The curse of the Genesis Day01

Back in mid 2010 I remember seeing some photos from a bicycle show where Genesis was showing off their 2011 range of bikes. The Day01 Alfine caught up eye straight away. Hub gear, disc brakes and bright orange, what more could you want for a commuter bicycle?
I was in the market for a new bike, i had been commuting on a carbon racer for some time and I didn’t want that to continue through another winter.

One day in September I went into my local bike shop to buy a new tyre for one that got shredded only minutes before. Further into the shop was the Genesis Day01 standing out from everything else with its orange paint. Unfortunately the frame was too small for me, but I ordered in a bigger frame in for a test ride.

A week later and I was back at the shop and took the bike for a few spins, it had a great ride and felt very different to my racer. Definitely something I could use for commuting. It was an easy choice and I parted with my cash for a great looking bike. I added some mudguards and Kevlar lined tyres for a bit more but definitely something needed for high mileage commuting through London and it’s suburbs.

First day of commuting on the Day01 and everything was going well. Until I was about 2 miles away from my house and I got a nasty p*nct*r* and the rear went flat. As I was so close to home I decided to walk it back and change it after I had eaten my supper and wasn’t in a rush. Little did I know how hard it was going to be. At first I had issues getting the rear wheel off. I had undone the wheel nuts but due to chain tugs and the tension on the chain I couldn’t get the chain off either of the chain rings.
A few small turns of the chain tugs and I was easily able to get the wheel off. A quick change of the inner tube and a check of the tyre for anything left over. Everything was fine.

The hard part was putting the wheel back on. Getting the chain tension right and the wheel aligned in a position with the disc brakes took a lot of time. But when I had finally done it there was only one thing left to do, put the gear change cable back in. I put it in perfectly but when I went to change the gears, the cable was put under too much pressure and it snapped. BALLS!!

Next day I popped into the bike shop and asked if they could sort it out for me, half hour later it was ready to be picked up and I continued my journey to work.

All was going well with the bike. A fellow owner of a Genesis Day01 noted on a forum that he had issues with the brakes. I contacted Genesis about this and explained that I had noticed an issue with the front brake which made the forks shudder under the slightest load. I understand that with a steel fork and a disc brake mounted where it is, there is loads put onto that fork and it can stress and flex but I would not expect it to do so at the level i was applying. I’m actively looking into this issue and hoping to resolve it soon, luckily it doesn’t affect heavy braking.

The date is November 02 2010 and i’m taking a usual route to work where by I cycle through Croydon town centre. The conditions are damp and there are leaves on the floor. I have cycled this many times with no issues but today was going to be different.
As I went to cross the metal guttering, my front wheel passed over a wet leaf at the same time and I  lost the front wheel. The bike just went down and I slid a few meters. Certainly not comfortable but I was able to get back onto the bike and continue my journey with ease.

Back on December 16th 2010 I was commuting home through snow, this was going to be my last commute home for a few weeks as I had the rest of the time booked off for the christmas break. But what I didn’t realise is that it was going to be my last ride for a while due to something else.
I don’t want to say too much as the case is still on going, but it ended up with me on the bonnet of the car.

It took my LBS a good few weeks to get the parts and fix my bike, they had issues sourcing a hub and a rim. It seems the standard Alex rim used on the Genesis is hard to get hold of.
I got my bike back last week and I did some good mileage on it last week. But come Friday I was having some issues with my rear brake, an issue which had cropped up before and something I wanted to sort out.

You can feel tension in the rear brake when you pull the lever, but if you keep pulling you will feel the tension go and the bike stops decelerating.  This is a real issue when you are trying to turn right, it makes it impossible to indicate. I thought I had found a fix for this, which was to change the position of the fixed pad, by moving it closer to the disc I found it solved the issue, but only for a short amount of time.

Anyway, I took it to Evans in Victoria, London and their mechanic had a look at it, he thought he had solved the issue but he hadn’t, he also found that a spoke on the rear wheel was broken. Which would explain why the rear end felt a bit funny through some corners.

