Gen­e­sis CDA20

£949 The more ex­pen­sive of Gen­e­sis’s two CDA mod­els and still the cheap­est bike on test

Triathlon Plus - - The Bike Test -


IN THE words of Gen­e­sis them­selves, the CDA is “a mod­ern-day Franken­bike with a long, sta­ble wheel­base, gen­er­ous clear­ances, large vol­ume tyres, and an ac­ces­si­ble, re­laxed ge­om­e­try”. In our ex­pe­ri­ence, it’s a bike so rugged you could prob­a­bly hurl it off a build­ing and still ride it home. FRAME AND FORKS The clear­ance of the CDA’s alu­minium frame is the most no­tice­able fea­ture at a glance, with this bike eas­ily ac­com­mo­dat­ing its 40c tyres within the al­loy tub­ing. There are also mounts for racks and mud­guards, which gives it proper long-week­end abil­ity. It is the heav­i­est of our three bikes by more than a kilo but, un­like per­for­mance road bikes, the kind of use this bike will get doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean it’s ham­pered by its ex­tra bulk – it just adds to the feel­ing of ro­bust­ness and sta­bil­ity. The weld­ing of the al­loy is neatly done and, on a purely aes­thetic point, the pale blue colour looks even bet­ter in the flesh. The car­bon forks fea­ture size­able off­set, and com­bine with a re­laxed steer­ing head an­gle to pro­mote sure-footed han­dling. Ca­bles are ex­ter­nally routed with a sin­gle in­line bar­rel ad­juster un­der the stem to ad­just the rear de­railleur ca­ble on the fly. We’re not fans of the ca­ble rout­ing for the front brake, as ca­ble ties are never the pret­ti­est so­lu­tion. THE KIT The Gen­e­sis is a show­case for Shi­mano’s most re­cent gen­er­a­tion of Sora groupset, 9-speed (giv­ing this bike a choice of 18 pos­si­ble gears), and car­ry­ing many of the features of higher-price com­po­nent ranges, it’s a durable and proven set-up. The chain­set is a stan­dard road com­pact 50/34 item and is paired with an 11-34 cas­sette, which gives a small­est gear of 34-34 – we reckon even your grandad could turn that gear on a steep trail. In com­mon with the other two bikes here, the CDA uses me­chan­i­cal disc brakes to haul up its 11.22kg. While not quite as high-per­form­ing as the Spyre set-up of the oth­ers, the Pro­max brakes are eas­ily mod­u­lated, never locked up ei­ther wheel nor did they let us down even in some pretty sloppy con­di­tions. In ad­di­tion to the usual brake lev­ers, the Gen­e­sis also has “shorty” lev­ers on top of its al­loy han­dle­bars, de­signed for oneor two-fin­ger use when rid­ing in a more up­right po­si­tion with hands on the bar tops. As we’ve al­ready men­tioned, the CDA20 wears the fat­test tyres of any of our test bikes and the Kenda Flin­tridge rub­ber is ex­tremely con­fi­dence-in­spir­ing. The Jalco XCD22 rims they’re wrapped

around aren’t the light­est, but they’re re­silient and will take the in­evitable knocks that long off-road rides will dish out. THE RIDE De­spite be­ing the bulki­est ma­chine here, the Gen­e­sis ac­quits it­self re­mark­ably on the trails. It’s ever so slightly harder work to pro­pel up steeper, more tech­ni­cal sec­tions, but the fact that there’s a 34-34 gear on of­fer al­lows you to seek out trac­tion on even loose stones and off-cam­ber slime. This, of course, is as much down to the tyres as any­thing – we took a rather un­sci­en­tific “dou­ble hiss” of air out of the high-vol­ume tyres be­fore set­ting off down the track, and this di­alled out any vi­bra­tions we’d have oth­er­wise suf­fered through the frame, han­dle­bars and sad­dle. The brakes gel well with a pack­age that feels re­as­sur­ingly big, bulky and tank-like. Small in­puts of lever power scrub off enough speed to slow us when hit­ting a tricky down­hill sec­tion, with­out fear of a rear wheel skid that ends in a crum­pled heap of man and gravel bike. The long wheel­base and re­laxed ge­om­e­try also give us no cause for con­cern in the com­fort stakes and it’s safe to say we’d hap­pily bid farewell to our loved ones for a few nights with just the con­tents of a ruck­sack and the Gen­e­sis CDA20 for com­pany. It em­bod­ies the spirit of ad­ven­ture these types of bikes are de­signed to evoke and it’s made us get busy with Google Earth, look­ing for al­ter­na­tive routes to the usual des­ti­na­tions.

“It’s a bike so rugged you could prob­a­bly hurl it off a build­ing and still ride it home”

Cabling isn’t pretty, but echoes the util­i­tar­ian feel of this bike

The chain­set is a stan­dard, 50/34 road com­pact ar­range­ment

Shorty brake levers are a use­ful ad­di­tion

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