The Genius 750 is Scott’s cheapest 650b wheeled, 150mm (5.5in) travel trail bike. With a smattering of top brand components, could it be the entry-level trail bike everyone is looking for?
Frame and equipment: some nice features, and some spec holes
The Genius 750 lacks some of the features we’re accustomed to seeing on Scott’s more expensive trail bikes, including the bar-mounted TwinLoc remote for adjusting the front and rear suspension simultaneously. The RockShox Monarch RL shock does have a low-speed compression damping lever to allow you to firm up the suspension for more efficient pedalling though.
Scott’s TwinLoc system may be absent but you do get a pedalling lever on the rear shock
Scott’s IDS SL dropout system is paired with a skinny 5x135mm rear axle rather than the stiffer 12x142mm unit found on the Genius 740 and above. Offset shock mounts let you alter the bottom bracket height by 5.5mm and the head and seat angles by 0.5 degrees.
As well as providing the rear shock, RockShox takes care of things up front with its Sektor TK air-sprung fork, which delivers 140mm (5.5in) of travel – 10mm less than out back. Shimano supplies the dependable braking and shifting components. It’s worth noting that there are no lock-on grips and no clutch derailleur – both things we’re coming to expect at this price.
Ride and handling: well-balanced but has its limitations
Balancing the front and rear suspension took some time, mainly because of the lack of support on offer from the Sektor. We ended up running quite a bit of pressure in the fork and a little less sag than usual at the rear, which seemed to just about do the trick. That said, we still found the fork diving and tucking when navigating rock gardens or steeper sections of twisty trail.
Get the 750 up to speed on faster sections of trail centre style terrain though, and things feel far more capable. There’s plenty of room to stretch out when seated, thanks in part to the long 80mm stem, and when you’re out of the saddle, the well proportioned geometry means the riding position feels nicely central.
It was difficult to stop the Sektor TK fork on our test bike diving through its travel
Flicking the dual-position low-speed compression lever on the shock into ‘pedal’ mode helps reduce bob – something that’s quite apparent when grinding up climbs standing up on the pedals – and thanks to its position just under the top tube, it’s easy to actuate.
Descending is a reasonably confident affair. Even if you don’t feel like you can load the fork particularly hard, the brakes feel dependable and solid, and the Maxxis Ardent treads are predictable enough when the going gets a little sketchy.
The rear end dealt with everything we chucked in its path and sucked up most hits without issue, though the shock didn’t feel the most supple off the top. With no clutch rear derailleur there is quite a bit of chain slap though, and we had the chain drop off or onto the middle chainring on more than one occasion.