Datum with Destiny
Posted on 08 June 2017
We knew the biggest challenge with the Genesis Datum would be getting hold of one. Not only is this a bike with widespread appeal on Instagram it also follows hot on the heels of Genesis' other do anything bike the Croix de Fer. What both bikes do brilliantly is be a master of nothing but an absolute blinder at lots of stuff. With that in mind we just bought one, built it up and took it for a ride, actually lots of rides.
The bike we're riding is the Datum 20, this retails for just over two grand and comes with Shimano 105, a set of Araya wheels, an excellent pair of Clement tyres and then a whole array of own branded finishing parts that on any other brand would get overlooked but in the case of the Datum, for me, it's these parts that set the scene for this bike. The flared out, compact drop bars give a wonderfully comfortable riding position, the saddle is far comfier than an own brand saddle should be and my favourite part, the 15mm bolt through front axle to give the bike a solid feel under heavy braking. Let's also not overlook the fact that the electric blue paint job is a work of art, I prefer this colour to any other in the range, aside from the purple on the women's model.
Out on the road the Datum zips along, it's aimed at the touring and gravel riding market but actually it makes a great road bike, arguably the kind of road bike that the majority of people that get into road cycling actually need. The disc brakes inspire confidence so you spend less time worrying about braking and more time having fun, pair this with the relaxed geometry and slightly longer wheel base and you have a bike that corners on rails. The bike is stable, you can ride loose gravel and dirt on it without any issue, it'll handle canal paths and trails with ease. It's not a cross bike but I suspect it could handle most cross races without too much bother.
The Clement tyres it ships with are a mixed terrain tyre which are actually decent, they're light and roll fast. I took the Datum across to Belgium for the annual Tour of Flanders trip and getting all Euro decided to swap the tyres for some 30mm Challenge Strada Biancha open tubulars. These tyres grip great and the tan side walls look epic, they also fitted into the frame clearance no bother with room to spare. On the cobbles the Datum was like cheating, it successfully got me up every single climb and handled the whole 140km with ease, even the flat out road blast into the finish was fun and the bike didn't feel compromised at any time.
All in all if you're looking for a road bike that does so much more than a standard road bike then the Datum is a great option. It has the class and looks of a road bike with the extra edge of disc brakes and a stiff, precise front end. For most riders that don't race bikes the Datum could well be the perfect choice.
For me it's got some long adventures lined up and I have already treated it to a few nice upgrades ready for summer.
The Datum range kicks off at £1899 to £3199. Something the same but cheaper? Try the steel Croix De Fer or alloy CdA, something a little more road bike? Check out the Genesis Equilibrium or Zero disc. Available in store at Rockets & Rascals!