Genesis Bikes will officially launch the brand new Equilibrium Disc for 2014 in a couple of months, but this week they’ve given us a sneak peek at the new model. It combines a a Reynolds 631 frame and lugged fork with Hayes mechanical disc brakes, and will cost £1,499 for the complete bike.
The Equilibrium has been a firm road.cc favourite over the years, with the steel and titanium version both getting high ratings. More recently they introduced an 853 version which Dave was fortunate to get a first ride on and rode several Audaxes aboard. The new Disc model looks to retain the clean lines and handling of those bikes, with the obvious addition of disc brakes.
Disc brakes on road bikes is a topic of debate at the moment. Here’s Genesis brand manager Albert Steward with his thoughts:
“We believe road disc has a bagfull of potential in the marketplace and stands to make the biggest impact on the everyday commuter/leisure rider whose cycling centres a little more around the 'ride' aspects and a little less around the 'race'.
“Sure, there's every possibility of the UCI sanctioning them for professional road use in the not-too-distant future (and, like in the CX ranks, they'll probably see a lukewarm reception with the majority sticking to conventional calipers), but for now, I believe the weight penalty of discs will be enough to put off the more purist weight weenie club racers with the advantages of disc brakes more apparent and applicable to a much wider, more general group of riders.”
To match the frame, Genesis are speccing a Reynolds 631 lugged fork, partly for aesthetic reasons (it does look lovely) but also because there are currently very few carbon forks with disc mounts and non-tapered steerer tubes. A steel fork is a perfect partner for the frame in our opinion.
One thing's for sure, there’s a clear demand for disc brakes (Genesis wouldn’t be producing this bike if there wasn’t) and they look to have integrated the disc brakes into the frame neatly.
They've retained the same dimensions and geometry as the regular Equilibrium, save for adding 2mm to the chainstays to ensure a clean chainline for reliable shifting with the wider 135mm rear wheel spacing. The wider spacing of the rear wheel pushes the chain further out when in the smallest sprockets of the cassette, and if the chainstays are too short there is the potential for the chain to foul on the chainset or front mech when in certain gear combinations. This change also has the benefit of providing extra clearance so that 28mm tyres and full-length mudguards sit happily in the frame.
Genesis will offer the frameset (frame, fork, seat clamp) for £549.99 or as a complete bike for £1,499. The bike will features a Shimano 105 groupset with a 565 non-series Shimano chainset with compact 50/34 rings, with a 12-27 cassette out back. Hayes CX Expert mechanical disc brakes will provide the stopping power with 160mm rotors front and rear. Genesis tell us they could have saved a few grams by opting for 140mm rotors, but felt that customers would appreciated the extra power over the tiny weight saving.
The wheels comprise Shimano Deore hubs with 6-bolt disc rotor mounts laced to H Plus Son Archetype rims with double-butted stainless steel spokes. The finishing touch is a pair of 25mm Continental Grand Sport Race tyres. Full bike weight is a claimed 10.4kg(23.10lb). That's for a 56cm size.
Availability is scheduled for September. We’ll bring you more on this bike when we get up close and personal with it.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.