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.
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.
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.