Scott Genius 920 - Review

Jan 8, 2018
by Richard Cunningham  



Almost everything about the 2018 Scott Genius' chassis is new, beginning with its Horst Link suspension configurations that delivers 150mm of travel, and ending with its modernized geometry that allows it to work with 29" or 27.5+ wheels. Priced at $4500, our 920 review bike is outfitted with Fox suspension, a SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed transmission, and it sits in the middle of Scott's Genius lineup. I'd rate it the best performance value in the range, which starts with the $7800 Ultimate and finishes with their most affordable, $4000 Genius 930.

Genius 920 Details

• Purpose: All-mountain and trail
• Carbon frame, aluminum rear swingarm
• Options: 29” x 2.6” or 27.5 x 2.8” tires
• Suspension: 150mm travel
• Sizes: Small, medium, large and X-large
• Weight: 13.5 kg / 29.7 pounds (Med. tested)
• MSRP: $4499 USD
• Contact: Scott Sports

The 920 shares the same carbon/aluminum hybrid frame as the 700-series, which is the Swiss brand's 27.5+ model. A "flip chip" two-position adjustment, located in the upper shock mount, is used to adjust the bottom bracket height and correct the frame geometry for the two wheel diameters. The 29er benefits most from the cloned chassis with its slacker, 65-degree head tube angle, which imbues the 920 with proper descending skills. Pair its capable handling with Scott’s TwinLoc remote suspension controls and the 920 earns a place at the top of its class.


Scott Genius 920


Features and Construction

Scott made the Genius to take you where uplifts and shuttles cannot, and strove to balance its descending prowess with its pedaling efficiency so that its riders could turn the entire length of a trail into a positive experience. The Genius has always been a trail bike, and to reposition it squarely within the boundaries set by today’s riders, Scott gave it a ground-up redesign.

Hybrid frame: The front section of the Genius chassis is carbon, with internal cable and housing routing. Screw-on plastic ports provide easy access to route the lines, while some serve as caps to hide optional features like Shimano Di2 electrics. The vertically-mounted Fox shock has the aforementioned flip chip up top and a trunnion lower mount that sits in a well that is formed into the down tube. The shock location makes ample room for one large downtube-mounted water bottle.

Scott Genius 920
Aluminum rear end built around 2.6" tires.
Scott Genius 920
Horst Link type suspension is new for 2018.

Out back, the swingarm is wide enough to provide mud clearance for 29er tires up to 2.6 inches, and tires up to 2.8 inches when 27.5-inch wheels are used. The bottom bracket is a press-fit type, and in the Scott tradition, rubber armor and silencing treatments are liberally employed throughout the frame.

Return to 29: Our review bike was set up with the 29-inch-wheel option, which follows on the heels of 2017’s back-to-big-wheels trend. It's also fitted with large, 2.6-inch Schwalbe tires, mounted to 30-millimeter inner-width rims. I’ll talk more about those later. The story here is that the popularity of Plus-sized tires among trail riders and their subsequent and wholesale rejection by the enduro segment was a lesson learned. Scott distanced the Genius from enduro with a brighter climbing, lighter weight component spec, and reigned in the Genius’s tire widths slightly to broaden its range of speed and intensity.

Scott Genius 920
Easy access port for cables or a Shimano Di2 battery doubles as a bash guard.
Scott Genius 920
Shorter top tubes help reduce the stack height created by the 920's taller wheels.
Scott Genius 920
A shock mount's flip chip alters the geometry to suit 27.5 or 29-inch wheels.

Two wheel options: Genius 2018 frames are designed for tires from 2.6-inch to 2.8 inches, and you can switch back and forth between 27.5 and 29-inch wheels without messing up the handling by reversing a flip-chip located in the upper shock mount. Check the geometry chart for the exact numbers. The short version is that the 29er we review here has the chip set in the low position, which makes it about a half degree slacker at the head tube and seat tube, compared to the high-position configuration, paired with 27.5" wheels and 2.8" tires. That story ends here, however, because we only reviewed the 920.

Remote control suspension: TwinLoc has helped the Genius span the chasm between cross-country and all-mountain with its three-option remote suspension control. TwinLoc was developed in the Swiss Alps, where extended climbs are the rule and trails can range from manicured gravel to two-hour descents on tracks that are little more than goat paths. Toggling between the TwinLoc’s three options (open, firm with reduced travel, and nearly locked out) is done with a pair of levers integrated into the left-side grip. TwinLoc requires some practice to commit to muscle memory, but once learned, you’ll probably use the feature as often as the shift lever.

Scott Genius 920
The radial lever on the left operates the Fox Transfer dropper post. The lower TwinLoc paddle selects Traction or Lockout modes, and the upper TwinLoc paddle toggles the shock and fork back to Open mode.

How TwinLoc operates: Scott and Fox collaborated on TwinLoc. Fox builds the “Nude” shock, which has a dual air chamber that ramps up the spring rate in order to reduce the shock travel. In the middle “Traction” mode, rear-wheel travel is reduced from 150 to 115 millimeters and the shock sits higher in its stroke, which effectively increases the seat tube and head tube angles. At the same time, the front suspension is firmed up via a second cable that is routed to the remote lockout control of the bike’s Fox Float 34 fork.

A second push of the TwinLoc lever locks out both the fork and shock, but you’ll probably reserve that function for paved roads. “Traction” mode is far more effective on the dirt, because the suspension still does a fair job of keeping the wheels on the ground (which maintains momentum better), and the Genius still rewards its rider with a burst of speed when the time comes to lay down a 100-percent effort.

