Bike test: Genesis Longitude rigid mountain bike

A rigid mountain bike with fat tyres leaning against a turquoise lock-up, The bike is blue and has the Genesis logo on it
Rigid mountain bikes work better than gravel bikes for more technically demanding trips and trails. Cycling UK’s Sean Fishpool tests one of the few available

The Genesis Longitude is a no-suspension steel mountain bike with 27.5in wheels, plus-sized tyres and a host of luggage mounting points.

It was launched in 2014 amid a flurry of excitement in the industry for ‘mid fat’ tyres, and it’s one of the few remaining such bikes on the market; most brands have reverted to thinner-tyre 29in wheels – which the Longitude is also designed to handle.

The current iteration is specced with sensible, dependable components – mainly Shimano Deore. It has a 2×10-speed drivetrain for a wider range of gears and cheaper maintenance than a more fashionable 1×setup, and the low gear will be similar.

I took it on singletrack and local gravel for general mountain biking fun, and then loaded it up with bivvying kit for three days of mud, moors and slate on the Trans Cambrian Way. It was a pleasing companion for both.

On wooded singletrack it held an unflustered line, smoothing out roots and stones. The main thing to get used to was being pitched forward more easily on bumps and drops than on a bike with front suspension.

For bikepacking, it provided a comfortable, relaxed ride, with an upright-enough position and stable handling. With an 18-inch bottom gear and wide tyres it could be winched up pretty much anything.

A close-up of the Longitude showing the head tube, top tube and down tube
Note the reinforced brazing and attractive contour graphics

The gears kept shifting even when filthy, and the hydraulic brakes performed as well as the more expensive SLX brakes on my own hardtail (perhaps helped by the tyres). At over 14kg, it wasn’t fast up hills or quick to accelerate but kept rolling imperturbably.

Getting the right tyre pressure off road seemed to be key. When it was just right, the tyres moulded over stones and bumps so you didn’t even feel them.

Too soft and it would squirm on corners; too firm and you’d get bucked about. I found 7-8 psi about right. In some greasy mud the tyres weren’t great, where thinner ones with deeper knobbles might have cut through to find purchase.

The one thing I didn’t like – apart from the firm grips – was the soft tyres’ tendency to self steer on road, especially on cambers and corners. For a less off-road-orientated trip I’d use 29-inch wheels with narrower tyres.


If your appetite for exploration leans off road and you like to keep things simple, the Genesis Longitude would suit you well.

It’s a characterful bike that can be adapted, upgraded and cherished. An off-road bike with a steel fork and big tyres is never going to be light, but it encourages a can-do, go-anywhere attitude.

Other options

Sonder Frontier SX Eagle Rigid £949

The Sonder Frontier, a white rigid mountain bike against a white background

Lighter but lower-specced aluminium rigid adventure bike that can be built with 27.5 or 29in wheels and upgraded to a suspension fork.

Marin Pine Mountain 1 £1,385

The Marin Pine Mountain, a blue rigid mountain bike

Classic steel bikepacking favourite with front suspension, 29×2.6 tyres, and a similar quality spec to the Longitude.

First published in Cycle magazine, December 23/January 24 issue. All information correct at time of publishing.

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Tech spec

Genesis Longitude

Genesis Longitude dimensions in millimetres and degrees

Price: £1,499.99.
Sizes: S, M (tested), L, XL.
Weight: 14.01kg (30.9lb), no pedals.
Frame & fork: Double-butted chromoly frame and fork with fittings for disc brakes, mudguards, front and rear racks, three bottles, two fork cages.
Wheels: 75-584 WTB Trail Boss tubeless-ready tyres (listed as 27.5×2.8 WTB Trail Blazer), 27.5in alloy WTB ST i35 TCS rims on Shimano Deore hubs, 32 spokes.
Transmission: Plastic NW-303 placeholder pedals (not used), Shimano Deore chainset with 36-26 chainrings, Shimano BB52 bottom bracket, KMC X10 chain, Deore 10-speed 11-42 cassette. Shimano Deore front and rear derailleurs. 20 ratios, 18-95in.
Braking: Shimano Deore hydraulic levers and callipers, 180/160mm front/rear rotors.
Steering & seating: Genesis Lock On grips, Genesis alloy 760mm handlebar, Genesis alloy 60mm stem. Genesis Adventure saddle, 27.2×400mm Genesis alloy seatpost.