Scott Genius 720 – 650b Round Up

27.5 All Mountain Trail Enduro

So what does all this technology translate to on the trail? The Scott Genius 720 is fun bike that is stable. With the longest wheelbase of the group at 45.5 inches and 17.3 inch stays, it is not the quickest handling of the group. So it does require a bit more body-english to maneuver on the tightest switchbacks.

How does it descend? Well we have two parts to this story as we dug deeper into this bike. This bike will probably be more plush than your current bike as it has a ton of useable travel. But it was in very tough company as every bike had as much or more travel using Fox Kashima front and rear CTD suspension.  The Scott has a DT Swiss rear shock with a Talas so it was not as plush as its peers.  But then we realized that if we wanted  a soft and active ride we could set the bike up with more sag and optimize it for descending. Then when it was time to climb, we simply hit the Twin Loc lever once or twice and we either got a pedal platform setting or lock out. An effective and useable remote allows the rider to lean towards a plush setting since getting in to the climb mode is so easy.

The Scott Twin Loc lever is a true revelation. It’s not new but it was undiscovered by us since it was featured in less popular rear suspension designs in the US in previous years. But now that we’ve used it, we are believers. The remote lever has two settings and it’s really got the sophistication and construction of a front shifter. But it’s way more compact and it is very easy to use.  If only this lever was available for dropper posts or front derailleurs, useability would be enhanced.  In summary, one click puts both front and rear suspension in platform mode and a second click will put it in locked out mode.  The DT Swiss rear locks out really hard and we wish there some give to it like the Fox CTD rear shocks as that will increase its useability on the trail.

Spec highlights on the Genius include Schwalbe tires, Syncros flat bar, Fox 34 TALAS fork, SLX brakes and Syncros wheels. Although it didn’t come with a dropper post it is the only bike in our comparison to come with pedals (Shimano PD-M520).  The Schwalbe tire spec is a true competitive advantage as these tires are faster, bigger and have better rubber than the Nevegals on the other bikes. Kenda Nevegal is not a bad tire but it is about ten years old and it seems to be the entrance price to a new wheel set as its usually the only game in town for the first year.

Scott bought Syncros last year and now we see what they’re doing with it as they’re spec’ing their bikes with this house brand.  It is ok as they’re fairly non-descript and perform their function.  Notice needs to be served to the saddle though as it creaked away and made its hard presence felt. The joint between the rails and the saddle moved constantly and caused an annoying creak and wobble. The shell was hard and there not a lot of padding causing this component to ‘not disappear’ in the riding experience.

With a real world weight of 29.69 (without pedals), the Scott Genius 720 is not as light as we would have expected.

The Scott Genius comes in 4 sizes (SM, MD, LG, XL) and is available in 6 different models (3 carbon, 3 aluminum) ranging from the high end Genius 700 SL to the aluminum frame versions the Genius 730 and 740. And Scott deserves some extra credit for being the only manufacturer to offer a women’s specific version 650b full suspension bike, the Scott Contessa Genius 700. The MSRP on the Genius 720 is $4449.99

Strengths:

  • Stable ride
  • Comes in women’s specific versions and a plethora of build specs
  • Comes in more affordable aluminum frame versions
  • It is carbon fiber and ready for component upgrades
  • Features a very, very useable remote switch for the suspension platform

Weaknesses:

  • No dropper post
  • Long chainstay and wheelbase
  • Not the plush ride of the group
  • Shimano SLX crept in the spec
  • The saddle spoke out and made its presence felt

Conclusion:

This bike is not plushest of the group nor the quickest handling. Rather it is a great carbon frame that features the slickest remote lockout called the Twin Loc. This allowed us to set  up the bike extra plush since it was so easy to switch to platform or lockout modes for the suspension.  If you’re the customer who likes  a very configurable frame, this one has many faces with its lockout, Talas adjustable travel and BB height options. It can be a different bike for different conditions, even on the same ride.

Chainstays are a bit long and components are not the best but it allows you to choose your favorite dropper post, saddle and wheels. Plus there’s a ton of spec and materials option in the Genius 700 line.

For more information: http://genius.scott-sports.com/

Related Links
650b/27.5 All Mountain Bike Round Up »
650b Bike User Reviews »
650b Discussion Forum »

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 14 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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  • Skidad says:

    Rocky Altitude and the new Banshee Spitfire also offer the same (or more) adjustability as the Scott. Ride 9 system on the Rocky and adjustable flip chips in the swingarm on the Banshee. Banshee also has 26″ or 650B dropouts to run it either way. Slack and low or steep and high. Win win!

    Yeah, I live in the North East and see nothing wrong at all with a 13.85″ BB height. Anything below a 13.5 and I’ll take a pass now (to bad about the Norco Sight’s 13.3″ height). Again with the new Altitude or Spitfire you can have it either way with their more adjustable setups than the Scott.

  • Gregg says:

    The Rocky Mountain and the Banshee were both on our list, however we did not receive those bikes in time for the side-by-side comparison. We are expecting the Banshee soon and we are still working on getting the Element.

  • Mark McGovern says:

    Just demoed today and HAMMERED 20 miles of flowing downhill, rocky rooted tight single track and really technical rock garden uphills. Bike was amazing.

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