Just in: Genesis Equilibrium Ti

The genre-defining all-round road bike is now available in titanium

by Mat Brett   September 20, 2012  

There’s a lot of excitement here at Road.cc right now with the arrival of the brand new Genesis Equilibrium Ti – a genre-defining steel bike that’s now available in titanium for the first time.

The Equilibrium is something of a modern classic. It’s an all-season all-rounder. Our Dave (that’s Big Dave, not Dave Arthur) has a steel one and loves it for everything from getting in and out of work to all day rides in the back of beyond. Unluckily for him, we couldn’t get the new titanium version in his size, so he’s going to miss out here.

It’s made from seamless, double-butted titanium, that titanium being the 3Al/2.5V alloy (meaning it’s 3% aluminium and 2.5% vanadium). That’s the version you’ll find most frequently in bike manufacture.

Genesis have followed the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” maxim with regard to the design. The Equilibrium Ti’s geometry is exactly the same as the steel version’s, with a sloping top tube. If it looks a little different, that’s down to larger tube diameters.

The steel Equilibrium is designed to be stiff up front and through the centre but yielding at the back for extra comfort, and that’s something that Genesis have tried to replicate with the titanium version.

With front-end stiffness in mind, Genesis have gone with an XX44 headset where the upper bearing sits inside the head tube and the lower bearing outside. This standard allows them to use a tapered fork steerer while keeping the walls of the head tube parallel. Basically, they can fit a beefed up steerer into a slim head tube.

Speaking of the fork, Genesis go with an alloy steerer/carbon legged model that’s built for long-drop brakes so you can fit mudguards easily enough. Mudguards don’t come as part of the package but you do get eyelets for them.

Unlike the tubes of the front triangle, the chainstays and seatstays are very slim. Rather than being round in profile, they’re slightly squashed to allow more give at the back – the idea is that they’ll flex a little in the vertical plane to smooth the ride.
You get eyelets for full mudguards back there too, of course. Practicality is one of the key features of the Equilibrium; it’s designed for British conditions and we know that the roads are going to be wet for a lot of the year so you might as well be ready.

Everything about the Equilibrium Ti’s frame is tidily done. The dropouts and cable stops look neat, there’s no shaping just for the sake of it, and they’ve not gone nuts with the graphics. It has a no-nonsense appearance that fits in well with the brand’s reputation.

You can buy the frame and fork for £1,499.99 although we have the complete bike. Genesis designer Dom Thomas thought long and hard about the build – should a titanium bike have a top-end groupset? – but in the end he went for Shimano 105 on the basis that it’s solid kit that’ll stand up to all kinds of use and abuse.

105 is Shimano’s third tier road group beneath Dura-Ace and Ultegra, and it doesn’t lag too far behind either in terms of performance, it’s just a little heavier. Even on that score, it runs them pretty close. 105 is also excellent value.

Genesis have gone with a non-series compact (50/34-tooth) chainset from Shimano matched up to a 12-28-tooth cassette at the back. That should get you up most hills without too much bother.

Shimano don’t make 105 long-drop brakes so Genesis have fitted Tektro R317 callipers. There’s room to fit mudguards in there without impeding their performance.

It’s back to the 105 theme for the hubs – Shimano’s hubs do take some beating. They’re laced up to DT Swiss R450 rims and you get Continental Ultra Sport tyres. They’re 25C, a slightly larger than normal air chamber usually making a big difference to ride comfort.

The complete bike weighs 9.2kg (which is just over 20lb). It costs £2,299.99 which is quite a bit more than a steel Equilibrium, of course, but that’s to be expected. Is it worth it? We’ll soon find out because it’s heading out the door with one of our reviewers right now. We’ll have a full review on Road.cc shortly.

If you want more details in the meantime, the Genesis website should be updated with the 2013 range any time now.

25 user comments

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Day Dreaming

posted by Some Fella [707 posts]
20th September 2012 - 12:28

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Want!

posted by mattheww385 [45 posts]
20th September 2012 - 13:00

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Disk version to follow or wait for CdF Ti?

posted by Dr_Lex [129 posts]
20th September 2012 - 13:17

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there was always an element of 'I'm-not-quite-sure' about Ti bikes for me. Not any more - if I had to get rid of all my bikes now that's the one that would replace them

Alg

posted by alg [126 posts]
20th September 2012 - 13:20

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nice... like to know how this compares with the Kinesis GF Ti which is about the same price for the F&F. I like the fact this has long drop brakes though.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [768 posts]
20th September 2012 - 13:24

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I want this so much it hurts.