Scott Genius 920
Scott Genius 920


New rear suspension: Scott updated the Genius rear suspension from a simple single-pivot swingarm to a true four-bar linkage by moving the dropout pivot from the seat stay to the lower section of the dropout. The change, says Scott, was done to uncouple braking forces, which it seems to do well. The kinematics have also been improved, with better suspension action across the speed range. The unexpected benefit, however, was how well the new Genius chassis pedals with the suspension set to the open mode.

Previous iterations of the Genius were not great pedalers in the open mode, which lent the impression that TwinLoc was a complicated band-aid fix. That said, the new 2018 chassis pedals well enough to entertain the thought that a rider could live without the TwinLoc system altogether. I often ran the Scott’s suspension in open mode on the flats and while climbing when the terrain was especially choppy.

Scott Genius 2018 geo

Improved geometry: Compared to the previous model, the latest Genius is an entirely new animal. The medium sized frame’s head tube angle drops from 68.9 to 65 degrees. Seat angles are a degree steeper across the board (Med. is 74.7°). Chainstays shrink from 450 to 438 millimeters. The wheelbase grows 57 millimeters, and the reach increases from 424 to 439 millimeters (505mm on the XL), while shorter head tubes ensure that the stack is reduced significantly throughout the size range. Combine the 29-inch wheel’s stabilizing effect with the Genius’ updated numbers and the result is a responsive chassis that remains calm under pressure.

Key Components

Sharing the spotlight, the stars of the 920’s parts list, are its Fox Suspension, SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, and Fox Transfer dropper post. Each delivers a stable, predictable performance that adds to the bike’s seamless feel on the trail.

House-brand parts are expected fare for mid-priced mountain bikes, and Scott’s Syncros components are usually a cut above the rest. Their cockpit items always have good ergonomics, but tops on my list are the Syncros TR2.5 wheels. The 30mm inner-width, low-profile aluminum rims are designed with internal rails that tenaciously grip the tire’s beads to prevent it from burping air, or rolling off the rim in the event of a flat at speed. Direct-pull hub flanges and a good build make for a lightweight and very durable wheelset.

Scott Genius 920
Medium-sized 920s get a 125mm-stroke Fox Transfer dropper.

Specifications
Release Date 2018
Price $4499
Travel 150mm/115mm with TwinLoc remote
Rear Shock Fox Nude EVOL with remote
Fork FOX 34 Float Performance 150mm with remote
Headset Syncros
Cassette SRAM GX Eagle
Crankarms Sram X1 Eagle, 32t chainring
Chainguide Syncros top guide
Bottom Bracket SRAM press-fit
Pedals NA
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX Eagle
Chain SRAM GX Eagle
Front Derailleur NA
Shifter Pods SRAM GX Eagle
Handlebar Sycros 12mm x 9°x 760mm, aluminum 31.8mm dia.
Stem Syncros 50mm aluminum
Grips Syncros Pro lock-on, left side integrated with TwinLoc levers
Brakes Shimano SLX , 180mm Rotors
Wheelset 29" Syncros TR2.5 SL, 30mm inside-width, aluminum
Hubs Syncros
Spokes Suncros
Rim Syncros
Tires Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.6" x 29", EVO - Addix Speedgrip
Seat Syncros
Seatpost FOX Transfer Dropper Remote 31.6mm / S size 100mm / M 125mm / L & XL 150mm





bigquotesThat's a big wheel with a lot of cushion, and backed up with 150 millimeters of Fox suspension, the Genius 920 feels like it is skimming the surface. 

Setting it up: TwinLoc remote’s push-to-pedal feature gives the Genius 920 rider the option to optimize the suspension for smoothing the terrain and maximizing traction without compromise. I set the rebound a little faster than I normally would and also backed off the low-speed compression. Schwalbe’s high-volume 2.6-inch Nobby Nic tires added another level of plush. Mounted to 30-millimeter rims, they gripped well and cornered without a wobble with pressures set at 19psi up front and 22psi at the rear.

Twenty-niner pilots often boast about superior roll-over, but the 920 performs at a different level. Measured at those stated pressures, the 29 x 2.6 Nobby Nics stand 29.5 inches tall (749mm) and measure 2.55 inches (64.7mm) at their widest point. That’s a big wheel with a lot of cushion, and backed up with 150 millimeters of Fox suspension, the Genius 920 feels like it is skimming the surface. The trail has to get pretty rowdy before that floating sensation transitions into the incessant rattle that most of us call “top-performing suspension.”


Scott Genius 920

bigquotesThe new Genius encourages a more calm and calculated attack on technical climbs...

Under power, the 920 accelerates with minimal effort and maintains momentum. That may seem counter-intuitive for a 29er shod with oversized rubber, but on the dirt, in a contest for the least rolling resistance, a supple tire’s improved roll-over always trumps a stiffer tire’s minimized surface area. The reverse is true when pedaling on pavement, where the big Schwalbes feel a little more draggy than a classic 2.3-inch tire like the Maxxis Minion.

Steep climbing is made easier by the combined grip of the 29-inch wheel’s elongated contact patch and the wider, more conforming rear tire. The steeper seat tube angle places the rider in a more effective pedaling position, and as the grade turns skywards, the longer front center prevents the front wheel from getting too light to maintain a decisive line. The new Genius encourages a more calm and calculated attack on technical climbs, which proved to be far more successful than the hopeful burst of power that is my usual strategy.

I prefer a cockpit that is devoid of buttons, levers and remote adjustments. As a test rider, however, I commit to the purpose and technology of each design that I happen to be reviewing. From my first ride on the Genius 920, I used its TwinLoc remote as many times as I found an opportunity in order to quickly master the system. Assisted by the lever’s audible click and distinct feedback, I was intuitively toggling between “open” and the middle “traction” modes after three solid rides.


