Equator wheels is now additionally Equator gravel bikes, because of 2 new titanium gravel frames that ship their similar ethos of consumer-direct worth and high-performance. Choose from the journey Yasei or race Sensei, with a few inexpensive ti frames that cowl a broad spectrum from all-road to bikepacking off-road. We had the possibility to spend a number of weeks check driving the pre-production prototype Yasei this summer time. And now it’s obtainable to the general public…
Equator titanium gravel bikes born from inexpensive wheels
For greater than a decade, Equator delivered high quality inexpensive direct-to-consumer carbon wheels round central Europe, produced in a detailed improvement partnership with Taiwanese carbon powerhouse Gigantex.
Now, the leap to creating bikes grew out of a ardour undertaking on the man behind the expansion of the wheel model. Jan Habich prefer to journey gravel. He needed to develop his personal bike. And he needed to deliver that very same Equator mixture of efficiency & client accessibility to a premium gravel bike.
What’s the distinction between the Yasei & Sensei?
The ensuing Equator titanium gravel bike undertaking ended up with a little bit of an inside squabble on the firm. Some needed a performance-focused gravel bike that might do double responsibility as an all-road bike or a quick gravel bike. And the opposite half needed an ‘all-purpose-vehicle’ that leaned extra in direction of journey, bikepacking, and driving additional off-road.
In order that they made each. And figured they’d let clients resolve which they most well-liked.
The Sensei is the efficiency gravel bike, with extra highway leaning geometry, 1x or 2x , and clearance for as much as 700c x 47mm tires. Extra all-road.
The Yasei is the journey mannequin, with slacker geometry, 1x solely, extra mounting factors, and area for as much as 700c x 57mm (29x 2.2″) tires. Nearer to a mountain bike.
Each frames are welded in Asia from comparable seamless butted 3/2.5 titanium tube units, with largely spherical tubes. Equator does now change to a barely flattened oval toptube (30mm tall x 40mm extensive) for extra horizontal flex, much less torsional flex & improved rider consolation.
And quite importantly in my e book for contemporary gravel bikes, loads of key future-proof requirements. A T47 threaded backside bracket, a UDH common derailleur hanger, flat mount disc brakes, 12mm thru-axles, and a 31.6mm seatpost with inside routing for a dropper. Plus, a little bit bonus chain hanger above the driveside dropout for cleaner transport with the wheel eliminated.
Each additionally share the identical tapered headtube fitted with an exterior Cane Creek Angleset headset that lets the tip purchaser customise the geometry to their choice from -1.5° to + 1.5° in 1/2 a level steps. They usually every get their very own self-discipline acceptable full carbon forks. The Yasei journey fork consists of flush Something cage mounts, plus a flip-chip on the dropout to regulate the rake between 47 or 52mm offset for constant loaded or unloaded dealing with, or simply to tune your best journey.
The Sensei will get a wise quantity of attachment factors. Two units of cage mounts inside the principle triangle, a direct mount for a toptube bag, and a pair of cage bosses beneath the downtube simply in entrance of the BB.
Then, the Yasei takes it to the subsequent stage for journey, including after all the fork Something cage mounts, and turning that mount beneath the downtube right into a 3-bolt Something cage mounts. You additionally get rear rack mounts and separate tabs for full-coverage fenders entrance & rear. (It is not going to embrace the something cage mounts that have been on the prototype I examined, attributable to clearance points whereas pedaling.)
What else is new?
Past what I noticed and examined in these 2 prototypes, Equator has additional refined the titanium gravel bikes that you’ll truly purchase with a number of extra enhancements. Perhaps the most important in my thoughts based mostly on my suggestions to them, will likely be smaller diameter size-specific butted seatstays for improved rider consolation. The early prototype I rode nonetheless had 19mm stays and was fairly a bit stiffer than it wanted to be. However manufacturing bikes cut back to 16mm for small & medium and 17mm for big & XL frames, to additional profit from that traditional clean ti journey.
The frames you order immediately now additionally get a brand new unified port (much like this routing port instance) on the aspect of the headtube for cleaner inside cable routing with out body rub. Fewer holes within the body is at all times higher, proper? Rear derailleur cable routing additionally now comes out immediately from the tip of the chainstay which is a cleaner look (and higher structurally). Plus, you received’t see it for those who construct up a wi-fi shifting bike. /
In addition they each now get a 3-pack of cage mounts on the downtube. So riders can mount a single bottle down low in the event that they run a partial body bag, or increase it as much as match two bottles inside the principle triangle.
Up to date backside bracket & chainstay yokes
The most recent iteration of the quick gravel Sensei incorporates a 3D-printed double-wall backside bracket cluster that diverts cables away from the spinning backside bracket. And it will get a hole 3D-printed chainstay yoke so cables keep utterly inside whereas maintaining 1x or highway compact 2x chainring clearance.
The journey Yasei retains a CNC-machined chainstay yoke to assist match greater tires with as much as a 1x 46T chainring. And the cables route externally from in entrance of the BB, round to the chainstay. The rear brake does keep contained in the downtube over to the left chainstay, although.
