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.
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.
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.
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, so if you’re trying to make the choice between race or recreation the Equilibrium is pretty close to both.