Scott Genius 20

Scott Genius 20 Review

If you want an all-purpose trail bike which matches its speed and strength with its suppleness and lightness then the Scott Genius 20 is going to be high on the list of potential candidates. It comes from a range that has been honed over the years to produce an elegant, fast racer which urges the rider to put their foot down and plough across any terrain without a care in the world. Scott knows when to tinker and when to retain the best aspects of a bike, so for 2012 the Genius 20 is still the poised, geometrically precise beast as its predecessors, but with a few welcome twists.

The Scott Genius 20 has a carbon frame with excellent lateral stiffness and a noticeably light overall weight, despite the full suspension setup and 150mm of travel. It manages to remain taught and keep up your forward momentum in single-track situations while still compensating for bumps, jumps and lumps with ease. The Genius 20 weighs 12.2kg, just 0.7kg more than the Genius 10 bike.

Scott broke the mould a couple of years ago with the introduction of on-the-fly shock manipulation via a thumb-operated lever and the TwinLoc system found on the Genius 20 is the natural evolution of this technology. It lets you switch the Equalizer 2 rear shock between each of its three main modes. With full travel enabled on the front, you get the run of its 150mm tri-chamber capabilities. You can flick it quickly into traction mode, at which point 150mm of travel becomes 95mm and you can put more power down, before finally choosing the lockout mode, which also works its magic on the Fox 32 Talas FIT RL front fork at the same time. This lets you keep your hands in position and your eyes on the prize while still making adjustments.

Shimano works its magic on the drivetrain with XT components (front & rear derailleurs and rapidfire shifters) while it also supplies the 180mm disc brakes at the front and rear with the XT M785 anchors standing in for the Avid Elixir brakes you will find on the cheaper models in the Genius range. Note: the Genius 10 uses the Avid Elixir 9RS brakes, which makes it strange that the Genius 20 is the only bike in the range to use Shimano.

DT Swiss XR25 rims and Schwalbe Nobby Nic EVO tyres are a common feature of the upper end of this range and there is no arguing with their suitability for the Scott Genius 20. A fairly simple black and white colour scheme means that the bike does not look too showy or garish and it should also sit better when it has been coated in the brown stuff on a serious trail run.

This bike is all about allowing the rider to scale the experience to their liking. While it may not be as useful to have instant control over the shocks on this particular brand of trail bike, the combination of plenty of travel, well distributed weight and a light carbon frame gives it all the credentials that could make it a winner. Provided that the price is not a sticking point it should come up trumps for you.

Model: Scott Genius 20
4 / 5 stars
*****