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Genesis Equilibrium 2021



Classic winter trainer cum mile-muncher with a stunning ride quality, thanks to its Reynolds 725 frameset
Excellent ride quality
Full set of mudguard and rack mounts
Classic looks
Brakes a little weak
Tyres a bit sketchy in the wet

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The Equilibrium has been part of Genesis' line up for many years now, and this latest version – with its Reynolds 725 frame and fork – is an absolute corker, thanks to a smooth ride and plenty of tyre clearance. The brakes could probably do with an upgrade, mind.

I reviewed the original Equilibrium when it was launched back in 2010, and it quickly became one of my favourite bikes. It's good to see that, all these years later, this 2021 model still has the same characteristics.

> Buy this online here

Whereas that original bike used a Reynolds 520 tubeset and carbon fibre fork, the Equilibrium now has a Reynolds 725 steel frame with a Genesis steel fork – and the ride quality is beautiful.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - riding 4.jpg

As you no doubt know from reading my other reviews, I like my tyres pumped up hard; if the frameset is any good, it'll deal with the vibrations. And this one does. Taking to the back lanes sees it float across broken road surfaces. It just seems to dampen everything out and feels so composed.

It's not the lightest bike at 10.13kg on our scales, but it actually seems to benefit from it. It makes it feel a little more planted and stable without being a handful up the climbs.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium.jpg

These comfort levels mean you can ride this bike for hours without feeling battered or broken. That makes a big difference on something like an audax, riding a challenging sportive, or if you're out touring.

The Equilibrium achieves all of this while retaining plenty of feedback through its frame and fork, making it a bike you can feel and listen too. The geometry is slightly slacker than a race bike and that brings neutrality to the handling, helped by the longer wheelbase too.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - head tube badge.jpg

This makes it perfect as a winter trainer, commuter or light tourer; anywhere you are likely to be riding in bad weather or poor road conditions.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - tyre.jpg

As temperatures drop near to freezing and the roads get damp and cold, the WTB tyres struggle for grip. I could feel the traction go at the front straight away and correct it before the front tyre slid out on a roundabout.

Because the handling is so smooth and controllable, it won't really let you get flustered or overcompensate. It's a very easy bike to live with, and one that gives the rider confidence.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - head tube.jpg

When it comes to descending, the Equilibrium isn't the sharpest handling machine out there, but it feels more lively and precise than many so-called endurance bikes on the market.

On my favourite descents, the Genesis tracks well and while there's a little bit of flex in the fork under heavy steering loads, that never detracts from the enjoyment or control.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - bottom bracket.jpg

It's the same at the bottom bracket area, where hard sprints or out-of-the-saddle climbing brings on a bit of sway around the chainset. I only really noticed because I was looking for it, though – for 99% of the riding this bike is designed for, it's never going to be an issue.

Frame and Fork

Reynolds 725 is a chromoly steel based on the industry-standard 4130 steel alloy, although unlike the cold-drawn 525 often found on cheaper bikes, 725 is heat treated. This increases the strength so the tube walls can be made thinner if you want to drop weight.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - front.jpg

It's a nicely made frame, well finished at the joints, and I'm a big fan of white and blue paint job. It just looks a bit different against a lot of colour schemes out there.

Even with a steel frame, many brands will opt for a carbon fibre fork. It keeps the weight down for a start, although I'm glad Genesis has gone with the steel option here. It really helps the front-end ride quality, while giving the Equilibrium a bit of a classic look without going too retro.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - front brake 2.jpg

Tyre clearance is good for both frame and fork at 30mm, thanks to the deep section, dual-pivot calipers which also allow you run full mudguards.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - seat tube junction 2.jpg

The mudguard mounts are all in a traditional position, so fitting is pretty straight forward without too much faffing and bending the stays. There are also rack mounts on the seatstays and the standard twin bottle cage mounting points.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - bosses 2.jpg

Five sizes are available, ranging from XS to XL, and we have the medium that sits smack bang in the middle. The top tube is 561mm long, the head tube is 160mm and overall wheelbase is 1,016mm. The reach is 385mm and the stack, 579mm.

For the other sizes you can find a full geometry table on Genesis' website.

