Let's face it, trails have evolved. No matter what trail you ride, you want a bicycle that can handle anything, and do it well. Whether it's that epic singletrack that you look forward to riding over and over, or that tough uphill that leads to a fun or demanding descent. That was the spirit of the very first mountain bikes and that's what this evolution of the trail bike represents; one bike to rule it all. The Genius is designed to handle any trail, anytime.
There are a lot of things that make the Genius range a many faced beast. Firstly, it’s got 150mm of travel. Scott’s Genius straddles the line that separates enduro riding and good old fashioned UK trail shredding. 140mm (remember that?) was the benchmark travel length a few years back, but with the 150mm that you get on the Genius you get a much more comfortable riding experience. The longer travel also allows for a bit more punch that competitive riding seems to bring out of people at enduro events.
The second thing to note is the adjustable chip which sits at the connection between shock and linkage. This can be flipped over to make a geometry change that results in the BB height lowering by 7mm and slackens the head angle by 0.5 degrees.
There’s more. The rear axle can be interchanged to work with 142x12mm, 135x12mm, and 135x5mm QR rear axle and the handlebars feature a “TwinLoc” lever. This lever enables the rider to select one of three suspension settings for both front and rear suspension. One click switches the rear shock to Traction mode, while the fork remains fully active. Click again and the rear shock and fork lock at the same time. No click means both suspensions are fully active.
There is also the typical mountain bike stuff like 27.5 wheels and tapered head tube.
So what does this mean?
The Genius platform has been around for a few years now, but has so often been maligned by test riders. Unfortunately, this has meant that customers have only ever issued it passing glances in the purchasing process, en route to instead testing a Specialized or a Trek. This is about to change.
The Genius is designed to be, as the name suggests, a clever bike; a ride that can be manipulated to suit how you ride and where you ride. You’d be forgiven for thinking, given all of the tweakability mentioned above, that the Genius is a mountain bike that requires you to carry a full tool kit to make subtle adjustments every hundred meters. But, in reality it is nothing like that, the Genius is an adaptable bike, not a complicated one.
The shock chip will be set to BB Low mode by most big trail riders, thanks to the confident position that it provides - inspiring you to try berms that are a little steeper and drops that are a little further. Flipping it back doesn’t make it magically dance up climbs, but its copes well for 150mm and once you’ve set the chip you probably won’t touch it again. They could have just made it a lower, slacker bike, but at least you have the option.
When Scott first used its TwinLoc system it won over few fans. Many cited it as being intrusive to the ride and needless out on the tracks. Fast forward to an age of FOX CDT, and the resurgence of the PIKE and it makes much more sense. People now seem to love "on-the-trail adaptability" and melding it with the CDT of the Fox setup makes for a pleasant experience. The ability to flick between settings that apply to both rear and front seem to inspire a "descent-mode-activated" kind of mindset.
The adjustable dropouts? Well anything that opens up your wheel upgrade options - in a world where the word “standard” has lost all meaning - is only a good thing. Having the mechanics to accommodate adjustments at the back of the bike doesn’t seem to have impacted on the rear triangle stiffness at all.
The Genius bikes are not about constant fiddling, noodling and dialling. It’s a bike you buy, set up, and ride. There are just more options on the set up.
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