Genesis Fugio 30 review: The ultimate off-road-leaning gravel bike

I've been riding the Genesis Fugio 30 for the last two years – here's my honest review

Genesis Fugio 30 review
(Image credit: Charlie Allenby)
T3 Verdict

The Genesis Fugio 30 is a robust, adaptable steel-framed bike that can handle anything you throw at it – from tarmac-based commuting and touring to off-road gravel riding and bikepacking epics.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Tough and durable build

  • +

    Good spec for the price

  • +

    Ready for any terrain and all eventualities

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Lighter, carbon fibre bikes available for similar price

  • -

    Mechanical rather than electronic shifting

  • -

    Gearing ratio is a bit too low for road riding

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Genesis Fugio 30 review TL;DR: This steel-framed gravel bike is a do-it-all machine that will rarely leave you wanting. While it's not as light or as aerodynamically optimised as carbon fibre and aluminium rivals, its durability and adaptability mean it'll be an adventure-ready ride – whatever your expedition – for years to come.

Gravel riding has seen a huge surge in interest in recent years as more and more people discovered the joys of discovering the great outdoors on two wheels. As a result, the market for the best gravel bikes is booming, with new and innovative bicycles coming out frequently.

I bought my Genesis Fugio 30 in 2020 and have been using it ever since. It's a more old-school model, so to speak, as this two-wheeler's frame is made of metal instead of a lighter but more rigid carbon. That said, the Fugio 30 is anything but dated and offers plenty of value for your money. Below is my long-term review of this excellent gravel bike.

Genesis Fugio 30 review: Price and availability

The Genesis Fugio 30 was released in September 2020 and is available to buy now from Freewheel for a recommended retail price of £3,200 (approx. $4,030/ AU$ 6,267). The bike is designed as unisex and is available in sizes XS, S, M and L.

Genesis Fugio 30 review

(Image credit: Charlie Allenby)

Genesis Fugio 30 review: features

At the heart of the Genesis Fugio is its Reynolds 725 steel frameset. The weld marks and round tubing might look slightly archaic compared to the smooth lines of a carbon fibre alternative, but if you want something classic that will never age, then it has to be steel.

The material’s natural properties (durability, flex and vibration absorption) also make it a great companion on rougher terrain – whether that’s pothole-strewn roads or byways, bridleways and singletrack trails – while the lightweight grading used (725) means it doesn’t have the weight penalty that older steel-framed bikes had. 

The frame’s geometry is slacker than a traditional road bike, which helped prevent discomfort on longer trips and kept my bodyweight weight over the back wheel on steep, off-road descents. It has a smorgasbord of mounts – two bottle cage mounts inside the frame’s main triangle, one on the underside of its down tube, one on the top of the top tube and one on each fork leg.

It also has a pannier rack and mudguard mounts while also having internal routing for a dynamo light setup and Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting – making it something of a Swiss army knife of possibilities. Finished in an eye-catching pink and purple fade, its paint job is a bit Marmite and certainly isn’t one for the shy and retiring types. I personally thought it was a great-looking bike, harking back to the rigid mountain bikes of the 90s that modern gravel bikes are an evolution of.

Paired with a carbon fork, 650B wheels with 42mm tyres, and Shimano’s 1x (meaning a single chainring) gravel-focused GRX groupset, no paths were out of bounds during almost two years of testing, which has included a 130km road and cycle path-based rides, and off-road epics that sampled sections of the long-distance path, the West Highland Way

Genesis Fugio 30 review

(Image credit: Charlie Allenby)

Aside from its head-turning frame, the main draw of the Fugio 30 (and what sets it apart from the slightly cheaper Fugio 10 and 20) is Shimano’s dropper post-packing GRX 810 groupset. Featuring the 1x11 drivetrain set-up and a lever-operated X-Fusion Manic dropper post with 50mm travel, it’s unashamedly aimed at hitting the rough stuff on a drop-bar bike.

When going uphill, its 40T chainring and 11-42T cassette’s gear ratio made light work of the punchy inclines you tend to find off-road, while on the descents, having the saddle slammed and out of the way enabled me to really shift my weight over the back wheel unobstructed for ultimate control.

The gear ratio can reach its limits when on the road – on long, straight descents or fast flat sections of tarmac, I found myself spinning out in the highest gear – but this could be easily remedied by increasing the size of the chainring (although sacrificing some of the lowest gears). The only real downside is the fact that the drivetrain is mechanical – rather than the top-tier GRX Di2 electronic alternative. Although a solid option, shifting is noticeably less smooth than Di2. Full internal routing means that it is possible to upgrade down the line.

Genesis Fugio 30 review

(Image credit: Charlie Allenby)

The GRX groupset extends to the hydraulic brakes, which were extremely reliable regardless of the terrain I found myself in. At no point did they fade, and I felt in control even in testing wet and muddy conditions.

The rest of the bike is finished in own-brand or WTB components. The tubeless-ready 650B WTB ST i25 rims are laced to Formula hubs, and although towards the budget end, they provide a great small-wheel set-up. Paired with wide, 42mm WTB Resolute tyres, the Genesis Fugio is able to keep up with a road-based club ride but also has enough mud-shredding capabilities to handle a wide range of testing off-road conditions.

If you wanted a road bike set-up that could handle light gravel, you could invest in a set of 700C wheels with slightly slicker tyres and alternate between the two – leaving you with a frameset that could handle anything for less than the price of two bikes.

Genesis Fugio 30 review

(Image credit: Charlie Allenby)

Genesis Fugio 30 review: Riding performance

I have ridden the Genesis Fugio 30 for almost two years and have used it for all sorts of rides – from road-based bikepacking with a saddle and frame bag to sections of off-road terrain that are probably best tackled on a mountain bike. 

On the asphalt, it remains quick – even when sporting wide, chunky gravel tyres – and I've kept up with road bike-riding friends. But off-road, it's even quicker, gobbling up ascents, descents and all sorts of terrain and helping me set Strava KOMs along the way.

It's not just about speed, though, and the Fugio 30 is also a really comfortable bike. Its slightly relaxed geometry leaves you with a more upright riding position – preventing back aches on longer rides. Paired with high-volume tubeless tyres, thick handlebar tape and steel's vibration-dampening qualities, it takes the sting out of all surfaces.

Genesis Fugio 30 review

(Image credit: Charlie Allenby)

Genesis Fugio 30 review: Verdict

While it might look slightly old-fashioned compared to other modern gravel bike releases, the Genesis Fugio 30 proves that steel is certainly still real. Comfortable and capable wherever you ride, it has bucketloads of adaptability and is at home on any adventure. The bike's groupset and finishing kit aren’t as high-end as they could be, but you’re safe in the knowledge that when the time comes to upgrade components, the frame will ride as good as the first day you bought it.

Genesis Fugio 30 review: Also consider

If you need electronic shifting above all else, the Pinnacle Arkose X features Shimano's GRX Di2 shifting for less than the cost of the Genesis Fugio 30 – although you will have to settle for an aluminium frame. Read my full Pinnacle Arkose X Di2 2023 review.

Alternatively, the Ribble Gravel SL Enthusiast combines a carbon fibre frame with SRAM's Rival XPLR eTap AXS wireless shifting and Mavic Allroad wheels for the same price. Read Rob's full Ribble Gravel SL Enthusiast review.

Charlie Allenby
Freelance Journalist

Charlie Allenby is a journalist with a passion for pedalling, and his first book, Bike London, the definitive guide to cycling in the UK's capital, is out now. He’s got a decade of experience in print and digital journalism and has worked as a writer and editor for many consumer and content marketing publications, including  The GuardianThe IndependentBikeRadar and others.