After Scott's Genius got the 650b wheel treatment and a switch to a conventional push shock, it was only a matter of time before its longer-travel counterpart followed suit.
The three-bike Genius LT line-up tops out with this Tuned version, which is aimed directly at enduro racers.
Frame and equipment: good looks and relatively low weight
The Genius LT – especially in its sleek HMX carbon guise – is one hell of a looker. Internally routed cables are neatly and securely guided into the frame through rubber grommets that stop them clattering around.
An oval chip in the rear shock mount lets you tweak bottom bracket height by 7mm and head angle by 0.5 degrees to suit the terrain. The genius bit of Scott's Genius is nestled neatly inside the new Nude shock though, which is controlled by the bar-mounted TwinLoc lever.
The first push switches the shock from its 170mm (6.7in) travel Descend setting to the 135mm (5.3in) travel Traction Control mode, where air volume and sag are also reduced for a firmer feel. The second push locks the shock out for climbing. Toggling between the shock modes simultaneously toggles through the fork's modes too.
Considering the price, we were a little surprised to see SRAM's cheaper alloy X01 cranks bolted in place, rather than the carbon XX1 option. That said, we were chuffed to see the 1x11 drivetrain, which keeps weight down without compromising the bike's overall capability.
We're big fans of SRAM's 1x11 gearing, but we'd expect carbon cranks at this price
Ride and handling: shock change is the right step
The switch from a pull shock to a more conventional Fox push shock is definitely a move in the right direction, and helps tap into the potential of the Genius LT. And we say potential for good reason, because it still feels like there's some work to be done here in terms of suspension performance.
With the shock fully open, we found we needed to run less sag than we'd have liked to prevent the back end using too much of its travel unnecessarily or too easily, especially when we wanted to push harder and ride more aggressively – something the LT should be more than happy doing. From what we've heard, it's something Scott is already working on though.
It's a similar story with the Fox 34 up front – which has been stretched to pump out 170mm (6.7in) of travel - where more air and a little less sag than normal is needed to keep the fork propped up. Heavier testers noted flex under braking too.
The Genius LT has plenty of potential but doesn't deliver on the downhills. Scott says it is working on this though
Scott has done a fantastic job with the geometry though, providing the sort of dimensions that'll make you feel just as comfortable during full-on descents as long stints pedalling in the saddle. Where the Genius LT really does shine, considering its 170mm of travel, is on winding technical singletrack and tricky climbs.
Get the more supportive Traction Control mode engaged, and the Scott is more dynamic and lively at speed. Point it uphill and it'll claw its way up just about anything with relative ease.