Is a Genesis Tour de Fer 10 or 20 a good family bike for trailer towing?

Discussion in 'Family and Recreational Cycling' started by John_S, 19 Feb 2016.

  1. John_S

    John_S Senior Member

    Hello All,

    I’m interested in getting myself a new bike and I’m looking at either the Genesis Tour de Fer 10 or the Tour de Fer 20.

    TdF 10

    TdF 20

    With respect to this I’ll be grateful for any thoughts/advice/views on whether the specification difference of the 20 justifies the £400 extra compared to the 10.

    In terms of its use the primary job that I want to ensure that this bike will be capable of doing right now is safely towing a trailer with my two children in. This bike will be used for a mixture of road and trail riding but the off road stuff will be dirt cycle paths so won’t be anything particularly challenging.

    I do have another bike but my current bike has drop bars and for the purpose of family rides, which will not exactly be speed challenges, I’d rather be sat more upright so I’m happy with flat bars. My logic in going for this touring style bike is that I’m hoping that this will be a nice sturdy bike capable of the job of safely towing the trailer with my kids in. Also when thinking about this bike (or I guess this type of bike in general) is that for example it has features such as a kickstand plate, as mentioned in the frameset link below, and I think that having a kickstand will be handy because with the trailer attached it's not so easy to lean your bike against a wall when you stop.

    In the future I like the idea of doing a bit of light cycle touring however this isn’t something that is going to happen in the very near future because at the moment taking all the gear for two very young children would be a bit of a nightmare. However whatever I do it’s not at all likely that I’ll be lucky enough to go away for say a few months to do any serious cycle touring and so being realistic it would only be some long weekend or week long trips.

    In terms of differences between the 10 and the 20 some of them are detailed below:-

    Frame: Genesis Mjölnir Seamless Double-Butted Cromoly (TdF 10) vs. Reynolds 725 Heat-Treated (TdF 20).
    Headset: FSA TH-857 Semi-Cartridge (TdF 10) vs. FSA Orbit DL/No.1 (TdF 20).
    Shifters: Shimano Acera SL-M3000 (TdF 10) vs. Shimano Deore SL-M610 (TdF 20).
    RD: Shimano Acera RD-T3000 (TdF 10) vs. Shimano Deore RD-M610 (TdF 20).
    FD: Shimano Acera FD-T3000 (TdF 10) vs. Shimano Deore FD-T610 (TdF 20).
    Chainset: Shimano Acera FC-T3010-8 Octalink, 44/32/22T (TdF 10) vs. Shimano Deore FC-T611, 44/32/24T (TdF 20).
    BB: Shimano BB-ES300 (TdF 10) vs. Shimano SM-BB52 (TdF 20).
    Freewheel: Shimano CS-HG300-9, 11-32T (TdF 10) vs. Shimano CS-HG500-10, 11-34T (TdF 20).
    Hubs: Joytech RCC 6-Bolt (TdF 10) vs. Shutter Precsison PD-8 / Shimano FH-M525 (TdF 20).
    Rims: Alex Rims DH19, 36H (TdF 10) vs. Sun Ringle Rhyno Lite 29, 36H (TdF 20).)
    Front Rack: No front rack (TdF 10) vs. Tubus Tara (TdF 20).
    Front Dynamo Light: None (TdF 10) vs. Busch & Müller Cyo Premium Plus (TdF 20).

    Reading the article linked below one thing it says about the 10 is that, “My only concern is that it may be hard to find a Shimano Octolink bottom bracket these days; they’re relatively uncommon in shops.”. However I don’t know whether this is only something to be concerned about if say you were going to be on a long cycling tour and if you encountered any problems a long way from readily available spares or a bike shop?

    I've been cycling for a long time but have not owned manny bikes and so I don't have an extensive knowledge of components etc. so I don't know the relative value of say one groupset over another. I'm not really worried about light weight because higher up my priority list are build quality and longevity. Therefore if for example the components on the TdF 20 are of higher quality & would last longer than those on the TdF then that would attract me but if they just saved weight then it wouldn't really help to justify the extra £400 for me.

    Differences such as the Reynolds 725 frame, the hub dynamo plus dynamo light would be very nice to haves but I'm trying to figure if they're good value for the extra money and really worth the £400 premium for the TdF 20 instead of the TdF 10.

    I’m not sure what people think about these bikes for this purpose because I’m not sure if people either think that this bike is inappropriate for its intended use or perhaps overkill for its intended use. However I don’t buy bikes very often at all (in roughly 28 years of cycling I’ve only had 4) and I do like things that are well built and will last a long time. Therefore I’m hoping that by buying a sturdy touring bike it will do a good job of the family cycling uses and after that continue to be useful on various rides and maybe even some touring if I’m lucky enough to get the time to do it.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

  2. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    You might struggle attaching a trailer to a disc brake frame, depends how/where it clamps/bolts on.
    Otherwise the 20 has better spec, weight I would assume to be quite similar though.
  3. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    If you are going to be dragging a trailer it seems pointless to analyse the fine differences between the specs.

