Croix de Fer vs Fugio vs Vagabond – what’s the ultimate do it all drop bar bike?
A drop bar bike that can truly do it all – it’s this concept that has inspired us here at Genesis for many years – and the reality is closer now than ever before! The arrival of quality hydraulic disc brakes for drop bars, wider gearing combinations than ever and increased tyre clearance have all influenced how we plan our rides.
However, as the breadth of what modern, drop bar bikes are capable of increases, so the gaps in-between become ever smaller. Today, getting the right bike for the terrain you’ll be taking on is a trickier question than ever.
With that in mind we thought we could run down our three most popular models, highlighting the similarities and differences and helping you make the right choice first time.
The only disclaimer? There is always justification for N+1!
THE SIMILARITIES Before we get started all of our off-road, drop bar bikes have a few things in common, which we believe make our bikes hugely capable and supremely adaptable.
Disc brakes, mounts for racks, mudguards and multiple bottle and storage mounts on both frame and fork are all standard features.
You’ll also be able to run 650B or 700c wheels, with all full builds supplied with tubeless ready tyres and rims.
Despite these similarities, there are significant differences. Easy to spot are the default wheel and tyre sizes, the choice between double and single drivetrains and fork material. More subtle are cable routing for Di2 drivetrains, or the option to mount a dropper post.
Then there are the ‘invisible’ differences in geometry, which influences how the bikes ride out on the trail. What follows is a rundown of the major features which we hope will make it easy to choose the perfect adventure bike.
Croix de Fer
Geometry: Cyclo-cross inspired Wheel size: 700c as standard Gearing: Double as standard
Tyre clearance 700c Rear: 45mm on all models Front: 50mm on all models – except 40mm on Croix de Fer 50
Tyre clearance 650B Rear: 44mm on all models – except Croix de Fer Ti, which is 45mm Front: 50mm on all models – except 40mm on Croix de Fer 50, and 54mm on Croix de Fer Ti
Axles: 9mm QR on the Croix de Fer 10, 20 | 12mm on all other models
Our first – and one of the original, modern, do it all, drop bar bikes. Whichever model you end up choosing, you’ll get the full Croix de Fer experience.
What does that mean? Freedom. The ability to explore wherever you want, as the tarmac turns to grass, and the gravel turns to loose stones and small rocks. It won’t be the bike holding you back.
The Croix de Fer is as ambitious as it is humble though and is built to handle the daily commute and road rides, as well as those gravel epics. It really could be the bike that will do everything you ask.
All bikes come setup with 700c wheels and 40mm tyres, giving great adaptability over all terrains. That is mirrored with the specification of a double chainring which keeps gear ratios tight, while retaining range for steep climbing and high speed descending.
The geometry of the Croix de Fer is finely balanced. Although it has a very similar stack and reach to our Fugio, the top tube is 6mm shorter.
The headtube is 10mm shorter and a degree steeper which combines to give a more aggressive position on the bike.
Perhaps most importantly, the Croix de Fer has an 8mm lower bottom bracket drop. This gives less ground clearance, but gives a more planted feeling when cornering.
This is perfect for the type of riding we’ve intended the Croix de Fer for – on and off road, towpaths and gravel tracks.
Want a similar experience on a budget? Check out our aluminium-framed CDA. Want to take on the rough stuff? It's time to take a look at the Fugio, below.
Geometry: Gravel Wheel size: 650B as standard Gearing: 1X as standard Tyre clearance 650B: 47mm Tyre clearance 700c: 40mm Axles: 142x12mm // 100x12mm
If your rides are all about leaving the road behind, then the Fugio is the bike for you. Designed around the smaller 650B wheelsize, but employing a far larger tyre for added traction and bump absorption, it’s a very different concept to the Croix de Fer.
The addition of routing for a dropper post and single-chainring drivetrain should give you an idea of what this beast is capable of.
Compared to the Croix de Fer a taller head-tube, slacker head-angle and higher bottom bracket all combine to produce a bike that’s comfortable on chunky, rocky terrain and woodland singletrack.
We’ve specified wider bars to give a slightly slower steering response, putting you in a position to command more control when descending.
The Fugio also only comes specified with a full carbon fork, reflecting its premium standing, saving weight and adding steering precision.
While it is possible to use 700c wheels on the Fugio, there’s only clearance for a 40mm tyre – which is less than in the Croix de Fer. However, it does give the option to have a set of road wheels for commuting during the week, before swapping back to 650B wheels when you want to hit the trails at the weekend. That makes it very possible for the Fugio to be your one bike quiver.
If you’re looking for even more off-road capability however, you’ll want to take a look at our Vagabond.
Geometry: MTB inspired Wheel size: 29er as standard Gearing: 1X as standard Tyre clearance: 29x2.2 Axles: 142x12mm // 100x12mm
Mountain bikes with drop bars are far more than an early ‘90s throwback – as the Vagabond proves!
Our most capable drop-bar bike, the Vagabond steps away from 700c wheels entirely, instead embraces the 29er standard and with it, all the options that the mountain bike world brings.
You’ll be able to run a 2.2-inch tyre in this frame and we’ve specified and that means you’ll be able to get up – and down – trails where the Croix de Fer is out of bounds, and the Fugio may falter.
There's also the radically different geometry when compared to the same size-medium Fugio. Stack and reach may be comparible, what's happening elsewhere is clear to see - starting with that 70mm shorter seattube.
But away from the frame, that radically different riding position up front is delivered by a +17degree, 100mm stem. While the Fugio and Vagabond share the same wide, size specific flared handlebar, where it's held by the stem is the big point of difference, creating a riser drop-bar. It sounds like madness, but on big terrain it works!
Of course, this all comes at a price and that is on-road performance. The tyres are going to produce lots more rolling resistance, the gearing is built around lower speeds and don’t even think about getting aero!
Could this be one bike that will do it all? If your riding for fun mostly looks like mountain biking but also involves taking plenty of gear along for the ride, then this is the bike for you.
Hopefully these rundowns make choosing your ideal Genesis that little bit easier – and as always if you have any questions about which bike will be best for you, either visit your local Genesis dealer, or drop us a message and we’ll do our best to answer.