Testing New 2018 FOX Suspension

We recently took part in a very interesting testing event with the crew from FOX, where the aim was to get a better understanding of what is new from FOX in the 2018 range. While it may seem that the new season doesn’t bring massive change to the fork and shock range, it’s the small details of the air spring and damper that was the focus.

A 2017 model bike received the 2018 treatment, it’s all about the internals and small details for FOX this season.
Three FOX team members, clipboards, pens and a shock pump. It’s getting serious!
FOX’s big gun – Eamonn Cleere knows a thing or two about tuning suspension; we picked his brains until he could take it no more… Sorry, Eamonn!

So, what is new in 2018?

The headline item is the introduction of the EVOL air spring system to the FOX 36, which we already took a look at here. And larger negative air springs in the EVOL system, and a new damper to suit. EVOL was introduced last year with the new DPS Float shocks, which we tested in-depth on a Yeti SB5 – read our Float DPS shock review here. Other new tweaks include a lighter weight EVOL air can for DPS shocks which also loses a seal to decrease unwanted friction.

The new DPS shock with its one-piece air can. A lighter unit, and smoother in operation.

What’s EVOL all about? 

EVOL is a snazzy abbreviation of Extra Volume, in reference to the increased volume of the negative air spring found in EVOL forks and shocks. What does it mean on the trail? The most noticeable benefit is a reduction in breakaway friction i.e. it takes less force to get the fork moving, meaning less shock is transferred to the rider.

There’s only so much space inside a fork, so if you’re increasing the negative air spring volume, you’re taking that space away from something else. In the case of the forks, the trade-off is a smaller positive air spring, smaller air volumes have more progressive curves. So to bring things back in line the damper in the other fork leg needed to reflect the increase in spring curve with a tune that would suit it.

Testing time!

Oh gee, didn’t we feel special on this one day, like a real top pro rider! We had many FOX technicians from FOX Australian crew, and FOX guru big wig Eamonn Cleere (FOX Europe technical manager, Europe Asia/Pacific.) and Damon Chen (Technical support Asia/Pacific.) at our disposal.

We arrived with a test bike equipped with 2017 FOX suspension on our bikes, and the aim was to ride the bike on a short testing loop and upgrade the fork and shock in stages and adjust the settings with the FOX technicians like we’re on the team. Greg Minnaar would have been envious.

For the test, we brought along the Scott Spark 900 with a 120mm travel FOX 34 with Fit 4 damper up front, and the FOX Nude EVOL DPS rear shock out the back, a bike we know well and have spent quite some time on in its stock spec.

Test lap #1 – 2017 standard.

Before heading out for our first lap the crew took note of the important settings; air pressure, rebound and compression, tyre pressure, etc, and off we went. The bike performed as we expected and were familiar with.

First lap on the stock suspension.
Note taking, back to school for us.

Test lap #2 – New spring.

In went the new air spring, suspension sags were measured and off we went. The fork didn’t feel particularly great with the new spring fitted, to say the least. As we warmed up on the trail, we were riding faster with more aggression and found ourselves blowing through the fork travel far too quickly and riding low in the last third of the travel too much. 

New vs. old – the MY18 air spring has a larger negative air volume (space around and above the black rubber) for increased sensitivity.

The new air spring has greater negative air volume, and hence the positive chamber is smaller, so in theory, it should have felt too firm and harsh, but our experiences were that it felt harsh and too soft. It was back to camp to install the damper to match the spring.

Test lap #3 – New damper fitted to match the new air spring.

In went the new damper designed to match the new air spring, and we were back on the trails in the blink of an eye. And presto! The bike was feeling great, the fork’s action was incredibly smooth and very supple, the change was slight but as the timeframes between the changes were so short, and on the same trail, we were able to discern the smallest of differences.

With the new spring and damper inside the fork, it was reacting faster to impacts and transferring less feedback to our hands. It felt softer, but there was the support and progression from a fork with higher air pressure.

