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 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.
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.
Im thinking of buying the Alfine 11 and I too live in the Surrey Hills.
So your info has really helped me decide, I ride a 20 mile commute a day on a Boardman CX at the moment but my CX got bent by a motorist on a roundabout so... insurance money on way.
By the way the CX is Excellent but deraileurs goes like every other one after a few thousand miles. Hence my desire for a hub gear.
Hi Chris. I don't think you can go far wrong with the Genesis for a long commute. It is heavy though, make no mistake. And the gears will slip now and then. I don't find either of these a major problem and would be very sorry to have to go bake to a traditional bike for commuting. In fact the thought of it depresses me! I suspect there are alternatives to the Genesis now.
Hi everyone being a 14 mile a day commuter I have a ridgeback nemesis which I've had for 7 years ,its got shimano nexave 8 speed hub gearing and roller brakes. It weighs just over 14 KGS but now the old gears are not running smoothly also the bottom bracket needs replacing but its a sealed unit and connected to the spider , costly ! So i am looking to the genesis range for drop handled fun ,have been riding single speed all winter but not sure whether I want a bit of gearing to keep pace with my summer only friends. Can you also say how much the alfine 8 weighs? Cheers mike
The Alfine 11 weighs 11,3 kg.
I bought a day one alfine 8 speed about a year and a half ago. I'm a round trip of 23 miles into work on main roads and country roads and some bridle paths. It soaks all this up and is pretty comfortable and fast. If I was on a mountain bike instead of 50 minutes each way I'd be more like an hour and the rest. I do wish I'd maybe got the croix de fer to save a bit weight but at the end of my ride I just throw it in the shed. Brakes on mines are bb3 so not as good as the latest ones but I live that bike, does everything on or off road.
I'm a Day One Alfine 8 owner - I originally bought it for commuting but have since advanced my cycling to long weekend rides culminating in the etape Caledonia done in a little over 4 hours earlier this year.
Problem is, on club rides I find myself dropped without fail.
Before I go buying a fancy road bike I'd be interested in people's views on the weight & speed differences?
Either I'm just slower than I'd like to think, or the weight and gearing of the alfine 8 is slowing me down (on the flat only, I'm a whippet going uphill :)
Thanks in advance
Hi Sam. I think you can legitimately blame the bike. It's very heavy and I struggle to handle club rides if they are at all feisty. Great for training alone or in groups riding steady but you have to work a bit harder than the rest on the hills. I can think why you'd struggle on the flat but not the hills.
You'd enjoy a race bike and would feel the difference.
I have an alfine 11, and Ive only ridden it a few miles. The gears keep slipping, its infuriating. Any suggestions?
Hi Adrian. There's no escaping the odd slip with either of the Alfines but it shouldn't happen much. Have you used the barrel-adjuster to align the yellow tabs on the hub? I can't remember off-hand which gear it should be in to do this but only one will put them close. Really shouldn't slip much once you've done this.
I've had mine for 2 years now. Lessons learned:
1) Check the assembly of the gear cable at the hub end. The pinch bolt was loose on mine as it came from the shop and slowly slipped.
2) The distance between the shoulder on the ferrule and the centre of the pinch bolt has to be 184mm for reliable shifting in all gears. I don't know why. See link below
3) Align the yellow lines as quicker suggests in gear 6. Check alignment before each ride as the barrel adjuster does not stay put.
4) Have the oil changed after the first 200km, not 1000km as specced. The factory oil fill brings out all the detritus of the initial running-in.
5) Gear slips in 4 or 5 reduce after the first few hundred km, but go easy after a shift until the gear has properly engaged.
6) The cassette joint will fill up with gunk after a few months and needs removing, disassembling with a small Phillips screwdriver and cleaning for optimal shifting (dirt changes the radius of the joint and thus the amount the joint rotates on gear change).
7) No, you can't upgrade it to Di2, even if you wanted to spend another 1K on your bike.
I agree with all the points in the original article. Has anyone got any insight into why Genesis built the Day One so heavily? Did they use a bit too much of the magical 853 overall? Or is the (non-853) back end made of hi-ten? I have bugged them on their Facebook comments a couple of times but never got a response.
I use mine as my about town bike and for hauling the kids in a Singletrailer, where I don't have any worries about breaking the frame or stopping from 60kph, but it's very heavy, especially in the wheels, I just got killed on a steel racers' tour by a bunch of guys and bikes several decades older.
Also, after about a year the upshift started jumping all the way into gear 11. I guess this is a problem in the Versa STI. Anyone else see this?
I'm not sure if I would do it again. The tradeoff of the extra weight and decreased shifting performance vs lower daily maintenance is not in the Day One's favour. I might get a Croix De Fer though.
I've owned a Day One Alfine 8 for over 2 years now and it's a rock solid commuter. I love it. It's a solid, comfy ride. I do a 22 mile round trip, mainly on road with a couple of killer hills and a few bridle paths. It is very heavy though, especially with a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus', which probably add at least an extra KG... The positives outweigh (forgive the pun) the negative of the weight though. Its brilliant for training too. As soon as you jump onto a CF road bike, you just fly
I've been riding an Alfine8 bike for my 29mile round trip commute since May 2013 - not a Genesis, I bought a Charge Mixer (I don't think I can upload a photo here) which I converted to drop bars and Versa changers/Avid BB7s.