Finishing kit

Primarily the Equilibrium uses a Shimano 105 groupset, the only deviation being the deep-drop Promax RC-477 brake calipers and a KMC chain.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - front brake 2.jpg

There isn't much that hasn't been said about the performance of 105. It's a brilliant groupset that delivers much of the shifting quality of Ultegra and Dura-Ace, but without their price tags.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - front mech.jpg

The Genesis is using the latest R7000 iteration, and if you want the full ins and outs then head over to Dave's review to get the full details.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - rear mech.jpg

Here Genesis has gone for a 50/34t compact chainset paired to an 11-34t cassette. The majority of road bikes using 105 come with an 11-28t, so it's good to see the Equilibrium packing a couple of lower ratios to help offset the weight on the climbs.

As I mentioned, you aren't getting 105 brakes here as they limit tyre clearance to 28mm, and you won't squeeze mudguards through them either – at least not with a safe amount of clearance between guard and tyre.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - lever.jpg

The Promax RC-477 isn't the worst deep-section brake I've used, and they are at least decently stiff, which cuts down on flex when you brake hard. They can't compete with the TRP RG957s I run on my T2 though.

> 17 of the best mudguards - find out how to stay dry on any type of bike

The Promaxes don't quite have the punch, and in traffic I have to sit back a bit further from the car if front because I just didn't have the confidence they'd scrub off speed quick enough.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - stem.jpg

The finishing kit is all Genesis branded and decent quality stuff. The bar, stem and seatpost are all pretty generic, but plenty stiff and are easy to set up.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - saddle.jpg

The Genesis Road saddle has a slender shape which is ideal for fast riding, while the firm padding offers comfort without creating too much bounce on rough sections.

Wheels and tyres

The wheels use Jalco MRS24 rims, which are relatively shallow at 24mm, but their width works well with the 30mm tyres.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - rim.jpg

The 32-spoke build front and rear adds to the weight, but it's certainly a strong set of wheels and to be perfectly honest I don't think I'd really upgrade unless shedding grams is the main priority.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - front QR.jpg

Running smoothly throughout testing too were the KT hubs. The weather has been really changeable over the test period, and they've seen plenty of water and grit, but there hasn't been any grumbling from them.

Price and competition

A couple of months back I was thinking of updating my Kinesis T2 to something new, and a quick scan around the internet showed that the traditional rim-braked, mudguard-shod winter trainer/commuter isn't really available anymore, especially from the big brands. If you want steel that list gets even shorter.

> 6 of the best winter bikes — but do you really need a bad-weather bike?

Ribble offers the Endurance 725 Sport for £1,399 with a Reynolds 725 frame, carbon fork, Mavic Aksiums and a 105 groupset. It's not a bike we've managed to get in for review yet, but I'd be really interested to see how it rides, especially as it does look a good deal.

The problem is that a lot of riders want carbon fibre, and when you can get something like the Boardman SLR 8.9 Carbon for a grand, it looks very appealing. It's a lot lighter at 8.8kg, but with guards on you're limited to 25mm tyres. It's a great bike – I was certainly impressed when I reviewed it – but it's a completely different machine to the Equilibrium.

This is going to make me sound old, but the Boardman is almost like a winter trainer for the young 'uns. The Equilibrium may not be the lightest, but it has a beautiful ride and looks the part in my eyes.

2021 Genesis Equilibrium - riding 3.jpg

Forget about weight – it's kind of irrelevant for this type of bike. If you want a comfortable, relaxing ride, from a bike that can deliver the speed when you want it, the Equilibrium is a very good choice.


Classic winter trainer cum mile-muncher with a stunning ride quality, thanks to its Reynolds 725 frameset

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Make and model: Genesis Equilibrium

Size tested: Med

About the bike

List the components used to build up the bike.



BRAKE LEVERS: Shimano 105 ST-R7000 11 Speed

BRAKES: Promax RC-477

CASSETTE FREEWHEEL: Shimano CS-HG700-11 11-34T


FORK: Genesis Steel

FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano 105 FD-R7000 L

GRIP TAPE: Genesis

HEADSET: PT-1767D EC34 Upper / EC34 Lower

HUBS: KT Front - KT-G15F / Rear - KT-GTER

REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano 105 RD-R7000-GS

RIMS: Jalco MRS24

SADDLE: Genesis

SEAT POST: Genesis Alloy 27.2 x 350 mm

SHIFTERS: Shimano 105 ST-R7000 11 Speed

SPOKES: Steel 14 g

TYRES: WTB Exposure 700 x 30c

Tell us what the bike is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Genesis says, "There is good reason why the Equilibrium has been a staple in our range for many a year now - the combination of a lightweight, durable Reynolds 725 frame, classic looks, full-length mudguard capabilities, sublime ride and handling qualities has made it a true riders' favourite; to many the quintessential four-season UK road bike.

