What it does well: Scott bills the Plus version (the tires are 2.8-inches wide—thus “plus”) of their 27.5-inch wheeled Genius as the ultimate funhogging trail bike. And we’ll back their claim. Even before the addition of the midfat rubber, the Genius 700 was a comfortable trail ride with gobs of climbing traction and superb handling. As consumers, however, we felt the bike was caught in no man’s land between the racier Spark series of full suspension XC bikes and the longer travel Genius LT. No longer. Our lighter testers were able to run the tubeless 2.8-inch Schwalbes down to 13psi. The resulting grip and low rolling resistance had us climbing technical rock gardens on the Genius Plus that we simply couldn’t clear on traditional tire bikes. Descending with the dropper post down and that much tire security also boosted our confidence, especially when dropping from a switchback into some sketchy jumble. We didn’t get to ride it in wet conditions, but can imagine that the big tires will glom onto slick roots like nothing else. As for cornering, it’s nearly impossible to blow a turn with this setup. The wider Boost hubs make it possible to run such big tires without lateral slop.
What it does poorly: Get lazy and tires this big can counter-steer mildly—making the bike stand up in the turn and want to track straight. But that’s a user-error gripe that’s easily overcome. It’s also no race bike—although it would do fine on some enduro courses. The fat tires weigh on you during extended climbs.
So who’s it for? Again, the Genius Plus is a serious funhogging ride. If you aren’t racing uphill at XC speeds or descending at DH speeds, it’s all you’ll ever need for a one-bike quiver. That’s especially true if you favor technical trails and adventure rides—you will clean trials you never thought possible with this much traction. We could also see less skilled cyclists loving a Plus bike like this one for its unrelenting grip in corners. 27.1 lbs.