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Trail and Enduro Bikes

Scott Genius LT 700 Tuned Plus

Grip, silence, and a fatigue free ride. This is different

“Rim Dinger”, one of Bike Park Wales’s finest beads, a mix of rock and more rock, of speed and then of strength sucking square edge if you miss the beat of the trail. It has been the undoing of many a bike, a place where it has hammered home how longer travel can always overthrow weak 150mm pretenders. The Scott Genius LT 700 Tuned is no pretender.

And it is here more than anywhere that gives compelling evidence that 27.5+ tyres/wheel/rim combinations done well has a very real future in moutainbiking. Amongst the relentless rock, a place where insensitivity and un-supportiveness will be found out very quickly, these large volume, but lightweight tubeless tyres comply to such a degree that it almost makes a mockery of ‘small bump sensitivity’ damper talk – smooth, massive grip, fast tyres.

“it almost makes a mockery of ‘small bump sensitivity’ damper talk – smooth, massive grip, fast tyres.”

Bending the rules

Delivering better roll over performance, with a far less fatigue inducing ride, the tyres offer grip by the truck load and a lively ride that smooths out the root, bends around square edge and generally just leads to one big crazy grin. There really is something in these tyres for so many people. They will inspire confidence and give support where standard 27.5” tyres clatter and slide.

True it’s early days for these tyres. And so far the Schwalbe tyre have been our preferred rubber although Specialized also have a few in their range. At just under 900g the Trail Star Nobby Nic 2.8 has been our favourite but it needs to be remembered that these are pretty light sidewalls for such a large tyre. Ripping sidewalls has been a concern but so far so good.

This also means technique is key to riding the bigger tyres, and this was something we found when testing 29” wheels some years ago. Timing is everything to getting the rhythm correct, however the steering characteristics on harder terrain and shallower corners still catches us out on occasion. But we feel the advantages outweigh this trait. Tyre pressures are very much key here, and so to the riding surfaces. At lower numbers (12-16psi depending on rider weight) the tyres are prone to folding and rolling under cornering which is unnerving. We found most success with pressures between 18-22psi for riders 85-90kg particularly in the harder faster conditions in Bike Park Wales. On natural terrain the lower psi works and boy do you get a good anchor from that large surface area on slippery banks.

You’ll notice that the Scott comes with Syncros TR1.5 Plus rims and 160mm travel. This makes it pretty unique and incredibly rare. The rims here are key because we found the larger tyres on narrower rims such as the Stumpjumper 27.5+ to buckle when loaded. This was not such an issue with the super wide Syncros.

As ever its not the tyre that makes the bike, you need the bike to have good integrity to begin. We didn’t like the damping on the standard 27.5” 700 LT but now it makes sense with different frequencies at work on this machine. And hell it one of the fastest most fun bikes we’ve ridden all year.

Which ultimately leaves us in a tricky position. Prior to riding concerns of drag, poor grip due to the poor compounds, lack of tread and thin sidewalls have all proved ungrounded to some degree.

It’s so good and so up to date that it’s hovering in our minds that it could be bike of the year.

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