Brendan Fairclough's Scott Gambler – Fort William DH World Cup

Jun 1, 2017
by Richard Cunningham  



Pinkbike photographer Ross Bell caught up with Scott's Brendan Fairclough for a personal tour of his latest Gambler. The black and orange machine may look like a DH racing bike when it's standing still, but put Fairclough on it and it begins to resemble a flying machine. Brendan says he's not into fancy components or picky about his setup, but that may be because he has been on the ground floor throughout the Gambler's development, so it has become exactly what he likes - right out of the box.

The chassis is a yet-to be-released XL size that is 15-millimeters longer than Scott's present large size option, and it has a modified linkage that will soon be available with a more progressive ending-stroke rate. The new kinematics allow for a Fox coil-sprung shock, which replaces the air-sprung damper that previously graced the Scott chassis. Fairclough says he has been on the longer Gambler for two years running and it will be in production, along with the new linkage, sometime this year. Interesting to note that Scott - a carbon pioneer - still welds up the Gambler's front triangle from aluminum, and with titanium springs and hardware, Fairclough's bike comes in at only 35 pounds.


Scott Gambler 2017
Deity 50-millimeter stem clamps, and 15 millimeters of headset spacers, with another 15 in reserve. Considering how high the triple clamp is, the stanchion tube is raised double the distance that is exposed above the clamps.

Scott Gambler 2017
New Deity Signature handlebar: 30-millimeter rise, 5-degree sweep and cut down from 800 to 780 millimeters.

Scott Gambler 2017
Fox 40, 84psi, six air-volume spacers, 7 clicks of rebound, and secret stuff in the top cap.
Scott Gambler 2017
Shimano Saint mech and 8-speed cassette. Long wheelbase chip
Scott Gambler 2017
Signature grips

Scott Gambler 2017
Schwalbe's Addix compound Magic Mary tires, Syncros DH1.5 wheels.
Scott Gambler 2017
Signature flat pedals.
Brendan Fairclough Scott Gambler
Brendan sets his saddle high to stay in contact with his bike.

Scott Gambler 2017
"First pull up, then pull down." I think I read that somewhere in the Gambler suspension manual. Interesting that the shock-mount chip is in the high BB position.