It has been excellent - I thought I would share my problems/experience with the Versa/Alfine combination in case anyone else reads this:
As Will says, the pinch bolt needs to be correctly and tightly fitted.
The (yellow marks) gear alignment needs checking once a week, cables stretch and such.
If you are experiencing sudden down shitfs then check the cable for ANY chafing or cable degradation - I found that I had a single fibre come away and was effectively acting as a spring - I replaced the cable and it was like a new machine again!
I am thinking about buying a Day One Alfine 11 - Martin thank you for posting your comments - have you found any significant/notable problems with the 11 speed hub? I am sold on the whole hub system, so much better than scrubbing a chain/cassette once a week.
I'm sorry to have been so slow to reply. I've been going on holiday, getting engaged and watnot. Hooray!
But no, no problems with the 11 speed. It's much the same as the 8 to live with. It slips now and then but not enough to upset me. The adjustment is a lot easier to reach, see and affect than it is on the 8, so keeping it well tuned is less hassle.
I've ridden mine for um, 3000 miles and had no problems. I've done no maintenance as yet.
There are other, similarly equiped bikes out there now. The Genesis does the job really well. The weight is the only downside. Train heavy, race light. Doesn't bother me.
Thanks Martin - I've just come back from hols too.
I took the plunge and bought one, probikekit were offering 35% off so I couldn't resist - you couldn't buy the parts for that price, I checked!
A few observations, bad bits first-
1. Design fail on the horizontal dropouts: Having fitted some nice ETC mudguards, you have to remove the mudguard stays to get the rear wheel off! On my Charge Mixer it's vertical dropouts with eccentric bottom bracket to tension the chain.
2. Design fail on the rear disc brake mounting, this should have been mounted on the chain, not seat stay so you can use any rack (as i is on my Charge Mixer).
3. The paint is very prone to chipping.
4. The top gears are so high they are almost useless. I will try a lower sprocket to see if this cures the problem.
5. The Versa8 changes gear so much quicker than the 11, partly because it is configured to work in reverse so that you press the large lever to change up, meaning you have quicker downshifts.
These niggles aside, I love it. It is more comfortable and lighter than my Charge Mixer. I did a 15 mile brake bedding in ride, and so far two 27 mile commutes. The first commute a lad on a Brompton told me it was his dream bike, and the second time (this morning) I broke my previous best record that I had been trying to beat since May! I don't think I could part with it now, it really is an excellent machine.
There is my two pence worth.
All the best,
p.s. Have I seen you riding the Upper Richmond Road on a weekday morning? If it was you and I see you again I'll say hello!
That's good news. You got one (cheap!) and you love it.
I agree about the design issues. I've overcome the mudguard thing by using a spare set of SKS front wheel quick-release / safety fittings on the rear wheel. They just pull out.
I do get other riders saying what a great bike it looks. I agree!
Part of my training (I race TTs) is to grind 8 miles of my commute in a big gear. I in fact fitted a slightly larger chainring. But I agree it's a useless top gear for most applications.
You may well have seen me, yes. I commute to Weybridge from Borough most days, so I cross Putney Bridge and head to Roehampton Gate. Please do wave and shout if you see me. I'm always in full quickerbybike kit in the winter.
All the best
I do love it, it just looks "right"!
Excellent tip about the mudguard quick release jobbies, I shall be doing likewise!
And you put a LARGER chainring on - I assume you only have small hills on your route?!
Given that the 8 speed was flat out down the fastest hill in Richmond Park at 40mph, I think top gear must equate to 50mph plus...mental.
That is a serious commute you have, hats off to you sir. I'll say hello if I see you again.
All the best,
So, fellow Day One A11 owners, I need your advice.
Would You Do It Again?
I got T-boned by a car where a separated cycle path down a one way street crosses a side street. The driver sped over the give way line looking the other way to connect with my left pedal and send me over the bonnet. I'm ok, 20 years of falling off BMX and mountain bikes paid off, but the bike's a writeoff.
Right now I'm considering the 2014 Day One Di2, a Croix de Fer, or something Ti and versatile like a Lynskey Sportive or Kinesis Tripster ATR.
Personally I have no doubts about the bike, it is excellent. I have just gone past 260 miles on it now, and I realise that I have been using the higher gears (that i thought were superfluous) downhill!
It is comfortable, quick enough and almost maintenance free. There simply isn't anything like it.
I have reservations about the Di2 - such as why suffer the weight of the batteries and in fact why dispense with the Versa changers they are excellent and go for all the extra cost? I expect it is more profitable for Genesis/Madison/Shimano to do so as the Versa changers are not Shimano products.
I say if you can find one of the 2013 bikes then go for it you won't regret it despite it's flaws (no bike is perfect is it).
My tuppence worth!
Thought I'd update on the merits of changing your oil, or in my case not very much oil... passed the 600 mile last week and drained the oil - there was nowhere near the prescribed 25ml - flushed drained and refilled and it is better than it was brand new - the gear change is totally silent and smooth. Love it!
