I am a new member in this forum and starting a custom build of Genesis Equilibrium bike. So this might be a kind of introduction :) I'll try to blend modern day performance, the good looks of classics and the practicality of a daily runner. All the best properties of Equilibrium frame, you might notice. Yes, it does not look like a too much of a task. Lets start with some background information like reasoning and resources that might come in handy or at least interesting for someone else interested in such a bike.
My riding style is mostly fast-paced road touring. I often venture for one-day tours to some remote towns, country side or simply nice places. Sometimes I just roam my city round and round or do commuting. Occasionally I love to go for a proper, loaded bike touring (I should do this more often tough). I also like to participate in road race evens, but as a amateur only (a couple of rounds and I am happy). Currently I own two bikes which were built by myself five years ago. One is an old school Koga-Miyata Excersizer road bike, the other is a Batavus Apache - old school Dutch city-touring bike. I like Koga for dynamics and Batavus for ruggedness, it allows to carry a lot of stuff. It's not a slow bike per se, but nowhere near Koga. Given that my apartment is now small and cozy, I am on a quest to fuse best properties of both bikes into one.
Subjective list of Equilibrium advantages.
I've used a Pedal Force calculator compared with measurements of my current bikes in order to calculate the proper size.
Sternal Notch Height: 152.00
Inseam Length: 83.00
Tigh Length: 35.50
Arm length: 62.00
Shoulder Width: 42.00
Foot Length: 28.25
Saddle Height over handlebar: 3.00
Bicycle Sizing Recommendations:
Seat Tube Length (c-c): 55.3 cm 21.8 inch
Seat Tube Angle: 75.0 deg
Crank Arm Length: 170.0 mm 6.7 inch
Saddle-Pedal Length: 88.9 - 91.1 cm 35.0 - 35.9 inch
Top tube Length: 56.1 cm 22.1 inch
Stem Length: 115.0 - 120.0 mm 4.5 - 4.7 inch
Handlebar Width: 40.0 - 42.0 cm 15.7 - 16.5 inch
Comparison of geometries of some considered bikes
Looks like 56cm (M) version should be best fitting for me, with the 58cm (L) being OK'ish too. I went for an adventure in order to source one. And adventure it was. I've experienced non-responsive staff at some stores. Availability issues at others. Some communication issues when trying to source one from the forum member ;) Some shipping and logistic issues...
But finally! I was able to source one last specimen of last year batch - Genesis Equilibrium 2016 Frame-set in Monday blue color scheme, M size. And currently waiting for it to arrive.
Wow, this was a lengthy post, so I'll end with some links of Genesis Equilibrium reviews for now:
Sounds like it is gonna be a good thread to follow. Also, the best formatted first post I may have ever seen.
I think this is the first time I've learnt of a forum member's sternal notch height. Great stuff.
Had my Equilibrium for a few years now, it's a great choice for that all rounder mix.
Here's a recent pic of mine, just replaced some worn out bits.
Thank you for a heads up! Glad it's interesting, will try to keep it this way :)
Haha, thought that I've overdone it with the numbers a little bit. Anyhow, the frame is scheduled for the next week. Next updates might be somewhat less geeky and more visual :)
@Pete4Eyes has one
Thank you for reply, that is nice to hear. Your bike looks great! Is this 853 version? Those sidewalls look lovely!
Could you tell more about that seat post please? I've been seeing similar posts with a setback, but not really sure in which cases exactly they could be best applied.
Yeah it's the 853 version from a few years back.
It's a Thomson seatpost, setback version. Had a bike fit and it was suggested that I was better being a bit further back over the BB.
I prefer it as it put me in a slightly less aggressive position. Tried to build this bike for comfort rather than outright speed.
As @amey says, I have an equilibrium disc. It's a medium like yours. I'm 6 foot on the nose and it fits perfect for me. A respectable amount of seatpost and I think a 110mm stem. Maybe 120mm. Not sure on your size but if it's similar the medium will be great. I look forward to seeing the progress.
