2016 Scott Genius 700 Tuned Plus & Genius LT 700 Tuned Plus

Tom Collier reviews the Scott Genius 700 Plus for Blister Gear Review.
Scott Genius LT 700 Tuned Plus

In July, Scott held their 2016 product launch at Deer Valley. Deer Valley Resort is home to a significant amount of lift-accessed riding that, with its longer, mellower trails than many DH resorts, makes it a pretty ideal place to put in a lot of miles on a trail bike.

The big draw was Scott’s line of bikes with 27.5 Plus wheels and tires—also known as “27.5+” or “27 Plus” or “650b Plus” etc., etc. (And no, I can’t keep up either. Just pick your favorite.)

Before we rode them, Scott prepped us with a few presentations. You, lucky reader, get the cliff notes.

(But if you want to just skip ahead to how the Genius 700 Tuned Plus and Genius LT 700 Tuned Plus rode, then skip down to “The Ride” section.)

General Details from Scott

Genius LT to the USA

At the European launch back in June Scott, announced that they would not be bringing the Genius LT Plus to the U.S. Apparently there was enough disappointment expressed about that for Scott to change their minds. So the Genius LT Plus IS going to be coming to the U.S.

Boost Hubs

The latest, greatest standard change, Boost hubs, has been maligned by jaded riders everywhere, but Scott credits Boost hub spacing as being essential for allowing short chainstays with Plus sized tires. Looking at the tight clearance with my chainring (I can only run a 30T max) and rear tire on my Canfield Yelli Screamy it becomes easier to believe that a few millimeters of extra width there can make the difference.

NUDE Shocks

Scott continues to spec shocks featuring their NUDE design on all their Genius bikes. The proprietary design provides adjustable travel and air volume in the rear shock. When in its traction control position, it reduces the shock volume, thereby reducing sag and leaning the bike forward for climbing.

For 2016 Scott has revised the TwinLoc lever assembly to sit below the bar in place of a front shifter. As long as you don’t intend to run a front shifter, this is better mounting. However it isn’t compatible with all dropper post levers.

Tom Collier reviews the Scott Genius 700 Plus for Blister Gear Review.
Scott TwinLoc lever assembly

Bars and Stems (and Sizing)

Scott has spec’d wider bars and shorter stems on all their bikes The top tubes haven’t grown to match though, so if you were on the verge of a larger size, you might want to consider sizing up now.

Scott also slightly reduced the travel on the Plus tired bikes relative to their regular 27.5 counterparts. The Genius Plus has 130mm, 90mm, and 0mm rear travel modes, while the Genius LT Plus has 160mm, 100mm, and 0mm modes.

Plus Sized Details

When touting their Plus tired bikes shod in 27.5×2.8” Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires, Scott quotes impressive performance gains over a 27.5×2.35” Schwalbe Nobby Nic tire, including: 21% more grip, 8% better snake bite resistance, and only a 1% rolling resistance increase.

(I asked them to elaborate, and was told that it took 8% more force on a test device to pinch flat the tire.)

Those 21%, 8%, and 1% gains were acquired with 24.7psi in the 2.35” tire, and 14.5psi in the 2.8” tire. I didn’t have a benchmark for tire pressures when they quoted this, but after riding the bikes, I do think those two pressures are relatively comparable.

Now how did Scott decide on a 2.8” tire? Scotts says they worked with Schwalbe to test and develop the ideal tire for their bikes, then used their in-house brand Syncros to create rims that are the ideal width for the tire.

So that seemingly random width of 2.8” came out of a lot of testing. They found that it provided most of the control and traction of the more common 3” Plus sized tire, but with appreciably less rolling resistance.

Tom Collier reviews the Scott Genius 700 Plus for Blister Gear Review.
Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5 x 2.8” tire on the Genius 700 Tuned Plus

In addition to experimenting with the tires, they also explored rim widths between 30 and 50mm, before settling on a 40mm internal width as the best balance of weight and tire stability. This gives a visually similar ratio between the rim and tire as a 23mm rim does with a 2.35” tire.