Nicko, that's brilliant. Thank you. I've been meaning to do it for ages. I guess it's about time I did it now. 6000k on the clock. Which oil did you use and where did you buy it? And where did you find simple instructions for the job?
Many thanks for posting.
I bought a kit from Ebid (you can get it on Ebay but it's a few quid more)
it actually only comprises two plastic syringes and a threaded tube attachment but is much cheaper than buying the Shimano kit, or doubtlessly the cost of LBS doing it. There are instructions on how to do it here -
all quite simple and easy, took me about 30-40 minutes very worthwhile though I reckon. Good luck!
...and realised that I'd missed your extra 0 Martin you need a comma in that number! 6,000 mile no oil change you naughty boy!
Nicko - thank you!
Oil change done!
As you say, the hub feels smoother. Really enjoyed doing the job. Nice and simple and quick.
There was barely a dribble of oil in the hub. Now there's roughly 25 mls. Hard to guage as less comes out from the cleaning than you put in.
Thank you very much for the prompt and the links. That kit was ideal.
I think I got away with the huge gap between new and 1st change. Feels fine.
Ha! well done Martin glad you got away with it, the hubs are £450 odd new!
Martin I'm thinking about changing chain - I'm assuming you must have done yours - what chain did you go for?
p.s. am only thinking about the chain because the original is getting a bit baggy (at 850 miles now) and I'm thinking ahead - I don't want to ruin the sprocket or chain ring!
I just used a SRAM PC850, 8-speed chain. But then my chainring is not the original. I think the original ring is wide, so you'll need a 1/8 inch chain. Something like a KMC Z510.
If your chain is just baggy, you should be able to tension it by loosening the axle bolts and then tweaking the little hex-key tensioner bolts (if they haven't seized). Make sure you do the axle bolts up nice and tight afterwards.
I use a chain-wear measuring tool and just replace the chain when it's getting close to the mark. Only done it once so far. Probably needs checking.
I tend to buy cheap chains and replace them often. SRAM and KMC both have very good magic-links for separating.
Thank you sir. I've adjusted the tension ok, just thinking ahead to when it's time to change.
What size are you guys riding compared to your height. I'm tied between buying a 58 or 60cm
I'm 6'2" with a 35" inseam
I'm 5'10 and ride the 54cm. If you're in doubt then go for the size down - I'm assuming that you've checked the Genesis size guide/contacted them? I bought mine online without having tested one in a shop and it felt spot on straight away. hope that helps, and merry Xmas!
I've ridden almost 2,800 miles since last September, and am about to have to replace my second chain. I replaced the original KMC-K810 with the same KMC chain at 1,500 miles, and am about to have to replace this one now (at about 1,300 miles).
1. is 1,500 miles a short life expectancy for what is effectively a single speed chain?
2. do you have any recommendations for durable chains?
Many thanks in advance,
That does seem a bit short doesn't it. However, I'd just take it on the chin and keep swapping in new chains when they fail the chain-wear test. I'd say just buy fairly cheap chains and expact to replace them frequently.
I had been meaning to post a message to you: have you noticed that the more oil you put into the Alfine 11 hub, the more comes out? I'm not sure I'll bother putting more oil in in the future as it leaves the external moving parts of the hub covered in oil.
Was hoping you'd say 'try this chain it's magic!' :)
My hub does lose a little oil but it's had two oil changes now and has been ok in terms of oil retention.: sounds like your sealing is suspect.
I stripped the outer parts of my wheel down in a quest to find why it had such high rolling resistance only to find that the cones were probably a bit over tightened (was meaning to tell you about this too). This will reveal if anything is loose that's not meant to be, and it's pretty straightforward - there are guides online (I think I followed the on for my 8 speed hub) - sounds like it's worth you having a tinker/look?
Let us know what you find, good luck sir.
Thought I'd post an update on my bike.: I stopped using it for a a few months while the weather was fine, (plus I was training for the Pru100) and rode my recently acquired carbon bike instead.
Am now back on the Genesis as the carbon machine is too high maintenance (it's worn through bottom bracket and bloody expensive headset in 1,500 miles!) and I had a scare that made me realise that if I'm going to have an accident I am so much better off on Reynolds 853 steel than carbon!
Anyway, cut a long story short, I realised that my headset had started indexing (or Brinelling to give it it's correct term), and also that my hub had started leaking oil, no at 2,800 miles old.
So, my questions;
1. Have you replaced your headset yet? The stock "FSA TH-848" is predictably now redundant
2. Did you fix your oil leak? The Shimano techdoc
refers to seals - see items 19 and 35
If not, no problems, I'm not really worried about either because the bike is still a flying machine and performing beautifully, but being a bit fussy thought I'd ask. If I find answers to with either I'll update.
Good to hear from you.
I replaced my headset on purchase actually, along with the bars. I used a Hope headset but Cane Creek also make good sets for sensible money. Chris King = waste of money, in my opinion.
If you're interested, I replaced the bars because the reach on the Genesis bars was super-short and the bike didn't fit me, despite being exactly the right frame size.