Scott Genius 920


I rarely used full lockout, unless I was riding pavement to a distant trailhead. I usually left the suspension in traction mode anytime I was riding relatively smooth trails, dirt roads, and similar terrain. When trails were interspersed with rough or techy situations, I was inclined to leave the bike wide open and rely on its improved kinematics to maintain efficient power output.

What I liked most about TwinLoc was the ability to instantly firm up the pedaling at the bottom of short, punchy climbs, jump out of the saddle and power over without losing much momentum. Toggling between open and traction mode allowed me to maintain my pace on rolling terrain that I normally would cruise in a slower, energy-saving gear.
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Scott's TwinLoc simultaneously adjusts the fork and shock: Open mode, Traction mode, (with firmer damping and reduced travel), and Lockout mode.

Scott’s new Genius earns high marks for its cornering and handling. Its front wheel holds a trustworthy line when the chassis is pushed to the limits of traction in the turns. I expected its Nobby Nic tread to give me trouble on Southern California’s dry and slippery soil, so I was surprised they gripped so well in the larger format. When I turned the 920 over to Harold Preston for a second opinion, he reported similar results.

Steering feels predictable, especially when line choices are reduced to bad or not so good. The 920 responds equally well to an exaggerated lean, or steering inputs when changing direction in a tight spot. It aced switchbacks better than I’d imagine a 29er could manage. At speed, like most 29ers, a quick counter-steer will instantly commit the bike into a tight corner or berm, and the chassis responds to corrections with minimal drama.

Previous editions of Scott’s Genius taught me to enter steep downhills with a measure of caution. It took some saddle time before I could set aside my trepidation and begin to enjoy this “new and improved” model. The balance is such that I could move the wheels around or get hard on the brakes while remaining more or less centered over the chassis. From there, I could easily loft the front wheel or back-side step-downs, and if I misjudged something, the bike would usually have my back. It can (as I discovered) roll out of some improbable holes and drops. Now that I’ve learned how capable it can be, it’s the bike I reach for most often, even when I’m going to hit the bigger lines.


Scott Genius 920


Technical Report

Syncros TR 2.5 rims: Low pressures, lots of rocks and no dings or loose spokes. I’d call that a win for any lightweight aluminum rim. I like where Syncros is going with the rim’s low flange design and locking bead. The extra security it offers is worth the additional hassle that users will face when removing the tire. You’ll need a good tire lever to unseat the bead from the rim. I found it helps to rotate the lever between the bead and rim flange to work the bead into the rim’s center well.

Integrated TwinLoc Grip: The left grip is integrated into the TwinLoc controls to conserve real estate between the brake lever and the grip. Scott ships the Genius with an adapter if you want to switch grips, so ask your dealer for it. Another space saver was Scott’s decision to use a radial remote control for the Fox Transfer post. You’ll need to keep the cable adjusted to prevent the dropper lever from activating the TwinLoc. Also, the force required to operate the Fox post is greater with the radial lever than with the more preferable thumb paddle. All said and done, though, I’d prefer the dropper control to remain on the left side, so I’ll accept Scott’s compromise as the lesser evil.

Aluminum swingarm: I’d like to see the 920’s weight drop a half pound or so, but that'd likely require a full carbon frame, which is available on the 900 model. However, the choice to go with carbon up front and an aluminum tail section makes sense when one considers that those are the frame members that will see the most abuse from rock strikes and the like. A number of bike makers are using the hybrid material strategy to the same end. It could be a win for long-term ownership.
Scott Genius 920

Scott Genius 920

Scott Genius 920




Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesHow do you define a contemporary trail bike? Scott hits the mark with the Genius 920. It's priced right and with its pedal-friendly suspension kinematics, up-to-date frame numbers and a lightweight component selection, it strikes a near-magical balance - one that keeps your legs spinning circles all day without spoiling the fun when the downs get hot and heavy. Riding the 920 made me not miss my enduro bike.RC








174 Comments

  • + 300
 looks like a stable Genius!
  • - 25
flag SileTzar (Jan 8, 2018 at 9:29) (Below Threshold)
 groan
  • + 39
 I think your comment created a spark
  • + 34
 got nothin to trump this.
  • + 69
 That pun was like, really smart.
  • + 45
 Orange you glad you made that joke?
  • + 2
 @nyhc00: you win.
  • + 8
 I wish this wasn't a joke about the US president, but alas.
  • + 37
 @adrennan: The US has a president?
  • + 1
 @sewer-rat: That spark sure had some voltage behind it. If only I was a Gambling man.
  • + 0
 @Boardlife69: We might hold you for Ransom!

