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Bike Review: Genesis Equilibrium 10

Posted on 9th Feb 2017 @ 3:24 PM

Genesis Equilibrium 10 review

The Genesis Equilibrium 10 is a steel-framed all-rounder that's perfectly tailored to year-round riding in the UK.

The Equilibrium 10 is a steel-framed all-rounder that Genesis describes as the ‘quintessential four-season road bike’. It sports a double-butted chromoly frame, carbon fork, and has the capability to run full-length mudguards. Relaxed geometry should allow it to cover big miles in comfort. Our only beef before we’d even ridden the bike was the fear of getting something this beautiful dirty on grubby wintry back-roads – it looks great in photos, but is really quite something in the flesh. Will it ride as well as it looks? Let’s find out…

Frameset 

Genesis Equilibrium 10 frame

The Equilibrium’s frameset is constructed from double-butted chromoly steel. It’s decidedly beautiful, pleasantly springy to ride and the welds are up there with the best we’ve seen on any steel bike. Rounded profile tubes lend this bike a traditional air, which for us is a bonus. The carbon fork deals with vibrations well, while a lengthy wheelbase give this bike a stable footing on any road. There are mounts for mudguards and racks – we’d run this bike with guards as a matter of course, as the front and rear mech cables are externally routed, right in the line of fire. The Equilibrium’s geometry is comparatively slack, with a 72.1° head angle combining with a sizeable, 50mm fork offset, to give a stable and confidence-inspiring ride.

Genesis Equilibrium 10 tyre

Mostly Shimano Tiagra components, which is dependable and durable kit. Being a 10-speed set-up does give a bigger jump between the gears of its 12-28 cassette, but that doesn’t affect it adversely over other bikes we’ve tested here. The brakes are from Promax, and their overall performance is predictable and assured. 

Finishing kit 

Genesis’ own-brand finishing kit is workaday alloy stuff but that’s just what you need on a bike to take on the worst of our weather. Sitting on a 27.2mm alloy seatpost is a Genesis Road Comfort saddle, which is spot-on for winter, striking a balance between support and comfort.

Wheels 

Genesis Equilibrium 10 fork

Genesis has prioritised reliability over performance, with 28-spoke Jalco rims on smooth Joytech hubs that will allow you to forget about maintenance and get on with riding. The gumwall Clement Strada tyres add a touch of real class , standing out from the crowd, and they roll well too, giving plenty of dry grip, while puncture resistance is provided by a belt running through the tyre. They do get grubby very quickly, though.

The ride

We reckon the expression ‘steel is real’ is a little tired now. Steel is heavy, end of, but our initial impression of the Equilibrium as we descend into our test loop is of how planted the bike is at speed, yet how cooperative it is, too. When the road rises, the smooth ride continues with an out of the saddle acceleration, and blow us down, the steel-framed Genesis loves it!

Genesis Equilibrium 10 steel

The ride quality here is much better than you might reasonably expect for less than £1,000 (OK, it’s only a penny less, but we’ll overlook that for now). Vibration is kept at bay by a frame that’s inherently able to soak up most of what the pitted roads throw at it, and a feeling of gliding over the tarmac is aided by 25c tyres running 90psi. On climbs, the Genesis acquits itself well, displaying good stiffness and a willingness to attack. This we see as a bonus, as it’d be the last thing on our minds on a slimy Sunday morning ride in November. Where the bike excels is in the confidence it instils – the brakes are effective, easily modulated, and the frame geometry is near perfect for the business of covering miles in comfort. The 10-speed Tiagra set-up operates smoothly, highlighting the trickle-down of shifting technology from the upper reaches of Shimano’s groupset range, and we never felt like the bike was lacking a gear. It’s no featherweight, but considering the size of our test bike, its 9.82kg all-up bulk is respectable. And considering you’ve a 34x28 gear to rely upon for climbing, you’ve every chance of maintaining forward momentum to the summit of most climbs the UK can throw at you. 

Genesis Equilibrium 10 review

Stability is the Equilibrium’s calling card, thanks to the long wheelbase. Steering is nowhere near as ponderous as you might expect, though, with the wide bars giving leverage to cant it into turns with great confidence. Think of this bike as an agile shark, gently gliding through the deep until it spots its prey, rather than the humpbacked whale its geometry suggests. Carving a series of flowing downhill corners is where this bike will give you the biggest thrills. There’s response when you need it, an ability to reply quickly to big-power inputs, and a huge impression of everything just gelling. If you’re following a training plan this winter to prepare for some sportives early next year, you’ll no doubt have some ‘endurance’ rides on your plan – exactly what this bike was made for. Those 25c gumwall tyres aren’t all-show-and-no-go, either – they soak up ripples in the road, and the chevron tread pattern on a sizeable contact patch lends ample cornering confidence. They mimic race tyres in their appearance, but also offer good puncture resistant, with no problems throughout testing. 

Spec

Genesis Equilibrium 10 
Frame Genesis Mjolnir frame, carbon frok
Groupset Shimano Tiagra
Brakes Promax RC-482
Chainset Shimano Tiagra, 50/34
Cassette Shimano CS-HG500, 12-28
Bars Genesis, alloy
Stem Genesis, alloy
Seatpost Genesis, alloy, 27.2mm
Wheels Jalco DRX20 w/ Clement Strada 25c
Saddle Genesis Road Comfort
Weight 9.82kg