Scott Genius 27.5 Plus, Alpine Trail

Plus Sized Opinion – 2016 Scott Genius 27.5+

After the Crested Butte Enduro World Series race,  I closed the summer season with a four week road trip to explore some trails in the Rockies and in the North West.   During the Mountain Bike Oregon festival I had opportunity to step over the new 2016 Scott genius 27.5+, a nice follow up to the last review I did on a 29 plus hardtail last month – Trek Stache 7 Review

The basics of this bike are good with X01 1×11, xtr brakes, Reverb dropper post, wide bars and Fox equipped suspensions (new 34 fork and nude shock).  All classic and confidence inspiring, I was able to focus on those huge 2.8 schwalbe tires. Beside the visual effect, the bike feels “normal” out of the box. The geometry is close to the regular 27.5″genius as far as head angles, chain stays and top tube.  I tested a medium, and I thought that a shorter stem would be nicer, as the bike feels long for the reach.


2016 Scott Genius 27.5+

I rode the bike on the Alpine trail, which is a good mix of buffed fast single track, tight turns, few rocky sections and roots, and a fair amount of climbing.  Really playful overall. The dry weather and the dust were a challenge to any bike for traction, so it was up for a solid over-all test.

I set the tire pressure at 13psi to start. The full suspension took out the bouncy feeling of the tires that I could feel on the 29″ plus hardtail last month. Again, the traction is very impressive, and going up the deep dusty ruts was no problem. The bike doesn’t feel sluggish and it pedals well. Playing with the Scott Twinloc lever wasn’t as useful as with a “normal” bike, as I could feel the bounce of the tires more on the climbing mode. So I just decided to leave it all open from then on.

2016 Scott Genius 27.5+

Going downhill, the bike rides super plush. Pushing off the corners, jumping into rocks or roots feels natural and easy. The tires absorbs everything, adding a coushy feel to the 140-130 mm travel.  It’s fun, and it feels more like a 160 mm travel bike.

One con I noticed, I was loosing grip on hard braking. Its possible the low profile square knobs on the Rocket Ron weren’t gripping in that moon dust. Maybe the long reach was placing me too far over the front, but it surprised me a few times and I lost traction while pushing hard. I didn’t get a “rolling slow on-edge” feeling from the tires this time, it was more like riding an extra plush trail bike.

On a different note, I was hearing a hollow noise from the tires which were significantly resonating. It was distracting and in the back of my mind I wondered if I was going to finish this test ride without blowing up a tire.

At the end of the day, if you gave me the option to buy that bike over a normal tire Genius, I think yes, I would.  It was fun and fast.  With burlier tires, it would do what I want for an everyday trail bike. I’m curious to see the future of it in the enduro racing circuit.

Review by Alex Petitdemange

Alex Petitdemange is an enduro racer from Annecy, France now living and training in Sedona, AZ.  He raced as a XC JR and U25 pro for 5 seasons while mixing it up with some moto.  After 9 years with no racing he jumped back into the sport while living in Moab, Utah and finished well enough for a podium position and was hooked back into racing as a pro in enduro.


This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Jean-Pierre

    Hey Chad, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed riding the bike (I just ordered it).

    I was wondering, a lot of people complained about the Genius suspension not having enough support mid range. They say the the new EVOL will help for that. did you feel any brake feedback while riding? you mentioned the tires but you say the bike felt plush?

    I’m reading a lot of positive reviews on the Genius Plus bike and a lot of talk about the tires but not much on how to bike would compare to a Bronson, Troy, Altitude. What are your thoughts?

    I read on some reviews that you could charge this bike into corners much harder than on regular tires and others says the opposite. What are your thoughts on that too?

    I’m a DH rider of over 15 years (my last bike was a Aurum LE which I loved) getting into trail riding and like to ride hard and fast but I’m tired to stick to the same DH trails and want to go out exploring new XC / Trail terrain.

  2. Chad Davis

    Congratulations on your purchase, I think the Genius Plus is a great bike.

    The mid range support issue is a problem I have noticed with the previous Genius. I don’t believe it seemed like it was as much of an issue with the new EVOL. I don’t seem to remember using the Twinlock as much, but I did only do a 20 mile ride on the bike with. The brake feedback with the Genius is VERY minimal and in my opinion is a non issue.

    The Genius compares favorably to any of the bikes you mentioned if set up for your preferences. With the plus sized rubber, traction is ridiculous and you can definitely brake later and carry more speed than you think with those 3.0/2.8’s at 12-15psi. Compared to the other bikes, mentioned, the cool thing with this bike is its versatility in being able to run these tires OR like the Scott Enduro team, slap a 29″ wheelset on. Geometry is really the biggest difference between the Genius and the bikes you mentioned.

  3. Jean-Pierre

    Hi Chad, thanks for your feedback. Very much appreciated. I actually got the 710 which is the more reasonable price point in my mind.

    I’m wondering what you mean when you say if set up for your preferences. what do you see as preferable for this bike? What are the biggest differences of geometry between the bikes I mentioned and most important, how those differences will affect the ride?

    I know you haven’t spent much time on the bike but after talking to a couple of guys at Scott that have the same background as me, they really recommended to plus size for the same price at the normal genius. I cant wait to try it as my riding trails are often muddy, slippery rocks. Traction is key.

    Thanks again and have fun out there.

  4. Jean-Pierre

    one more thing, I read that people feel a drift at high speed, did you feel that drift as well? did you feel like the bike didn’t corner well at high speed?

  5. Chad Davis

    Great choice with the 710 level. It would be my pick of the Genius + bikes as well.

    What I meant about setup is for your riding terrain and riding style, the Genius may require some additional attention to sag/rebound and air pressure compared to the other bikes of the non+ flavor. This is something that Alex (also rode the Genius +) struggled a little more with when he tested the Trek Stache 29+ since there is no way to adjust since its a hardtail. He said it seemed very bouncy and like the rebound from the + tires was too quick for his preferences. When he rode the Genius, it wasn’t as much as an issue for him since he could make slight adjustments with the rebound damping.

    I didn’t have issues with high speed cornering on the bike and neither did Alex (who’s a Pro Enduro rider). With the Genius’s long wheelbase, I would even almost say its a strength of this bike.

    1. Jean-Pierre

      Thanks again, I’ll pay attention to the rebound and sag, that’s great to know. I think its going to be a really fun ride and that’s the whole point why I bought it.

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