PINKBIKE FIELD TEST
Scott Genius ST
Words by Mike Kazimer; photography by Satchel Cronk
The new Scott Genius ST was the lightest, longest, and most expensive bike we had on hand for the Whistler Field Test. It's also the only bike that hides a shock in the downtube, the only one with a remote for the shock, and the only one with thru-headset cable routing. In other words, there's a lot to unpack when it comes to this 'Super Trail' bike (Remember, that's Scott's term, not mine. Even though I kind of like it...)
Let's start with the basics. The Genius ST has 150mm of rear travel that's paired with a 160mm fork, and rolls on 29” wheels. The ST 900 Tuned version we tested is the highest end option in the ST lineup at $11,000 USD, but if you wanted to spend even more the Genius 900 Ultimate comes in at one penny under $12,000.
Genius ST 900 Tuned Details
• Travel: 150mm / 160mm fork
• Carbon frame (aluminum options available)
• 63.9° head angle
• 77.2 seat angle
• 440mm chainstays
• Reach: 485mm (L)
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight: 30.1 lb / 13.7 kg
• Price: $11,000 USD
• More info: scott-sports.com
The ST version of the Genius places a higher priority on downhill performance compared to the 'regular' Genius, and come with the adjustable headset cups set in the slackest position, along with a piggyback air shock. The function of the Twinloc remote is also different between the two versions – on the ST it's actually supposed to be called TracLoc, and the three modes are Lockout, Ramp Control, and Descend. Ramp Control is essentially like being able to add volume spacers on the fly – it makes it harder to bottom out the shock, a setting that could be useful for jump trails or rougher terrain with bigger hits.
Scott are in the middle of a long-term love affair with integration, as the Genius ST demonstrates. Hiding the shock the down tube is the most obvious example, and it certainly give the bike a distinctive, futuristic look. It's accessed via an easy-to-operate hatch on the downtube, and the air valve has been positioned at the top of the Fox Float X for better access. A built-in sag indicator on the swingarm helps simplify setup, since there's not really an easy way to view the o-ring on the shock like you would with a more conventional design.
The integration continues at the front of the bike, where there's a one piece bar and stem combo from Syncros, with the brake line and dropper post housing running through the headset. There are split spacers to make it a little easier to adjust the handlebar height, but bar roll and stem length aren't adjustable.
The Genius ST's geometry numbers wouldn't be out of place on a modern enduro bike, and there's no reason that this bike couldn't be used for the occasional race. The head angle sits at 63.9-degrees, the seat tube angle is 77.2-degrees, and the chainstay length measures 440mm on all sizes. The reach on our size large test bike measures 485mm.
What does $11,000 USD get you for components? Well, there's a 160mm Fox 36 Factory Grip 2 fork, SRAM X01 AXS wireless drivetrain, Shimano XTR 4-piston brakes, and a set of Syncros Revelstoke carbon wheels. With Maxxis DHRII DoubleDown tires installed our test bike weighed in at 30.1 lb / 13.7 kg. Climbing
When a bike has a remote lockout, it's not unreasonable to think that it's there for a reason, and if the Scott had felt extra-soft in the fully open 'Descend' mode I wouldn't have been surprised at all. Except that's not the case – the Genius climbs quite well in the open position, and really the only time that I reached for the remote lever was because I wanted to try it out, not because of any sort of bobbing or wallowing from the bike's back end. The fact that you can't actually see the shock has the additional benefit of making it easier to imagine that it's extra-efficient – as they say, 'out of sight, out of mind.'
The overall handling while climbing feels closer to what you'd expect from a modern enduro bike rather than a snappy trail bike. It feels a little more relaxed and less nimble than the Yeti SB140, for example, especially when faced with tight, slow speed turns. It's not going to be the climber's ultimate trail bike, and it does require a little more effort to get through the really tricky climbs when speeds slow to a crawl, but its light weight and good pedaling manners do make it extremely manageable.
The overall seated riding position was comfortable, which is a good thing considering that it's not easy to change. The integrated stem length is 40mm, and the bars have a 25mm rise, so the numbers are well within the realm of what you'd typically find on a bike like this. The seat tube angle felt appropriately steep too, and gives the bike a similar top tube length to all of the other bikes in this test.Descending
Putting any opinions about the Genius' looks and levers aside, this is an excellent descender. It handled the higher speeds and bigger jumps in the bike park without missing a beat, thanks to its geometry and an overall ride feel that's stiff and responsive without being harsh. The reach is a little longer and the head angle is a little slacker than the other four bikes in this test, which help the Genius move towards the front of the pack when things get faster and steeper. The fact that it has the most rear travel of the bunch doesn't hurt either – that extra 10 millimeters goes a long way when dealing with knee-deep braking bumps and bombed out berms.
