Being a steel bike person , the Genesis range has interested me for a while for one reason or another but unfortunately they either crop up miles away from Northamptonshire or are well over my budget .
Well imagine my surprise last week when a Genesis CDF popped up for sale in nearby Buckinghamshire. It was just over my budget so after a quick couple of messages I found out the seller would quite happily do a deal . Arrangements were made to meet up Friday pm at a point half way between the pair of us .
The seller volunteered to bring a second bike so that I could go for a proper test ride which was a very generous offer indeed , but I was quite happy with a visual inspection and a few laps of the market square in Olney just to make sure everything worked as per my expectations. I felt a full on test ride would have meant swapping pedals , lowering the saddle , raising the bars and fitting some lights. Only then I would have been ready to hit the road on a bike I had never ridden before in the centre of the town whilst riding with a total stranger who’s pride and joy I was sat astride .
Upon visual inspection I could see that the bike appeared to have been well looked after even though the seller had used it as a winter bike since buying it towards of the end of 2014. He even mentioned to me how he used it once to do a cyclocross event as they are sold as a cyclocross bikes , he thought it was a great winter bike but certainly not a competitive cross bike for somebody at his level . I have always thought of them as a great all-rounder bike . An all-rounder bike is something that is at home pootling along the local cycle paths , doing a 30 mile leisure ride with some mates or setting off for a week’s camping trip which would mean having to carry a fair bit of equipment with me .
The 4 laps of the market square I completed were very successful and the bike felt nice to ride and all the gears changed nice and crisply as the standard fitment shimano Sora should do. The disc brakes felt like a huge stepping stone forward compared to a set of Weinmann centre pulls of yesteryear that I am more used to . The previous owner had upgraded the standard rear caliper to a dual piston one for improved rear braking .
The tyres fitted on the standard Alex rims were Bontrager 32mm All Weather Tyres that gave a surprisingly smooth and firm ride compared to the ride I was expecting from such a wide tyre . These were newly fitted so still have the little spikes on them which I always find interesting to watch as you ride along .
The CDF is the Reynolds 520 tubed brother of the highly praised Croix de fer that is offered in Reynolds 931 and 725 tubing and slightly better shimano group sets and Alex rimmed wheelsets .
I thought it would be wise to miss riding it on Saturday morning as it was raining well and I didn’t think it was fair to have my first proper ride in such conditions. Sunday promised to be dry with damp roads so I decided to leave my first ride until then by which time I could mount some lights , swap pedals over and do some other tweaks .
Sunday’s ride was planned to be 30 miles over a mixture of quiet main roads and the majority on even quieter back roads that wind between little villages with the occasional hill thrown in for good measure . Once I had got out of town and on the open road I could relax a bit more and get on with riding . I soon found an a nice rhythm that was comfortable for me and kept the average speed over the 16 mph mark without any issues , the hills were handled with ease and I only dropped on to the inner ring on one occasion .
The bike certainly behaved itself and took in all the various levels of road surface very well without any excessive crashing about , the tyres were rolling along nicely without being harsh and gave a very nice amount of wet weather grip and reassurance when required . The sora gearing system was working faultlessly with nice solid and crisp gear changes and those disc brakes were stopping very well indeed .
As the ride progressed I thought how competent this bike was and I certainly was enjoying it very much. The last few rides I have done have been on a Trek 1.1 which I had also found to be a nice bike , if I had to choose between the two it would be a tough decision based on only 29 CDF miles, as these progress I think the decision will become easier .