If only I could find a size S frame to replace my size L. A shock to replace the Equalizer 2 would be appreciated...
  • + 1
 YOU BEAT ME TO IT, DAMN YOU!
  • + 43
 Bike looks nice, but the simple dude in me won't let me break out my credit card because of the weird TwinLoc thingie....
  • + 7
 Same here. The goal of 1x was to keep handlebars simple. Stop installing remote lockouts. I wonder if it's possible to install a normal shocks (say dpx2).
  • + 3
 I love the nude shock, but yeah, decoupling the dropper lever the the twinloc or even switch the twinloc for a single fox 3 position lever to control the nude shock could be pretty spendy...
  • + 11
 @Whipperman: DPX2 will not fit I have tried. I run mine without the twinlock as I feel its not needed.
  • - 7
flag hamncheez (Jan 8, 2018 at 8:50) (Below Threshold)
 With this geometry, you'll quickly out-ride what a regular float rear shock can handle.
  • + 8
 In my experience riding a Scott the twinlock is great. If I were to buy one, I would remove the front twinlock (simple conversion kit from your fox dealer) to lessen the birdsnest of cables, and change the remote to the rockshox poploc remote. This way you can run your choice of grips and have the dropper post thumb paddle style at the same time Smile
  • + 2
 @i-ride-on-dirt: You can still run your choice of grips with the spacer that comes with the bike. But I catch your drift.
  • + 4
 @Whipperman: not only that but the whole point of modern suspension was to provide neutral pedaling without having to fiddle with the compression. How many PB reviews gush "pedaling uphill I found the suspension didn't require me to firm it up" or similar?
  • + 18
 Twinloc is an amazing technology though. I use it way more than I thought I would.
  • + 1
 @brolo: what part of the shock interfered with the mounting? I just ordered a Super Deluxe that I plan to mount up to mine when it comes in. Really hoping it fits
  • + 1
 @Brycelewis: Adjustment knob on the drive side. Super Deluxe might fit ok.
  • - 1
 @i-ride-on-dirt: know one needs to lock out forks ever
  • + 1
 @brolo: what size frame are you on?
  • + 3
 @Whipperman: That was not the goal of 1x, that was a byproduct of 1x.
  • + 1
 @Brycelewis: I'd be super interested in knowing if this fits, If I follow are you going to post the results?
  • + 1
 @plyawn: on the other hand the same argument could be used as "modern kinematics are designed in compromise to achieve pedaling neutrality". I get it that lockouts and levers are suboptimal, simplicity is great. I wouldn´t want a bike like that, shift cables fail me all the time. I just have to like that there are brands like Scott which refine a concept when not many others do, kind of niche thing
  • + 7
 TwinLoc - I tried it, and I buyed it. I love it so much other brands will have to make something similar to lure me away from Scott. Dealbreaker for this racer.
  • - 1
 Buy two 420’s and still save 80.
  • + 1
 @brolo:

Yeah I’d wanna lose the twin lock but that makes it damn hard to change the rear shock setting whilst riding if you disconnect it. ????
  • + 1
 @GumptionZA: Medium
  • + 3
 @WasatchEnduro: You could swap out the shock to a standard Fox Float with the 3 position lever or possibly a Rockshox super deluxe. I just leave mine open as I think the bike pedals great even in the wide open setting.
  • + 8
 It won't be for everyone - but TwinLoc seems like a really good idea to me. If you ride trail centres like we have in the UK the terrain is super undulating. 2 minute climb, 1 minute decent, flat section, another 2 min climb, another 1 min decent. Being able to quickly lock and unlock the suspension from the bars without slowing down sounds great. The other thing is if you forget to unlock the suspension before the downhill you can reopen it with one button push soon as you realise. With my current setup you'd have to either ride the whole descent locked or pull over to unlock it.
  • + 4
 @tom666: Damn, if my 2 minute climbs resulted on 1 minute descents I'd be a happy man. Or on an ebike.
I can't see how a remote lockout can be a bad thing to be honest (on the back at least).
  • + 2
 @KillaK801: sure thing! Bike is on backorder so I should know sometime in February
  • + 1
 @Brycelewis: You share a name with one of the best strength coaches in the world by the way, if you didn't know. When I saw your name on here I was trying to work out if you were him haha. I guess there must be more than one Bryce Lewis in the US
  • + 1
 @brolo: The Large and especially the XL have more room at the mounting point I think the dpx2 might fit on those sizes, I'm just wondering if the superdeluxe will fit 100% because of the switch on it is so long, how much did the adjustment dial interfere with the frame? and was it just the 3 position lever?
  • + 2
 @KillaK801: thats what i'm wondering, i ride an XL and this with a fancier shock is my dream bike!
  • + 1
 @GumptionZA: I just started a forum thread on it if you want to follow titled "2018 Scott genius replacement shock" Just from an eye ball test I think the dpx2 might work and judging from @brolo's experience if the dial is the only thing that is stopping it I might just file it down, but as soon as I try I'll post pictures/results until then I'm looking for as much info as I get if I should go dpx2 or Super Deluxe.
  • + 1
 @KillaK801: DPX2 wont work even if you remove the knob "which i tried" you would have to modify the frame.
  • + 1
 @brolo: is it the width of the Lever or the length of it?
  • + 1
 And a perfect place for collecting mud just right next to damper's TwinLoc switch. Nah.
  • + 3
 @Whipperman: Have you ever used a remote lockout extensively? After a few months on my Genius, I can safely say I use the TwinLoc more often than the dropper post.
  • + 2
 @mkul7r4: I have the Genius and the Spark and while I use it ALL THE TIME on the Spark, I don't really feel the need to use it on my Genius. I replaced the rear shock with a Super Deluxe and have zero regrets, wish this was an option from the factory.
  • + 30
 2018, we are calling everything thing a TRAIL BIKE not ENDURO, that's Genius!
  • + 21
 And this is where it would be nice to get some comparisons. Not necessarily one of those "this one's best in breed" comparison tests, but just a bit of qualitative comparison with benchmark bikes. RC tells us this is a trail bike that makes him not miss his enduro bike, and that it's a way more capable descender than its predecessor. But it's a 150mm 29er with a 65 degree HA. That puts it somewhere in the company of what are now marketed as long travel 29ers - not too far off the Hightower LT, Spec Enduro, Kona Process 29er 153, and Transition Sentinel. But because those bikes were reviewed for PB by other reviewers, we don't know whether this bike's character is more on the Hightower end of the breed, or more on the Sentinel/Kona (bruiser) end. For anyone riding a Scott Genius 29er from the previous generation who's wondering whether to upgrade to the new one or stick with what they've got (but who is locked into Scott and not considering the segment's mainstays), this review would be gold (as that topic is fully explored). For anyone who is looking for a mid- to long-travel 29er and trying to figure out how this one fits into the picture and whether it would be worth their time trying to find one to demo, it's a bit pointless.
  • + 9
 @g-42: I think we are at the point where the real difference is the build and specifically the fork. A Fox 34 and Nobbie Nicks make this a trail bike. Put on a 36 and some Minions and everyone will say it is an amazing Enduro bike.
  • + 4
 My first response was to read this twice. Wait, a 150mm 29er TRAIL BIKE??? Isn't that 20mm over spec? I'd be curious to ride this and a 27.5 Rocky Altitude back to back to see the difference.
  • + 2
 @rrolly: Having ridden one, I agree with calling it a trail bike. The numbers say "enduro," but between the weight and the efficient pedaling, it felt very "trail" when riding. Definitely on the plush side of things - I don't think I'd want to try an XC race on it - but I didn't feel especially over-biked even though I was riding a relatively tame trail.
  • + 1
 @salespunk: No, we're just at the point where the industry has sold enough people 150mm enduro bikes that now to sell either more "enduro" bikes they need to jack up the travel or to sell more 150mm bikes they need to make you think it's something different from the enduro bike you bought last year. Now that's "Genius".
  • + 21
 RC’s reviews always read just like Mountain Bike Action. For me, not a good thing.
  • + 15
 It's not a bad review, just seems a bit vague. I like specifics
  • + 26
 @gooutsidetoday: we’re working on some updates to our bike review format that’s a lot heavier on specifics. The first one will drop in the next few weeks. Cheers!
  • + 21
 It is pure Science Fiction. Like the idea that somehow the Scott is more efficient on dirt than on asphalt (and this tempered by the profound, and deeply meanigless, observations that the Scott "encourages a more calm and calculated attack on technical climbs" ... to paraphrase: she is meditative bike, encouraging reason over youthful exuberance).

