Aaaaaand the award for the hottest bike at Singletrack Towers this week goes to this smoking number: the 2018 Scott Genius 900 Tuned. With its striking orange & teal paint job and matching Fox 36 Float Factory fork, this is one seriously, seriously good looking rig.
Don’t be distracted though, because there is substance here – this bike isn’t just about being devilishly handsome.
As you’ll have read in our previous news story, Scott completely redesigned the Genius for 2018, bringing some of the biggest changes and improvements that the Genius has ever experienced during its 14 years on Planet Earth. The rear suspension configuration has changed, with the shock now tucked vertically in front of the seat tube where it tucks into the carbon fibre frame just above the bottom bracket. The geometry is all fresh and on-trend, and Scott has added in a few other bells and whistles to up your game for the pre-ride carpark chit-chat session.
To get you prepared for the chit-chat, let’s get a closer look at the 2018 Genius we’ve got on test.
2018 Scott Genius Features
- 150mm travel front & rear
- Frame accommodates 27.5+ or 29in wheels
- Max tyre clearance: 27.5×2.8in or 29×2.6in
- Available in carbon and alloy frame options
- Virtual 4 Link suspension design
- Fox NUDE EVOL rear shock w/3-position TwinLoc remote
- Rear travel modes: Descend (150mm), Traction Control (100mm), Lockout
- Adjustable geometry: Low (29in wheels) and High (27.5+ wheels)
- Head angle: 65° (Low) – 65.6° (High)
- Seat angle: 74.7° (Low) – 75.3° (High)
- Chainstay length: 438mm (Low) – 436mm (High)
- PF92 bottom bracket
- Integrated 1x chainguide
- Custom DT Swiss 148x12mm rear thru-axle
- Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large & X-Large
- RRP: £2499 – £8999
For 2018, there is no doubt that the Genius is the cleverest it has ever been. Aside from its unique twin-chamber Fox NUDE rear shock, the new Genius is also bi-wheelsize. The same frame and fork will accommodate both 29in wheels with tyres up to 2.6in wide, and 27.5+ wheels with tyres up to 2.8in wide. A small adjustment chip in the rocker link pivot allows you to flick between ‘High’ and ‘Low’ geometry settings, which accounts for the change in BB height when switching between 29in and 27.5+ wheels.
There are tonnes of other details in this bike, and right now we’re going to take you through the seven standout features that are getting us excited about putting the Genius’ tyre onto dirt.
1. HMX Carbon Fibre Frame
Scott offers the Genius in both alloy and carbon frame options. The one we’ve got here is the second from the top (that would be the £8999 Ultimate model – yikes!). It shares the same frame as the Ultimate model, which is crafted from Scott’s own HMX carbon fibre. It’s all very glossy and smooth, with a big fat tapered head tube up front, a huge 92mm wide PF92 bottom bracket shell, and internal cable routing throughout to keep it tidy.
If that price is a few thousand more than you were looking to spend, the good news is that the Genius range kicks off at £2499 with an alloy frame, but still features the same geometry, wheelsize adaptability and the TwinLoc suspension design.
2. 29in AND 27.5in Compatible
Because the frame and fork will accommodate both 29in and 27.5+ wheels, Scott offers complete bikes with both. Here’s a clue; if the model name has ‘700’ in it, that means it’ll come with 27.5×2.8in tyres as standard. If the model name has ‘900’ in it (like our test bike here) that means it’ll come with 29×2.6in tyres. The cool part though is that whatever model you buy to begin with, down the line you can always change the wheelsize – the frame and fork are fully adaptable to switch between the two.
3. TwinLoc Suspension
One of the hallmark features of Scott’s full suspension bikes is the remote adjustable suspension design. Called TwinLoc, this handlebar remote sits on the left side of the bars, and allows you to toggle between three modes: Descend, Traction Control, and Lockout. The remote attaches to both the fork and rear shock, so it simultaneously adjusts both whenever you hit that lever.
