Ancillotti Scarab - Bike Check

Jul 14, 2017
by Ben Winder  

Andrea Gamenara - Ancillotti Scarab Bike Check
BIKE CHECK
Ancillotti Scarab
BY: Ben Winder
Enduro racer Andrea Gamenara with his Ancillotti Scarab.

One of the most exciting and down to earth bike companies around is Ancillotti, a small Italian bike brand with a strong heritage in both motor bikes and mountain bikes. More importantly, they've got a great ethos: If something isn’t right, they design something that is. To that end, they also build their own coil shocks and modified forks. I caught up with founder Tomaso Ancillotti at the second round of the Superenduro to talk through their latest offering and bike setup - and I and had the opportunity to do a quick bike check with Andrea Gamenara and his Scarab race bike.


Tomaso Ancillotti of Ancillotti bikes is here on mechanic duties for his team it s amazing to see his passion for mountain biking.


Seven Questions With Founder Tamaso Ancillotti

Ben Winder: Is there any special geometry for Andrea's Scarab?

Tomaso Ancillotti: Yes. We’ve been working with Andrea for five years now, he’s helped us to develop the bike, we’ve been experimenting with lots of different angles and sizes. So the bike is kind of special to him.

Winder: What's Andrea's bike setup like?

Ancillotti: Yeah, he prefers to ride the fork stiff on the front. He rides over the front end, so he needs a slightly stiffer fork. The head angle is adjustable via the linkage, so he can adjust it how he wants. It’s between 64.3 and 65.3 degrees, so we have one degree of adjustment, which we change depending on the type of race.

Winder: How does his bike compare to a bike a customer could buy?

Ancillotti: The geometry isn’t that different, because we make the same frame for our customers. We think, if the geometry is good for our team riders, it’s also good for the customers. We have a lot of adjustment on the bike, so each rider can make little changes on the bike to suit their riding style. We make custom sizes for the customer, but every rider rides slightly different - some over the front, some over the back - so we have to find the right balance for each one. We have an adjustment linkage on the bottom that can be set to the perfect position for the rider. Our system allows you to make very fine adjustments. This allows riders to find their perfect geometry.

Winder: Do you give a suggestion as to where riders should run the linkage?

Ancillotti: I give them the bike with the linkage position in which I think will work for them, I then encourage the customer to play with the linkage because I think every rider has a personal feeling for the bike, and not just what’s supposed to work on paper. We made a system that is very easy to adjust, so we say try it to find your right balance.

Winder: Is there a special shock tune?

Ancillotti: Yes, every shock is different. We build them to suit each rider. Andrea prefers it to be very smooth at the start of the stroke, for the small bumps then he needs it to ramp up really well because he rides quite hard, this is created by the shims inside the shock. We build the shock, we design everything, a factory builds the parts for us with cnc machines, but then I build the shocks.

Winder: Why do you build your own shocks? It must take a lot of time.

Ancillotti: Well, I think it’s the key for a good bike. We also work a lot on the front suspension. It’s such an important part of the bike, and we think it’s better. We only use coil suspension.

Winder: So, you wouldn’t run air?

Ancillotti: We’ve tried a lot, but each time we end up back on the coil shock. I think the air shock is good for big companies, who just sell a bike and don’t know who will be buying it. All you need is a shock pump and you can set it up for yourself. But, as we’re a smaller company, we know all our riders. We can give a good tune and set up a coil shock for each person. A coil shock is more plush at the beginning, to give good grip. You can play with the progression that you want. Adjust the linkage. I think it’s always better. Also, on longer tracks, the air changes quite a lot. You can fine tune it by one PSI or two PSI, but the shock is cold at the top and the hot at the bottom - it changes so much.


Andrea Gamenara - Ancillotti Scarab Bike Check
Andrea Gamenara takes advantage of his Ancillotti Scarab's adjustable geometry to switch head angles between 64.3 and 65.3 degrees depending upon the race venue.