Lovely. Still regret selling my 853 equilibrium. Got a 631 equilibrium disc now, awesome all day bike.
853 version is really classy! Especially with those thin forks. Looks like that polish branded seatpost which I'll be using also has a little bit (0.5cm or so ) of setback. Yours should offer more I think. Being Thompson, it does look interesting, but really nice with that bend.
My version should look more to the modern side with that carbon fork, ergo-bars and racy tires.
I am really happy to hear that! There was some doubt still going here. I suppose I am really in between of the two sizes.
Figured, that if I would go with the 58cm (L) version, the TT would be about 1cm too long, there for would have to use a shorter (100mm or 90mm) stem on it. Also, the standover would be around 82,3cm which is still OK, but I would certainly feel more comfy, safe and agile with a little bit lower value. ST would be great tough (could use fairly short seatpost).
As for the Medium (56cm) frame of 2016, the standover is around 81cm which is a lot better. TT of 56cm is spot on for the sporty ride and just a little bit short for comfort. I figured, that 110mm stem should be great if I would want to go with the lower handlebars. And for more comfy ride I should go with 120mm. So I'll start with the 120mm version first and will see on the go. ST of the M version is on the short side, but a standard seatpost would still be more than enough to get me into appropriate height. Added benefit of the M size vs L size would be lower weight, which is always good :) So I went with M for the highlighted reasons and plus, the L size of 2016 was out of stock anyway.
I'm just over 183cm and ride a 56 Equilibrium with a 110mm stem. The size up would definitely have been too big for me!
Love it, even if it's the cheapy 520 steel version. Recently chucked the new Tiagra group on it and it's a great wet bike / commuter / rambler. Will be on the DunRun this weekend :)
What mudguards are those? Looking very smart
Yep PDW, the narrower ones. Running a 28 tyre (have had a 30 in there before).
Just wanted to say hi and make a small update. Apparently frame is on it's way to Lithuania and should be in my hands on Tuesday, maybe even Monday! Another batch of parts is now somewhere in Poland, so should not take too long either. I recon that most of the parts should be in hand next week with the exception of groupset (which is coming from China).
Meanwhile, I've took a few rags, some alcohol (in the form of nail polish remover) and some water, and proceeded to clean off the parts which I was using for three years on Koga-Miyata. There are some signs of use on them, but they perform really well and are pretty light. Certainly worth to be re-used:
I've built this wheelset about three years ago and was riding on it ever since. I am very happy with it so far. The philosophy at that time was to invest in a quality wheels, which would be light, fast, pretty and dependable. I've used Mavic Open Pro rims, Shimano 105SC hubs, 36H Rear (which 8/9 speed version), 32H Front. Titanium QR axles, DT revolution spokes, because they are butted and there for very light and pretty easy to work with. Aluminum nipples were chosen due to light weight and rightfully so, but if I would build these wheels now, I would go for brass, which are heavier but more durable, stronger and retain shape better (resistance for the tools is better). Front wheel was laced straightly, this (subjectively) looks a bit cooler, offers much lower weight (as spokes can be a lot shorter) and it is really easy to build this way. The downside is that the wheel is a little bit weaker and a lot more stressful for the hub. This particular 105 hub seems to be handling the stress pretty well tough. I am far from being a light weight rider, thus the rear wheel was built to be stronger. 36 spokes were used together with the classical way of lacing. The weight is 1016g Front, 1318g Rear (as they are in the picture, with tubes, tires, without sprockets). Condition is still good, only a tiny portion of the rim is eaten by the brakes. Tires are Schwalbe One (23mm front, 25mm rear), really awesome tire for the road, highly recommended!
