Thursday, July 1, 2010

Review: Genesis Track One

I mentioned previously that I solicited Wal Mart for one of their fine products - the Genesis Track One fixed-gear bicycle. Being a completely inexperienced cyclist, I'm going to go ahead and review the non-motorized machine. A friend wanted a review and, well, to be honest, I wanted to write one. So here goes.


...was easy! Just attach the handle bars, front wheel, pedals, and seat. The rear wheel and crank came assembled. And surprisingly, the assembled parts weren't full of rounded nuts from assemblers that didn't give a sh*t and used adjustable wrenches. I mean, they may very well have used adjustable wrenches, but the evidence wasn't grossly overwhelming.

I had to flip the rear wheel around as it came ready for riding as a single-speed free-wheeler. But I wanted to jump right into fixed-gear riding. So now my directional tire is rotating the wrong way. Wonder if that's slowing me down...

Anyway, to conclude assembly, let's just say I spent more time removing stickers than I did actually assembling the bicycle!

Appearance... eh. From 10 feet away, the bike looked like it consisted mostly of paint (and minimally of decals). But alas, they actually used decals to blend the different colors together on the frame. I still tore all the decals off, though, because I hate stickers. And thankfully, they weren't too difficult to remove. I was disappointed because I thought the bike was black and white when I saw it on the website, but it's actually sparkly midnight blue and white.


The bike shipped with a chain guard on the crank sprocket. *Removed*. Also came with a kickstand! *Removed*. Why? I don't know - poking around on the internet taught me that cool people remove these things. And I wanted to be cool.

Anyway, after trimming, the bike looked simple, clean, and respectable (as if I even had something to compare it to). I will note that I'm impressed with how nicely the handle bars were wrapped. It's not coming apart or anything. Sure, it hasn't been very long. But it just seems like it was done well.

Performance... respectable? Gosh, I don't know - I mean, it rolls pretty good. The brakes are a little disappointing, but I think that's because I'm use to dual front disks with opposed-piston calipers. This wheel-squeezing stuff is for the birds, I tell ya. I've looked into putting disc brakes on this thing, but it appears the hub needs to support that. And these JoyTech hubs surely don't have a mount for brake discs.

Anyway, I've probably put about 20-30 miles on the bike and I find it is particularly solid. I really like riding it around - it's easy to use, and it feels like maintenance will be almost non-existent for this bike (aside from chain cleaning). The gearing seems reasonable, and only the worst of hills and reasonable downhills cause me to run outside my pedaling capabilities.


You got shocks, pegs... lucky!

Well, I don't got that, but I do got a few other upgrades! The most significant of which is a lighter front wheel! I swept Craigslist for any goodies I could use to improve my new two-willer, and I found a guy selling a brand new Forte Titan front wheel! So that saved me a pound. Dumb wheel was made for a presta valve though, and the tube that came with my bike was shrader-valved. My friend Dewalt and a 21/64" bit helped me remedy that problem. And believe it or not, the tire that shipped with the Track One managed to mount on the narrower, 13mm Titan. Score!


Otherwise I added a water bottle holder (for which there are existing holes on the diagonal frame tube). And a slick little bar end mirror. Now I can see Megan trying to pass me with all her gears! Grrr...


I didn't expect much from the second bicycle I bought from Wal Mart. But it's acting like it wants to hang around for a while. And I'm loving the simplicity and silence of fixed-gear action. So if you're curious, and you want to try it, my experience so far says you won't be mistaken with the $150 Genesis Track One.


For what it's worth!

PS - pictures to come when I get some time...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great review. i just bought the bike yesterday and i love it. the only bad thing are the breaks. everything else is perfect.