Leaking oil. It's a bit annoying isn't it. I'm not sure how long mine has been doing it but there was certainly no oil in it when I went to change it at 10k miles.
I'm afraid I'm unlikely to do much about it. I expect the hub will go on and on.
Winter's coming. I had lights on my bike for the commute this week.
Good to hear from you too Sir.
What did you replace your headset and bars (and crank come to think of it) with? I find the bars to be ok for me personally, but I have thought about doing some weight cutting and putting carbon everything on...
Agreed - Chris King = waste of money.
I'm hoping to have a tinker with the leaking hub this week so will update if/when - they have come down in price to under £300 now so it won't be the end of the world, it's just annoying when it piddles on the floor.
Winter is indeed coming, it's when the bike really comes into it's own :)
Hi. Just wanted to say how interesting I've found all of this info. After irrationally lusting after the 2014 di2 for quite a few months it has tumbled to a price where I've taken the plunge.
I took delivery a few days ago and have just finished setting it up. It can't wait to take her for its maiden voyage!
I have a couple of questions if you don't mind?
What mudguards do you recommend? Also would there be any problem if I change the front wheel bolts to quick release?
I really wanted a do it all bike for winter rides, going out with my son, occasional commuting etc so I have high hopes. I must say I think it looks stunning in the flesh so it's off to a good start!
Congratulations Blunders and welcome to the club! I personally don't get the logic of Di2 but I can appreciate the very nifty way it chances gear. Is your bike a dark green colour?
Mudguards; personally I fitted ETC guards, because I like them aesthetically and the stays are adjustable in terms of where on the mudguard they are clamped, although you do have to cut them to length).
However, I've found that because of the length of the guards, they don't keep all the spray off - they need the extra flap that the SKS ones have (as shown in Martin's pic). I've found that while mine keep the spray off me, they don't keep it off the bike (I find tide marks on the down tube and bottom bracket which almost certainly has been getting onto the chain and has been accounting for my premature chain wear) and I've been told that they don't keep the spray behind me down either by mates who've been behind me! Hope that helps, let us know how you get on, I'm certain you'll love the ride :)
P.S. Changing to quick release won't be a problem, note that if you have Avid BB7 brakes, that they have to be adjusted every time you put the wheel back on as the amount of pressure on each side of the skewer will affect them. You'll understand when you have to do it! Nicko
P.P.S. There's an excellent guide on seeing up BB7 here;
Hi - thanks for the info Nicko. Much appreciated.
It's the black 2014 model. Which I love the look of (only downside is I'm sure it will show every chip and scratch).
The di2 are an unknown quantity to me as my other bike has shimano 105 but I didn't fancy having the shifters on the end of the bars which the 2014 day one alfine has, plus I just love the black paint finish - have I mentioned that :-)
Anyway I took her for a very brief spin yesterday. It felt as smooth as silk. It really is a lovely compliant ride. The gears seem to have enough range in them for me (I was a little worried about this) and I already love the rapid shifting. The fact you can change gear while stationary is brilliant
The weight is not as bad as I thought it would be but it's early days yet and I haven't been that far. But the turn of speed was certainly better than I thought it would be.
I'm off work tomorrow so hopefully will go for a longer ride. The brakes are rubbing slightly but I'm hoping this will sort itself out once I bed them in.
I fitted SKS Bluemels. The narrow ones, I'm pretty sure.
And get the mudflap for the front one.
I've found Bluemels much longer-lived than the chromoplastics.
Well done for snapping up a bargain Di2 Genesis.
Thanks for the info. I'll have a look and try and get some sorted in the next week or two.
I took her out for a spin yesterday and ended up doing 24 miles.
My initial impressions remain the same in that the ride is really, really smooth. I did my usual route that I normally do on my other carbon road bike so that I could get a sense of how it compares.
It was obviously slower (I think my average speed was about 2-3 miles slower), and the hills were a bit of a grind at times. However, in keeping with the style of the bike I shunned the lycra (well I had my bib shorts underneath some casuals) and I had my old mountain bike shimano boots on (the pedals are the spd mountain bike ones at the moment with a flat side and spd side - pretty good actually) so this also contributed to the decline in speed.
I think though that biggest change is a mental thing, I stopped sweating about speed and it all slotted into place. Just riding for the fun of it..... I also felt less tired after the ride which is probably the slower speed but possibly also the comfier ride ?
I loved how quiet the set-up is and how there are no dramas just because the road is a bit choppy or there is gravel or debris in the road.
The Di2 is phenomenal aswell - I'm completely sold, the speed that it changes gear is amazing. I think if I ever change my other bike, this will become a must - (although that will be a long time away, or my marriage will be in real trouble !)
The downsides are that I think there's quite a leap between 5th and 6th. I could do with a 5 1/2 ! I was either spinning away to quickly, or finding it difficult to keep the cadence going. But I guess that will come with time.
Overall though, I'm delighted with it. I just need to try and sort out the brakes rubbing as the ride hasn't solved it yet. The guys in the shop said that it may take a little while to go as there is a film on the pads that needs to wear off and also they set it up to be tight so that when they do wear a bit, the brakes still perform.
Anyway, I'm rambling now....
