Bike: Scott Genius 700 Premium
Size Tested: Medium
- Drivetrain: Shimano XTR
- Brakes: Shimano XTR
- Fork: FOX 34 Float Factory Air / Kashima
Travel: 150 / 150 mm
Blister’s Measured Weight: 27.3 lbs (11.2kg) with Wellgo flat pedals
Reviewer: 6’1”, 185 lbs.
Test Location: Boulder City, Nevada
Interbike’s outdoor demo is located at Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City, Nevada. It’s a fantastic network of trails, and it’s a great escape from America’s neon bunghole (Las Vegas). The trails we spent most of our time on were relatively fast, with a fair amount of sand and some pretty rocky sections.
Riding bikes at a demo is always kind of tricky. For starters, we’re unable to get as much time on each bike as we like–our test durations are measured in minutes and hours, not our preferred time frame of weeks and months. One good ride can tell you a lot about how a bike handles, but it certainly doesn’t allow for the customary, in-depth, Blister analysis.
Demo days also don’t generally permit the time needed to get each bike dialed to our liking. A quick suspension setup and fiddling with the bike’s ergonomics gets it most of the way there, but it’s certainly not dialed. We also take the bike as we get it, so things like bar width and tire selection may not be optimal.
So while we believe it’s important to be upfront about the limitations of reviewing bikes in such settings, there is also merit in riding a slew of bikes, back to back, on the same trails. Subtle differences that might not become apparent if our test rides happen weeks or months apart are able to come to light, and each bike’s attributes may be more easily identified.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the Scott Genius 700 Premium.
Scott Genius 700 Premium
The Genius 700 Premium sits at the top of Scott’s 150mm-travel trail bike lineup, and features upgraded components over its less expensive carbon siblings (the Genius 710 and 720).
New for 2016, the Genius line also includes several Plus sized bikes along with the previously available LT (Long Travel) options and cheaper aluminum-frame models.
While we’ve put in a little time on the Plus sized bikes, the 27.5” wheeled Genius 700 Premium offers a very different ride and is better compared to similar bikes in its travel class, like the Santa Cruz Bronson and Devinci Troy.
Shimano’s XTR components take care of both the drivetrain and the stoppers on the Scott Genius 700 Premium. As one would expect at this price point, both the brakes and the drivetrain performed perfectly. As nice as XTR is, though, it’s a little painful to readjust to a front derailleur when 1x drivetrains are so ubiquitous.
Fox handles suspension duties, with a Fox 34 Float Factory Air, Kashima fork controlling the front end, and a Scott Custom Fox Nude in the rear.
The shock mount features a geometry adjust chip that can be removed and flipped to either raise or lower the bottom bracket by 7mm. This adjustment also changes the headtube angle by .5 degrees. Our test bike was set in the low and slack mode, which gave it a bottom bracket height of 13.6” and a headtube angle of 67.9 degrees.
The fork and shock are both linked to Scott’s three position TwinLoc system on the handlebars, which uses a lever to simultaneously shift both front and rear suspension between open, traction, and lockout modes. (It’s worth noting that Scott calls the middle position the “traction” setting, while Fox calls it “trail.” I’m going to just use “traction” to refer to both.)
Similar to a shifter, push one paddle to switch to lockout mode, and a second lever to open things back up.
With a little bit of practice, the TwinLoc system became reasonably intuitive to use, but initially it was very confusing. Since the Genius 700 Premium includes a front shifter and the TwinLoc system—along with brakes, rear shifter and dropper post—there are 7 cables routing to the handlebars, and it’s easy to grab the TwinLoc system instead of the dropper post or vice versa. This initially led to some problematic, locked-out descents, but with a little bit of practice, the routine became almost automatic.
NEXT: Geometry, The Ride