Genesis has had adventure as a core focus since its 2006 beginnings, and the Tour de Fer has been a stalwart of its range for much of that time.
Like the best touring bikes, the Tour de Fer aims to capture the essence of packing up and heading for the wilderness in a stripped-back yet absolutely feature-loaded package.
A Reynolds 725 steel frame – strong, dependable and relatively light – is at the heart of the bike.
The frame features a threaded bottom bracket shell, mudguard eyelets, front and rear rack mounts, three sets of bottle cage bosses and provision to carry three spare spokes, which are included in the package.
The fork is made from chromoly steel and has a straight 1 1/8in steerer, and both the frame and fork have quick-release dropouts rather than thru-axles.
Shimano fits out much of the Tour de Fer’s spec. The shifters and drivetrain are the Japanese powerhouse’s workhorse Tiagra offerings: a triple chainset has the low gears to winch a fully loaded machine up the steepest inclines; a 10-speed cassette offers low maintenance, consistent shifting even when you haven’t had a chance to clean it on tour as much as you would at home, and smallish jumps between gears.
The brakes are TRP’s cable operated Spyres – they’re not as powerful as a hydraulic setup, but braking is consistent and sufficiently powerful.
The external headset is a simple removable ball-and-race type, which is easy to clean and regrease without an extensive collection of tools.
The Tour de Fer rolls on solid-to-a-fault equipment – Sun Ringlé Rhyno Lite rims that used to be found on mountain bikes, wrapped in dependable Schwalbe Marathon tyres. The Marathon range is synonymous with continent-crossing durability and incredible puncture resistance.
Strong, plain-gauge spokes are laced to Shimano FH-M6000 rear and DH-UR700-3D front hubs. Yes, you decoded that correctly, there really is a dynamo hub. It powers Busch + Müller’s IQ-X front light and Secula rear light.
Regular finishing kit is Genesis branded: a 27.2mm in-line seatpost, 100mm stem, saddle and a 16-degree flared bar that measures 42cm at the hoods.
Extra equipment from Genesis includes the full-length mudguards and two of the supplied bottle cages – the third is a Monkii Cage from Free Parable.
It’s a brilliant adjustable cage that has been used to carry a bottle of wine, a small Thermos and a container of meths for the burner packed elsewhere.
The front rack is a Tubus Tara low-rider style while the rear is an AtranVelo Tour 365 with a sprung clip and a 27kg capacity.
Genesis Tour de Fer 30 geometry
|Seat angle (degrees)||73.5||73.5||73||73||72.5|
|Head angle (degrees)||71||71||71||71||71|
|Seat tube (mm)||450||480||510||530||570|
|Top tube (mm)||533||547||578||604||636|
|Head tube (mm)||125||140||160||180||200|
|Fork offset (mm)||55||55||55||55||55|
|Bottom bracket drop (mm)||75||75||75||75||75|
Genesis Tour de Fer 30 ride impressions
From the first pedal turn, there’s a stability and a purpose about this bike that the 15.6kg overall weight helps supply.
It doesn’t feel heavy though, it’s nimble and handles extremely well. Not once did it feel twitchy or unpredictable regardless of how much or little weight was hanging off it.
The gearing is intended to allow steady climbing and rapid yet controlled descending – you don’t want to be engaging banzai mode when you’ve got kit for two weeks strapped around you.
I never felt the momentum getting away from me, and the TRP brakes were consistent throughout testing.
The brake choice or the basic headset may seem odd, but every last component on this bike is pitched at long-term high mileage and ease of servicing.
Spare brake cables are easier to carry than bleed kits for hydraulic systems, and to service the headset you only need an Allen key to remove the stem.
The steel frameset is chosen for much the same reason. Should the worst happen, you have a chance that a welding shop anywhere in the world might be able to get it running again. Try that with aluminium, titanium or carbon…
This bike won’t carry you to records on your local Strava segments, but it will be there for your more considered rides and is built to go the distance.
While not as capable off-road as the best gravel bikes, canal towpaths and smooth forest trails are well within the Tour de Fer’s capability.
If you have a longing for week-long continental tours or even packing your life up and heading off around the world, this could well be the bike for you.
Equally, if you’re looking to reduce car use, four panniers will allow you to carry the week’s work clothes, gym kit, lunch and your laptop comfortably.
The dynamo lights provide year-round, charge-free lighting and you can even add supplementary power banks or USB chargers.
Genesis Tour de Fer 30 bottom line
Genesis’s Tour de Fer 30 is a prime example of how touring bikes are a utilitarian dream.
At a sniff the wrong side of two grand, it’s still great value and it’s a bike that brings massive potential for exploration and future fun-filled riding.
|Features||Lights: B&M dynamo front and rear lights
Bottle cages: Three (2 x Genesis, 1 x Monkii Cage from Free Parable)
|Handlebar||X-Race Pro bar|
|Tyres||Schwalbe Marathon 700 x 35c|
|Stem||Genesis 31.8mm alloy|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano Tiagra|
|Front derailleur||Shimano Tiagra|
|Available sizes||XS, S, M, L, XL|
|Frame||Reynolds 725 steel|
|Fork||Genesis full chromoly|
|Brakes||TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc|
|Bottom bracket||Shimano BB-ES300|
|Wheels||Sun Ringlé Rhyno Lite rims|