So glad I joined the Day One club :-)
The penny just dropped about your 5 1/2th gear - you're riding the 8 speed - i hadn't realised that Genesis had dropped the 11 speed from the range - that's a bit of a swindle! The 8 speed is very good (i have an 8 and an 11 speed) but the 11 speed is even better; when i first got my 11 i thought the top end gears were too high but it all made perfect sense after a week of riding. I do like the Di2 but it's heavier than the excellent Versa changers (they are best on the 8 speed too) that they dropped after 2013. The only reason that i can come up with for them dropping the versa changers is, sadly, monetary. Servicing the 8 speed is pretty straightforward, i think you're meant to do it every 1500 miles.
It is true that overall steel bikes won't keep up with carbon (mainly when climbing cos of the weight), but there is no contest in the comfort stakes. The stock saddle on mine is more comfortable than the £150 carbon rail one i fitted to my carbon Trek Domane, it is seriously good!
Your brakes should be bedded in at about 30 miles; they are better than any rim brakes especially in the wet. Anyway, i'm rambling now (sorry for hijacking your blog Martin!). Happy riding, you'll enjoy munching those miles :)
Hello - new to genesis but currently lusting over the 2015 Day One Alfine 8 Di2 and the Croix de Fer 30. The bike will almost entirely be used for my London commute with one short steep climb and I'm finding it difficult not to be wowed by the seemingly hassle-free nature of the former (although price is slightly less appealing). I can't find any reviews online at all, so wondering if anyone here has any opinion or experience?
Thank you for posting here.
You might not be as excitable as me about bike purchases but I'd say: try not to be too impetuous and have a good look at what's available. You have a big budget and there are some great bikes for that amount.
You'll be fitting mudguards won't you? So it wants to be a winter-type bike.
I'm still riding and enjoying my Genesis Day Alfine 11. It has done 10,000 kilometres. I rode it in this morning. It's a great bike. The gears slipped a bit today but they often do that and it's no big deal.
Do you need gears for your commute? You could save 1.2 kilos by doing without them!
My main issue with Genesis bikes is that they are HEAVY.
Have a look at the Canyon Infinite AL 9. Hydraulic disc brakes, mudguards included. 2 kilos lighter than the CdF and 3 kilos lighter than the Alfine Di2.
I would find it hard to spend £2k on the Genesis Di2 when I know I could have the Whyte Stove Rival for the same money. Not super-practical for commuting but a lot of bike! I say a lot of bike but it's 5 kilos lighter than the Genesis Di2.
The only other thing to say is that if you want maintenance-free then have a look for a belt-drive bike. Revolution do some (Edinburgh Bicycle). Spot Brand do one with drop bars and discs although it is a bit above your budget (Sideways Cycles have them). There are others. If you can put up with flat bars, then look at Canyon's amazing Commuter 7. Get on it, ride it, repeat.
I like my Genesis a lot. It has served me very well and continues to do so. But I wouldn't buy one now. I would want a lighter bike, hydraulic discs, a more reliable shifter and ideally a belt drive.
The 2015 bike addresses many of those points but the weight is still there. By the time the weekend comes round each week I am busting to ride a bike that feels more free and nimble.
Enjoy your choosing, buying and riding. Would you let us know how you get on?
I kind of agree with Martin, but kind of disagree too?!
I've just passed 5000 miles on my 11 speed and I still love it, a year and a half, and generally up to 140 miles/week, later. Comfortable, and pretty quick (I've got a 1.2 mile Strava KOM sprint on it).
Almost any steel bike will be heavier than a carbon or titanium, but it will also be more robust (and more comfortable than carbon or alloy).: Having had a pedestrian step out into the road in front of me on my carbon bike last July (one fractured cheekbone, two buckled wheels and suspect cracked front fork), and a black cab go into the back of me on the Genesis while stationary (a slightly buckled rear wheel!) in December, I know which is the best choice for a commuter!
The weight will be an issue if you're racing up hills, but then again it will probably be a bonus on the downhills. So it all seems to be pros and cons. If you are planning on riding in all weathers, particularly wet, then the hub change/disc brake combo is hard to beat. With your budget you need to think about what kind of riding you'll be doing, and your priorities. If it's riding in all weathers and doing so comfortably, then I think that the Day One is a good choice.
There is a big BUT though, and that is that if you are looking at the current range of hub/disc change (I don't know about the CdF) then I think you will be looking at the 8 speed Alfine hubs, and bar end shifters, which is simply not as good as the integrated brake/shifters and 11 speed hubs, and also I don't think they are doing the lighter Reynolds 853 tubed frames any more which means you will be looking at the heavier end of the range.
I do kind of agree with Martin about the brakes, I've got Avid BB7s on mine, and they can be a bit fiddly to setup but once done are excellent and only need adjusting for pad clearance.
I also kind of agree that if I were looking now I might not buy the same bike again. I have an (even more) expensive carbon bike that I won't be using for regular commuting again, it's too much of a liability, paint chips really easily and stupid design press fit bottom bracket and headsets cannot withstand getting wet without needing replacing, and if you have a prang and damage the frame, it's almost certainly a total write off!
