Genesis Equilibrium Disc 20 review

Steel rack and mudguard-ready endurance ride

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £2,000.00 RRP

Our review

The Equilibrium is a great handling, if rather hefty, all-rounder
Buy if, You want a sharp handling yet solid riding bike that’ll cope with pretty much anything
Pros: Sorted handling, and a smooth ride
Cons: Carrying a bit of weight, shifters divide opinion, there are better value bikes
Skip to view product specifications

The Equilibrium was initially 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.

Advertisement

What hasn’t changed is the classic British road-bike geometry. 72-degree head and 73-degree seat angles are all standard 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 nice bike to spend time pedalling on, but it’s not the most exciting of rides. The handling is neutral and well balanced — the Disc 20 is never going to surprise you. Thanks to that neutral handling, however, it’s a very fine descender, with the Shimano hydraulic brakes offering loads of feedback, feel, and, of course, power.

For 2018, Genesis has returned to using Reynolds 725 steel tubing
For 2018, Genesis has returned to using Reynolds 725 steel tubing
David Caudery/Immediate Media

The drivetrain specification is decent for the money, with Shimano’s 105 taking care of the gear shifts in its usual solid, smooth and efficient style, with a racy combination of 52/36 and an 11-28 cassette. 

I can’t help but think a bike with a 10.7kg overall weight would benefit from a slightly wider cassette, though. As 105 can handle the Froome-approved 11-30 cassette, that would be a better option than the 11-38 fitted to help 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, oversized hood section, but as I have larger 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.

Cables are routed externally along the top and bottom of the down tube
Cables are routed externally along the top and bottom of the down tube
David Caudery/Immediate Media

I’m not sure 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 race-orientated riders.

Overall, Genesis has nailed what makes a great, sporty sportive bike when it comes to frame shaping and geometry. 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 (with tactile aero shaped top section and well-shaped compact drop), add up to a bike that’ll put a smile on your face.

The Equilibrium has the potential to be a tourer with its complement of bolts and bosses
The Equilibrium has the potential to be a tourer with its complement of bolts and bosses
Robert Smith
Advertisement

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.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Equilibrium Disc 20
Brand Genesis Bikes

Available Sizes XS S M L XL
Seat Tube (cm) 51
Shifters Shimano 105
Stem Genesis Code 7
Trail 6.5
Weight (kg) 10.7
Wheelset Genesis SR220 rims, Formula RX Disc hubs
Chainstays (cm) 42
Top Tube (cm) 56.5
Seat Angle 73
Wheelbase (cm) 103
Frame size tested L
Head Tube (cm) 16
Stack (cm) 59.9
Reach (cm) 39.5
All measurements for frame size tested L
Seatpost Genesis alloy
Saddle Genesis Road Comfort
Bottom Bracket Shimano BB-5800
Frame Material Reynolds 725
Brakes Shimano BR-RS505
Cassette Shimano 105, 11-28
Chain KMC X11
Cranks Shimano 105 52/36
Fork Carbon
Fork Offset 4.75
Front Derailleur Shimano 105
Rear Wheel Weight 1840
Front Tyre Clément Strada LGG, 28mm
Front Wheel Weight 1420
Handlebar Genesis AL-194
Head Angle 72
Headset Type Prestine PT-1806-616
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105
Rear Tyre Clément Strada LGG, 28mm
Bottom-bracket drop (cm) 7.2