First Look: The 2018 Scott Ge­nius

Onto the trails of Aosta Val­ley with the new ma­chine

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - IN DEPTH - By Matt Stet­son

When I heard Scott was re­leas­ing a new ver­sion of its Ge­nius, I was ex­pect­ing a new 170-mm-travel en­duro-fo­cused bike equipped for all the chal­lenges of the En­duro World Se­ries. When I ar­rived in Aosta Val­ley, Italy, this past June, Scott re­vealed that it had some­thing else in mind: a 150-mm all­moun­tain trail bike ready to take on epic all-day back­coun­try and trail ad­ven­tures. So I took the chin bar off of my hel­met and swapped my knee pads for a pack filled with snacks, be­fore my group set off to pedal up a moun­tain and drop down the other side of it. As I weaved my way up the ac­cess-road switch­backs and tried my best not to bug any of the cows scat­tered through­out the coun­try­side, I was very happy that Scott out­fit­ted the new Ge­nius with a 110-mm climb­ing mode, which isn’t the same as a full lock­out. With the push of a but­ton, Scott’s Twin­loc lim­its the Fox Nude evol rear shock to 110 mm of the to­tal 150 mm of travel avail­able. It also re­duces the amount of sag of­fered by the shock – which gives the you a bet­ter po­si­tion for climb­ing – as well as si­mul­ta­ne­ously firm­ing up the fork’s valv­ing. As you climb, you still have 110 mm of travel, which soaks up small bumps, help­ing you main­tain trac­tion on steep tech­ni­cal as­cents. I liked this fea­ture. By the time we reached the summit – an hour and a half ride with a short hike-a-bike – I barely needed to dip my head in a high-moun­tain pond to cool my­self off. I did sub­merge my head into the wa­ter, but not just to cool off from the climb. I wanted to snap my senses to full at­ten­tion for the 2,000 m of de­scend­ing that was about to hap­pen. Aosta Val­ley is home

to some of the best trails in the world. I was ex­cited to see how the Ge­nius would per­form when pointed down­hill be­cause that is truly what the bike is all about. With a head-tube an­gle set at 65.6 de­grees and equipped with house-brand Syn­cros in­te­grated Hixon car­bon bar (with 50-mm reach and 760-mm width), the Ge­nius puts you in a good po­si­tion for de­scend­ing. The sus­pen­sion does a great job of deal­ing with smaller bumps, es­pe­cially with the 29" wheels, al­low­ing you to cor­ner or make ad­just­ments to your line even when things get choppy. On big­ger hits that use up the most of the travel, the Ge­nius does a great job of main­tain­ing a pro­gres­sive travel feel, which helps you re­cover quickly in­stead of be­ing bounced all over the trail. A few times when I en­tered rocky sec­tions too quickly, the sus­pen­sion re­mained ac­tive. The same was true for heavy brak­ing. In both of those sit­u­a­tions, I was able to stay in con­trol in­stead of need­ing to eject. When you choose a less-than-ideal line, the Ge­nius can save you from dis­as­ter, which re­ally in­spires con­fi­dence and en­cour­ages you to push your lim­its. With the bike hav­ing such a light­weight build, it’s easy to throw around and might even be up for a few bike-park laps.

Af­ter climb­ing up a moun­tain and plum­met­ing down the other side, it’s safe to say Scott has a win­ner with the new Ge­nius. If you’re not into tak­ing the lift or shut­tles, but still like to play in the steep and rough stuff, the Ge­nius might be the best way to get you there.

“When you choose a less-than-ideal line, the Ge­nius can save you from dis­as­ter, which re­ally in­spires con­fi­dence and en­cour­ages you to push your lim­its.”

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