Genesis has certainly made waves with its Volare range of race bikes. The Volare 10 is made from 853 steel and driven by Shimano 105, and it’s a contender in the Cycling Plus Bike of the Year 2014 Awards.
HIGHS: A classic road bike, with sweet handling, stability and great quality kit
LOWS: Carrying a bit more mass than most
The frame is finished in the same classy colourscheme as last year’s limited edition 853 Equilibrium. The black, yellow and green celebrate the corporate colours of Birmingham’s finest, Reynolds steel.
Under the classy paintwork lies a nicely finished and crafted steel frame. Genesis specs the thinner gauge and lighter Pro-team 853 variant tubes for both the top and down tube.
The Volare has a no-compromise, racy shape, with a tapered head tube and fork steerer; at the back, the inherent strength of the steel negates any need for oversizing. On the road the Volare feels suitably rigid – the frame doesn’t twist or flex, even during out-of-the-saddle efforts – and it responds quickly to your acceleration efforts.
The Volare 10 isn’t exactly a lightweight, weighing in at 9.46kg. It doesn’t feel as though you’re carrying any excess mass when you’re barrelling along on the flat or on rolling terrain though. That could be down to the responsiveness of the frame or the wheels and tyres, a fine pairing of Shimano RS21s and Continental’s GranSport. The low-mass rolling stock helps on longer climbs too, but the Volare 10 is never going to ascend like its lightest competitors.
The default compact lead gearing of 12-28 and 50/34 is well matched to the Volare’s abilities. Genesis hasn’t strayed from 105 to cut costs, so the Volare 10 can boast confident braking, slick shifting and a generally smooth all-round performance. The only downside is the black finish on the cranks, which rubs off easily.
The classic road geometry feels combines neutral handling and bags of stability. This is a bike that allows you to confidently explore the limits of grip on fast corners in the middle of a descent or through a tight spot. It’ll get the job done with nothing less than perfect positioning.
This article forms part of Cycling Plus magazine’s Bike of the Year 2014 Awards, which will be published on 3 March 2014. Cycling Plus is available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.