August 24, 2014

Long Term 2014 Genius 730 Mountain Bike Review

Here I’ll be reviewing the Genius 730 after riding on it for a season.  My initial thoughts of the bike after my first ride on it can be found here...

Here are the specs of the bike...


Genius Alloy / 6061 custom butted
hydroformed tubes / Tapered Head Tube
BB92 / IDS SL dropout for 142 x 12mm
U-Mono Link / rear 180PM
BB Height adj.

Front 130mm
Rear 130 - 90 - Climb / Shock 190 x 50

Fox 32 Float Evolution CTD Air
CTD remote damper with 3 modes
15mm QR axle / tapered steerer
reb. Adj.

Rear Shock
Fox Nude / SCOTT custom w. travel / geo adj
CTCD 3 modes: Climb - Traction Control -
Descend / reb. Adj.

Remote System
SCOTT TwinLoc Remote Technology
3 modes front and rear

Ritchey Pro Minus Tapered 1.5" - 1 1/8"
semi integr. OD 50/61mm / ID 44/55mm

Rear Derailleur
Shimano XT RD-M786 SGS
Shadow PlusType / 30 Speed

Front Derailleur
Shimano SLX FD-M670-A-E / DM

Shimano SLX SL-M670-I
Rapidfire Plus / 2 way release
Ispec clamp

Brake Levers
Shimano SLX BL-M675-B Disc

Shimano SLX BR-M675 Disc
180/F and 180/R mm SM-RT64 CL Rotor

Shimano XT FC-M782
hollowtech 2
40Ax30Ax22A T

Shimano SM-BB71-41A / shell 41x92mm

Syncros FL1.5 Tbar
Alloy 7050 D.B. / T shape Flat / 9° / 720mm
Syncros Pro lock-on grips

Syncros TR1.5
2014 / 4D forged / oversize 31.8mm
1-1/8" / 6° angle


Syncros FL1.5 / 31.6mm

Syncros TR2.0 / CROM rails

Hub (Front)
Shimano SLX HB-M678 / 15mm

Hub (Rear)
Shimano SLX FH-M678 Disc CL
12 x 142mm / DT RWS axle

Shimano CN-HG54

Shimano CS-HG62-10
11-36 T

DT Swiss Competition 2.0-1.8-2.0 Black

Syncros XC / Eyelets / 32H

Schwalbe Nobby Nic EVO / 2.25
67 EPI Kevlar Bead
PaceStar compound
700 series: with SnakeSkin

Weights in KG
12.90 kg

Weights in LBS
28.38 lbs

I can’t really make any comparisons to other trail bikes, as this is the only one I’ve owned and I’ve never experienced any other. So this review will mostly be comparing the bike to the xc bikes that I have owned and the pros and cons of my experience with it.

The times I was able to get somewhere where this bikes shines rocks, roots, drop offs it was a blast to ride. I could ride into technical sections without a worry. After riding a hard tail for so many yrs it felt strange to be able to ride so fast through sections without being white knuckled and jarred. 


This was also the first yr I’ve raced a full suspension xc bike (spark 720)…. 

It has also made technical rocky roots sections much more comfortable but there were differences.  My xc bike is carbon and had some lighter parts, narrower rims and tires so I was not comfortable trying to do the same stuff I did on the genius like big drop offs. The genius has a wider space between chain/ seat stays so it will accommodate bigger tires and the angles are steeper making it more comfortable on decants (made me feel less like I might go over the handlebars) 

There were several times when I hit jumps and lost control, started sliding out around a corner or found my self going faster than I wanted into a technical section but the big tires, extra suspension and slacker angles made it all OK they save me. All the sections where I had in the past thought to my self “ I’m not sure about this” I was hitting without even thinking. The bike increased my self-confidence and made me feel like a superhero while riding it. Some footage of riding with teammate Jeff....

All the benefits do come with a down side. Trying to ride it at the same pace that I normally ride my xc bike was exhausting. The extra weigh and big slow rolling tires feels like I’m riding through mulch or sand on the climbs. 

If your riding party pace with friends than it won’t matter too much but if your trying to keep up with your xc racing buddies it could be hard; especially if there are long stretches of fire road or pavement included in your ride.

