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Steel bikes: Genesis Equilibrium Disc 20 review

2 Oct 2018

Page 1 of 2Steel bikes: Genesis Equilibrium Disc 20 review

Verdict:

An all-rounder with unquestioned panache, a rangy wheelbase gives the Equilibrium a sure-footed feel, inspiring confidence

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£1,999.99

Genesis is chasing the sportive dollar with this steel stunner, claiming the Equilibrium Disc offers all-day comfort with a carbon fork that lets you eat up the miles.

On the face of it, these attributes, allied to a 105 groupset and decent tyres, are a recipe for success.

Frameset

The top tube features a pronounced slope, ensuring an easier fit for a wider leg-length of rider.

The frame itself is constructed with Reynolds 725 tubing – a 0.3% carbon-steel alloy that’s heat-treated and butted to create strength where it’s needed and save weight where it’s not.

We’re impressed with the standard of welding on this mass-produced machine, too. A carbon fork deals with vibrations from the front end, while slender chainstays and seatstays project from a 105 bottom bracket.

A slightly lazier head angle gives a predictable rate of turn-in, and contributes to a sensation of being utterly planted to the road at all times.

The hosing for the hydraulic stoppers is routed externally, as are the exposed cables for both the front and rear mechs.

They’re tweakable by way of brassy barrel adjusters at the head tube, but bear in mind that they’re directly in the line of fire of spray and other nonsense that gets flung from the road.

A standard 71mm bottom bracket drop makes for stable cornering.

Groupset

Yes, Shimano’s 105 groupset has almost become a cycling cliché. However, it bears repeating that the trickle-down effect of groupset technology has put this mid-range componentry on a par with the Japanese firm’s top-end gear of yesteryear.

The Equilibrium is wearing a 105 chainset with 52/36 chainrings, a 105 11-28 cassette, shifters, front and rear mechs (the former being band-on; you’ll struggle to find too many braze-on front derailleurs on steel bikes). Brakes are 105-equivalent hydraulic discs.

Finishing kit

Genesis has written the theme tune and sung the theme tune when it comes to the handlebars, stem and seatpost. All three are from the British brand’s in-house range of alloy bits and bobs.

The compact drop bars are a 420mm diameter arrangement, attached to the steerer by a 100mm stem.

A 27.2mm alloy seatpost should help to dial out vibes even further at the rear, and is topped by a (you guessed it) Genesis Road Comfort saddle, which lives up to its moniker 85% of the time.

Wheels

Genesis has even used its own disc-specific, 28-spoke alloy SR220 rims on this build, which ably accommodate the 28c Clement Strada LGG tyres fitted to them.

Aside from their very fetching appearance (when did you last say that about a tyre?), they’re grippy in both wet and dry conditions, and despite their light-cut, chevron-treaded nature, didn’t puncture once, even on some nasty local backroads. A very decent all-round set of tyres.

On the road

There’s only one word to sum up the Equilibrium as we roll it out on to the driveway for a lap of our test loop, and that’s ‘classy’.

Tan-wall tyres complement the powder-blue hue of the painted steel frameset in a way that reminds us of an old suicide-shifter-equipped Puch we once owned…

The Genesis is designed for long days in the saddle, and as such has its focus firmly set on comfort, with a smattering of adrenaline thrown in for free.

What you’ll find as soon as you’re a couple of miles into your maiden ride of the Genesis is that its composure shines through.

Those Clement tyres (we’ll forget how good the tan-walls look for now) perform well when it comes to ferrying you over rough tarmac, and the own-brand wheels rolling at either end of the Disc 20, while not the quickest to get going, do cope admirably with the task of propelling you along, up and down varying terrain.

They echo the Equilibrium ethos, in that everything in this package feels like it’s built to last – almost rugged in its durability.

Given the bike’s weight, it does lose out to other lighter rivals in the climbing department. Its brakes impress, however – you’re assured of consistent and predictable stopping in all conditions.

What you’re looking at here is a bike built for the long haul, and which does an admirable job of reminding you of the beauty and purity of road cycling.

A bike doesn’t need to be razor-sharp to offer decent handling performance. In truth, the majority of us would trade lean angle for sure-footedness, and the Genesis manages to supply you with a ride that spikes confidence.

Which should be no surprise, given its rangy wheelbase. Stability is enhanced, and therefore so is the assured way with which you can meter the hydraulic brakes on the run-up to a corner, tip the bike in and carve a confident arc through the turn.

As long as you make sure you’re giving the Genesis plenty of notice of your intentions, that is.

Mid-corner line adjustment is also nowhere near as slow as you might imagine, as we managed to tighten our line through a series of tight downhill twists with nothing more than a momentarily tightened sphincter for our troubles.

But the real benefit of Equilibrium ownership will be the way in which this bike powers over most road surfaces with little more than a shrug.

There are no jitters, no twitchiness; it performs the task of mainlining feedback and comfort to all the relevant contact points, for which it deserves to be commended.

No, we wouldn’t head to the Alps for a climbing holiday if all your mates have featherweight weapons, but for an enjoyable century ride with a few hills thrown in, this bike is a safe bet. 

RATINGS

Frame: Quality Reynolds 725 steel with smooth welds. 8/10 
Components: Solid 105 backed up with decent own-brand parts. 7/10 
Wheels: Reliable wheels, shod with excellent tyres. 7/10 
The ride: All-day comfort and confident handling. 8/10 

Verdict: An all-rounder with unquestioned panache, a rangy wheelbase gives the Equilibrium a sure-footed feel, inspiring confidence.  

Geometry

                                     
Top Tube (TT) 557mm
Seat Tube (ST) 530mm
Stack (S) 584mm
Reach (R) 386mm
Chainstays (C) 420mm
Head Angle (HA) 73.2 degrees
Seat Angle (SA) 73.4 degrees
Wheelbase (WB) 1002mm
BB drop (BB) 72mm

Spec

Genesis Equilibrium Disc 20
Frame Reynolds 725 Heat-Treated Chromoly frame, carbon forks
Groupset Shimano 105
Brakes Shimano BR-RS505 hydraulic discs
Chainset Shimano 105, 52/36
Cassette Shimano CS5800, 11-28
Bars Genesis AL-194, alloy
Stem Genesis Code 7, alloy
Seatpost Genesis, alloy
Wheels Genesis SR220, Clement Strada LGG, 700 x 28 tyres
Saddle Genesis Road Comfort
Weight 10.14kg (Medium)
Contact genesisbikes.co.uk

 

Page 1 of 2Steel bikes: Genesis Equilibrium Disc 20 review

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