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.