I think my ideal bike would be a titanium frame (with threaded bottom bracket and headset to prevent water ingress), onto which I could transfer the hub and discs, I haven't found one yet, but am considering having one made (if I can sneak it past the missus)
Hope that helps,
p.s. Martin I changed my oil yesterday and was shocked to find almost all of it in there!
I must have over filled it previously. I also believe that I found the reason for the leak; the right hand dust cap was not sufficiently tightened (shown in figure 1 at
or part 26 at
I bought one of these special 'banjo' spanners which you're welcome to borrow
I also gave the non drive side cones a tweaking, which they were definitely due.
All the best,
Dear Martin and Nicko - many thanks for your detailed thoughts. I already have a cheap and cheerful but what feels to me quite racey 10 year old Raleigh road-bike which is perfect for the odd triathlon and summer time burn down to Richmond Park. However, I don't like commuting on it due to its quite aggressive geometry and tyres ill-suited to the task, particularly in winter.
I did have an aluminium framed Trek commuter bike but unfortunately the frame cracked a couple of months ago (and I do not have any proof of purchase as the original owner to be able to claim on their lifetime warranty). This is why I was thinking of reverting to steel, which seems to go on and on if you're sensible with weather protection. I only have a short sharp hill climb (up and over Herne Hill in SE London) each day otherwise it's pretty much flat, so weight (or lack of it) isn't the absolute be all and end all.
So what I was looking for is a beautiful to ride, hassle-free and COMFORTABLE, all-year round commuter bike that will last for years.
This then precludes your suggestion of the Whyte Stowe Rival but the Canyon bikes do both look amazing - particularly the Commuter 7.0 which is a show-stopper to look at and very clever looking design and the price of both is appealing. I have concerns about the Alfine 8's shift cable and that's why I was particularly drawn to Di2 (even if it might be construed as a bit showey but quite frankly, I don't care!). Happy to be swayed on this though (that's the Alfine 8 vs. the Di2...not if it's showey not...!).
Hello Martin, thought I'd update on the leak issue - mine has not dribbled a drop! tightening the plastic 'dust cover' with the big banjo spanner seems to have done the trick (I did tighten the cones a bit too). Nice to know that my hubs is still full of oil :)
What did you decide in the end Lex? I am still loving the Day One, it does slip a little bit but it's still a Bentley of a ride :)
p.s. Lex I forgot to mention that if you're around 5'10" and want to try this out then give me a shout it ticks your comfort and durability boxes and is the Alfine 8 speed hub -
(Apologies Martin for bumping this I hope you don't mind)
Hi Nicko - This is my first week back in London after two months in Sierra Leone (the result being a bit of extra cash to spend on niceties such as bicycles!)
When I was away, I sent an email to Canyon UK to see if they have any bikes to test-ride but haven't heard back from them yet. Will resend email right now...
Thanks for the offer of a test-ride on your charger, although at 6'2", it's going to be too small for me.
So...I just need to settle back in to life here (quite different from the ebola treatment centre I was working at) and the search will continue. I will be sure to update here!
Long time no post from me, but have caught back up with the comments.
I'm six months into owning the D12 2014 Day one Alfine.
I haven't used it for commuting yet, only winter training. I'm going to collect it from my local bike shop tonight where i've had it serviced (they're authorised Genesis Dealer)and have had mudguards (i tried and failed to fit these myself so swallowed my pride) plus panniers !, so it will come back a full commuting steed.
I'll start using it from tomorrow to make the ride to work (1st of the year) so am looking forward to putting it to the use it was bought for.
Overall, i love the bike, when you are in a nice flowing rhythm it is a joy to ride, but there is no escaping the fact that it is heavy as hell when going up hills - or even long slight inclines ! At which point the love turns to hate. But it's shortlived.
The benefit of this though is that i took my carbon bike out for the first time this year on Monday and smashed my strava segment times ! so all good.
For me, when i ride the Genesis it is like a comfortable GT car rather than a sports car, yes, you can be quick when needed, but it is far more satisfying to smoothly pedal along with the comfort and serenity that the frame and gears give you. Honestly, it is so smooth.
I have also been spoilt with the di2 shifters, they are awesome and made my 105s on my other bike seem antiquated and cumbersome.
So, i'm looking forward to getting stuck into my commuting months with it and will keep you posted on progress.
I'm likely to buy the Day One 853 Di2 2014 Frameset, but would like to see close up pics of the frame details, eg internal routing entry/exit points etc. there are almost no good pics on the net showing this kind of detail. Can anyone oblige?
Does anyone else have a problem with the genesis day one back wheel. I have hub gears and keep snapping spokes, this is my third wheel in 18 months, latest wheel has more spokes for additional strength and still I am popping spokes?
No problems like that for me Steve. Is yours 8 or 11 speed, and how many spokes? Bit of a weird issue that - are the spokes snapping in the same place/is there a sharp edge on this hole of the hub?
are they all tensioned equally, and laced correctly?
Hi Steve. Like Nicko, I've never had a broken spoke on my Day Alfine 11. However, I did have an Alfine 8 built into a wheel for my previous commuter bike and I had three or four broken spokes. Annoying. I think the chap who built it struggled with the unusual hub diameter. In the end I had the wheel rebuilt with new spokes by a different wheel builder and it's been bomber ever since.
