Recently I visited Genesis bikes to find out what they have in store for the coming year. I’ve been a fan of Genesis for quite a few years and was interested to know what they’d been working on – quite a lot as it turns out.
Interestingly, the new models for 2016 represent 10 years of Genesis bikes, which is a great milestone and an interesting inflexion point to move into a second decade of designing and building bikes focussed around UK conditions.
Below are the highlights that stood out to me – it’s far from exhaustive but I hope you find it interesting.
The big news and the star of the show is the new Datum carbon adventure bike
Genesis say that their new Datum carbon road bike isn’t a gravel bike but more a wide tyred road bike that’s fast and versatile for UK riding. Let’s be honest, the UK doesn’t feature a lot of gravel roads (comparatively speaking) but our road surfaces are often poor, so greater comfort and the ability to handle rough surfaces is only getting more and more important. The design of the Datum began by taking the Equilibrium geometry as a starting point to create a wide tyre, lightweight, fun, versatile carbon road bike.
The end result is a really interesting bike (and frameset) available in three different complete builds.
The carbon frame at the heart of the Datum features 24/30 ton high modulus carbon with compact (equilibrium inspired) geometry, a BB86 pressfit bottom bracket, mudguard eyelets with generous clearances, a 27.2mm seatpost for comfort, Shimano flat mount disc brake and dropouts.
Genesis have shaped the seatpost much like you’d see in an aero frame but on the Datum this is to enable clearance for up to 33mm tyres and 45mm mudguards without having to make the chainstays too long. This flexibility that carbon brings was one of the key reasons the Datum is made from this material rather than any others.
The matching full carbon tapered steerer fork features a 15mm through axle design, mudguard eyelets and again Shimano flat mounts for disc brakes.
I asked Albert Steward, the designer who he thought the Datum was suited for and he told me that he thought it’s a great bike for anyone not racing. It’s a bike designed for the realities of UK riding – potholes, broken surfaces, wet and slippery as well as dry and fast. It’s also designed for those short punchy climbs we’re all used to. Versatility is a big aspect of the Datum too.
The builds the Datum will launch with are:
Datum 30: £3,199.99 Ultegra Di2 50/34 & 11/32, 33c Challenge Strada Bianca tyres, Shimano R785 Di2 shifters and RS805 flat mount disc brakes, Fulcrum Racing Sport DB wheelset and a new Genesis RandoX short reach, shallow drop flared bars (R70mm x D125mm).
Datum 20: £2,099.99 Full 105 5800 groupset 50/34 & 11/32, 33c Challenge Strada Bianca tyres, New Shimano mechanical shifters and RS505 flat mount disc brakes, Fulcrum Racing sport DB wheelset and the new RandoX short reach, shallow drop bars.
Datum 10: £1,799.99 Full new Tiagra 4700 groupset 50/34 & 11/32, 33c Challenge Strada Bianca tyres, TRP Hy/Rd mechanical actuated, hydraulic disc brakes, Fulcrum Racing Sport DB wheelset and the new RandoX short reach, shallow drop bars.
The Datum will also be available as a frameset at a compelling £999.99 price.
I think this could be a really interesting option for people and I hope to ride one.. It strikes me as more of a road bike than off road, so possibly more suited to more roadies than some of the more cyclocross influenced “gravel bikes”. It may not be your one bike to do it all – but having a Datum in your collection might on lock a lot more riding adventures than your road bike alone would.
Of course, I’ve enquired about trying one and hopefully I’ll get to do that.
Updates to the Zero bring lighter weight
The carbon race bike, the Genesis Zero has been updated for 2016. Genesis tell me the model has sold well as both a complete bike and frameset to date but the designers have been hard at work improving it anyway. For 2016 the frame and fork gets an upgrade in the carbon used in manufacture to 30/40 modulus unidirectional carbon and this helps weight of a medium frame drop by 120gms compared to last years 24/30 version. The official frame weight is now 960 gms for a medium size.
