Genesis Equilibrium: The ultimate British winter road bike?
Is the Genesis Equilibrium the ultimate winter road bike?
If you were to make the ultimate British winter road bike, then we’re pretty sure you’d come up with the Genesis Equilibrium.
Born in a time before Zwift, the Equilibrium proves that you don’t need to settle for the ride quality of a jackhammer just because it’s a winter hack, and that a winter hack can in itself be a beautiful thing.
After all, if you’re going to be putting in big miles in bad conditions, there’s sense in thinking that your winter bike should actually be a very nice place indeed. That’s where our Equilibrium comes in. As old as Genesis itself and debuting way back in 2008 as our first road bike, this model holds a special place in our heart – and the hearts of the many, many owners across the country.
We offer today’s Equilibrium in a pair of Reynolds 725-tubed framesets and full builds, both of which have very different flavours with rim and disc brakes to suit rider preference.
It’s the similarities that bring the range together however – Reynolds 725 tubing for a sublime ride, a slightly more relaxed geometry compared to our racing thoroughbred Volare, and mounts for full-length mudguards and a pannier rack for light touring options.
Both frames also benefit from our lifetime warranty, giving you confidence that every Equilibrium is built to see many miles, over many winters.
Let’s take a detailed look at what’s on offer, starting with the classic.
A never-aging classic, our rim-brake Equilibrium is the complete package for year-round road riding.
Hitting its stride when the clocks go back and the mudguards are attached, we’ve covered every detail to make this the best winter hack you’ll ever ride. It’s so good, you might even want to keep riding it through summer…
In line with its classic guise, this version of the Equilibrium features a Reynolds 725 frame and heritage-style chromoly fork and svelte 1 1/8th steerer tube.
Quick-release dropouts are matched to polished Shimano 105 hubs, which spin on smooth and easily serviceable cup and cone bearings.
The rim brakes are long-drop, providing extra clearance for specified 30mm tyres and mudguards, so you’re not having to choose between comfort and staying dry.
In keeping with the personality of the Equilibrium’s nature, we’ve specified Shimano’s 105 groupset. Known for both its quality, longevity and value it is the perfect choice to give high performance in all conditions. Details include specifying a compact 50/34 chainset and a 10-34 cassette. The 1:1 ratio at the bottom-end gives an incredibly wide range of gearing, perfect if you prefer to climb without a Strava KOM in mind.
If you want to build up your perfect year-round road bike with a classic look, this is your starting point.
The Equilibrium frameset packs all of the same features as the full-build, so you’re getting the smooth riding Reynolds 725 frame and chromoly fork, along with a slightly more relaxed geometry than a dedicated race bike.
The focus on comfort doesn’t end there, with the frame designed to accept long-drop brakes, maximising tyre and mudguard clearance so you can have comfort on Britain’s rough roads and protection from inclement weather.
Dropouts for 9mm quick release skewers mean that you can slot in your traditional handbuilt wheels, with a threaded bottom bracket for ultimate at-home serviceability.
Our modern take on the classic, we’ve added disc brakes, a carbon fork and thru axles to our Equilibrium Disc to create a modern all-seasons road bike.
While the Reynolds 725 tubing matches the classic Equilibrium, this is far from a model that has disc mounts incorporated into the design.
The geometry is significantly different, with the disc model having a shorter and steeper headtube and shorter wheelbase to make for a bike that’s a little less placid compared to the rim-braked brother.
Make no mistake – we’re not straying into road race geometry here and the Volare is another step on again – but the Equilibrium Disc sits somewhere in the middle.
This character is further enhanced by the tapered steerer tube and full carbon fork which cuts weight and refines ride quality. Coupled with the thru axles, this gives a much stiffer platform for pedalling and put simply is getting closer to being a winter bike for the racers.
It’s now pretty much undisputed that in the filthy winter conditions we experience in Britain that wider tyres and disc brakes are the only sensible combination.
They both take a little speed away, however there are more important things than lab-measured rolling and wind resistance when you’re battling the elements and covering distance.
That’s what our Equilibrium Disc addresses head-on. The bonus is that once the weather improves and the mudguards are off, it’s a great smooth-riding road bike in its own right.
And with room for a 32mm tyre, you could even check out your local gravel roads to add another dimension to those tried and tested loops.
If you want something a little different to our stock Shimano 105 build, then you can always take a look at the frame only option and create your own version.