Scott Gambler 2013

Revamped downhill bike

Scott’s 8.2in travel Gambler has been completely revamped for 2013. With more focus on providing a World Cup racing chassis, the new frame loses approximately 700 grams over last year’s. It features a relocated main pivot for improved bump absorption, and offers several adjustments that allow you to fine-tune the ride.

Frame construction

By losing most of the forged parts in last year’s front triangle, Scott have shed 720 grams from the Gambler. Approximately 30 grams are regained in the rear triangle, but the design pushes the bulk of its weight up near the main pivot. This shift not only improves the frame’s center of gravity by centralizing weight just over the bottom bracket, but leaves less unsprung weight out by the rear axle, allowing the Fox DHX to work more efficiently. The rear triangle has also been switched to single-piece construction, improving stiffness out back.

The Gambler gets a more common, 1.5in straight head tube for 2013. Three provided sets of Syncros inserts are needed to adjust the angle up front – a straight set for the factory 62 degrees, as well as two that enable 61/63 degrees and 60/64 degree options.

The Gambler’s bottom bracket height can be raised or dropped 10mm via two lower shock bolt positions. And chainstay length can be lengthened by 15mm with a two-position rear axle design. The latter adjustment requires moving the rear brake caliper fore or aft between two mounting positions that coincide with the two length options.

The main pivot diameter increases from 15mm to 25mm over last year, and widens to 78mm from 58mm. As a complete bike, the Gambler comes with an 83mm threaded bottom bracket. But there will be an aftermarket frame-only option with a press-fit, 107mm bottom bracket. The bottom bracket, main pivot and shock mount are all integrated into a forged one-piece unit, keeping weight low, alignment accurate and flex to a minimum.

Suspension design

The Gambler’s main pivot is a little higher than last year’s, which is said to offer an improvement in suspension actuation at only a slight trade-off of increased pedal kickback. According to Scott bike engineer Joe Higgins, the higher main pivot transfers impacts more efficiently into the shock itself, which in turn reduces swing arm stress.

Scott have made sure the adjustments for the DHX rear shock remain accessible

Essentially a single-pivot design, the linkage around the Gambler’s shock is specific to shock actuation. Bushing rotation during shock actuation has been reduced from 36 degrees to 12 degrees for 2013, which in turn reduces shock binding. Plus, the leverage ratio is reduced from last year with a longer shock stroke –increased from 241mm to 267mm. The linkage itself is designed with access to the shock’s adjustment points in mind, allowing easy tuning.

Overall, it appears that Scott have done their homework with the 2013 Gambler. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a bike available to ride during press camp, but we’re looking forward to seeing how the abundance of changes to the frame translate to real-world ride quality. BikeRadar should get some time on the bike soon, at Crankworx Whistler. Production-wise, the Gambler should be available sometime this fall.

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