Genesis Zero .3 review

Affordable version of the team machine

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
£1,700.00 RRP

Our review

A pro-quality aero-oriented frame that great for riding big miles
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We’ve already been impressed by the new Zero from Genesis, not least because no matter which model you choose you get the exact same frame as the pro riders at team Madison-Genesis will be riding for the 2015 season – they just get better spec.

That means you get a 950g chassis made with hi-grade 24/30 tonne unidirectional carbon, with top end details like carbon dropouts front and rear and routing for both mechanical and electronic drivetrains.

  • Highs: Great chassis, and quality drivetrain and wheels
  • Lows: Below par saddle and overly stiff cockpit

The frame uses Kamm-tail tube shapes (a truncated aerofoil that stays within the UCI’s rules). Up front the sculpted fork’s crown interlocks into the head and down tubes, creating a smooth clean line.

The oversized bottom bracket shell houses a BB86 press fit design to add ample stiffness, while the seatstays are a pencil thin diameter for rear end flex. A further nod to comfort is the use of a 27.2mm round seatpost, instead of using an aero post, following the rest of the bikes slippery features.

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The zero .3 strikes an expert balance between surefooted stability and sharp handling, though the stiff cockpit will benefit from an upgrade:

The Zero .3 strikes an expert balance between surefooted stability and sharp handling, though the stiff cockpit will benefit from an upgrade

The ride position is nicely race orientated, with a steep 73.5 head angle and a long 565mm top tube (matched to a 100mm stem). Genesis has made a concession to the endurance rider by increasing the head tube height to 175mm and the wheelbase to 990mm (the steel Volare race machine‘s is 145mm and 987mm).

That makes the Zero’s handling less sharp than the Volare, but it’s beautifully balanced between composed stability and nimbleness. We love the way the Zero descends – the long position encourages aggressive riding in the drops. Yet up on the hoods on rolling terrain it’s a quick bike for covering big miles.

The stack and reach figures of 602 and 400mm respectively makes it 41mm taller yet 8mm longer than the Volare. The increased height gives a great all-day riding position, but the longer reach makes it easy to assume a more aero position when hammering along on the flat.

Component wise it’s pretty much on the money. There’s a full complement of 105, with a racy 52/36 matched to an 11-28 cassette that helps on extended climbs.

The pairing of the new wider Fulcrum Racing 7 LG wheels and fat 25mm Ultrasport rubber help to null noisy vibrations from poor roads, with the back end particularly impressive. That’s despite the squishy padded Genesis saddle that’s neither particularly comfortable nor stable to sit on (our only standout disappointment with the whole bike).

The front end’s rather rigid 0.2 alloy bar and stem combo does transmit a bit of buzz, especially when you’re riding on the limit on fast descents over coarse road surfaces.

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Overall though we think the new Zero chassis is truly top grade – swift, comfortable enough yet with a race orientated ride position. With a few small upgrades (the cockpit and definitely the saddle) you’d have one of the best options around.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Zero .3 (15)
Brand Genesis Bikes

Bottom Bracket Shimano SM-BB71-41B Press-Fit
Brakes Shimano 105
Chain KMC X11
Cranks Shimano 105 FC-5800 52/36T
Fork Carbon
Frame Material Carbon
Front Derailleur Shimano 105 RD-5800
Front Tyre Continental Ultrasport 25mm
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105 RD-5800
Rear Tyre Continental Ultrasport 25mm
Saddle Genesis Road
Seatpost Genesis, 27.2x350mm
Shifters Shimano 105 ST-5800
Stem Genesis Road
Weight (kg) 8.36
Wheelset Fulcrum Racing 7 LG