Genesis Equilibrium 20 review

Steel road bike with modern touches

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
£1,299.99 RRP

Our review

Versatile and practical, most at home cranking out the miles
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With slender Reynolds 725 tubing, a curved, tapered-blade fork, panel graphics and 32-spoke wheels, the Equilibrium 20 is clearly designed to attract those with traditional tastes. It’s well finished, too, with tidy welds, socket-style dropouts and a ring-reinforced head tube, though the square-edged seat collar is slightly clumpy.

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But under the metallic copper paint, the Genesis is far from old fashioned. The fork has carbon fibre blades, and the sloping top tube geometry is entirely modern. 

  • Highs: Classic looks, a zingy ride and loads of practicality
  • Lows: Inevitable extra poundage from steel frame; brakes could be better
  • Buy if: You’re a steel fan on the hunt for a great-looking all-rounder

Hung off the frame is most of a 105 groupset, the key exceptions being an R565 compact chainset and Tektro brakes, which don’t have quite the commanding performance of Shimano’s offerings. You do get 105 hubs, though, the centrepiece of a no-nonsense wheelset, laced to DT Swiss R450 rims.

The spokes are plain gauge, which is slightly disappointing – building the wheels with butted spokes would save a useful bit of weight. Inevitably and unsurprisingly, weight is where steel suffers in comparison to other frame materials. Not all of that difference is in the frame and fork, but a lot of it is. And it can be big enough to be noticed on hills.

The sort of rider who’s tempted by a steel bike isn’t likely to be too troubled by that, though, and steel has certain other benefits. Some are purely practical, like the big tyre clearances thanks to thin frame tubing – the Genesis has healthy space around the tyres, as well as deep-drop brakes and mudguard eyes, so it’s ready for all seasons. Others are in the ride, with a delightfully lively, springy feel.

Genesis Equilibrium 20
Genesis equilibrium 20:
www.robertsmithphotography.co.uk

Out on the road the Equilibrium’s no slouch, although it’s more of a wind-it-up-to-speed bike than a sprinting tool – the springy feel is great at tempo on poor surfaces, but if you like to unleash sudden changes of pace you’d appreciate a more direct delivery.

That said, the Genesis has a relatively short head tube, so if you want to set it up with an aggressive position it’s easy to do so. We wouldn’t say that was necessarily playing to the strengths of the frame, but it’s another aspect of the bike’s versatility.

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

Product Specifications

Product

Name Equilibrium 20 (13)
Brand Genesis Bikes

Available Colours Orange
Headset Type TH-857 1 1/8in
Weight (lb) 20.9
Weight (kg) 9.48
Stem 3D Forged OS/31.8mm
Shifters 105 10-speed ST-5700
Seatpost AL-6061 27.2x350mm
Saddle Prim
Rims R 450 32H
Rear Tyre Continental
Rear Hub 105 HB-5700
Rear Derailleur 105 10-speed RD-5700
Handlebar AL-6061 DB Compact Drop OS/31.8mm
Available Sizes 52 54 56 58 60
Grips/Tape Microfibre Shockproof Tape
Front Tyre Continental
Front Hub 105 HB-5700 / FH-5700
Front Derailleur 105 FD-5700
Frame Material Reynolds 725 Steel
Fork 1 1/8in carbon w/ mudguard eyelets
Cranks FC-R565 Compact 50/34T
Chain 105 CN-5701 10-speed
Cassette Shimano Tiagra CS-4600 10-speed 12/28T
Brakes R317 57mm
Bottom Bracket Hollowtech II
Brake Levers Shimano 105 ST-5700