Scott bike mountain bike. Are Scott bikes good?

Mick Wil review the new Scott Genius

It was no less than five years ago when the current version of the Scott Genius was unveiled. Mick and I have spent a load of time on that bike across a variety of different spec levels, and we thoroughly enjoyed its low weight, excellent handling and remote controlled suspension. It certainly stood the test of time, and it’s quite a testament to Scott that the current Genius has remained relevant for so long.

NEW 2023 SCOTT SCALE | Bike Check

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Of course nothing stays the same forever though. And with the latest Scott Spark arriving last year, the Swiss brand heralded an entirely new design era for its full suspension mountain bikes. The Genius is the latest model to undergo a wholesale redesign, adopting a similar theme of integration while offering more travel and capability over the Spark. There’s quite a bit more to it than that though. There’s a brand new piggyback shock and Scott will also be rolling out a new Genius ST model that many of you are going to be very interested in. Here we’ll be taking you through all of the new tech, as well as our experience of testing the brand new Scott Genius.

Watch our Scott Genius review here:

It’s no easy feat to make a full suspension mountain bike stand out these days, and the fact that Scott was able to build a long travel bike in such a space-efficient package makes it a true engineering marvel.

An overview of the 2023 Scott Genius

Sitting in between the Spark and Ransom, the Scott Genius is the Swiss brand’s long travel trail bike. Designed for maximum versatility, the Genius sits in a similar space to competitors such as the Specialized Stumpjumper EVO, the Canyon Spectral and the latest Trek Fuel EX.

Featuring an entirely new frame for 2023, the Genius has waved goodbye to the 27.5 compatibility of the old model, and is now a dedicated 29er platform. Fork travel has grown slightly to 160mm, though it still features 150mm of rear wheel travel and a four-bar suspension design. The layout has changed considerably, with the rear shock now tucked away inside the belly of the frame.

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The suspension continues to be remote-controlled via the updated TwinLoc handlebar remote. As well as integrating the dropper post lever, the TwinLoc remote allows riders to toggle between three distinct suspension modes on-the-fly. The TwinLoc system doesn’t connect to the fork on the Genius ST model however, and the shock’s function on that bike is also quite different. on that in a bit.

Why hide the shock?

The concept behind the integrated suspension on the new Scott Genius is the same as the Spark and Patron. The shock is shielded away from the elements like dust, water, mud and bike cleaners, so in theory it’ll require less frequent servicing.

Scott also claims the internal shock lowers the bike’s overall centre of mass, and that the frame is stiffer thanks to the enormous junction between the seat tube, downtube and 92mm wide press-fit bottom bracket. Indeed it’s all very muscly and oversized down there.

The shock itself is driven by a link made from forged and machined 7075 alloy, which keys into the external rocker arms via a splined interface. With the exception of the shock mounts, all suspension pivot points are rolling on sealed cartridge bearings. This differs to the previous frame, which mostly used bushings. For further weatherproofing, Scott has added external bearing shields for the exposed pivots.

Cockpit integration

The theme of integration extends up to the cockpit on the new Scott Genius. A large 1.5in headtube gobbles up all the cables and the rear brake hose, which route internally through the upper headset bearing. A matching Syncros stem melds with a plastic sheath to provide a seriously clean and stealthy front end, irrespective of our thoughts on this routing method.

The custom Acros headset features additional bearing shields to minimise water and dirt ingress. And based on our long-term experience of testing the Scott Spark RC, the headset bearings should last a good while before they require replacing.

Unfortunately there are no moulded-in guide tubes for the cables though, with individual foam sleeves used to stop the cables from rattling around inside the downtube. Compared to a modern Specialized or Trek, replacing a cable on the Genius will be a more time-consuming affair.

It’s gotten heavier

With its stout frame and compact suspension linkage, the Scott Genius cuts a stunning, low-slung silhouette. The chunky frame has added some weight over its predecessor however, which is somewhat unexpected from Scott.

In its most premium form, with a full HMX carbon construction, the Genius frame is claimed to weigh 2,295g without the rear shock. Compare that to the old frame, which was claimed to weigh 2,249g including the shock. Perhaps that just serves to reiterate how bloody light the old bike was.

