The Genesis Fugio made it’s (reincarnated) debut in 2018 as the British brand’s entry into the 650b adventure/gravel bike market. Initially it came as a frameset or fully built with Shimano 105 Hydro groupset. Now the bike is available with a new paintjob and a SRAM Apex 1x offering. We got our hands on one to see what it could do.
Words by Max Burgess, Images by Max & Piotr Lisiecki
The Genesis Fugio is available for guests of Podia’s Gravelventure to rent. So, it seemed only natural that we should take the bike to the location of the trip; Beskid Niski, and see what it could do.
Beskid Niski, Poland
The region of Beskid Niski in the south of Poland that lies by the border with Slovakia. What makes it such a good place for gravel and adventure cycling requires a short history of the ethnic mountain people that once lived there.
The Łemko were a unique group of people who originated in what was Ukraine many centuries ago. They resettled across the Carpathian mountain range, mostly in higher altitude areas. Shortly after the Second World War, the newly positioned Soviet-influenced government feared an uprising of the Ukrainian Partisan Army. Regular incursions into the south east of Poland had tensions high. However, because of the heritage of the Łemko they were also concerned they would be sympathetic.
Therefore, the government initiated something called Akcja Wisła; where the majority of the ethnic group were forcibly relocated to the west of Poland. Behind them were left villages, houses and farmsteds, abandoned. Since then, the majority of these settlements and the roads have faded into the landscape, sometimes remembered, sometimes forgotten.
Fast forward to 2018 and the history has resulted in a part of Europe that is sparsely populated. Nature and the wildlife have taken back control. What this means for lovers of gravel bikes is that the tracks, former roads and fire roads cutting through forests are there in abundance. The perfect location to explore by gravel bike.
Genesis Fugio 1x
The new iteration of the Fugio is the first Genesis bike to sport a single chainring Sram groupset; it seems to be the perfect match. Not only does it make the bike a fraction lighter than the Shimano 105 version; but it should also be a bit lighter on the wallet as well; projected to be less than £1,999. This is due to the cost effective Apex 1 drivetrain that comes with a 42 tooth chainring and an 11-42 cassette; perfect for the steepest of climbs.
Braking is mechanical rather than hydraulic like it’s 105 sibling, but the TRP Spyre brakes offer good control once the pads have had a chance to wear in.
The Fugio has a considerable slope in the top tube that results in a noticeably upright riding position. This is preferable on a gravel bike; where a more aggressive position has little benefit when riding the rough stuff.
The rear chainstays also feature the ubiquitous asymmetrical drop on the drive side that allows substantial tire widths to fit. Standard on both the 1x and 105 models is a 650b rim with the monster Clement X’Plor 50mm tires.
The Genesis Fugio uses proprietary MjÖlnir Seamless Double-Butted Cromoly steel with a carbon-tapered fork. Weighing in at around 11kg, it is not the lightest bike in the sector. However, only looking at weight is doing it an injustice.
The steel frame offers a very comfortable ride feeling. In combination with the 50mm tires, it is a machine capable of eating up the roughest of terrains and this is one of the most important factors. Anyone in the market for a gravel bike, is not going to be climbing up Mount Ventoux where every gram saved cuts seconds off their time.
With large range gearing it was easy to find a light enough ratio and spin up the climbs I encountered on our rides in Beskid Niski. However, once I hit the top, safe in the knowledge of how the bike performs on the fast and rough descents, regularly put a smile on my face.
Cross It’s Not
The Fugio is sometimes referred to as a Monster Cross machine, but I think this is a little off the mark. Where this machine comes into it’s own is the kind of bikepacking, adventure riding that is growing in popularity at a surprising rate.
The comfortable nature of the Fugio lends itself perfectly to the long distance rides you might do on these trips where performance is required on both road and gravel. In this situation any bike with packs on is going to weigh between 12-15kg regardless, which is still less than the average touring bike.
The real benefit of the Genesis Fugio will be on your body; as the smoother ride and upright riding position will result in less fatigue and thus the possibility of longer days in the saddle.
If you want to ride the Genesis Fugio in the stunning scenery of Beskid Niski, there is still time to book on the Gravelventures trip taking place between the 23rd and 27th May.
It’s the perfect chance to enjoy the smooth ride of the Fugio in an incredibly interesting part of Europe, with a friendly group of fellow cycling enthusiasts. Contact us if you have any questions.