Author Info:
RichardCunningham avatar

Member since Mar 23, 2011
974 articles

88 Comments
  • 120 9
 What is this, a friggin wheelbarrow? Ahhh, it is a mountain bicycle, I couldn't tell at first because of the small wheels, you know ;-)...
  • 21 5
 I thought it was a scooter!!!
  • 97 2
 Say what you will, but this bike is simply covfefe.
  • 14 3
 DH World Cup 2016 called and they want their wheels back.
  • 4 0
 @the-gringo: you played a real trump card there!
  • 11 0
 @the-gringo: Cove should release a new bike called "Fefe". And sell it while it's hot Smile
  • 2 0
 HEHEHE, YOU MADE MY DAY. ..
should go sleep;
  • 4 0
 This comment chain triggered me more than it should.
  • 53 3
 Uggh, another new wheel standard. we already have 29, we dont need this '27.5' stuff. C'mon industry people!
  • 4 1
 its yesterdays bike....hahaha
  • 10 3
 Didn't 29ers actually come first...
  • 16 5
 @mkul7r4 - it was until around 2005 when a bunch of middle aged Steam punk LARPers decided to go back 10 years in bike evolution, ride shitty geometries, terrible tyres and make it into a niche option. Then around 2011 a bunch of marketers at major bike companies decided to use it as a weapon to demolish the second hand market
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: steam punk LARPers, i died
  • 35 8
 Everything Shimano makes is awesome, they're my favourite company.
  • 8 3
 Except chains. But agree, everything else is ace.
  • 5 0
 Word. I love their mooching reels as well...
  • 11 1
 Brendon is rumoured to be missing 29 wheels trend and going straight to 30.5b. They role loads faster on Tarmac as that's what the dh track will be made of the way the sports going........
  • 5 3
 Agree. This shit is getting so God damn soft. I miss the Way it was. I still love to ride my bike, but the whimsical, carefree vibe of free ride is gone. Now it's so much about what's on your bike (or body) and less about f*cking sending it with your friends in the woods. I need a "seasons" or Roam part 2.
  • 3 2
 @NickDHash: it's called freeriding this it the world cup dummy it's always been like This!!!
  • 1 0
 @NickDHash: what is preventing you and your friends to continue riding as you say you do? For fun. Zero what goes on at the WC race level matters to you and your group of friends in the woods.
  • 10 0
 not picky about setup.... signature grips and flats
  • 23 0
 It's easy not to be picky when you get stuff made to your exact specification!
  • 2 0
 And secret stuff in the top cap
  • 5 0
 Don't forget the custom frame size and shock linkage in the second paragraph!
  • 4 1
 In the first photo, the fork looks like it weighs as much as the rest of the bike. Not sure if it's the paint or just the frame design. Either way it looks like its ready to point straight down some gnar! Can't wait to see it in action!
  • 1 0
 Scott is a company that typically hasn't been great for taller riders. An XL DH bike from them is a step in the right direction, hopefully it's properly big and not just the bigger option for a L rider. Funny how an aluminum bike with 27.5 wheels seems so ordinary all of a sudden. Well played, bike industry.
  • 4 0
 That thing will slay all that is in it's path
  • 4 0
 I don't understand the seat height caption
  • 8 0
 Brendan mentioned in his live 'ask-me-anything' yesterday that he grips the saddle with his knees to help keep his feet on the flat pedals. Higher seat = better knee placement.
  • 5 1
 A lot of people will run their seat higher like that to help them manoeuvre the bike, particularly in the corners. Having the seat resting on your inner thigh mid-corner can give you a bit of extra leverage to bring the bike back upright as you exit the corner. At least that's the theory I've heard...
  • 8 0
 I always set my seat just above the knee for DH, I don't feel comfortable without the contact point there.
  • 2 0
 @src248: I did until i came home with some gnarly bruising just above the inside of each knee.
  • 4 0
 I was watching deathgrip last night and was surprised at how high he ran his seat.
  • 4 1
 I does help, especially those of us with longer legs. I took my dropper post of my trail bike as I always forgot it was there and hardly used it. Plus the saddle makes a nice beer gut rest for when it gets steep!
  • 1 0
 @jaha222: Just some gnarly bruising or what?
  • 2 0
 @mxben13: or what?
  • 2 0
 @frankwizza:
I was watching deathgrip last night and was surprised at.... whoa... look at the whip... wow, wow, wow, that speed.... Wink
  • 4 0
 @kes2903: I have trending this way for the last couple years. My dirt jump teen years have kept me clinging to a slammed seat for the last 15 years or so, but each incremental height change I make upwards gives me a bit more feel and twitchability when Ian bombing, especially on higher speed jumps and transitions. Still slammed for djs, but getting higher to bomb trails...
  • 3 2
 "Interesting to note that Scott - a carbon pioneer - still welds up the Gambler's front triangle from aluminum"