After all these numbers, I was left wondering just how big the weight gain on the big tires would be. The Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5 x 2.8” tires are listed at 860g on Schwalbe’s website, and the 2.35” versions are 720g. So that’s an increase of 140g per wheel / 280g per bike. I expect the rims to be on the order of 100g heavier per wheel based on the weight difference between similar Stan’s and WTB rims.

So, in total, you are looking at ~500g more rotating weight for a Plus sized version of their bikes.

But enough numbers for now. How did the balloon tires actually ride?

NEXT: The Ride

11 comments on “2016 Scott Genius 700 Tuned Plus & Genius LT 700 Tuned Plus”

  1. Nice writeup, Tom. This article, and others, has me thinking hard about springing for a set of 27.5+ wheels and tires for my Remedy 29er for next spring’s trip to Moab.

    I’m thinking that type of terrain would reward the “plus” idea in a huge way.

    • Thanks Tom,

      I think that could be a lot of fun. 27.5+ wheels and tires would make the rough bits feel smoother and provide less rolling resistance through sand. You wouldn’t see much benefit on the sandstone though, because there is already a lot of traction there.

      Do check tire clearance on your Remedy. Many forks can fit plus tires, but not too many rear triangles. The 27.5+ tires are ~28.5″ in diameter, so you do get a bit more clearance that way, but not a lot.

  2. Hi Tom –

    How would you compare this bike to the Niner WFO 9? I recognize this is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison but it sounds as though there’s some common ground here.



      • Hi Andrew,

        I don’t have enough time on either bike to offer as detailed a response as I would like and I haven’t ridden them on the same trail so there might be a bias from the trails I rode each bike on, so take this with a grain of salt.

        It is definitely an apples and oranges comparison. The Scott Genius LT+ 700 is much slacker and longer for a given size. The WFO 9 surprised me with how nimble it was. The Scott Genius LT+ 700 stood out as stable and predictable.

        If I wanted to ride a lot of loose soil or steep terrain, The Scott would be a better option. If I wanted to do lots of longer rides I’d stick with the Niner WFO 9.


        • Thanks Tom. I enjoy riding steep (frequently wet / rooty / loose) trails for as long as I can (I’ll aim to climb-up anything I plan to descend)… compared to my 12 year old “all mountain” ride, I found the WFO 9 to WAY better at climbing and about as fun to descend on. I had largely attributed the WFO 9’s superior climbing to the bigger wheels and improved rear suspension lock-out. Suspension aside, I’m curious about the Genius LT+ 700’s big wheels and how that bike would climb vs. the WFO 9. Given the slacker geometry, I’d guess the WFO 9 is a better climber but wanted to get your impressions.

          Thanks again!


          • The Genius LT+ 700 isn’t going to climb faster than your WFO 9, but it will have more traction and climb much faster than it looks like it would. If you climb on technical or loose trails, the big tires can be a big advantage.

            If you prefer climbing with the rear suspension locked out, the Scott has a very strong lockout that you might enjoy. It also steepens the geometry to make it a bit more manageable on climbs, reducing front wheel flop.

            Before making the leap to big tires I’d ask two questions:

            1) Do you care how quickly you climb on hardpack trails or pavement? If so, know that the big tires are decidedly slower in those situations.

            2) Do you like to really lean on the cornering knobs of a tire? The big tires don’t enable that very well. They have great grip as long as you lean them over gently, but drift if you try to rail a turn as you might on a Maxxis DHF or High Roller II tire.

  3. Andrew, don’t know if this helps, but I demo’d the LT when Scott came through here a few weeks ago. I ride a Rip 9, and the LT was a blast to descend on. My Rip is built up kind of heavy at 31.5 lbs, so I don’t know if the LT’s light weight made the difference, but on little kickers that are too much work to get the Rip airborne, I was flying on the 700 LT ! But I didn’t like the ‘disconnected front wheel’ feeling on the LT due to the slack angle and long travel (when slaloming through single track turns), so would probably go for the ‘regular’ 700, which was almost as fun to descend on.

  4. Fellow readers, there are some caption typos in this article:

    1) Page 1 Image “Schwalbe Nobby Nic 27.5 x 2.8” tire on the Genius LT 700 Plus” should be “…on the Genius 700 Tuned Plus”

    2) Page 3 Image “Scott Genius LT 700 Tuned Plus” should be “Scott Genius 700 Tuned Plus”

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