Genesis bikes get in early for 2011

15th August 2010   Words: Nick Rearden

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In preparing for the recent launch of the 2011 Genesis bike range, the UK brand found itself stuck between a rock and a hard place when it came to pricing.

According to brand manager James Olsen, “Shocking increased freight costs and exchange rates meant that we had to raise prices.” But they couldn’t afford to lose the vital £999.99 price that qualifies for the government’s Cycle To Work initiative.

So he split the Equilibrium model in two and made a sub-£1,000 bike called Equilibrium 10 with gears specced down from 10-speed Shimano 105 to 9-speed Shimano Tiagra.

Genesis Equilibrium 20 2011

Posh £1,300 version of the Genesis Equilibrium but there’s a 9 speed with the same frame for under a grand

And thus with permission to exceed the old price point with a new model, Genesis went to town with the Equilibrium 20 and improved the spec all around, adding a 105 chainset to make the Shimano groupset complete and improved the one thing that niggled Cycling Active when we reviewed the bike in our May issue and generally found it “a quality machine from top to bottom”.

Only the wheels, we felt, were on the heavy side and that has now been remedied with a nice set of WH-RS10s to match the rest of the Shimano components, bringing the price to £1,299.99.

The even better news is that the Equilibrium frame shared by both models now uses lighter heat-treated and double-butted Reynolds 725 tubing. Otherwise, there are no geometric changes so it will be interesting to see to what extent the lighter frame and wheels affect what was already a delightful and versatile combination for all kinds of road riding.

Genesis Day One Alfine 2011

Day One Alfine brings 8-speed internal gears and discs to ‘cross racing. More likely to be ridden to work.

A big surprise from Genesis, and possibly a significant development for commuters overall, was a new variant of its Day One model, which had hitherto only been available as a fashionable singlespeed with either straight or dropped bars. These models carry on with new colours and a price increase to £549.99, but for £999.99 — that Cycle To Work threshold again — there is now the Day One Alfine with Shimano’s tried-and-trusted eight-speed internally-geared hub and disc brakes.

Up to now only seen on straight handlebar bikes due the non-availability of a drop-bar shifter, the surprise is that Genesis has gone ahead with an STI-type shifter not made by Shimano and built a bike that should go down well with commuters who like the ‘fast’ riding positions afforded by a dropped handlebar but don’t relish the regular maintenance required of external derailleur gears on a workhorse commuting bike.Genesis Day One Cross

Day One Cross: everyone thought it was a niche too far but caught the eye of commuters.

This article first appeared in the September 2010 issue of  Cycling Active magazine