On Review: Scott Genius 930

The Scott Genius 930 fits squarely in the “trail” category of mountain bikes. Simply put, this is a bike that’s designed for all-around trail riding, while not getting too crazy on either end of the spectrum. It might not be the fastest XC sprinter or the gnarliest of descenders, but the 930 should be a great fit for rippers just looking to shred some singletrack and have fun doing it.

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At least, that’s what the specs indicate… my in-depth review will see if that stands true or not

Specs

Suspension

Helping place this bike squarely in the trail category is the 130mm of Fox suspension. With a 32 Float Evolution CTD Air fork with thru axle and tapered steerer and a Fox/Scott Nude CTD rear shock, this 130mm guarantees that it will perform with all of the prowess one would expect from Fox suspension.

Fox Nude CTD shock.
Fox Nude CTD shock.

The Genius 930 comes standard with Scott’s patented TwinLoc remote technology. I’ve covered this tech extensively here, but essentially this little lever does exactly what you thought it always should on other bikes… but didn’t. This 3-mode lever cycles both the fork and the shock simultaneously and easily through the climb, trail, and descend modes on both suspension components. Flip that lever as you ride, and keep on flipping it for maximum performance and speed.

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Wheel Size

While Scott was a relatively early adopter of 27.5 wheels when compared to other major bike brands, the company hasn’t completely abandoned the wagon wheel. Take the Genius line, for example. The Genius line is home to both 27.5 and 29-inch renditions of every model. Not only can you choose frame type and build kit, but you can choose what size wheels you’d like to have on your bike.

While I like 27.5″ wheels well enough, and my main rig at the moment is a 27.5, I’m still a big fan of big wheels, and I specifically requested to test out the 29er version of this bike. Say what you will, but I will probably remain a 29er addict for many years to come.

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Frame and Pricepoint

The Genius line is extensive, featuring models spec’ed both above and below the 930 featured here. However, the 930 build kit that I have in for review is positioned quite well as an attainable model for the avid mountain biker without cutting corners on performance. Scott keeps the price point down to $3,500 MSRP for the full 6061 aluminum “custom butted hydroformed” frame. Bikes further up the ladder from the 930 feature a carbon fiber frame, which ratchets up the price point quickly.

As for the frame itself, the mostly matte black paint coupled with shiny black decals and red accents provides a nice look that doesn’t scream for attention, but looks beautiful when closely examined. A 142x12mm rear through axle provides a solid, dependable rear end, but at this point in time I’d be disappointed if this feature were absent. A 68.9-69.4-degree head tube angle again places the Genius 930 solidly in the trail category, while a 1111.8-1142.2mm wheelbase (in a size medium) should provide a stable-yet-responsive ride quality.

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Why the two numbers for each statistic above? The Genius and Spark lines from Scott both offer adjustable geometry thanks to a shock mount chip in the suspension linkage. According to Scott, “by changing the shock mount chip–simply removing it and flipping it in either mounting position–you affect the bottom bracket height by 7mm, which also affects the head tube angle by 0.5 degrees.” This may not sound like much at first, but for a trail bike such as this, this change can effectively allow you, the buyer, to customize your bike to fit your preference. Are you an enduro rider who’s looking for a more efficient bike for everyday riding? Put the chip in the lower, slacker position. Are you a cross country rider looking for a bike with longer legs? Put the chip in the higher, steeper position. Not sure what you want in life? Just like Burger King, with the Genius 930 you can have it your way.

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It is worth noting that this isn’t the most affordable model in the Genius line, either. Instead, the 910 comes with even more affordable components. The 930 is squarely targeting the avid mountain biker looking to save money without cutting performance corners.

The Fox suspension is pretty well top of the line–no complaints there. And keeping with this high level of performance is the full 2×10 XT drivetrain with Shadow Plus rear derailleur. XT is unequivocally a high-performing, no-compromise drivetrain, meaning there should be no complaints from an avid mountain biker.

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While this bike isn’t completely XT due to the stock SLX brakes, SLX is undeniably reliable, and a great way to save money in the brake department.

If there’s any part spec that I foresee being potentially problematic, it’s the choice of Alexrims TR69 wheels and Schwalbe Nobby Nic tires (granted, you may disagree with me on the tires). Down the road, the wheels and tires would be a great point of upgrade for a potential buyer, so while it might be frustrating initially, it’s good to know that even more speed and performance could be eeked out of this frame/model with a quick wheel upgrade. Of course, I’m interested to bash on these Alexrims myself… they could surprise me!

All of these components combine to provide a stock weight of 28.77 pounds without pedals–quite admirable for a 130mm-travel bike with wagon wheels at this price point.

Stay Tuned for the Final Review

So now you know what parts are hung on this bike and what the specs indicate… but how does it ride in real life? Stay tuned for my final review.

Even more photos:

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