Small improvements to the fork’s action made for a significant increase in performance on the trail.
The damper in the right-hand side of the leg.
Damon from FOX on the task of dialling in the suspension settings after each lap.

With the new spring and damper inside the fork, it was reacting faster to impacts and transferring less feedback to our hands. It felt softer, but there was the support and progression from a fork with higher air pressure.

On the climbs, the front wheel would track along with less disturbance, especially when out of the saddle and over the bars, pushing hard up ledges and over bumps the 120mm of travel felt very active to help maintain significant forward momentum.

Test lap #4 – Completing the picture with the new rear shock.

On the trail with the new shock, the rear suspension felt to be better matched to the fork regarding suppleness and feel; the bike was tracking along the trail excellently. While the Scott Spark wasn’t by any means old or worn out, the updated shock and fork internals made it feel super fresh and highly sophisticated.

A new EVOL DPS shock out the back, a more supple and sensitive unit than the one it replaces.
With the new shock fitted, things don’t look far different. Although the EVOL air can has no join near the shaft seal, requiring one less seal, resulting in a smoother operation.

The larger negative air spring let the shock access its travel faster with less force required to get it moving, it felt smooth, that’s for sure. It’s a lighter unit too, though that’s not something we would necessarily feel out on the trail.

So, new stuff is better than old stuff?

While we do wish we had a long travel bike on hand to feel more of the suspension in action, the 120mm Scott Spark we upgraded with the 2018 internals came away feeling a million bucks. It’s hard to put the experiences of testing suspension into words sometimes, and we risk repeating words like smooth, supple, supportive. While the FOX crew were on hand to help the installation process they weren’t there to tell us what to expect, though our feedback to them was generally what they would expect.

Stiction is suspension’s worst enemy, and for 2018 FOX have used larger negative air volumes and adapted the dampers to match, the outcome is a new level of suppleness. That suppleness translates to a very smooth ride, enhancing traction, keeping your bike in check when the terrain turns choppy.

So we should all rush out and buy the new stuff?

Well, while development of new stuff drives sales and makes the racers even faster, there’s plenty of people with current suspension forks and shocks happy enough not to replace them. FOX has come out with something very interesting globally, FFT – Fox Factory Tune. FFT will be a cheaper, and faster way to get the most out of your suspension.


Read about the FFT program here.

FOX has come out with something very interesting globally, FFT – Fox Factory Tune. FFT will be a cheaper, and faster way to get the most out of your suspension.


FFT, do this whole process from home, or through your bike shop.

FFT will give consumers a direct line to FOX for servicing, tuning and upgrading. Effectively anyone could do the same process we did here with existing FOX components and upgrade the internals to current spec and also request custom tuning to suit unique requirements.

FOX Australia Introduces FFT – FOX Factory Tuning – Program

The program will provide a cheaper alternative to buying a new fork to have the latest technology.

Launching globally, the program will allow the consumer to communicate directly with FOX technicians to tune their existing parts and make upgrades instead of purchasing entirely new forks or shocks. By providing feedback to FOX, you’ll be able to emulate the process that we experienced first hand at our 2018 FOX Test Event.

What’s new with the 2018 FOX range?

Improvements to the air spring and dampers are the big changes for 2018, have a look at what all that means here: FOX 2018.

What can FFT provide?

Want the new EVOL air spring and 2018 spec damper inside your 2016 model fork? Don’t buy an entirely new fork, ship it off to FOX and update its guts instead. Want the neat new lockout lever in place of the clunky old system? Want a firmer tune in your fork or shock? Done.

While forks are relatively straightforward, rear shocks are more specific to each bike. FOX has been working overtime on collecting data from bike manufacturers to gain data on the settings required for each bike, so when the FFT program rolls out, you’ll be able to just specify the bike and year model to match the rear shock. No more measuring eye-to-eye lengths or stroke lengths, they’ll have it all in the system.

