2008 is the second year for Genesis, the UK-specific MTB, road and “quirky stuff” brand owned by überdistributor Madison. Last year it had a full range of aluminium and steel MTBs which have had mild tweaking for 2008 – they’re now designed for 100-130mm travel forks, and the steel Attitude series is extended with the addition of the £569.99 Attitude 00.
Another addition to the range is the Io ID, the first time that Shimano’s Alfine 8spd internal-gear hub has made it on to a production mountain bike. The Alfine offers enough of a gear range for really quite a lot of riding – a little wider than what you get from a wide-range cassette and just a middle ring. That’s not as much range as a Rohloff, but the Alfine is a lot cheaper, feels smoother and comes with a familiar-looking trigger shifter (although it works in a low-normal style which may be a little confusing at first). Bolt it on to a Reynolds 725 frame, stick a RockShox Recon on the front and a Deore brake to each end and job’s a good’un. The complete bike costs £899.99, and has clearly been something of a success – since we mentioned it back in October all the initial stock has been sold. Should be more in time for winter, though…
As well as the bikes that you’ll find in the 2008 catalogue, the Genesis design team is working on a few interesting projects. First up is a bike that they’re calling the Alpitude. It’s a lower-slung, longer-travel version of the Altitude with a Reynolds 853 frame designed for a 130-150mm fork – it’s likely to come as a complete bike with a Pike as shown here. As you might guess from the working name, the bike came out of riding Altitudes in the Alps, a habitat that demanded something oriented a little more towards steep, nadgery seat-down descents.
Then we have the hopefully-imminent Altitude Ti, a titanium-framed incarnation of the Altitude geometry. It’s very much in the sturdy mould of bikes like the Cove Hummer, packing oversized plain-gauge (but thin-walled) tubes up front and tapered stays. The top and down tube are both substantial pipes, and the seat tube is fat too so that the big top tube doesn’t have to be shaped and squished to fit happily to it. The seat tube is shimmed to take a 27.2mm seatpost for your comfort and convenience. Again, the geometry is designed for a 100-130mm fork – simply adjust to taste. Pricing isn’t finalised, but the Ti will be available as a complete (probably XT-equipped) bike or as a frame only – expect to pay somewhere between £900 and £1,000 for the frame.
As well as MTBs, Genesis has a full range of conventional road bikes as well as commuter weaponry and various singlespeed/fixed devices in drop or flat-bar flavours. It also does the Vapour cyclocross bike, which is equipped with traditional cantilever brakes. There’s a disc-braked prototype being tested right now, though, which could well be just the job for the vast majority of CX bike purchasers who have absolutely no intention of racing ‘cross but just want a versatile, fun, on/off-road bike. It’s not particularly about braking power – the skinny tyres limit that anyway – but the only thing that spoils mucky winter CX fun is the scrapy-scrapy noise of your rims wearing away. Getting the braking surfaces up out of the dirt has to be a good thing.
Full specs of all the Genesis bikes are on-line now at www.genesisbikes.co.uk.