I demo-ed a XL Scott Genius 20 from Tread bike shop in Campbell, ca. If you're a South Bay resident, check out this awesome new shop. I'm a 6'3 230lb guy who has been riding progressively beefier minimalist hardtails for the last couple years, and the Genius is the opposite kind of trail bike from what I've learned works for me. I rode down Canadian bacon and Braille at SDF, and rode the singletrack up.
Here are my thoughts.
The XT components are superb, with special note for the brakes and the front end shiting. The 180mm rotors were fade free (and I need a 203mm for my juicys) and feelsome, and the front gear change was the best I can remember experiencing. It's a real, easily experienced improvement from 760. I also liked the Schwalbe nobby nic 2.3 tires, they were grippy and predictable.
The only component spec I wasn't impressed with was the fox talas 150 RL fork. It was very plush, but I never found a good way to really control movement through the travel. I tried airing up the front a bit, and futzed with the lockout lever, but it just wouldn't feel plush and controlled at the same time. I like my coil sprung revelation more, and I'm definitely fussy when it comes to fork set-up.
Now let's talk about the fit and ride, because the Scott really has some interesting things going on. The bike is light. I'm a big dude, and I don't notice weight on the trail, but I hate flexiness. The Genius had some flex in the bb when you mash, and especially the fork, but in this case it didn't bother me. I initially put on some flat pedals, but before the ride stuck on some clipless, as the bike fits like this:
a lifted XC bike. The stem is long (100mm?), the bars are narrow (640mm?), and the steering is snappy. I lowered the fork down for the first climb, set the thumb-lever shock doohickey to 'traction' mode and shot up the singletrack like I was on one of those XC bikes I used to destroy. It climbed very very well, provided you used the shock remote. When we got out on the rolling terrain, though, I popped the fork back up to full travel, and struggled. I had the seat right at the limit line, and the way the seat tube is angled, it moved me way behind the cranks. I could comfortably descend with full leg extension, which I sure couldn't do on my hardtails, but I couldn't climb in the saddle with the fork extended. I wouldn't buy a Genius that didn't have Talas. Once I figured it out, the shock lockout and travel adjust became a game, twiddling knobs as the terrain changed. Get it right and difficult portions of trail became easy. I easily cleaned everything on Ridge. The luddite in me was appalled.
On the downhill the bike performed with far more confidence than its XC layout implied. The steering was intuitive, my weight was in the right spot (thanks adjustable geometry and funky seat angle) I didn't have to ride around the bike's quirks. I didn't hit any of the big features, but it's not that kind of bike. I couldn't tell you how plush the shock was, or how great the linkage worked, but it felt good to me in the full open setting, and I didn't notice anything weird going on when I tapped the brakes or a log. Overall, it descended like a supremely capable short travel XC bike.
It's not the bike for me, I like to scare myself, crash, and get kinda beat up. If you're someone who likes widgets and want an XC bike that really provides confidence and smoothes out the trail, go demo one from Tread. They have an awesome demo deal going on.