Genius by name...
by Sean White
This is the latest evolution of the Genius trail bike – a name that has been in Scott’s line-up since its introduction in 2003. Back then it was a new concept in the world of full-suspension bikes, with an adjustable rear shock that had three different settings - lock-out, all-travel, and traction modes.
In 2010 Scott followed with the ‘Twin Loc’ remote lever that controlled both the rear shock and the lock out of the fork – all from the handlebars. A feature which remains part of the Genius concept to this day.
So fifteen years later what does the newest version of the Scott Genius offer? Is this just another long travel trail bike with a four bar rocker linkage? Well, not quite. This all-new Genius is a wolf in sheep’s clothing; a radical bike hidden in the guise of a carbon copy. There’s a lot going on here.
The 2018 Genius represents a complete overhaul of the long-standing range. It’s a 150mm travel bike front and rear, which is the sweet spot for many riders. The old model, with the shock mounted to the top tube and questionable suspension performance is long forgotten.
Now, hoping to piggyback on the success of the Spark, the Genius has thrown itself right into the long travel trail scrap.
The new Genius is available with 27.5+ or 29" wheels. Scott has jumped in feet first at the deep end with plus wheels and both sizes are interchangeable thanks to a flip chip in the frame. In the full carbon version, Scott believe this is the lightest trail frame on the market. The frame, shock and hardware all come in at a featherweight 2,249 grams - about the same as a four pint milk bottle.
'Long and slack enough to be on trend when it comes to crunching the geometry numbers'
Scott’s figures mark this significantly lighter than any other carbon trail bike frame out there. It was possible to do this thanks to a totally redesigned suspension layout. They have moved to a four bar rocker with a trunnion mount on the downtube. This means the top tube no longer has to be so reinforced and weight can be shaved.
Fox front and rear across all models of the Genius allow Scott’s Twinloc to be integrated. 150mm travel is a lot for a 29/27.5+ trail bike but Scott are adamant this is not an enduro bike. When it comes to components the most striking is the Syncros one-piece bar and stem that is spec’ed on the Tuned and Ultimate models. Very low in weight but only 760mm wide this carbon hardware is typical of Scott’s approach to integration and design
So it’s long and slack enough to be on trend when it comes to crunching the geometry numbers. This, along with the exceptionally low weight and revised suspension means the that Genius is a very capable bike - but then if you recognise the silhouette from the Spark you probably knew that already.
The same pedalling efficiency is imbued in the frame but the extra 30mm of travel really allows you to push it further.