Bike Check: Adam Brayton's Scott Gambler - Andorra World Cup 2018

Jul 13, 2018
by Paul Aston  

Gas to Flat, the Keswick Kestrel, Leather Head, the man from the north with many nicknames, Adam Brayton. Ross Bell caught up with his mechanic, Daniel Bladon, to check out the Scott Gambler racing rig that rode to 13th place in Val Di Sole last week.

You can always rely on any Hope rider or employee (Hope provide all of their staff a bike of their choice fully pimped with their own parts) to have a bike that has next level of attention to detail and anodized goodness. Adam rides a custom painted Scott Gambler, with the majority of the components from Hope, with Öhlins suspension and Maxxis Tires.

At a claimed 5'8", (Bladon thinks he's actually shorter) Adam rides a medium frame, with a +8mm reach adjust headset. Mounted on a 50mm stem, the bars are cut to 760mm, but are closer to 770mm with the Hope lock-on grips. The suspension is now full Öhlins, and he has a 548lb rear spring. Yes, 548lb – every single spring is measured at the factory and the actual weight is printed on.

The Keswick Kestrel aka Adam Brayton is stoked as he soars onto the top step

Adam Brayton
Hope Technology
Height: 5'8" / 173cm
Weight: 163lbs / 74kg
Instagram: @adbrayton

Brayton is running Maxxis Assegai tires front and rear. Surprisingly he still runs inner tubes as the team still hasn't found a tubeless solution that Adam can't tear off. Contrary to the benefit of tubeless for most people, Adam can actually run lower pressures with tubes than without, get more grip, and not burp them. 21psi front and 24psi rear, with a secret rim-taping strategy for added reliability.

Brayton's Gambler Details

Frame: Alloy mainframe, carbon swingarm
Size: Medium, 415mm reach +8mm reach adjust
Wheel size: 27.5"
Fork: Öhlins DH Race
Shock: Öhlins TTX22 with 548lb spring
Wheels: Hope DH with Pro4 Hubs
Tires: Maxxis Assegai
Drivetrain: SRAM Eagle XX1
Brakes: Hope Tech 3
Cockpit: Hope Tech Bar 760mm, Hope 50mm stem

Adam rides Hope's alloy handlebars that are 760mm wide, but closer to 770mm with the lock-on Hope grips.

Adam clips in to Crank Brother's Mallet E pedals

Hope Pro4 Hubs, what else.
+8mm of reach adjust on the medium-sized frame.

165mm Hope cranks and a 34t chainring.

A V4 caliper is combined with a custom Tech 3 lever. Adam prefers his custom lever that has the same shape and size of the regular lever, just without the holes drilled into the finger contact point. Rotors are 183mm rear and 203mm on up front.

Hope provide the 7-speed cassette that matches the Hope Pro4 DH specific hub.

Ohlins front and rear. After running a BoXXer fork with a coil spring and Ohlins damper cartridge for years, Adam now has the full fork. He was shtum on settings, but they went up 10psi in the main chamber last week in Val di Sole compared to the setting they liked during testing. The first race on the new fork in VDS went well, with his best result of the year finishing in 13th.

