Red Bull Rampage 2014: Fairclough and Vink's Scott Gamblers

Sep 24, 2014
by Mike Levy  




Brendan Fairclough s Scott
  Fairclough's Rampage bike is assembled around a 210mm travel production Gambler frame, and he's using the usual build kit that he'd race at a World Cup.

Brendan Fairclough races World Cups for Scott aboard a 210mm travel Gambler, but you might know him better from his appearances in a number of videos that usually see him getting more sideways than Ken Block could ever dream of doing. One of the most popular riders out there due to that wild style, Fairclough is always a fan favourite at Rampage, even if that hasn't translated to a top result: an eighth place at last year's event against the best freeriders in the world likely left him wanting more, despite him finally slaying his burly canyon gap. Having spent the 2014 World Cup season racing on a number of different prototypes with various paint jobs, his Rampage bike assembled around a production 2015 frame that anyone can purchase when it becomes available - minus the patriotic touch on the top tube, of course.

The build consists of his sponsor's kit, as you'd expect to see, but there hasn't been any major changes from what he'd usually run at a World Cup race. That means the same 27.5” DT Swiss wheels that are shod with Schwalbe's popular Magic Mary tires and their Procore system, and a Shimano Saint drivetrain combined with an LG1 chain guide from e*thirteen. Add in a set of DMR's Vault Brendog pedals (who would've though?!) and, while very functional for what Fairclough needs to get done, you end up with a build kit that doesn't exactly get the comment section chattering away. The bike's suspension, on the other hand, is far from stock...

Brendan Fairclough s Scott
  A set of custom made crowns for Brendan's FOX 40 increases the amount of trail over the stock units, while stiffer and slower suspension all around keeps the bike on track after massive impacts.

Brendan's Rampage suspension setup is not only much different than what you or I would run, which is pretty much a given, it's also different from his usual preferences for a World Cup track. And having actually spent time on a rig he raced at one point, I can attest to how stiff he likes to run the front and back of his bike - picture all 170lb of me sagging into his bike roughly the same amount as I would when sitting on a park bench. That sort of approach is what you need if you're going warp speed into a section that looks more like a dry riverbed than anywhere one should be riding a bike, but that's asking something very different of the fork and shock than what Rampage demands. Small bump sensitivity isn't as much of a concern in Utah because he's not searching for traction at race pace, says Marketing Coordinator and Product Manager for Progressive Bikes Ben Walker, so it let them dial-in the bike for the big impacts that are bound to happen. ''The idea is to avoid getting bucked over the bars for those incredibly heavy landings,'' Walker explained to me, which was accomplished with not only a firmer spring rate all around, but also a custom compression tune to help take in the abuse and slower rebound speeds to keep Brendan from exiting over the front of the bike.
bigquotesBoth Brendan and Nico running firmer springs, firmer compression and slower rebound than their typical setups. Nico spends a lot more time running this style of setup than Brendan due to the huge jumps he is hitting and sometimes overshooting. The idea is to avoid getting bucked over the bars on those incredibly heavy landings. - Ben Walker, Scott

As we've seen the Scott team running during the race season, there's a set of custom made crowns clamping the stanchion tubes of his FOX 40. These aren't used to adjust the bike's head angle, though, but rather to increase the amount of offset over the stock crowns. ''As head angles get slacker and slacker these days, the bikes become more floppy and sluggish,'' Walked said when questioned as to why the team is experimenting with different offsets. ''By decreasing the trail through increasing the offset we can create a light and lively steering feeling with a slack and stable head angle. It's basically more stable and more maneuverable at the same time,'' which sounds like the best of both worlds. He wasn't quite ready to share any exact numbers with me yet, so we're left guessing as to how different the bike rides compared to when it's fitted with the standard crowns, especially when it's run at its slackest 61° head angle setting.

Nico Vink s Scott
  Nico Vink has chosen to run 26'' wheels on his Gambler, which is what he prefers for his style of riding.

