The Return of the Genesis Day01 Alfine

I have mentioned several times in several places that I’ve had issues with the bike I bought for commuting, the Genesis Day01 Alfine. I thought I was buying a bike which would be easy to maintain, it had hub gears and a thick chain which would be easy to clean and disc brakes for better braking in the wet and they don’t need much tweaking.

It turned out that the bike didn’t quite live up to expectations. I tried to work around the issues, fix them my self and on several occasions took the bike to a bicycle shop for them to fix it.

Unfortunately the bike turned out to be a nightmare. The issues continued and seemed to be unfixable. Or at least it would appear to be so after 7 visits to a bike store in less than 6 months.

The main issues where with the brakes. They needed constant adjustment, every 50 miles, to be kept at a point where i could actually stop if i needed to. The rear brake had an issue where the caliper would make a clicking sound and then the pads would release from the rotor and I would not be able to brake any more. Very disconcerting and I would not want that to happen to the front brake!

I had a few niggles with the Versa shifter as well. The barrel adjuster is very easy to flick without you noticing. Do it several times and the gears are all messed up. Which means when you set off the gear might change and the freewheel will basically be on for a few nanosecond whilst the gear changes, this however is not good when you are setting off and putting nearly all your body weight onto one pedal. It resulted in a few sprained ankles!!
Unlike other drop bar gear changing system I have used, it isn’t possible to change down a gear whilst braking. There is a very small lever which you change down with but it’s not possible to hit that whilst braking. Not a massive deal as you can change gear when stopped but add that to the issue with the barrel adjuster and it’s just a pain!

So a few weeks ago I wrote a letter to the Evans store I bought it from, explaining the issues I had and what had been done about them and what hadn’t worked etc. I put in the letter that I would like to return the bicycle to them because the bicycle is not fit for purpose under the sales of goods act. I also copied in the head office, the letter was passed onto customer services the same day and I got an e-mail from them, letting me know they where looking into it.

A few days letter I had booked one of my other bicycles in for a service at Evans West End and normally when the bicycle is ready to be picked up they give me a ring. But this time they e-mailed me. I had never given that store or any of the others my e-mail address. I had put it in my letter. So clearly they have a database of your details, and every time you make a purchase in store over £50 they ask for your postcode and name.
I didn’t think it would be easy for them to decide on whether to take the bike back from me and refund me the money. But a few days later I got an e-mail from customer services explaining to me that they would refund me the full amount paid (including accessories like;  pedals, mudguards and tyres) and they would send the bike off for inspection.
I suspect that them being able to see how much I have spent with them in the past had something to do with it. Evans is a chain of shops I use regularly out of connivence, I’ve always had good service and I suspect the issues I have had have been down to a fault which is unexplainable.

I’ve been without the bike for a week now. And when I spoke to the manager of the store that I bought it from, he said that they (Evans) tried to contact Genesis about the issues. I laughed as I suspected what was coming. He said that they where completely uninterested in the issue and wouldn’t even look at it. It’s supposedly being sent to Madison (which owns Genesis) for them to review.

I’m aware that others have had issues with the brakes on the Genesis Day01 Alfine, I think that most of those have been reports of the front fork shuddering whilst braking which can be fixed with some spacers on the caliper to position the pad over the rotor properly. But if anyone has an issue like mine, I strongly suggest thinking about following a similar line of action.

I’m not going to let this affect my ‘relationship’ with Evans, I will certainly continue to use them but I won’t recommend getting a bike made by Genesis, their customer service is poor! Which is a real shame for a British company!

I am now looking for a new bike. A single speed / fixed wheel bike with the ability to take full guards and a rack. Currently got my eyes on the Pearson Touche and the Condor Tempo. I did ask on twitter if anyone had any ideas about a frame which meets my requirements and the following were suggested by several people; Cotic Roadrat, On-One Pompino and Kinesis Decade Convert 2. Unfortunately they didn’t quite meet my requirements or the frame isn’t geometry isn’t what I’m looking for but thanks to those who suggested some bikes 🙂

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26 thoughts on “The Return of the Genesis Day01 Alfine

  1. Have you looked at the Charge bikes? The 2010 bikes are currently 1/2 price at Wiggle, which seems very good value, and they review fantastically.

    Just waiting for mine at the moment!

    • The charge bikes don’t have the braze on’s, spacing or eyelets that I require.
      I have seen there is a decent price reduction on some of them. Good value for money.

  2. Can’t recommend Touche highly enough for a commuter bike. Saying that I was thinking about a Tempo as well, but Touche comes in about £200 cheaper…

    • I’m test riding one tomorrow. So fingers crossed it’s as good as people say!
      Only £200 cheaper? I speced out a Tempo and it was going to come in at over a grand!

