Scott Genius 900 Tuned first ride review$7,500.00

Lighter and more versatile than ever

The 2018 iteration of Scott’s Genius trail bike looks and feels like a totally different beast to its predecessor.

Scott Genius 900 Tuned specifications

  • Frame: ‘HMX’ carbon fibre, 150mm (5.9in) travel
  • Fork: Fox 36 FIT4 Factory, 150mm travel
  • Shock: Fox DPS Nude trunnion with TwinLoc travel adjustment
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle (1x12)
  • Wheelset: DT Swiss M 1825 wheels
  • Tyres: Schwalbe Nobby Nic TLE ADDIX SpeedGrip 29x2.6in tyres
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC
  • Bar: Syncros Hixon SL iC, 760mm
  • Stem: 40mm
  • Seatpost: Fox Transfer Factory 125mm dropper
  • Saddle: Syncros XM1.5
  • Weight: 12.68kg (27.95lb), medium size without pedals

Scott Genius 900 Tuned frame

Scott has done away with the old single-pivot rear end and moved to a four-bar Horst Link suspension design. Just like on the shorter-travel Spark, it's also flipped the shock (a new metric unit) so it anchors just above the bulging bottom bracket junction. Scott claims the 150mm (5.9in) of rear travel is now delivered with more support through the mid stroke and extra progression.

It's carried over its ‘TwinLoc’ system, which lets you toggle between three suspension settings (‘descend’, ‘traction control’ and ‘lockout’) on both the fork and shock simultaneously, via a bar-mounted remote lever.

A flip chip on the shock mount means the Genius can accept 29in or 650b+ wheels, with enough tyre clearance for 2.6in or 2.8in rubber, respectively. With 29x2.6in Schwalbe Nobby Nics in place and the bike in its ‘low’ geometry setting, the medium Genius offers up a reach of 440mm, a head angle of 64.8 degrees and a bottom bracket height of 345mm.

Scott Genius 900 Tuned kit

Integrating the handlebar and stem saves weight but means you can’t adjust the bar roll
Integrating the handlebar and stem saves weight but means you can’t adjust the bar roll

At just shy of £7,000, it’s no surprise that the 900 Tuned is dripping in some drool-worthy kit, including a Fox 36 FIT4 Factory fork. That said, I was a little disappointed with the tyres.

Nobby Nics are okay all-rounders, but Scott has opted to spec the ‘ADDIX SpeedGrip’ compound at both ends. This fast-rolling rubber mix was fine at the rear for the most part, but I’d have preferred a softer, grippier compound up front, tougher sidewalls and, ideally, a more pronounced tread (Schwalbe’s Magic Mary Apex ADDIX Soft would’ve been a better choice).

Scott Genius 900 Tuned ride

For a 150mm-travel bike, the 900 Tuned is seriously light (12.68kg, medium), and that’s noticeable as soon as you start turning the pedals. There’s a zip and sprightliness to the ride that makes getting up to speed seem effortless.

To make things even more efficient when tackling lengthy climbs, you can flick the TwinLoc remote and firm the suspension up.

The back end feels supportive and progressive, matching the Fox 36 fork nicely to deliver an incredibly well-balanced feel, front to rear. This boosts that sprightliness and nimbleness further, especially when popping from turn to turn.

The overhauled Genius has a new suspension design and bang-up-to-date geometry
The overhauled Genius has a new suspension design and bang-up-to-date geometry

While the suspension is supple over smaller hits, there’s enough progression towards the end of the shock stroke to handle some big thumps. The travel feels more efficient than plush, though. Pair this with the frame stiffness, progressive back end and low weight, and it doesn’t always feel like you have 150mm on tap.

While the 900 Tuned’s geometry and suspension balance ensure it isn’t one for backing down at pace, it’s here where you hit the limits of the tyres pretty quickly. Some tackier, more robust rubber would make the Genius feel more planted, without dulling its agility and liveliness.

One last thing to note is that the bike comes with a one-piece Syncros bar and stem. This has a low 12mm rise, which won’t suit everyone, and neither will its shape — I’d prefer to be able to roll the bar forward more. While it’s light, stiff and comfy for the most part, I missed the adjustment of a traditional set-up.

Scott Genius 900 Tuned early verdict

Gobsmackingly expensive, but a seriously fun, versatile and lively ride, deserving of better tyres.

Rob Weaver

Technical Editor-in-Chief, UK
Rob started riding mountain bikes seriously in 1993 racing cross-country, though he quickly moved to downhill where he competed all over the world. He now spends most of his time riding trail bikes up and down hills. Occasionally he'll jump into an enduro race.
  • Age: 34
  • Height: 172cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Natural trails where the loam fills my shoes on each and every turn
  • Beer of Choice: Guinness

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