Price: £1499 complete bike, £359.99 frame only
From: Genesis Bikes www.genesisbikes.co.uk
Weight: 28.5 lbs
I expected the Alpitude to good on descents. And it is. It’s similar to the unstoppable (in a good way) feel of a Cotic BFe. The ride feel is hard to describe – it’s stable and planted but not muted or clunky. The powerful but not grabby SLX brakes deserve credit for enabling high speeds as well. There’s no need to cover or drag the brakes “just in case” – you can brake as late you want. There’s was an initial hint of over-excitedness at the front that I attributed to the damping of the fork rather than the frame. I think I’ve been spoiled by stupidly expensive high-end forks!
At first on slower, steeper, tighter trails the slightly divey fork could make things feel a bit on the steep side (I think the relatively low 12.2in BB height helped to keep the endos at bay). But after some helpful setup advice from James at Genesis Bikes the forks have been LOADS better. From his pointers I now run the forks quite hard (and with not so much pressure in the negative chamber) and with a smidgeon more rebound that I would typically. I have wound the Motion Control’s Lockout “blow-off” threshold almost all the way off and now when riding steeper, steppy stuff I flick the fork to Lockout position and the forks still compress but with a significantly stiffer action. No hyperactivity or diveyness. I instantly felt so much more confident and at ease with the bike on Stupid Stuff with the fork setup this way.
With the forks wound down to 110mm the bike climbs very impressively too. The 73.5 degree seat angle really helps pin the front down whilst still being able to keep weight on the saddle for rear wheel traction (a fat ‘n’ soft rear tyre also helps). My lungs give out before the bike spits out.
Perhaps the biggest revelation with the Alpitude was how eagerly it ate up contouring terrain – especially woodland singletrack. With the fork wound in a bit from full travel (mainly to put the BB height down even further) and a less-draggy tyre stuck on the back this bike can zip with the best of them. With the forks set to 110mm the steepened head angle didn’t prove to be a problem. If something problematic appears, the front of the bike is so easy to pop up it’s no big deal to quickly hop or manual over it. And it’s an ideal machine for trailcentre and bike park ripping.
What next: So far, so ace. Although I’ve changed a few bits relatively quickly I can’t see me having to change anything else (except finding a “just so” 31.8 handlebar). For once I’d even recommend going for the complete bike option as opposed to building up a frame. I’m going to try and get it over some big British mountains soon.
Posted on: January 30, 2009 by Ben_Haworth