On the note of frame weight, it’s worth noting that the Genius will be available in a full carbon (HMX), carbon/alloy hybrid (HMF), and a full alloy frame. Here’s how the frame weights (without shock) compare between all three;

Scott Genius price specs

There will be seven Scott Genius models coming into Australia for 2023. will start at 5,199 AUD for the Genius 940, and will go up to 14,199 AUD for the Genius ST 900 Tuned. You can see the detailed specs and on all of those models down at the bottom of this review.

As part of the Genius launch, Mick travelled over to Aosta in the Italian alps to spend a couple of days testing out the top-end Genius ST 900 Tuned in some properly big mountains. While the new bike certainly impressed, we were eager to see how it would perform on more familiar home trails. Following the launch, we arranged to test out a Genius 910, which I’ve been riding for well over a month.

Here we’ll be discussing our collective experience of testing both the Genius and Genius ST platforms.

2023 Scott Genius ST 900 Tuned

  • Frame | HMX Carbon Fibre, Virtual 4-Link Suspension Design, 150mm Travel
  • Fork | Fox 36 Factory Series, GRIP2 Damper, 44mm Offset, 160mm Travel
  • Shock | Fox Float X Nude Factory Series, 185x55mm
  • Remote | TracLoc 3-Position: Descend, Ramp Control Lockout
  • Wheels | Syncros Revelstoke 1.0-30 CL, Carbon Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Maxxis Minino DHF EXO 3C MaxxTerra 2.6in Front Dissector EXO 3C MaxxTerra 2.6in Rear
  • Drivetrain | SRAM X01 Eagle AXS 1×12 w/32T Carbon Crankset 10-52T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano XTR 4-Piston w/203mm Front 180mm Rear Rotors
  • Bar | Syncros Hixon iC Carbon, 780mm Width, Rise: 15mm (S-M), 25mm (L-XL)
  • Stem | Syncros Hixon iC Carbon, 40mm Length
  • Seatpost | Syncros Duncan 1.5, 31.6mm Diameter, Travel: 140mm (S), 160mm (M), 170mm (L), 200mm (XL)
  • Saddle | Syncros Tofino 1.5, Titanium Rails
  • Claimed Weight | 13.3kg
  • RRP | 14,199 AUD

2023 Scott Genius 910

  • Frame | HMF Carbon Fibre w/6061 Alloy Swingarm, Virtual 4-Link Suspension Design, 150mm Travel
  • Fork | Fox 36 Performance Elite, FIT4 Damper, 44mm Offset, 160mm Travel
  • Shock | Fox Nude 5T, DPS Damper, 185x55mm
  • Remote | TwinLoc 3-Position: Descend, Traction Control Lockout
  • Wheels | Syncros Revelstoke 1.5, Alloy Rims, 30mm Inner Width
  • Tyres | Maxxis Dissector EXO 3C MaxxTerra 2.6in Front Rear
  • Drivetrain | SRAM GX Eagle AXS 1×12 w/32T Alloy Crankset 10-52T Cassette
  • Brakes | Shimano XT 4-Piston w/203mm Front 180mm Rear Rotors
  • Bar | Syncros Hixon iC Carbon, 780mm Width, Rise: 15mm (S-M), 25mm (L-XL)
  • Stem | Syncros Hixon iC Carbon, 40mm Length
  • Seatpost | Syncros Duncan 1.5, 31.6mm Diameter, Travel: 140mm (S), 160mm (M), 170mm (L), 200mm (XL)
  • Saddle | Syncros Tofino 1.5, Titanium Rails
  • Claimed Weight | 14.1kg
  • RRP | 10,499 AUD

In comparison, the Genius is a bike that is decidedly more of an all-rounder. Having been born in the alps, this is a bike that is designed for tackling big mountain climbs in order to access those far-reaching, lesser ridden descents.

What Makes Their Bikes Special?

Scott Bikes are not only special because of the victories they help cyclists achieve in biking championships.

These bikes are made with performance in mind to help you ride faster and better when on the trail. Their bikes keep on evolving, and you can see that in their design to create comfortable and efficient bikes.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the features you can find on their bikes.

