On the 17th of December, the togoparts team was kindly invited to attend a product launch on the new Scott Genius range for dealers here. This was the first batch of Genius bikes in Singapore and we were eager to lay our eyes on it.

A little background info on the frame:

The Genius concept was designed by Peter Denk and his team to provide a new race platform for Thomas Frischknecht to race
on. Thomas, being an all-time hardtail supporter, was so impressed with the performance of the Genius platform that he decided to use
it for all his World Cup races!

The highlight for Scott and Thomas last year was when he won the World Mountain Bike Marathon Championships in August. Held in Lugano, Switzerland, the 78km course involved over 9300 feet (2857m) of climbing and descending through the windy foothills of the Swiss Alps. Thomas was the only guy in the lead group using a full suspension bike to tackle the demanding course and the only one seated and pedalling up the 22% gradient of the Alpe Davrosio whilst the rest of the field were off the bike and pushing.

This marks a new beginning for Scott and racing in general, where a die hard hardtail racer has completely switched to a full suspension platform. He would be using the Genius RC series with more xc oriented geometry for xc races and the Genius MC series for the endurance races.

Here’s an overview of the frame: 

– Genius RC 10 frame is made from Scan 2, an evolution of the already famous Scott Custom Made Scandium which results in size M in a weight of 1640 grams. The MC frame comes to a weight of 1950 grams.
– Hollow dropouts on the swingarm for increased stiffness combined with very significant weight savings.
– 34.9mm diameter seatpost that results in a superlight seatpost and a flex free seat position.
– The Genius Shock which offers not only full traction and lock-out but even more, a traction mode with a shorter travel which is combined with a more progressive spring rate.
– The virtual pivot which results from the Intelligent Linkage System (ILS), offering
o No bobbing uphill
o Effective pedalling in all chain positions on the different chainrings
o Sealed pivots with industrial bearings.
The Genius platform comes in three variations; the RC, MC and Contessa series. For cross-country, marathon XC and women’s model respectively. The RC comes in 3 models with 90mm rear travel, the MC 5 models with 125mm and the Genius Contessa alone with 90mm.

Other frame issues:

In the quest to find the most rigid and stiff interface between rider and bike, the Scott engineering team found that existing seatpost diameters do not fit their expectations. Instead, they applied a new standard, the 34.9mm. It is one of the key areas which have enabled the weight of the frame to be dropped so much, yet provide an increase in frame stiffness. However, that limits the choice of seat posts to Scott or Ritchey ones.

With a bent seat-tube to accommodate the Genius shock and no derailleur post, the frame utilizes the E-type front derailleur. No great loss, unless you’re a die-hard SRAM fan.

With the emergence of super-light disc brakes, all Genius frames are disc-only compatible with the exception of the RC 10.

It’s a shocking Genius!

During the designing stages of the Genius platform, a pull shock was determined to be more ideal than the conventional compression shock.
Why a pull shock, you ask?

– With a pull shock, the shaft is inside the shock body with total protection from dirt and debri.
– Each bump moves the mud away from the seals instead of pushing the mud in like on standard shocks.
– The overlap of the pull shock bushings is close to their maximum as the shaft is mostly inserted. The forces on the bushing are lower thus increasing the robustness of the shock.

Unfortunately, since none of the major shock manufacturers made a pull shock that fit the requirements of the Genius platform, Peter Denk and company set out to engineer one from scratch taking the best of technologies from other shock designs and incorporating all the features that are required in the Genius platform.

What makes the Genius a genius?

– The Traction Mode effectively increases the spring ratewhilst decreasing the travel. It’s like changing to a very short, stiff coil spring in a blink.
– The remote control controls all 3 suspension modes with a positive click: Locked-out, traction mode, and full travel.
– Linear spring rate with progression at the end of the stroke, plush feel of a coil shock.
– Lockout has a smooth blow-off to protect the rider and the shock if the rider hits a big obstacle in lockout mode.
– High-Flow design of compression piston for excellent absorption of square edges and bog impacts.
– Compression, rebound and lockout circuit are completely separated. Adjusting the rebound does not affect the compression at all. The lockout does not affect the rebound at all.
– Special low-speed damping valve gives you a stable pedal platform without the harsh transition of a SPV or 5th element shock.

How does it work?

Briefly, looking at the cutaway of the shock, the shock body houses the negative chamber and a small positive chamber. The piggyback is a large positive chamber as well. When the traction mode is activated, the piggyback chamber is cut off from the circuit, thus reducing the volume of the total positive air by two thirds. This reduces the travel to around 50mm and increases the spring rate. A bounce test in the car park revealed the bike to feel nimble, light and plush. Traction mode worked really well and the rear felt taut and stiffened up nicely.

Press coverage of the Marathon championship:

General Rules for the World Marathon Championships

Scott CR1 carbon road frame:

Also introduced in the presentation was Scott’s first carbon road frame, the CR1. Using the HMF high modulus carbon technology that Scott uses to make its Strike mountain bikes, Scott has been able to bring to production the lightest carbon road frame around. The Cr1 has been tested to be stiffer than most other carbon frames. The frame has been raced by the Jean DeLatour team last year at the Tour De France and throughout the 2003 season without any problems. Other feedback by riders using the frame reflect well on it: Stiff yet comfortable, light, slight sloping top tube great for climbing.