When Scott set out to re-design their popular Genius trailbikes, they decided to put all their chips on the table and make a statement. For 2013, the Genius line will not be offered with a 26-in wheel. Instead, they will be offering two variants: The 700-series with 650B wheels and the 900-series with 29-in wheels. I already reported my thoughts on the Genius 700, so now it’s time to spill the beans on the Genius 900.
Scott Genius 900 Features:
- IMP carbon frameset
- 130mm travel front and rear
- Nude2 rear shock
- Fox 32 Float 29
- TwinLoc lever for on-the-fly adjustment
- Pricing: TBA (but this spec is easily in the $7-8k range)
Scott Genius 900 Quick Review
Having ridden and enjoyed my time on the current Genius, the 2013 Genius line continues the evolution of “do-it-all” trailbike with an interesting twist. That twist is the death of the 26″ wheel size. The folks at Scott were not shy in their beliefs that the 26″ wheel should go the way of the Dodo. Of course, they are not alone in that prediction and after riding the Genius 700, I’m in agreement.
But, lets talk through my experience on the Genius 900. With 130mm travel front and rear, the Genius 900 sits comfortably amongst the other long-travel 29er trailbikes on the market. With 10mm more travel than my beloved Niner RIP 9, the Genius has the potential to hang with its long-travel brethren in more burly terrain. Though it does have more travel than most 29ers, the Genius gets away with it due to its svelte chassis (my test bike was in the 25 lb range) and the versatile TwinLoc system.
TwinLoc is proprietary to Scott Bicycles and allows you to adjust both the front and rear suspension with the flick of a switch. You can go from fully-open for downhill performance, then switch to traction mode for climbing prowess or up to full lockout for sprints, pavement or fire road assaults. The beauty of this system is just how easy it is to use and how immediately responsive it is.
I found that while the suspension design offers a boatload of efficiency, the traction mode made the Genius 900 an even more adept climber. Pushing this bike hard in the saddle was no problem and standing climbs were met with a stable platform that propelled the bike forward. While the overall suspension and geometry was completely dialed, I would have to give the nod to the Genius 700 in the maneuverability department. We 29er riders try to deny it, but slow-speed handling does require a little more finesse.
While I was only aboard the 900 for about an hour, it didn’t take long at all to feel comfortable. I quickly climbed up the frontside fire road at Deer Valley where the 900 tackled the loose ascent with aplomb. When it came time to descend the sinuous singletrack, the 900 felt quite at home. The whole package rides predictably, yet I didn’t feel like I was 100% dialed on the descents. A few days of tweaking and no doubt I’d have the suspension and cockpit dialed-in for pure enjoyment.
Good Genius 900
- Dude, this thing climbs like a billy goat
- When Scott engineers say lightweight, they mean it… whoa is this thing light yet stable and fun
- TwinLoc makes this bike like having three bikes in one
- Lean into the corners and this bike rewards
- Optimized geometry maximizes the fun factor
Bad Genius 900
- I need a little more time to feel completely dialed
- Handling is not as nimble as the Genius 700
Bottom Line: 2013 Scott Genius 900
The 29er version of the Genius platform is one capable trailbike. The Genius 900 is as good as it gets with full-carbon bits throughout. The result is an amazingly-light and supremely-capable trailbike.
More Info: Visit Genius.Scott-Sports.com