CX disc brakes

With disc brakes, you don’t need to use a lot of energy to stop your bicycle. Disc brakes pack enough stopping power to stop any bike on its tracks.

As a rider, you don’t have to apply excess force before your bike comes to a halt. This greatly reduces muscle fatigue. It comes in handy when you are cycling long distances or tackling challenging trails.

CX disc brakes are mechanical disc brakes that are excellent for entry-level riders who don’t want to spend too much money.

These brakes offer immense power and control when cycling, especially during dry weather conditions. CX disc brakes are high-end mechanical disc brakes that are light and easy on the eyes to blend with the bike’s design.

CX disc brakes are also ideal because of the good lever feel and how easy it is to set up. Unfortunately, these brakes will need readjustment more often than other types of brakes.

Oversized bottom bracket

A bottom bracket on a bike is the hollow part on the frame where you fit in the bike’s cranks. The bottom bracket connects the chainset on your bike and allows the crankset to rotate freely.

This is what allows you to pedal smoothly on a bike.

An oversized bottom bracket costs less and is easier to assemble for most cyclists. It also ensures a secure fit without the risk of cracking or creaking. This guarantees the smooth running of the bearings that you can rely on for a long time.

Tapered headtube

Tapered headtubes make a difference with the front-end stiffness, so you should be keen when choosing yours. They are essential in your bike’s design to make it stiffer but more responsive and fun to ride.

Using a tapered headtube will increase the stiffness of your bike because it is more rigid than a cylindrical one. With stiff bikes, you spend more energy on the wheels than bending the frame. This works well when maneuvering corners because your bike remains consistent.

Mountain Bikes

Scott offers several types of mountain bikes:

  • Cross Country
  • Trail
  • Enduro
  • Downhill/Dirt
  • Sport
  • Women’s

Scott makes durable machines for mountain biking like the Scott Spark and Contessa Spark models. These bikes are excellent for tackling challenging terrain with ease. You can use them the next time you want to retain efficiency when long-distance riding.

Scott’s cross country bikes have won numerous Olympic medals and championships over the years. These racing machines are popular among athletes and regular cyclists. Some of their popular cross country bikes include the Scott Gambler 900 and Scott Gambler 710 mountain bikes.

They also have a wide range of trail bikes that are suitable for long-distance cycling, going up and down mountains, and exploring new locations. The Scott Spark 950 trail bikes come in various colors like red, dark grey, and smith green. While trail riding is an aggressive sport, you can be sure to tackle the challenging tracks with Scott trail bikes.

You can also get enduro bikes, dirt bikes, and sport bikes to ride on narrow country lanes. Their lineup has various women’s mountain bikes that will perfectly fit female riders. They are great for long distances to get you up and down mountains on their strong frames.

Road Bikes

Scott offers several types of road bikes:

When it comes to road biking, you need a lightweight bike to keep you riding for longer without using too much energy. Scott road bikes are best for riding on paved roads. They feature slim tires for fast-rolling during high-speed rides. Some of their lightweight models include the Scott Addict and Scott Contessa Addict bikes.

Aerodynamic road bikes like the Scott Plasma RC bike and Scott Foil Pro bikes are great for riding competitions and bike tours. Aero bikes reduce the pressure drag allowing you to cycle faster by increasing your aerodynamic efficiency.

For cyclists who enjoy riding for days, Scott endurance bikes are comfortable, dynamic, and efficient on rough road surfaces. Gravel bikes like the Scott Addict CX bikes and Addict Gravel bikes are the perfect middle ground between road and mountain bikes.

These bikes have the ability to handle most roads like tarmac, gravel, or light mountain bike trials. They also offer women’s gravel bikes that are light and perform well on roads.

Other Types

Other types of bikes that are available include trekking bikes, city bikes, and electric bikes. The city and urban bikes include models like the Scott Sub Sportbikes, Scott Sub Comfort 10 bikes, and Scott Sub Cross bikes. City bike models for both men and women are available. These city bikes for urban riding are low maintenance and designed for comfort.

