Scott Genius 720
Weight: 29.5 pounds
By Seb Kemp
From Bike’s Bible of Bike Tests, in print now and also available digitally on Apple Newsstand
For 2013, Scott bravely went wheels deep with their Genius line of bikes, decamping from 26-inch wheels and instead offering both a 650b (Scott would like it known as 27.5) and 29er versions. We had the 27.5-wheeled version (in this case, the Scott Genius 720) on test and, like the in-between size wheels in general, the Scott Genius left us scratching our heads as to what it really all means.
At first, the six inch-travel label had us thinking this would be a highly capable, bump-munching monster, perhaps a contender in the all-mountain category. However, we soon found that the Scott Genius was more of a long- legged trail bike that wants to act tough and shotgun a beer but also wants to hang out with the spandex crowd.
To accomplish this, the Scott Genius has the ability to morph from climber to descender with one lever that controls the front and rear shock remotely. Designed to make things simpler, some testers actually felt it made things more complex. One tester described his experience as “feeling like I was piloting the Starship Enterprise.” Some riders might enjoy this feature–I personally felt it distracted from the experience of the trail.
The Scott Genius climbed like a satellite rocketed into space. Although not the lightest on the scales, the Genius felt feathery light under foot and transferred power extremely well. The DT Nude rear shock has a very light feeling and is surprisingly cushy when run wide open, making it more compliant over small and mid-sized than the very similar Rocky Mountain Altitude.
In some ways, the Scott Genius 720 attempts to be many things (perhaps too many for some of our testers who wanted a more out-and-out descender) but if the Scott Genius was your sole bike, that might be just what you are looking for–a bike that does a hell of a lot of things. The Genius 720, in fact, is probably a better one-and-only bike than a compliment to a stable of bikes. So, if you like mixing it up between cross-country throttling and technical charging, the Scott Genius 720 might be your match.