But I take it back, no science fiction. The guy is an Aristotelian: he comes up with an idea and argues about it. No evidence, no data, no matter how far fetched the theory is. He could be claiming that three Angles can seat on a pin head instead of four.

Almost lost in the mumbo jumbo is that now 30 pounds plus is the norm for a trail bike .., I guess the new generation of MTB bikers will grow up stronger!
  • + 3
 @gooutsidetoday: Agreed! No mention of the brakes at all or if the internal cables rattle. I've ridden this bike and the OEM brakes (SLX with 180mm rotors) leaves a lot to be desired. This bike deserves at minimum 200m rotors and four piston callipers if you ride the steeps. I also noticed some internal cable rattle on very rough terrain. Curious if others who have spent time in the new Genius have has a similar experience.
  • + 0
 @duzzi: I definitely wouldn't class the Genius as a trailbike. With 150mm of travel it's much more of an enduro bike. The Spark is their true trailbike. In which case 30+ lbs is fine for a 150mm travel enduro bike, IMO. My Spark Plus is 28 lbs.
  • + 5
 @duzzi

30lbs has always been the norm for a trail bike, my first bike, 1992 Univega with a 2-3” Rock shox fork( hard tail) weighed around 30lbs.

My current trail bike weigh a little under 30 lbs( HD3).

A long travel, 29” big tire bike that weighs under 30lbs and costs under $5k is a good package.

Labels like trail bike, all mountain, Enduro, don’t really matter as much as how the actual bike rides.
  • + 0
 @Saidrick: 30 pounds plus in my memory used to be the lower threshold for cheap bikes or downhill ... but I guess large 29 tires, heavy over dimensioned wheels, over dimensioned everything actually, and 1x weighting more than a dual is changing the equation. (Still ... my HD3 is 25 pounds 2.35 tires, and my Norco Revolver 21.5 ...)
  • + 6
 @duzzi: a number of tires and also wheel and tire combinations roll significantly faster over rough terrain than they do in paved surfaces. Same with tire pressures. larger volume tires at lower pressures, like the Scott's 2.6" rubber are a good example.
  • + 5
 @RichardCunningham: Unless you mean that in a relative sense, it's wrong. In rough terrain or soft ground, high volume/low pressure rolls faster than low volume/high pressure. On smooth hard terrain, it's the other way around. But any tire at any pressure will roll faster over paved surfaces than over gnarly trails.
  • + 4
 @ak-77: Yes. I was comparing different tire combinations: Some that roll fast on hard pack or pavement are significantly slower by comparison on the dirt and vice versa. Soft, knobby tread with lots of siping really bogs down on pavement. Same with some of the high-volume, low-pressure combinations.

Super sticky tires are usually pigs on the pavement but wake up with they hit the dirt. In the case of the original compound e13 tire, I was climbing a long, steady section with paved and unpaved hardpack intervals and was surprised to have my heart rate drop and speed pick up slightly on the unpaved parts.
  • + 3
 @duzzi: my old downhill rigs were 40 lbs or north of that so is "used to be" within the past 10 years?
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham is right about the e13 tires in my experience. They drag horribly on pavement to the point you feel like the rubber is peeling off as you go, but the second you hit dirt they feel just fine.
  • + 2
 @hangdogr: lol, I have those tires and I took them off because I felt they were impossibly slow! At least compared to my minions.
  • + 10
 I bought this bike, I've had it for over a month now. It's my first 29er & I came off an almost identical 650b carbon front alloy rear 160/150mm travel bike to this so it was a good comparison for me.
Short story, I think it's amazing. Disclaimer: I have changed most of the components from my 650B bike over as I like Shimano, Stans rims, Magic Mary/Hans Dampf tyres etc, XTR levers, Zee calipers & 200mm rotors F&R(I also removed ALOT of weight from it) but I did ride it with the stock fork for a few weeks before I put a 36 160mm fork on the front. I have hit all the DH tracks in Sydney on this thing & I am truly amazed at how much I can get away with. The traction is incredible, I also never used the twin lock & it's the first thing I removed. I have always run my suspension fully open all the time, I never touch it. It pedals beautifully (as most bikes these days) fully open. This bike is a far cry from my first $199 MTB from Woolworths in 1989.

