The Genesis Equilibrium Ti is the first of three ‘year round’ models we’ll be testing this month; machines we believe could be your only bike.
We first caught sight of the Genesis Equilibrium Ti at IceBike in February, and took a more detailed look on our visit to Madison HQ last month.
It arrived last week at RCUK Towers. This is the flagship of the Equilibrium range, and shares its geometry with models built from Reynolds 725 and 520. An earlier incarnation serves as the RCUK Test Rig.
The Equilibrium Ti arrived for test is the 58cm model, fashioned with a 72 degree head tube angle, a seat tube set at 73 degrees, a 160mm head tube and 413mm chainstays.
This is no spindly titanium frame. The tubeset is that used on the Genesis Latitude Ti mountain bike. The headtube tapers from 1.5” to 1-1/8”, to accommodate a fork with carbon blades and alloy steerer.
The down tube ovalises at its junction with the bottom bracket. The rear triangle features a pair of heavily shaped chainstays that start vertically ovalised at the bottom bracket and become steadily more squeezed as the tubing slips past the tyre, which we expect to offer enhanced clearance around fatter winter tyres. The mid-section of the chainstay is flattened horizontally to increase lateral stiffness and, in combination with the super spindly seatstays, should supply a degree of comfort and springiness to the riding experience. We’ll let you know. Very neat cowled dropouts finish the rear of a frameset in which all the welds are tidily finished.
As with its steel counterpart, the Equilibrium Ti has been designed as a ‘four season’ machine, requiring 57mm drop calipers, and boasting front and rear mudguard eyelets. The aforesaid calipers are Tektro R317s, which, unlike standard 105 units, can handle the 57mm drop. Our previous experiences with Tektro brakes haven’t left us open mouthed in admiration, but we’ll reserve judgment.
The bike is available as a frame, fork, headset and seatclamp option for a penny under £1,500, or, as in our case, a full bike at £2,300. It’s the latter we’ll be testing, one equipped with a pretty much standard Shimano 105 groupset. Tweaks and departures from the normal include a more attractive chainset (of greater visual appeal than the rather brutish, standard 105 compact in our opinion), one which looks a little like the lovechild of Ultegra SL and 105. With a 50/34 chainring driving a12/28 cassette, we’re expecting a gear for all slopes and comfortable miles at a decent cadence. Watch this space. Our test bike was supplied without pedals, but delivered versions will come with dual sided, Shimano M520 spuds.
Wheels have been built around Shimano 105 hubs, with 32 spokes front and rear laced to another reliable offering, the DT Swiss R450 rim. The constituent parts combine to form a weighty wheelset, but one we expect will do good service in the winter. Our hoops are wrapped in Continental Ultra Sport 25mm tyres.
Tidy black finishing kit in the form of a seatpost, saddle, stem and handlebar (with black bar tape), all branded as Genesis original equipment, complete the build, one that tickled our scales at a touch under 9.2kg (20.2lbs).
The frameset option offers a solid platform a considerably lighter build. Our steel Test Rig, measured on the same scales, hovers at 7.8kg (17.3 lbs), which for a simple steel frame is not bad at all. A titanium build could be even more exciting, we will weigh the frame as part of the main test appearing soon.