Gear News

Genesis model year 2014 bikes – first look

The flagship of the Genesis range, the Volare Team frame, is, as the name suggests, the frameset ridden by the Roger Hammond-managed Madison-Genesis UCI Continental squad.

Look out for it if you’re heading to any of the stages of the Tour of Britain, which starts in Peebles on Sunday (September 16).

This is the first version to go on sale to the public, but the third iteration of the frame, lending an impressive kudos to Genesis’ claim to the ‘tested by professionals’ tag beloved of all marketing departments.

The Genesis Volare Team is has a main triangle made from Reynolds 953 and a rear triangle of Reynolds 931. Both are stainless tubesets

The principal changes for version three include reduced weight (around 1600 grams for a 54cm painted frame), courtesy of reduced diameters on the Reynolds 953 top-tube and seat-tube (the latter affording the use of a 27.2mm seat-tube), and the replacement of 953 in the seat and chainstays with 931. But how could this last change save weight, we asked? Surely the flagship 953 is lighter? True, we were assured, but the Taiwanese frame builders who weld the Volare are better acquainted with 931 and able to use slimmer tubes than in the notoriously difficult to weld 953 – one that reduces to a diameter of 0.3mm at the narrowest part of the Volare’s top-tube.

The top-tube is swaged and has been rolled into a bi-ovalised profile, with the oval running ‘horizontally’ at the headtube and ‘vertically’ at the seat-tube for additional stiffness. The orientation is to resist the differing forces placed on the opposing planes of the top tube. Both profiles increase the contact area for the weld: a consideration throughout the bike. The press fit bottom bracket, for example, has been included for just such a purpose.

Up front, the headtube is another new development for this third generation Volare. Those on versions one and two tapered from 1.5” to 1-1/4”; the headtube on the production Volare tapers from 1-1/4” to 1-1/8”. The intention? To reduce weight, and to offer a lower front end, courtesy of reduced stack height.

An Enve Road 2 fork is supplied with the Genesis Volare Team, whether bought as a full bike or frameset

It’s perhaps worth noting that the full bike option of the Volare Team is not identical to the machine ridden by Roger Hammond’s men. The finishing kit on the production model is Madison’s own, while the riders set to roll out in Peebles on Sunday will use PRO kit. Dura-Ace wheels decorate the roof of the Madison-Genesis team cars as well as the bikes; those supplied with the production machine are Shimano’s new 35mm clincher, the RS81 (the 11-speed compatible replacement for the RS80).

There are minor cosmetic changes, too: ‘Genesis’ is printed on the downtube of the production model, ‘Madison Genesis’ on the team bike. More significantly, however, the production bike is configured for mechanical shifting. If you want to go electronic, you’ll need to go the custom-build route and buy the Di2 compatible frame (a ‘mechanical’ frame is available too).

The production Volare Team comes with a full Shimano Dura Ace 9000-series mechanical groupset. Interestingly for a machine so obviously intended for speed,  Genesis have specced a semi-compact 52-36 chainset, but paired it with an 11-28 cassette to offer what they hope is an ideal middle ground. “You’ve still got a 52-11, but also a 36-28 which should be a more than adequate climbing gear for the UK for people of moderate fitness,” Steward told RCUK. “It’s a new ratio Shimano have introduced for Dura-Ace and Ultegra, but you’ll probably see that trickling down.”

The Genesis Volare Team bike costs £4999. The Di2 frame with Enve Road 2.0 fork costs £2299; the ‘mechanical’ frame costs £2249 with Enve Road 2.0 fork. All are available in six sizes, from 50cm to 60cm.

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