Also, I must apologise to all previous 29er owners. I have been on the 29er hate train for some time now, in fact, at times I was driving it. I was adamant that they were only for tall riders (I am 5'6") I was wrong.

The only down side to owning a 29er is that I had to put the seat in my car forward 1 click to get it in the back...........apart from that, I am absolutely thrilled with it. It's just a safe stable bike that makes me feel faster than ever even in my mid 40's.
  • + 3
 26 and 650B trader! shoot!
  • + 10
 When I was looking at this new lineup, the one thing I was surprised and disappointed about was the lack of a model in between. They have the Tuned version which retails at about $7300 with all the bells and whistles, and then it drops to this model with performance level suspension and GX. Nothing against those, but I think they missed a big market of riders that want top-line suspension with lower end drive train that gets beaten up. A bike in the 5-6k range, which most other manufacturers seem to have. Just my 2 cents.
  • - 2
 The 920 has top line suspension on it, the only thing it doesnt have is kashima bling. So if you want bling you have to go with the bling level model
  • + 4
 @Tr011: Not true, the fork has the GRIP damper, not the FIT4 that comes on the Performance Elite and Factory.
  • + 3
 @Tr011: No, it has Performance suspension which is a step down. The Performance Elite is the same as kashima but without the bling. The Performance model has a different damper with the GRIP than the factory and Elite model which have their new FIT4 damper.
  • + 4
 Agreed, top level suspension with budget drivetrain is where it's at. You feel the difference in the suspension a lot more than you do in the drivetrain. Also, as you said, the drivetrain gets a lot of wear and tear, so it makes sense to go cheaper on it.
  • + 1
 That's fine and all, but just to observe: You can always buy the frame and build it up how you like. I realize that most people don't go for that, but both my bikes cost me $2700-$3k USD and have exactly the parts I want. For example the trail bike has DVO suspension, XT brakes, cheapo drivetrain, and Spank wheels. IMO, a pretty much perfect package if you aren't into the carbon scene.
  • + 2
 @WaterBear: Yeah that's very true, and always an option. But for fully built bikes its a bit odd they don't have a middle ground. Also, with Scott since they have the patented TwinLoc, their frames come with the fork I believe... Plus, this fork is a 34 and realistically most people on 150 or bigger are looking for a 36, which means you would have to somehow sell a twinloc enabled 34 fork in order to build the bike you want.
  • + 2
 They had a 710 with Eagle and Performance Elite dampers, but chose not to bring them into the US market for some reason. I agree with you too, the 710 has a pretty banging drab olive colorway too.
  • + 1
 @fatallightning: I remember seeing that....except that it came with 2x11 for some unknown reason, and that its a 34. But, yes thats sort of in the realm of what people want. Now just make it either XT or GX eagle and a 36 fork and its perfect haha.
  • + 2
 @ianswilson815: Scott likes to do 2x on the Shimano bikes, I blame euro trends. Everyone I've sold through the shop gets an 11-46 and a 1x chainring before she rolls out the door.
  • + 1
 @fatallightning: Absolutely the BEST looking bike in the lineup, since everyone shares my taste for green... Wink
I agree that it's a great spec and tried reaching out to retailers in Canada and Mexico to acquire this bike, and even during a trip to the Philippines and haven't been able to get it- Bummer! I have a deposit on the 740 but am just not sure if I'll be satisfied. Anyone else?
  • + 12
 I believe you don’t have to use the twin-loc integrated Syncros grips. A separate adapter is available (provided in the box?) that allows you run any grips you like.
  • + 4
 Correct, there's a small plastic adapter you put under the Twinloc instead of using the grip. So no worries there.
  • + 2
 @bicyclerider: Yeah it's funny that they didn't mention that. Every Scott MTB we build that has the Transfer comes with the adapter sleeve.
  • + 5
 I was just about to mention this but you beat me to it. I think the author should update the review so that people know they do, in fact, have an option to use whatever grip they choose. Props to Scott for providing the plastic adapter/shim.
  • + 6
 @seraph: Updated. Scott informed me of the fix after the review.
  • + 7
 "...backed up with 150 millimeters of Fox suspension, the Genius 920 feels like it is skimming the surface. " Is that supposed to be a positive behavior?

"The trail has to get pretty rowdy before that floating sensation transitions into the incessant rattle that most of us call “top-performing suspension.” this is so BS
  • + 4
 I put a combo of an angleset and offset bushings in my 150mm 29er (BMC trailfox), and a 65 degree HTA is the sweet spot for heavy trail/light enduro riding. It allows you to go downhill as fast as 150mm of suspension will allow; I feel that if it was slacker you'd have to go faster to get the bike 'alive' and fun, but most of us would need more suspension for that. 65 degrees requires adjustment on tricky climbs, but once you get used to it you'll clear 95% of what you could on a bike with a 67 degree or steeper HTA.

This Scott is actually priced decently given the builds, but if you want to get similar performance on the cheap buy a 140-160mm used 29er in the buy/sell section and modify it with an angleset or offset bushings (you won't find any of these new Scotts, the Trek Slash, or Transition Sentinel selling used at reasonable prices because they ride so well!)
  • + 1
 sounds like a good idea. maybe i should do that Wink
  • + 3
 I have the aluminum 27.5" version of this bike, the 2018 Genius 740. The money I saved on aluminum vs. carbon frame I used to upgrade almost all major components. Renthal Carbon Handlebars, Fox Kashima Dropper Post, X01 derailleur & shifter, XX1 chain, StansNoTubes Flow wheels, SRAM Eagle Oval chain ring, Ergon saddle, ESI Extra Chunky Grips, XT brakes & IceTech pads. It probably weighs what this hybrid carbon one weighs with much better components and I spent a little less than the full price of this one. Plus I don't have the worries of whether my crash cracked something.