Geometry: Sensei vs. Yasei
Each bikes are available a reasonably frequent Small to Additional Giant vary. However Equator provides a fifth M/L dimension in the midst of their quick gravel/all-road Sensei to cater to the extra specific matches of highway riders with smaller sizing steps.
With extra of an on-road focus the Sensei will get a steeper 71.5° head angle. And quick chainstays (for such huge tire clearance). And appropriately a lot decrease Stack top for extra aggressive match on the bike, with extra standard Attain figures.
Nonetheless off-road succesful, although.
The Yasei is simply a bit slacker at a 70° head angle for a nonetheless fast really feel with the longer chainstay. And for much longer entrance heart. Match is way more upright with taller body Stacks. And the journey gravel bike will get significantly longer Attain, meant to be arrange with shorter stems.
Evaluate: Equator Yasei inexpensive titanium journey gravel bike
Equator lent me their medium-sized prototype of the Yasei journey gravel bike for a couple of month this previous summer time. Weighing in at 10.44kg full with a dropper publish and pedals, it isn’t precisely mild. However I’ve ridden a number of cheaper & costlier new carbon gravel bikes round 10.1kg this summer time, so it’s probably not unhealthy both for a metallic bike that ought to final perpetually.
Take a look at driving the adventure-ready Equator Yasei titanium gravel
Then, I rode it throughout my native filth & gravel roads, loads of singletrack, and one greater mild bikepacking journey throughout a few Czech mountains. Most significantly, Equator have been very open and welcoming to my suggestions, and particularly addressed my one major concern. And even corrected a small nit that I picked earlier than the bikes went into manufacturing.
Similar to the prototype arrived to me, I used to be fairly pleased with the match and really feel of the bike. The mid-long Attain and low Stack supported a pleasant aggressive place on the bike. However you possibly can at all times set it up a bit extra relaxed for those who desire.
Geometry-wise, the bike has fairly an extended wheelbase which lent nice all-surface stability. However with the 70° headtube, the journey nonetheless felt fast, even with the large knobby 44mm Raddler tires. I solely rode the fork flip-chip within the forward-most 52mm offset place, with its decrease Path setting. I by no means felt the necessity for additional stability. However I additionally didn’t have time to play with the adjustable angle headset. Ultimately although, I actually respect the adjustability (with out an excessive amount of additional complexity). And if it was my private bike, I’d experiment with which setting I like finest for my driving terrain. After which set it and neglect it there.
There undoubtedly seems like sufficient adjustability, that I’d decide this over the Sensei, due to the pliability that comes with the additional tire clearance. Even for extra of a quick gravel setup with fast-rolling 40mm tires, the Yasei continues to be a stable wager.
What meaning although, is that patrons would in all probability decide the Sensei for extra all-road-specific driving. Or a tiny little bit of weight financial savings. Or for somebody simply searching for a extra standard highway match with decrease Stack & shorter Attain.
Updates based mostly on my prototype testing
So my solely actual concern was rear finish stiffness. With 19mm seatstays on the prototype Yasei, I felt a bit beat up after driving all-day on chunky gravel and rougher mountain bike trails. So, Equator revised the rear finish. They swapped in way more forgiving 16 or 17mm butted chainstays that may possible go an extended option to filtering out tough gravel buzz.
And to match that, they shifted to a 1cm flattened prime tube for a bit extra give.
I’ve NOT ridden the up to date bike but (possibly subsequent spring). However Equator assures me that each the brand new Yasei & Sensei that went into manufacturing with these tube shaping up to date are noticeably extra snug, whereas not sacrificing any of the superb dealing with stiffness that I skilled.
And that final nit I picked? I felt that the Something cage mounts have been positioned too excessive on the downtube. I had to make use of a Fidlock setup to suit a bottle beneath my body bag. In order that they shifted the mounts down. The higher pair of bolts keep the place I had my bottle, however now there will likely be one gap decrease. If you need only one bottle then, you will get it decrease.
Equator Yasei & Sensei titanium gravel – Pricing, availability & choices
Technically each the brand new Equator Yasei & Sensei titanium gravel bike framesets can be found now in a made-to-order pre-order scheme. To order one now you pay 50% up entrance, and the rest a few months later after they arrive. However…
Equator does additionally plan to maintain a variety of S/M/L frames in inventory beginning later this month. So that you received’t essentially have to attend lengthy for those who get one among their restricted inventory.
Each framesets formally retail for 2440€. However Equator is presently providing a ten% low cost on the frames till the tip of December 2023. Meaning you possibly can decide up an Equator titanium gravel frameset for 2200€ this month solely. With European and worldwide supply obtainable.
They may also promote you a inventory digital shift, carbon wheelset full bike construct of both body for 5500€. The Yasei will get Rival AXS 1x & 44mm WTB Riddler tires. And the Sensei will get GRX Di2 2×11 & 40mm Tufo Thundero tires. Or they’ll even work individually with patrons to place collectively a customized construct.