Pedaling response: 12.1/15
For all the tinkerers and micro-adjusters out there, Scott’s Contessa Genius 710 will keep you busy with myriad options for dialing in the ride. Start by adjusting the Fox 34 Float 150mm-travel fork using three ride settings — open, medium, and firm — to suit your terrain. Next, check out the custom Fox Nude rear shock that works with Scott’s TwinLoc system for adjusting both front and rear shocks while keeping your hands on the handlebars. One click of the TwinLoc switch puts the rear shock into traction mode while keeping the fork fully open. Two clicks of the switch locks out both front and rear shocks simultaneously.
But there’s more. You can change the bike’s geometry by raising or lowering the bottom bracket height using a shock mount chip. By removing and flipping the chip, you can affect the bike’s BB height by 7mm, which then changes the head tube angle by 0.5 degrees. The size small we tested went from 67.9-degree to 68.4-degrees with the flip of this chip. Both are fairly slack for more stable handling at higher speeds, and it wasn’t like night and day when we swapped the geometry. But it does add to adjustability if you’re searching for that perfect fit.
All of this adjustability was fun to play with on the trail, but sometimes we questioned if there are just too many options, too many ways to convince yourself there is a better setting or combination for the trail right ahead. We’d recommend initially spending time deciding the chip position and geometry for your riding style. Once you have that set, spend your time playing with the front and rear suspension for the different terrains.
Adjustments aside, the Genius rides like a big, bad bike ready to take on gnarly trails and big drops. It loves to bomb downhill and the 150mm front suspension takes huge hits without throwing you from your line. Climbing is another story. The front and rear lockouts certainly help with the bike’s climbing efficiency but it’s heavy — 28.63 pounds for a size small – and in either chip position, the head tube angle is pretty slack. Take it to the bike park for some lift serve runs? Hell yes. Take it for a spin up a long, steep ascent and you’ll be cursing the extra suspension and rowdy position.
The Genius’ 27.5-inch wheels show why this category is booming — good rollover, solid momentum, and more suspension options without sacrificing comfortable geometry for smaller riders. The XT drivetrain and SLX brakes add to bike’s thoughtful spec and an X-Fusion Strate dropper post finishes it off as a complete trail package.
Component Highlights: Shimano XT drivetrain with 36/26 crankset and 11-40 cassette; Shimano SLX brakes; Fox 34 Float Performance Air 150mm travel fork; Fox Nude rear shock; Syncros X-23 rims with Shimano SLX hubs
Weight: 28.63 pounds (size S)