This is the fifth version of Scott’s all-mountain and enduro bike, the Genius. We saw the addition of a plus-size version last year, and Scott has continued that commitment to big tires on the Genius in 2018, though riders also have the option to go with a traditional 29-inch tire. The linkage is also completely changed, bringing the bike’s suspension platform in line with the Spark.
The 2018 Scott Genius is capable of running either traditional 29er tires (2.4 to 2.6 inches in width) or 27.5 shoes in the 2.6- to 2.8-inch range. A flip chip in the rocker link keeps the bottom bracket height relatively similar when toggling between wheel sizes, a switch that does not require any changes to the 150-millimeter-travel fork, thanks to the similar outer diameter of the two tire options. Still, the head angle is about a half degree steeper with a 27.5 wheel underneath.
2018 Scott Genius Suspension
Like many other manufacturers, Scott has taken advantage of the expired Horst-link patent to achieve the Genius’s 150 millimeters of rear travel. It has also chosen to spec a trunnion-mount Fox shock, which has some unique guts.
The shock is cabled to Scott’s bar-mounted TwinLoc remote (yeah, they’re still doing that), and pushing the lever from “Descend” to “Traction” not only adjust’s the shock’s damping for better pedaling characteristics, it also closes off part of the shock’s air spring. This reduces the available travel to 110 millimeters and preserves a steeper, less saggy stance. The lever’s third position is “Lockout.” You know what that does.
Geometry wise, the Genius has received all the updates you’d expect. Depending on wheel size, it’s been slackened to a 65- or 65.6-degree head angle, its seat angle is plenty steep at 74.7 or 75.3 degrees, and its chainstays have been shrunk to 438 or 436 millimeters. The reach is also quite long, with the size large stretching to 466 or 472 millimeters.
Scott has always placed a great deal of emphasis on lightweight. With a claimed frame weight of 2249 grams, the Genius certainly has no future as a schoolyard bully. Geniuses are supposed to be on the receiving end of atomic wedgies, after all.
Scott utilized FEA (finite element analysis) software to map out the carbon layup and virtually simulate forces on the frame, and looked to the results to inform material placement and thickness. Scott also says that the trunnion-mount layout reduces the amount of reinforcement needed to the top tube, since the shock force is directed into the stout bottom-bracket junction.
The downtube protector pulls triple duty as rock-strike protection, housing for a Di2 battery and access to the frame’s internally-routed cables. Interchangeable rubber inserts handle a variety of cable combinations at the points of entry near the headtube. A proprietary house-brand chainguide hooks up to the main pivot nut, thereby cutting out most of the typical mounting hardware. The frame fits one bottle inside the front triangle.
Syncros Hixon iC Cockpit
Assisting in the quest for minimal weight figures is this integrated carbon bar and stem from Syncros. The Hixon iC cockpit weighs a paltry 290 grams and Syncros says it’s the strongest bar in its lineup. Strangely, it comes at just 760 millimeters wide—that sounds awfully narrow for a bike with a 65-degree head angle.
Pricing and Builds
Sorry—no pricing yet, but here’s a basic look at the builds. The 930/730, 940/740 and 750 have alloy frames.
How ’bout those ride impressions?
Unfortunately, Ryan Palmer broke his hand just before he was supposed to fly off to Italy’s Aosta Valley for the Genius launch event, so we haven’t had any time on the bike. But we’ve got one in for testing: Watch out for the complete review in the next couple months.