The million… er… $13k question is… can there possibly be a mountain bike in the world that’s worth $13k? Scott USA’s Genius Limited is coming in at $13,225 for 2009, so they seem to think so. We’re talking about a single bike that costs as much as over four of the venerable Kona Dawg Deluxe trailbikes (MSRP $2999) or two Rocky Mountain Altitude 90 RSL full-carbon trailbikes (MSRP $6499). I know someone will actually try to convince me that this bike is worth every penny, but at that price, even the most silver-tongued salesperson couldn’t get me to pony up.

Tipping the scales at barely under 23 lbs., this little carbon-fiber beauty boasts the lightest weight for 150mm travel of any mountain bike in the world–heck, it’s lighter than most hardtails. The Scott Genius Limited can potentially hang with the best trailbikes on the planet at an average weight savings of 6-7 lbs. Over the course of say, the Leadville 100, that kind of a weight reduction will be noticeable, but it all comes a huge expense.

Yes, the Scott Genius Limited is a showpiece… kind of like those ultra-skinny and starved runway models who wear the most amazingly-ugly clothes on the planet (I’m no fashionista) because it shows what’s possible, not necessarily what’s reality. This bike is a showpiece that is also intended for public consumption, so is this over-the-top mountain bike it worth the price?

Scott Genius Limited

Scott Genius Limited: What makes a $13k bike tick?

Scott USA likely has this thing on a short leash, so not many people have actually ridden it–let alone touched one. Cam McRae from got a chance to spin on the $6300 Scott Genius 20 last month and shared his thoughts in this thorough review. However, he only rode it on the buffed-out trails in Sun Valley, Idaho. I’m curious how it would ride on Moab’s Porcupine Rim or on the Wasatch Crest Trail. I didn’t see any Scott bikes at the Outdoor Demo either. Were they there? Maybe I just missed them?

Regardless of riding time, the Genius packs some serious travel into that svelte carbon frame. With 150mm of travel front and rear and 6 trim levels that start with the Genius 50 at $3450 on up to the creme-de-la-creme Limited that sets you back the cost of a very nice used car.

Some of the technology behind the Scott Genius LTD Limited includes:

  • 150mm travel via Proprietary Equalizer2 TC shock (co-built by DT-Swiss)
  • DT-Swiss EXC 150 carbon-fiber fork (Saw this at Interbike… very sweet!)
  • Bar-mounted shock adjustment (lockout, 95mm Trac Mode or 150mm)
  • Carbon carbon everywhere–even dropouts and chainstays
  • Single-piece front triangle uses IMP4 technology (everyone else joins each tube after molding)
  • A svelte 4.05 lbs for the frame
  • Barely under 23 lbs. fully-built
  • The kicker… $13,224.99 MSRP (USD)

Scott Genius Limited Mountain Bike

Scott Genius Limited Mountain Bike

I’m not doubting that the Scott Genius LTD Limted is likely an awesome trailbike, but I’d be interested to see the sales projections for such an astronomically-priced bike. No doubt Scott USA’s engineers are masters of working with carbon-fiber and have worked hard on this showpiece, but the reality is who can afford to shell out that kind of coin on a bike? And, if they can afford that expensive of a bike, will they actually ride it? Who knows…

Maybe I can get my hands on one of them next year and find out for myself? Scott USA has been a hard nut to crack over the years, so I’m not holding my breath. For now, I’ll have to imagine it rides well while considerably lightening your pocketbook at the same time–cool feature!

More Info: Check out the 2009 Scott Genius Limited

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. Ya, I don’t know about this one.

    While I’m sure the bike is kick-ass and I have to admit I’m a huge fan of Scott, I don’t foresee a time when a $13,000 factory built bike is going to be a hit. I’m guessing that anyone with that type of dough to throw into a bike will probably just have one built from the frame up exactly how they want it. That’s what I’d do anyway. Thanks for the peak at it though!

  2. If you are looking for an ultralight trailbike, there are plenty of other great choices at half the price–even full-carbon models.

    You nailed it though… Anyone spending that kind of money would want to cherry-pick their parts selection, but I don’t know how you could get anything better than what’s on the Scott Genius Limited.

  3. Hi,

    Indeed a grait price, someone would say expensive but by definition for something to be expensive you would have to compare it with something else, but this bike can’t be compared. If you are a grait athlete you can win it all with this equipment! If you are like me an average Joe, even with a bike like this you will only finish last in competitions. So only some moron with dozen of money would buy this bike, instead of a specialized epic or specialized enduro pro – or santa cruz nomad, or cannondale, or intense vc or cube or nicolai or other dozen grait bikes, bikes that offer alot for the price paid and alot more suitable for the normal people – with some cash in wallet – even mtb enthusiasts .

    Vasile-Lucian Bujor

    • Yup… the price is crazy and totally unjustified IMO. There are so many amazing bikes on the market in the $3-$4k range that I don’t know how anyone could ever justify this bike. It’s not going to make you win races or score with the chicks at the bar. You’re still going to be the same dude, but you’ll be $13k lighter in your bank account.

      Definitely not worth it even in great economic times!

  4. this bike is best in class.13k expensive but Best.My company have sold about 25-30 bikes Genius LTD Limited in two years.That is all,no warranty problems,bikes work like horses.great product,awesome a+++.If you can buy that bike,there is no similar product in bike industry.
    daniel marek

  5. @Daniel… glad you’ve been successful selling the Genius LTD. I know there are people who can and will shell out that kind of coin for this bike, but I still don’t get it.

    Then again, Scott has been completely unwilling to even allow me to ride one of their low-end Genius bikes, so I have little bearing other than the outrageous pricetag and the reviews of the high and mighty, ad-supported, palm-greasing magazines out there.

  6. Well, I have to say, I own one of the more humble “spark 30” but with all xtr, avid jucy ultimate carbon breaks and some sweet mavic slr wheels (so basically a spark 10 plus) and I’m only in at around 4K. but,, best 4K I’ve ever spent. The bike is absolutely amazing. Can’t imagine anything riding as well. Fast and agile. Just incredible…

  7. @Tony… That’s more realistic. You’ve got a killer bike for your style of riding and it still cost you less than 1/3 the price of the Genius LTD.

    No doubt Scott USA makes killer stuff, I just question some of their pricepoints for the value you’re getting. You did the smart thing and bought a bike with the same frame and upgraded as needed–much more cost-effective that way!

  8. The Genius is a fabulous trail/marathon bike. I doubt you could build one better even if you hand selected all the components. A lot of the components on the Genius are specially made for the bike and could not be duplicated with off the shelf third party hardware. Yes, the LTD is expensive but it is the top of the line and has the best of everything no expense sparred. Personally, I think the Genius 10 is the best of breed. It is light enough and durable, and if must have a carbon fork or wheels you can upgrade those and still be cheaper than the LTD. If interested in saving money, we have a Genius 10 medium that has 2 parking lot test rides and 1 dirt test ride and is near flawless that w would sell for a good offer. Here is a picture.

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