Depending on who you speak to, #crossiscoming, is already here, or never actually went away. Whatever state of flux cyclocross racing happens to be in, Genesis is ready with the reintroduction of the British brand’s much loved Vapour.
Completely re-designed for 2017, the Vapour is a very modern, carbon 'cross bike with geometry that blurs the line between a traditional, sharp handling CX race bike and an all-road, adventure machine like the Datum.
Compared to the Datum, the numbers do err on the side of 'cross racing with a higher BB for increased ground clearance and a considerably slacker head angle and longer wheelbase, which make for a more stable ride when things get really choppy.
Simply put, if you like the idea of riding fast around a muddy circle for an hour of puke-threshold unpleasantness, then this is the bike from Genesis for you.
Despite the racing bias, singletrack excursions should still be enjoyable with generously wide handlebars across all sizes making for a controlled and stable ride (XS: 40cm / S>M: 42cm / L>X: 44cm) .
Solid contact points will be lost on a noodly frame, but the Vapour features bolt-thru axles at both ends as well as a tapered, full carbon fork up front for a stiff and confident ride.
We were also very pleased to see a full Ultegra hydro groupset, with proper 'cross specific chainrings up front; the 46-36 combo offers smooth and close shifts up front.
And although the 11-34 cassette should make mincemeat of all but the steepest of climbs, hardcore racers will likely swap for something with slightly less spread to get the gears a little closer spaced.
The Fulcrum Racing 5 DB wheels are also seen on other similarly priced bikes in the Genesis range and are shod with meaty, 33mm Challenge Grifo CL tyres. The tyres are a favourite for mixed conditions and perform well in all but the muckiest of weather.
We’re glad to see the return of a proper 'cross bike to the line up from Genesis and hope to see some Vapours out in the wild this upcoming season.