Andrea Gamenara - Ancillotti Scarab Bike Check
Ancillotti's trademark suspension is a single-pivot swingarm that drives the shock with a bottom-mounted pull-shaft.
Andrea Gamenara - Ancillotti Scarab Bike Check
A look at the underside of the Scarab chassis shows its adjustable pull shaft and the tunnel-mounted rocker link that drives the shock.

Andrea Gamenara - Ancillotti Scarab Bike Check
Ancillotti builds his frames with significantly smaller-diameter tubes than current fashion, preferring to heavily gusset high-stress areas.

Numbers:
• Head angle: 64.3 - 65.3 degrees
• Wheelbase: 1240 mm
• BB drop: 43.5-44 mm
• Chainstay: 43.5 mm
• Bar Height: 105 mm
• Bar width: 770mm
• Seat tube angle: Real 67, virtual 77 degrees
• Reach: 460mm
• Seat Tube Length: 450mm
• Top Tube Length: 615mm
• Spring: Hard and medium linkage
• Weight with DH tires 14.3kg (31.5 pounds)

Andrea Gamenara - Ancillotti Scarab Bike Check


Components:
• Fork: Formula Selva - Custom tune
• Shock: Ancillotti RL Racing Shox
• Drivetrain: SRAM XO
• Chainguide: Custom
• Stem: Renthal Apex, 50mm
• Handlebar: Renthal Fatbar Carbon 30mm Rise
• Brakes: Formula Cura
• Grips: Nukeproof Element
• Wheels: Formula Linea 3
• Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF 27,5 x 2.5 3C DD, Minion DHR II 27,5 x 2.3 3c DD
• Saddle: WTB Silverado
• Pedals: Shimano M530 SPD
• Seatpost : Yep Uptimizer dropper, 125mm
Andrea Gamenara - Ancillotti Scarab Bike Check

Andrea Gamenara - Ancillotti Scarab Bike Check


Must Read This Week

131 Comments

  • + 81
 I gota say I love the way this thing looks. Beefy in all the right places and a low center of gravity with all the linkage and shock down low. All that makes for a good combo with allot of potential. I am very curious how it rides.
  • - 129
flag bikerguy24 (Jul 14, 2017 at 21:24) (Below Threshold)
 bad bike
  • + 38
 better than any trek or specialized
  • - 71
flag bizutch (Jul 14, 2017 at 22:14) (Below Threshold)
 @bikerguy24: I would tend to agree. Looks amateur. I know nothing of the art and science of frame building, but its like a triathlete's face...gaunt, haggard and exhausted.
  • + 11
 Agreed, LOVE this bike, what this company is about and what they r doing. The fine arts of mt bikes
  • + 8
 @bikerguy24: was there a pont to that comment?
  • + 5
 It's utilitarian and looks great, WANT
  • + 6
 @viatch: ahhh, you rode it?
  • + 1
 looks like evil
  • + 16
 @chyu: evil founder wasn't born when ancillotti already built dh bikes! I dreamed of those machines in late 90's magazines.
  • + 1
 Always loved these when they were DH years ago, if they wanted to sell bikes in any numbers then they need to refine the build
  • + 0
 @bizutch: I think you mean lean, focused and uncompromising.
  • + 0
 @striveCF15: Nope, dont need to. just looks wise
  • + 37
 No ugly paint scheme, just raw tubes the way a bike should look!
  • + 8
 I don't know - this looks almost chrome like and a bit tacky to my taste as a result. I prefer a duller finish. I do love raw frames though...
  • + 3
 @slimboyjim: intense has/had the best raw finish IMO. I was looking at the new UZZI and was so disappointed it only comes in purple and florescent yellow? WTF?
  • + 28
 OK I know I'm going to get shouted at for this... In my experience working with Italian cars, motorcycles and aircraft, is that they do everything with passione, building things that are fantastic and work beautifully when new, but within time they start to give crap because they don't design things to last (Ask any Alfa or Ducati owner with a toy more than five years old)... And when you advise them on how something can be improved it's almost taken as an insult .

