The latest Genius represents a big leap forward in geometry for Scott’s long-running trail bike. The numbers are modern and it’s switchable to fatter 650b+ tyres.
It also uses a special ‘Nude’ shock – developed with Fox – to deliver a three-mode ‘TwinLoc’ system that cycles the travel between 150mm, 100mm and fully locked-out, via a bar-mounted remote.
Scott Genius 900 Tuned frame
The lightweight 900 frame is full-carbon (even the rocker) and uses a Horst link rear end and trunnion-mount shock – the latter orientated upside down and cradled in a huge junction at the base of the seat tube.
This layout places the shock weight lower and enables a stiffer junction between the down tube, main pivot and bottom bracket to enhance chassis stiffness. It looks mean too.
The 1x-specific frame is beautifully finished, with clean cable routing and room for a bottle. There’s decent standover clearance, although the kinked seat tube is quite tall, which is noticeable while riding. It’s also a couple of degrees more tipped-back than other similar bikes, placing rider weight fairly rearward.
Scott have cut no corners with the SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain, stumping up for the full-price chain and proper lightweight X-Dome cassette. Mick Kirkman
Scott Genius 900 Tuned kit
Own-brand Syncros kit features heavily – most noticeably, the unique one-piece Hixon bar/stem combo. This carbon pairing is super-lightweight, but some riders won’t like being locked into a specific bar shape/tilt. It’s also marginally too soft-feeling for a bike with 150mm of travel – I’d prefer a more direct steering feel.
The Syncros carbon wheels aren’t super-light, but they are fast-rolling, urgent-feeling without being jarring, and come with wide, tyre-stabilising rims and a quick-engaging freehub.
My test bike had Maxxis Minion tyres instead of the stock 2.6in Rekons – something UK riders will likely emulate because there’s not much bite from the Rekon in the wet.
SRAM’s 12-speed X01 Eagle drivetrain and four-pot Guide RSC brakes are bang on for this bike’s intended use, and Scott hasn’t done any sneaky cost-cutting.
Scott Genius 900 Tuned ride impressions
Point the Genius uphill and it’s almost ridiculous how adept it is at climbing. It’s more XC-feeling than almost any other trail bike, even in its 150mm-travel, fully open ‘Descend’ mode.
The rear-end bites into the ground whatever the pitch and you surge onwards making perfectly round pedalling arcs. One caveat here is that the seated climbing position puts rider weight too far behind the bottom bracket. But, if you’re prepared to stand up and mash the pedals, it absolutely rips uphill and along singletrack under hard power.
The Fox suspension is smooth, with a calm, almost floaty, feel over the kind of bumps you’d expect to find on trails, rather than enduro tracks. Through little holes and compressions, the Scott feels playful and poppy.
A flip chip at the upper shock mount changes the geometry to accommodate 650b wheels shod with fat plus-size tyres. Mick Kirkman
This isn’t the perfect rig if you exclusively love to charge downhill, chuck the bike about, smash into everything and winch back to the top. While the frame feels generally stiff, when entering steeper corners, the Genius can get unsettled.
This is more a consequence of overall ‘attitude’ than geometry though. The all-in-one Hixon bar and stem shape won’t suit everyone and can feel a bit vague in the hands of heavier riders. It’s a relatively cheap/easy fix if that’s a big issue though.
Considering it’s got the joint-most rear travel on test, the Genius is super-effective when pedalling with the shock left fully open. The middle Traction mode is marginally more urgent, but I wouldn’t miss it if Scott chose to ditch the rat’s nest of cables associated with the TwinLoc system and replace it with a cleaner cockpit and a more intuitive dropper remote position.
This genuinely sorted, do-it-all bike is well-priced and will prove fantastic for loads of riders, although it’d benefit from a better seated climbing position.
It has a slightly conservative, straight-laced ride quality that won’t light a fire under DH fiends craving hot-blooded, flat-out trail shredding, but for anyone else it’s a great package.
Scott Genius 900 Tuned geometry
Seat angle: 69.9 degrees
Head angle: 65 degrees
Chainstay: 17.24in / 43.8cm
Seat tube: 18.98in / 48.2cm
Top tube: 24.92 / 63.3cm
Bottom bracket height: 13.62 / 34.6cm
Wheelbase: 48.5in / 1,232mm