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SCOTT GENIUS 720 | BIKE TEST

The number of times I’ve carped on about the need for sub 30lb enduro bikes over the last year…they do exist but…

DIRT ISSUE 132 – FEBRUARY 2013

Words by Steve Jones. Photos by Steve Jones

There was a moment sat outside the café at the bottom of Morgins last summer when I thought I had found THE bike for enduro and aggressive trail riding, what with 150mm travel, sleek carbon lines, simple suspension design and a staggering 25lb for the top end spec’d bike. The Genius I was certain was a bike that would deliver, and why not, the attention to detail is stunning – from the big pivots to what must surely be the finest internal cable routing in the business.

The specification features some solid equipment too, primarily Shimano XT, with reliable Syncros wheelset. It was missing an adjustable seatpost, came shod with hard tyres and needed to ditch a ring or two up front, but hey, she looked a winner.

For a bike very much the wrong side of thirty pounds (quoted at 28lb the bike was closer to 32lb) the Genius covers ground pretty easily, aided by the larger 650B wheel size. Climbing is not a grind, mild descents sound underfoot, at lower speeds the suspension offers reasonable grip, but it baffles me why Scott continue to pursue the bar mounted multi adjust fork and shock option, I simply don’t want to slightly stiffen or fully lock–out the suspension – I just want good suspension! Anyhow, I kind of thought I could always ditch the dials and run front and rear dampers independent.

Described as the ‘ultimate trail weapon’ I was sat amongst some of the most tantalizing summits in Europe with uplift, but after a days riding, well, 150mm heaven didn’t come up to scratch in tough terrain. I left thinking I was in the wrong location to get the best out of this bike.

Fast forward six months and I’m sat here in the office looking at the Scott still thinking of its undoubted potential, it’s the reason I had to revisit this bike on home soil to get a better trail environment. My feelings remain unfortunately – that it’s so close to being right yet currently so far away. Don’t get me wrong, it does a lot of things well, and as a general light terrain bike it’s OK. But surely in lighter terrain you’ll be opting for 29”? Maybe it’s for the trail rider who remain unconvinced of the benefits of the bigger wheel? For trail riders who think they ride just a little bit harder?>>

Bad news sorry. Even in the low setting, as soon as this bike is tilted down the noise rises from the chainset/chainstay area, your weight creeps forward, soon you become prone – your weight constantly having to be readjusted. The rear shock then starts complaining, not keeping up, choking on the successive hits. And then you hit a succession of breakers at which point you realize that the multi adjust front damper, for all its complexity, lacks the very basics of supportive damping, it simply has no body to it, compressing, shortening the front of the bike, steepening the front end from its already sharp angle for a bike of this nature. The front end of this bike is just so far off the mark for descending.

But it’s a trail bike right? Well sort of, Scott describe it as the ‘ultimate trail bike’, but then they describe the 130mm x 29 Genius as the ultimate trail bike too. As a comparison, the shorter Genius 29 wheel comes in at 69º head angle in low position and 69.5º in the high position. Our 720 here at 150mm travel has a similar half–degree geometry option from 67.7º to 68.2º. There’s also the longer travel Genius LT, but forget the angle detail, I’m just wondering whether Scott should have gone 140mm x 29 and produced a slacker 160mm x 650 bike?

It’s been a frustrating test. It needs an internal adjustable seatpost, to lose some gears, gain some compression, and slacken–up a touch. Sorry, but my search for a perfect 650B continues.

FRAME Scott Genius 650B Carbon, 150mm
FORK FOX 34 Talas 650B Evolution CTD Air CTD
HEADSET Ritchey Comp Plus Tapered
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano XT SGS Shadow PlusType
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano SLX
SHIFTERS Shimano SLX
BRAKES Shimano SLX Disc
CRANKSET Shimano XT
BOTTOM BRACKET Shimano
HANDLEBAR Syncros FL1.5 Tbar, 700mm
GRIPS Syncros Pro Lockon
PEDALS Shimano PD-M520 Clipless
SEATPOST Syncros FL1.5
SEAT Syncros TR2.0
HUBS Syncros TR 2.5 650B
CHAIN Shimano CN-HG74
CASSETTE Shimano XT, 10 speed, 11–36
SPOKES DT Swiss Super Comp
RIMS Syncros/DT Swiss TR 2.5 650B 28 H
TYRES Schwalbe Nobby Nic EVO Snake Skin 650B x 2.25

Price: £3599

www.scott-sports.com

Want more from Scott? Try these links:

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