Don't get me wrong, having spent time in Italy and seeing the way they live, there is something so beautiful about their passion for life that makes me envious... I hope I'm wrong and this bike lasts a lifetime because damn, it's sexy
  • + 1
 YEP! Every formula brake I've had has needed constant adjustment before nearly every ride, super fast pad wear and then the lever blows fluid out of either end if the cylinder
  • + 6
 @nojzilla: formula brakes are great the 10% of the time that they work, but I'm with you. Ancilloti on the other hand, wow. Beauts. My mate was sponsored by them in the early 2000's for World Cup downhill, the bikes haven't changed much since then and let me tell you, they were incredible then. The pull shock gives sooooo much more traction and sensitivity. Brilliant things. Love them.
  • + 11
 @cunning-linguist: It's not a pull shock, it's a pull-rod linkage, the shock is still pushed on by the other side of the lever arm.
  • + 1
 @allballz: It's a pull system switched to a push shock, so pull (even though the shock isn't actually being pulled the rocker makes it push the shock)
  • + 2
 yesterday asking a friend about his Alfa car..."The car is great when it works,I sold it cos last 3 years that car needs 3000€ per year to work". Whit 12000 € you can buy a good car.
  • + 11
 @homerjm: As the saying goes " The best day of your life is the day you buy an Alfa... The second best day is day you sell it"
  • + 8
 @Spark24: as a mechanic friend uses to say, "Mavic Wheels are awesome... If you are the first owner!".

Now staying on topic, I'd like these Ancilloti better if they didn't look like they were spitting the welds from 20 ft away. I'm okay with the industrial look, but man those welds look like my 5 year old son did them after getting dizzy on the Merry-go-round.
  • + 2
 @cunning-linguist: If anyone remembers, Brook MacDonald was riding for them around 2010/2011. Ran into him with my buddy Jay at the Windham WC that year.
  • + 2
 @cunning-linguist: was that Chris Marshall by any chance?
  • + 2
 The main pivot looks flimsy to me, and the welds made by a five years old kid while watching sponge bob but other than that I'm sure it's a great rig
  • + 2
 @freerabbit: carefull, I got slated as fk for saying bad things aboot the welding Wink
  • + 2
 @cunning-linguist: Don't ya just wish you knew what you were talking about before posting.
  • + 1
 @chriskink: yes it was indeed! Marshall is still a total legend!
  • + 1
 @EastCoastDHer: He won a world championship on Ancillotti
  • + 0
 Ducati=problems
  • + 1
 @Spark24
Let me think about something mechanical, mass-produced, that works flawlessly for 5 years under high abuse then turn to nightmare ?
Everything produced the last 10 years with exception (maybe) to Korean cars...
  • + 7
 @luis-beri: Ducati owners=problems
  • + 3
 Except the marzocchi 66 I had... also see a lot of fiat pandas when I'm in Finale L. They seem to hold
  • + 5
 @deadmeat25: alright petal, I never said I designed the sodding thing, I rode it, probably 15 years ago and it had a huge sticker on it saying "PULL SHOCK" one can only surmise that's what it was!
  • + 3
 My Alfa ran beautifully for more than a hundred thousand miles, it would have done a hundred thousand more if some buggercunt hadn't turned it into a big red banana. However I agree with you to a point, when it comes to maintanence, you either keep on top of it, or you suffer the expensive consequences.
  • + 4
 my italian beta seems bombproof.
  • + 4
 @southoftheborder: Thank goodness, I thought it was just me and didn't want to say anything. The new Intense prototype looked gorgeous before they gave it a skin the last couple of races, I love that raw slightly oxidized aluminum look. But it takes overlapping dimes and clean beautiful welds, I can't even trust what I'm seeing here. When I think beautiful and "hand made" in europe I think Unno, those things look like they were made by ancient alien demi-gods. This could be the best riding bike ever but I couldn't trust it the way it looks.
  • + 2
 @southoftheborder: well said sir those janky welds and irregular gusset shapes let the brand down no matter how lofty their intent or how well it rides. This is a production bike that presents like a prototype.
  • + 1
 FIAT: "Fix It Again, Tony!"

