First Look: 650b and 29″ 2013 Scott Genius

With the growing buzz surrounding the reemergence of the 650b wheel size, when Scott Invited us to attend a press launch during the Ride Sun Valley bike festival in Sun Valley, Idaho, even though they’ve denied working on a production 650b bike, we had our suspicions on what they had in store. After all, spec wise, it was fairly obvious that the Genius was due for a major update for its 10th birthday.

However, the new Genius 700 (650b) and Genius 900 (29″) are much more than just different wheel sizes. The new bikes receive a 100% redesigned frame that no longer utilizes the Equalizer pull shock and includes features like a tapered head tube, and BB92 bottom bracket. The result is a pair of light weight bikes in both carbon and aluminum with bigger wheels, and plenty of trail capability.

Much more after the break.

 

At the start of the engineering process, Scott had 3 major goals for the redesign of the Genius – improved stiffness, increased Twinlock function, and to utilize the new 650b and 29 inch wheels. The new frames had to be more stiff, but more importantly, stiff in the right places like the bottom bracket. Thanks to advances in Scott’s HMX carbon process, weight was able to be cut out of the frame’s tubes and reinvested in the key areas of the frame. Also, the new design of the suspension linkage features a one piece mono-U link along with all new beefed up hardware that greatly improves stiffness over the Genius’ old two piece link.

Further improvements in stiffness were obtained through the use of a tapered head tube, a wide BB92 bottom bracket, and Scott’s proven IDS-SL drop out system. Both the 700 and 900 Genius will offer a stock 142×12 DT RWS rear axle for the top end models, but will have the option to run 135×12 and 135×5 axles as well.

For years, the Genius has featured the Equalizer pull shock, but for 2013 Scott worked directly with DT Swiss to develop a custom shock just for the Genius. The DT Nude 2 LTD shock features more advanced damping control and is 200g lighter, easier to set up, easier to check sag, and is more protected from debris coming off the rear wheel compared to a pull shock. Also, thanks to standard shock dimensions, the frame has the option to run other shocks.

Even without the pull shock, the 2013 Genius still features the ability to change the bike’s travel and geometry with the operation of one lever. The Nude 2 LTD (Lockout, Traction, Descend) is built with two air chambers so that the air volume of the shock can be changed with the Twinloc remote.

(From left to right: Descend mode, Traction mode, Lockout. Pressing the silver lever at any point drops the Twinlock to the previous position.)

Changing the Twinloc from Descend to Traction mode reduces the air spring volume by closing a valve between the two chambers. Not only does the new spring rate decrease the travel, it also causes the bike to sit up slightly creating a more climbing friendly position. Twinloc also changes the damping settings on both the shock and the Fox CTD fork based on the selected position – from wide open, to fully locked out. This means that the Twinloc is still the only remote system that offers full adjustment of both the shock and fork with only one lever.

Travel on the Genius is 0/100/150mm for the 700, and 0/90/130mm for the 900. Why the difference? When it came to designing the two bikes, it was very important to Scott that the two bikes kept nearly the same geometry. That meant that due to the wheel size and travel difference, the 29er could only fit 130mm without compromising the geometry. Other than travel, the rear shocks on the 700 and 900 are the same, but up front the 700 receives a Fox 34 CTD Talas, while the 900 sticks with a Fox 32 CTD.

In order to protect the frame, and help keep the chain in place, the carbon Genius’ come equipped with Scott’s two bolt chain blocker. Since the chain blocker was designed to do just that, and not to be a bash guard, 3 bolts weren’t needed which helps keep the weight down. However, if you want to run a chain guide with ISCG 05 mounting holes, Scott does offer an ISCG 05 adapter.

Cable routing on the new Genius has been cleverly thought out with a mix of internal and external routing. Shift cable routing is nearly all internal, with the housing popping out of the down tube just in front of the BB, with the front housing going to a stop on the swing arm, and the rear housing continuing through the chainstay. The Twinloc housing is internal as well, entering through the top tube and exiting just in front of the shock. Brake hoses are still routed externally though with a smart system of hose guides to keep them in place along the down tube and chain stay.

The down tube guides also serve as guides for dropper post cabling as well, with options for both internal routing for posts like the Reverb Stealth, and external for all the other posts. Dropper cables or hoses are routed externally along the down tube until they enter into the down tube through the oval port shown just above the brake hose clamp. From there, internally routed dropper post lines continue through the seat tube to the bottom of the post, while externally routed cables exit through another port on the back of the seat tube above the bottom bracket and are secured with a second cable guide further up the tube.

