Twenty five years ago Ridgeback was one of the first to produce mountain bikes solely for the UK market. Creating bikes exclusively for UK riders established Ridgeback’s reputation for innovation – notably the Ridgeback ‘Genesis’ series of mountain bike-inspired flat bar road bikes.
The evolution of Genesis from just category to brand for 2007 is a natural progression – A completely new line up of bikes and frames, made from Reynolds 853, 725 and 520 plus 6066 aluminum and carbon fibre. Genesis offers a range of mid to high end ‘use specific’ bikes with all the high quality design ingredients you know and expect from Ridgeback.
Here we’ve got the £500 Flyer, a singlespeed commuter (it’ll do fixed if you really want it to). The frame is made from Reynolds 520 double butted chromoly steel. Reynolds keeps the price down by having this tubeset sourced from Taiwan, but to their strict specifications so they can ensure the quality is high. So you get a premium label without the price tag. The head tube is ring reinforced to handle the abuse the bikes going to receive, and it’s all tidily welded together.
Hanging of it is cheap but dependable components. Genesis branded hubs, bars, stem and a carbon seatpost all work fine, with a carbon fork helping to remove a lot of road buzz from the front end.
First ride impressions are good. It’s a very stable bike at a range of speeds, with enough flick to dart between the rush hour traffic. The frame responds well when you’re sprinting for the lights, with the 48×18 gear setup giving a good range – from just cruising to all-out attacks. It has a very tough feel, you get the feeling it’ll let you ride it into all the potholes you can find (which in London isn’t exactly hard) and just shrug them off with a defiant laugh. The blend of stability, poise, handling and speed is hard not to full in love with. Fit a set of mudguards and you’ve got the ultimate commuter…