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Scott Genius LT Review

Understanding the Scott Genius LT naturally takes a bit of brainwork even before dropping the seat. A complex shock absorber with multiple pressure settings, a range of bar dials and a triple chainset means the Genius LT is one of the most adjustable bikes of the moment…

From Dirt Issue 114 – August 2011.

Words by Steve Jones. Photos by Victor Lucas.

It’s when you begin looking at the numbers involved that questions might arise, after all this – well it’s almost an eight inch travel bike – has the geometry of a slightly less travelled beast. A couple of Californian companies are also hell bent on the idea of creating longer travel bikes with shorter travel geometry. I struggled to ‘get it’ and then a few years ago I hit he trails in Denver with the Yeti guys and their seven–inch travel trail bike climbing up steep riverbeds before booting it back down. Out there it kind of made sense. I wonder is the Scott in a similar place? Do we really need comfort bikes in the UK though?

I think the answer is yes, but the Genius as an expedition bike comes full of the complexities involved in Alpinism. Some might say baggage. Such high level heritage clearly shines through although like I said quite where this sits in the UK is slightly less easy place to find.

Let’s get back to the question of numbers. Does a 185mm travel bike work with typically 160mm geometry? Yes it does going up and along but not quite so well heading down. However that misses the point and it’s not a question that should be dominating the discussion. You could, if you wanted, compare the other direction too. For instance how does it stand up against a bike with say 15mm more travel? A Specialized Demo 8 maybe? Two inches lower stand over, a lower bottom bracket and several degrees on the headangle gives you much more agro but becomes a beast for bashing uphill and with the added weight penalty from the necessary harder hitting spec.

No, they’ve done a great job with this bike in terms of balancing the uphill and downhill potential – a mountain utility bike. And I think that is a really specialist place because around here riders just use 140 or 160mm travel bikes in their simplest form. Only a few things we didn’t like so much – the rear suspension could also be improved for one and it’s because of that I find that I can ride a quality 160mm bike faster downhill and that’s not necessarily much slower uphill either. Maintenance issues it won’t be for everyone, the gears need cutting down, and bar and stem is an ongoing matter with most brands.

As trail centres become increasingly blown out then the need for a bike like this will increasingly become important. It’s pretty quick up and it’s equally rapid down. It’s also insanely light for a bike of this travel. I’d just love to see how it would work stripped to the bare minimum with a standard shock with a strong Pro Pedal tune and throw away the remote fork lock–out. Single ring up front with 11–36 out the back.

As we mentioned a few issues ago they say it’s “THE bike for exploring the back country”. Unlike many similar bold statements made by a lot of companies, yes it’s actually very true. I’m just not sure how many people do that type of riding. The Genius is a lot of bike.

Price: £3699

www.scott-sports.com

SPEC
Frame Genius LT Carbon Concept / Carbon mainframe, Alloy 6061 swingarm
Rear Shock Scott Equalizer 3
Fork RockShox Lyrik RLR 180–140mm
Headset Syncros AM Pro, Tapered
Bottom Bracket SRAM GXP PF
Crankset SRAM X.9 3.3, GXP PF
Stem Scott AM
Seatpost Crankbrothers Joplin 4
Handlebars Scott Pilot 20 Pro
Front derailleur SRAM X.7
Rear derailleur SRAM X.9, long cage
Brakes Avid Elixir R with 203mm/180mm rotor
Shifters SRAM X.7
Saddle Scott AM
Wheels DT Swiss AM
Cassette SRAM PG 1070, 12–36T
Tyres Schwalbe Fat Albert EVO
Weight 14.00 kg (30.84lbs approx)

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