In spite of all the bells and whistles, frame weight on both the 700 and 900 comes in at 5 lbs including the shock, which is about 150g lighter than the previous Genius. It may not sound like much, but given that the new frame is 20-30 percent stiffer, it’s pretty impressive. Due to Scott’s recent purchase of Syncros, our Genius 710 and 910 test bikes were built with a high end carbon Syncros parts group with a Sram X0 2×10 drive train with Syncros Carbon wheels and Schwalbe Nobby Nics, which certainly helped to keep the weight down. Even for the build, the actual weights are impressive with the medium 910 carbon coming in at 24 lb 6 oz, the medium 710 carbon at 25 lb 5 oz, and the alloy 700 at 26 lbs 3 oz!

Scott did a fantastic job of making the alloy framed Genius look very similar to the carbon frame – so much so that we often had trouble telling them apart at first. The alloy frame ends up 450g heavier than the carbon variety, with nearly identical features. Really, one of the only differences is that the alloy frame has built in ISCG 05 tabs so it has no need for the adapter.

When you put everything together, the 2013 Genius has to be one of the most feature packed trail bikes available. The list of acronyms and numbers are long, but the payoff should be an amazingly confident, versatile trail destroyer.

Stay tuned for first ride impressions soon.

Oh, and about the name of the new wheels – while people may argue that 27 or 27.5 isn’t the actual measurement of the tire, Scott feels it’s important to stick with the same numbering system throughout the range to eliminate customer confusion. Trying to sell a customer a mountain bike by giving them options of 26, 27, or 29 is more intuitive than 26, 650b, and 29 (or 700c). We tend to agree (though 27′rs doesn’t quite have the same ring as 29′rs).

Comments

fanboy - 07/09/12 - 12:55am

right.

http://www.bikerumor.com/2012/06/06/whats-driving-the-650b-explosion-interviews-tech-breakdown-more/

June 6th 2012
SCOTT: “So far it is not on our radar to bring to market.”

“… at this point we are not planning to make a 27? production bike. ”

July 9th 2012
check out our new range!

From “no plans” to a “full range” in under a month. Amazing.

qwertz - 07/09/12 - 1:18am

I guess they just waited to sell off some more obsolete 26 inch (really old school) and 29 inch (soon-to-be old school) stock, before releasing this must have cutting edge innovation in cycling technology. Imagine the liveliness of a 26inch wheel, combined with the confident roll of a 29 inch wheel, all in one package! OMG! Gotta buy a new bike now, fast.

Arri - 07/09/12 - 1:53am

I see it more like this: not the liveliness of a 26 nor the confident roll of a 29.

gringo - 07/09/12 - 3:08am

Wow, looks like the Scott guys have been busy.

_note to Fanboy. thats called not leaking confidential info to the public (and competitors) before the product is ready. Its standard practice in the business world, FYI

Primoz - 07/09/12 - 11:08am

Soooooo… Spark LT anyone? :D

Adrian - 07/09/12 - 11:29am

The Gringo is correct, I had to choose my words carefully and not spill the beans early. But now it’s official and both bikes are amazing. #changeyourwheelschangeyourmind Enjoy!

Jeff - 07/09/12 - 12:14pm

@Arri – have you ridden one?
Also, I always thought the confidence came from the rider, regardless of wheel size…

Kay - 07/09/12 - 12:25pm

So what’s the chance of being able to run the 29er with 650b wheel on the back. From looking at the silhouette of the two bikes I think it would work. Would like to see somebody try it.

fanboy - 07/09/12 - 6:40pm

Adrian
no. that’s straight up lying.

“being careful” and choosing your words would be considerably different to stating “… at this point we are not planning to make a 27″ production bike. ”

Sorry. that’s NOT choosing your words.
At the time the statement was made (June 6th), there is no way that the carbon molds were not already well beyond sample stage and in pre-production frames. Marketing was being lined up. wedesign was well on it’s way as were printed catalogues. (Eurobike is just around the corner)

So to straight up make the statement “we are not planning” is nothing more than a lie. Suck it up and admit it.

and Gringo – as someone that has been in business, this business, for well over 16 years at the supplier level, I’m well aware of the difference between “lying” and “bending and flexing the truth” to protect my products.

Real World - 07/09/12 - 9:44pm

to fanboy – seems like you have a serious axe to grind? What answer could have he given at this late date that would qualify as “bending” without letting the cat out of the bag. Sometimes certain information isn’t revealed, and I don’t see how his “lie” according to you hurt anyone. There was enough information out the past couple months regarding the possibility that at least some companies might offer 650b for 2013 that consumers can’t claim they were hoodwinked. Fanboy, you need to channel your energy towards something more constructive………. like finding some more customers for your supplies.

ajoobakooja - 07/09/12 - 11:45pm

“Choosing words” would be saying something like “I can’t comment on future product planning”. If you consistently do that then no cats exit any bags.

