Compare-O Bottom Line: Scott Genius 710 offers many options to suit many riders

27.5 Enduro Enduro Compare-O 2014

This article is part of the Mtbr’s Enduro Compare-O. See all the stories in this special section here–http://reviews.mtbr.com/category/enduro-compare-o-2014

The 150mm-travel, 27.5-inch wheel Scott Genius 710 pairs an efficient climbing pedigree with long-travel chops that equates to a bike that’s as well-suited to all-day, all-mountain exploration as it is to enduro racing, multi-hour tag team events, and even the occasional cross country race.

The 710 reflects a growing trend among manufacturers to create lightweight bikes that are downhill-capable while still climb-worthy due to the use of remote shock controls. Scott’s TwinLoc is one such remote, and it’s the key to unlocking the Genius 710’s full capabilities.

TwinLoc doubles your pleasure

TwinLoc refers to the twin-lever remote mounted near the left hand grip that simultaneously adjusts both front and rear suspension units. The levers toggle the suspension between full-open, platform mode and full lock-out—or as Scott calls it, Climb, Traction Control, Descend. In Climb mode, the fork and shock are extremely firm and the Genius feels like fully rigid bike. We used it sparingly, and even then only on long, smooth sections of fire road and connector pavement.

For the most part we used the Traction Control for technical climbing as well as rolling terrain. As you’d expect, we opened it up to the Descend mode for bombing the downhills.

Part of the reason we say TwinLoc is critical is because the suspension (especially the rear) can be quite finicky to setup. Small adjustments make big differences, and all of our test riders preferred running the rear shock with more sag than normal to soak up bigger hits. The downside was less-than-ideal climbing efficiency, which we compensated for with frequent use of TwinLoc. Just like dropper posts, the easier it is to access, the more you will use it…the more you use it, the more you appreciate it.

While it works when used as prescribed, there’s no doubt the system adds complication and cables to the equation. Between shifter cables, brake cables, a dropper post cable and TwinLoc’s two cables, there’s a lot going on up front. Additionally, getting used to what lever or button controls what takes some practice. But as we’ve seen with all manner of controls in the past, these things become second nature and—as was the case with our test riders—after a couple rides, this “control confusion” becomes a non-issue.

Photo by Tyler Frasca.

Genius gets Nude and Foxy

The other half of the suspension formula is the switch to Fox—a new manufacturer for Scott’s Nude shock system. Prior iterations of the DT Swiss-made Nude suffered from lack of plushness and initial stiction. The Fox version feels more responsive and opens up the downhill abilities of the Genius.  As we mentioned, setup is critical, but once dialed, the shock delivers exceptional performance.

Getting chippy with adjustable BB, geometry

The Scott Genius 710’s good, all-around handling is the result of its sweet-spot trail geometry—67.9-degree at the head tube and a 74 degree seat tube angle. It’s not quite as slack as some of the more relaxed bikes in our test, giving it a more XC vibe. The bike’s shock mount chip system allows you to make it even more quick handling in it’s high setting, moving the head tube angle to 68..4-degrees and the seat tube to 74.5.

Changing the chip position also alters the wheelbase, which is longish at 45.4-inches. If you’re riding relatively straight shot, fast downhills, this makes the Genius feel very stable and sure footed. On fast side-to-side transitions, however, the handling was not as nimble as some other bikes we tested. Interestingly, the Genius 710 has a longer wheelbase than the 29er Genius 910 of the same size.

Continue to Page 2 for more on the Scott Genius 710 and full photo gallery »
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About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato has been the Site Manager of Mtbr.com for over 12 years and enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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  • DaveG says:

    “Part of the reason we say TwinLoc is critical is because the suspension (especially the rear) can be quite finicky to setup. Small adjustments make big differences, and all of our test riders preferred running the rear shock with more sag than normal to soak up bigger hits. The downside was less-than-ideal climbing efficiency, which we compensated for with frequent use of TwinLoc. Just like dropper posts, the easier it is to access, the more you will use it…the more you use it, the more you appreciate it.”

    Sounds more like a lipstick on a pig than a useful feature.

  • LJ says:

    Had a chance to ride this bike. It looks awesome and climbs really well, but the rear shock did not perform well when it gets rough and there is a lot going on with all the adjustments and controls.

  • John Smith says:

    Of course the problem is that your spend-thrift competitor in the race crowd is going to buy the Specialized S-Works Epic World Cup and at less than 21 lbs, that’s a full 6 and 1/2 pounds less weight, they are going to blow your damn doors off- rip your helmet off your head- strip your jersey off- while passing you.

    • slo_rider says:

      that’s a useless apples to oranges comparison, since the $10.5 K USD epic wc is optimized for XC/24-hr endurance events, not super-D or enduro races.

      this ain’t the XC compare-o reviewing 20lb XC race whips, and if you were forced to race that spec epic wc in any technical enduro series at the same race pace as others riding the 27-30+ lb bikes in this comparison, you’d be lucky to survive the season without breaking your bike or your body.

  • Austin Walsh says:

    This bike design rules, along with bikes from Liteville and Rocky Mountain that keep a straight open seat tube for all options in fully lowering a standard seatpost or using the longest length adjusting seat posts. By stretching back the lower portion of the seat tube to the BB, it doesn’t need to put a bend in the seat tube.

    The Scott Genius 710 is the design that most MTB bikes will have in the near future.

  • Vanguard. says:

    I own this bike and it rocks. However, I’d not give it the oh-so-trendy Enduro tag. Its geometry and suspension design makes it an ideal all mountain / trailbike. Compared t the Specialized Enduro, its suspension is less plush, and its head angle is less slack, but it climbs a lot better (A LOT).

    From 2013 to 2014, Scott has dropped the 34 Talas for a 32 Float, reducing the weight at the cost of a less firm fork. So putting the Genius 710 in an Enduro test might be a bit misleading. If you’re into enduro racing, this bike is probably not what you are looking for (Scott has the Genius LT series, though, if you are looking for more travel).

    But if you are looking for an all mountain bike that climbs even better than it descends, you find a great companion that will not let you down on any terrain. To me, it’s really a one-quiver bike.

    NB: I cannot really understand the complaints about the suspension remote, when a remote-controlled adjustable seat post is considered standard. I love changing the suspension setting on the fly, at speeds and on trails I won’t risk taking a hand off the handlebar. Is one additional lever really too much to handle?

  • eboysen says:

    This Scott 710 Genius is an awesome bike! It is a great climber and awesome on technical descends. The 27.5 wheel size really is a great all around size for rocky technical trails, handles much better than the 29er. Yes the 29er is fast on single track trails but the versatility of the 27.5 wheel is great. I feel Scott hit a home run with this 710 Genius and truly excited about riding more trails in Southern Cal.

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