GENESIS Day01 Alfine, £999.99, www.genesisbikes.co.uk
In 2010, we tested the Alfine-equipped Genesis i0iD and loved it — and this bike takes it’s all-round rideability credentials from both that and the similarly set-up Croix de Fer on which Vin Cox set his round-the-world record. The backbone is a double-butted Reynolds 520 steel frame, with head-tube gusset for added strength, neat cable routing and rack eyelets, while slim seat-stays add comfort on uneven surfaces.
At the heart of the drivetrain is Shimano’s 8-speed hub gear, which has run faultlessly throughout the winter. Unclipping the gear cable to remove the wheel is a bit of a faff — especially with frozen hands — but with practice it’s straight-forward and beefy tensioners make repositioning wheels a cinch.
Decent width drop bars have proved ideal for longer outings and reliable shifting comes courtesy of the new Virsa VRS1 unit. Tektro brakes might not have the caché of the Avids seen elsewhere but have been consistently good through the slush and multiple mudbaths. Likewise the 35c Continental Speed King tyres have been happy on tarmac, towpaths and hardpacked bridleways alike.
We’ve ridden this bike a lot off-road and it’s the only one we’d recommend for more extreme adventures. Five sizes from 52-60cm.
PROS genuine all-rounder, maintenance-free hub gear
CONS rear weight bias