Just built this up as a foul weather bike.
Due to a generous spare parts collection and some careful internet shopping, I was able to buy the frame and fork and build this up cheaper than the 105 equipped full build that Genesis produce.
It isn’t super light (just over 9kgs), but not as heavy as I feared given the combination of steel, discs, handbuilt 32 hole aluminium clinchers and mudguards and it has the steel ride quality I was after. In fairness, the frame is quite competitive, but the weight is in the fork. I wanted a traditional looking bike with mudguards, but with a modern twist and functionality in the form of the disc brakes. This bike will never be raced, but will be ridden in mixed weather conditions, so the pros of discs (consistent, modulated stopping power, no rim wear) far outweighed the cons (weight, UCI approval). Since I want this to be a keeper, I wanted an element of future proofing, and a 135mm rear end with open hydraulic full length hose guides fits the bill nicely, whilst maintaining quite a traditional feel.
The spec was quite fun. It had to be Campagnolo (all of my bikes are and it is just easier that way). It had to have discs. It had to have mudguard eyelets and clearance. It had to have road, not CX geometry. It had to be reasonably priced.
In terms of the drive components, the chainset was a cracking deal (merlincycles.com) since it was an older model with 10 speed rings as standard. Fulcrum never really caught on for chainsets, and I can’t understand why as they do actually look slightly nicer than Campagnolo and are lower profile. I wanted Ultra Torque, not Power Torque, and the cheapest version that Campagnolo now do is Chorus which was almost double the price. I just bought a Super Record chainset for my CX bike and swapped the chainrings for the Campagnolo CX version, so I was able to fit the spares rings that I removed since the Fulcrum BCD is the same. I went for Athena mechs (shinybikes.com) to save money since they are functionally the same as their more expensive counterparts, but invested in the Chorus levers (merlincycles.com) since they have the same functionality for multi shifts as Record and Super Record. I already had a KMC 11 speed chain in the parts bin.
I built the CX bike recently with Avid BB7 SL’s, which have been great, so the brake choice was clear. The standard BB7’s were half the price (chainreactioncycles.com), and I already had the lighter Avid rotors on the wheels, so a nice halfway house between the weight of standard BB7’s, and BB7 SL’s. I just wish they did them in all black. The silver with red plastic dials looks a bit naff. I swapped all of the bolts to titanium, so other than the finish, they are now identical weight to the SL’s and won’t rust in wet weather. The brakes plus the ti bolts were significantly cheaper than the SL’s. You do get nicer rotors and a nicer finish with the SL’s though, although I already had the rotors and ti rotor bolts anyway. Roll on Campagnolo hydraulics!
Discs have been such a revelation that I have now changed all of my road bikes over. I built the Moots Psyclo X RSL already for CX, followed by this one, and I have a really pimp'd Moots Vamoots DR coming at the end of the month (can't wait for that one to arrive). For me, the debate is over. Discs are the future for the kind of riding I do (e.g. fast, club runs for fitness rather than racing). The debate will rage for racing with regards to wheel swaps etc, but I am too old for that now. One of the biggest barriers is people with years of rim brake kit. Making the switch can be expensive, but I managed to move early enough that my rim brake kit is still current and this therefore lessened the financial impact. There are some advantages to being an early adopter!
With regards to finishing kit, you can’t go wrong with Thomson (chainreactioncycles.com) and Chris King (aspirevelotech.com). After years of black King components, I fancied something a bit bling to liven up what would have otherwise been a very black bike, so I was tempted by a pink headset. A bit ‘Rapha Continental’ I thought (for better or for worse!). At the point of purchase, I hovered the mouse over the pink button, but chickened out and went for the traditional black with bold logos. I think I won’t regret it, and might have got tired of the pink at some point. I already had the stem. The Zipp bars are the same shape that I have on my other bikes, but in aluminium instead of carbon and again were on a deep discount at merlincycles.com, as was the saddle. Fortunately I already had the King Cage titanium bottle cages. Total extravagance, but beautiful bits of bent metal!
I recently built the wheels as a spare pair for my CX bike, so these are probably the biggest extravagance in terms of spec, and the biggest ‘cheat’ in terms of the overall cost of the project. The Open Pro CDs are well proven, and because of the anodised braking surface they make a great disc rim.
Fitting the mudguards around the discs was a challenge, but a few long spacers and careful stay bending did the trick. They are rock solid.
So, for less than the price of the Genesis full bike, I ended up with something really nice, that fulfils its purpose with a bit of added style, and will hopefully last me a while with a regular squirt of Frame Saver. I know I won’t enjoy the weight, but it will do me good, and the ride quality is a joy
Frameset - Genesis Equilibrium Disc
Aheadset - Chris King NoThreadset
Chainset - Campagnolo Fulcrum R-Torque RS 50/34
Bottom Bracket - Campagnolo Record Ultra Torque cups
Pedals - Look Keo Blade Carbon CroMo
Front Derailleur - Campagnolo Athena
Rear Derailleur - Campagnolo Athena
Shifters - Campagnolo Chorus
Brakes - Avid BB7 Road
Chain - KMC X-11 SL
Cassette - Campagnolo Chorus 12/25
Wheels - Chris King R45 Disc, Mavic Open Pro CD, DT Aerolite Spokes, DT ti ratchet skewers
Tyres - Vittoria Open Pro
Mudguards - SKS Chromoplastic
Stem - Thomson Elite
Bars - Zipp Service Course SL
Seatpost - Thomson Elite
Saddle - Fizik Arione CX
Bottle Cages - King Titanium
Grips - Deda Mistral