BIKE TEST: Louis Garneau Gennix R1

Louis Garneau founded his eponymous brand back in 1983 when the former pro cyclist began producing cycling clothing. The company has evolved and grown by leaps and bounds over the years and now provides clothing, helmets, shoes and bikes for the road, triathlon and cyclocross markets. The Canadian company sent us their Gennix R1 model to test out, and here’s what we learned.

The carbon Gennix R1 frame is paired with a full-carbon fork and features a unique combination of tube shapes that the brand says helps make the bike a true all-rounder, one that can both climb and sprint well, while also offering plenty of aerodynamic efficiency. A 1 ½-inch tapered head tube sits up front, and includes an ultra-clean integration between the headset and the flared top tube. Likewise, the seatpost clamp in cleanly intergrated into the top tube and houses a 27.2mm seatpost. A BB86 Pressfit bottom bracket provides the foundation for the bike, while the rear triangle is made up of tall chainstays that taper towards the rear dropouts, and a pair of thin, curving seatstays. The Gennix R1 can be ordered as a frameset in three colors: charcoal/orange, black/red, black/neon yellow.

Our test bike came with a full Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset, including shifters, derailleurs and a mid-compact (52/36) crankset. Italian company 3T provided the cockpit in the form of their Ergonova compact aluminum handlebar, ARXII Team stem and Ionic Team carbon seatpost topped with Louis Garneau’s own GDR saddle. The bike rolled on a set of Shimano aluminum clinchers wheels wrapped in Vittoria Rubino Pro Slick tires.

We found the Gennix R1 to do everything quite well, if nothing extraordinarily so. Its bottom bracket stiffness allowed for quick pedaling accelerations. Its steering feel was predictable and solid, although some of our more aggressive test riders considered it to be “a bit on the heavy side,” meaning that they would have preferred a more agile front-end. The Gennix R1’s overall level of comfort was just about what we’ve come to expect from comparable carbon bikes in its price range. Cyclists interested in a dedicated crit racing bike, for example, would most likely prefer a bit more overall stiffness, while those shopping for a bike offering plenty of all-day comfort for long days in the saddle would most likely opt for a bike with a bit more compliance. But for the vast majority of cyclists out there whose rides vary from short and fast training rides to 5-hour-long group rides, the Gennix R1 is a great, versatile offering.

Available in three colors, six sizes and a few different build options, the Gennix R1 from Louis Garneau is terrific option for those looking for an “all-around” road bike. It has plenty of stiffness to help you keep pace on fast group rides, but its ride quality isn’t too harsh for several hours in the saddle, ultimately giving the bike lots of versatility. One area we would like to see improved on future versions would be added tire clearance; although we were able to run some certain combinations of a narrow rim with a 28mm tire, many of our wider rims mounted with 28mm rubber proved a wee bit too tight for the Gennix R1.

– Three colors, several builds
– Plenty of stiffness and handling chops for most riders
– Clean integration and a unique silhouette

Price: $4999.99; $2499.99 (frameset)
Weight: 16.7 pounds
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL
Contact: Louis Garneau