Ian Hylands was at Scott Sports 2013 debut in Idaho, where he photographed the new Gambler DH bike and broke the news that the Genius, Scott's premier long-travel AM/trailbike, will no longer be offered in the 26-inch wheel format. The 2013 Genius platform is designed around in 27.5 inch (650b) or 29-inch wheel diameters - a bold statement, backed up by recent 27.5-inch victories in Enduro-type events and the fact that the 26 inch wheel is nearly a ghost on the pro XC circuit. Of course, the Gambler is still a 26er, as DH remains steadfast to the traditional wheel diameter. European correspondent Matt Wragg is currently riding both the Gambler and Genius at Scott's European press launch and his piece will follow shortly with riding impressions. Until then, feast on the following photos and tech information. Photos by Ian Hylands
2013 Scott Gambler
The new Gambler chassis is available in three sizes and is based around a 210-millimeter travel rear end and a 200-millimeter-stroke Fox 40 fork up front. The Gambler shares nothing in common with its predecessor, except a similar shock rate. The Floating Link suspension is a bit complicated looking, but the rear suspension remains a simple single-pivot swingarm. The new linkage uses a lower leverage rate and a longer-stroke Fox DHX RC4 shock to enhance the sensitivity of the suspension and to make tuning more effective. All bearing and pivot locations have been redesigned to be easy to maintain and the head tube is a straight 1.5-inch size to accommodate its AngleSet adjustable-angle headset. The swingarm pivot has been raised to create a more rearward axle path to better handle square-edge hits. The new pivot location flies in the face of present convention, because higher pivot locations cause chain growth issues, but in Scott's case, the decision came from the race team - who were happy to deal with a little chain growth in exchange for better big-hit suspension performance. Frames are available with either threaded or PressFit bottom brackets and the frame weight is stated to be 3.6 kilograms without a shock. A range of race-ready bikes will be offered as well as a frame-and-shock option. The new Gambler chassis is currently being raced on the World Cup circuit. Prices to be announced.
| New for 2013, the Gambler features a multi-adjustable chassis with two chainstay length options, two bottom bracket heights, three available AngleSet's for the 1.5-inch head tube for up to 4 degrees of adjustment in the head angle (60-64), and an all new low-leverage 'Floating Link' suspension design. The basic configuration is still a single-pivot swingarm, however, with a slightly higher pivot location to better handle square-edge bumps and rock gardens. The new chassis has put in a promising effort in this year's World Cup DH series.|
| A close look at the Gambler's scissor-esque Floating Link system. The main benefit is touted to be lower bearing friction at the beginning stroke and the use of a longer shock at a lower leverage ratio. It also keeps most of the weight of the shock and suspension linkage centered over the bottom bracket, a benefit that has Brendan Fairclough stating that the bike whips better than anything else he has ridden. The use of a longer-stroke Fox RC4 shock means that the suspension will be moving a lot more oil through the damping circuits, making the system more sensitive to tuning inputs. Scott says that the 2013 Gambler's suspension's rate curves are very close to the previous model's. To keep the rear end tracking, the swingarm's main pivot uses large bearings and a huge, 25-millimeter hollow axle.|
| The IDS-X 12mm through-axle is tapered at each end to lock it into place, and the axle is machined off-center, eccentric to the head, so that it can't rotate once it is tightened. Two dropout positions allow for 15 millimeters of chainstay-length adjustment. An extra set of brake caliper holes allows the brake to follow the chainstay adjustment.|
| All the hoses and housings are external and full-length, so that mechanics can switch out components quickly. Lessons learned on the World Cup, no doubt. The aluminum chassis has built-in rubber fork stops and Fox suspension on both ends.|
2013 Scott Genius
Scott's elite-level trailbike is also all-new for 2013, and the big news, beyond the fact that the bike will not be sold with 26 inch wheels, is that Scott has abandoned its novel, three-chambered pull shock in favor of a lighter weight conventional air-sprung damper and a quite normal-looking rocker-link suspension. The carbon fiber and aluminum frame is offered in two models: the 150-millimeter-travel Genius 700 designed around 27.5 inch wheels and the 130-millimeter-travel Genius 900 designed specifically for 29 inch wheels.Scott retains the 'Twinloc' handlebar remote that reduces the suspension travel of the shock and firms up the pedaling feel of both shock and fork simultaneously. The three functions: locked, traction and descend are integrated into a DT Swiss 'Nude' shock in the rear and a Fox Float fork up front. Scott's reason for utilizing a conventional shock and frame design is to save weight, plain and simple, and with the bike's relaxed frame geometry, we expect a Scott assault on the European Enduro series next year. Prices and delivery to be announced.
| Scott USA's 2013 Genius 900 looks nearly normal by comparison to this year's model. Both the 27.5 and 29 inch wheel frames are stated to weigh five pounds (2.3 KG) with shock. The suspension is a single-pivot swingarm driving a rigid wrap-around rocker link to a DT Swiss dual-travel air shock. The bottom bracket is a 92-millimeter PressFit type fitted with ISCG mounts.|
| Internal cable routing cleans up the traffic jam created by Twinloc's extra two housings. The three-position Fox CTD damping system (Climb Trail Descend) fits perfectly into Scott's Twinloc strategy|
| Post-mount caliper bosses are integrated into the inside of the swingarm. The 12mm through-axle is a simple DT Swiss thread-in type.|
| Scott enlarged its Twinloc levers to reduce the force needed to operate the system. Genius 700 models use the Fox 34 TALAS fork with adjustable travel from 150 to 120 millimeters, while the 29er version uses a 32-millimeter fork with fixed, 130-millimeter travel.|
| Low gearing is rare on Scott trailbikes, but they got it right this time. The red aluminum guard bolted onto the ISCG tabs keeps the chain from destroying the carbon frame. The covered port is for the internal routing of a dropper post. If a Reverb Stealth Dropper post is used the housing re-enters at the back of the seat tube. (a dropper post is rudely missing on this otherwise wonderful trailbike)|
| The DT Swiss damper is well made. The Twinloc three-position damping system uses the same technology as the complicated looking pull shock it replaces: travel adjustments are made by reducing the air volume in the spring, while lockout is simply a valve and a blow-off circuit. How DT Swiss packed all that into such a tiny space is a marvel.|
| Just in case you wanted to see the 650b version: The Scott Genius 700.|Stay tuned for a detailed riding impression of the 2013 Gambler and Genius coming up soon.
| Scott Sports 3 ROX Racing team rider Geoff Kabush is excited about the new Genius and will be riding the 27.5 version in the Trans Provence race this fall.|