Best of Madison’s House Show

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Before Interbike and deadlines shoved us off course, Chipps nipped down to Milton Keynes (city of dreams) for a look at what’s new for 2014. And now he’s finally back from his travels, here’s a brief look at some of the wonders within. Here’s what’s going to be lining up for your spending money next year from Genesis, Saracen and more.

You can never have signs too big when journos are involved…

Genesis Col du Glandon

Building on the very successful Croix de Fer and CdF bikes, here’s the aluminium framed Col du Glandon (which is just down the hill from the Croix). First impressions might confuse you though as this is actually a 650B road bike/cross bike for smaller or younger riders. Using the ‘new’ mountain bike standard, Genesis has been able to make a good and right looking bike for smaller riders without having to do odd things to the geometry. Complete bikes are £599.

Is it small? Or is it far away? Actually, it’s small…
Nice and simple looking bike.

Genesis Caribou

Genesis is very enthusiastic about this ‘get out in the woods in all weathers’ approach to mountain biking and has produced this almost-elegant looking Caribou model. It’s one of the few non-Surly/Salsa fat bikes to come stock with Surly rims and (Nate) tyres. The aggressive Nates make it a tiny bit more appropriate for the all-terrain intentions of the bike. It can be yours for £1499 complete.

Genesis High Latitude

The High Latitude is Genesis’ ride-everything steel hardtail that seems to only makes sense to British riders. It’s a 29in bike with 1×10 gears and comes in under a grand at £999.

It’s certainly bold


Random Americans are delighted that it at least has 29in wheels.

Genesis High Latitude LT

It might look similar, but this is the 27in wheel version of the High Latitude. With Reynolds 653 tubing and a ‘UK favourite’ Ardent/Crossmark Maxxis combo, it also features a brand-new-for-Reynolds 34mm-31mm tapered seat tube that allows a dropper post AND a front mech without either being odd sizes. £1499 complete.

Bolderer! And in that funny new size.
120mm fork doesn’t equate to ‘Long Travel’ so perhaps it’s ‘Let’s Talk’ (about my wheel size)?

Genesis Core

The popular Core range has also had a mid-wheel revamp and now comes with 27.5in wheels. It also gains wider bars (up to 700mm on the medium and large) and a 11-34 wide-range cassette. Complete bikes are £749.

Getting Core
They love the slogans.

Genesis Vapour

The Vapour disc ‘cross/commuter bike comes in just under the magic grand and can run as your daily driver as well as a race-day special. Now in eye-popping blue, it features a big, versatile head tube and quality looking tapered fork. What’s not to like?

It’s even brighter than this in daylight



And from further back


Genesis Alfine Di2

No, it’s not some kind of NSA concealed listening device, or a seatpost bomb, it’s the battery for the new 11 speed Shimano Di2 Alfine electric hub gears. With discs, hub gears and Di2, it could be the lowest maintenance bike you ever have.

Battery hidden from wet and salt, with power for thousands of shifts.
Bright, yet stealthy gear indicator and battery level display.
Same shape levers as the fantastic Ultegra Di2 jobs.
Alfine Di2? Yes please!
You’d hardly know it was ‘lectric.
£2200 for the complete thing.

Genesis Day One Alfine

If you fancy even more simplicity, how about the Alfine hubbed Day One, but with a super-neat bar-end shifter. Even more low-maintenance!

Never needs charging!

Saracen Myst Team

Now we’re going over to the other end of the spectrum at Madison’s other house brand, Saracen. As very successfully ridden by Manon Carpenter and the rest of the Saracen team this year, this bike can be yours. £4899 might be a bit of a stiff price to join the club, but you’d have no excuses for not winning once you joined it.

Complex carbon back end.
Kitted out in Saint, Pro and Fox springers.

The, even brighter, Saracen Myst Pro is £2,999 and features the same base frame but with slightly more affordable components. Oh, and arguably, in a faster colour!

Same high-mod carbon back end.
Boxxers instead of 40s. Still no excuses.

