Who needs gears?

Well, me actually, but not on my canal commute. Which is why for ease of maintenance and simplicity I finally managed to get my hands on a Genesis IO singlespeed with hydraulic disc brakes. An ideal winter commuter.


It came all MTB’ed up, Continental knobblies, flashy saddle, Tioga flatties and no mudguards. I whacked my Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres on there, my Brooks Saddle, some handy bar ends, Shimano SPDs and with a bit of fettling with brackets, drills, nuts and bolts I got my mudguards on to it. The frame and forks have no mudguard fixtures.

It has a Blackspire 40 tooth front chain ring, and a 16 tooth rear cog and it also came with spare chain rings sized 36 tooth and and 32 tooth. Bit small them for the towpath and roads!


It has a quality Reynolds tubed steel frame which if looked after will last a lifetime and be repairable if it ain’t.

As you may recall I was looking at a 29er for this bike, but having ridden a mates 29er recently I felt they weren’t for me. They just felt too big and “wrong” quite frankly. It rolled well as all 29ers are meant to do, but I guess me being a short arse 26″ is the way to go for me personally. I can see the attraction though.

It just needs new brake pads to be just how I’d like it to be, the Deore brakes are a bit woolly at the moment, I’m guessing the pads have glazed.

As it’s a steel frame, it can be modified for a belt drive which I will be doing down the line some time, also if our house move goes ahead and I haven’t got access to the canal anymore it will be Alfined’d up with the 11 speed hub. There’s bloody great hills between our potential new location and work!

This morning was it’s debut pedal, I was going to go down NCR5 and the canal, but I decided on the Bristol Road and the canal just to test the singlespeeder on some hills. The big one, the climb into Selly Oak was managed just fine out of the saddle, it got my heart rate up a tad, but nothing too bad. It seems the ratios it came with are just fine for me.

I did read a review on these bikes on MBR I think, where the reviewer describes the ride as too hard for comfort. Either he’s jumped straight off a full susser and has forgotten how it was on a rigid MTB back in the day or we’re breeding them soft these days. It’s perfectly fine even on the very uneven towpath I pedal on. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend one of these babies to anyone. Hard ride indeed. Pah! I’m looking forward to spending some more time with her!


4 responses to “Who needs gears?

  1. Clive, looks like you’ve got a nice lookin’ commuter. Congrats.

  2. Nice bike! I like the Genesis IO, a guy in the MTB club has one with an Alfine 8spd. Would love one as a winter MTB but a) can’t fit another bike in bike shed and b) can’t justify the cost!

    There’s a really really tall chap in the club who loves his 29″ bikes as he found a 26″ wheel unstable on a huge frame (I think his bike is something like a 22-23″ frame!). So, in a roundabout kind of way, he’s in agreement with you and it makes perfect sense to me.

    Probably teaching granny to suck eggs but try cleaning the disc brake pads with emery paper/wet-n-dry. If not they could just do with a bleed – something I’m pretty good at!

  3. That bike is sweet. Perfect for winter riding, commute, errands and fun rides.

  4. Cheers Gents!

    Already did the pads Rafe, crappy resin ones. They do need a bleed though.

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