Genesis Equilibrium 853 £2299.99

Limited edition Reynolds steel celebration ride

BikeRadar score 4/5

Genesis so believe in the merits of steel that they even sponsor the new Madison road team. A modern pro team riding Reynolds steel bikes is one hell of a statement in a world dominated by carbon fibre. 

By using 853 steel, Genesis have been able to refine the tube wall thicknesses and butting. This results in a more compliant feel and a significant drop in frame weight – our 58cm frame weighs 1,832g. Genesis also design the matching classic lugged fork with skinny 853 blades. 

  •  HIGHS: Slickly styled impressive slice of British racing steel
  •  LOWS: Limited edition, so there aren't that many of them to go around
  •  BUY IF... You want speed and exclusivity

The frame features fixtures for twin bottle cages and mudguards and is finished off with classy Ritchey cowled rear dropouts. Genesis has fitted quality SKS mudguards, which come with quick-releases. Should any debris get caught between the tyre and mudguard, the SKS will separate at the mount – and you won't be slammed to a standstill and ejected over the handlebar.

The classic frame angles and raked fork give the Equilibrium an old-fashioned charm. The top tube isn't so long that it stretches your position out, while the swept-forward fork results in a front end that's compliant over rough surfaces. The frame's slender profile and skinny stays make for a comfortable rear end, which is enhanced by the 25mm Conti tyres.

The compliant ride makes it suited to getting away from the urban sprawl and heading to the hills. The 53/39 chainset is more suited to fast, flat riding, but the 12-28T cassette gives you a low enough bottom gear to cope with most of the UK's hills. When you've crested a rise and pitched into a descent with a succession of fast bends, the Equilibrium feels confident and smooth. Out-of-the-saddle efforts are rewarded with a front end that's as responsive and stiff as any carbon bike of equivalent stature.

The ride is helped by a top-notch wheel package. Light and smooth DT Swiss 350 hubs are mated to high quality H Plus Son Archetype rims with double-butted stainless spokes, while Continental's grippy-whatever-the-weather Grand Prix GTs are great tyres. The wheels are a classy touch and help contribute to the bike's reasonably light overall weight.

At first glance the Genesis looks to be a classic pootler, but as an all-rounder, it's about as good as it gets. It's a classic British racer where old-school styling meets cutting-edge in the Ultegra drivetrain. 

A fast-handling, responsive bike that'll serve you equally well whether it's daily commuting or longer weekend rides. And if you're a committed racer, winter trainers don't get any better than this. If you need one bike that'll do all you want on the road, Genesis's 853 dream machine should be on your shopping list.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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