Paul Burwell takes Scott's entry level trail bike for a first ride.
The first thing I noticed as I wheeled the Scott Genius 750 out of the mbr bike shed was how hard the grips felt. I made a mental note to replace them at the first opportunity. The stem also looked too long, so fitting a shorter one was added to my to-do list. I also checked to see if the saddle would go all the way down, as it’s no fun riding steep or technical trails with the seat sticking up — thankfully, it did.
Scott appreciates that riders don’t always want the same things, and to reflect this the Genius has adjustable geometry. The two settings are achieved with a shock-mount chip in the linkage, and I double-checked to see if was in the slack/low position; it’s not that obvious which way round it goes.
Even with the chip in the slacker/lower setting, the 750 was steeper and lower than claimed. It turns out the RockShox Sektor fork fitted to the 750 has only 140mm of travel, while the bikes further up the hierarchy get 150mm forks.
This slight reduction was enough to steepen the head angle and lower the BB height, which goes to show you can’t take manufacturers’ measurements at face value. That’s why we always measure the bikes ourselves.
Need to know
- Long-travel trail bike with 650b wheels
- RockShox suspension 140mm front/150mm rear
- Adjustable geometry with a frame chip system
- Cheapest bike from five-model range
- Also available with 29in wheels and 130mm travel
Given the mismatched travel and steeper geometry, I figured the best way to set up the Genius 750 was to run more sag at the rear and firm up the fork. The RockShox Sektor is pretty supportive, which was a big help on the steep stuff, as was ditching the stock stem for a 50mm.
Hammering flatter trails, the Genius 750 felt capable, but as soon as I let the bike run, there was a noticeable spike in the fork’s compression, especially over mid-sized impacts. For an entry-level bike, the Genius 750 made light work of the climbs; the only thing stopping me getting up the steepest pitches was the low-profile Maxxis Ardent rear tyre occasionally breaking traction.
For the money, the Genius 750 has a good spec, and it’s all hung on a quality frameset. However, I’m still trying to get my head round why Scott mismatched the travel and compromised the geometry on this particular model, especially when RockShox offers a 150mm Sektor.