Your children won’t be left out either with Scott bike sizes for kids of different ages. They are ideal for kids learning to ride their bikes and those about to transition to adult bikes. Scott balance bikes are also available as well.

Their trekking bikes are an excellent choice for hilly commutes due to their stronger frames and wider tires. They are versatile and ideal for cycling on rougher roads. There are Scott Sub Cross bikes for both men and women for touring convenience and comfort.

You can also get your pick of their electric road bikes, mountain bikes, and urban bikes. They are tough enough to handle the most demanding climbs and descents on the trail. The great thing about electric bikes is that are energy-efficient and good for the environment.

With different models like the Spark and Contessa models, you can find e-bikes for short travels and long travel on challenging terrain. You can reach high speeds on an electric bike without exerting too much effort using the motor assistance mode.

Meet the New 2022 SCOTT Patron eRIDE E-MTB

Scott Bikes Model Range

Since the development of their first bike in the 2000s, Scott has gone on to design and develop tens of bikes across different disciplines.

The 2023 Scott bikes range includes bikes from the following categories: mountain, road, gravel/cx, city, kids, and electric. This is on top of all the other sporting equipment they manufacture both in and out of cycling. Scott bike are somewhat in keeping with industry averages. They do, however, offer hierarchies of models for each bike so that you can choose the component level best suited to your budget.

You’ll find their bikes available to purchase from Scott dealers across the globe, as well as from the brand directly on their website.

Scott Mountain Bikes

The brand currently sells a range of Scott MTBs, from cross-country to enduro and downhill bikes – there’s a Scott bike for everyone. With tens of bikes sometimes in each category, we’ve listed a few of the most popular models, but it’s by no means an exhaustive list. For a full representation of what bikes are available in your country, visit the Scott Sports website.

Spark RC / Scale RC / Scale / Contessa Spark RC / Contessa Scale

Cross-Country bikes usually come with the least amount of suspension travel (bar hardtails) and primarily FOCUS on weight saving.

In previous years professional cross-country mountain bikers have begun using full-suspension on their XC race bikes as components become lighter, and as courses become tougher. Scott currently offers three models of cross-country bike, with two women’s specific versions.

Scott Spark RC/Contessa Spark RC


Price Range: 5000,999 – 12,999

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The Scott Spark RC is the brand’s cross-country race machine.

The Contessa Spark RC is the Scott women’s mountain bike option for cross-country racing, although both male and female specific bikes are full-suspension with 110mm forks and 100mm rear suspension, as well as full carbon frames making them lightweight and race-ready.

There are two configurations for the Contessa Spark RC, that is the 900 WC bike, which has an MSRP of 6,799 and comes with a 12-speed SRAM x01 Eagle groupset and 29″ wheels, and the 900 Comp bike, which has an MSRP of 5000,999 and comes equipped with a SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed groupset. The male version comes in several configurations at different price points, starting at 5000,999 for the 900 Comp version, and increases to 12,999 for the 900 SL AXS version which comes with a SRAM XX1 AXS Eagle groupset and a power meter.

Scott Scale/Contessa Scale


Price Range: 450,199 – 5000,199

The Scott Scale mountain bike is one of two hardtails the brand produces.

The Scott Scale RS is their ‘race’ cross-country hardtail, whereas the Scale, and Contessa Scale are for more training purposes – however, they are still extremely capable MTB bikes. All variations come with a 100mm front fork suspension and are complemented by either an aluminum or carbon fiber frame depending on the model.

start from 450,199 and increase to 5000,199 for the 925 version making this an accessible bike for most budgets. The 925 comes with a carbon frame, FOX 32 Float Rhythm 100mm forks, and a Shimano 12-speed XT-SLX groupset. The colorways are dependent on the model version, from bright red to a more subtle grey.

The wheel sizes are also dependent, available in either 27.5″ or 29″.

Scott Trail mountain bikes

Spark / Genius / Contessa Spark / Contessa Genius

Trail bikes are typically the middle ground between cross-country and enduro bikes.

They are full-suspension bikes but with more travel than cross-country, and less than enduro bikes. Scott currently produces two trail bikes, the Scott Spark mountain bike, and the Scott Genius mountain bike, both with female (Contessa) variations.

