Scott Genius eRide 910
Photos By Chili Dog
If you’ve been following our recently published eMTB roundup, then you’ll know that the Scott Genius eRide 910 has been battling the trails with some of the best e-bikes on the market. Packing 150mm of front and rear wheel travel and a juiced up Shimano Steps E8000 powerplant, it’s a seriously impressive riding machine that put most our preconceived notions in check. Reviewing the Scott Genius eRide was definitely a lot of fun, and also made us think long and hard about what we want out of an e-bike.
We’re gonna get right to the things we didn’t love about the Genius before we discuss the many great attributes of this bike. Visually, the Genius eRide isn’t our dream bike. We understand creating a streamline-looking bike with a removable battery is a bit limiting, however we just think that the blocky, squared down tube is already dated in eMTB fashion.
Up next is the TwinLoc system. We all know Scott is very proud of TwinLoc and it’s probably drawn as much praise in the XC world as it’s drawn criticism in the aggressive MTB world. Scott has greatly improved the performance characteristics of TwinLoc and our biggest issue is no longer the reduced performance on aggressive downhill trails. The new stuff works great, however the clutter on the bars is a nuisance, especially given that our dropper lever has to be on the right side of the bars.
During our several months of testing, it became very apparent that we like to brake, shift gears and adjust our saddle height at the same time. Since TwinLoc forces the dropper post lever to the right side of the bars, we were forced to prioritize our order of operation. It’s something you can get used to, but we never liked it.
It also brought up a deeper question. We found ourselves asking if an e-bike really needs a pedal platform. If you’ve got a motor helping you, chances are the small increase of pedaling platform efficiency is going to be negligible in comparison.
Our last critique pertains to the Syncros wheels found on the Genius eRide 910, and perhaps it’s the non-eMTB rated tires that accentuated the issue. In very short order we were able to dent, bend and otherwise morph these wheels into a shape that looked more like modern art than a wheel. After every ride, we would gather around and look at the dents, laughing in disbelief that the tire stayed on and continued to hold air. So, in that right, it’s a bit of a compliment that despite being so deformed, they continued to work for many miles! That said, for a bike this heavy and capable, a better wheel spec is definitely needed.
The good? Lots! One of the best parts about the Genius eRide is the same thing that just made the Scott Ransom our Mountain Bike of the Year. Scott’s Virtual Four Link design has been finely tuned over the years and is now an incredibly sensitive platform that offers a plush feeling rear end with plenty of support. The end stroke has a bit of a ramp that could be increased for heavier or more aggressive riders, but isn’t going to feel like a brick wall if you’re an intermediate level rider.
When we first hopped on the Genius eRide the stack height felt a bit high, and we weren’t quite sure how it’d feel on the trail. Within ten minutes we felt right at home and were very comfortable in a variety of conditions. The bike was equally comfortable on 35 mile XC rides as it was pedaling up a paved road to reach the top of a burly downhill trail. Scott gave the Genius eRide adjustable geometry, however we primarily kept the bike in the Low setting. This gives the bike a 65.1-degree head tube angle, 342.5mm (13.5-in) bottom bracket height, and 462mm (18.2-in) chainstays. The stays are a bit longer than the Norco Sight and Pivot, but are shorter than the Trek Powerfly. It made the Scott a bit harder to flick around than the Norco and Pivot but more playful and snappy than the Powerfly.
The Genius eRide’s geometry is safe, right in the middle of its contemporaries. What really made it stand out is the suspension and tune of the Shimano Steps E8000 motor. Without a doubt, this bike felt like it had the most juice based on the test rider’s butt dynos. We actually reached out to Scott to ask them if they’d hacked the bike to make it feel more powerful. Scott’s U.S. marketing manager Garth Spencer told us the bike was bone stock, but that Scott worked very hard with Shimano to reach the ultimate tune they felt was right for this bike. It seems they achieved the goal as it was regularly the bike our testers wanted for big climbs or long days in the saddle. And TwinLoc had nothing to do with it.
We learned that Scott worked with Shimano to give different levels of support within each mode that would be most useful on the trail. The 250W system has a removable 500Wh battery and Shimano’s SC-E8000 display mounted on the handlebar. It’s the most popular system we’ve found as most of the e-bikes we test have Shimano’s Steps units installed. It’s not perfect, and we don’t like how temperamental it is at times. The length of time and steps it takes to turn on are a bit of a pain, but, once it’s on and working it’s a treat.