Chameleons are masters of adaptation. When the situation requires them to do so, they blend in with their surroundings within minutes. As e-mountain bikers we certainly don’t want to hide, but we could do with a certain degree of flexibility depending on conditions and environment. The SCOTT E-Genius takes both 27.5+ and 29″ wheels. Does this make the E-Genius as adaptable as a chameleon? And which wheel size is the right one for you?
As far as camouflage goes, Scott totally failed the test! The new E-Genius doesn’t blend in with its surroundings at all… in fact, its bright finish makes it stand out like a sore thumb. However, one thing the bike really blends in with is the lineup of Scott, the Swiss manufacturer. Aesthetically it reminds us of the recently released E-Spark and shares the same Shimano STEPS E8000-Motor with a 500-Wh, downtube-integrated battery. But the similarities don’t stop there. The new E-Genius also features Scott’s famous TwinLoc suspension control system which allows switching between three different travel settings, and a wheel magnet cleverly placed on the brake rotor. The thoroughly consistent spec on the top-of-the-range E-Genius 700 Tuned is proof that the people at Scott know exactly what e-mountain bikes are about.
A choice of two wheel sizes proves the versatility of the new E-Genius. The frame is compatible with either 27.5″ x 2.8” wheels/tires or 2.6″-wide 29er wheels/tires. A little flip chip in the shock mount makes it possible to adapt the height of the bottom bracket depending on the size of wheels. However, changing the position of the bottom bracket will also change the steering and seat angles. In the lower setting the angles on the E-Genius are 0.5° slacker and the bottom bracket 7 mm lower. We tested the bike with both 27.5″ x 2.8″ MAXXIS Minion DHR II tires and 29″x 2.6” MAXXIS Rekon+ tires.
The SCOTT E-Genius in detail
Fork FOX 36 Float Factory 150 mm
Rear shock FOX NUDE EVOL Trunnion 150 mm
Motor / Battery Shimano STEPS E8000 / 500 Wh
Brakes Shimano Zee
Drivetrain Shimano XT
Seatpost FOX Transfer
Stem Syncros FL1.5
Handlebar Syncros FL1.0 Carbon 740 mm
Tires MAXXIS Minion DHF 2,8″/ Minion DHR II 2,8″
Wheelset DT Swiss H1825
*Test bike: 27,5+: 2x MAXXIS DHR II; 29″: 2x MAXXIS REKON+
The geometry of the SCOTT E-Genius
|Size||S 900/700||M 900/700||L 900/700||XL 900/700|
|Seat tube||410 mm||440 mm||490 mm||540 mm|
|Top tube||586/585 mm||606/605 mm||636/635 mm||666/665 mm|
|Head tube||120 mm||125 mm||135 mm||145 mm|
|Chainstays||462/460 mm||462/460 mm||462/460 mm||462/460 mm|
|BB High||342/340 mm||342/340 mm||342/340 mm||342/340 mm|
|Wheelbase||1216/1215 mm||1237/1236 mm||1259/1258 mm||1291/1289 mm|
|Reach||419/425 mm||437/444 mm||459/465 mm||486/492 mm|
|Stack||624/620 mm||629/625 mm||640/636 mm||649/645 mm|
The SCOTT E-Genius on the Trail
No matter which wheel size you choose, the riding position on the SCOTT E-Genius is just incredibly comfortable. The medium-sized frame was a great fit for our 180 cm test rider. The FOX Factory suspension platform with 150 mm of travel works smoothly and swallows all sorts of bumps with tons of sensitivity. Despite its compact size, the rear shock performed consistently, even on long descents. The high progression in the rear end provides for good amounts of feedback and underlines the sporty character of the bike. By switching the TwinLoc lever on the handlebar, a reduction in the volume of the air chamber reduces the sag. This way the bottom bracket raises minimally and the seat angle steepens up. We found the Traction Mode to be a very good choice for technical climbs.
The real difference between 27.5″ and 29″ wheels becomes apparent in the handling of the E-Genius. When sitting on the bike with bigger 29” wheels, the sensation of sitting in between the wheels is much stronger than with the smaller 27.5” ones. Acceleration is the same thanks to the powerful motor, and we couldn’t feel any difference when climbing on tarmac roads or classic fire roads. However, this feeling changed once we hit rougher and more challenging terrain. The big wheels easily swallow roots and rocks on climbs; the wheels never get caught in obstacles and roll over them smoothly thanks to their bigger diameter. To be fair, we should also mention that even the smaller “classic-plus” 27.5″ x 2.8” wheels/tires never showed major weaknesses and managed to impress with lots of grip and great riding comfort. Nevertheless, the 29” wheels are distinctively better on climbs.
The good rolling characteristics of big wheels on climbs are also noticeable on descents. The wheels fly over obstacles, giving us almost the sensation of riding a bike with more travel. However, the flat-profiled Rekon+ tires reach their limitations sooner than the more aggressive Minions and can’t match their grip. Apart from more grip, the smaller wheels also offer a clear advantage in terms of agility. With the 27.5″ wheels, changes of directions require less effort and feel generally smoother than with the big 29” wagon wheels.
What’s the right wheel choice for the SCOTT E-Genius?
Scott currently offers only one of their three E-Genius series models with a choice of two wheel sizes – and for a good reason, in our opinion. Although the 29ers offer clear advantages on climbs, they also carry some disadvantages on downhills. Even with the 27.5″x 2.8″ wheels/tires the E-Genius climbs incredibly well and masters even the steepest of climbs. On descents, the compact wheels clearly offer more riding fun without falling too far behind the 29ers in terms of safety. If we had to decide between one of them, we would opt for the 27.5″x 2.8″ version.
For more info head to: scott-sports.com
Words: Christoph Bayer Photos: Markus Greber, Christoph Bayer Translation: Eric Frajria