Scott Gambler 10 – first ride review

Ride like Brendan Fairclough

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
GBP £4,999.00 RRP | USD $5,999.99

Our review

The Gambler is a full-on, race-worthy bike, if a bit heavy. Ride it to its full potential and you’ll reap the benefits
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Since the news came out that Brendan Fairclough had signed for Scott for the 2012 season, the new Gambler has been one of the most hotly anticipated bikes of recent years. Everyone wants to be able to ride like Brendan – can the Scott help them do that?

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Ride & handling: Full-on speedster with great potential

Shock setup wasn’t straightforward with the Gambler. Initially we had problems with a lack of mid-stroke feeling. There was a tendency to fall through the travel without feeling as though there was enough resistance behind it. We experimented with spring rates, compression settings and even other shocks – in the end we managed to solve the problem by simply increasing the air pressure in the shock reservoir. 

This created a positive, progressive feeling, to the point that we felt we could move down a spring rate to run the correct sag again. Luckily, once we’d got the setup sorted we didn’t need to change any settings, even for drastically different tracks.

The Gambler bucks the recent trend for lightweight downhill bikes – the full bike weighs in at 18.1kg (39.8lb). The weight penalty rears its head as soon as any pedalling is required. This isn’t helped by the slow-rolling stock Schwalbe tyres. 

The Gambler really comes into its own when pushing down steep technical tracks. Here, the slack 63-degree head angle adds stability. In the short chainstay (425mm) setting, getting round the tightest corners becomes a breeze, and the suspension goes on a grip offensive mission even in suspect conditions. 

The rear end is very laterally stiff, meaning it’s slightly easier to get sliding than some more flexy frames, but more consistent and predictable, which is a huge plus if you have a loose riding style. 

Scott Gambler 10
Scott gambler 10:
Russell Burton/Future Publishing

Frame & equipment: Top-end racing build

The frame is constructed from a 6061 aluminium tubeset with a massive forged bottom bracket shell and lower pivot assembly, which all combine to create a frame that hasn’t followed the lightweight trend. The Floating Link suspension puts out 210mm (8.3in) travel, designed to give a progressive feel that can also be tuned to suit your riding preferences. 

The downhill standard 12x150mm rear end features adjustable chainstay length, and the 1.5in head tube boasts angle adjustment, which is achieved through different cups. There’s also bottom bracket height adjustment on the lower shock mount.

This top end build is littered with World Cup race-worthy components. Fox take care of the suspension with the FIT damper-equipped 40 fork and DHX RC2 shock, while Shimano are on drivetrain duty. 

The new Zee mech and shifter feeds the chain to a Saint chainset, kept secure by e*thirteen’s LG1+ chainguide. Shimano Zee brakes stop the Schwalbe-wrapped DT Swiss wheelset nicely, and Funn and Syncros finishing kit tops it all off.

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This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Gambler 10 (13)
Brand Scott

Available Colours Lime
Rear Derailleur Shimano Saint RD-M820-SS 10-speed
Weight (kg) 18.1
Stem Funn Direct Mount
Shifters Shimano Zee SL-M640
Seatpost Funn Arrow, 31.6mm
Saddle Syncros DH 20
Rims DT Swiss FR600
Rear Tyre SCHWALBE
Rear Shock Fox DHX RC2 BV, 210mm (8.3in) travel
Handlebar Funn Fatboy
Available Sizes L M S
Front Tyre SCHWALBE
Frame Material Scott Gambler alloy 6061
Fork Fox 40 RC2 FIT, 203mm (8in) travel
Cranks Shimano Saint FC-M825, 36T alloy chainring, Hollowtech II / 165mm
Chain Shimano CN-HG54
Cassette Shimano CS-4600, 11-25T DH cassette
Brakes Shimano Zee BR-M640 / Disc 4 piston, 203mm F + R SM-RT76 IT Rotor
Bottom Bracket Hydroformed Custom Butted PF BB107
Weight (lb) 39.8