Monday, December 26, 2011

Genesis Flyer review

The Genesis brand began five years ago with this bike, the Flyer. Back then you got a carbon fork and seatpost. The recession has put paid to that; you now get chromoly steel and aluminium respectively, but the rear hub is better than the original's, and the axle adjustment screws are more robust than the thin ones of yore. Also new are band-on brake cable guides, for a cleaner look if the rear brake is removed.

It is a very tidy bike, and the lustrous cherry red paint job on top of the TIG-welded Reynolds 520 tubes looks great. It's not a period piece: its straight fork is steered with a modern, threadless stem. An Aheadstem clamps more securely than a quill, and this one is holding an anatomic handlebar with a normal (42cm) width and a compact drop.

Because the head-tube is fairly tall you don't have to adopt an aggressive riding position, even when you're on the drops. The reach is modest for a 56cm bike, which limits lower back stretch. It's a conspicuously comfortable bike and would be suitable for longer rides.

At 73 degrees, the head angle harkens more to road riding than the track and means that the steering is more stable. The wider handlebar helps keep the steering on a tighter rein, too. You can relax a bit more, especially when going fast on rough roads. A happy side-effect of a head angle that isn't super steep is a bit more room in the front centres – plenty for a size 42 shoe to clear the tyre on the tightest of turns.

At the back end, it has calibration for adjusting the axle position. Long, 4mm Allen bolts screw through the track ends. They're very handy for adjusting your chain tension and wheel alignment, plus they'll prevent you pulling the back wheel over when gurning up a nasty climb. The drivetrain is all 3/32in rather than the 1/8in track/singlespeed standard. The only caveat is you'll need to be careful when buying replacement parts, since a 3/32in chain won't wrap over the wider teeth of 1/8in cogs or chainrings (but you can use an 1/8in chain on 3/32in cogs and chainrings.) A 25mm tyre provides a bigger air pocket and can be run slightly softer to improve comfort on frost-cracked winter roads.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus

Hat Tip To: Road Bikes & Gear

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