Upgrade your shock or just the internals.

Can my local suspension service centre or bike shop do this?

FOX will only provide FFT, that means in Australia through the FOX distributors SOLA in Sydney, and the plan is to set a centre up in Perth to help with lead times for WA customers too. With FOX managing the process entirely, there will be a warranty covering the process and genuine FOX parts used.

The 2018 air spring and damper upgrades to our 2017 spec bike made it feel very high end.

A bike store will also be able to handle the process for you too, with the same channel of communication available to them. That’ll come in handy if the consumer wishes to accompany the job with other maintenance or to handle the task of removing and fitting the fork or shock.

What year model FOX fork and shock can be upgraded?

FFT program can upgrade all 2016 and 2017 shocks to 2018 specs (DPS and X2 shocks – DPX2 are already and only 2018 – Float X not is part of the program but can still be tuned to customer requirements).

How much, and when?

FOX Australia are still finalising the pricing and launch date; we’ll be back with those details as they come available.

Trek’s New RE:aktiv Thru Shaft Shock

Trek has unveiled RE:aktiv with Thru Shaft, an all-new suspension design that improves response time and efficiency. RE:aktiv with Thru Shaft is the latest development from the brand’s partnership with Penske Racing Shocks, the global leader in custom motorsport suspension design, which began in 2014 to push bicycle suspension capabilities. The first collaboration resulted in RE:aktiv—a mountain bike suspension technology that responded to changes in terrain faster than any other shock on the market.

For RE:aktiv with Thru Shaft, Trek’s R & D team bucked the suspension status quo and developed a superior new design from the ground up. RE:aktiv with Thru Shaft eliminates the internal floating piston (IFP) that compensates for oil displacement in traditional dampers and the associated lag along with it.

As the IFP moves in a traditional damper, its seal causes a stick/slip effect that reduces responsiveness. RE:aktiv with Thru Shaft uses a damper rod that runs the entire length of the shock, eliminating oil displacement and the associated stick/slip effect caused by the seal necessary in a traditional damper.

The bottom line: the new design eliminates the need for an internal floating piston, the primary cause of lag. It provides unprecedented responsiveness—even when inputs occur in quick succession, as often happens while charging through short sections of trail littered with rocks and roots.

With extra-firm low-speed compression damping; supple and controlled high-speed compression damping; and a seamless transition between the two, RE:aktiv with Thru Shaft improves the all-terrain responsiveness that is RE:aktiv’s calling card. It responds to every input on the trail, delivering a seamless trail experience even as riders push their limits on technical terrain.

RE:aktiv with Thru Shaft is available on select Trek trail bikes, including Slash 9.8, Slash 9.7, Remedy 9.8, Remedy 9.8 Women’s, Fuel EX 9.9, and their respective carbon frameset options. These models can be viewed at trekbikes.com

Tested: FOX 32 SC

_LOW4512
Cross country courses are becoming more technically challenging, you simply can’t make a light fork without addressing performance any longer.

Well those days are over, put behind you the fear of attempting to steer a bike down a trail with two pieces of wet spaghetti as fork legs, the two big names of suspension have seriously upped the stakes in the weight game. RockShox and FOX both released new versions of their flagship short travel race forks, within a few grams of each other but vastly different in their unique ways of achieving low weight.

Testing the new Scott Spark RC with the FOX SC fork. Photo - Martin Bisseg/Scott.
Testing the new Scott Spark RC with the FOX SC fork on the Lenzerheide World Cup track. Photo – Martin Bisseg/Scott.

What is it?

FOX have the edge over the top players in the suspension game with their new 32 Step Cast fork, the 100mm travel specific fork that uses a narrower crown bringing the 32mm diameter legs closer together. The Step Cast lower legs provide necessary clearance for the spokes and disc rotor, and the arch is heavily sculpted to still allow clearance for up to 2.3″ tyres.

