If you’re into shredding singletrack, big rides and climbing, it’s definitely a contender
The range got a big overhaul last year so the Scott Genius 940 remains relatively unchanged for 2019, apart from the price, which has increased by £200.
If you go to the Scott site you’ll see there are 15 Scott Genius models in total – men’s and women’s, in both wheel sizes. It’s a little confusing but the initial number in the model name denotes the wheel size – so our test bike, the Genius 940, has 29in wheels while the 750 for example rolls on 27.5 Plus wheels – but you can actually fit either wheel size to the Genius 940.
Scott Genius 940 review
In fact, the only difference between the two platforms, other than the wheel/tyre size, is the orientation of the flip chip mounted in the rocker link: high for 27.5in, low for 29in.
When we tested the Scott Genius 720 a year ago we played around with the low setting using it as a geometry adjust feature, but this doesn’t really work the other way round, as the Genius 940 is already in the low setting and with a 350mm BB height you wouldn’t want to go higher.
For the frame, Scott uses its own Super Light alloy and the bike is pretty competitive on the MBR scales, coming in only 200g heavier than the YT, which is carbon. It’s nicely done too, with sleek tubing profiles and just the right amount of stiffness and ride feel. We like the fact that the frame has a proper bottle mount too, decent stand-over clearance and doesn’t have any issues with heel/knee rub.
The 940 uses the unique Scott TwinLoc suspension system, which you access via a dual-lever remote beneath the handlebars. It has three distinct suspension modes: open, trail and locked out. The open mode gives you the full 150mm of front and rear travel and, while the low-speed compression damping on the fork isn’t adjustable on the fly, you can pre-set it. Traction mode reduces rear travel to 100mm and simultaneously adds low-speed compression damping to both the fork and shock. There’s also a lock-out option but we never used it because the bike pedals so well in traction mode.
Syncros is owned by Scott Sports, and produces the bulk of the components on the Genius 940. The riser bar has a decent profile but at 760mm, it’s too narrow – we upgraded to an 800mm bar and the bike was better for it.
All the Syncros components feature Torx bolts, which would be okay if there were all the same T25, but there are four different sizes in use on the Genius. We also think Scott missed a trick – there’s a pull-out QR tool slotted into the rear axle and what bit does it have on the end? A 5mm Allen key!
The cable-operated Scott 2.0 dropper post also comes up a bit short at 140mm, when all the other bikes get 150mm posts. It also features an old-school, push down remote. Given that you use the dropper more often than the TwinLoc, we’d actually like to see an under-bar dropper remote and the Twinloc remotes moved above the bar.
The Genius 940 has the best ride feel of any bike here. There’s a ton of resilience in the frame and, when combined with incredibly supple suspension, it makes the Genius 940 really agile and responsive. It has a good turn of speed on twisty trails and hooked up really well on rooty off cambers. It’s a great climber and, with the TwinLoc right under your thumb, you can instantly firm up the suspension for any short, sharp sprints.
The Genius is a competent descender too, but the thing that holds it back is the Fox 34 Float Performance fork – it’s not that supportive so dives a bit under braking, and it’s flexy, which causes the front end to feel a little vague. Obviously, we made a couple of tweaks to our test bike – new tyres and a wider handlebar – and you can do these relatively cheaply too, but changing the fork is much more expensive.
If you’re an aggressive trail rider that likes hammering downhill then the Scott Genius 940 isn’t going to be the bike for you. If however, you’re into shredding singletrack, big rides and climbing, it’s definitely a contender. And even though the Genius 940 is efficient but also a lot of fun, it doesn’t score higher in our Trail Bike of the Year because it needs some upgrade to realize its full potential. To get the best from it, you will need to splash out on a new set of tyres and a wider handlebar, but you are starting from a really good base.