Handlebars and Stem
These are 3T Prima 199, 400mm (c-t-c) ergo, aluminum bars with 26.0mm clamp. The weight is incredible! 199g as advertised. It comes at the cost tough. The stiffness is somewhat inferior to the most of other bars I've seen. Nonetheless these bars felt really, really nice for me and I was using them for as long as I've had a Koga-Miyata. Cannot imagine parting with them. 3T stem is new, 120mm 10 degree flip-flop. Upgraded it with titanium screws which were lying around and it is now at 160g (dropped from 175g).
A good saddle is valued more than a good bike. This is why this tried and true Selle San Marco Aspide will be re-used. It is pretty hard saddle and there for slightly uncomfortable for the short, casual rides in normal clothes, but once I am out here in a proper, cycling outfit, it is God sent! I can ride 300km or more in a day and never think about saddle.
Look Keo 2 Max. Pedals themselves are really awesome! Easy to click in or click out. Spin extremely smoothly and offer excellent support. A pleasure to ride. But I won't be using them for long unfortunately. The biggest problem with them is that cleats are rubbish! They are expensive and wears out completely in two months or less for me, plus they differ in size and must be re-adjusted on every cleat change. Once I'll wear out my cleat stock, they will be changed for something else. Maybe for Shimano PD-A600 or something like that.
Brakes are Shimano Sora, they work OK, maybe I should change the pads for something better. Seatpost is a no name from Poland. Water bottle cages are really nice and worth a notice. They are slim, light and cheap, fits great to any classically framed bike and can be obtained from the rosebikes.de ;) The downside is that they tend to be harsh on the water bottles, but these should be replaced from time to time anyway, due to best practices of hygiene. I have prepared a handful of titanium screws for water bottle mounts, fenders and racks.
Cannot wait for the frame and rest of the parts to see how they fit!
Might be worth checking if the brake calipers fit. I think most, if not all equillibriums run a lond drop brake (57mm rather than 49mm) to accommodate guards and larger tyres. Sora fall under the 49mm catagory don't they?
Good notice! I am not 100% sure about how to measure. These Sora brakes do have 49mm arms indeed. However the drop measured from the center bolt to the middle of the brake pad is exactly 57mm and could go even lower than that, so they might be OK. I guess we will find out as soon as the frame arrives.
Doing quick search about the topic:
Measuring caliper brake "drop"
Sheldon Brown ABC
Finally! Oh the happy day \o/ Frame has been packed fairly well and have survived a long trip and multiple carriers:
I got to say this frame looks fantastic! And the size fits perfectly. Another exciting surprise is that the frame itself weights just 1990g. (1960g. with the titanium screws). Uncut fork is at 550g. Which seems to be quite pleasant for the steel frame. Welds are really tidy and precise, however, they make it look a bit like aluminum frame. Especially compared to the old Koga-Miyata frame, which is lugged. In the end this is one of the modern parts of this frame I guess :) The colors were a little bit off comparing to the internet shop. I have expected decals to be bright orange/gold color, but in reality they are more like yellowish copper:
Still the paintwork is beautiful! The frame is thought out really well. The only improvement I could think of would be bosses for the 3rd water bottle maybe... I went to assemble a little bit with my old parts and it was pleasant to see that Sora brakes fit pretty well (had to lower the brake shoes almost to the bottom). And there is plenty of room for fenders and tires!
Got some of the other stuff recently, like crankset, bottom bracket, headset, sprockets, chain, mud guards and a nice handlebar bag.
It was late evening and I was impatient to wait for three days so I could bring the frame into a workshop in order to install headset. So I've started to think how could I install it myself with the tools I have. Needless to say I did not had any special tool for this. Managed to find some hub axles and some nuts. Managed to join two hub axles together and found use for some useless old style passkeys (not sure how I should call them) and the headset pressing tool was made:
Added a sprocket for support and went to try it out. I've greased the inside of the head tube, aligned the upper part of the headset, attached my tool and started to press. It went really straight and smooth. Dazed by the great success I went to install the lower part. And I was not that lucky this time as it started to go in sideways and it took some cold sweated effort to make it go straight again. Did I tell you that such procedure is to for weak nerves? Seriously, it is much better to do this with a proper tools and with some experience. Anyhow, here is the tool in action:
Put most of the stuff on the bike. Only the groupset remains now, which should reach me by tomorrow and hopefully the bike will be finished very soon.