..... but not the rear triangle? Carbon rear ends are coming then
  • 6 0
 Looks like a carbon rear end to me
  • 1 0
 Hmm... Do you see any welding joints on the rear triangle..? Intredastink...
  • 2 0
 Carbon rear ends are only made for special people and for mortals there are still alu next year, dont ask how I know...
  • 1 0
 Yeti did it first with the ASR models... so 2010.
  • 1 0
 @b-wicked: how do you know?
  • 3 0
 They've been rolling that carbon rear triangle for a couple years now (not production).
  • 2 0
 @mikefromdownthestreet: saw them bikes already...
  • 4 0
 Disappointing that there's no special deathgrip livery
  • 2 0
 Missed opportunity for sure
  • 2 0
 But there are less then special deathgrip deathgrips... Wink
  • 2 0
 Wonder if the carbon swing arm and linkage will be production? They have been using these for years but are not available to the public.
  • 2 0
 This bike has a more rearward axle path in the high position which may swallow rocks better at Ft. Bill. Especially in the long position in the chainstays.
  • 2 0
 Such an awesome bike! No matter what wheelsize is faster, the ratios on this one just look great.
  • 2 0
 Lovely bike - Is Brayton going to be on a similar thing this weekend or still 'making do' with a production model?
  • 1 0
 I've often wondered why DH saddles aren't taller but narrower, more used for lateral control than sitting on. Someone please cure my ignorance?
  • 3 2
 Cause nearly no manufacturer is interested in making that kind of specific component only a handful of people will buy in the end. It's a guaranteed lost investment.
  • 2 0
 @hirvi: Not a highly specific design though. You could bolt that thing on any enduro bike and be happy most likely. What the OP was asking for would be much much more of a niche product.
  • 6 0
 @Loki87: I'm going to assume you're sarcastic... over priced use-specific products seem to be the flavor of the industry lately.
  • 1 1
 @robwhynot:
I was never talking about use specific. I was talking about use specific design
Use specific yes, absolutely (meaning labeled to be used in a certain way). Designs that are REALLY specific and purpose driven, without compromise in their respective field but compromising in others, not so much.
There has been for example a dh saddle that would fit that description in the past. It was barely more than a tiny piece of foam to clamp with your thighs. That´s what i would consider a very specific design. It never made it to production though, as far as i know.
What the industry is serving us mostly is just a derivative of an existing product with a label for it´s intended use slapped onto it. Different gear ratios, wheel diameters, stem lengths are all just a minor departure from existing designs, often times even just a change in numbers.
That Ergon saddle to me is no more than a slight departure from the usual saddle design.
What the OP is theorizing about would mark a much more drastic change in saddle design imho (if i got his idea right). A saddle which would not be comfortable to sit on, but with the only purpose of improving bike handling in downhill bikes, thus making it suitable only for the smallest portion of the market and even in that small group a lot of people would decide to not use it since most of us need to be able to pedal the bike at least for a short distance. That´s where i personally draw the line. Products that can be easily adapted to other disciplines and those that would not be possible to be used outside their intended environment.
Of course you´re free to view it differently :-)
  • 4 0
 They did:

bmxmuseum.com/forsale/tioga_dh1_copy1_blowup.jpg

I had one on my park bike back in the early 2000s (actually, for the first year whistler was open).
  • 4 0
 Ha; see also: www.galeon.com/fbclassic/images/scott.jpg
Scott was doing it 20 years ago almost.
  • 1 0
 @enki: what the f*ck is that!!!!
  • 1 0
 Always wondererd why Fairclough's Gambler has mounted the DHX2 shock opposite direction as compared to the usual factory gambler.
  • 2 0
 Custom linkage.
  • 1 0
 @krisdaphrk: Are you sure? The linkage of the pro and factory version seems to be almost identical.
  • 1 0
 @krisdaphrk: Production Linkage.
  • 1 1
 I bloody love those pedals but Brendan have a word with DMR about the finish on the pins. You can strip the paint off them just by staring.
  • 4 0
 Not really a lot you can do with steel fasteners to keep them black when they come into contact with dirt / your shoes.

They cant be painted as it wouldnt be possible for them to be threaded into the pedal as paint would be in the threads....
  • 12 0
 Dude who cares if your pedal pins lose their colour? That's like complaining about Tyres losing their mould nipples, it happens when they get used.
  • 1 0
 @DownhillDoozy: That's a fair comment, but maybe DMR shouldn't charge extra for them.
  • 8 6
 i might buy a ktm 300 xc and take the engine out... it'd be cheaper
  • 2 0
 I personally think this bike is perfection.
  • 1 1
 I did too until I rode the Supreme DHV4.2!
  • 3 0
 Wow, that is long....
  • 7 0
 Thanks.
  • 1 0
 Sick bike for a sick rider!
  • 2 2
 So how exactly is that linkage/Pivot work?? Is the shock itself supposed to bend in the middle!??
  • 4 0
 not sure if troll or serious. Look at the pic again, 4 pivot's, rear triangle articulates up and pulls down on the linkage the shock attaches to.
  • 1 0
 @a2lowvw: sure it does buddy....sure it does ????
  • 2 0
 great looking bike!
  • 1 0
 I want to ride one of these so bad!!!
  • 2 2
 29'ers are the death of real DH ... Frakk them all & the horse they rode in on I say.
  • 1 0
 going down something sketchy on that bike should never be a gamble
  • 2 0
 what a sick machine!
  • 2 1
 sexy as fuck i want
  • 2 2
 The same bike for 2 years we understood...
  • 3 1
 Not same bike...
Below threshold threads are hidden







Copyright © 2000 - 2024. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.053175
Mobile Version of Website