The TwinLoc design is also featured on the Spark RC 900 we recently tested, and the principle is the same here. Descend mode gives you all 150mm of travel on the rear shock, and keeps the fork wide-open. Click into Traction Control, and the rear travel is limited to 100mm and the fork is engaged into a firm compression mode. In this Traction Control mode, it isn’t just about limiting travel – the spring volume inside the rear shock actually shrinks, giving you a more progressive feel that keeps the shock riding higher in its travel for better climbing geometry and less pedal bob. How novel!
4. Hixon One-Piece Bar & Stem
The most eye-catching feature of the Genius 900 Tuned is this stunning one-piece carbon fibre handlebar. Encompassing the stem in the same carbon fibre structure, the Hixon gives the Genius a hammerhead look to the front of the bike, while also being very light – 290g as claimed by Syncros.
The Syncros Hixon bar measures 760mm wide and features a 9° backsweep and a 6° upsweep. The stem length works out to be 50mm on our test bike, which is used across all sizes except for the Small frame size, which gets a 40mm length. Syncros sells this handlebar aftermarket, so you can fit it to any bike that uses a regular tapered fork steerer tube. 40mm, 50mm and 60mm lengths are available.
5. Wide Rims & Rubber
Where the Genius Ultimate elects for carbon rims, the Tuned model goes for an alloy DT Swiss Spline wheelset that uses tubeless compatible rims with a broad 30mm internal rim width. These high quality wheels are wrapped with Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres in a 2.6in width with the new Addix SpeedGrip rubber compound. The bigger volume tyres should provide a whole load of grip when it’s needed most.
6. Syncros Mudguard
Every bike we test here at Singletrack Towers immediately gets a front mudguard slapped onto it – regardless of the time of year that we’re testing them in. Conveniently, the Genius 900 Tuned already comes with one, and a rather neat one at that. Using two small screws, the Syncros fender is designed to mount directly to the Fox 36 fork, without need for messy cable ties.
7. Integrated 1x Chainguide
And following the integrated theme, how’s this superlight upper chainguide? Most 1x drivetrains these days are pretty secure, and particularly SRAM’s new 12-speed Eagle groupsets that make use of the brilliant new X-Sync 2 chainring design. When peace of mind is as discreet and lightweight as this though, why wouldn’t you have it?
So there’s our highlights reel of what we think makes this a particularly interesting trail bike. What do you think of the Genius 900 Tuned? Does the spec do it for you? Or is it all about the looks? And if you were after a 150mm travel trail bike, would this one be on your list?
We’d love to hear what you think, so tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!
We’ll be testing the Genius over the coming months to give you our impressions of how this Swiss machine handles the rough ‘n’ tumble trails around Calderdale, so stay tuned for the full teardown in the future. In the meantime, more details can be had on the Scott Sports website.
2018 Scott Genius 900 Tuned Specifications
- Frame // HMX Carbon Fibre, 150mm Travel
- Fork // Fox 34 Float Factory FIT4, 150mm Travel w/3-Position TwinLoc Remote
- Shock // Fox NUDE EVOL w/3-Position TwinLoc Remote
- Hubs // DT Swiss M1825 Spline CL, 110x15mm Front & 148x12mm Rear
- Rims // DT Swiss M1825 Spline CL, 28h, 30mm Internal Rim Width
- Tyres // Schwalbe Nobby Nic EVO Snake Skin Addix Speedgrip 2.6in Front & Rear
- Chainset // Sram X01 Carbon Eagle GXP w/32t X-Sync 2 Chainring
- Rear Mech // SRAM GX Eagle, 12-Speed
- Shifter // SRAM X01 Eagle, 12-Speed
- Cassette // SRAM X01 Eagle, 12-Speed, XG1295, 10-50t
- Brakes // SRAM Guide RSC, 180mm Front & Rear Centrelock Rotors
- Bar & Stem // Syncros Hixon iC SL Carbon, 12mm Rise, 760mm Wide, 50mm Long
- Grips // Syncros Pro Lock-On
- Seatpost // Fox Transfer, Kashima Coat, 31.6mm, 100mm Travel (S), 125mm (M), 150mm (L/XL)
- Saddle // Syncros XM1.5, Titanium rails
- Size Tested // Medium
- Sizes available // Small, Medium, Large & X-Large
- RRP // £6999 GBP