The gravel revolution is upon us, there’s no doubt about it, with bikes emerging left, right and centre that are equally at home on the black top as they are on the loose stuff. The Genesis Datum is one such machine, matching up a road endurance geometry with big tyre clearance for epic adventure capability. In fact, the Datum helped set the benchmark for this type of machine.
The frame is designed from the ground up to be an adventuring gravel-buster, and as a result is designed solely for disc brakes. This in turn gives a natural increase in tyre clearance thanks to the wider stays and fork profiles, shaped also to help produce the desired smooth ride. Meanwhile, the Datum’s relaxed geometry also speaks volumes of its endurance heart, propping up the rider in a position easily ridable all day long.
Genesis make the Datum frame from carbon, and it doesn’t miss any of the modern refinements, including internal cable routing and a stiff oversized bottom bracket – in fact, in many ways you’re hard pressed to tell it apart from a normal road bike, if we’re telling the truth.
The forks flare down to accommodate the BR805 hydraulic calipers from Shimano. The bike comes with 160mm front and 140mm rear rotors, but the fork does have the an extra mounting point should you decide to downsize the front end. Stiffness is guaranteed too, with a 15mm thru axle anchoring the front assembly together. The wheelbase between the two hubs is also long, measuring an elongated 1017mm in a medium size, to keep the ride stable over rough, technical terrain.
Genesis are another brand to currently not feel the need to opt for thru-axles throughout, instead designing the frame for a quick release system at the rear.
This build (Genesis offer three bikes, from the range-topping 30 to the £1,899.99 Datum 10) has a Shimano Ultegra groupset and Fulcrum Racing Sport wheels, so is fully road ready – the Datum is no gravel bike trying to work well on the road; it’s a road bike, fully prepared for the gravel.
As if to underline the point, the rubber comes from Clement, with the premium Strada 32c tyres providing the contact point with the road. As a result, you can run them at low pressures for maximised comfort and grip, without ruining the rolling resistance, and they’re grooved too so water can be dismissed effectively as the bike bites down into the road.
Comfort has also been considered at your contact points. Genesis provide their own 27.2mm alloy seatpost and Road Comfort saddle for long days in the saddle, while the bars are the brand’s own Furio Pro, complete with a 118mm drop for easy access when you do fancy getting a shift on. That’s wrapped in gel-padded Velo bar tape to help smooth road buzz even more, as well.
All this results in a total build of a claimed 9.15kg, and means the Datum boasts a quality build in a bike that’s equally capable for dominating long audaxes and sportives as it is traversing off the beaten track.
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