Scott Genius 50 - First Ride£1,999.00

Aggressive yet lightweight steed

BikeRadar score4.5/5

It may look similar to the old marathon race Genius, but the new Scott Genius is a totally different beast. It’s a serious machine that mixes remote control climbing efficiency with proper playbike fun. Great handling and more travel than most bikes at this weight puts the Scott right at the front line of aggressive XC riding. The Genius should be one of 2009’s standout trail bikes.

Ride & handling: Agile through the singletrack

Out on the trail, the immediate Genius effect is an injection of massive confidence into your riding. Those broad frame tubes feel reassuringly solid and the pull shock opens easily into its sag point at the recommended pressures. The resulting angles are perfect for every technical trail situation. Right from the first outing we were lofting the front off drops, grinding the pedals through corners and smearing the back end through sweepers and switchbacks.

The handlebar remote lets you lock out the unique DT Swiss Equalizer 2 shock or halve the travel for a steeper, stiffer feel that’s perfect for climbs or road sections. The super sloped top tube naturally creates the perfect ‘long top tube at full pedal height, short and front biased with saddle dropped’ rider position too.

Unfortunately, while the prototype units that we rode over the summer were trouble-free, the shock on our sample had oil level issues which affected rebound consistency. Hopefully this won’t be a problem on production bikes.

Agile, adjustable and versatile: a true trail weapon: agile, adjustable and versatile: a true trail weapon

Frame: Plenty of upgrade potential

Just looking at the Genius frame is enough to tell you that this is a serious mountain machine, not some fragile featherweight. Although the alloy frames are a full 540g (1.19lb) heavier than the carbon version, the chunky head tube, which moulds into super broad diamond section top and down tubes via smoothed welds, certainly looks like carbon. The hydroformed seat tube swells massively towards the base for maximum overlap on the down tube, bottom bracket and shock mount section.

A saddle gusset on the seat tube removes the need for a through-axle and allows full seat height adjustment. The skinny shock linkages keep things stiffer than expected. Plenty of tyre clearance and a forward-facing seatpost slot reduce mud and spray problems too.

The genius’s magic act is to make aluminium look like carbon: the genius’s magic act is to make aluminium look like carbon

Equipment: Geared for grins

The Genius's slack angles are aided and abetted by wide 26in bars, and 185mm rotors front and rear give the Avid brakes plenty of bite. While they’re not the super expensive Evolution versions, the Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres offer plenty of grip in most conditions and RockShox’s Revelation fork isn’t far behind Fox for smooth, reliable performance.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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