But to be fair, my Bialetti espresso maker is solid.

What were we talking about again?
  • + 2
 @Spark24: Why Alfa owners don't say Hello to each other ever?


Cause they meet at the workshop every morning!
  • + 1
 @cunning-linguist: where is he now i used to ride with him at Porc?
  • + 1
 @uphill-blues: fix it again tomorrow is the saying! Ford is Found on road dead and I shan't say what Pontiac stands for...
  • + 1
 @chriskink: he's still in Eastbourne, doesn't ride too often as his Mrs is a nightmare, but he's a total legend! What's your name and I'll tell him you said hello. Guessing it's Chris...
  • + 1
 @cunning-linguist: flipping women haha ok yeah cool its Chris Ball say hello for me.
  • + 1
 @chriskink: Chris Ball! Used to ride with you at Penshurst all the time as kids! Hello chap! I'll speak to him and see if we can arrange a ride and a beer like old times! Where are you based now then lad?
  • + 1
 @cunning-linguist: sounds good mate I'm in T Wells now . Private message me if you get anywhere with Chris and see what we a can do.
  • + 15
 I honestly think ancillotti make that most gorgeous, inative bikes on the market
  • + 9
 Is that a dent at the bottom of the downtube?
  • + 3
 P-dent Smile
Put there to something special - definitely on purposeSmile
  • + 9
 Dope wheres the DH version??
  • + 2
 Check their website. Brooks bike weighed around 37/38 lb from what I recall.
  • + 5
 Ancillotti & Brook MacDonald, Junior Downhill World Champion 2009, good times!
  • + 3
 To those criticising the welds I have one thing to say: Do you even weld bro? Much less aluminium welding, as long as it has good penitration and is strong who cares what it looks like.
  • + 0
 Nope. But my co-worker who has been welding for 35+ years, 18 as a journeyman, 9 as a master, laughed out loud when he saw this up on my screen. He thought it was something I had built, and I don't know how to weld.
  • + 2
 I noticed all dirt bikes are single pivot.
Keep the weight down low . Which this frame does.
Its solid looking DH bike.
Then the comment about all the shock tuning being done with the shims.
Agree 100% Most shocks from any brand work well.If you want a perfect tune those tokens and knobs will help.
Getting the shim stack profiled to your riding style will make a profound improvement.
  • + 3
 Ancillotti invented modern dirt bike linkage
  • + 2
 last year I was riding Pila when I found the Team training, man the riders was flying and me in the first ride in my new V10.
was very nice ride following them.

m.youtube.com/watch?v=BcPfDw7tWyI
  • + 1
 I really like that bottom bracket area, a 'Proper' cnc machined provision for something that gets a lot off stress and strain and the only tube sections in that proximity are heavily gusseted and or flared. I bet that is a super stiff frame! Would much prefer a brushed finish rather than chromed but hey form follows function.
  • + 4
 Those welds are disgusting.
  • + 2
 If this thing was carbon, and closer to production I'm betting most of the haters would change their tune. I think its pretty cool looking
  • + 2
 Geometry numbers dont mean much without giving us ideal rider height spectrum. This looks like a bike for someone around...5'8"?
  • + 0
 Since when did mountain biking become a fashion parade? If it's not carbon and smooth as a baby's arse around the joints people get all pissy, grow the F*uk up! This is a company which has a different approach to most mass produced bikes and seems to offer a truly custom bike for each rider. So what if it bucks current trends? Are we all sheep? Stop the stupid abuse and accept thinks don't have to always be the same!
I would also point out that there was a very good article on pinkbike last year about Ancilotti, which explained very well the reasons behind the rear suss sett up worth reading before you slag it off.

