£1999.99 › Steel rack and mud­guard-ready en­durance ride

Cycling Plus - - ROAD TEST -

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

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