"With a little more relaxed geometry versus a conventional road race frame (longer wheelbase, slacker headtube angle & more fork offset), the Equilibrium is our lightweight steel all-rounder, ideally suited to big mile rides where comfort, stability and efficiency come before KOM leaderboards.

"That said, it's no slouch, the surefooted geometry, spritely steel frame and fork work wonders to smooth out and tame the worst of the UK broken roads and will have you descending and cornering like you're on rails!"

The steel frame gives a lovely ride feel and even though it os a bit more relaxed than a full race bike, it's still a bike you can ride hard.

Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options

This is the only rim-braked Equilibrium in the range. There is a disc version, the aptly named Equilibrium Disc which costs £2,399.99. It comes with a steel frame and carbon fork, plus a 105 groupset with hydraulic brakes.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

It's a well made and finished frame. The welding looks tidy and the paint job is hardwearing.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

Both the frame and fork is manufactured from Reynolds 725 steel tubing.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

The Equilibrium is the quintessential training bike, so slightly slacker angles than a race bike, plenty of clearance for mudguards and large tyres plus a longer wheelbase. This makes it a bit more stable, especially on poor roads or challenging conditions without losing the fun feel of a road bike.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

The medium model has a stack of 579mm and a reach of 385mm. That makes it slightly taller than a race bike of this sort of size.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

Yes, lovely comfort levels thanks to the steel tubing, also helped by the 30mm tyres.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

Stiffness levels are where they need to be for the style of riding the Equilibrium is likely to see. The small diameter tubing and bottom bracket shell does show some flex when really going for it, but this isn't a race bike.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

On the whole, yes. It's not exactly a light bike, but that doesn't seem to hold it back.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?


How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Neutral.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

The handling feels nicely balanced. You can take on technical descents at a decent speed without having to worry too much as you can really feel what is going on underneath. I overcooked it a couple of times, but the Genesis doesn't throw a hissy fit if you try to rein it in.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

The 30mm tyres give decent levels of comfort, and I got on well with the Genesis' saddle.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?

The alloy components have decent stiffness to cope with sprinting and climbing.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?

Going for an 11-34T cassette over a more common 11-28T gives some lower gears without sacrificing the top-end speed.

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The drivetrain

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Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

The 105 groupset works excellenty when it comes to the gearing, but I did find the Promax brakes lacking a bit of punch.

Wheels and tyres

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Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so what for?

The Jalco rims and KT hubs worked fine throughout the test period, so to be honest, unless you want to shed some weight I'd stick with them until they wear out.

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Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?

The WTB Exposure tyres are good in the dry with reassuring grip, but when things turn cold and damp the compound gives up grip quicker than a lot of tyres I've used.


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Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?

The alloy components offer plenty of stiffness and comfort, and just get on with the job.

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on

The Ribble Endurance 725 comes with a steel frame and a carbon fork. You get a full 105 groupset and Mavic Aksium wheels for £1,399, which looks like a very good deal.

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Use this box to explain your overall score

On paper the Equilibrium might not look like the greatest deal. It's not the lightest, or the cheapest, but out in the lanes it proves one of the most comfortable road bikes out there. It has a sprightly side too, and I just loved being on it.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!

Add new comment


mike the bike | 2 years ago

Had an Equilibrium until a year ago, sometimes wish I'd kept it.  The Ribble that replaced it is no better except for the lush paint job; Genesis paint (I've had three) always seems very thin and easily chipped.

retrovelo-bxl | 2 years ago

Here's my build (purchased frame only). Lovely plush ride, even if a bit sluggish uphill. Use it for longer, easy-paced fun rides, and you won't be disappointed.