The internals have also been re-worked to drop a few precious grams, this fork must have kept the engineers at FOX very busy indeed!

_LOW4577
No your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you, the 29er version of the fork looks even taller due to the narrow shape.

-15QR x 110 Boost and 15QR x 100 Kabolt axle options
-27.5” and 29” wheel options
-100mm travel
-FIT4 and FIT GRIP three position damper for improved control
-Lockout for increased efficiency
-Factory Series models feature Genuine Kashima Coat
-Gloss Orange, Matte Black, Gloss White

_LOW4570
Check out that distinct Step Cast section of the lower leg, it provides clearance with the narrow legs for the disc rotor and spokes.

AUD RRP – $1449

For the details, construction and more click through to our initial impressions piece on the 32 SC fork here: Flow’s First Bite – FOX 32 Step Cast Fork.


Setup

Setting up a FOX fork is pretty simple, set your sag and then the rebound speed, tune the low speed compression and get riding.

FOX provide a pretty simple setup guide on their website to help find your base settings, find that one here.

The little black dial is low speed compression, in effect in 'open mode' on the blue dial.
The little black dial is low speed compression, in effect in ‘open mode’ on the blue dial.

Further suspension tuning in the way of volume spacers can be fitted to achieve a more progressive feel with increased bottom out resistance. We’ve done this with FOX 34 and 36 forks quite a bit, and is worth experimenting with to arrive at a setting you’re absolutely happy with.


The ride

With all this weight saving FOX also claimed to lose no performance on the trail in terms of steering and handling precision and suspension performance. That’s a bold statement, so we set out to discover for ourselves.

Choosing a stealth black Trek Procaliber 9.8 SL to fit the forks to was an excellent choice, the new carbon 29er is a real cross country race weapon, and so is the fork. Bouncing around at the trail head on the Trek with the FOX fork fitted our initial impressions were a little mixed, while the action felt buttery smooth straight away, the forks look diminutive from the riders point of view. The narrow crowns paired with the inherent long legs of a 29er fork just looked odd.

But like any good part if it works well, we’ll get used to the different appearance pretty quickly and we certainly did.

_LOW4550
Skinny!

On the trail the 32 SC fork felt like any of the Factory level FOX forks should, incredibly smooth and sensitive, controlled and supportive. The open mode adjustment of low speed compression is a feature we use a lot, a few clicks of the little black dial would hold the fork up in its stroke, resisting bouncing from our pedalling actions whilst remaining sensitive to any impact. And the three-stage lockout gives us a very useable adjustment for racing situations.

The damping feels highly sophisticated, when you’re really hammering along the minimal 100mm of travel feels a whole lot more than it should. Reacting to the slightest bump at any time, no matter if its at the top of the stoke or deep into the travel the fork still seems to be able to do its job of isolating the rider from the terrain.

In comparison to the regular 32 the air spring feels very linear and very plush, and with the right amount of sag set for your riding weight it is easy to use all of the travel. Heavier riders on rougher trails may want to experiment with fitting air volume spacers for a more progressive feel and add low speed compression to add support, but we’d certainly not recommend over-inflating the air spring to give a firmer ride before experimenting with these two tuning options first.

It’s all too often we feel a cross country racer’s bike setup super hard with loads of air pressure for a more ‘efficient’ ride. With the FIT 4 damper and its associated adjustments you’ll be able to set up the fork with your correct sag and attain the desired firmness and race-ready performance by tuning the compression adjustment. With the fork sagging at its correct height the bike will handle the way it is designed too, and you’ll still have a fork that doesn’t rob you of any efficiency.

That glorious Kashima coating, smoother than a hairy nipple on wax day.

