Scott's Genius trail bike has received a massive update for 2023, and not just in the typical longer, lower fashion. Those geometry changes did occur, but the biggest talking point is the location of the shock inside the frame, a design that was first applied to the Spark, and to Bold's line of bikes before that.
Scott acquired a majority share of Bold back in 2019
, and while at the time they claimed that there wouldn't be any crossover on R&D, it sure looks like someone at Scott has been peeking at Bold's homework.
Genius ST Details
• Carbon and aluminum frame options
• Wheel size: 29"
• 150mm travel / 160mm fork
• 64° head tube angle (adjustable to 65 or 64.5°)
• 77.2 seat tube angle (size L)
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Pricing: $3,799 - $12,000 USD
The new Genius has 29” wheels, 150mm of rear travel that's paired with a 160mm fork, and is available with either a carbon or aluminum frame. There are two different versions, the Genius and the Genius ST. And no, ST doesn't stand for short travel. It stands for – wait for it – Super Trail.
The Super Trail model receives a piggyback shock, and the fork isn't attached to Scott's TwinLoc remote; activating the handlebar remote only affects the shock. On the Genius model the fork is
connected to the remote, and it uses an inline shock. All-mountain is a term that's fallen out of favor, but in this case I'd say it makes sense to call the Genius a trail bike and the Genius ST an all-mountain bike. That is, unless you really like the term super trail.
Prices range from $3,800 USD for the alloy Genius 940 all the way up to $12,000 USD for the carbon Genius 900 Ultimate, and there are a total of 10 different models in the Genius lineup – 6 iterations of the Genius, and 4 of the Genius ST. Frame Details
The new Genius is available in three different frame configurations – there's the top level, full carbon version, followed by a version with a slightly different carbon layup and an alloy swingarm, and then the full alloy version. Personally, I think the raw alloy frame found on the base model Genius 940 is the best-looking of the bunch.
Compared to the shorter travel Spark
, which uses a flex-pivot design, the Genius uses a Horst link layout for its 150mm of travel. The short link that sits between the seatstays and seat tube connects to a splined aluminum link inside the frame that drives the shock.
The shock cover can be removed with the push of a button, allowing access to rebound, compression, and air pressure adjustments.
Accessing the shock to make air pressure or rebound adjustments is done by pushing a button on the plastic downtube cover – no tools required. Once the cover is off, the air valve of the shock is located at the top of the shock for easy access. Because the shock's shaft is hidden inside the frame, a sag indicator is built into the upper link. Overall, getting the bike setup doesn't take any longer than it would with a bike that didn't swallow its shock.
2022 has been the year of routing cables through headsets, and the Genius keeps that trend alive (unfortunately). The cables pass through the split plastic headset spacers, then through the upper headset bearing before going to their respective destinations. Changing the the orientation of the headset cups won't require a brake bleed, but that will likely be necessary when it's time to swap out the headset bearing.
The Genius doesn't have tube-in-tube routing, relying instead on foam sheaths to prevent rattling, although we still experienced some noise on our test bike.
In keeping with the integration theme, the Genius uses Syncros’ one-piece Hixon carbon stem / bar combo. Sizes small and medium receive a version with 15mm of rise, and the large and XL bikes get the 25mm version.Genius ST vs Genius - What's Different?
The travel amounts between the Genius and Genius ST are the same, but Scott has taken steps to give them distinct personalities out on the trail. Out of the box, the Genius has a steeper head tube angle, and uses a Fox Nude 5T inline shock that has 3 modes – Lockout, Traction Control, and Descend. In the Traction Control mode, the shock's air volume is reduced and the fork's compression damping is increased. That causes the bike to sit higher in its travel, giving it a better climbing position.
On the Genius ST, Scott has made it possible to adjust the Float X shock's progression on the fly. There's a fully open, Descend mode, a Ramp Control mode, and a Climb mode. In Ramp Control, one of the air chambers is closed off, which increases progression in the same way that adding a volume spacer would. In climb mode, the compression damping is increased, creating a firmer pedaling platform for getting to the top of the hill. As for the fork, that's not affected by the remote at all, allowing riders to access all of the adjustments that come with Fox's Grip 2 damper. Geometry
The Genius has headset cups that allow for two different head angles – either 64-degrees or 65-degrees depending on the orientation of the cup. The Genius ST comes with the cups in the slacker position, and they're in the steeper position for the Genius. The carbon models also come with another headset cup that splits the difference and creates a 64.5-degree head angle.
The Genius's reach numbers have increased significantly compared to the previous version – when it comes to geometry, a lot has changed in the last five years. The reach of a size large is now 485mm, up from 466mm on the old Genius. The seat tube angle has been steepened to balance out the increased reach, and now sits around 77-degrees depending on the frame size – it gets steeper with the larger sizes.
We're starting to see more and more companies go with size-specific chainstay lengths, but that's not the case here – no matter the size, they measure 440mm.Build Kits
As I mentioned earlier, there are 10 different versions of the Genius, with a variety of frame and component options - it's easiest to head over to Scott's website to view the exact specifications. As you'd expect, the highest end options have carbon wheels SRAM's wireless shifting, and Fox's Factory level suspension - a Grip 2 36 on the Genius ST, and a FIT 4 36 on the Genius.
One step down from the top you'll find the Genius 910, which has a carbon mainframe with an aluminum swingarm. The $7,600 price tag gets you SRAM's GX Eagle AXS wireless drivetrain, Shimano XT brakes, and an Ohlins RXF 36 fork.
The base model Genius 940 has an aluminum frame, and is priced at $3,800 USD. It has a Marzocchi Z2 Air fork, X-Fusion Nude shock, SRAM SX drivetrain, and Shimano MT501 brakes. Ride Impressions
The Genius ST was one of the bikes in our recent Field Test that took place up in Whistler, BC. Those articles and videos will be coming out at the end of this month, so you'll have to wait a little bit for the full scoop on the Genius' performance.
Certain features of the Genius are going to be polarizing – the hidden shock and remote lockout aren't going to suit everyone's tastes, myself included. However, the actual ride quality of the Genius ST is excellent – it's quite light for the amount of travel (our Genius ST 900 Tuned test bike weighed in at 30.1 pounds with Maxxis DoubleDown control tires installed), while still remaining surefooted on chunky descents, or getting airborne on Whistler's jump trails. It's stiff without being overly harsh, and even the one piece bar / stem was comfortable for multiple testers
The Super Trail designation is easy to poke fun at, but after spending time on the Genius ST I understand what Scott was going for. This is a bike that can easily be pedaled on big rides without giving up much (if anything) on the descents. There's no reason this couldn't be used to race the occasional enduro either - the geometry isn't going to be the limiting factor between the tape.
Keep an eye out for our Field Test review of the Genius ST, where it'll get compared to other similar bikes, along with being subjected to the Impossible Climb, Efficiency Test, and the Huck to Flat.