The biggest surprise to me at the launch of the Genesis Bikes 2017 range was the unveiling of the new Vapour Carbon CX Cyclocross bike.
Not only is it a ‘cross bike but Genesis told me that it’s absolutely designed as a race bike rather than any other kind of off-road riding. The new bike features the same higher end carbon as featured in the Zero range (higher modulus than in the Datum). The forks is tapered, there a 12mm through axles front and rear. It features flat mount disc brakes of course and narrower tyre clearances than the Datum but greater mud clearances and a stiffer pedalling platform because it’s a race bike. It also features Genesis’s take on modern Cyclocross racing geometry. It features a shorter reach than I expected (which I really welcome), a mid-height stack, and a larger fork trail. It’s certainly a departure from the long and low design of some other Cyclocross bikes. I thought the design of the bike looked really interesting with lots of up to date features including Di2 compatibility.
Genesis have specified the bikes well too. All models feature the same 30/40 T monocoque carbon frame and full carbon tapered fork, with just the colours and build kits changing.
I have to say that I really liked all of the colours schemes and it’s not often you get to say that about a bike range. The Vapour CCX is a very smart looking bike in person.
The top of the range model is the Vapour CCX 30 retailing for £2,799.99 features a Shimano Ultegra mechanical hydraulic disc brake groupset (aside from the chain (KMC) and cassette (105)).
There are 160mm rotors front and rear on Fulcrum Racing 5 DB wheelset, shod with Challenge Grifo tyres.
The listed complete weight is 8.6kgs with Genesis finishing kit. It’s a great spec. The wheels will be a touch heavy to race perhaps, but they’re always an obvious upgrade.
From there we move onto the Vapour CCX 20 at £2,299.99 which switches from a mainly white colour scheme to a nice blue.
The 20 also switches from Ultegra mechanical to 105 mechanical (with a non-series RS500 crankset).
The Fulcrum wheels step down to the Racing Sport DB and the brakes are RS505 flat mount rather than the RS805 on the top of the range 30.
Those changes save you £500 and only cost you 284 extra grams in weight according to Genesis (about a 1/3 of a water bottle).
The next bike in the range is a very striking orange Vapour CCX 10 coming in at £2099.99 retail.
As well as a great paint job, other changes on the 10 are the switch to 10 speed Tiagra, including the new RS405 hydraulic disc brakes. Again there’s a non-series chainset – the CX50 and all other specs say the same.
In saving that £200 you gain a little more weight with the full bike now up to 9.02kgs (180gms more than the 20). Aside from the £200, the big decision buyers need to make here is do they want 10 or 11 speeds?
If you want to build one yourself to run SRAM 1x, Di2 or any other option, you can order the frameset in the Vapour CCX 30 colourway.
After the surprise of this new model had worn off, it does make sense and fits into the range. If you want a carbon bike to ride long distances and do some off-road riding, there’s the Datum. If you want to go fast on road there’s the Zero. If you want to adventure off-road there’s the Croix de Fer, without mentioning the steel road bikes like the Equilibrium or the Volare. So there’s definitely a gap this fills for a carbon Cyclocross race bike. Of course, many people who buy them will never race, but it’s the same with road bikes. I have no intention of ever racing my carbon aero race bike for example.
If you’re looking for a carbon Cyclocross right featuring an up to date design, some well considered builds and from a brand with a strong track record of delivering bikes that are fun and well made, you should probably add the Vapour Carbon CX range to your shortlist.
If you’re looking for a cheaper Cyclocross bike, Genesis have also released an aluminium ‘cross bike called the Vapour CX 20 & 10 that are aluminium. These feature much lower price points (£900 to £1000) and have a slightly less aggressive geometry. You can check them out here: http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/cyclocross/cyclocross/vapour-cx/vapour-cx-20
As a recent convert to Cyclocross bikes, I think the new Vapour Carbon CX looks really interesting. If it rides as well as it looks, Genesis might well have another winner on their hands.
Check out the full Vapour Carbon CX range at the Genesis site here
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