In 2003 all eyes were on Thomas Frischknecht as he won the World MTB Marathon Championships. But it wasn’t just the act of winning that was what shock the world, but that he cinched the win on a full-suspension SCOTT Genius with 130 mm of travel. Back then, this bike was a revolution. Now having undergone myriad changes, it’s time to meet the latest iteration: the GENIUS 2018.
The SCOTT Genius 2018 and its DNA
SCOTT have dominated the cross-country World Cup circuit for the past few years, storming to podium finishes and cementing the brand’s focus on racing. Alongside developing the hugely successful Spark model alongside pro rider Nino Schurter, a ton of the same expertise has been threaded into the new Genius. The result is a lightweight trail bike (the frame weighs 2,249 g including shock and hardware), which has the brand’s well-known TWIN LOC technology with its three positions, meaning it’s a stellar climber and a ripping descender in one.
A detailed look at the frame of the SCOTT Genius 2018
The new Genius shares a lot of the same visual cues as last year’s Spark, but a closer look presents a ton of differences: the rear shock is now parallel to the seat tube with a 4-bar linkage and 150 mm of travel. By mounting it onto the bottom bracket SCOTT have increased the stiffness in strategic locations and reduced the overall weight, so that, for example, the top tube doesn’t have to absorb stress from the suspension.
Weight wasn’t the only focal point in the development though, as the Genius’ suspension kinematic has also been majorly refined to result in much more sensitivity, support and a better prevention of bottoming out thanks to enough progression at the end.
Variability is king – the wheelsizes of the SCOTT GENIUS 2018
The new SCOTT GENIUS is compatible with both 27.5″ and 29″ wheels. There’s a flip chip at the rearmost shock mount that alters the height of the bottom bracket by 8 mm. The bike comes standard with 2.8″-wide 27.5″ wheels, or 2.6″-wide 29″ wheels. If you want to switch up or down a wheelsize, all you need is the spare wheelset and a quick twist of the flip chip.
Plus-size is dead – long live plus-size!
SCOTT were one of the earliest brands to launch a whole host of bikes with plus-size tires back in 2016. Yet now the presence of plus-size appears to be dwindling and none of the Genius bikes carry the name. However, it seems that plus-size is still having its day – it just isn’t a thing to talk about anymore. These days, it’s all about the diameter of the rubber. All of the 27.5″ bikes have 2.8″-wide tires. Thanks to 30 mm wide rims, it’s up to each rider whether you mount 2.4″ or 2.8″ tires. SCOTT’s belief was that denoting ‘Plus’ in the model name would just add confusion, so they decided against it.
The geometry of the new SCOTT Genius 2018
The SCOTT Genius doesn’t just have the figures and the spec that promise a ton of fun on the descents, but also nimble, mountain goat-style climbing capabilities. In the pursuit of this, SCOTT have given the bike a steep 75.3° seat angle, and a longer 472 mm reach (size large, high BB) that teams with the slack 65.6° head angle to provide smoothness on the descents. The flip chip on the rear shock mount lets you alter the bottom bracket height by 8 mm, and slacken the angles by 0.6°. With 29″ wheels, the bike is transformed into a serious downhilling machine that’s still able to shine on the climbs with efficiency.
|Size||S 900/700||M 900/700||L 900/700||XL 900/700|
|Seat Tube||410 mm||440 mm||480 mm||520 mm|
|Top Tube||569/568 mm||603/601 mm||633/632 mm||670/668 mm|
|Head Tube||95 mm||95 mm||110 mm||125 mm|
|Head Angle||65/65.6 °||65/65.6 °||65/65.6 °||65/65.6 °|
|Seat Angle||74.7/75.3 °||74.7/75.3 °||74.7/75.3 °||74.7/75.3 °|
|Chainstays||438/436 mm||438/436 mm||438/436 mm||438/436 mm|
|Bottom bracket height||346/340 mm||346/340 mm||346/340 mm||346/340 mm|
|Wheelbase||1166/1165 mm||1199/1198 mm||1232/1231 mm||1271/1270 mm|
|Reach||406/412 mm||439/445 mm||466/472 mm||499/505 mm|
|Stack||600/595 mm||600/595 mm||614/609 mm||627/623 mm|
The spec on the SCOTT Genius 2018
One serious highlight on both the SCOTT GENIUS 2018 Tuned and the SCOTT Genius Ultimate has to be the new Syncros HIXON iC bar-stem combination, which doesn’t just look super tidy, it’s also an incredibly lightweight piece of kit at just 290 g. The Tuned model bears a stylish orange FOX 36 fork with 150 mm of travel. The rest of the models have a FOX 34 and the same 150 mm of travel. While there are a few 1x drivetrain set-ups, SCOTT haven’t wholly said goodbye to front mechs and there are a few models with a double chainring up front. The top-end Ultimate and Tuned models have an achingly appealing spec, but come with a heart-wrenching price tag. In our opinion, bargain hunters should take a closer look at the more affordable Genius 920 or 940 models.
Fork FOX 36 FLOAT Factory 150 mm
Shock FOX NUDE EVOL Trunnion 150 mm
Brakes SRAM Guide RSC
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle
Seatpost FOX Transfer Dropper
Stem/Handlebar Syncros Hixon iCSL Carbon 760 mm
Tires 27,5″/29″ MAXXIS REKON 2,8″/Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2,6″
Wheelset DT Swiss M1825 SplineCL