We spied a couple of prototypes from UK brand Genesis a few months back, but the full range has now been finalised and jolly fine it looks too. Here’s a run-down of the off-road stuff…
Reassuringly free of typographic gimmickry (it could so easily have become the AlTiTude or something), the titanium edition of the Altitude should be a very popular choice. Genesis has gone for a sturdy configuration, with oversized plain-gauge tubes up front to keep everything in line. A sprinkling of tapered and butted tubes elsewhere keeps the frame weight down to a claimed 3.45lb for the 19in frame. The Ti will be available as a full bike with Fox F120R fork (complete with 15mm QR through-axle), full XT group and Conti tyres at £2,099.99, or as a frame only for £899.90.
Also kind-of an Altitude spinoff is the new Alpitude, which is essentially an emburlened Altitude designed for steeper, tougher trails such as you might find in the semi-eponymous mountain range. The frame is built from Reynolds 853 tubing and designed to run up to a 150mm fork and give you heaps of standover clearance. The £1,399.99 full bike will come with a RockShox Revelation 95-140mm fork with 20mm Maxle Lite through-axle, plus a mostly Shimano SLX (with a dash of XT) component spec. Or go for the frame only at £359.99.
Croix de Fer
That’s “Iron Cross” to you. Cyclocross bikes are an interesting paradox – they’re designed for a very niche branch of cycle sport but somehow manage to be supremely versatile, with the vast majority of them getting used for almost everything except that actual racing for which they’re intended. Genesis’s ‘crosser is built around a Reynolds 520 chromoly frame, a mix of Shimano bits (including 10spd 105 transmission and R505 cable disc brakes) and a carbon bladed fork. It’s a penny under a grand.
As the Alpitude is to the steel Altitude series, so the Abyss is to the aluminium Core range. The new Abyss has the same geometry as the Alpitude but rendered in aluminium. You still get an SLX/XT component mix, but the Revelation fork is a slightly lower model and the wheel package is a little cheaper. That all means that the Abyss is considerably cheaper than the Alpitude, though, coming in at £1,049.99.
This one’s a somewhat curious beast. It’s kind of a cyclocross bike, but with one gear and flat bars. Or, looked at another way, it’s a more practical version of those achingly hip track-based courier wannabe things that seem to be clogging up the streets of most cities these days. Certainly looks like it might be fun, although at £469.99 it’s slightly outside the “buy on a whim” threshold.
The iO is a popular off-the-peg rigid singlespeed, and for 2009 it’s been given a few tweaks and upgrades. Bars, stem and seatpost are all lighter, while wider rims work better with the big tyres that are useful allies on rigid bikes. Last year’s Hayes Sole brakes have been given the heave-ho in favour of Shimano units. All these improvements have driven the price up somewhat, though, with the iO now being £549.99. Again, there’ll be a frame-only option at £249.99.
Core and Altitude
The bread and butter of the Genesis range are the Core and Altitude line-ups. In price terms they run fairly parallel, but the Core bikes are aluminium while the Altitudes are steel. The Cores start with the 20 at £669.99, complete with eye-catching lime green butted 6061 frame, RockShox Tora 289 forks and mostly Deore-level kit (spice up with an SLX rear mech). Stepping up to the Core 30 (£799.99) gets you a posher ALX9 triple-butted frame and RockShox Recon 335 forks. The range tops out with the £999.99 Core 40 pumps up the spec with SLX throughout (except the XT rear mech) and Recon 351 prongs.
We enjoyed the 2008 Altitude 00, and it’s back for 2009 although at a somewhat higher price (a common theme amongst 2009 bikes from all manufacturers). The Altitude 10 now shares a Reynolds 520 frame with the 00 but gets Recon 335 85-130mm forks, outboard BB Deore chainset and general mix of Deore and SLX parts at £849.99. The Alitude 20 comes in at a penny under a grand and steps up to a Reynolds 853 frame and Recon 351 forks.
Top of the Altitude tree is the 30, at £1,499.99. The highlight here is the 120mm travel, Maxle Lite version of the RockShox Reba. That gets stuck on the front of a lime green 853 frame and teamed with most of an XT groupset (the only exception being the SLX hubs). This is also the frame that you’ll get if you go for the Altitude frame-only option at £349.99.
The whole Genesis range looks pretty smart and will be on sale shortly. Have a look at www.genesisbikes.co.uk to find your local dealer.