off your bones.
It’s equally well rounded in upgrade/compatibility terms too, with the latest Boost 148mm rear hub spacing for generous tyre clearance, semi-internal routing for a dropper post (although none is included) and Shimano Di2 fixtures in case you fancy trying out electronic shifting.
The rear mech is direct-mounted for stiffness and the frame will take a front mech or direct-mount chain guide if you’re going retro or rowdy. While the press-fit bottom-bracket shell provides stiffness gains, this usually comes at the expense of shorter bearing life.
Genesis Mantle 30 kit
Fox’s Step-Cast 32 is the king of lightweight race forks and the Mantle uses the top Factory-spec version with neat shifter-style remote lockout. You’d struggle to find a better feeling and performing wheel pack for UK speed use than DT Swiss XM 1501s wrapped in triple-compound Maxxis Forekaster tyres.
Quiet shifting, highly durable Shimano XT has always been a distance-riders’ favourite, and while the lurch up to the 46t crawler tooth is a drag, speed merchants will appreciate the upsized 34t front ring. Race Face wraps up the rest of the impressively light package — a dropper post is the only potential omission for more spirited riding.
It comes with 2.2in cross-country tyres but there’s plenty of clearance out back for bigger rubber Mick Kirkman
Genesis Mantle 30 ride
Immediately thinking that the Mantle needs a dropper post is a very trail/enduro-influenced perspective though, and there are plenty of riders who can throw a bike around with the saddle at full height.
That very capable Fox fork and the bike’s 69-degree head angle mean more confidence in rougher situations than on most race-bred machines. The 70mm stem and 720mm bar are well synced with the relatively long reach (450mm on our large sample) too, so the Genesis naturally takes an aggressive rather than apologetic approach to corners or messy line confusion.
Compared to some race rubber, the Maxxis Forekaster tyres offer bonus grip without significant rolling-speed compromise, and the DT Swiss wheels are light, lively and precise gear-givers that always flatter a frame.
Despite its race-bike looks, the Mantle is tons of fun on the trail Mick Kirkman
The result is a bike that’s light and agile enough to snap out of singletrack corners or off start lines as fast as all but the purest, most punishing slick-tyred racers, but with more play when things get interesting.
It’s smooth enough to mean cross-country marathons can be genuinely enjoyed rather than just endured and that the bumps of many race circuits won’t break your back or racing resolve.
The price is reasonable too, considering the weight, spec and the fact that it’s a shop-bought bike.
Genesis Mantle 30 specifications
Frame: Carbon fibre
Fork: Fox 32 Float Step-Cast Factory, 100mm (4in) travel
Drivetrain: Shimano Deore XT M8000 (1×11)
Wheelset: DT Swiss XM 1501 SPLINE wheels
Tyres: Maxxis Forekaster 3C Maxx Speed EXO TR 29×2.2in
Brakes: Shimano Deore XT M8000, 160mm rotors
Bar: Race Face Next carbon flat, 720mm
Stem: Race Face Turbine, 70mm
Seatpost: Race Face Turbine rigid
Saddle: fi’zi:k Monte
Weight: 10.33kg (22.77lb), large size without pedals