The Genius LT has been part of the Scott Sports line up for a few years now, but in the past couple, it has received some major updating. Gone are it’s 185mm of travel—a bit of a nowheresville with regards to speciality for it’s rider. It has also seen them move away from the DT Swiss pull shock system, and move onto a more user friendly (and easily replaceable) regular Fox NUDE shock. It has shaved some weight, and settled on a bike toting a burly 170mm of travel both in the front and rear.
SCOTT’s Fox NUDE Rear Shock
Scott has equipped the Genius LT with their proprietary rear shock the Fox NUDE. It is a 3-position adjustable rear shock that they refer to as open, traction control, and closed. It breaks down like this: open=170mm, traction control=100mm, closed=0mm of rear wheel travel. I was skeptical of the design when i first got the bike, and i found myself wondering why they would equip the bike with the Fox Float X rear shock? After riding the shock, I can see the benefits it offers. The 100mm travel makes the bike’s climbing characteristics much more inline with what an XC rider would be used to. It offers a sturdy platform that is definitely pedal-efficent. The lock out setting on the Genius LT doesn’t seem to offer the 0mm travel that it claims-it still has a breakthrough threshold to it, but that’s something that I’m ok with. I mean, who wants to buy a 170mm travel bike, and then lock it out and turn it into a hardtail?
Frame: HMX Carbon frame/carbon swingarm, tapered headtube, BB92, with ISCG05 mounts.
Fork: Fox 36 Scott tuned damper (swapped for RC2 damper)
Rear shock: Fox NUDE 3-position travel adjustable
Drivetrain: X01 shifter/derailleur/cassette/chain/cranks
Brakes: XTR trail (swapped for Guide RSC)
Bar/Stem: 35mm clamp, 760mm width, 10mm rise, Syncros with 35mm clamp, 60mm length Syncros stem (swapped for Renthal carbon 30mm rise, with Renthal Apex 50mm stem)
Wheels: Syncros AM 1.5 (DT Swiss internals 36t star ratchet engagement)
Tires: Schwalbe 2.35 Hans Dampf/Rock Razor (swapped for Continental 2.4 Mountain King/X-King)\
Grips: Syncros (swapped ODI vans
Seatpost: Rock Shox Reverb Stealth 125mm drop
Headset: Syncros Angleset
Weight: 28lbs 02oz with Shimano XT trail pedals
As anybody who rides bikes knows, everyone has a preference for the ‘feel’ of some things over others. I have always been an avid brake guy, and my DH bike has Renthal bar, and stem on it. For the sake of making things ‘feel’ the same was the goal, and because this is a personal bike, I decided to swap the parts out that I wanted to change. In no way is that a reflection of the parts that came on the bike being bad, simply just not my preference.
Right out of the box the bike feels comfortable. The reach leaves you in an athletic position in both sitting and standing. Not too much weight on your hands, but definitely enough weight that you feel you can push the front end into corners to really maximize traction. The top tube is longer than bikes I’ve ridden in the past hence me going with a shorter stem. Upon climbing, and doing some longer descents I think the 60mm would have been a better length, just to give the cockpit a little more maneuverability room. The wheel base is also longer than the 26” bike I came from. This had a bit of a learning curve, as at first it slowed down in the corners, but it made up for it in straight sections as the stability of the longer wheel base was noticeable. The 27.5 (650b) wheels provide plenty of traction, and ability in rolling over tightly packed roots, and techy rock gardens. They’ve managed to keep the chainstays on this bike at a reasonable length for the wheel size and travel, so this bike comes around pretty quickly in the tight corners making it fun to ride in my local trails.
The axel placement being below the rear ward pivot gives it the feeling that the Genius isn’t a single pivot assisted bike. The slightly rearward axel path doesn’t impact the corning of this bike at all as it only grows by a relatively small amount in comparison to some bikes. Under braking the bike does stand up in the travel more than some other bikes, but it’s a characteristic that I like as it keeps the dynamic ride position of the suspension high in the travel. Never does it feel chattery in rough terrain under braking, or like you don’t have braking traction. The suspension feels very linear, and bottomless, both front and rear shocks have been valved on the “hard” side giving the bike a feeling that you can really smash it into the rough bits and it will soak up any of those problem sections with a smile on its proverbial face. It’s a bike that you feel that you can ride harder, and harder with little repercussion. On a personal note, I prefer my suspension to be a little more progressive through the stroke, but I feel this can be achieved through the use of air can/spring volume spacers changing the way it ramps in the stroke allowing it to remain a little higher in the travel running an appropriate air pressure.
CLIMB TO THE TOP
If you’re looking for something that will race up the hills at breakneck speed leaving you with multiple climb KOM’s on Strava, this probably isn’t the bike for you. But if you’re passion is to climb comfortably for a period of time, at a good pace, and understand that what you’re riding isn’t the most efficient, but is still capable and doesn’t feel like you’re wasting energy (even though you are) this is a great fit. All that said, I have had some PR’s on Strava on this bike, and have top 10 performances on anything from short punchy climbs, to long grinders. It’s surprisingly capable for a 170mm bike.
GET TO THE BOTTOM
Now, after you’ve made your way to the top you can find out why you’ve sacrificed your efficiency on the climb. When you open this bike up on the downs this bike really shines. The 1200mm wheel base provides a stable feeling, and the head angle gets the front wheel in front of you (comes out of the box at 65.8 degrees and that’s where I run it even though it comes with an angleset). It’s very confidence inspiring, and riding shorts descents on trails on more than one occasion rather than chattering my way through the rocks, i’ve simply just picked the bike up, and opted to jump as much of them as I can. Sometimes I get over them, and sometimes I land in them. Either way this bike just asks for more.
I’ve ridden a lot of other bikes over the years, the one most currently that I’ve had extended seat time on was a 2012 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO. I loved that bike–very capable trail bike that you could do anything on. I thought that nothing would ever touch that bike, but decided to try something with a little more travel as when I did trail bike laps at Blue, the bike left me wanting just a little bit more for those days when I really wanted to push it. After riding the SCOTT Genius 700 LT Tuned, I realized that there just might be a bike out there that is more capable than the EVO. I really enjoy the do-anything nature of this bike, and it turned out to be about 1lb lighter than my EVO as another added perk. I’ve been riding this bike since the departure of the snow from the trail, and aside from changing the lubricating oil in the lowers, it hasn’t given me any problems at all. The reliability has been great, and in fact now coming into mid October, creaked today when climbing for the first time. Once a season for linkage cleaning sits as pretty alright in my world.
THE BIG PICTURE
I took a blind leap of faith when I got this bike having never so much as throwing my leg over one to get the sizing correct. I was leary of the shock, and the travel the bike had, but thought I would give it a year and if I didn’t like it, I would sell it for something else. This is a bike that has a LOT of travel but, that aside, this bike is no slug. It’s probably best suited for long, casual ups, with epic descents on the other side (then repeat as much as you can). That being said, it pedals really, really well for the amount of travel it has. I have done an awful lot of diverse riding on this bike (commuting, standard trail riding, downhill laps, and enduro laps in a bike park) and it is truly fun to ride in all avenues of riding. It goes uphill easily, with a suspension platform that’s sturdy enough that it doesn’t feel like the bike is absorbing every ounce of energy you’re putting down on the pedals. It’s not a race XC bike, but if you can get your head around that it’s a bike that you can enjoy riding day in and day out. With all that said, the Scott Genius LT 700 Tuned is a bike that’s made me a believer in what SCOTT are doing.
Height: 6′ 1”
Riding style: Aggressive
Favourite trail type: Fast, technical
Local trails: Collingwood