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

27.5 Enduro Enduro Compare-O 2014

Photo by Tyler Frasca.

A great climber that’s itching to race

The Scott Genius is an excellent climber and makes a great race bike for not only enduro, but endurance XC events as well. The Genius 710 weighs in at 27.4 pounds, but on the trail, our riders said it felt like less.

“I was impressed at how easily this bike made it to the top,” said one test rider. “It’s not exceptionally light to pick up, but it climbed as if it were a pound lighter.”

The praise comes despite the Schwalbe Nobby Nic tire spec that many of our riders complained about both on this bike and others in the test. Tire performance, perhaps more than any other factor, are highly condition-dependent, and fortunately, are an easy upgrade/switch to make.

Photo by Tyler Frasca.

Switching to glide

On the descents, with the suspension set up properly and run fully-open, the Scott railed. On rolling, flowy singletrack the bike was very capable and “ate up every bump,” according to one of our testers.

On high-speed downhills, the Genius was, “confidence-inspiring and felt very stable.”  Over square edged rocks at low- to mid-speed, however, the initial shock feel was still a bit sharp. The Genius likes to go fast and works best when running in the middle of its stroke and at full speed.

Shimano XT highlights parts mix

At $5799.99 the Scott Genius hits the same price point as many of the other bikes in our test. Despite a good chunk of the purchase price going towards its carbon frame and Nude shock setup, Scott was still able to deliver a good mid-to-high spec value level.

As we mentioned in our First Look, the Scott sports a Shimano XT 2×10 drivetrain, RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post and a handlebar and stem combo from their accessory brand Syncros. Also Syncros branded—the 710’s tubeless-ready wheelset.

The aforementioned Scott/Fox Nude shock is complimented by a Fox 32 Float Factory CTD FIT Air fork that some riders found a bit flexy. Many thought a Fox 34 might help stabilize the front end.

Handling stopping duties is a pair of Shimano’s excellent XT hydraulic disc brakes with Ice-Tech rotors.

Photo by Tyler Frasca.

Black is the new black

Scott’s entire line of carbon mountain bikes feature the stealth black treatment—“murdered out” as the Angry Single Speeder likes to say. The 710 features a gloss-on-matte livery that looks sharp and matches the overall personality of this bike—high-tech and capable but not overly flashy or loud.  

Who is this bike for?

If your definition of mountain biking includes enduro racing, all-day exploring, and endurance XC, the Scott Genius 710 might be just the ticket. This bike crushes the climbs and still has enough travel to handle the big stuff. Be warned, however, you need to be willing to put some time into set-up, as well as habituate yourself to the bike’s many controls—TwinLoc, the dropper post, shifting, and braking.

The Last Word

What you get with the Genius is a cutting-edge carbon frame, a flexible persona—thanks to TwinLoc and the bikes adjustable geometry. The extra attention you pay to suspension setup will be rewarded with a bike that climbs and descends faster, and with more control. If your local trails have many square edged hits that you hit at mid to low speed, this might not be your top pick. The Scott Genius 710 likes to go fast and hard, and will work best for the rider who does the same.

The Good
  • Many options (carbon frame, super light carbon frame, alloy frame, womens specific, 27.5, 29)
  • Excellent Climber
  • TwinLoc puts both front and rear suspension adjustments at your fingertips
  • Adjustable geometry(BB height)
  • Stable ride
The Bad
  • Finicky setup
  • Long wheelbase and chaintstays
  • Not the plushest at square edge hits taken at low- to mid-speed
  • Cable clutter
Price and trickle down versions

Genius 700 series:
Genius 710 as tested: $5799.99
Genius 700 Tuned (HMX carbon)
Genius 700 Premium (HMX carbon)
Genius 720 (HMF carbon)
Genius 730 6061 alloy
Genius 740 6061 ally

2014 Scott Genius Key Specs
  • MSRP: $5799.99
  • Weight: 27.40 lbs.(size medium)
  • Wheel size: 27.5 inches
  • Sizes: S, M, L, XL
  • Color: black
  • Frame Material: Genius Carbon / IMP technology / HMF
  • Fork: Fox 32 Float Factory CTD FIT Air
  • Rear Travel: 150mm
  • Rear Shock: Scott/Fox NUDE custom rear shock
  • Headset: Ritchey Pro Tapered (semi-integrated) 1.5” to 1-1/8”
  • Handlebar: Syncros FL 1.5
  • Stem: Syncros TR1.5
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth 125
  • Brakes: Shimano XT BR-M785 Hydraulic Disc, 180mm front, 160mm rear
  • Brake Levers: Shimano XT
  • Shifters: Shimano XT
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano XT direct mount
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT Shadow Plus
  • Cassette: Shimano XT 11-36T 10 speed cassette
  • Crankset: Shimano XT 2×10 38/24
  • Rims: Syncros TR 2.0 tubeless ready
  • Hubs: Syncros TR2.0 15mm front/142×12 rear
  • Spokes: DT Swiss Aero Comp
  • Tires: Schwalbe Nobby Nic EVO 2.25
  • ISCG Tabs: no
  • Chainguide: no
  • Bottom Bracket Type: BB92
  • Head Tube Angle: BB low=67.9 degrees, BB high=68.4 degrees
  • Seat Tube Angle: BB low=74.0 degrees, BB high=74.5 degrees
  • Chainstay Length: 439mm
  • Bottom Bracket Height: 344.9mm(low), 350.4mm(high)

For more information visit

This story is part of Mtbr’s 2014 Enduro Compare-O. Check out our intro story here for all the ground rules and goings ons.

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 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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