Scott Spark/Contessa Spark


Price Range: 450,999 – 8,999

  • Choice of groupsets
  • Alloy or Carbon Fiber frame
  • 130mm front, 120mm rear suspension

The Scott Spark mountain bike is Scott’s race-ready trail bike.

It’s one of the most successful bikes they make, with their riders taking victories in the world cup. As one of the Scott full suspension bikes, it comes with 130mm of front suspension and 120mm of rear, making it a bike on the cusp of cross-country territory, and a great way to ease into full-suspension riding.

The Scott/Contessa Spark comes in several variations, from the 970 Granite which costs 450,999 and comes with lower-end components, to the 900 Ultimate AXS which costs 8,999 and comes with top-end components. The colorways depend on the model variation.

Scott Enduro mountain bikes

Enduro bikes are the middle ground between trail and downhill.

They’re full-suspension bikes with more travel than a trail bike, usually sitting between 140-160mm, and are often heavier and a bit less fun to ride if you do a lot of climbing. There is one main Scott enduro bike, the Ransom/Contessa Ransom.

Scott Ransom/Contessa Ransom


Price Range: 5000,999 – 8,999

The Scott Ransom/Contessa Ransom is one of the Scott 29er mountain bikes aimed at enduro riding.

Each variation comes with 170mm of front and rear suspension meaning it can soak up the lumps and bumps on the trails. The bike comes in several variations for different budgets, so it can appeal to the masses. start at 5000,999 for the 930 version, which comes with a SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed groupset, and increases to 8,999 for the 900 Tuned AXS version which comes equipped with a SRAM x01 AXS Eagle 12-speed groupset.

As one of the Scott MTB bikes, it is available in a choice of colorways, from a striking blue and white to a more subdued purple fade, but this is dependent on the model you choose to purchase. This is an exciting enduro machine and will be great company if you’re racing or riding at an uplift park.

Scott Scale RC SL specifications

The no holds barred, top-of-the-range Scale RC SL is decked out in components that span from made-in-Germany boutique through to high-tech carbon fibre wonders. Up-front is Fox’s 32 Step-Cast Float Factory fork. It’s fitted with the FIT4 damper with low-speed compression and rebound-damping adjustment and a three-position remote lockout adjuster, called RideLoc 2, which is made by Scott.

Fox’s fork pivots on a Syncros angle-adjust headset. This features a port for internal cable routing with space for a brake hose, dropper post and derailleur cable, although this model only makes use of the rear brake hose routing. The brakes are supplied by Germany’s Trickstuff. The Piccola Carbon stoppers have a carbon fibre lever blade, which controls a Dächle Ultra-Light two-piston caliper. A 180mm rotor features up-front, and there’s a 160mm version on the rear.

SRAM’s XX1 Eagle AXS groupset takes care of drivetrain duties, and includes a Quarq chainring power meter. The AXS controller mounts to the Trickstuff brakes using a Matchmaker adaptor. The rest of the bike’s kit is supplied by Scott house-brand Syncros, but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of quality. It’s fitted with the mightily impressive Silverton SL2-30 CL carbon fibre one-piece wheels, where the spokes, rims and hubs are constructed from a single piece of carbon fibre. These are installed with Quarq’s wireless tyre pressure monitoring system, TyreWiz, and are wrapped in Maxxis’ Rekon Race 29×2.4in EXO tyres, front and rear.

Quarq TyreWiz wireless tyre pressure monitors are fitted, along with Maxxis’ fast-rolling Rekon Race tyres front and rear. Alex Evans / Our Media

Continuing the theme of all-in-one components, the Syncros Fraser iC SL XC Carbon bar and stem are present. These are 740mm wide, have a minus 12-degree rise and an 8-degree sweep. Elsewhere, there’s a Syncros Duncan SL carbon seatpost and Belcarra SL seat, with carbon fibre rails. This lot will set you back £13,999/€13,999, and the size-large bike weighs 8.93kg without pedals.