I am already a Genesis devotee - owning a Day One Alfine and an iOD SingleSpeed - but have always gone a little more mainstream with my roadbikes (typical Specialized and currently a Tarmac Comp). With this bike though I think I might be able to become custodian of 3 beautiful Genesi (or what ever the plural of Genesis is!). Now where did I put my spare £2300..... Crying

posted by samjdalton [12 posts]
20th September 2012 - 14:42

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It does look lovely and I'm a fan of Genesis bikes too (we've got 3 in our shed) but is it really £800 better than a Van Nic Mistral?
Looking forward to seeing a more detailed review once you've been riding it a while...

posted by tj [4 posts]
20th September 2012 - 14:52

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The VN Mistral won't take mudguards - it’s purely a road bike. Probably the VN Yukon is the nearer equivalent at about the same cost as well. Those Tekto brakes are a bit ugly - I'd spec the much smarter Shimano R650's (Ultegra grade). Nice to see proper old school wheels as well - I've just had a pair of those rims built onto Ultegra hubs.

posted by amazon22 [150 posts]
20th September 2012 - 16:30

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Is this one of those competitions where you just have to post to be in with a chance of winning it? Day Dreaming

we can all dream...

caketaster's picture

posted by caketaster [17 posts]
20th September 2012 - 18:37

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tj wrote:
Looking forward to seeing a more detailed review...

This isn't a review.

posted by Mat Brett [1808 posts]
20th September 2012 - 20:59

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Can we have a video review please chaps ? Big Grin

Brummmie's picture

posted by Brummmie [56 posts]
20th September 2012 - 22:43

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Anyone know the weight difference between the Genesis Steel and Ti frames?

nowasps's picture

posted by nowasps [240 posts]
20th September 2012 - 22:48

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I've got both an original Equilibrium and a titanium "best" bike. But even if I lost one or both of those, I wouldn't buy this. That gimmicky head tube ruins it for me. Maybe if you were a top professional, and it was a bike you'd be pushing to its limits in race conditions, the extra stiffness might just be noticeable, if hardly a race-winner. But this isn't a race bike. So why lumber its prospective owners with a fork that would be very difficult and expensive to replace if crashed? Why force people to buy the fork with the frame - the original Equilibrium didn't. The answer is obvious: they added this feature to help justify the high price. You can get a Lynskey Sportive for several hundred pounds less, and fit a 1 1/8" fork for about 100 quid. Spa Cycles do a titanium audax bike that is 650 pounds cheaper which, although a bit rough around the edges, would be fine for many of the same use cases. But that's the bike industry for you, where you can push your products upmarket by simply increasing the diameter of a few tubes.

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
21st September 2012 - 8:09

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it's just a tapered fork, it's not as if they've come up with their own proprietary standard. there's plenty of them around and many carbon bikes spec them now so they're only going to get more common, and cheaper.

Bike development's about incremental gains. Dom at Genesis has been speccing the XX44 headset standard on a number of bikes, not just this one, because he believes it's an improvement over an inch eighth one. It's just a bigger diameter tube, I doubt it adds a great deal to the price.

The EqTi is £200 more, list price, than the Lynskey without a fork. so they're more or less comparable in terms of price. I've not ridden the Lynskey but I know people who have who reckon it's a super frame. The Spa Audax gets a fair amount of love too. It's plain gauge rather than double butted titanium, which is a lot cheaper to produce and heavier.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7234 posts]
21st September 2012 - 9:26

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handlebarcam wrote:
I've got both an original Equilibrium and a titanium "best" bike. But even if I lost one or both of those, I wouldn't buy this. That gimmicky head tube ruins it for me. Maybe if you were a top professional, and it was a bike you'd be pushing to its limits in race conditions, the extra stiffness might just be noticeable, if hardly a race-winner. But this isn't a race bike. So why lumber its prospective owners with a fork that would be very difficult and expensive to replace if crashed? Why force people to buy the fork with the frame - the original Equilibrium didn't. The answer is obvious: they added this feature to help justify the high price. You can get a Lynskey Sportive for several hundred pounds less, and fit a 1 1/8" fork for about 100 quid. Spa Cycles do a titanium audax bike that is 650 pounds cheaper which, although a bit rough around the edges, would be fine for many of the same use cases. But that's the bike industry for you, where you can push your products upmarket by simply increasing the diameter of a few tubes.

