Scott Bicycles Genius LT 700  2014 Mountain Bike Review

Scott Bicycles Genius LT 700 2014

Reviews / Enduro Bikes

Scott Bicycles 590,986

At A Glance

Scott have had the Genius range of bikes in their line up for some time, the LT moniker stands for Long Travel. The range is aimed at the rider who wants a ‘one bike does it all’ machine, equally at home on alpine DH tracks as it is at your local woods.

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Last year Scott were one of the first brands to adopt the 27.5 wheel size and rolled it out across their range of Genius bikes, also offering a 29er version for those who wanted it.

The Genius LT comes in three versions, the 720 alloy model which we have here, and two higher spec carbon versions.

Tech Heads

The frame features 6061 custom butted alloy with hydroformed tubes. There is a tapered head tube as you would expect and a 142/12mm rear end. An integrated chain guide has been designed to work with double or single chainsets. There is also a geometry adjustment chip that allows you to tune not only the BB height, but also the head angle and wheel base.

External cable routing features on this model but the higher end carbon versions all have internal cable routing.

The suspension is looked after by Fox with a 34 Float Factory CTD Air up front and a Nude Float CTD rear shock. Scott have joined forces this year with Fox to share patents and suspension technology. This means that you won’t find these shocks on other bikes.

Scott also utilise their Twinloc Lever System the suspension can be tamed and locked fully out at the flick of a switch allowing you to simultaneously control the CTD settings on the fork and shock.

The drivetrain is an all SRAM affair with a clutch X9 rear mech and an X5 direct mount front mech. A SRAM S-1000 GXP PF 2.2 AM crankset comes with an integrated bash ring.

Braking power is provided by the Shimano M615 hydraulic disc brakes with 203mm front and 180mm rear centre lock rotors.

The cockpit consists of a Syncros AM1.5 10mm rise 35mm oversized 760mm handlebar with a Syncros XM1.5 stem.

A Kindshock EXA eTen seatpost with 100m of adjustment holds a Syncros TR2.0 saddle.

The wheels are Shimano M618 centrelock hubs with Syncros XC67 Disc rims held together with DT Swiss Competition spokes. These are finished off with a set of Schawlbe Hans Dampf tyres.

Scott Genius LT

Low BB Medium
High BB Medium
Seat tube 440mm 440mm
Effective top tube 600mm 598.7mm
Head tube 110mm 110mm
Chain stay 440mm 438mm
Wheel base 1176.4mm 1175.4mm
BB offset -11mm -5.2mm
Head angle 66.3° 66.8°
Seat angle 74° 74.5°
Reach 424mm 428.9mm
Stack 613.6mm 610.2mm

Weight w/o pedals 31.5lbs

On The Trail

When the Scott arrived we were rather excited, we didn’t get to test this 27.5 all-mountain slayer and we have always been fans of the Genius range. One thing you have to get your head around with the Genius LT is the TwinLoc Lever System.

Whilst this puts another control on the handlebars, and adds another two cables to the bike, it does give you total control over the CTD suspension system. By actuating the lever on the bars you can select any of the Climb, Trail or Descend modes easily. It simultaneously adjusts the front and rear shocks allowing you to instantly tune the bike for a climb, or a downhill as you get to it.

The negative of this is that, coupled with a 2x10 drivetrain and a dropper post, you have no less than 7 cables at the front of the bike. It sparked a few comments in the car park, and if you are used to a clean set of bars with a 1x10 and a dropper post then it might take some getting used to.

On the trail the benefit of the system quickly becomes apparent however. I’m a hugely forgetful rider and, with these new CTD systems from Fox, often make the mistake of hammering into a section only to realise the rear shock is still in the climb mode and the bike is feeling like a bag of spanners. Having the full functionality of both shocks at your fingertips is very advantageous for a nominal weight penalty and slightly skewed aesthetics.

Climbing on the Genius LT was very surprising, I wasn’t expecting a 170mm bike with slack angles to show such prowess uphill. I’ll concede it isn’t a whippet, but it is very capable and the front end feels very planted on steep terrain too. The longer wheelbase, larger wheels and suspension tune and controls all combine to make the bike very capable.

Open up the suspension, put the bike into trail mode and get it on some single track, and you’re rewarded with a lively eager feel. The rear end feels firm whilst being compliant and this allows you to really pump the bike over the terrain and in and out of corners with some speed.

One area we did have some issue with was the low bottom bracket, this is a trend in modern biking that creates a stable and fast machine. The BB on the Scott is exceedingly low, especially in the Low BB setting. It’s fine if you are riding steep terrain and not pedalling, but if you are trail riding the bike performs so much better in the High BB setting. You still need to be careful where you put your pedal strokes in, but you’ll get away with a lot less pedal strikes, which can be unnerving at speed.

Over rough terrain the 27.5 wheels feel right at home, and you notice the increased speed and better rolling ability. Over steep rooted and rocky sections they track the trail well and offer a forgiving ride that will soon have you hitting lines you perhaps might not have dared to before.

At speed the bike is very stable, the long reach and wheelbase making it a very planted platform. This does deduct a little from the playfulness of the machine though, it’s still easy to whip around corners but getting manuals and the front wheel up requires a little more effort.

For

The Genius LT is a fantastic bike for the rider who enjoys riding more gravity fed terrain, but just wants one bike in his quiver. It’ll hold its own on an XC loop, but excel on the steeper stuff and lap up days at the bike park in the alps. It’s fast, lively and compliant.

Against

Whilst the Twinloc Lever System offers some real advantages, some riders just might not be able to deal with all the cables. You’ll also only want to make use of the Low BB setting for uplift days, not when you are pedalling.

Overall

The Scott Genius LT is a confidence inspiring bike, don’t be fooled by the long travel, the sorted suspension platform coupled with the Twinloc Lever System will see you powering up the hills and getting the most out of them on the way down too. Slack angles and a long wheelbase coupled with 27.5 wheels make for speed and stability that will see you smiling from ear to ear. If you want a bike you can take to the Alps and ride at the bike parks, but also want to use it on your weekly XC duties the adaptable nature of the Genius LT make it a definite contender.

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This review was in Issue 26 of IMB.

For more information visit Scott Bicycles

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By Nigel Garrood
Nigel Garrood was one of the instigators of the IMB project and has been with us since the very beginning. This loveable rogue has more stories than the Bible and is known to enjoy a beer or two. On the bike, he’s fast and loose and often puts younger riders to shame. Equally he’s been known to suffer from the odd crash and carries the scars to prove it. He was once referred to as being a robot sent from the future to save us all!

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