      • Whoa yeah, the price for a Tempo is a bit more than I remember. Of course, the actual difference depends on how much you’d want to pimp out the Touche 😉

        Enjoy the ride tomorrow!

  3. It’s such a shame you’ve had a bad experience. I’ve been riding the same Genisis Day 0 for five years, and have done over 6,000 miles on it – it’s been a brilliant bike. Sounds like there are definitely issues with your make though.

  4. Hej, how is the new bike? I’m looking at a new one myself also a singlespeed but I don’t want one with racing handlebars. Have been looking at a cheap Jamis Beatnik 2011 model from Evans Cycles.

  5. I’m interested to know what you finally choose to go with. I thought the Genesis Day 01 was the (almost) perfect bike, but I want the Alfine 11 hub instead of the 8. Do you have any opinion on the 11 versus 8?

    • I’ve gone with a Pearson Touche which i should get in a few weeks.
      It could have been the perfect bike with better brakes.
      I’m not sure the 11 speed is better than the 8. The gear ratio jumps are just as bad and higher up the range you have a gear inch jump of nearly 17inches which is crazy!

  6. Hi Gaz, got exactly the same problem with the rear brake on my day one Alfine (which looked identical to yOurs btw , with White mudgards ) so looks like I will be returning it to Evans which is a shame as I like the bike. Did you ever get any feedback from Evans on a response from Genesis? (sounds like they should really be thinking about a recall if aware of a problem with the brakes) Did you contact anyone in particular at customer. Services btw? Nb I grew up around the corner in St Augustines ave btw, small world eh?

  7. Hiya
    Very useful blog, thank you.
    I’m sorry you had trouble with the Genesis Day Alfine. It looks a lovely bike and I’m about to buy one, I think.
    It’s a huge amount of bike for £1000, as I’m sure you’ve found during your search for a replacement. I wonder how Genesis do it.
    The brakes issue is really no surprise. My immediate reaction to the bike is: great bike, crap brakes, just from looking at it. I wouldn’t dream of buying that bike without immediately upgrading the brakes for £75 to Avid BB7. It’s a no brainer.

    It’s still a lot of bike for £1075 and you can forgive (or I can) Genesis for wanting to keep it under a grand.

    Martin

  8. I have a Genesis and wish I had spotted your blog first. I have lag changing down gears and a squeaky front break. I am off to Evans to have them look at it again but I think I have been lucky with the overal bike. Did you ever get over the lag issue on change gears? Any advice would be handy because I find it a fun bike to commute on.

  9. Yes usually peddling uphill when I need to change down. However it often also stops shifting down even when free wheeling or if I back pedal. I think I need another visit to Evans.

  10. I’ve ordered the 2012 model, I hope I’ll have less problems!!
    I saw the picture at the top, I like the mudguards. Are those sks?

  11. I’m considering buying the updated 2012 Day 01 Alfine 11. It seems they have addressed the majority of issues experienced with the earlier models, as they now run with the Avid BB-7 brakes on both wheels. Not sure about the gear lever though. This seems to be the perfect bike for me as I am looking for a strong, reliable and reasonably light steel framed touring bike that is suited to all-season commuting and long distance touring. Dual disk brakes, cyclocross pedigree, full mounting options, in gear hub etc makes it look the goods.. the only real downside I can see is the price and maybe some small niggly issues that haven’t been ironed out.

    • the 2012 update does look good, and they have addressed the braking issue by using full Avid BB7’s. Anything else I think is a niggle.

      One thing to look it is removing the rear wheel, if you get a flat, will you be able to do it? I know some will struggle with a hub gear, throw in chain tugs and some will just break down.

      • I was warned that removing the rear wheel would be a bit more complicated with the IGH. However I guess it’s something that practice will make perfect, of which I intend to do before setting out on any major tour (I also have to learn how to replace spokes). Another though is that, maybe I have just been lucky or live in a good area, but I haven’t had a single puncture in over 5 years of daily, all-season commuting.

        The only tire related issue I have had was a generic front tire that developed a ‘wobble’ in it after about 750km on my current Orbea.. easy fix and replaced with a quality Vittoria hyper city tire which has performed flawlessly.

        Actually one of the biggest concerns is if the 11-speed will be too limited for full loaded touring if there’s a few hills to be climbed. I am not planning to tackle Mt Everest, but I want to be able to go over moderate hills without destroying my knees in the process. I’m young and fit though, so hopefully this will balance it out a bit.

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