MENTIONS: @rossbell @SCOTT-Sports


  • 64 0
 Tubes?!!! But I was told that if I ran tubes in 2018 my bike would explode and kill me, or something. . .
  • 21 0
 The trick is to run a tube both below and above a tire insert, one tube with a psi between 6-10 and the other 60-70. Doesn’t matter which one has which pressure.
  • 4 2
 I read few years ago a forum and heard to run low weight tubes if you got 2ply tires. 5 times i have flat tire with low weight tubes - 3 times with normal weight tubes and bought kind of downhill tubes - 460g. Guess what - it works and I dont feel any difference of feeling my dh rig. The tire pressure 25psi front 28 front - 73kg
  • 3 0
 @AdamOdh: DH Tubes and Intense combination for DH.
Heavy but no flats and grip for days
  • 3 1
 34T? He's going for an enduro ride with that bike.
  • 1 0
 Dh tubes rock@AdamOdh:
  • 5 1
 i got torn apart in the comments a few weeks back for daring to suggest that tubes are fine and work great for most people, even aggressive riders.. *shrug*
  • 4 1
 @laxguy: I can honestly say I've had fewer flats on my DH bike with heavy duty tubes than I have running tubeless with Schwalbe Super Gravity tyres on my 'duro bike. It's almost like it's a marketing ploy. Smile
  • 1 0
 don't forget the 50mm stems paired with 760mm bar for DH
  • 46 2
 I really REALLY hope this guy wins a WC soon. He's such a beast
  • 20 1
 His runs are always awesome to watch. Such a bad ass on the bike. Shame we don’t get to see more of his riding.
  • 5 1
 Is there any way to see his full runs?
He doesn't always get the top marks, but he's fun as hell to watch.
  • 4 1
 At least Hardline...last time he was soooo close if it wasn't for that mistake. Just shows what it takes, if a guy like him can't get onto the podium at the WC!?
  • 33 6
 I would fuck that bike
  • 41 0
 At least buy it dinner and a few drinks first. Big Grin
  • 18 0
"would you like a whisky?
- oh yeah just a finger
- wouldn't you want a whisky first?..."
  • 1 0
 KY chain lube?
  • 1 0
 @qreative-bicycle: Big Grin Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @qreative-bicycle: tu bluffes martoni
  • 4 0
 I'd let that bike fuck me.
  • 16 0
 Ohlins really just needs to stop fuckin around and throw gold stanchions on these things. Even without its still bonkers, but c'mon... they gotta know everyone's waiting for it.
  • 14 2
 Sram xx1 Eagle
  • 2 0
 Must be a typo. Makes no sense
  • 7 2
 Cant really see why no bashguard but a lovely looking bike that. Another rider that doesn't go for the whole ultra long reach thing too, at 420mm that should theoretically be un-rideable on a local trail ride let alone at WC dh level.
  • 14 1
 Long bikes are designed to let amateurs feel like heroes. No need if you’re already an actual hero.
  • 4 0
 Its shortish but not so out of whack for his size. I've met Adam Brayton (well I stood near him in a car park and said 'hi') he is a definately on the short side, 5'8 at the most I would have guessed less, built like a beast and rides like a demon though.
  • 8 0
 "(Hope provide all of their staff a bike of their choice fully pimped with their own parts)" I am sending in my resume.
  • 5 0
 Ah, a 180 rotor!
So that's where the gas to that comes from, he can't stop quick enough! ????

Bike's mint
  • 9 0
 This just proves that I definitely don't need a 200mm rotor on my trail bike...
  • 20 0
 180 rotor, narrow bars, medium frame, tubes.... Hasn't this guy got the update?!
  • 6 0
 @blitz66: He was going too fast and missed it!
  • 2 0
 Is a testament to the Hope brakes?
  • 3 1
 Look up Sam Hill's set up on his Iron Horse Sunday back in the day. He was haulin' ass and had small rotors and "inferior to 2018 tech" brakes.
  • 3 0
 I was watching the VDS practice n quali vids earlier thinking 'Braytons bike, and kit are the best looking on the hill by a country mile!'. Seeing it on here in more detail just confirmed it Big Grin
  • 2 0
 I just wonna say, as a 96kg person, wait I don't actually want to say anything. This is more of a question.
I am a fairly heavy individual, and find that most suspension offering out there don't really cater to my weight and offer the performance that I would like. Should I go on a diet or is there something/a set up, out there for me worth trying? I would love to run ohlins on my bikecycle.
  • 1 0
 Get it professionally tuned. I'm nearly 30kg heavier than you and run a fox 36 float and a cane creek double barrel air xv Cs shock, suits me just fine, I've got a reasonably low leverage rate frame though, 64mm shock for either 150 or 165mm of travel. Divide the wheel travel by the shocks travel to get the average leverage ratio, the lower the better.
  • 4 3
 Tubes all day long mother F****ers !!! run them on downhill bikes enduro bikes and trail bike .. take a spare with you and swap it out if you have issues .. simples ... right pressure never had a flat while out riding ..