Additionally a completely new full carbon fork has been designed for 2016. The tapered fork design has been revised to deliver more comfort, better aerodynamics whilst also providing a good aerodynamic transition to the down tube. The new fork also drops 90gms over the old version, meaning the frameset is over 200gms lighter than the 2015 model.
For 2016 the Zero will be available as a frameset or in three different builds – Ultegra Di2 for £2999.99, Ultegra mechanical for £2099 and 105 for £1799. All models feature a 52/36 chainset and an 11/28 cassette, which to me is almost perfect for most fast UK riding. All Zero models also feature Fulcrum wheels and Continental tyres as well as Genesis finishing kit which I found to be excellent on the Equilibrium I previously tested. The frameset will retail for a reasonable £1099 and they sold out in their first year according to the guys at Genesis.
Also for 2016 the colour schemes have been updated and to my eyes, the Genesis graphic designer has done a terrific job – the colour schemes look great and I particularly liked the Ultegra mechanical colour, which is silver with a hint of gold. Very classy.
I’ve not ridden a Zero (yet) but reviews have been very positive about the ride and the quality of the framesets, these new improved models should only strengthen this perception.
A shift to stack and reach based geometry
Across the range, Genesis have revised their geometries to a stack and reach based system to bring a more uniform and incremental shift between each size of bike. It also means that in simple terms Genesis can offer fewer sizes that fit a wider range of people. Stack and reach is one way of getting around the fact that head tube or top tube length sizing approaches don’t take into account head and seat angles, which can almost cancel out changes in tube lengths. To understand this better than I can explain you can read a useful overview of stack and reach geometry here on the Cervelo site.
Genesis believe that this will help customers find a better fit on their bikes going forwards.
New sizing and more for the Genesis Equilibrium
The switch to stack and reach sizing as outlined above has meant for example that the very popular Equilibrium gets its first geometry tweak since launch.
The Equilibrium disc models have all been revised for flat mount disc brakes and feature a completely new straight blade carbon fork with clearances for a 28c tyre and 40mm guards.
The more expensive disc bikes also feature Challenge tyres, this time in a 27c width and two different framesets (Reynolds 931 or 725) are available at £1599 and 549 respectively.
On the caliper braked Equilibriums new gum wall tyres feature to fit the slightly retro styling which also extends to silver groupsets, which are back to Shimano after a dalliance with Campagnolo last year.
New Genesis Delta alloy complete bikes
At the entry level it’s good to see a new alloy Genesis Delta road bike available with the smart new Tiagra groupset for £799.99 complete or Claris for £599.99.
The new frameset features some modern tube shaping, is made from fully formed hybrid 6066/6061-T6 double butted aluminium to create both comfort and stiffness according to Genesis.The matching fork features a tapered steerer and is topped off with a zero stack headset.
Full mudguard mounts, with long drop brakes and clearance for 28c tyres with mudguards, could make this a good beginners bike (or commuter) that can switch to winter bike duties as and when you get the bug and buy something more expensive. This could be a great bike to work scheme bike and looks solid value.
New Titanium Croix de Fer
The Genesis Croix de Fer has always been a big seller for the company and for 2016 there’ll be a titanium version to tempt you with. Available in either a full bike build for £3k or as a frameset £1800. The titanium Croix de Fer features a full carbon tapered steerer disc fork, whereas the rest of the range (frames made from Reynolds 725) features a straight blade cro-mo fork with newly expanded clearances and a 50mm offset.
New Genesis kids bikes …. Including a fat bike for kids!
Genesis are expanding their selection of kids bikes for 2016 with new Beta drop bar road and CX 26” disc brake models as well as a more traditional cantilever 24” Alpha hybrid road/CX flat bar bike. There’s also a brand new Caribou Junior fat bike in addition to the exisiting Core 24 & 26 hardtails. They all looked pretty tasty in person and worth considering if you’re like me and like getting your kids as nice a bike as you’d ride yourself.
For more news on the range you can also try:
Thanks for reading