2014 Bible of Bike Tests Roundtable Reels: Scott Contessa Genius 700

A versatile, value-packed ride that female or male riders can rock on a wide range of terrain

This bike impressed all the testers with its sensible component choice, lightweight, stealth matte-black carbon frame and variable suspension, making it practical for XC races or all-mountain rides. At the 3:30 mark in the video below, our testers address the one significant change that Scott made across the Genius platform this year that served the Contessa 700 extremely well.

Price: $5,250
Contact: scott-sports.com
Direct Links: https://www.scott-sports.com/global/en/products/234191/scott-contessa-genius-700-bike/;jsessionid=45B56A4E1594EFE3CE6D56A9209ECB54

Final Take: A lightweight, versatile 6-inch-travel bike that could satisfy your all-mountain appetite for years.

Scott Contessa Genius 700

Scott Contessa Genius 700

The Contessa Genius 700 stood out as a superb bike among all the testers who rode it, female and male. It's technically the women's-specific version of the Genius 710, but the only real difference is the suspension is tuned for lighter riders and the seat angle is quite a bit slacker—68.4 degrees in the high bottom-bracket setting versus 74.5 degrees for the men's version. Its stealth matte-black frame means guys who prefer the fit of the Contessa don't have slink around praying no one sees them pedaling a chick's bike.

Scott made two major changes to its 2014 line, and both of them stand out here. First, it has hugely committed to 27.5-inch wheels, and secondly, it smartly partnered with Fox Shox for its front fork and Nude rear shock. The TwinLoc remote-lockout suspension is highly versatile. In Lock mode, the rear suspension closes, while the front fork stays active, turning it into a quick-climbing machine. In Traction Control, both front and rear are set at 100 millimeters for mellower rides. Another click fully opens the suspension to 150 millimeters, creating an all-mountain superstar. One more bit of adaptability comes from the shock-mount chip in the linkage. By flipping the chip to low, the bottom bracket drops by 6 millimeters and the 68.4-degree headtube angle and seat angle slacken by half a degree.

The carbon-fiber frame is hung with a reliable XT 10-speed drivetrain, XT brakes with 180-millimeter front and rear rotors, internally routed RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post, full Syncros cockpit and 2.25 tubeless-ready Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires, for an impressive 27.7-pound weight on size medium.

One tester noted that a bike this capable is befitting of a beefier Fox 34 fork. It would also be nice to see a Contessa version of the premium Genius models. –NICOLE FORMOSA