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.

SCOTT Genius 2018
New for 2018: the revised SCOTT Genius can be ridden with 27.5″ or 29″ wheels.

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.

SCOTT Genius 2018
High-end and lightweight: the SCOTT Genius 700 Ultimate weighs just 11.7 kg.

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.

SCOTT Genius 2018
SCOTT dug deep into their box of tricks in order to both sink the overall weight and boost stiffness and stability.
SCOTT Genius 2018
Fewer parts = less weight. The former chainstays on the left; the new ones on the right with a saving of 100 g.
SCOTT Genius 2018
By activating the Twin Loc in the traction mode you’ll seal off the lower air chamber, reduce the travel to 110 mm and get enhanced low-speed compression damping to aid climbing.
SCOTT Genius 2018
The Trunnion-mounted rear shock is now in front of the seattube and delivers 150 mm of travel with a four-bar linkage design.
SCOTT Genius 2018
In typical SCOTT style the new Genius also sports the tidily integrated handlebar-mounted lever for the Twin Loc system alongside the remote for the dropper post.
SCOTT Genius 2018
One highlight is the futuristic-looking Syncros HIXON iC cockpit.
SCOTT Genius 2018
Internal cable routing to their destinations.
SCOTT Genius 2018
Small details like their in-house designed Trail mudguard rounds off the package.
SCOTT Genius 2018
The new Genius’s frame is FOX-Live ready. We’re stoked for the definitive launch of the system!

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.

SCOTT Genius 2018
There’s a flip chip to alter the height of the bottom bracket: one Genius frame, two wheelsizes – your choice.

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.

SCOTT Genius 2018
What even is plus-size these days? On the left there’s a Nobby Nic 2.8″ on a 40 mm rim (69 mm wide), while the other three tires are on 30 mm rims. Second-left is a Rekon 2.8″, then a Minion 2.5″ WT and a Nobby Nic 2.6″ on the right. All those three tires are between 62.5 – 63 mm in width.
SCOTT Genius 2018
The 2.6”-wide Maxxis Rekon tires should generate ample grip on the 29er. The 27.5″ set-up rolls on 2.8″-wide tires.

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

SCOTT Genius 2018
Sleek: the new Syncros HIXON iC cockpit ticks all the boxes.
SCOTT Genius 2018
Four of the bikes enjoy the gear range and ultra precise shifting of the SRAM Eagle drivetrain.
SCOTT Genius 2018
180 mm adaptor-less rotors.
SCOTT Genius 2018
A minimal chainguide to keep the chain securely on track over rough ground.