Scott Genius LT 700 650b - first look

Plus SRAM X01 drivetrain

After last year's update of the Scott Genius platform to a conventional push shock and the slightly less conventional 27.5in (650b) wheel size, it was only a matter of time before the longer travel Scott Genius LT saw a similar overhaul for 2014. Throw in the yet-to-be-released SRAM X01 11-speed drivetrain and BikeRadar were intrigued…

Designed as an enduro race machine, the Genius LT has gone down in terms of both travel and weight, with 170mm at either end as opposed to the 180/185mm front/rear bias of old. 

The all-new carbon frame is based on the basic layout of the 2013 Genius. Scott's impressive carbon-forming know-how has enabled the company to drop an impressive 400g from that frame, giving a claimed weight of just 12.4kg (27.3lb) for the new model pictured.

Apart from being butched up over the standard Genius, to cope with the extra travel and trail antics of Scott team riders such as Brendan Fairclough, the carbon frame of the LT has had a few additional tweaks: the new bike has internal cable routing to keep things clean, and a neat chainstay-mounted chain guide hints at the bike's more aggressive purpose.

More importantly, the stilted-feeling DT Swiss Nude shock used on previous Spark and Genius models has been consigned to history – not just for the LT but across the entire Scott range. The performance of this unit was a chink in the armour of an otherwise fast and furious trail steed.

Scott chose to partner with Fox to create a new Nude unit. It still provides three travel settings, with 170mm, 135mm or complete lockout available at a flick of the bar-mounted TwinLoc remote switch. The reduced travel Traction setting reduces the air volume of the shock to give less sag, creating more upright geometry, a feature that Scott has long held to improve climbing performance over travel adjustment alone.

The new Nude shock provides three travel settings

As with last year's Genius range, the remote simultaneously adjusts the Climb Trail Descend damping settings of the front Fox 34 fork to match the three travel settings. 

The change could radically change the trail manners of the Scott trail full-suspension family, and we're eager to try the new unit.

The bike pictured also represents one of our first sights of the new, single ring-specific SRAM X01 11-speed groupset, which offers the wide range of the frighteningly expensive but functionally flawless SRAM XX1 groupset at a reduced cost.

The bulk of the technology behind the SRAM XX1 group appears to trickle down to the X01

We haven't had a chance to look at the SRAM X01 group in isolation, but it's fair to expect a weight penalty for the price reduction, although the cassette appears to share the slimmed down XD driver body standard, as well as the 10-42T gear range. The cranks use alloy arms but still have the wide/narrow X-Sync teeth, which serve to hold the chain firmly in place.

We'll be getting a first ride on the new Scott Genius LT 700 soon, so check back for news of how both it and the new SRAM X01 groupset feel once tires hit dirt.

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