36 spokes on this wheel, it is a 8 speed hub. The wheel was built by Evans cycles where I bought the bike from. I ride the bike hard but only down canal paths and cycle routes. I don't use the bike on off road trails. I doe about 80 - 100 miles a week. This is the third wheel I have had. I am perplexed.
I love the bike but it is my main form of transport so need so need it to be reliable. My 400 quid mountain bike was more reliable.............
"built by Evans cycles". I suspect that's your problem, right there. Did Evans build all three? Find another wheel builder.
Hi folks - I came across this thread because I'm thinking of getting a Genesis Day One Alfine (well, now they call it the Day One 20, and it seems to use the Nexus rather than the Alfine hub.) It'd be for my 17km-each-way commute, mostly flat. My budget is around 1k€, though I have some flexibility, and I'm leaning towards this because:
1- I really love the internal hub on my upright city bike;
2- I want something that I can leave outside in my building's courtyard all year and not worry too much about maintenance;
3- It needs to be suitable for riding along wet roads, sometimes in the rain, and isn't too painful on the bumpy parts of the bike path (or the cobblestones in Vienna, which can get pretty bad, although I might stick to using my upright, front-suspension city bike for in-town riding);
4- I want drop-bars, partly for the lower wind-resistance, and partly for just the comfort of hand positions.
It looks like people are generally fairly happy with theirs on this thread, so my main question is: should I just go with the 2016 version, even though they downgraded the hub to the Nexus from the Alfine (which confuses me, because I thought only the Alfine was suitable for disc brakes), or try to find a 2015 52cm still in stock somewhere? Other differences: brakes (TRP Spyre-C 2015 vs Promax Render-R 2016), brake levers (Tektro RL-340 2015 vs Promax BL-253 2016), rims (Alex Rims XD-Elite, 32H 2015 vs WTB STP i19 TCS 29", 32H 2016) -- honestly none of those mean anything to me, I've been riding a decent amount but I don't really know parts. (I also much prefer the red colour of the 2016.)
My 2nd question is about mudguards. I see SKS Bluemels recommended here, but I don't see them listed anywhere on e.g. Evanscycles (I'm in Austria, which has no Genesis dealers, so I'd have to order from a bigger place that can do international). On Amazon I see a lot of hits--since the tires are 35mm, I'd want the 45 guards? Or do the 35 guards fit 35 tires?
Finally: any suggestions for a lightweight rack to use with my Ortlieb panniers?
Thanks so much for any advice you can offer! Just reading this thread has been very helpful.
Thank you for posting. I like the look of that Day 20. If you really don't mind having a heavy bike then I don't think you can go far wrong.
The return to the 8 speed hub means they can use a bar-end shifter. Ther Versa shifter on the 11 speed is ok but I am on my second and it has never inspired trust like the bar-end shifter did. Too many complex parts to go wrong in the Versa.
I see they've also moved on from Reynolds tubing and ditched 853. This is another improvement. It's a heavy bike so there's no need to pay extra for top-end 853 tubing only to end up with . . . a heavy bike.
I don't know anything about the new brakes. For your budget though you could give them a try and always upgrade later to some hydraulic brakes with the cylinder in the caliper, like these http://tinyurl.com/z3n8msf
The Alex rim wheels on my Day Alfine have been bomber-strong and just what you need for a commute like yours. Again, not light, I suspect. If the replacements are as good, you'll be fine.
I still rate the Bluemels very highly. My pair are still going strong and from experience I'd have got through two pairs of SKS chromoplastic in the same period. They are certainly still available. Some here at Wiggle: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/sks-bluemels-road-mudguard-set/ Mine measure 35mm wide and work well with the 28mm gatorskins.
My understanding was that there was no difference between the old Alfine 8 and the Nexus. I certainly wouldn't be put off by the Nexus spec. I've never done a stroke of maintenance on my Alfine 8 and it still works just fine. The 11sp hub is different and lubed with an oil-bath rather than greased cogs. As I say, 8-speed seems unstoppable. You must tune adjust them well and check now and then. Even when perfectly adjusted mine tends to slip now and then but it doesn't seem to do any harm.
I think the Genesis Day 20 might suit you. They've taken all the Gucci nonsense off it and it's now a simple, sturdy, effective, low-maintenance commute bike. It is not light.
Might be worth a little Google for a belt-drive alternative for real low-maintenance. If you wanted something lighter then the Whyte Cornwall or the Canyon Inflite are worth a look. Both good winter bikes and 5 kilos lighter than the Genesis. No hub gear though. I now commute less and train more on the winter bike so I'd happily forsake the hub gear to shed those 5 kilos. For commuting through - Genesis still hard to beat.
Thanks for the reply! Belt-drives look sweet, but seem to be even more pricey, unfortunately.
Any suggestions about racks? An earlier comment implied that the mounting points make it difficult to use some racks -- should I look for anything in particular?
