We've been busy! There are more than a few new and exciting models to be unveiled in our 2014 lineup, each worthy of their own blogpost to talk through features, spec and reasons behind design decisions. We'll lift the wraps of the range in its' entirety come early Septemeber, but a handful of the more exciting models will find there way out into the public domain beforehand, by way of blogposts just like this one.
We thought we'd kick-start with probably one of the most contentious yet (we feel) potentially game-changing technologies to be introduced to what is otherwise a rigid, defined and extremely traditional category. This category? Road. The technology? Disc brakes.
We believe road disc has bag fulls of potential in the marketplace and stands to make the biggest impact on the everyday commuter/leisure rider whose cycling centres a little more around the 'ride' aspects and a little less around the 'race'. Sure, there's every possibility of the UCI sanctioning them for professional road use in the not-too-distant future (and, like in the CX ranks, they'll probably see a lukewarm reception with the majority sticking to conventional calipers), but for now, I believe the weight penalty of discs will be enough to put off the more purist weight weenie club racers with the advantages of disc brakes more apparent and applicable to a much wider, more general group of riders.
I'll not sidetrack too much into the for/against debate but for those of you keen to read up a little more on the subject then there are some interesting links to articles below with some interesting comments made on both sides of the for/against argument...
In light of where (and to whom) we see discs making the biggest impact in the road category, we paired them to one of our old favourites, the Equilibrium. There’s good reason why the Equilibrium has been a staple in our range for many a year now. The genre-defining model that represents the perfect ‘one’ bike for any tarmac occasion, with (that aforementioned) a little less emphasis on ‘race’ and a little more on ‘ride’ has found an army of fans thanks to its impeccable handling and comfortable yet efficient ride qualities. Ladies and Gents, without further ado, Genesis is proud to introduce the brand new 2014 Equilibrium Disc.
We chose Reynolds Birmingham-made 631 tubing for both the frame and fork. A development of Reynolds’ now-legendary 531 tubeset but approximately 10% stonger, 631 is cold-drawn from billet and air-hardens after welding, creating a frame that is both light (as it’s stronger, we can use less of it), incredibly strong and gives a lively, forgiving ride. It's been favored over the years for its durability, comfort and strength-to-weight ratio by tourers so we deemed it the perfect match for the Equilibrium Disc.
Why no inboard disc mount? Well, we wanted to keep standard road bike proportions and this meant 420mm chain stays. Combine an inboard disc mount with short chain stays (vs. CX frame proportions) and a 135mm spaced back end and you're looking at some serious heel clearance issues. Yes, it means some tinkering to get the mudguard stays to clear the disc calipers but we rather not sacrifice anything whereby the ride of the bike is concerned. - in this instance the mudguards lost out.
Steel fork? Yep, lugged Reynolds 631 taper blade forks and chosen for a number of reasons. With road disc being a fairly recent addition there are still a very limited number of carbon fork offerings (particularly in non-tapered, 1-1/8" steerer versions). Rather than compromise with having to go with a carbon fork we weren't 100% happy with we plumped for a steel fork that allowed us to retain the skinny tubed aesthetic of the Equilibrium, have it built to our own spec, and, most importantly, as proven with the recent Equilibrium 853 frameset - the steel fork rides superbly and provides the perfect compliment to the Equilibrium frame. It's constructed from a newly-developed Reynolds ovalised 24mm-17.2mm tapered fork legs - designed to withstand the increased (and repositioned) braking forces.
Premium wheel set - we know that if we take the time, effort and spend a little extra of the spec here there'll be a payoff for it many miles down the road. The Shimano Deore M756 6-bolt hubs (yes, Shimano still make them) might be a bit of a blast from the past, but the bonus of them having been around for a while means we know they're already proven and reliable, not to mention rider-serviceable. We've matched them to the H Plus Son Archetype with double butted stainless steel spokes. Whilst not strictly a disc-specific rim (they have a machine braking surface but it anodised after machining, not beforehand as is the norm) they do have a nice 470g weight, strong welded joint and and an even nicer 23mm external diameter (17.2mm internal) providing a nice wide bed for the Conti Grand Sport Race 25c tyres on which to sit. The benefit for you, the rider is said to be a resulting tyre profile that mimics the shape and ride qualities of a tubular setup, less of a lightbulb shaped tyre profile that's associated with traditionally narrower road rims.
The spec is rounded off with a Shimano 105-based drivetrain, FC-565 non-series compact chainset (w/ 12-27T cassette), Hayes CX Expert (formerly CX5) mechanical disc brakes (w/ L-Series lightweight rotor).
Available as both a complete bike (as shown) and frameset from late September.
Full bike - £1499.99srp
Frameset - £549.99srp
Thanks for reading and please do let us know what you think below.