Nuff said.
  • + 2
 If they could make me one of those in Columbus steel I'd have one tomorrow !!
  • + 3
 take a look on Starling Bikes
  • + 2
 @ismasan: and Swarf cycles
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Keep your hands off that Swarf. She's all mine I tell you. Well, once the 130mm version comes out. I asked him for a 145mm but he said he can only go to 130 but with a very progressive leverage rate. He promised me it would eat Swiss alpine chunk.
  • + 1
 Utterly stunning. Something about Italians and design, very aesthetically perfect. An artistic people. General rule for me, at least one component should be Italian.
  • + 3
 Usually I dig chrome, but it looks cheap on this bike.
  • + 3
 If a bike was sex, this is it. I mean its Italian!
  • + 3
 This whole short chainstay trend is getting a little out of hand...
  • + 1
 435 is short?
  • + 1
 @briceps: it's a typo that says 43.5 ;-)
  • + 2
 I love Ancillotti bikes since the first time I saw them... only the welding seams still look as shitty as 10 years ago!
  • + 4
 That thing is sexy af..
  • + 4
 Chain stay 43.5mm? cm?
  • + 1
 Sorry guys, but i think its very very ugly bike Frown its the same as 10 years ago when i races and so it in italy champ. BUt maybe some body likes it
  • + 3
 What kind of travel? I'm I just blind and I'm missing it? Smile
  • + 1
 Wish I had this. I've always put ancillotti at the top of wants list. Their bikes are beautiful.
  • + 2
 I though it looked great in the first pic, then the closeups. OMG.
  • + 1
 Anyone else have the yellow and blue DH bike? Weapon of a thing 13 years ago
  • + 1
 Sick looking bike if you're into the 90's look. Oh yeah and sober up next time you weld a frame.
  • + 2
 Need to work on those TIG welds ... just saying
  • + 1
 I had one in 1997 that I bought off Giovana Bonazzi and it was a 5 1/2 rear inch beauty to ride.
Grazie Giovana.
  • + 2
 That welder must have been drunk.
  • + 1
 Looks a lot like an Evil to me. Heinous shock but I think this bike is gorgeous.
  • + 2
 Looks like a giant metal Evil
  • + 1
 Where is this to fit in? They have the DHV and FRY, is this going to replace the FRY?
  • + 3
 M530 pedals.
  • + 2
 Does not look like a session!
  • + 2
 That shock looks like its from 1995
  • + 2
 It is probably designed around then yes. Ride one, then you'll understand. They're phenomenal!
  • + 2
 The whole bike has a '90s GT vibe to it. Although, GT had much cleaner and sexier looking welds at that time.
  • + 2
 The welds on the head tube are making my eyes bleed.
  • + 2
 give us a review
  • + 1
 sooo NICE funk the haters this is the BOMB
  • + 1
 so nice, low shock mount, would love to try it
  • + 1
 How do you even buy one? Anchillotti's website is soo outdated
  • + 2
 Just phone them...
  • + 1
 This bike needs FRM bars and cranks. Smile
  • + 1
 By the way, she was world mtb dh champion and the fastest woman on a bike.
  • + 1
 This is art ... best bikes out there
  • + 2
 looks like a wilson !
  • + 0
 if i ever get some good cut cash this would be the bike i buy, no pressfit bulls^#t on that bike.
  • + 2
 I want one
  • - 1
 Dude, if something around the bottom broke, I'm not sure I could even identify it and wouldn't even know where to start.
  • - 12
flag bikerguy24 (Jul 14, 2017 at 21:24) (Below Threshold)
 bad bottom
  • + 3
 Bolts and nuts. It's like a metal orgy under there.
  • + 0
 So basically copied Guerrilla Gravity
  • + 1
 Review please!
  • + 1
 Does it come in black?
  • + 1
 interesting
  • + 1
 ART
  • + 1
 Sic bike
  • + 0
 Welds wouldnt show so much if it was a darker colour
  • + 0
 43.5-44mm bb height
  • + 2
 Bb drop not height. Bb drop below imaginary line thru both axles
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