Genesis pride themselves on being a rider’s brand with direct input from the real cyclists who work for them being an integral part of their design process. Conceived and designed in Britain, with the very worst British conditions in mind, their bikes tend to strike the perfect balance between form and function. But how does the Equilibrium 00 hold up?
The standout feature of the Equilibrium is the classically beautiful cyan blue steel frame. Forged from iconic Reynolds 725 steel tubing – that gets bike geeks all dewy eyed and waxing lyrical about ‘zingy ride quality’ – it’s simply stunning with seamless welds and practical drillings for the mudguards. The higher-specced 10 and 20 models come with carbon forks, but on this basic 00 you make do with chromo.
It’s inevitable that you’ll have to pay somewhere for such a wonderful frame on a sub-£900 bike and, with the Equilibrium, the price is a none-too-impressive groupset. Apart from a Shimano Tiagra rear mech, the rest of the groupset is Shimano’s bottom-of-the-heap offering Sora.
The 50/34t compact chainset and 12-25t cassette is sensible winter training gearing, though, and the Alex wheels, although a bit on the bulky side, should stand up to a hard winter of abuse. Cladding the wheels is very sensible and the resilient 25c Continental Ultra Race tyres provide much-needed braking assistance as, unfortunately, the Tektro brakes specced aren’t the greatest.
The rest of the build is all Genesis’ own brand but the bare alloy bars, seatpost and stem
add to the cool retro feel and,with the bike coming in at9.84kg, aren’t too weighty.
Ubiquitous to all great-looking bikes, you feel a sense of pride as you roll away on the Equilibrium, and within no more than a few pedal strokes, excitement and pleasure can be added to the list of positive emotions. It’s uncommonly responsive and lively for a bike in this price range and there’s no doubt that the Reynolds 725 frame is in a different league to the standard alloy fare you get.
It’s even enough to make you forget about the Sora groupset that, although shifting crisply enough throughout the test, continues to frustrate for the
lack of upshift on the drops and the truly ugly shifters.
The compact geometry strikes the perfect balance between winter ride comfort and tight, exciting handling, and the frame and fork smooth out even the roughest road surfaces. If it’s
this good with a chromo fork, the higher-spec models with carbon must be heavenly.
Despite the compliancy of the ride, there’s not a hint of sloppiness or flex and, if you give the Equilibrium a bit of stick, it rewards you with an instant surge of speed. It climbs well both in and out of the saddle with no sense of drag, and although lacking the sudden kicking ability of an ultra- lightweight carbon super bike, climbs are a genuine pleasure rather than purgatory.
On descents it’s a bike handler’s delight, encouraging fast riding and positively railing around bends. You’ve got to make a bit of an allowance for the Tektro brakes but, with handling this good, you can get away with surprisingly big braking miscalculations.
Contact : www.madison.co.uk