With such a sensitive action we really found the Trek Procaliber to have traction in spades, putting loads of confidence in the front tyre as we leant it over in the turns, instead of skipping about over the choppy surfaces the suspension worked overtime in keeping the front wheel composed and in contact with the dirt. _LOW4520

It was the chassis rigidity and overall stiffness that really had us curious though, we have such faith in FOX’s Factory level forks in terms of suspension performance we were not surprised with its superb feel and support, but was this light fork going to feel too light when we rode it hard?

No, in all honesty we were not able to make any firm conclusion whether it is either less or more stiff than the regular FOX 32 fork. A lightweight 29er fork at 100mm from any brand will scare off the gravity crowd, but we were more than satisfied with the way this featherweight fork handled all twisting, diving and heavy braking we could throw its way.


How light? Here’s some 100mm 29er fork weight comparisons:

– FOX – 32 SC, 1360g

– RockShox – 2017 SID XX World Cup, 1366g

– DT Swiss – OPM O.D.L 100 RACE, 1485g

– SR Suntour – Axon Werx F-29, 1570g

– FOX – Float 32 100, 1615g

– Cannondale – Lefty 2.0 Carbon, 1600g

– RockShox – RS1, 1666g

– MRP – Loop SL, 1769g

– X Fusion – Slide RL2, 1814g


Verdict

FOX have nailed this one, successfully creating the lightest fork amongst the big players with excellent performance and sturdiness that would have traditionally been unheard of with such a light product.

For those looking to build a super light race bike, or there’s a bike with one as standard spec you can’t possibly go wrong with the 32 SC.
LOW3334-1

Fresh Product: 2016 FOX Kabolt 15mm Axle

Working with our Racing Applications Development team, Geoff Kabush asked for a lighter, bolt-on axle that would allow for quick wheels changes during a race. The Kabolt was born and soon other FOX athletes – from enduro racers to slopestyle riders – were asking for it. 

Holding titles that range from X Games with Brett Rheeder to Cross-Country World Championships with Julien Absalon and Catharine Pendral, FOX’s RAD program has been supplying racers with Kabolts for several years. Now they will be available for all FOX forks with 15QR axles.

  • 15x100mm weight: 34.5g
  • 100mm version is 40g lighter than our 15QR (54% weight savings)
  • Available in 15x100mm and 15x110mm widths
  • Compatible with all FOX 15QR forks
  • Installs with a 6mm hex

Demo a FOX Fork At a Bike Shop Near You

FOX Racing Shox Australia announce a nation-wide demo program in partnership with key retail stores.

To try out the latest FOX forks, contact any of the stores below for availability and conditions.

Atelier de Velo, Sydney NSW www.atelierdevelo.com   [email protected]

Ashgrove Cycles, Ashgrove, QLD 4060  www.ashgrovecycles.com [email protected]

Bicycle Centre Ballarat, VIC  www.bicyclecentreballarat.com.au  [email protected]

Bike Now,  South Melbourne VIC  www.bikenow.com.au  [email protected]

Edge Cycleworks, QLD www.edgecycleworks.com.au  [email protected]

Jonny Sprockets, Toowoomba City  QLD www.jonnysprockets.com.au [email protected]

Le Spit Cycles,  Mosman Junction, NSW www.lespitcyclery.bikeit.com.au   [email protected]

image003Mitcham Cycles. Kingswood, SA  www.mitchamcycles.com.au  [email protected]

NRG Cycles, Jindalee, QLD   nrgcycles.com.au  [email protected]

S&J Cycles, Morwell, VIC  www.sjcycles.com.au  [email protected]

Sealys Cycles, Mornington, VIC sealyscycles.com.au

TBSM Australia, Mortdale, NSW tbsm.com.au   [email protected]

The Ride Cycles, East Kew, VIC theridecycles.com  [email protected]

Up Front Bikes, O’Halloran Hill, SA www.upfrontbikes.com  [email protected]

Yarra Valley Cycles, Lilydale, VIC  www.yarravalleycycles.com  [email protected]

The Spin Doc, Bardon, QLD  www.thespindoc.com.au  [email protected]

Cannon Shock Works,  Clareville, NSW  [email protected]

Tested: Scott Genius 710

The Scott Genius is one of the few bikes that for many years has successfully blurred the lines of the genres that define bike styles. Its versatility bends the rules, and manages to do what a true all mountain bike should – open up possibilities and options to the rider, begging for adventure. And it’s all thanks to one particular clever and well thought out element, the Twinloc. What is Twinloc and how can one feature it have such a positive impact on one bike?

