Reviewed by Sharon Bader
Scott, a company making its mark as an innovator starting with ski poles in 1958, to the first carbon mountain bike in 1995, the Genius is their latest conception. Forced to redesign their suspension from previous horst link to the 2009 Genius with a linkage assisted single pivot design. The unique feature of the Genius is the proprietary DT Swiss engineered shock that offers three levels of travel adjustability. Matched with a travel adjust fork, the Genius allows the rider to choose their bike style depending on terrain – from fully locked out, to mid travel to long travel. The sub 30lb weight for a 150mm/5.9inch travel bike puts this bike at the top of the long travel, marathon style bikes.
This bike was obtained by Obsession: Bikes in North Vancouver, Canada for this review.
The Scott 40 alloy bike, reviewed here, weighs 28.19lbs. Six versions of the Genius are offered, the 50 and 40 being alloy, the 30, 20, 10 and Limited being Carbon and are progressively lighter to 22.9lbs for the Limited version. The hydroformed tubing provides varying diameters throughout the frame to offer strength and stiffness where required and weight savings where possible. The popular asymmetrical chainstay is also present on this bike.
The Traction Control lever on the handlebar changes the rear travel from 150mm to 95mm to locked out and back with the flip of a switch. This allows for efficient locked out – hard tail climbing on smooth surfaces, traction mode – mid travel on irregular surfaces for increased traction and full travel when heading down on any terrain. A blow out is present in the locked out mode in case you forget to unlock the bike when riding over rough obstacles. In full travel mode the 68.5o head angle provides an all mountain geometry which steepens as you click through the other travel modes.
Front End – Fox 32 TALAS RL, Air / lockout & rebound adjust, 3 Travel position 110-130-150mm at ~3.9lbs is well matched on this bike and offered ample performance. The white fork also looked sharp. Fox shocks offer adjustability on the top of the fork legs which is very convenient and offers easy adjust on the fly.
Scott Genius Equalizer 2 Shock – Designed by ST Swiss uniquely for this bike offering traction control via a lever on the handle bar which offers three settings – Lock Out, Traction Mode (95mm) and All Travel Mode (150mm). The lever adjusts the bike angles to optimize for climbing or descending. The Equalizer shock contains a positive and negative air chamber. The positive air chamber is set to a 15-25% sag depending on performance or comfort needs for the rider and constitutes the ‘shock’. The negative air chamber allows you to adjust the quality of the suspension. Two rebound knobs on each chamber are adjusted to the terrain and set the same for each chamber. As this is a ‘pull’ shock higher air pressures are required. The shock offered lively climbing action and plush descending that was only compromised on the hardest of hits. The Equalizer shock has the patented “Oil Transfer System” this is the guts of the Traction Control. In full travel oil is able to move between three cylinders, in traction control, one chamber is closed and oil moves between two chambers to reduce travel, in locked out mode, both outside chambers are closed leaving only one chamber to firm the rear suspension. Due to the high air pressure required for this shock a special shock pump is required. Some technical aptness is required to set up this shock appropriately.
The air pressure recommendations are right on the shock so you don’t have to remember!
The mid shock attachment offers Scott’s Isolated Axle Path – IAP
Rear pivot moved from the chain stay to the seat stay, the rear drop out is replaceable.
Equipped with Scott components – seatpost, saddle, handlebar and stem. The seat is very firm and easy to adjust. The white handlebar looks sharp on this bike and was comfortable in all riding applications, the 80mm stem offered good steering, climbing and descending control.
The tires on this bike are the Schwalbe Nobby Nics which handled well on dry terrain including dirt, rock and roots but skidded while cornering on loose surfaces. This 660g triple compound tire provides good traction and low rolling resistance to maintain speed in a variety of terrain and conditions.
Using varied components on the drive train from Shimano SLX E-type front deraileur and SRAM X-9 rear shifter and deraileur shows that you don’t need to stay within a certain class to have a system that works. The Truvativ Firex 3.3 cranks were tough, for our riding replacing the big ring with a rock ring would benefit this bike.
The Avid Juicy 5 brakes filled with DOT 5.1 fluid weigh 395g. With a 185mm front and rear rotor braking power was as good as expected with Avid brakes.
The Mavic 317 rims were coupled with Shimano FH-M525 rear hub, front Scott Disc Comp hub and DT Swiss spokes. These rims added to the lightness of the bike and have currently withstood the riding conditions.
I am 5’9″, weigh 154lbs. I have been riding for 18 years. As mentioned above I come from an XC hardtail background but have moved with technology and ride a Titus RacerX for XC, a Turner 6 pack for DH and Shore riding and a Knolly Endorphin set up for more freeriding/shore/technical XC riding. My Bikes!
