First Look: Genesis Mantle 20

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If the sorts of bikes we’ve had in for testing over the past 12 months are anything to go by, it would appear that the hardtail isn’t dead yet – it’s just been getting better.

Joining the ranks of the new-school carbon XC hardtail brigade, the Genesis Mantle is brand new for 2018. As Genesis’ flagship carbon mountain bike, the Mantle is designed to provide the necessary speed and agility that XC racers demand, with a dash of trail sensibility thrown in to provide some extra versatility outside of the race tape. Case in point is the wheelsize: although the Mantle comes stock with 29×2.25in Maxxis Forekaster tyres, there’s sufficient clearance in the frame for up to 27.5×2.8in tyres, which puts the Mantle into similar territory as the Open One+ and the Giant XTC – two other 29er carbon hardtails that’ll accommodate 27.5+ wheels. Chubby rubber for everyday trail riding and skinny pizza wheels for weekend racing perhaps?

Suspension travel is 100m on the front, and the Mantle frame is ready to accommodate a dropper post, Di2 shifting and even a front derailleur. There are two complete Mantle models, including the Mantle 20 we have here, and the higher-end Mantle 30 that goes up to £3599. You can also get the Mantle as a frame on its own for £1499.
Genesis unveils the all-new Mantle for 2018.

A no compromise Race King to be built your way, to go further and faster for longer! The Mantle frameset is built to go racing. An XC – endurance bike that wants to push your performance to the limit in every way possible. The frame’s geometry is confidence inspiring allowing you to take on the most technical trails and descents. The frame can also be built with enough rear tyre clearance to take a 27.5×2.8in tyre and allows fitment for a front mech, Di2 gearing and even a dropper seatpost should you want to take the normal boundaries of a carbon endurance bike and kick them into the long grass!” – From Genesis Bikes.

genesis mantle carbon hardtail
Race-ready with added trail sensibility.

Genesis Mantle Features

  • Lightweight 29in carbon hardtail
  • 30T modulus carbon fibre frame
  • 100mm travel fork
  • 69° head angle
  • 73° seat tube angle
  • 435mm chainstay length
  • PF92 bottom bracket shell
  • Front derailleur compatible
  • Shimano direct mount rear derailleur hanger
  • Di2 ready
  • DT Swiss RWS 148x12mm thru-axle
  • Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, & X-Large
  • Claimed frame weight: 1.46kg
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
Genesis has spec’d a Shimano 1×11 drivetrain for the Mantle 20, which includes a mahoosif 11-46t cassette out back.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
Little nubs for bolting on a front mech if you so choose. Note the Di2 port just above the mount.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
Hugely oversized PF92 bottom bracket junction, with bearings pressed directly into the frame via resin cups.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
There’s a clean bolt-up axle for the 148x12mm rear dropouts.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
There’s a DT Swiss M1900 wheel at both ends of the bike.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
Eyeleted M1900 rims feature a tubeless compatible rim profile if you want to ditch the stock tubes.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
We’re seeing more of these turn up in various sizes on various types of bikes. It’s the Maxxis Forekaster that feels just a little bit Ignitor-esque.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
Slender legs on the Fox 32 SC fork with 100mm of travel.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
Inside is the new EVOL air spring for smooth slidin’.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
The FIT Grip damper has adjustable rebound, and a two-position compression adjuster at the top of the fork.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
And this remote is how you control it. One paddle to lock, one paddle to unlock.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
720mm wide Race Face flat bars and a 70mm long stem provide assist with wheel turning functions.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
More Shimano bits, including the latest MT500 hydraulic disc brakes.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
There’s Boost hub spacing and 160mm disc rotors front and rear.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
Ignore the gaping hole – our test bike lost it’s little rubber grommet, but have no fear – a replacement is near!
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
The carbon frame is massively reinforced around the head tube – this thing looks stiff as!
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
The rear wheel tucks nicely into the seat tube, forming a 435mm rear centre length even with the front derailleur and 2.8in tyre clearance.
Thinned seat stays allow for clean lines.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
Being a British brand, Genesis has thought about us mud-slinging XC riders.
genesis mantle carbon hardtail
This is where you sit.

We’ve sent the Genesis off to Rachel Sokal to put the tangerine dream through its paces both on and off the race track. If you’re interested in hearing more about how it rides, then stay tuned for her review once she’s put it through some proper winter miles. Sorry in advance bike!

Otherwise for more info, get your peepers onto the Genesis Bikes website.

genesis mantle carbon hardtail
Tangerine dreams.

2018 Genesis Mantle 20 Specifications

  • Frame // 30T Modulus Carbon Fibre
  • Fork // Fox 32 SC Float, Performance Series, 100mm Travel
  • Hubs // DT-Swiss M1900 Spline, 110x15mm Front & 148x12mm Rear
  • Rims // DT-Swiss M1900 Spline, 22.5mm Internal Rim Width, Tubeless Ready
  • Tyres // Maxxis Forekaster EXO 3C 29×2.20in Front & Rear
  • Chainset // Shimano SLX 32t Chainring
  • Rear Mech // Shimano SLX 11-Speed
  • Shifter // Shimano SLX 11-Speed
  • Cassette // Shimano SLX, 11-46t, 11-Speed
  • Brakes // Shimano MT500, 160mm Front & Rear
  • Stem // Race Face Turbine, 70mm Long
  • Bars // Race Face Turbine Flatwide, Alloy, 720mm Wide
  • Grips // Genesis Lock-On
  • Seatpost // Race Face Turbine, 31.6mm,
  • Saddle // Fizik Monte
  • Size Tested // Medium
  • Sizes available // Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
  • RRP // £2599

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