The light weight never felt like a detriment, either – there was plenty of stability on hand, and a smooth ramp up for dealing with bigger hits and hard landings. The Ramp Control mode is easy to activate for trails with more drops and jumps, although it doesn't make a night and day difference. I didn't use it all that much due to how good the bike feels in the full open position, but it's there if you need it.
I put down my second fastest time on the Genius, tied with the Santa Cruz Hightower, and one second behind the Trek. Realistically, all of those bikes are totally capable of going the same speed – there's not one specific trait that makes one inherently faster than the other. The Genius' extra length helps it in the straightaways, but it does require a slightly heavier hand to get it around really sharp turns, although it never felt like a handful.
Scott calls it Super Trail, and I think all-mountain should make a comeback, but no matter what, the Genius is a highly capable, versatile bike, and could be a good fit for tech-savvy riders looking for that elusive 'one bike for everything'.
It's worth mentioning that the Genius isn't the quietest bike due to the housing rattling around in the frame. Additional foam sheathing would help quell the noise, but it'd be nice if there was tube-in-tube housing, especially given how many other features Scott's engineers added to the Genius.
- Foam liner
- Possibly a new cable if the old one is frayed
- An open mind for new designs
Press the button on the cover to access the huge service opening in the down tube. Disconnect cable. Grab cable and pull it down from the seat tube so that end comes out the hole. Slide foam tube over the housing up the down tube. Grab the housing, insert it through the guide hole next to the shock and up the seat tube. Install and tighten cable back in place.
While not everything is super convenient on these new bikes, dropper cable and shock remote cable replacement/work actually is quite easy. It's really nice not having to remove the bottom bracket for anything except to actually replace the bottom bracket.
Either way it was strange to see this problem in the review since all cable housing is supposed to come with foam liners from factory as far as I know, and has been doing so since a couple of years.
Then I realize, all these commenters weren’t ever going to buy a bike anyways b/c: too expensive, pressfit bb, no bottle cage mount, seattube too tall, not 27.5, mullet, “bad” geo, boost spacing, super boost, not super boost, 35 mm bars, short dropper, chainstay same length on all sizes, internal rear brake routing, too heavy, e-bikes, 28.99, flip chips, sram, shimano, fox, tire spec, no in frame storage, clevis trunnion shock, carbon wheels, rattling noise, etc.
Basically if doesn’t come stock with: bottle cage mount inside internal storage, internal-external routing options, carbon-alloy frame, full shramo drivetrain, rock fox suspension, 100% non-custom adjustable geo, carboninum tubeless wheels, cushcore tubed dd exo tires, 29lbs, super non-boost spacing, threaded pf bb, fully serviceable by just looking at it wrong, 27.5 and 29 wheels, made in eco-friendly super happy love factory with all local grown ingredients, and less than $2,499.
His answer was that headset cable routing will add about 15 minutes onto a full service, at the very worst. There wouldn't be any difference in cost for a full service compared to any modern bike that doesnt route the cables through the headset. He also has been selling the Scott Spark with headset routing for over a year now and says they don't see any meaningful decrease in the lifespan of the headset bearings.
"Started selling a year ago" is also no meaningful time frame for headset longevity.
I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that he sells Scott bikes, and doesn't want people to be put off by the added complexity for no performance benefit.
Your comment about people being put off from buying a Scott bike if they charge more for maintenance is legit. But if the shop is making more money selling Scott bikes than they are losing money by ignoring the occasional extra 15 min it takes to service, it seems a decent business decision to me?
What I would like to see is this Bike with:
1) Yeti Switch Infinity - hidden of course
2) Flight Attendant - also hidden - on the fork too
3) NO foam to save weight - but include monogramed earplugs
4) A factory program/ap to determine your bar height and no adjustability once purchased
5) A new rear derailleur that also required bleeding through the same headset bearing (maybe a rotor), and finally
6) use an older model Reverb - once again through the headset
I am insulted by what Santa Cruz expects people to pay.
