Scott Genius 50 £1999

A rider opinion divider

BikeRadar score 4/5

Scott’s original three-mode Genius has got the refresh it needed, but this distinctive all-rounder still splits ride opinion between lovers and leavers.

While it isn't the smoothest bike around, the Genius 50 is a uniquely versatile and terrain-tuneable trail tamer that more efficiency-minded riders will love.

Ride & handling: Won't click with everyone, but some will love it to bits

With 10mm less travel, the Genius 50's geometry isn’t quite as sweet as the 150mm Genius bikes we’ve ridden. However much you juggle pressures to cope with different sizes/speeds of impact, it never feels as smooth through the whole range of riding loads either.

You could say the same about the own-brand multi-mode Equalizer 2 shock, too. With its high operating pressures and distinctive ‘pull shock’ action, it lacks the fine responsiveness and fluidity of rivals like the Fox Float.

In short, the Genius 50 doesn’t feel as controlled as a conventional 150mm bike. However, the way you can instantly engage three very different locked/ pert/fully open shock modes makes it a ferociously aggressive and terrain-tuneable climber.

The changes in geometry as you toggle the shock create exactly the right mood for making the most of each one – seriously slack for descending, trail tense for fast sections or cross-country steep for sprinting the smooth stuff. 

Add a good overall fit for most riders and you’ve got a bike that won’t click with everyone but some people will love to bits.

Frame: Sculpted alloy frame is pure tube-tweaking art

The new alloy Genius frame is a work of art. Despite its dimensions, super-thin tube walls keep the whole frame very light considering there’s 140mm of travel and 1lb of shock aboard.

Typically for Scott, detailing is also excellent, with fully sealed cable runs, a bottle position and generous mud clearance. However, it did suffer a massive dent on the down tube after a frenzied ride session, so it wouldn’t be our first choice for mentalists.

Equipment: Kit performs well, but RockShox fork can't match its Fox rivals

The exclusive shock isn’t a cheap path to follow, but the kit is actually okay in performance terms. Shimano Deore shifters and chainset do the job, as do Avid Juicy 3.5 brakes, and the 75mm stem/680mm bar Scott cockpit is spot-on in terms of control boosting dimensions. 

Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres are still light and fast enough to suit the bike well, and the SPD pedals are a nice touch too. Sadly, the RockShox Revelation fork does a noticeably less controlled job up front than the Fox competition though.

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