Great reviews - really helpful as I'm looking to join the Genesis owner's club
Great reviews - really helpful as I'm looking to join the Genesis owner's club
I have a Genesis day one alfine which I have found to be excellent for commuting but a bit too heavy and slow for a winter club bike. I also had trouble with the rear wheel and spoke breakage. I decided it was due to the large hub flange and the 3 cross pattern meaning that the spoke were at almost right angle to the hub, this put a lot of strain on the spoke where it entered the nipple as it entered at an angle rather than straight in. Rebuilt the wheel with thicker spokes and 2 cross -no broken spokes since then.
Thanks for the write up, helped me to decide to get one
I'm pleased you like it and pleased you concur. Mine is still going strong in its role as all-year commute work-horse.
I'm still very pleased with it. I'm glad I have something a little more sprightly to ride on sunny weekends!
Hello all, newcomer to the Genesis hub geared cult that is my 2015 Day One Di2 Alfine 8. My Mrs has gone from bellyaching about the number of bikes in my garage to contributing to them with the purchase of my beautiful new Genny for my significant birthday last month. She got it off a mate who was liquidating his stock before shutting down trading for good. He'd had it as his own and had done 100miles on it but kept getting dropped on club rides and so flogged it for massively silly little money and shed sat on it for nearly six months before presenting me with it. To say I'm besotted is an understatement. Ok I'm already slowish at over 100kg in my underpants (they're heavy pants admittedly) and I'm only hitting 2nd fastest segments times on flat and much slower on climbs, but boy on those downhills am I nailing them left right and centre.
Quick query seeing as I have no professional back up to call on... Chain tension. On my motorbike I'm looking at an inch or so of vertical travel when I lift the chain along its length, so I've used that as a benchmark, but is there any definitive guide? Too tight and I realise it will promote wear, too loose and I'm gunna get slap and slip.
The other thing I noticed, when I first brought it into the house up on its back wheel, about a teaspoon of brown watery fluid dropped out of the hub. It was immediately wiped up before I had chance to check its consistency and make up. Oil? Rusty water? Both? The lad who sold it hasn't a clue what it might be. It's running silky smooth, I've done about 120 miles on it so far, but I'm keeping my eye and ear on that just in case.
I'll be following this blog with interest, thanks for all the interesting reading thus far
I'm sorry for the woefully slow reply.
Chain tension: for me, so long as it's not twanging tight at any point round the stroke, then it's fine. Sheldon Brown has good advice on this and his website is always my first port of call. Chainrings are never both round and centrally fixed, so chain tension varies round the stroke. I like to have it nearly tight at the tightest point.
I wouldn't dismantle your hub! You should expect to get tens of thousands of kilometres out of that 8speed alfine before needing to do anything. That said, I don't know what your pool of black gunk is. Gunk comes out of my 11-speed hub (the seals aren't perfect) but not the 8-speed really because it's lubed with grease, not oil. There's an excellent resource for such questions: hubstripping.com
There, useful answers but probably too late.
Enjoy the bike!
Came across this thread when searching for info on servicing an Alfine 8. Thought I'd post a pick of my ride:
2014 Day One Alfine with some mods to make it into a commuter:
1. Mudguards and racks. Madison on rear, Specialized pizza rack on front.
2. Front wheel rebuilt on hub generator.
3. New bars and stem for comfort.
4. Avid levers and Shimano twist shifter.
5. Brooks saddle.
Also, after breaking lot's of spokes on rear wheel I concluded that the original heavy guage spokes needed to be replaced with something more flexible. Rebuilt with regular DT double butted. This was my first attempt at a wheel build and it has worked fine over the last year. Re-built the front wheel with generator hub and same spokes just after Christmas.
Your bike is impeccable! Looks very smart.
Head to hubstripping.com for advice on hub servicing. My policy is to simply ride it until something goes wrong (which it never has).
As to messing with the hub ... I can't help myself!
I need to fit a new chain anyway, so I ordered a KMCZ510 from CRC. I'll do the chain and hub at the weekend.
I'm going to use Halfords EP 75W/90 GL-5 to clean, then lithium grease to lube.
Next project after that is a basket / beer holder for the front rack.
just some comments about Nexus and Alfine hubs;
- some hubs appear to have incorrectly marked cassette joints, and will slip persistently if the marks are perfectly aligned. In such cases (many older Alfine 11 hubs were like this) it is worth trying 0.5mm to 1mm more cable tension than that; it may cure the problem.
- some 8s hubs have an incorrectly timed sliding clutch (as used in the 4-5 shift) such that it isn't synchronised correctly with the axle pawl lifts (all other shifts) It is possible to reprofile the cam that does the sliding clutch shift, but a new axle assy is a quicker cure
-alfine 8 is better sealed than Nexus 8, but internal parts (in nexus 8 'premium' models) are very similar
- if you have a hub that has not been maintained, be proactive rather than reactive, else it'll be wrecked and you will be trying to 'maintain' it...
"- some hubs appear to have incorrectly marked cassette joints, and will slip persistently if the marks are perfectly aligned. In such cases, it is worth trying 0.5mm to 1mm more cable tension than that; it may cure the problem."
This is exactly what I have found. Mine used to slip until I experimented. About .5mm did it.
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