Scott has always been about the 'Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday' brand identity, (don't get me wrong, there will always be value in selling pro tech and image) but I do think more cyclists across all disciplines are starting to embrace fun bikes that work well for them.
"Nice stiff package"
Reminds me of the old school Fox CTD - or with the Brain when I had it on my old Camber - though was a pain to service, I loved.
I liked the old Genius - truly a long legged trail bike, or a short one with the flick of a switch. A buddy of mine set some of the best KOMs up at West Bragg with this bike and he attributes the twin lock to giving him 'XC' like liveliness on the climbs.
This bike is truly a once size fit all, without relying on a 'tune' to do it all. A little manual intervention gives you truly a bike that covers almost all gaps and all terrain
What does the word "can" mean to you? I think we're safe to edit from "can make" to "makes" .
How does a manufacturer compete? They add their unique design language. This bike and many in Scott's lineup that carry this design language will appeal to some (most likely a small minority), and they will sell a few bikes for that reason alone (looks different, looks futuristic, looks clean).
The maintenance bros (of which Im a member) will gripe about service complexity, but the majority of bikers dont perform their own work... It even seems that this PB group is 50/50 on self-service.
Who are the buyers happy with one bar position from the factory?
it maybe matters to the less than 0.05% who go on multi mega hour rides in the alps... otherwise its pointless.
Ive owned a few bikes now with storage an never ever considerd using it
At the least Scott should have provided a tool mount on this bike.
*instantly gets double flat on next ride for making this post*
Id rather the frame be lighter etc than worry about inframe storage, Canyons idea works perfect.
Now would I like to actually own one? Questionable. All the tech tricks that I think would be fun to try make me skeptical of them long term, but if I had tons of money and lots of bikes, I'd grab one.
1) A rattling dropper housing is a really easy thing to fix, even with the integrated headset cable routing. I mean, last year on the dh test they even tried using different shocks to eek out the most performance out of a bike, and by that I mean the tester/s not just riding the test bike as it comes out of the box and not fixing a well simple issue with it, but fixing it, seeing if it improves the riding but still noting it in the review.
Not to be mistaken I am not a fan of the through headset cable routing. It can make a simple enough task annoying, even more so on a e-bike which has even more cables.
2) You can fit most shocks in the Genius, it has a standard 185x55 trunnion mount. On a video from scotty laughland you can actually see a fox x2 fitted in a polished alu cutaway frame.
3) The one piece bar/stem integrated combo is only on the top end carbon 900 and 910 models, the alu ones (which are the ones that are going to sell the most) get a more conventional setup, it still has a "proprietary" stem but you can get different lengths (40mm to 60mm) at a scott dealer also, a normal stem fits, you just need to play around with the spacers you get in the box (you get a lot extra) and remember to use the plastic hood thing to hide the cable entry.
Love the reviews but I think simple issues and/or bike fitting are resolved by riders themselves or the mechanics putting these bikes together arent cons? I dunno, just my two cents..
Did you try any of the other positions?
It would have been great to see how the bike livened up in the slow stuff with one of the steeper settings, and would have made a more apples to apples comparison to the other bikes on test.
But for Heaven's sake, can it please be, that a capable trail bike, affordable for a teenager (who works for it) and easily serviceable, becomes the norm again?
- old man, who used to repair everything, until he had no time for it anymore -
But maybe it will bring RST forks into their own. Rugged Super Trail! 152 to 157mm of rear travel.
Also, RST seems to have a stem shock with a lockout that Scott maybe could integrate into their Twinlock system for more complexity and cables to hide.
Sign me up for one of those.
(Loose cable routing, proprietary shock, through headset routing, etc.)
But the stem/spacers ruins it - so ugly. If they're going to force internal routing at least make it look good.
Learn? Learn what? i have no issues riding my Session/giga on anything...
Your blowing this away from what this bike is... Mid travel trail with touches on some enduro geo numbers...
You guys are missing the point here...
with you i was, Todays a new day and i initially wasn't replying to you this time...
I ride everywhere with EXO+ Casing, sensible pressure and no issues, I do run a DD rear on my session and giga at the park... but guess what.. thats at the park and still havnt had a flat... so?
spud comments now.
And since when is 30plus lb lightweight?
Quite easy to change. Slide your saddle fore or aft, and/or change your stem length +/- 10mm
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