I think it is time for a big update as it is a great day today! The last bit of the important parts have arrived yesterday. It is a mini group-set containing STI brake levers and both derailleurs. When searching for a group-set I have favored Campagnolo as these bikes tend to look especially great with them. I think 2015 version of Equilibrium 20 phantom black is the most beautiful complete bike on sale that I have ever seen! However, Campagnolo is quite expensive and plus, I would have to redo the wheels as their cassettes are incompatible with Shimano hubs. Naturally, I should go with Shimano group-set then, you would think. However, I am not the fan of how the modern Shimano components look. There for I went for Microshift. Their 9 speed levers look great! And whole group-set is twice cheaper than Shimano counterpart.
With all of the remaining parts at hand and wife sent to rest somewhere out of town all that was left to do was to grab few bottles of kvass (drink made from fermented bread, popular in eastern Europe) and to start working. With the moon high in the sky, bike has been completed. Weight turned out to be 9.1 kilo for the bare bike and 9.7 kilo with all the gear (pump, toolbox, watter bottle, handlebar bag). Not too bad for a bike which has mudguards and a handlebar bag eh?
Woke up quite early this morning, needless to say, I was itching to test it. So I went for a short, 20 minute test ride, to see if everything is working well. First impression was wow, this frame is stiff and bike accelerates like rocket! However, something strange was happening with the steering wheel. It was all wobbly and I had to fight it in order to keep the bike straight. Turns out that headset was too tight.
After adjusting the headset, steering started to behave really nicely. Bike felt well balanced and handling was superb! As a matter of fact, I did not expect this bike to ride THAT good! It accelerates in no time, has good tracking, steering is responsive and precise both on rear and front. Tried to climb few of the steep hills that we have here and I was impressed with the traction! I kind of felt like the bike is working with me to beat that hill. It also descends really fast, I kid you not, I felt like flying and was quite scared of such speed! I think way more than 20 minutes have passed at that time :)
When I went for bumpy, mixed, gravel roads and tried to accelerate, I noticed that bike is quite comfy actually. It started to make loud, metal rattling noises however. I thought that they were coming from the mudguards. After investigation it turned out that mudguards were fine and pretty silent actually. The culprit turned out to be a brake cable which runs under the top tube. It was hitting the tube and thus bike rang like a bell! Had to pop into local bike shop to get some silicone o-rings, which would stop the rattle:
With that problem sorted, another one was noticed, the tension of the rear gear cable was off. Fortunately I did not had to even get off the bike to fix that. You cannot imagine how I appreciate these tension bolts on the head tube! These little guys not only make it easy to adjust tension while riding, but also protect the paint from the cable damage.
Brakes as a whole were disappointing and lacking. Sora brakes were not that great while I was using them on Koga-Miyata, but with the brake pads even lower... They kind of felt like cheese. Thus local bike shop came to the rescue once again. I have upgraded the pads for the ones with much softer compound and that was a noticeable improvement. Still I cannot call them great, but at least they work OK now. I kind of see why there is a disc brake version of Equilibrium (they should paint it better however).
Another mishap came to my attention after fixing the brake problem. For some reason I have attached the brake levers too low and thus could not control the bike efficiently from the hoods (felt comfy from the drops tough). And to add to this list, my saddle were pointing a little bit downwards as well.
But the wonderful part of this first trip was that even tough there were some bugs, mishaps and the bike was not adjusted to its best, the ride was fantastic! I can say for sure, this is a lovely bike that kept me riding on and on and on. After going out for a 20 minute test ride I have returned home after good four hours! This tells a lot I think. If this keeps up I might pedal to visit England one day ;)
Again, it was a lot of reading, I must thank everyone for bearing with me, please enjoy some pictures.
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