GENESIS EQUILIBRIUM DISC 20
£1999.99 › Steel rack and mudguard-ready endurance ride
The Equilibrium is a bike we’ve always liked. Initially it was a Reynolds 725-framed classic road machine, then Genesis switched to its own Mjölnir steel tubeset, but now for 2018 the company has returned to using Reynolds mid-level 725 tubing. What hasn’t changed is the classic British road bike geometry, 72-degree head and 73-degree seat angles are all normal stuff, and the relatively low stack and long reach [vertical and horizontal distances from the bottom bracket to the top of the head-tube respectively] make the 20 a fairly racy proposition.
While the ride position is quite aggressive and the Reynolds 725 frame focuses on solidity. The big volume Clément tyres help in the comfort stakes, making the Genesis a very nice bike to spend time pedalling along on, but it’s not the most exciting of rides. The handling is neutral and very well balanced; the Disc 20 is never going to surprise you. Thanks to that neutral handling it’s a very fine descender, with the Shimano hydraulic brakes offering loads of feedback, feel, and, of course, power.
The drivetrain specification is decent for the money, with Shimano’s 105 tacking care of the gear shifts in its usual solid, smooth and efficient style, in its racy combination of 52/36 and an 11-28 cassette. We can’t help but think that a bike with a 10.7kg overall weight would benefit from a slightly wider cassette. As 105 can handle the Froome-approved 11-30 cassette, that would be a better option than the 11-38 fitted to help us on ascents. Combining 105 with Shimano’s non-series 505 shifters and brakes means getting hydraulic braking. The STI units divide opinion, plenty dislike the bulbous,
While the ride position is fairly aggressive it remains a nice place to be
oversized hood section, but as our tester has big hands it actually felt fine. The unit itself feels longer than a standard STI shifter so you end up with a bit of extra reach, which is great if you like a long, low, aggressive position.
We’re not sure that the Equilibrium, with its rack and mudguard mounts and all-rounder potential, should feel quite so aggressive. Genesis has the legendary Volare and its carbon team bikes for the more raceorientated riders.
Overall, Genesis has really nailed down what makes a great, sporty sportive bike when it comes to frame shaping and geometry, so less racy than say the Cinelli and All-City. On the flat or rolling terrain, the Disc 20 feels like a friend, and when you head downhill the sorted geometry, smooth yet grippy tyres, new shape Genesis bar, which has a very tactile aero shaped top section and wellshaped compact drop, all add up to a bike that’ll put a smile on your face.
When the road starts to rise the Genesis wheelset feels sluggish and ponderous compared to the smooth running of the wheels on The Light Blue’s Wolfson and All-City Mr Pink, and leagues behind those on the Ritchey. The Equilibrium has the potential to be a tourer with its complement of bolts and bosses, so if you’re trying to make the choice between race or recreation the Equilibrium is pretty close to both.
THE VERDICT The Equilibrium is a great handling, if rather hefty, all-rounder
Below Cables are routed externally along the top and bottom of the down-tube Bottom For 2018 Genesis has returned to using Reynolds 725 steel tubing
HIGHSSorted handling, and a smooth rideLOWSCarrying a bit of weight, shifters divide opinion, there are better value bikesBUY IFYou want a sharp handling yet solid riding bike that’ll cope with pretty much anything Genesis has really nailed down what makes a great, sporty sportive bike