A frame with a 1" threaded HT would be even cheaper handlebarcam! Wink Yesterday's technology >>>>>>>>>

posted by Alb [76 posts]
21st September 2012 - 9:30

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Well I've already got mine..... went for Frame and Fork which is now built up with Ultegra throughout and R650 brakes. Ordered the frame a few weeks ago and it arrived on Wednesday, meant to be my new winter bike, however I got knocked off my Orbea Orca last week by a car which has written it off.
So in the meantime this will be my only steed, and after a quick hour on it last night its bloody amazing! Handles nicely, takes out almost all road buzz (running it on my R Sys SLR's until winter wheels arrive, which are rather stiff)

It doesnt feel any slower than the orca, or much heavier to be honest! So putting that XX44 headtube in makes sense, ill be racing it - circuits and road, doing some sportives and most of my training on it so why not make it stiffer and a little different.

Have to say, the rear end looks amazing in the flesh, its like a ti cervelo...

posted by charlierevell [34 posts]
21st September 2012 - 9:48

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Interesting stuff, charlierevell - thanks for that. Sorry to hear about you getting knocked off and even sorrier to hear about the Orbea Orca.

posted by Mat Brett [1808 posts]
21st September 2012 - 10:25

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Weighs in at 18lbs dead as is...

posted by charlierevell [34 posts]
21st September 2012 - 16:39

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dave_atkinson wrote:
it's just a tapered fork, it's not as if they've come up with their own proprietary standard. there's plenty of them around and many carbon bikes spec them now so they're only going to get more common, and cheaper.

There are some aftermarket tapered-stearer crabon forks available, but they are to match the crabon race bikes that use them. I don't think I've seen any tapered-stearer forks with eyelets and the extra leg-length to match this frame. And if they are they'll almost certainly cost a lot more than a standard 1 1/8" fork of the same quality.

dave_atkinson wrote:
The EqTi is £200 more, list price, than the Lynskey without a fork.

You can get the Lynskey for less than its list price right now. And it is US-built, whereas presumably the Genesis comes from the Far East. If so, labour costs would be far less, so this should be cheaper.

Alb wrote:
Yesterday's technology >>>>>>>>>

Is this really "technology"? Or flogging the dead horse of oversizing?

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
21st September 2012 - 17:20

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I get that you don't like oversized. I think you'd probably better get used to it, even if you don't want it for yourself, because I don't think it's going away. The aftermarket options for forks will grow; that's inevitable, since there's clearly at least one factory in the far east making them already, genesis aren't using their own facility. the more there are, the cheaper they'll become. it's not significantly more costly to produce a tapered fork than it is a straight steerer one.

The Lynskey is US built; the best titanium fabrication I've seen is Chinese. Your mileage may vary.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7234 posts]
21st September 2012 - 17:41

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I just need another 200mile exmouth exodus to test mine out on now. Not sure the Knees will agree tho!

posted by charlierevell [34 posts]
21st September 2012 - 17:54

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dave_atkinson wrote:
it's not significantly more costly to produce a tapered fork than it is a straight steerer one.

Precisely - just like it doesn't cost significantly more to produce a head tube that has a slightly greater diameter. But that won't stop manufacturers and distributor from charging more, which they'll be able to do thanks to artificially-induced scarcity, and because of all the people that cannot tell the difference between true innovation and gimmicks to avoid commoditization.

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
21st September 2012 - 19:21

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Interesting that they went with 105 on a £2.3K bike. I wonder if that'll put anyone off. I'm not saying it should - I gather 105's very good (I wouldn't know, I like Campag) - but you know how fickle people are...

Martin Thomas's picture

posted by Martin Thomas [567 posts]
21st September 2012 - 19:47

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The ability to run a tapered fork is just one of the advantages of an xx44 headtube. The increased surface weld area it also brings with it the ability to spec and use a much larger diameter downtube (vs. 1-1/8") and also to utilise a more extreme degree of tube shaping (ovalised toptube). If you want gimmicky, ti and US made, I give you exhibit 001 - Lynsky Helix tubing Big Grin

posted by Alb [76 posts]
21st September 2012 - 20:17

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you can get headsets to put 1.125" forks in xx44 headtubes, or straight steerer 1.5" (although I suspect there aren't many straight 1.5" road forks). It's the most versatile headtube standard there is, as far as i know. Nerd

posted by mustard [72 posts]
22nd September 2012 - 19:27

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