Interbike Update 9-17-2012:
We finally got a chance to ride the Scott Genius 700 650b bike at Interbike. And it took a little bit of Mtbr clout because these were the most in demand bikes at the Outdoor Demo for test rides. About 10 bikes were completely booked up for both Demo days and test riding was ‘by appointment only’.
We rode the aluminum version and were surprised to see that the finish on it was pretty difficult to distinguish from the carbon version. It had a matte-black finish and the branding and the blue striping of the aluminum matched that of the carbon version.
To refresh our memories, this bike has 150 mm travel front and rear with a 67.7 head angle and a steep 73.8 seat angle. Chainstay length is at 17.3 inches and BB height is at 13.6 inches. So it all checks out on paper with a slack head angle just the right height BB for a 150mm travel bike. This particular bike came with a Fox Talas front fork with 120/150 mm of front travel.
So I took the shuttle up to the very top of the mountain and started the descent on the sometimes often swoopy and sometimes rugged trail back down to the expo. The bike proved extremely capable and agile. It was easy to handle and throw into a corner. The bike was easy to pump as well and it gained speed on the many ups and downs of the Bootleg Canyon singletrack. It was playful in mid-air as well. So in all these respects, it was better than a 29er.
Now Bootleg Canyon has rocks, and sharp jagged ones at that. The Genius 700 got up and down them well and rolled over them better than a 26er. The Nobby Nics performed well on the rocks and the many swoopy turns near the bottom of the trail.
When it was time to climb, I flicked the Fox lever and it locked out both the front and rear shock. This was a new experience for me but oh so refreshing. Flicking the other lever unlocked the system. Since this toggle was so convenient to use, I found myself using it more frequently than on my bikes with no remote levers.
The bike performed extremely well and I suspect it will be as scarce in dealer shops next year as it was at the Scott Interbike demo tent this year.
While most had their attention on Tour de France, Scott quietly introduced their new 650b bike in France. What they came up with is a more traditional suspension design with 150mm of travel both front and rear for the Genius 700, sporting 650b sized wheels. They also have a 29er version which has 130mm of front and rear travel. They have done away with the 26er version.
While the old Genius had a complex pull shock design, this 2013 one has a more traditional push shock layout. It is nicely integrated into a sculpted carbon frame. The linkage is very slick as it lays over the seat tube when fully extended. This saves space and gives the bike a very clean look.
150mm of travel is a lot, but that is really the promise of 650b bikes. 29ers can handle the shorter travel bikes but they hit a wall as they creep into long travel as their chainstays and wheelbases get longer. That’s where 650b takes the baton and allows bikes with long travel and big tires to still maintain the fun and agility that riders expect.
The Genius 700 series (650b), in its low setting, sports a 67.7-degree head angle, a 73.8-degree seat angle (effective), a 13.6-inch-high bottom bracket and 17.3-inch chainstays. These numbers tell the story of a slack bike with still fairly shortchain stays and the BB height is just perfect for a bike designed for 650b as opposed to a 26er conversion.
Frame weight is another interesting story. Scott saved 200 grams and still managed to make the frame stiffer. Weight is claimed at 5.07 lbs. Interestingly enough, the 29er version also weighs in at the identical weight.
- Press-fit BB92
- Internal cable routing
- Rear axle that can work with 142x12mm, 135x12mm and 135x10mm quick-releases
- Comes with 135x12mm DT Swiss RWS
- Front fork is a shortened custom Fox 34 with a QR15 bolt-through axle and a full 150mm of travel
The Genius is full-suspension chassis that’s designed to handle Any Trail, Anytime. It is the most capable trail bike ever produced and offered in two unique forms. The Genius 900 has 130mm of travel and all the benefits of the 29″ wheel while the Genius 700 utilizes an entirely new wheel standard, 27.5, which allows it to offer 150mm of travel.