Words by Flow | Images by Flow

The Scott Genius might have changed in a big way for 2018 with an all new frame and suspension design, but the bike’s fundamental ethos of adaptability hasn’t been affected. For yonks now we’ve placed the Genius high on our list of the best all-rounders out there. Is this Genius smarter than ever, or has this platform grown a bit long in the tooth?

The 2018 Genius looks a lot cleaner than in years past.


What are we looking at here?

It’s a 150mm-travel 29er, with the trail bike category in its sights. Although this bike recently won the Enduro National Champs under Rowena Fry and Izzy Flint (read about it here), we would shy away from positioning it as an Enduro machine. It casts a broader net. A 150mm 29er might sound like a big bike, but it doesn’t look or feel like a handful. It’s lightweight, and the proportions are easily managed.

You can read a lot more about the new frame design here, in our 2018 Genius launch piece.

The thumb gym – Twin Loc levers and the dropper, all in one clamp which is incorporated into the grip lock ring.

The rear shock is custom item from FOX – when you hit the Twin Loc lever, the shock’s air volume changes, reducing the shock stroke and changing the spring rate.


Sticking to their guns

Scott have been beating the drum of their Twin Loc system for a long time now. Ask anyone who’s owned a Scott and they’ll tell you the same story: they can’t imagine riding without Twin Loc. It does work bloody well once you train your thumb (Gameboy users will be fine), allowing you to alter the suspension travel and damping on the fly.

Yes, there are a lot of cables up front, but with some care you can keep it reasonably neat.

The downside is that the handlebar has cables hanging from it like a Hanoi telephone exchange. At least Scott now supply the bike with some coiled plastic wrap to help contain the tangle a bit; it’s kind of like they’re admitting, “hey, we made a mess, but here’s a wettex to clean it up.”

Whatever your thoughts on the aesthetics, the system is simple to use, and we really like the way the Twin Loc and dropper post lever are all integrated into one clamp.

No mucking about here – chunky rubber on wide rims, for stable tyre performance.

Other wheel size options?

Yes, you can get this bike (or one fairly equivalent) with 27.5 wheels shod with 2.8″ rubber. Even this 29er version comes with good sized tyres, 2.6 / 2.4″ Schwalbe Nobby Nics mounted to 30mm wide Syncros rims. It’s a solid pair of shoes, meant for real riding. Hallelujah – nothing holds a bike back quite like feeble wheels and tyres.

How neat is this? The Syncros fender not only keeps mud off you, but it also covers up the holes in the back of fork arch, so mud can’t collect there either.

The 34 Performance fork has the basic Grip damper. A question mark here.

First ride impressions?

At the time of writing, we’ve only had one outing on the Genius, but it felt really promising. We’ll definitely be paying close attention to the setup of the FOX 34 fork, which only has the base model Grip damper – our inkling is that we’ll need to add some volume spacers to get the support we want, but time will tell. We’ll be bringing you a full video review of the Genius 920 soon.

SRAM GX Eagle out back, you’ll hear no complaints from us!

A bit of extra security, with a chain guide factory fitted.

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