Saracen Mantra

A little shorter on the travel is the Saracen Mantra line. These feature ‘UK specific design’ apparently. They come with 27.5in wheels like everything these days (apart from the Myst!). With 120mm forks, there’ll be a range of Mantras from £499-£1199

Lime or mango?
Neat 3D head badges

Saracen Ariel

Now, let’s look to the Ariel. A bike that we’ve reviewed in the past and loved (Benji even went out and bought his own). The Ariel, too, goes to 27.5in for 2014, (though a 26in frame-only option is still available for next year). The Ariel 151 features, 150mm of travel and it gains a carbon fibre back end for 2014. Probably the jauntiest paintjob in the room too…

Jaunty Ariel 151
Double front ring lets you earn your downhills.


Ariel 152 – £3299 gets you some chunky, more all-mountain spec.

Go up a notch to the 152 and you actually lose a chainring, but gain some gnarr!
Norglide bushings and a spanking new carbon back end
Raw enough for you?
Fox Float-X CTD shock and Factory CTD 34s.

Saracen Kili Flyer

Saracen’s long-running Kili Flyer marque also gets the 27.5in makeover. With 120/120 travel and prices running from £1999 to £3199, the bikes are aimed at being more all-round XC and trail riding bikes.

And here’s one being put through its paces by Manon Carpenter!

That’s not the travel, but it nearly is.
The top end Kili 123 gets a carbon swingarm too.
All a bit neat really.

Saracen’s frame-only line up is in a very stealth black throughout – from Myst to Kili. There’s even a 26in Ariel frame in there somewhere…

26in? Surely there are some left in the world?

Saracen’s ‘not a ‘cross bike, not a gravel bike, OK, maybe a gravel bike, maybe a commuter’ Hack range continues to look super smart. This year in more stealthy colours. £799 and £999

Hack 1 and 2
Satin black ano frames with subtle pinstripes. One for the commute?
Are we in the ’90s again?
Dirt jump bikes are exempt from fashion critiques. We KNEW the fade was going to come back.
A room full of toys.


Meanwhile, across the car park was a quiet announcement that Madison (or rather Sportline, Madison’s bike distribution line) was now carrying the well known Ridley brand of bikes from that Belgium. Known mainly for it’s cyclocross frames, road and timetrial bikes, it also has a few mountain bikes up its sleeve(s?)

This’ll either make you salivate, or turn the virtual page…
It’s good to see an unashamed XC race machine now and again.

Meanwhile, in the car park itself, there was a battle brewing. It seems that even the scoot-along bike world isn’t immune to wheel-size arguments. There we saw Madison guys Oli and Chris arguing over whose bike was the best.

Perhaps the red one is for racers (alternatively, it’s just a bit bigger, that’s all)
But surely the yellow bike is more manoeuvrable?
Ahh, but the red one will roll over Lego™ bricks better!

We’ll be featuring a few bits of Madison’s expanding clothing line over the next few issues. Here’s its Pac-it Jacket which is as the name suggests…

To match your eyes?

And finally, in one of those ‘Could only be designed by a UK rider’ is the waterproof 3/4 baggies from the Madison range.

And here’s the ‘Wetbumnomore’ knickers. Or not.

Comments (7)

    that Col du Glandon is the first reason I’ve seen that actually convinces for using 650b

    also, I want more fade!

    650b on a road bike. What a first! 😉

    So what are their 26″ options then? Can’t believe so many manufacturers are just ignoring it now. Clearly just trying to force people down a new route.

    The fat bike is 26in.
    I think you’re going to struggle to find more than a handful of new 26in models next year, such is the flipover of the entire bicycle world to big and bigger wheels…

    I think you’re going to struggle to find more than a handful of new 26in models next year, such is the ‘buy a new bike’ mentality of the entire bicycle making world, bigger wheels means bigger profits…


    No one’s forcing you to buy a new bike, sv. However, if you do want to buy one, it’s likely that not many will have 26in wheels. No one forced us to have oversize handlebars either, but they’re the norm now – even though you can still find ‘normal’ bars and stems.

    Having ridden a 650b bike I can see why most manufactures have switched over for trail riding. I believe that if you want 26″ you can still buy the Ariel 140, 160 as a 26″ frame set.
    Ride a 650b bike see what you think then, I was sceptical at first but now I’m convinced it right.

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