“I can neither confirm nor deny these rumors.”

fanboy - 07/10/12 - 1:48am

Real World – no axe as such. Just tied of reading lies from people.

my company (and with our suppliers) pride ourselves on facts and details first, marketing jargon and hype a very distant second. So we tend to align ourselves with engineering based brands. The bigger the marketing dept, the less I trust the brand involved.

I’m just sick of reading marketing speak and lies disguised as facts.

ajoobakooja – you summed it up. there are many ways to say nothing without saying anything that is contradictory later.

I actually like Scott bikes and have friends that work for them. But this poorly handled episode could have been done any one of a dozen different ways.

Axe? no. Let down? yes.

gringo - 07/10/12 - 3:16am

I wonder if fanboy works for a company whose products have so little demand that he ‘leaks’ info about upcoming releases simply to garner a bit of interest.

thats my guess!

BTW. I had such a great ride last night, 2 hours on the 29er, tacky dirt and a great sunset by the river. Fanboy, I would suggest you try riding again, cuz I bet you enjoyed it at one time.

Le Piou - 07/16/12 - 2:54am

I like their chain blocker.
do they sell it?
Any alternative? I don’t like the chain blockers with integrated bash guard that you can find on the market… I prefer to destroy my outer crank than my frame…

Luis F. Munoz - 08/29/12 - 10:55pm

Very nice bike ………..

NIG - 03/27/13 - 3:36pm

IM TAKING DELIVERY OF A SCOTT GENIUS 910 ON FRIDAY 29TH MARCH 2013 FROM LANGSETT CYCLES IN SHEFFIELD. THE DEMO 920 WAS SUPERB ON A TRIP TO THE LAKEDISTRICT, TAKING IN WINDLATTER AND SCARSDALE. ! LOOKING FORWARD TO THE DROPPER POST AS IVE NOT HAD ONE BEFORE.THE PREVIOUS YEAR I DEMOD A SPARK 40 . MY BIKER MATE HAS BOUGHT THE 730 ,650B GENIUS AND IS BLOWN AWAY WITH ITS PERFORMANCE!!

JB - 04/02/13 - 7:54pm

Geez Fanboy, really – is it such a big issue? I thought this was quick look at the new Genius, not whether Scott lied, mislead or protected it’s commercial interest. End of the day I want to read about what people think of the bikes, not personal “axe grinds” on how they could-have-said-something-a-better-way.

Good on you for you outstanding business morals and the fine way your company does things, but don’t judge and demand others act just as you do.

BTW – I have a 650B arriving next week. Absolutely loved it during the test rides so ordered one straight away. Big improvement on previous Genius. I don’t care much for being the fastest on a ride, I care only for how much FUN can I have, and the Genius is fun in bucket loads

NIG - 04/06/13 - 10:14am

Scott 910 genius.This has got to be best mountain bike on the market by far ! Be in no doubt about that . If you were poised with your hard ernt cash in your pocket, you will not be disapointed. Ok so heres what i think . 2 by 10 gears work well ,in the front rings your either in top or bottom ,thats it ! simple. I tweeked the internally fed dropper post height to the perfect setting and left my mate on his scott 650 b a few times on steep asents . hes now going to get one.I just need to adjust the handle bar button slightly as its just out of reach.The “in the bike” feel has not been lost and feels exactly the same as the 29er spark . I would go for the genius because of the much longer travel! gears changed superbly , reliable stopping power from the xt brakes. the bike goes in for its first service in a month and will go tubeless . knocking its weight down eaven more. the rear shock compliance with rocks was great although ive not been up anything super steep yet. The shock has been set up for 12 1/2 stone but i will simply drop some pressure if its not compliant enough . The lock out system is a dream!!!! God it is sooo good!!!!!! This bike raises the bar so far that that all other manufacturers are going to have to seriously go back to the drawing board an wonder what they are goin to do to catch up!! The back up service from langsett cycles sheffield is second to none ! buy yours from your local dealer not the net as your dealer is always there to help with any fine tuning.

Andy - 06/24/13 - 7:13pm

After researching and testing bikes for the last 7 years, I am finally pulling the trigger on the Genius 710. It is the best all around bike, hands down. All of the 2013′s sold out months ago. Waiting for the 2014 model to be released at the upcoming show in July. Can’t wait. Thank you to the engineers at Scott for putting together the most excellent bike in the market.

Richard - 10/04/13 - 1:22am

Iḿ not a big rider, and searching for a nible bike like this Scott Genius 710. But for a dutch beach-race, would it be possible to fit 29″ wheels (with Schwalbe Big Apple low profile tires) in the 650B Frame?

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