Shore – Fromme and Seymour
A medium Genius 40 was tested for this review. Sitting on the bike in full travel mode resulted in a very firm sag. Sag was set at 20% and resulted in plush suspension in full travel mode on most terrain. In traction mode the suspension was a lot firmer, in locked out mode the bike had a real hard tail feel to it. When cycling from locked out to traction to full travel mode the difference in head angle and sag was very noticeable. Also of note is the angled seat tube. In full pedaling height the cockpit was at its full theoretical top tube length of 23inches. This was reduced when you put the seat down as the seat moved forward due to the backward slant of the seat tube. This along with the 80mm stem and 68.5o head angle made for a stable descending position. The frame offered great stand over and was comfortable for long climbs and descents. The TALAS 32 110-150mm fork was well matched for this bike. The travel adjust and lock out feature is great to have on a fork when that option is also present on the rear suspension. I found the fork stiff enough for most terrain and only really noticed its inadequacies when riding the same trail on a 35mm stanchion fork.
On trails offering more slow technical terrain features found on the North Shore the suspension was plush, active and able to accommodate the terrain. Even the 32mm Fox TALAS fork was stiff enough to provide confidence to ride most technical features. The bike was precise and on the stop and go maneuvers required for North Shore riding, the bike was predictable and would suck up what it was ridden over with ease. On the loose dirt terrain the Nobby Nics tracked and offered great braking performance. Only at higher speeds on looser dirt or steeper rock faces would the tires loose traction. This could be compensated for by reducing tire pressure which tends to be at the preference of the rider.
Trails that allow the rider to reach higher speeds on rougher terrain would show one limitation of this bike. In rough, high speed applications the rear suspension would stiffen, which would help on climbing pitches but would result in the bike loosing its plushness and getting thrown around more by the rocky and rooty terrain. On rougher terrain you had to be more precise and pick your line since the bike was not always as able to accommodate the terrain as you rode faster.
Trails that required more pedaling and were smoother single track dirt were great on this bike. The bike corned well at high speeds on smooth terrain. The tires provided great traction except on steeper rock faces that were dusty. Testing of the bike and tires in wet conditions was not possible during the time frame of this review.
- plush suspension at low speeds on technical terrain
- rear lockout matched with front lockout was great to accommodate a variety of terrain with one bike
- Very light and maneuverable
- rear suspension stiffened up on rough fast terrain
- thin alloy tubing could be more susceptible to dents
4.0 Very Good
3.0 Above Average
The source for this information is Scott Bikes . Suggested Retail of this bike in Canada:
Genius 50 – $3,499.99 (ALLOY)
Genius 40 – $3,999.99 (ALLOY)
Genius 30 – $4,999.99 (CARBON HMF) (alloy Swingarm)
Genius 20 – $6,499.99 (CARBON HMF) (carbon swingarm)
Genius 10 – $7,999.99 (CARBON HMX) (carbon swingarm)
Genius LTD – $ 12,999.99 (CARBON HMX) (carbon swingarm)
Specifications of this demo bike are as follows:
Frame Set – Scott Genius Alloy 6061 Custom Butted hydroformed monocoque tubes. Sealed aircraft bearings, 150mm rear travel
Fork – Fox 32 TALAS RL, Air / lockout & reb.A. / 3 Travel position, 110-130-150mm, Alloy steerer
Shock – Equalizer2 TC rear shock with patented 3 mode traction control providing 3 travel settings of 150mm, 90mm or locked out.
Sizes – S, M, L or XL
Color – Alloy or Carbon
Wheelset – Mavic XM317, 32H/Black, DT Swiss Spokes, Scot Disc front hub, Shimano FH-M525 rear disc
Tires – Schwalbe Nobby Nic 26X2.25 67 EPI Kevlar Bead, Evolution/Triple Compound
Stem – Scott MC Pro, 4 bolt clamp, 31.8mm, 1-1/8″/6o angle, 80mm stem on M frame
Bar – Scott Pilot 22 Pro 2014 Alloy, 22mm Rise, Scott lockon grips
Post – Scott RC 03-60 / 34.9mm
Saddle – Scott Genius with Cr-Mo rails
Headset – Alloy cupped FSA Nr.9/1 1/8″ Semi Integrated – 44/50mm
BrakeSet – Avid Juicy 5, 185mm front and rear rotor
Crankset – Truvativ, w Firex 3.3 175mm cranks, 44A32A22A T
Pedals – Shimano PD-M520
Front Derailleur – Shimano SLX FD-M660, E-Type
Rear Derailleur – SRAM X-9, 9-speed, mid cage, 11-34 cassette
Shifters – SRAM X-9, trigger, 9-speed with adjustable clamp
Geometry for a M Genius is as follows:
Standover – 791mm/31.1in
Head Tube Angle – 68.5o
Seat Tube Angle – 73.5o
Effective Top Tube Length – 585mm/23in
Bottom Bracket Height – 358mm/14.1in
Chainstay Length – 428mm/16.9in
Bike Weight – 28.19lbs
Comfortably Numb – Whistler
Natural High – Fromme Mountain
Natural High – Fromme Mountain
Comfortably Numb – Whistler
Comfortably Numb – Whistler