Scott Scale RC SL ride impressions

I had a limited amount of time on the Scale ahead of the launch, but managed to ride on my home trails in Scotland’s Tweed Valley, covering routes that are potentially going to be used for the upcoming 2023 cross-country marathon world championships. I also managed to spend some time on the bike on the trails of my youth in Dorset, riding flat-out bridleways in the rolling countryside and tight, twisty trails in a local forest.

Scott Scale RC SL setup

The Piccola levers are constructed beautifully, but Alex struggle to get them positioned to his taste. Alex Evans / Our Media

Setting up the Scale RC SL was relatively straightforward. I inflated the Fox 32 air spring to 84.5psi, Fox’s recommended pressure for my 76kg kitted-up weight and fully opened both low-speed rebound and compression adjusters. I connected the Quarq power meter and TyreWiz, and AXS derailleur and shifter to the SRAM AXS smartphone app. I inputted my preferred tyre pressures (25psi front, 27psi rear), and zeroed the power meter before each ride. Getting the Trickstuff brakes, AXS controller and RideLoc 2 installed and set to my preferred positions wasn’t as easy as I hoped. Multiple Allen and Torx key sizes were needed to adjust and install each of the parts, and the AXS controller and RideLoc 2 needed to be removed entirely to access the brake lever’s Band clamp bolt. The brake lever’s reservoir and short lever blade made adjusting them outboard enough for my tastes impossible with the stock grips. The reservoir contacted the grips before I could get them set correctly, however other riders might not suffer from the same issue.

Gear, brake and dropper cables route through the headset. This AXS version only has a rear brake cable, however. Alex Evans / Our Media

Despite the headset-routed cables, adjusting the Syncros headset’s angle position was fairly straightforward. The upper and lower headset cups need to be turned through 180 degrees to swap between the two settings. I managed to do this without a bike stand, and, at a push, it could be done in a car park, although doing it where mud and other contaminants won’t enter the internals of the headset is preferable.

Scott Scale RC SL climbing performance

A lightweight frame and speed-focused tyres mean climbing is fun and fast. Kyle Dewick / Our Media

Point the Scale uphill and it’s brutally fast and efficient; rider inputs are quickly, precisely and rewardingly converted into forward motion. Reaching top speeds on smoother, undulating terrain requires a remarkably small amount of effort and the highest cassette sprockets are the most frequently used. Its low weight figure means as gradients steepen, less effort is required to maintain higher paces when hauling to the top of a climb. The rewarding relationship between effort and speed eggs you on to ride faster and pedal harder. Although this is an energetic way of riding, and can be tiring over longer periods, it’s perfectly suited to the Scale’s intended high-intensity use.

The carbon fibre saddle is clamped to a carbon fibre seatpost, to keep weight down. Alex Evans / Our Media

Smooth operator

That super-efficient feel isn’t accompanied by an uncompromisingly harsh and bone-rattling ride, however. Pedalling hard over rough terrain, such as baked-on ripples caused by tractor tyres, doesn’t cause the back wheel to skip about and lose traction, and power can still be transmitted through the back wheel. This is echoed in its seated comfort. Riding rough terrain while seated isn’t compromisingly uncomfortable, making it possible to stay on the saddle for longer. This helps conserve energy for strategic injections of pace. Thanks to a generally smooth ride, the Scale does a commendable job of isolating the worst trail chatter from the rider; grip is abundant, and fatigue limited.

Scott Scale RC SL early verdict

The changes Scott has made to the Scale bring it right up to date. Slacker, more modern geometry means it’s more capable than ever, all without tainting the race-focused ride and highly tuned, efficient chassis. Speed-obsessed riders who want to charge about on both the ups and (most of) the downs will love the way it rides.

Even if you’re not a speed addict, you’re still going to enjoy riding the Scale. That geometry extends its scope into light trail riding, and with a few choice upgrades – such as a dropper post – it would be well suited to an even broader gamut of terrain types. This model will be prohibitively expensive for some, but the low weight, parts list and impressive ride make it a compelling purchase for those who can afford it.

However, more time is needed to really pore over the details, and to find out how it performs when tested back-to-back against competitors such as Specialized’s Epic and Trek’s Procaliber.

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