Whilst the one reviewed here is a 2014 model, there is little change to the Genius for 2015, we previewed the 2015 range, check it out here. 

The Genius is available in both wheel sizes, we test the 27.5″ version.

Scott Genius 710 22

[divider]Build[/divider]

This is one seriously subtle and understated carbon bike, with the black on black finish, only very minimal glossy stickers separate the graphics from the matte black frame paint. From a distance the lack of graphics is both refreshing and stealthy. And in an age of brightly branded bikes, we welcome this murdered out stealth black ride.

Scott Genius 710 17
From some angles the frame looks nude, and void of any graphics. You need to look a little closer to see the subtle logos and branding.

A carbon mainframe is joined to an aluminium rear end, the cables are a mixture of internal and externally routed and included is a super neat rubber chain stay guard finishes off the impeccable frame.

At the heart of the Scott Genius (and integral to the shorter travel Scott Spark and longer Scott Genius LT) is a nifty handlebar mounted lever that controls the rear shock and fork, the Twinloc. It may just only be one of many features of this bike, but it impacts on multiple elements of the bike’s ride character via by changing both the suspension feel and geometry. Hitting the Twin-Loc lever on the bars engages Traction mode: the rear travel is reduced from 150mm to 100mm, stiffening the suspension rate and therefore the amount of suspension sag, to aid climbing. Push the lever to its second stop and the rear suspension is locked out entirely, along with the fork, making for a rock solid pedalling machine.

Yes, the Twinloc adds an extra two cables into the mix creating a very busy cockpit. Scott are also pretty experienced with this stuff, and they manage to keep any clutter to a minimum with clean routing, but with a little bit of time and care in the workshop you could trim the cables down in length, plus shortening the gear cables and brake lines a touch will lessen the birds nest of cables in front of the bars.

Scott Genius 710 16
The Twinloc is a perfectly effective system controlled via a neat and ergonomic lever.
A bit of time in the workshop will reduce the extra clutter of the cables.
A bit of time in the workshop will reduce the extra clutter of the cables.

A bike with 150mm of travel is fantastic if the trails are on the rougher and steeper side of things, but it’s still a fair bit of bounce to be lugging up the climbs or through flatter trails. With the Twinloc it felt like we were riding two bikes in one. Heard that before? Well, try one out and you’ll see.

Not only does the Twinloc lessen the suspension travel quantity, it also sharpens the bikes important angles in favour of climbing when in Traction Mode. So the Genius will never feel like too much bike, it cleans up in the versatility stakes. You could ride the Genius hard on the rough trails and still enter the odd 24 hour or marathon race without any penalty from a non-efficient or heavy bike to battle with.

Scott Genius 710 25
Check out that massive section of the frame, the beef is where you need it on this one. Providing a sweet balance of lateral rigidity, comfort and low weight.

[divider]Spec[/divider]

Shimano XT score the majority of the business with the Genius 710, and we’re totally fine with that. Although our test bike had a slight issue with the brake calliper leaking a tiny amount of mineral oil onto the pads, making for a noisy action for a few stops before coming good again, most definitely a warranty issue that can be sorted quickly by your local bike shop. A shame, as XT brakes are usually a benchmark for reliability and consistency.

A double chainring setup gives the Genius a real ‘all mountain’ conquering range of gears. Some riders may be rushing out to single-ring their bikes but if you ride all day in steep terrain a gear range as wide as this is a real blessing! It’s silent in its operation, and we didn’t experience any dropped chains at all. The trendy conversion to a single ring would clean up the bars with one less cable and shifter, but we appreciate the useable range too much to consider that, long live the low gear range!