    Higher spec usually means lighter, which can mean less durable - a disadvantage when you want a tractor not a sports car.

    If you want long lasting, Herr Rose may be worth a look.

    Not the lightest, but mine feels like it was built to invade Poland, and I reckon it will outlast me.
    steveindenmark likes this.
  4. spoof

    spoof Active Member

    Hello John,
    Not too familiar myself with bike trailers but I assume most will have attachments to secure to a variety of frames. Keeping in mind that you might consider touring with your gear on board using the front and rear pannier racks maybe whilst towing your children, then my preference and recommendation would be with a 26" wheeled bicycle. I say this because the built wheel will be stronger than the 700c hole equivalent rim and hopefully you will have less chance of issues arising once loaded up and touring. You could tackle rougher trails with greater peace of mind as well. Aside the tubus racks on the '20' are nice racks worth approx £100.
    Check out VSF fahrradmanufaktur model TX-400 Deore XT. I was researching before for a type of tough bicycle around looking at Ridgeback, CDF, Dawes etc and this was the best bang for buck bike I could find for all conditions and some distributors could deliver from Germany to UK for £50
  5. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

  6. spoof

    spoof Active Member

    Hello @User @Pale Rider @John_S

    The Rohloff version is lovely and probably as well the best bang buck Rohloff bike you can get on the market to include everything you need - SON-28, top racks, Magura HS22, chainglider, nice tyres and andra rims etc. I have seen prices in Germany go on sale at end of year before the new season paint job for around £1500. I am going to be getting another before the summer for the Mrs so might even consider the Rohloff version. The bike does feel very solid on a ride. No buzz at all from the road and the ergon grips feel great even without gloves.

    If it helps anyone then I bought the Deore XT version in the matte sand colour as pictured from Badbikes in Wernigerode Germany delivered to the UK cost be all in at £940. I think the frame has 10 year guarantee on them only trouble is I bought from Germany so if there is an unfortunate event, hopefully one of the UK distributors will be 'delighted' to help out. The other site I believe deliver within the EU is Bikepark in Dissen.

    There are some other german wagon bikes I found that looked fantastic as well. They are as follows.
    Rotor Bikes Germany = Rotor Komet XT or Komet Rohloff
    Hartje Bikes = Hartje Brandmeister

    For UK bikes I spoke to two nice gentlemen on the phone recently at Oxford Bike Works and Orbit cycles. The Harrier Expedition 26 made by Orbit is another one to consider or the Ox.B.W model one, these will also be bombproof bikes.
  7. OP

    John_S Senior Member

    Hi All,

    Thanks for the messages.

    Raleighnut, re: the trailer it's a Burley trailer which has two attachment options and I'd be hoping that the steel hitch would work with a disc brake equipped bike.

    Hi Palerider, Spoof and User,

    Cheers for the advice and alternative bike recommendations. Certainly the Rose and VSF bikes do look very sturdy and I'm sure would do a very good job so I'll add them to the list of possibilities. I'm in East Anglia and so getting to Cambridge isn't a million miles away so that I could take a look at the VSF bikes at Chris Bikes.

    In terms of touring I probably don't envisage doing too much of that with the family. At the moment my children are 3 and 1 and the amount of stuff that seems to come with these little people is incredible. For now the bikes primary use with be family day rides with kids in the trailer and only minimal additional weight on the bike because most if not everything that we take with us will go into the trailer.

    However longer term I'd like to do the coast to coast plus Lands End to John O'Groats and I'm thinking that this new bike would hopefully be suitable for that job as well (I wouldn't be taking the trailer and I'd just use panniers on the bike for my stuff on those rides).

    Thanks for all of the advice.

  8. raleighnut

    raleighnut Guru

    On 3 Wheels
    The steel hitch will be fine with a disc equipped bike as long as the rear wheel is a through bolt type (nutted axle) and not a quick release type, far too much stress for a piddling 4mm diameter skewer plus it won't stay aligned as the 10mm axle ends at the dropout.
  9. OP

    John_S Senior Member

    Hi Raleighnut,

    Thanks for the advice about the steel hitch.

    To be honest I'm not sure whether or not the Genesis Tour de Fer comes with a quick release or a solid axle because reading the specifications I'm just not sure. I did try looking at a photo which includes a non-drive side shot of the Tour de Fer 20 but to be honest the bike was so small I couldn't tell for sure. I didn't think that I could see a quick release lever but I couldn't tell for sure. Regarding this I'm not actually a big fan of quick releases (i've not used newer thru axles so I've not got any experience/knowledge of them yet) and I'd far rather have a sold axle than quick release and so worst case scenario if the bike came with a quick release axle I wonder if it could be changed for a solid one.

    I was looking at the photo on the Genesis website of the Tour de Fer 20 where there's a couple of other bikes in the photo and bloke pointing to some random thing.


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