The SCOTT Genius 900 Tuned is a perennial contender of our group tests. That’s no wonder given that the bike was considered one of the most progressive models on the market when it was launched in June 2017. Three years have gone by since. Can the bike still convince our test crew?
Click here for an overview of the best trail bike in test.
Just looking at it, there’s no guessing what the SCOTT Genius 900 Tuned AXS is all about: speed (uphill)! With its bright orange paint job, futuristic one-piece Syncros Hixon cockpit and the deep Syncros Revelstoke carbon wheels, it looks as fast as a speeding bullet. The rest of the componentry simply underlines this attitude. The stock Genius comes specced with a shallow-treaded, 2.6” MAXXIS Rekon tire on the rear and a Dissector upfront, though unfortunately, our test bike came with Rekon tires both front and back. The Genius also features SCOTT’s proprietary TwinLoc system, allowing you to lock out the suspension in three stages via a remote on the handlebar. Unfortunately, this means that the FOX 36 has to make do with the more basic FIT4 damper. We don’t see the need for a lockout mechanism on the fork and would have preferred the added performance of a GRIP2 damper instead. Speaking of performance, the SRAM X01 AXS derailleur delivers impressively crisp and direct shifting, but the more affordable and heavier SRAM GX cassette doesn’t fit the weight-optimised picture. Due to the long seat tube, the Genius, unfortunately, doesn’t offer enough room for longer dropper posts and comes fitted with a 150 mm FOX Transfer Factory dropper as standard.
Scott Genius 900 Tuned AXS
Fork FOX 36 FLOAT Factory FIT4
Rear Shock FOX Nude TR
Seatpost FOX Transfer Factory 150 mm
Brakes Shimano XT 200/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM X01 Eagle AXS 32/10-50
Stem Syncros Hixon iC SL 50
Handlebar – 780 mm
Wheelset Syncros Revelstoke 1.0
Tires MAXXIS Dissector / MAXXIS Rekon EXO 2,6
Size S M L XL
Weight 12,84 kg
Travel (f/r) 150/150 mm
Geometry of the SCOTT Genius 900
The geometry of the SCOTT Genius 900 Tuned may have been extremely progressive three years ago, but it’s pretty average by today’s standards. At 466 mm, the reach isn’t overly long for a size L bike and the 65° head angle is about average. We were struck by the comparatively short stack height of 613 mm, which together with the Syncros Hixon cockpit becomes a defining factor in the Genius’ handling.
Razor sharp, the SCOTT Genius demands an experienced rider
The Genius on test
At 12.84 kg, the SCOTT Genius 900 Tuned is the second lightest bike on test and in combination with the fast-rolling tires, aggressive riding position and TwinLoc system, the bike flies uphill! While the bike wallows noticeably with the suspension in the open position, activating traction mode on the TwinLoc remote not only reduces the sag but also suppresses any hint of bobbing. However, it still offers sufficient traction for technical climbs. We only recommend locking out the suspension completely for monotonous ascents on paved roads or smooth surfaces as this reduces grip and comfort noticeably.
If you like a challenge, you’ll be happy with the Genius – it goads you to race up the climbs and it will make you work for every second gained on the descents.
The Genius’ XC genes are equally evident on the downhills, with the low front end literally pulling the rider forward. This requires you to keep your body engaged and tense at all times and the rougher the terrain or the faster you ride, the more tiring the Genius becomes. The plush rear suspension is of little help here, despite sensitively absorbing small bumps and offering good support. On top of that, the wide, puncture-prone tires offer little grip and thereby limit the bike further – these are worth upgrading immediately.
Tuning tip: mount a bar with more rise | more robust and narrower tires | possibly less stiff wheels
How does the SCOTT Genius compare to the competition?
The basic character of the SCOTT Genius is very similar to the equally stiff Orbea Occam. However, the latter offers a more comfortable riding position on the climbs without giving up too much of its efficiency. Despite identical amounts of travel, the SCOTT Genius and YT Jeffsy are worlds apart. The Jeffsy makes it very easy to ride fast, whereas the Genius makes you work for every second gained.
Conclusion of the SCOTT Genius 900 Tuned AXS
If you’re a cross-country pro looking for a trail bike, the SCOTT Genius 900 Tuned AXS is an exciting option. It climbs very efficiently but the low front end makes the handling that much more demanding on the descents. There are some weak points in the spec that also cloud the overall impression.
- efficient and light-footed climber
- precise handling on the descents
- eye-catching looks
- difficult handling in demanding terrain
- tires offer little grip and puncture protection
- overall very stiff and uncomfortable
For more information head to scott-sports.com
The test field
Click here for an overview of the best trail bike in test.
All bikes in review: Cannondale Habit Carbon 1 (Click for review) | Canyon Spectral CFR 9.0 SL (Click for review) | Giant Trance Advanced Pro 29 (Click for review) | Ibis Ripmo AXS (Click for review) | Nukeproof Reactor 290 (Click for review) | Norco Optic C1 (Click for review) | Orbea Occam M-LTD (Click for review) | Radon Slide Trail 10 (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Hightower CC X01 Reserve (Click for review) | Specialized Levo SL Expert Carbon (Click for review) | Specialized S-Works Stumpjumper SRAM AXS 29 (Click for review) | Trek Fuel EX 9.9 X01 AXS Project ONE (Click for review) | Yeti SB130 TLR (Click for review) | YT JEFFSY CF PRO (Click for review)
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Words: Photos: Christoph Bayer, Finlay Anderson, Markus Frühmann, Jonas Müssig