Genesi East Bay CA Rider Review

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“I first saw a Formigli in a bike shop in Petaluma, California. I often go into bike shops when we are wandering around but seldom, if ever, has a bike caught my attention as did the Formigli. In the simplest terms, it was just beautiful.

I didn’t need another bike; my Kuota Khan with DuraAce was a good bike and my older Kestrel 200 SCI with Ultegra served as a back up for when the Kuota was being serviced. But the fact that I didn’t need another bike did nothing to abate my interest in the Formigli.

About 2 years later we were going to Florence, Italy. Not having been able to get that beautiful bike out of my mind, I looked to see where Formigli was based, just in case. Well, as luck would have it, Formigli is in Florence. When I found that out I immediately contacted Formigli to arrange a visit. Amy, the CEO of Formigli International and head of Formigli Operations, got back to me and helped set up an appointment. That was a good thing because I don’t speak Italian and Renzo Formigli doesn’t speak English. Now I was even more excited than ever about our trip to Italy.

I visited the shop and met Renzo. Our communication was limited by our language differences but with his personality and the help of his friend who speaks some English, I enjoyed the visit and learned some more about his bikes. He only makes steel bikes at that shop with the carbon frames, being built at another location. However, he had a number of frames there and I left thinking that someday I would get the Asiel RF, their top of the line carbon racing frame.

After I got home I was fortunate to meet Amy and Michael, when they were in the area. After discussing the type of riding I do, which has included a number of centuries but no races, Amy recommended the Genesi even though it costs around $2,000 less than the frame I was considering. While it is also used for racing, she told me that it is a more comfortable bike that would probably be more suitable for me (I am obviously considerably older than the Formigli riders who race the Asiel RF!)

Although I still couldn’t claim that I really needed a new bike – though I did rationalize the fact that my Kuota was being repaired after another rider hit me and cracked a seat stay when I stopped at a signal and he didn’t – I finally broke down and ordered a Formigli, opting to follow Amy’s advice by getting the Genesi. I chose to equip it with the DuraAce Di2, custom built wheels Amy suggested (Enve rims and dt Swiss hubs), a Fizik Antares saddle and, at Renzo’s suggestion to deal with my sore riding thumbs, the large diameter Deda M35 handlebars and stem.

I have to say that Amy was incredibly helpful, AND patient, through this whole process which entailed numerous e-mails. The bike would have been much more expensive if she charged by the hour! As it was, the prices of the various components were very reasonable, including little if any mark up.

I was of course excited when the bike arrived but I couldn’t ride it until I had a local mechanic cut the integrated seat post to size and make some final tweaks to the brakes, etc. However, just looking at the bike – I chose the “red” frame with the red Deda bars and stem and internal cables – was a treat. It was every bit as beautiful as I remembered. And even better because it is mine.

The bike has received nothing but compliments from those who have seen it, including the experienced mechanics at the shop. The lines, the clean look and the meticulous paint job and graphics all elicit raves.

I can’t compare the Genesi to the Asiel RF because I haven’t ridden the latter, but I can say, “Thank you, Amy, and Renzo, this bike is great!” It is even more comfortable than the Kuota Khan and that bike was made for comfort. And if I were up to it, the Genesi would certainly be at home in any race. I had it at a recent Century and I knew that although there were many better riders, there was no better or more beautiful bike there than mine. Actually,I should say that there was no other bike that looked as good and, I would guess, no other bike that rode as well.

So, if there is any doubt, yes, I give my unqualified recommendation of the Formigli Genesi.”

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