Photos by Mike Schirf.
Last week Scott kicked off its 2015 product season at the lavish Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley near Park City, Utah. It was a great venue for some first impressions on the newly tweaked trail bikes and a look at their broad lineup of offerings. From the bike under you to the helmet on your head, and everything in between, Scott has something worth checking out.
I spent quite a bit of my time riding the Deer Valley trails on either the 27.5 Genius 700 Tuned or any of the 27.5 Genius 700LT models that I could get my hands on. The LT was a very hot bike during our stay and there weren’t enough for the rabid press to go around.
The gap between the Genius and the Genius LT has increased. Scott admits it was tougher to distinguish the intentions of the two models in previous years, so they widened the gap for 2015. While the Genius bikes are available with 27.5 or 29-inch wheels, the Genius LT is only 27.5 with 170mm of travel. There shouldn’t much confusion in intentions based on available travel. Especially with a Fox 36 up front and a CTRD with boost valve on the Tuned models in back.
But this isn’t just a couple wider tires and larger fork on the shorter travel Genius platform. The LT uses the same suspension platform but has it’s own all-mountain specific frame. It sports the same TwinLoc tech and adjustable geometry, as well as a Scott chainguide and retention system. The one major draw back I see (and it’s a personal disappointment), only three sizes: S/M/L. Sorry tall guys… I feel your pain.
Regardless, this was the bike I wanted to be on. It was also the bike that in the highest demand. The setting certainly had something to do with that, of course. The Genius LT was the obvious choice for lift-assisted runs with some pedaling. The TwinLock made pedaling easier but when gravity started taking over the Genius LT was in its element.
Between the two models I found the fork to be the biggest difference. For most riding and riders the Genius will do the job very well, but for a larger rider, the bigger stanchions of the Fox 36 on the LT were necessary when things got rough or fast. The weight of the burlier LT frame wasn’t noticeable on the trail. Both felt laterally stiff when pushed through turns and tracked well. One hack I’d be willing to entertain is a larger fork, perhaps a PIKE, on the 150mm 27.5 Genius. You’d loose the TwinLock feature but it might be my ideal setup as an XL rider.
The Genius LT lineup has three models from $4,250 to $8,000.
Genius 700 and 900
This is a trail bike most riders should be considering. Even though there isn’t much new about the 2015 150mm Genius 27.5 700, or the 130mm 29er 900, Scott has managed to shave some weight from the carbon frames and increase stiffness. There are several creature comforts and nice features like chainblocker plate with ISCG mounts, internal cable routing, oversized BB molding, interchangeable dropouts and adjustable geometry. Scott’s TwinLoc remains a constant. The remote is paired with FOX Nude CTCD (Climb, Traction Control and Descend) rear shock and Fox forks. Except for the 750 and 950 (the entry level models) all Genius models have three distinct suspension settings on both shocks via the TwinLoc remote which adjusts travel settings and geometry based on sag levels.
The Genius 900 line has four models from $2,500 to $9,000. The Genius 700 line has seven models from $2,500 to $9,000.
Park and play in 26-inch or 27.5. The Voltage FR is meant as “your one stop shop for bikeparks, downhill tracks and any trail that deserves a good roostin’.” Again, Scott packs a lot of adjustability into the frameset. The bike is designed to run multiple wheel sizes via two chainstay length settings.
The longer 425mm setting is designed to work with both 26-inch and 27.5 wheels, while the shorter 410mm setting only works with 26-inch. Flipping the rear suspension linkage will take from 170mm to 190mm of travel in the back and interchangeable dropouts let you use either 10mm x 135mm hubs or IDS-X dropouts will allow 12mm x 135mm hubs.
Upfront, the stock 64 degree head tube angle will adjust to a slack 62 or steeper 66 via the included Syncros Angled Headsets. The Voltage can also handle dual crown forks making for a very customizable platform.
The Voltage FR will have three models from $2,250 to $4,250.
If you haven’t guessed yet, there seems to be a common Scott theme this year: 27.5 and adjustability. Leading that charge, the Gambler has been entirely redesigned to run 27.5 wheels while maintaining many of its defining elements and World Cup heritage.
Not only was the new Gambler refined on some of Europe’s most demanding DH tracks but it was also tested on custom-built courses. The custom test tracks where designed to create problems for the suspension. Using feedback from test riders, the Scott engineers where able to develop a bike that provided a solution to the most demanding situations. That solution is a “no compromises DH weapon.”
The adjustability of wheelsizes and geometry allow riders to customize their bike based on riding style or terrain. With all the adjustments, the Gambler can have almost the same geometry with either 26-inch or 27.5 wheels. There’s a 10mm BB height adjustment and 425 or 440mm chainstay lengths. The stock headtube angle of 63 degrees can be adjusted between 61 and 65 using the provided Syncros Angled Headset.
The Gambler will be available in three models, from $4,250 to $6,500.
The 27.5 bus stops here. Big Ed was a surprise to even some of the Scott staff. With a color matched Rockshox fork and Syncros wheels even the non-believers have to stop to take a look. This is definitely one of the best-looking Fatbikes out there.
The Big Ed will be available only in one trim level, for $3,000.