The Madison Genesis road race team have one of the most striking colour schemes in the Elite road series, with their navy blue, turquoise and orange kit which combines a classic look with modern lines. The impact is stunning and compares favourably with the other competitive ‘retro’ team in the Elite peloton, Rapha Condor JLT.
Genesis have added to the impact by racing on steel road bikes, the Volare, which they offer in different flavours to the general public like you and me. What I don’t quite get is the way that Genesis have decided to offer the Volare and how the range is structured. At the top-end of their Performance range is the Volare Team – this is pretty close to spec and design to the Madison team bikes, but at a £1 shy of five grand isn’t going to appear in many club pelotons.
Below the Volare Team are three versions, that need to appeal to a market of race-interested buyers who would naturally lean towards a carbon steed.
There’s the Volare 20, which is an Ultegra equipped stainless steel machine at £3000. It is an attractive bike, but at that price-point (and in ‘naked’ stainless) isn’t ticking the boxes that are probably going to pull potential buyers away from the carbon option, and I suspect that titanium is at the forefront of buyers’ options looking at this sort of machine at this sort of price.
At the bottom of the Volare range is the 00, which is decked out in the race team colours. But unfortunately it uses mostly Shimano Tiagra components hung on a Reynolds 631 frame, so it’s begging for potential upgrades, which would bump up the £1199 list price and again means that it’s probably not ticking the boxes to attract buyers from the carbon or top-end aluminium options.
Which brings us to the Volare 10… on paper it’s pretty well-specced for it’s £1699 price, with Shimano 105 components on a promising Reynolds 853 frame. All very promising and would have been lovely if they’d chosen to offer this bike in their fantastic team colours, but instead it come in a harsh black and bright green, which is more reminiscent of those old steel bikes you find stacked beside the skips at the local recycle centre, than a tempting racing machine. Now I know that you shouldn’t just go on looks, and I know that the Volare 10 rides like a dream and may just be the ideal bike – but at that price you could spec up a blue or black Condor Acciaio in Shimano kit (it might be a travesty, but if you’re after a great steel frame at a good price it might be worth considering 105 ahead of Campag), and for another £500 you could upgrade the frame to a Rapha Condor JLT styled Super Acciaio.
The interesting thing here is that most of the likely buyers will know their 853 from their 953 and their 631. So decking the three variants of Volare out in identical colours won’t detract from the Team version one jot, and instead you’ll find cyclists taking sneaky peaks between fellow riders’ legs to see what’s stamped on the down-tube, and giving knowing nods of approval when they the “853” – a knowing nod because it means that their fellow rider has bought a better quality frame without splashing the cash on a Team edition.
So please Genesis, think about adding a team colour option to your Volare 10 – you might just find that it increases your sales.