Forgiving steel frame and contemporary parts create something quite special
The Genesis High Latitude blends a classic steel frame with contemporary parts to create something quite special. The Reynolds 520 butted tubing, for instance, may be made under licence in Taiwan, but it brings with it 125 years of cycling heritage and materials knowledge.
Although the High Latitude is the heaviest bike in the £1,000 category of our Hardtail of the Year test, it never felt overweight. Steel is inherently more forgiving than aluminium, and the Genesis rides the bumps well. It is smooth and silent, gliding along where some of its competitors would clatter and clang. Although the frame material is in part responsible for this stealth, the single- ring drivetrain definitely contributed as well. But it’s here that the 10 minimal gears will divide opinion. Experienced riders will love the silence, simplicity and lack of drag; first- timers will curse the narrow range of gears when they hit the climbs.
“It is smooth and silent, gliding along where some of its competitors would clatter and clang”
Whether sitting or standing we never felt cramped on the High Latitude. In fact Genesis could do with chopping some length off the stem to cure the floppy steering. A shorter stem would also allow the slacker head angle to shine; a real bonus when descending.
The rest of the parts are a mixed bag. We loved the thin grips and wide flat bar, but lacked faith in the hard rubber Continental X-King tyres.
With a shorter stem and better tyres the High Latitude could be rubbing shoulders with the top three bikes. Even without these modest changes, we can see it finding many a happy home, especially with experienced riders, who like the character of steel and want to stand out from the crowd.