While it may be a slower bike a cool thing about it is that you can ride it everyday.  I could comfortably ride the genius daily off road even on super easy rest days without getting beat up. Being able to stay in the saddle and do a easy spin while off road was a strange feeling that I had never experienced before. 


An upgrade that I would suggest if you are considering purchasing this bike is a dropper seat post (the higher end geniuses come with one but the 730 dose not I put on a rock shock reverb dropper post) and some wider tires (I was using 2.4 continual trail kings, the bike came with 2.25 knobby nicks). I feel the dropper post and wide tires did as much (if not more) for making the bike handle confidently as the 150 mm of front/ rear suspension. Being able to move my weight around more efficiently improved my cornering abound ability to deal with steep terrain. The big tires improved breaking, cornering and improved stability. 

The bike comes with Scott’s twin lock remote lock out lever. It offers 3 modes of suspension (locked out, half locked out, and fully unlocked). I did notice that the lock out was very sensitive if I was in full lock out. If I bumped it by accident it would jump to half unlocked mode when I didn’t want it to. I thought this might have been an issue with just my bike (because I set it up wrong) but my teammate Jeff who was also riding a genius with twin lock also had the same issue. I’ve used the twin lock on my xc bike without this issue occurring. It’s possible Jeff and I both had this set up wrong but I think there may be another issue linked to dealing with the extra travel.

The Syncros XC67 rims that came with the bike were durable (no issues with the wheel coming out of true or broken spokes). They are 27 mm wide which is a bit   wider than an your average xc tire (normally about 24mm wide). Jeff was riding Stan’s flows (which I also run on my training xc bike) they are 29mm wide.  I think Jeff was happy with the way they performed ( i know i have been very happy with mine, they have lasted 2 yrs of hard riding with out any issues and are still going strong).

Unlike the flows the Syncros XC67 where very hard to set up tubeless.  I installed Stan’s yellow tape on the Syncros rims and spent about 2 hours and when though the majority of a 1 liter Stan’s tubeless sealant container trying to make it happen. I finally got one wheel to hold air but ran out of patience before getting the other. I wouldn’t recommend trying to set them up tubeless. 

Comes with a Fox 32 Evolution CTD air Fork and Fox Nude shock. This was an upgrade from last year’s genius that came with the same model fork but a DT Swiss rear shock. In my opinion DT Swiss dose not make suspension that is as smooth as Fox. You can read Nathaniel’s review of last yrs (2013) 730 Genius here…

I am 6 feet tall and I was on the fence about choosing to go with. I decided on the 27.5 size because I wanted a quicker handling bike. I was worried that with the extra suspension and longer chain stays that the handling would be slow unless I had the smaller wheels.  I was happy with the decision but I think I’m at a height where 29” wheels would have been fine too. 

I am overall happy with the bike.  I think the 730 or 740 models are the best bang for the buck when compared to the other models in the genius line. However like I mentioned earlier in the review adding a dropper post and larger more durable tires would go a long way in making the bike handle better.

here are some pics of the bike specced the way it came (except for the ESI grips and the Continental Trail King tires)...

- Mike


  1. Hi, Did you fit a dropper to the Spark. I'm currently doing battle with how to externally route a Rockshox in an optimal way - its starting to do my head in!

  2. Andrew - just saw your post (sorry for the delay). My brother has a Spark and got an externally routed Rockshox Reverb to work perfectly on his frame. The internal routing for a Reverb Stealth is going to be tricky as I'm not sure you'll be able to easily fish the hydraulic line through the frame to the BB and then up the seat tube. I'm sure it can be done, but you're going to have to do a lot of work to make it happen. Hope you had luck making it work!

  3. I wanted to ask you about how you liked XC racing on your Spark 720? I've been debating one but was worried that it might be too trail-oriented?? Thoughts?

  4. Hello
    First of all, congratulations on the excellent review of this bike.
    What worries me is the following.
    Since we have about the same height, I am interested that you test the model, the M or L size bike.
    I am 184 centimeters tall and inseam is 83 cm, and according to all the parameters of L is recommended for me, but then again ... better to ask whether the experience is better than M L someone who already drive this bike.
    So what is your suggestion, M or L?

    And another question, I have chance to buy this bike for 1300 Eur......Bike is barely 1000 km used, so I belive that is a good invest....