My Touring Bike: Genesis Tour de Fer

I have now written two semi-comprehensive posts about choosing and equipping your perfect bicycle for cycle touring. I thought it would be helpful to follow these up with a post about the bike that I have chosen to ride on my cycle from Alaska to Mexico this summer. When selecting this bike I was faced with a huge amount of choice, as I’m sure many of you will have experienced. However having been on some long practice rides now with it loaded and unloaded I am confident that I have made the correct decision.

My bike in detail:

Frame: Genesis Mjölnir Seamless Double-Butted Cromoly –slightly heavy (14.18kg) but feels solid and gives a very comfortable ride.

Fork: Double-Butted Cr-Mo Unicrown Disc –Solid and with mounts for front rack and mudguards (both included)

Headset: FSA TH-857 Semi-Cartridge –Nice and smooth steering

Shifters: Microshift BS-T09 9sp Barend –Rear is indexed and front is friction, bombproof build quality.

Derailleurs: Shimano Alvio, 27 speed

Chainset: Shimano FC-M521 44/32/22T –Great range and middle ground between mountain bike and road, ideal for a loaded touring bike

Freewheel: Shimano CS-HG400 11-32T –Provide a good range of gears

Hubs: Rear: Shimano Deore HB/FH-M525, Front: Shutter Precision SP-PD8 dynamo hub

Rims: Alex Rims DH-19, 36H –Solidly build (and they have my name on)

Tyres: Schwalbe Marathon GreenGuard, 700x35c –Comfortable ride without a large amount of rolling resistance

Brakes: TRP Spyre-C w/ 160mm Rotors & Jagwire KEB-SL Compresionless Outer –Effective braking with a good amount of manipulation over braking force

Brake Levers: Tektro RL-340 –Pretty standard but feel solid

Handlebars: Genesis Road Compact (D125/R70mm) –With the geormetry of the bike even the drops feel comfortable for long periods especially with the handlebar tape: Microfiber Anti-Slip w/ VexGel -some of the most comfortable tape I have ever used

Saddle: Genesis MTB –After a few rides I really like this saddle so am not going to swap it.

Pedals: Shimano PD-M520


Front and Rear Racks: With Ortlieb front and rear roller panniers and Ortlieb handlebar bag

Water Bottle Holders x3


After I have done my cycle I will have cycled close to 7000 kilometres on this bike and therefore will write up a detailed product review that will go into slightly more detail about each component and my view of it. However my initial impression is that I am incredibly impressed, I can go out for a three-hour ride and not feel tired at all at the end of it, it is just so comfortable and the miles just roll by. Especially for just £899 I feel that this is one of the best value-for-money touring bikes available at the moment, excellent quality, and you just need to add your luggage and you’re ready to go. I’m certainly looking forward to spending the majority of my summer riding it!

3 responses to “My Touring Bike: Genesis Tour de Fer

  1. Hi Alex, What size is your Genesis? and how tall are you? I m buying a Tour de fer and deciding if M or L. i am 1.83cm. thank you 🙂 Adrian

    • Hi Adrian, My bike is a medium, I am 1.84cm, I normally ride a 56cm frame on road bikes and when trying it on in my local bike shop whilst I was able to ride the large I just felt much more comfortable on the medium. Hope this helps!

      • Ok, for the 2015 model the 56 is size M and 58 is L. The new TDF 2017 is 51 M and 53 is L. I think smaller 51 vs 56 because of the top tube angle.
        Anyway i am ok with a long seat tube. My concern is only the super long top tube on L (604mm) vs M (578). I am afraid the L top tube is too long for a drop bar bike and a right relax position like i like.
        Do you think is a good solution buy a L and then reduce stem 20 or 30cm just in case? Aslo shorter frame can affect the comfort right?

        Thks Alex, but you and I we are almost same size 🙂 Cant make my mind 😦 Reading your Alaska mexico trip. awesome

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