I love this bike. It's given may way more confidence than my previous 2016 Genius 940. A lot had to do with going down from 29er to 27.5 as it made the bike better handling for me even though I'm 5'10". This is a lot of bike and for a middle of the road rider like me it has bailed me out whenever I've gotten in over my head. The fork it comes with is not as progressive towards the end of the travel as I would have liked but I am also a heavy rider. I put in an MRP Ramp Control cartridge in the fork and now I can dial it in on the fly and works great. The shock however, is perfect.

I did order a new TwinLoc switch to change it from the under bar switch it came with to the older version which puts the TwinLoc over the bars. I could not get used to the radial dropper switch. I had moved it to the right side to see if I could get used to it but could not. The under bar dropper switch on the left side is just more natural for me like I had on my old Genius so I got a WolfTooth under bar switch for the left side and moved the TwinLoc over the bar. I used the spiral wrap that the bike came with to tame the bird's nest and it cleans it up quite a bit. I agree a cleaner bar would look better, but as any longtime Scott rider knows, once you get used to the TwinLoc it's hard to see yourself without it. The trails I ride the most have sections of smooth singletrack, punchy climbs and root strewn rock gardens and I have a muscle memory with the TwinLoc where I find myself going from firm to open without even thinking about it. I love it and won't leave Scott because of it. Bottle cages are also a dealbreaker for me. I looked hard at the Ibis Mojo and YT Jeffsy's but besides the TwinLoc, I won't compromise on having to have smaller bottles or none at all. That I can use a full size bottle with the Genius is also a big deal for me. Yes, I've heavily modified my Genius to my liking but since I don't really care much about having a carbon frame, I built mine up nicer than the one on this review and lost so much weight they are likley within ounces of each other.
  • + 4
 I personally love the Twinloc feature. I don't really mind about the cable mess at the front either. The ability to adjust the suspension on the fly has made riding for me personally so much better. (I'm the oddball haha)
  • + 3
 I thought this bike did pedal well and eat up the he rough better than the Spark I rode last year, but I also think it should have a 36 or a pike on it. And, I use the dropper lever WAY more than the twin lock, so my first mod was to rig up a KS southpaw lever by threading a bolt into where the cable head usually goes to fix the end of the cable. Much more ergonomic and quick to activate. Lock levers should be above the bar!
  • + 2
 Do you remember when the first Scott Genius came out and it was mental? With the pull shock and the insane price tag. I remember seeing one in my local bike shop and just walking around it for like half an hour. The most remarkable thing about this is that it has too many levers on the left side of the bar.

I guess it looks like every other trail bike because bike companies are starting to settle on what works and I can't deny that bikes are better than they have ever been. I do miss mental though.
  • + 2
 How would you rate the fork? I read your positive previous review but I'd like hearing your comments about the fork on this bike. I've been waiting to receive my 920 and I'm worry about the lack of slow-speed adjustment ( I weight 82kg). Thanx!
  • + 5
 A very stable genius -- that can actually do its job
  • + 2
 Anybody else fine a problem with this sentence?

"The bottom bracket is a press-fit type, and in the Scott tradition, rubber armor and silencing treatments are liberally employed throughout the frame. "
  • + 7
 I can't fine a problem, with that sentence .
  • + 5
 @acali: They spend time and money developing silencing treatments, then pair it with a squeak prone press fit BB. Just struck me as a bit funny.
  • + 1
 I have used a scott twin lock on my Tallboy in 2016. In 2017 it was taken off. Just did not use enough to justify. In my opinion, for BC riding the twin loc should be mounted high in the old format with the dropper in the under the bar paddle format. I just use the dropper way more than the twin loc. Way, Way more now that the twin loc is sitting on my tool box.
  • + 1
 Top-mounted TwinLoc levers are on Scotts that have front deraillers. I ditched my Spark's front derailler right away and would have swapped with you in a heartbeat.
  • + 1
 Which is funny, because I'm moving from a Trigger 2 in that color to this bike. And I didn't really like the color on that or this one either.
  • + 1
 Looking forward for the 2019 Genius, 710 or 720 shimano version. The 2018 colors are just not very nice and attractive, at least not on the affordable ones, 720, 730. 710 is fine just a shame that is not in the US Market.
Is going to be my first kind of all mountain bike. The Sparks are too XC. And for what is being reviewed Genius perfoms very well on all terrains. Hope so.
Does anyone know when the 2019’s will be released?
  • + 3
 Nice looking bike and build kit (multiple lockouts aside), but looks like it would be very tricky to clean between the shock and frame after some winter PNW riding.
  • + 1
 Looking forward for the 2019 Genius, 710 or 720 shimano version. The 2018 colors are just not very nice and attractive, at least not on the affordable ones, 720, 730. 710 is fine just a shame that is not in the US Market.
Is going to be my first kind of all mountain bike. The Sparks are too XC. And for what is being reviewed Genius perfoms very well on all terrains. Hope so.
Does anyone know when the 2019’s will be released?
  • + 5
 Longer, lower, slacker. Genius.
  • + 1
 I've ridden this bike several times and I think it is pretty dang good. Not a huge fan of Twinloc but I rode one without the fork lock out and it rides great. The new Addix tires seem to hold up pretty well too all things considered. The bike I rode had 15-20 rides on it atleast, and the tires were will holding up / no ripped knobs.
  • + 1
 Would it be feasible to put an eleven-six shock in this thing, and hook the twin-lock lever thing up to the eleven-six's climb switch? I realise it's 2 positions vs the 3 on the Scott ... But I remember when I owned the mk1 Genius back in the day, I never, ever used the lockout.