An ohhhh nearly had an accident over that bike of Adams. xx
  • 3 2
 Absolutely awesome there's still a world cup rider that uses tube still, really surprised by that. just confirmed for me that i never have to go tubeless
  • 4 0
 No one every said you had to. It's just really great in certain riding conditions.
  • 5 0
 Tubeless with two flats in four years. One was the result of a cracked rim. But yeah, do what you like.
  • 6 1
 @inter71: no flats in 5 years except the one time I had to put a tube in when I ran out of sealant one weekend.
  • 4 2
 No flats in over 3 years and I run tubes. But yeah, do what you like.
  • 2 0
 i get a flat once a year like clockwork orange. but if you like tubes that's ok with me
  • 1 0
 @haroman666: I've had two punctures in 4 years one on my jump bike trying a 360 and another on my downhill bike a bit off stick went though the side wall, really don't mind having tubes work perfect for me
  • 2 0
 @grantgeesmith: Common thread for you and haroman666 is you both are in the UK. For the most part (I know there are exceptions) you deal with mud/roots vs. some areas here the Western US were there are lots of sharp rocks, cactus, goat heads and such. AS I mention before, different set ups work better for different conditions.
  • 1 0
 Tubeless, 3 flats in one day with anything under 35 psi. Hit turns hard.
  • 1 0
 @bman33: yup. tubes aren't so nice when there's cholla in the trail.
  • 1 0
 I still run tubes, I do construction, so they simplicity of a new tube versus messy sticky shit to deal with on the weekends appeals to me.
  • 2 0
 Hope sounds not bad to work for.

No bash guard?
  • 1 4
 I have not learned how to ride w/ a bash guard. Meaning, I think there can be technique where you actually use it as a temporary pivot point? I tend to hop or try to clear the BB all the time, maybe that's why I'm not fast? I read somewhere that the bash guard was as much a game-changer in DH as the seat dropper elsewhere. .
Who knows? I get freaked out when I hit it on things. . .
Maybe he's so rad, he doesn't need one?
  • 1 0
 I love my bikes, but having a full hope build would be sweet...just looks plain nice
  • 3 0
 Hope fanboy's wet dream.
  • 2 1
 Well tubes are better than tubeless or more reliable anyway, so when are Hope going to make a Derailluar or gear box?
  • 2 0
 Many folks who live in areas with sharp rocks and spurs, goat heads, cactus, etc. beg to differ on the 'reliable' point. Personally my flats per year have been reduced to maybe one while tubeless vs. many while running tubes.
  • 2 0
 @bman33: goatheads suck the life out of tubes. i did a weekend in sedona 15 years ago (before tubeless). never again
  • 4 0
 @upchuckyeager: Exactly! I live in Denver, but get out to Junction and Utah often, sharp pointy things and tires do NOT get along well. Especially with tubes!
  • 2 0
 Seeing the 27.5X2.50WT tyres I wonder if these are Hopes 35w rims.
  • 1 0
 Hope techDH rims
  • 2 1
 Erm...there's something seriously wrong here.....that doesn't look like a Session! What's going on??
  • 1 0
 So much bling Drool Great looking bike! Can’t believe he’s rocking tubes !!!!!!!
  • 3 2
 Any idea who did the paint job? Looks pretty nice.
  • 1 0
 It looked pretty mint at Rheola a few weeks ago
  • 1 0
 Frame: Alloy mainframe, carbon swingarm

Why? Genuinely curious.
  • 2 0
 Less unsprung mass.

But more practically, the Gambler comes in 3 sizes, each with the same swingarm. Therefore, Scott only has to invest in one carbon mold for the swingarm vs. three front triangles. Plus/but they are moving away from this suspension design (see Brendog's version).
  • 1 0
 Swingarm is stronger, lighter, less failure-prone, cheaper to manufacture? Hard to tell which direction Scott is taking Gambler.
  • 1 0
 sorry, but i can‘t really see a XX1 eagle drivetrain on that gambler Wink
  • 1 0
 Drivetrain: Sram Eagle XX1
I call bs.
  • 1 0
 Why does it say sram xx1 eagle on a hope 7 speed drivetrain???
  • 1 0
 gotta love ohlins.. shame they wont do fork with golden stanchions
  • 1 0
 I wo'nt thayt
  • 2 1
  • 1 0
 looks beauty
  • 2 4
 WAW , a 2016 gambler, impressive
  • 1 3

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