The Genesis Equilibrium Disc offers a good ride quality and great looks. Reynolds 631 steel tubing is a lighter, stronger evolution of the classic 531 tubeset, which air hardens after welding, and is also used for the curved, lugged fork whose slim disc-specific blades not only complement the frame's design better than any carbon offering could, but further enhance the lively ride quality.
- HIGHS: Engaging, forgiving ride quality, great looks, nice wheels
- LOWS: If you want to head into the mountains or go racing, look elsewhere
- BUY IF... You value the riding experience more than absolute speed
The frame is beautifully constructed, immaculately finished and arrived very well set up. The handlebar height on our 56cm model is determined by the reasonable 150mm head tube height plus extra 27mm of external headset. It was perfect for this bike, low enough for tucking down out of the wind, but ideal for a relaxing cruise along the top.
The tall head tube and headset create a relaxed riding position
Termed 'Sportive Disc', the Equilibrium is intended for all day long comfort, and although it gave the impression of a sedate ride, we were hardly any slower than usual around our test circuit.
Shimano's high quality XT mountain bike hubs are laced three-cross to 32-hole 23mm wide H Plus Son Archetype rims, creating very smooth-rolling, tough and forgiving wheels. The increased width adds stability and the extra air volume in the 25mm tyres results in a more cushioned, grippier ride.
The cable-operated Hayes CX Expert brakes took a little time to bed in, but were consistent in the wet, and have ample power to haul bike and a big rider to a controlled halt.
Despite its extra weight, the Equilibrium willingly springs into action when hustled, accelerating with enthusiasm and maintaining flatland speed with ease. In the hills, gravity determines that the Genesis isn't a naturally rapid climber, but the sensible 34x28 bottom gear will get you up almost anything. Coming down, the bike's mass and stability combine with those wider rims and tyres to keep it absolutely planted, and the power of the disc brakes maximises the frame's deft handling, making descents fast, fun and safe.
Mudguard eyes give the Equilibrium year-round versatility, and its refined ride put a smile on our faces every time we ventured out, proving that quality can be as important as outright speed.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.