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SCOTT GENIUS LT 700 TUNED PROJECT | BIKE TEST

Adjusting the beat to the Scott Genius LT 700, a super lightweight long travel enduro bike.

DIRT ISSUE 148 – JUNE 2014

Words by Steve Jones. Photos by Steve Jones

Visually one of the most tempting mountain bikes ever made… and that will be enough for most people. Its mix of stealth black and sharp orange bursts in all the right places and leaves just the right amount on the palette. Elsewhere they have laid it on pretty thick with the adjustability, yet by going down the tubes with all the wiring and hosing and with precision cutting of cables this bike has been decontaminated in the cockpit zone.

The gloss graphic is the only giveaway that there is a bike in there somewhere, and the chassis, at every point and turn of its well proportioned parts, keeps its poise and line of flow. But as elegant and as accomplished as its lines are it is a mountainbike and not an ornament. At 170mm of travel it’s a tool that will be engaged into big and varied terrain, but what type of environment is Scott’s Genius LT 700 best at, and can it be improved?

SHAPE AND PURPOSE

Having been suckered into the good looks of last years Genius LT, which was a huge let down on angles and performance, I was slightly more careful with this one… just. Elsewhere in the range Scott believe their shorter travel Genius 700 tuned bike to be the ultimate ‘trail’ bike, and at 150mm it is a very different travel mindset to many company’s offerings. No surprise then that they claim this, the 700 LT Tuned, to be the ultimate enduro machine.

When discussing the bike’s intended use it’s worth visualising team riders Brendan Fairclough having it down World Cup 1 in South Africa and Remy Absalon tackling the Enduro World Series. But weighing in at under 30lb hints that this could be a classic all–rounder. I’m loving the 1203mm wheelbase, the –11mm bottom bracket offset and 66.3º head angle. It’s all set for charging. It’s all set for pretty much anything!

The three travel/geometry settings will be an attractive feature for some riders, but I’ve been eager to ditch the excess cabling on Scott bikes for years and get the bike back to a basic workhorse.

COMPONENTS

SRAM X01 and Shimano XTR makes for a ruthlessly brilliant combination on this bike. And all the points of contact are good too, from the grips and oversize Syncros bars to the Schwalbe Hans Damf front (which is a big volume low profile affair and works well even in damp conditions) and Rock Razor rear tyre (which in drier conditions has proven to be one of our favourite tyres of the year so far). There’s a neat E13 chain device thrown in the mix just in case, the obligatory RockShox Reverb Stealth and Syncros 50mm stem. The utterly brilliant Shimano XTR brakes finish off a faultless package…. which it should do for this money.

FEELING

The Scott redefines what is possible on a 170mm travel bike. It’s crisp, it’s light, the power delivery is direct and the angles are all very ‘trail’ friendly. The bike climbs a treat although it will come as a surprise to some that there is no suspension lockout, but it didn’t matter too much as there was just enough resistance in the firmest setting.

As far as angles go the Genius is a very accomplished piece of work, I’d go so far as to say that is one of the best longer travel geometries – a shade bigger than a large YT Capra and on par with a Kona Process. It’s when descending that the bike uses its angles best of all and where that beautiful bottom bracket/wheelbase/head angle combination comes into its own. It’s amazingly close to a Capra on numbers, just a little longer in the chainstay – the ride position in stock form when set to 30% sag I’d say it shades the Capra on angles. However (and this a big one) it’s no use having good angles if the damping doesn’t work very well. Part of the excellent ride position was a result of the bike sitting too low in the rear giving a good head angle for the 170mm up front. In stock form the shape is good, but the ride is fair to average in terms of suspension.>>

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