A video review of the Scott Genius LT 710 with an upgraded fork and three-step geometry adjustment system
Scott’s Genius was one of the first bikes with on-the-fly travel and geometry adjustment when it appeared back in 2003. A long travel (LT) version soon followed, equipped with a triple-chamber pull shock. Sound familiar? Well, its spirit lives on in the Cannondale Jekyll.
For the contemporary Genius LT, Scott’s Twinloc remote is coupled to a Fox Nude shock and Fox 36 CTD fork to give you a choice of three modes; Descend, with 170mm of travel front and rear, Traction Control, which reduces rear travel to 110mm and increases low-speed compression damping at both ends, and Climb mode, with even firmer compression damping.
Aesthetically, the Genius LT is a triumph. The top tube is low and radically slanted, providing acres of room to move around the bike, yet there’s still enough real estate for a bottle cage.
Internal cable routing keeps the lines clean, while slick gloss paint adds an eye-catching accent to the matt finish. Like a lot of modern enduro bikes, the Scott sports a down tube protector and moulded chainstay guard. Both are a lot more effective than the chain tensioner, however, which pops open and lets the chain fall out over rough terrain.
The 2014 version of this bike was hamstrung by a Fox 34 fork, which, with 170mm of travel, was stretched beyond its limits. This year it gets the much stiffer, sturdier Fox 36, and is significantly better for it. For starters, you can now tune the air spring curve by adding or subtracting volume spacers, just like a RockShox Pike.
We added an orange 10.8cc spacer, to the blue one already fitted, and reduced the air pressure in order to gain sensitivity alongside better progression. Vastly more capable on choppy terrain, the 36 steers with absolute precision and really allows you to take advantage of the Genius LT’s superb geometry.
As an added bonus, the fork upgrade has allowed Scott to soften the tune on the Fox Nude shock, so now the rear suspension is noticeably more compliant. It’s a big step forward for the Genius LT, and now the bike really carries speed over the gnarliest of trails — front and rear wheels a blur of motion while the frame remains resolutely level.
At 760mm, the Syncros bar has just about enough room to accommodate the Scott’s multitude of controls. There are two shifters, two brake levers and two remotes — not to mention a snake orgy of cables — taking up every inch of real estate left by the oversize 35mm centre bulge.
Scott’s Twinloc remote control is a bit of an eyesore, and looks like it was knocked up in a garden shed; compared to how sleek the rest of the bike is, it sticks out like the sore thumb you’ll get trying to reach it.
On a more positive note, we loved the Shimano SLX brakes, and really appreciated the larger 203mm rotor on the front; it made all the difference. We’d advise keeping an eye on the Shimano hubs, though, as they need regular servicing.
Without a handy pressure chart or sag indicator on the frame, getting the Genius LT set up requires reading the manual. The vital number to keep in mind is 18mm — that’s the recommended sag for the Nude shock. Further tuning options are limited to setting the rebound damping.
Even with this minimal interaction, we instantly felt right at home aboard the Scott. Although similar in terms of static geometry to the Canyon Strive CF 9.0 Race, the extra travel and less progressive suspension gave it a super-low dynamic bottom bracket height that was just amazing in the corners. We could load up the bike and pop out of turns without losing any momentum.
This was complemented by the voracious suspension and excellent weight balance between the axles. It took more effort to get up to speed, and it lacked the twinkle-toed agility of lighter bikes, but as a bike for steam-rolling the roughest terrain, it worked brilliantly.
Watch how Brendan Fairclough rides his Genius here:
With stacks of travel and great geometry, the Genius LT revelled in the steepest, roughest terrain we could throw it down. However, it isn’t especially lively, or agile, and it takes a surprising amount of energy to get up to speed. Nor was it as rewarding as lighter bikes when we were looking to have fun, rather than go flat-out. Without the Twinloc system, the Genius LT would feel like a ball and chain on climbs and flat singletrack. Engaging Traction Control, or Climb mode, firms it up enough to cover ground efficiently, but it’s still a bit mushy and it never quite masked that excess mass.