One of these days I’ll get around to writing up some notes on my bike, since lots of people seem to arrive here via a Google search for ‘Ridgeback Genesis review.’ In the meantime – firstly, it’s wonderful and I love it, and secondly, I’m slightly surprised by the new 2004 model range.
For the 2003 models, the choice was really between a Day 1 and a Day 2 – the 2 being a slightly more hardcore ‘fast road’ machine, with a lighter/stiffer frame and better components throughout, notably a much fancier set of wheels, but no mudguard eyes etc. I bought the 2 partly because late in the year the price dropped by a hundred quid, but really because it was available in my size. Which nothing else was.
This year, it looks a little like Ridgeback have decided they’ve got the brand name, so they’re building down to a price. The 2 is pegged at £700: what I paid, and hence cheaper than last year’s model. It gains carbon forks – probably a wise move when the competing Specialized machines all have them, though I don’t find mine’s alu-forked ride harsh – however, it loses the fancy triple-butted frame, which is now exclusive to the top-of-the-range Day 3. Since that model is now more expensive (using a mix of Ultegra and Dura Ace rather than 105), there’s a gaping hole between the two models. The Day 3 still isn’t available in a 60cm frame, either.
The Day 1, meanwhile, remains a cost-effective buy, but continues with what I’d class as marginal brakes – I wasn’t impressed when I rode them, whereas the Tiagra units on mine are better than I’d thought sidepulls could be. The wheels probably play a part here.
Was it worth Ridgeback dropping the fancy triple-butted frame for the sake of keeping the price point? It’s hard to say. Critically, the 2004 Day 2 has mudguard eyes, which to my (unhip) mind is a significant advantage. But I’m slightly surprised there isn’t a ‘Day 2.5’ model, spaced between the Day 2 and Day 3, with 105/Tiagra bits on the Kinesium frame.
Perhaps Ridgeback are planning a range of drop-bar bikes? Or maybe they’re not making any of the triple-butted frames this year, and are simply using up stocks from last season, limiting sales by slapping high-end kit on them? Strange.