CharlesMagne | 2 years ago
1 like

I plumped for the Equilibrium Disc a few years ago as my winter commuter. Buttery smooth ride and a nice glossy black frame. I'm with Stu all the way: sure you feel the weight every now and then but it's a planted, forgiving and comfortable ride and the slightly lax steering gives you confidence to dive down grotty roads. Also squeezed some 32mm Challenge Griffo tyres in for a 70 mile CX sportive. For me the discs made more sense for a winter bike though. Would certainly recommend.

Shades | 2 years ago
1 like

I have the 2013 Equilibrium and it's still going strong; saddle, seatpost, wheels, BB, headset and brakes have been upgraded.  The frame is copper metallic which (I think) has been the best colour Genesis have done.  Bit of minor paint touch-up for cosmetic reasons.  For the 105 brakes I upgraded to the mechanic filed the bottoms out so the blocks matched the rim.  I've overtaken plenty of people climbing on much lighter carbon frames so the extra bike weight really isn't an issue.  I have a 12-30 cassette fitted but a 34 would be useful when the climbing gets tough.

Joe Totale | 2 years ago

If you did fancy a wheel upgrade, these would look lovely on the bike, are from a quality brand and are being sold at a great price:

NZ Vegan Rider | 2 years ago

Cool bike - basic in an excellent way. It'll last for decades. 

Brakes - Kool Stop Salmon pads will be an ideal fit for Winter time. 

SuperCommuter | 2 years ago
1 like

A lot of Genesis bikes seem very expensive for what you're getting. Spa Cycles Audax is also 725 with better brakes and Shimano wheels for just over a grand. You could upgrade to handbuilt or dynamo wheels and still be coming under the cost of the Equilibrium, albeit with a wee bit less tyre clearance.

Prosper0 | 2 years ago
1 like

Adding cheap rubbish brakes seems to be a regular move from Genesis. They supplied basic terrible tecktro ones on my Flyer which went straight in the bin. Wastes everyone's time.

I'd want a carbon fork on this to make it a decent winter trainer. IMO steel forks are only a benefit on modern bikes used for cargo with lots of strong mounts for luggage etc which this doesn't even have. 

For those looking for good long drop rim brakes take a look at Velo Orange, Condor or TRP. 

henryb replied to Prosper0 | 2 years ago
1 like
Prosper0 wrote:

Adding cheap rubbish brakes seems to be a regular move from Genesis. They supplied basic terrible tecktro ones on my Flyer which went straight in the bin. Wastes everyone's time.

I'd want a carbon fork on this to make it a decent winter trainer. IMO steel forks are only a benefit on modern bikes used for cargo with lots of strong mounts for luggage etc which this doesn't even have. 

For those looking for good long drop rim brakes take a look at Velo Orange, Condor or TRP. 

Agreed. I have the 2018 Equilibrium and one of the first things I did was swap the brakes for TRP RG957s - made a huge difference.

I don't know why this has a steel fork now. The 2018 model went for 725 steel for the frame with a carbon fork

Joe Totale replied to henryb | 2 years ago

The steel fork can only a cost saving measure as well as appealing to some people from an aesthetic point of view.

Having ridden and appreciated good steel frames with both carbon and steel forks, I can't say I've ever really noticed any difference in the ride quality from the material used for the fork. What makes far more difference is the wheel and the tyre at the end of the fork.

Rubble replied to Prosper0 | 2 years ago
Prosper0 wrote:

I'd want a carbon fork on this to make it a decent winter trainer.

Why would you want a steel frame with a carbon fork ? If i was going carbon, i'd want the frame in carbon too. If you consider carbon too fragile for a frame, then presumably its too fragile for a fork ?

Joe Totale | 2 years ago

If you fancied upgrading the brakes, it's definitely getting harder to get hold of good long drop brakes at a decent price. There's the TRP's or the Velo Orange ones, both of which are great but cost a fortune. 

The Shimano BR650 doesn't seem to be available anymore which is a shame, the cheaper R451 is still around though. 

With disc brakes becomming ubiquitous now, long drop brakes have definietly become a niche item now. 

logomomo | 2 years ago

Intrigued to know what pressure you were running the wtb exposures at. Just come back from a ride where the temperature varied from -1 to -4 and had no traction issues at 65psi. Were you running them hard?

Secret_squirrel replied to logomomo | 2 years ago
1 like

The reviewer always runs his tyres hard.  Its his thing.

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