The bike is now booked in for a service at Evans west end, London and hopefully all these issues will be resolved and I don’t have any more bad luck with it!

5 thoughts on “The curse of the Genesis Day01

  1. Have had my eye on a lovely-looking Genesis Day One in On Your Bike for the last month or so. Might give a second thought now. But it sounds like a lot of your troubles were down to bad luck (leaf and idiot driver) rather than the bike. It does look lovely though!

  2. Some bikes can be a pig to set up but the ride is so sweet that you just forget the crap you’ve had with it. My Jake is like that, tyres slashed and punctured on glass within the first 2 weeks: change tyres. Wheels kept going out of true, cheap alex rims: changed to Open Pros and Hope Pro3’s. Braking has ALWAYs been an issue on those cantis, noisey for one, naff in the wet.

    Its just such a fun and comfortable bike to ride that I just keep going back to it. I have a custom jobbie I had made up with a Kinesis frame chained in the shed, but I keep going back to the Jake.

  3. I bought my Day01 Genesis Alfine last August 2011 and on my first day of commuting I also got a puncture! A small mini-flint came off the gravel trail. I changed the tyres within that first week, spending a good £60 on puncture proof hybrids, so extra cost when I thought the hybrid tyres it came with could cope with trails (a very easy low-gravel trail called the Worth Way). The original hybrid tyre (factory fit) was also very slippy. I work behind near Gatwick and on the road it gave me no confidence.

    I suffered exactly the same with the brake problem. The rear brake failed after about 2 weeks and I took it back to Crawley Evan’s 6 times in the course of 3 Months. At one point the Evan’s assistant manager blamed me, almost shouting me out of the shop and saying that I was not maintaining the bicycle correctly. I had to explain that my last bike with disc brakes had given me trouble free braking for 5 years with little or no adjustment. This did not help me because Evan’s refused to do anything other than tell me the “Brakes were not suitable for the type of bike” but they would not replace or upgrade them without me paying for it. Three different staff members admitted the brakes were not suitable for the bike (including the shop manager) but they refused to take action other than tweaking them and wasting a lot of my time on repeat visits.

    I had a couple of very near miss moments, where the rear brake (the one that failed the most) would “Ping” and totally fail. I cycle about 60 miles a week and it was very dangerous. I had to hit the dirt at the side of country Sussex road on one occasion where the brake failed on a steep downhill section and caught my thumb badly in a compression injury (don’t ask how it managed to get caught) – but the thumb still hurts 4 Months on…

    In addition to the rear brake problem I found I also suffered major judder on the front brake, to the point where it also felt unsafe when braking sharply.

    Given that the Genesis Day01 Afline was £1000 and amongst the more expensive hybrid bikes you can buy and also designed for off and on road usage I now believe this was totally misleading and in fact the bicycle was not road worthy under any conditions. If it was a car it would have been recalled for safety reasons.

    I stuck with it though. When it failed I jumped back on my spare MTB and hit the trail. I kept trying Evan’s but customer service pointed me at Genesis. They said I had to take it back to the store where I purchased it.

    10 Print “Go Away”
    20 Goto 10

    I kept at it and tried Genesis again this time “ranting”, I also hit their Facebook site with comments. In the end a Marketing manager contacted me from Genesis and offered to pay the cost of the brake upgrade. It took about a week at Evans but I now have a good working brake.

    I don’t have perfect gears though… Again Evan’s told me that the drop handlebar switcher paddles are not perfect when paired with the sealed 8 speed hub. So it slips occasionally when it has not got perfectly into sequence (this is after careful adjustment whilst in 4th gear to get the perfect alignment).

    So I still use the bicycle and do enjoy riding it now I have better Avid brakes and better safer tyres. It is certainly not worth £1000 of investment though and I would argue that my experience was just as bad as yours. I am more confident on it now but I don’t trust Genesis. I think they are a cool cat of a Company and offer some funky looking products but this was a major let down for me and I am still paying the monthly ride-to-work scheme on a bicycle that has cost me a lot in time and upgrades to get it to a point where it should have been when I initially walked of the shop in August 2011.

    I won’t pick another Genesis after this one.

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