February 22, 2017
Codenamed ‘Project Mantle’ this new bike from Genesis took a few people by surprise. While many riders know the brand for its reliable steel and alloy hardtails, over on the road and cyclocross side, it also has a big following for its progressive carbon road and ‘cross machines. So perhaps we shouldn’t have been too surprised to see an unpainted black prototype sat there on the show floor – still muddy from test riding…
With a Boost back end (and fork) the bike is designed in that modern style to take 29in wheels or 27.5in Plus wheels. There’s also full Di2 routing, and a neat battery hatch at the bottom of the downtube, as you might find on a bike of this intended purpose – which is to go very fast for a long time. Genesis see the bike being used for Thetford and Gorrick XC races, but also for 24 hour races and epic trail rides.
The seatpost on the show bike had a 27.2mm post, but it was shimmed down from 31.6mm – and with Stealth routing, this means that fitting a dropper for those more challenging XC courses is entirely possible, something that is harder on similar bikes like the Santa Cruz Highball and Cannondale FSi.
There is provision for a front mech and a double chainring setup too, so you might be able to swap much of your gear over from that old bike, perhaps with new wheels and a fork. Genesis are planning on having two specs of bikes, along with a frame-only option. Pricing (Brexit or otherwise) hasn’t been set yet, but we’re probably looking at £4K for a race-ready top of the range machine with an XT mechanical spec. More news on that when we get it. Likewise, Genesis wouldn’t give too much out about the geometry, but it’s pretty ‘modern’ and intended for a mid-short stem in the 60-70mm range. Reach on a large is 455mm apparently.
This is the first showing of what will be 2018 bike (yes, tell us about it!) but you should be able to see them in the shops by the end of the year.
And finally, in a Columbo style, Genesis had another prototype on show. A sort of super-comfort road/touring bike, it features 27.5in rims, but with 50c extra chunky (and tan-walled) slicks. Could this be the kind of road bike that most of us actually need? Again, it was on show to gauge reactions, but there was a good crowd around it all day. What do you reckon? Room in the shed?