Further Genesis Croix De Fer Modifications

4 minute read

*I have made these modifications already in my post How The Croix De Fer should have been built.

Having cycled part of the way to Australia and done many miles prior to the trip, my Genesis Croix De Fer 2011 (converted to a tourer) has clocked up over 10,000km now without me replacing any parts. In fairness all of the components and the bike itself as stood up very well to all the abuse sent its way. Quite a few of the components (Tiagra shifters, Tiagra chainset, 105 rear mech, Tiagra front mech) still have plenty of life in them and don't really need replacing just yet (although they are a bit battle-worn). I plan on re-using those parts on other bikes I own. There are still a few parts that do need replacing. The chain, cassette, chainrings, and bar tape, so I took it as an opportunity to correct some of the aggravations I have with the Croix De Fer set-up and build it the way Genesis should have in the first place.


Here's a table listing the existing component and what I'm changing to. I haven't listed the prices. For the most part every component is very good value. I used a promotional offer from Chain Reaction Cycles, so ended up getting around £65 off the order (making it even better value). The total cost was around £300 (including the tyres). I've opted to stick with 9-speed and go for a Shimergo set-up.

Original Component New Component
Shimano Tiagra 9-speed STI Shifters Campagnolo Centaur 10-speed Ergopower Shifters
Shimano Tiagra Compact Chainset (34/50T) Shimano Deore M590 Triple Chainset (26/36/48T)
Shimano Deore HG61 Cassette (11-28T) Shimano SLX HG80 Cassette (11-34T)
Shimano 105 9-speed Short Cage Rear Mech Shimano XT M772 Shadow 9-speed Long Cage Rear Mech
Shimano (Unknown) 9-speed Chain Shimano HG73 9-speed Chain
Shimano Tiagra Double Front Mech Shimano Tiagra Triple Front Mech
Genesis Brown Leather Bar Tape Pro Handlebar Black Gel Bar Tape

Why The Changes?

  • 9-speed vs 10-speed - for me the additional gear and cost that comes with a 10-speed set-up isn't worth it. By sticking with 9-speed I have plenty of spares that can be moved between bikes.
  • Campagnolo Ergo Shifters - these offer good value, more so than Shimano STI shifters in my opinion. I like the hidden shifter cable routing as it makes for a cleaner handlebar area. This was a notorious problem for me when touring with Tiagra shifters as my Ortlieb Ultimate Bar-bag would squash against the cable housing, eventually causing the cables inside to fray. The newer Shimano 105 shifters offer hidden cable routing, but are 10-speed equating to a far more expensive set-up.
  • Shimano Deore Triple Chainset - my existing compact just does not have the range I need for touring. I run out of gears very quickly when climbing. I did look at many options (including an Alfine hub), but in the end the Deore chainset offered good value and a perfect 26/36/48 teeth set-up. 26 teeth inner ring for the steep climbs, 36 teeth middle which will probably get most use, and a 48 teeth outer ring for city cycling and when I want to go fast.
  • Shimano SLX 9-speed Cassette - lightweight and not too expensive. I also wanted to stick with 9-speed as 10-speed offers me little more advantage but a lot more cost. The 11-34T may have too big a range. I can always switch to an existing 11-25T cassette I have or buy another 11-28T if I have problems.
  • Shimano XT Shadow Rear Mech - more expensive that I needed but I decided to treat myself, and have read it is definitely compatible in a Shimergo set-up (some of the newer Shimano rear mechs aren't). So the additional cost in part is security in that it will work.
  • Shimano HG73 9-speed chain - a fairly standard chain although could have gone a little cheaper.
  • Pro Handlebar Gel Tape - I opted for black this time as the bike is edging towards a black and white look now. The gel will be appreciated as I've found the vibrations quite bad at times when touring.

I've also treated myself to a pair of 25C Continental Gator Skin tyres. That is the smallest either set of wheels I have can take. Given I still have the stock Croix De Fer wheels I will use them for commutes and weekend cycles. While on my Rigida Snyper wheels I'll keep my touring tyres. It saves me having to switch tyres and rotors all the time, and means my more expensive hand-made touring wheels aren't wasted on daily commutes.

What Next?

At the moment everything is sat at home while I am sat a China. I still have a couple of months before I return home. I bought the components in advance, firstly while I still have money (as I'll want a project to do when I get home, and a fresh bike to ride) and secondly due to the Christmas promotion CRC where doing. I'll write another article detailing the installation with plenty of photos when I'm back in the UK.