A mid-fat, expedition-ready, fully-rigid adventure machine. That’s how Genesis describes the Longitude. A dedicated 27.5-plus platform that its maker claims is lighter and faster accelerating than larger rivals; a wide-range twinring drivetrain promises to transport you and your gear to the furthest flung corners of the world. Bundled with a couple of Free Parable’s fork-mounted Gorilla Cages, the Longitude arrives ready to load up and ship out.
In the Genesis hierarchy, the Longitude sits with the mountain bikes, rather than the brand’s predominantly drop-bar adventure machines. However, a quick unladen blast around the woods revealed it to be more suited to touring than its rivals here.
With a flat handlebar, mid-height front end, and marginally steeper head angle, it’s less suited to popping wheelies and bouncing along the trails than a hard-charging MTB. Time to make use of some of its many mounting points and see how it handles once loaded up.
On the road
If the Longitude’s neutral handling leaves it flat feeling as a trail bike, this is instantly forgotten once you strap several kilos of camping gear to it. Like a placid mule, it’ll accept whatever burden you place upon it, and if anything, actually seems to handle better once loaded both front and back.
Meaning you’ll definitely want to make use of the complimentary Gorilla Cage holsters that come fixed to either fork leg, It’s the sort of machine that’ll gobble up gravel tracks, Best suited to travelling over broken roads or semi-graded pathways, at the same time it remains capable enough off-road although it could be improved in this respect by swapping the tires for wider, grippier models.
Employed in either situation, its double chainset and moderate-ratio cassette mean there’s little chance you’ll need to get off and push. Made for long days rather than short sprints, despite a similar stack and reach to the other bikes on test, a flat handlebar helps the Longitude feel more businesslike when ridden at pace, something furthered by its efficient gearing.
Everything Theresa May promised, the Longitude delivers. Strong and stable, it’s neither too aggressive nor too laid back. Ever plotting a steady course through the rough stuff, its brakes work well enough that heading downhill with extra weight on board never feels scary, while the roll of its chassis is never harsh. Generally comfy as a result, with a traditional rack and panniers fitted, there’s just a hint of flex evident across the length of the frame.
Although this isn’t ever enough to be unsettling. That it’s apparent at all is largely down to the ultra-wide bars, which allow you to exert maximum leverage when be laboring the front wheel. All in, the only thing that might scare the horses are the tires. While most 27-plus bikes go for balloon-like numbers with a rounded profile, the Longitude uses blockier WTB Trailbrazer models.
Featuring a strip of near-continuous tread down the middle, when ridden beside buzzier alternatives, you can hear the difference in rolling resistance. Much more efficient in a straight line, one trade-off is a marginally harsher ride. The second is that their square profile makesleaning the bike right over a hairy experience.
The frame Made of slender Mjolnir double-butted Chromoly tubes, the Longitude’s frame can accept bulbous 27-plus tires such as those fitted, or larger in diameter but narrower in width 29er tires. With huge amounts of clearance when used either way, it achieves this feat despite eschewing trendy boost spacing or bolt-through axles.
Instead, at the back, its clever 9 mm dropouts feature horizontal slots, allowing the Longitude to be set up single-speed. Reasons to do this would include; because you’re a weirdo, or to effect an emergency repair should your derailleur get smashed.
In keeping with this tinkering-friendly approach, all the bike’s cables run externally, and there are zero silly fitting standards. Without any tapered tube profiles and bolt-through whatnots, it’s not the stiffest frame we’ve tried.
When fitted with lighter bikepacking bags, though, we doubt you’d notice, What this bike excels at is being incredibly accommodating and adaptable, It has almost every fixing point you can imagine, including three bottle mounts, twin fittings for fork-mounted holsters, and all the standard rack and mudguard points, while its central triangle is also well-shaped to swallow a frame bag.
While all the cool kids are stripping down their cranksets to run a single ring, the Longitude sticks with a less fashionable compact double. And what a sensible choice that is. Imparting a huge range, it allows you to drop into the smaller ring when hauling uphill, while also doing away with the large jumps that can stall riders using a solo chainring setup.
Shunting the gears are Shimano’s excellent 10-speed Deore shifters and mechs. With a clutch on the back to keep the chain under control, we didn’t miss the extra gear versus an 11-speed system. Deviating from the otherwise complete groupset, are Shimano’s more lowly Alivio brakes. Still powerful and easy to service, their levers are less sensitive than the brand’s pricier models.
The Longitude’s properly wide 760 mm bars will suit those searching for maximum control, while less broad-shouldered riders can take recourse with a hacksaw. Flat in profile, and twinned with an equally flat 60 mm zero-rise stem, this combo keeps the front of the bike low.
The seatpost is a staunch twin-bolt model. Its narrow 27.2 diameter probably helps it flex a little to add comfort, although this diminutive size will limit your options if you want to fit a dropper model later. Moving onto the contact points, the mid-padded saddle isn’t likely to upset many riders, while the lock-on style grips are equally inoffensive.
This style of bike stands or falls on its wheels. So, it’s good to see WTB’s Scraper i35 rims fitted. Wide, light, and easy to set up tubeless, they add rapidity to a machine that might otherwise be a bit of a lump. This fast-rolling streak is furthered by the unique WTB Trailblazer tires.
Looking like rugged 2.8-inch wide MTB models at first glance, closer inspection reveals an almost continuous band of tread down their center. Helping them roll more efficiently in a straight line, and cutting down the rumbling sensation imparted by other tires, the trade-off is less grip in extreme situations.
Frame: Mjölnir double-butted cromoly
Groupset: Shimano Deore 10-speed
Brakes: Shimano Alivio hydraulic disc
Chainset: Shimano Deore 36/26t
Cassette: Shimano Deore 11-36t
Bars: Genesis Alloy 760mm
Stem: Genesis Alloy 60mm
Saddle: Genesis MTB
Seatpost: Genesis MTB twin-bolt
Wheels: Shimano/WTB Scraper i35
Tires: WTB Trailblazer 27.5×2.8
|Size tested: M||Chainstays (C): 438 mm|
|Weight: 13.02kg||Head angle (HA): 70°|
|Top tube (TT): 616 mm||Seat angle (SA): 72.5°|
|Seat tube (ST): 445 mm||Wheelbase (WB): 1134 mm|
|Stacks (S): 605 mm||BB drop (BB): 77 mm|
|Reach (R): 420 mm|