At a time when weight, for most, is still pretty much everything when it comes to buying a new bike, many will overlook the Equilibrium Disc Ltd in favour of a carbon number — and as a result, they may miss out on an excellent bike. It feels like all your pedalling power is going into propelling you forward, and when that speed needs tapering back for a sharp bend, the disc brakes deliver just the right amount of stopping power. If you’re looking for a strong workhorse to ride all year, you can’t go far wrong with this.
Excellent frame and fork
Perhaps a bit pricy
Won’t suit weight weenies
Part of the British brand’s new range of disc road bikes, the Genesis Equilibrium Disc Ltd is the second best offered. The range topper comes in titanium, making this Genesis’s best offering in its signature steel.
The frame is made from heat-treated Reynolds 725 chromoly, a heavy but robust material. Though weight is a concern to most people when looking for a new bike, to me the extra kilos made no difference while I was riding. I threw this bike up and down the many lumps and bumps of the Isle of Wight as I successfully completed 2014’s Festive 500, and at no point did I rue the 10+ kilos below me.
Like most non-professional cyclists (although I’m in the minority who’ll admit it rather than just buy a lighter seatpost), I’d benefit more from losing a bit of weight off myself before worrying about the weight of the bike, and I’d choose this strong, stiff, responsive steel Genesis over a liquorice lace, low-end carbon any day.
On top of all this, the frame has clearance for 28mm tyres and full mudguards, to keep you going when most other bikes are hiding in a garage.
As explained later, the specification of the final build is not as high end as the price would suggest. A saving grace of this, however, is that the frame comes Di2 ready, so some further investment after a year or so of riding and you could have a very good machine on your hands.
Price aside, the set-up worked very well. The 11-speed Shimano 105 drivetrain was slick and instilled confidence when under strain. The FSA mid-compact chainset was a welcome step-up from my normal inclination to always spin a compact, and the hydraulic disc brakes were near perfect. Many of the rides on this bike were in the rain or on wet roads, and the brakes worked just as well as on dry days. They were so good, I’m considering switching from rim calipers when the time comes for a new bike.
It was love at first ride for the Equilibrium and me. Free from weight-based snobbery and fear of anything not being ridden by a WorldTour team, I enjoyed each and every one of the 850 miles I rode.
It accelerated quickly and held its speed on the flat thanks to the responsive frame and efficient power transfer. The hydraulic disc brakes meant confident stopping on wet winter rides, and the fit was comfortable without taking on the position of a Dutch shopper.
The most important thing to say about the Genesis Equilibrium is that it was simply a joy to ride. However, though I enjoyed riding it, for the price, the final build does not offer the best value for money, and as such has been marked down. The frame and fork are very good, the 105 groupset changed through the gears with ease and the hydraulic brakes were excellent — but when looking at departing with the best part of £2,000, Shimano Ultegra mechs or a better finishing kit would be expected, too.
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