Scott E-Genius 720 Plus e-MTB review
Scott is another company with a comprehensive e-MTB range, and while the remote-control suspension efficiencies of the Genius aren’t as useful on a powered bike as a conventional one, the plus-tyre-shod 720 Plus is still a good host for a motor.
Apart from the battery-compatible down tube and motor mount, the mainframe is largely unchanged from that of the non-motorised Genius Plus. That includes the internal cable/brake routing and the neat kicker link that wraps around the seat tube.
The back end uses the same layout as the Genius LT, with a rear pivot above the Boost axle, and you get a flip chip for a 0.4-degree head angle and 5mm bottom-bracket height geometry change.
Mounting the main pivot on the back of the motor means the effective chainstay length is super-long at 490mm, but the front end is shorter and the head angle steeper than on the Genius LT.
Scott has at least fitted a 760mm bar and 50mm stem to add some leverage and fast reactions to the 67.5-degree steering. Wide 40mm Syncros rims shod with 2.8in Maxxis Minion and Rekon+ tyres create a grippy wheelset too.
The Shimano SLX and Zee Boost hubs are super-durable, and you get top-quality DT Swiss Champion spokes. SRAM’s NX gears work more smoothly than Shimano’s 11-speed offerings, although the smaller 11-42t (vs 11-46t) cassette means you’ll run out of a spinnable ‘let the motor do the work’ gear sooner. The Miranda Delta cranks aren’t any more inspiring than anything else I’ve seen attached to a Bosch motor.
Big 200mm rotors give the Deore brakes a welcome 20 percent increase in power over the 180mm discs found on other bikes. The Bosch Purion controller keeps the centre of the bar clear for lights, etc, although I often changed power modes accidentally. Add the dropper lever and Scott’s ‘TwinLoc’ combined fork and shock remote control, and the result is a busy cockpit.
This twin-lever set-up lets you toggle the Nude rear shock through 130mm, 90mm and locked modes, with simultaneous engagement of firmer compression damping and complete lock modes on the e-specific Fox 34 fork. Looking at the bikes above and below in the price range, the 720 is definitely the model to get, too.
Scott E-Genius 720 Plus ride impression
The combination of the extra e-mass with big-volume plus rubber just feels right. You can run lower pressures too, so the E-Genius Plus has a smooth, quiet ride. The rear end performs well, considering it’s only controlling 130mm of wheel movement at the end of super-long chainstays that slow down suspension reaction.
I rarely felt the need to shift into the stiffer modes on climbs — partly because the Scott pedals okay in full-travel mode but also because, with an extra 250W of power on tap, tight efficiency is generally less important than fluid traction.
The middle setting does produce a firmer, more progressive feel front and rear though, which is a handy option for aggressive cornering on smoother, swooping (rather than lumpy) trails. This suspension control is underlined by an extra level of connection and smoothness from the tough, high-traction Maxxis plus tyres, which remove surface chatter and add an extra level of comedy cornering lean, particularly in dry conditions.
While the short stem and wide bar give a good steering feel, the fore/aft handling balance of the E-Genius Plus takes some getting used to. In particular, the super-long back-end feels odd when you first start slapping berms or try to flick it round tight lines. It’s not keen on manuals or wheelies either, although that does mean it can whine and winch its way up steep slopes without looping out.
The toothy Minion DHF front tyre adds a super-surefooted trail grab that makes ignoring the tail and riding the Scott almost entirely on the front wheel a lot easier. Extra grip and tyre volume on the rear also provides a slight ‘clutch’ effect that helps reduce the snatch and spin issues that the higher Bosch power levels can produce.
The motor engagement bandwidth is narrower in cadence and torque terms than on the Brose and Shimano units though, and the constant squeal won’t be to everyone’s taste.
Scott E-Genius 720 Plus specs
- Frame: Custom-butted 6061 aluminium, 90-130mm (3.5-5.1in) travel
- Motor: 250W Bosch Performance Line CX w/ 500Wh battery and Purion display
- Fork: Fox 34 Float Performance GRIP, 140mm (5.5in) travel
- Shock: Fox/Scott Nude DPS
- Drivetrain: SRAM NX w/ Miranda Delta cranks (1×11)
- Wheelset: Syncros X40 rims on Shimano SLX (f) and Zee (r) hubs
- Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF (f) and Rekon+ (r) 27.5×2.8in
- Brakes: Shimano Deore, 200mm rotors
- Bar: Syncros FL2.0, 760mm
- Stem: Syncros TR2.0, 50mm
- Seatpost: Syncros Dropper 2.0 120mm dropper
- Saddle: Syncros XM2.5
- Weight: 23.25kg (51.26lb)
This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.