Scott Genius 710 13

Syncros components have been around for yonks, but a couple years ago they were snapped up by Scott and are now their in-house component brand. The benefits of the bigger brands having in-house components is boundless, with the big players able to match colour, spec and intended use of each component to the bikes models easier and cheaper. In this case with Syncros already having such a great reputation for quality prior to the merger with Scott, the perceived quality matches our positive impressions after testing. Even the saddle was a fave for all testers. A short stem and wide bars were faves too.

The wheels use Syncros hubs and rims with bladed spokes. With such a capable all mountain bike, we’d prefer the rims to be wider as some of the new generation of wide rims are really impressing us with the way they boost the tyre’s traction and low pressure abilities. They are tubeless ready though, and come with tubeless valves for quick and easy conversion.

Schwalbe handle the rubber bits with the Nobby Nic in a tacky triple compound and tubeless ready casing. We’d swap them out for a tyre more suited to our hard packed trails, perhaps a Hans Dampf on the front at least, but if your soils are softer these tyres are lightning fast and light for their size. The 2015 Genius 710 comes with the new generation Nobby Nic on the front, which we’ve been much happier with in a variety of conditions in comparison the the ones we find here.

Scott Genius 710 3
The FOX Float 32 fork led the way with a nice and supple action, but we couldn’t help wish for a fatter 34mm legged fork when things got hairy.

A RockShox Reverb adjustable seatpost with internal Stealth routing is always a welcome sight on any bike, aside from matching the paintwork like they were born together, its action is superb. Our had some leaking issues, with the hose adjoining the bottom of the post not quite tight enough, most probably our fault as we had to instal and bleed the post out of the box. Moments like these we miss external posts, or simply cable actuated ones.

FOX suspension front and back served up smooth and supple suspension as always, with the fork in particular being one of the smoother and progressive forks from the batch of 2014 forks from FOX.

[divider]Ride[/divider]

Spinning to the trails on the tarmac with the Twinloc engaged, we roll along as if we’re riding a cross country hardtail with the fork and shock locked firm. Up and into the trails we engaged the traction mode which dropped the rear travel to a taut 100mm and also firmed up the compression setting in the fork. In traction mode we were able to stand up and crank ourselves up and over the pinch climbs without losing too much energy into the suspension, but still it was able to react to impacts helping maintain traction to the rear wheel, and avoid pinging our front wheel around. We like this!

Scott Genius 710 1

When the trails turn down, we release the Twinloc into open mode and let her rip, with the 150mm or FOX suspension taking more than just the sting out of the trails. Still with the Twinloc in full travel mode, the suspension feels firm under you, the trade off is when speeds get really high the rear end feels choppier and harsher than some of the other 150mm bikes that don’t climb as well as the Genius.

Geometry wise, the Genius uses a nice and roomy front end coupled with a short stem, giving the rider quick handling but plenty of room to move around when negotiating turns and wild terrain.

The Genius is a little different to the others in its category, it may have a generous 150mm of travel front and back but the whole bike rides so light and efficiently that we forget we were packing some serious firepower beneath us for when we needed it most. Riding more like a light trail bike with some backup saved up for the gnarlier descents, the Genius won’t be one for the rougher enduro race nuts out there, but will suit the rider seeking a classic trail bike with some added travel to get up and down any mountain you need to.

[divider]Verdict[/divider]

It’s a well named bike, that’s for sure. The clever suspension adjustment and a nice balance between a lightweight all day riding bike and big hitting all mountain bike is achieved in true style and class. The subtle graphics and stealth image hides it’s racey attitude. On either side of the Genius sit the leaner Spark and burlier Genius LT, we don’t doubt that one of these three bikes would please the most demanding rider.