Would you be quickerbybike?

Quickerbybike.com is a campaign to promote cycling to non-cyclists
& decent cycling to existing cyclists.

If you commute to work or school but not by bike,
would you consider switching?

It's probably quicker, healthier, more friendly, more independent, cheaper, quieter & brighter.

If you already ride, would you promote cycling via your shorts?

If you ride like a bit of a wally, running red lights & annoying other road users,

would you wear the shorts and ride decently?

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Genesis Day One Alfine 11 Review

I bought a Genesis Day 1 Alfine 11 last year to ride off-road as a 'cross bike.

This is what I learnt:
  • Riding trails on a 'cross bike is not as much fun as riding them on a mountain bike.
  • Cyclocross is a racing discipline only.
  • The Genesis Day 1 is heavy, despite the 853 tubing.  It would be hopeless for 'cross racing.
  • The Genesis Day 1 has poor mud clearance to the front fork (you won't think it's important until you're having to stop and pull the stuff out with your hands because it's jamming the wheel).
  • The Avid BB7 disc brakes are great, as is the Versa shifter and the Alfine 11 speed hub.
I got muddy:
After a few outings I gave up and took my mountain bike instead.  It was fine riding the Genesis on my own as an alternative to training on the road (with the busy, angry cars) but it wasn't very sociable because my friends were either on the road on road bikes or off the road on mountain bikes.

I left the Day One in the shed but I kept hold of my buyer's remorse.

Then I moved house and my commute went from 8 miles to 21 miles.

I stepped the Genesis up for the job.  And   it   is  brilliant.

I've now been riding the Genesis for my extended commute for three months.  I put the original Conti Gatorskin 28s back on and fitted SKS Bluemels guards.  Much better than the cross version.  It now looks like this.

You'll need some patience and skill (and some long bolts and spacers) to fit the mudguards so that they go around the disc calipers.  Ask Genesis if you're stuck.

It's just perfect.  Almost no maintenance.  Bomber braking.  Comfortable but fast.  Easy gear changes and huge range.  Just perfect.  Apart from anything else it's silent.  Derailler gears always make a bit of noise when you pedal and when you freewheel.  Hubs make no noise at any time.

I've done all my winter training on the Genesis too, riding in the Surrey Hills with friends on road bikes.  I can keep up fine, my brakes are reliable in the wet and don't create a horrible black paste on the rims.  The gears are in a metal box so they don't care if it's raining and gritty.

So, I highly recommend the Genesis Day Alfine but with some caveats.
  • If you're buying a bike for commuting, why not get the Alfine 8.  It's a lot cheaper and the slightly heavier tubing won't make any difference to you.  The 8 and 11 are both heavy bikes.
  • If you're buying it for racing 'cross, get the Day 01 disc and race singlespeed.  At least it will be a race-weight bike.
  • If you're buying it to go riding off road - get a mountain bike.