Plus a coil on this thing could be pretty cool.
  • + 1
 I have a brand new medium Genius 920 with two sets of wheels, one 29” and another 27.5” that I need to let go before the wife freaks. Everything for $3600 and I’m literally losing over $1200!!
  • + 1
 I really like the look of the bikes Scott has been putting out over the last couple years... keep it up and you guys will get a new customer once I hit the lifetime of my current bike!
  • + 3
 Why aren't the photos of the guy who wrote the article? Just for perspective to see where the author is coming from.
  • + 3
 I wondered the same, Perspective matters.
  • + 3
 And it also begs another question - if the photos aren't of the rider - are the trails in the photos representative of what the author rode the bike on?
  • + 2
 This also begs the question, " Are the comments on how the bike rides from the author, or the rider?"
  • + 17
 I appear in enough reviews and I am uglier than Mr Preston. He makes the reviews look much better. More important, however, Harold Preston is a friend and PB test rider who I use to get a second opinion on almost all of my reviews. The comments are mine,
  • + 3
 Howzit gents.
I've been fortunate enough to assist RC with the reviews for 7 years now, I've pedaled many different bike brand, wheel sizes, geomentries, suspension platforms, you name it it's been thrown at me.
RC pedaled the Genius 99%, I threw a leg over for only 30 minutes of saddle time. I always come into a review being very skeptical and once comfortable on a strange bike, I do my best to push it's limits at on our local trails in San Diego.
I was very impressed by the Scott, it ended up being a really fun bike, stable and fast.
The suspension adjustment lever took a bit to get acquainted with, but it's not a bad feature, if you have climbing to get to your favorite descends.
  • + 1
 My backyard trails in the photos. Steep/fast, rocky, jumps, bermy, dry and dusty right now. This geometry/travel is like, really smart for this location. Some people might say its "a very stable genius", believe me.
  • + 3
 @RichardCunningham Why didn’t you test with a 27.5+ wheelset? Would have been nice to hear what differences you found.
  • + 7
 @irck Fair question. Comparing the two bikes in one feature with different wheel diameters would have shifted the focus of this review to the time-worn debate on wheel sizes. I minimized the 27.5 option intentionally to keep the review on point.
  • + 4
 @RichardCunningham: I can see your point but I think people have heard that debate enough now that the debate itself no longer needs to be addressed. How the bike performs with both wheelsets really should be an integral part of a review for a bike being sold as dual use.
  • + 3
 @RichardCunningham: Sounds like an opportunity for a 2nd review with 27.5 wheels... which would be great material for slower winter Smile
  • + 1
 Looks like a MTB with a trunnion mounted shock. But once any videos of Brendog ripping it up on this show up, we’ll all sit down.
  • + 2
 @jase111171 for that reason I'm out sounds like the investors on that show sharktank
  • + 2
 It's called Dragons Den over here,same format.
  • + 3
 Great Scott!! It doesn’t take a genius to realise how good this bike is
  • + 2
 Janet! Brad! Rocky!
  • + 3
 Looks like a trance....albeit with much better geometry
  • + 2
 loving my 2016 Genius with TwinLoc
  • + 1
 Good to see that the Genius range running a horst link again, back to their roots for the Genius bikes!
  • - 2
 i weigh 400lbs and eat doughnuts and chocolate all day but want to shred trails but i cant without a motor so this is no good...

Joking asides if most manufacturers do what they did with the 26" wheel trail bikes and in a couple of years kill off non motor bikes then i may as well forget buying a new expensive bike and keep my perfectly good bike as long as i can.
  • + 1
 For me the deal breaker is that there are no rockshox options in the lineup. I would like to see it with a Pike/Deluxe.
  • + 2
 Looks like an upside down session
  • + 2
 that's a lot of stuff packed into the grip clamp. very elegant design.
  • - 3
 I had the 2016 genius LT 710. It was reliable for about three weeks! The Scott brand rear pivots are difficult to order in Canada and required replacement 3 times in 4 months. The syncros wheels front and rear both tacoed at different occasions fortunately.The syncros stem wouldn’t grip the handlebar and ster tube resulting in unallignment at critical moments. Because of failures I was able to switch out everything syncros and it became reliable, almost. The final straw was the constant pivot replacement. Take a look at there team riders bikes and notice the lack of syncros. If I had a mechanic replacing pivots every couple rides it would be my brand forever because the bike rode awesome.
  • + 1
 I like the new "Suncros " spokes @pinkbike lol
  • + 1
 @jase111171 yep I've seen that show as well.
  • - 1
 I never use the remote lockout on my 2015 @rockymountain Altitude 750msl I guess they just are not confident in there pedaling platform?
Thoughts?
  • + 0
 What trails was it tested on?
  • + 1
 that paint is brutal
  • - 1
 It needs more cables and a slacker SA!!!
  • + 1
 and a coil piggy back shock and a ....
  • - 1
 Looks like a Slash.... but with stupid remote lockout levers
  • - 1
 Looks like a more refined Process 165...
  • - 2
 Can we possibly have reviews on pinkbike of bikes average working people can actually afford to buy!! Thanks!!
  • - 1
 NOBODY wants wires passing underneath BB.
  • + 1
 A broken zip tie and the rear wheel is going to eat that rear brake hose.
  • + 5
 I don't mind the cables down there on my Spark. Never had a problem with them.
  • - 1
 @seraph: Oh, seraph has never had a problem, we're good to go!
  • - 1
 Looks identical to a Giant Trance....
  • - 3
 F(@);$$@ng A: it kinda looks like a Giant Trance........
  • - 2
 This coming out party is g...!
  • - 3
 I look at stuff like this and i think where is the innovation? The same boring thing year in year out.
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