Nico Vink's Gambler is a different animal than Brendan's, although he's running a similar suspension setup when it comes to spring rates and slightly slower rebound speeds. However, his bike is rocking a BOS fork and Cane Creek shock (with either a 400 or 450lb spring depending on what he needs), along with a set of 26" wheels with and Magic Mary tires. You read that correctly, he's using 26'' wheels, with the 2015 Gambler frame offering enough geometry adjustment that Scott says it can accommodate either wheel size - the bike's adjustable BB height, head angle and chain stay length allow similar geometry to be achieved with both.

Check out all of our images from the Red Bull Rampage 2014 here.


  • 234 14
 I usually avoid pun comments because I'm not really a Gambler. I hope this one Scott what it takes to get a few upvotes...
  • 10 3
  • 14 6
 Looks like you got off Scott free.
  • 58 5
 Those puns were bad. You clearly didn't vink very hard...
  • 33 4
 thats not being very fair..........................clough
  • 20 5
 I think Vinks got a wheel small chance of winning....
  • 22 2
 Nonsense, He's the Bos!
  • 2 0
 i love u all
  • 132 0
 It's simply not legit unless Claudio pre rides the course.
  • 8 1
 right. lets get a petition going then!
  • 49 0
 Imagine the continuous scream.....
  • 3 0
 Someone needs to put a cat on a trail. He will find it. He loves cats.
  • 4 0
 Aaaaaaaahhhhhhh....ooh look a snake. Aaaaahhhhh!
  • 35 2
 looks like 26" wheels on 650b forks on brendog's bike..
  • 9 1
 You're definitely right unless he is riding on prototype FR600 27.5 rims... which I doubt would have stickers like the ones in the pictures
  • 2 1
 But It says in the write up that he is using 27.5” DT Swiss wheels.
  • 10 1
 I bet they are both using 26 wheels and that is just a marketing trick to show off that the gambler can take both sizes...
  • 5 0
 A further argument for that is that both bikes are in the high setting.
  • 3 5
 All The dt rims that are ridden by pro riders got Stickers on them. Unless it is a Prototypen nö One should know about... Which i doubt in this Case as he was racing on 27,5" wheels all Year. And nö it is Not just a marketing trick. The gambler can Run both sizes ... Like Most other 27,5" Bikes as well.
Always Fun to read about wheelsizes... It is like "norb got robbed" or " Looks like a Trek Session"
  • 2 0
 Just take a look at the second picture. Huge clearance between front tire and fork's arch. Brendog is running 26".
  • 20 0
 Both pictures layered :
  • 31 4
 I just end got a fat boner better go look at some road bikes to bring it down
  • 19 1
 I put on this silver glitter smoking jacket and the craziest gold sun glasses. Larry took a look at me a told me i looked pretty. if I hadn't needed the ride I think I would of turned him into a trail feature. Larry dropped me off about 2 minutes from the start. This is as far as i can take you. wtf Larry. Its like 2 minutes away. Larry was all like 'rambles I dont think I have enough gas to get back' and I promised my sister I would stop by sometime and I don't want to be late. ok. I get it... a little shy. So I jumped out and grabbed my big-hit and started pushing it up the hill. When I got there everyone just kind of stared. I started to wonder if maybe i had interneted wrong. I was high fives and maybe even fist bumps.but it was quiet. It must of been nerves. maybe I had got to them. i went and got my number. i swear I heard one of those shits laugh. i will show them.As it turns out I got to go first. So I jumped on the big-hit and decided to enter the trail with style. I took a run at the starting line, jumped on the bike into a 180 degree bunny hop catching my jacket in the spokes. I'm not really sure what happened after that. Some say that that a branch reached out and plucked me out of the air saving my life but most other say I bounced about 12 times then curled up in a ball weeping. Whatever the case the prize for the winner of the competition got to name the trail. Sure as shit the next year i went to ride it and there was a sign ' Dum Elvis'
  • 8 0
 Now i really don't know what you're talking about
  • 4 0
 We need more spaghetti recipes!
  • 14 1
 Good luck to all the red bull riders. We used to have a local event sort of like the red bull. All the trail builders would get together and build these gnarly bad ass trails. Then they would leave the trails in for the enjoyment of the community or until someone killed themselves and we were forced to take it out. The last one they had I was like 'rambles you should enter this'. I had just discovered the internet and would spend hours watching movie trailers. 'rambles... you should do this like a movie trailer.' That would be so f*cken braap. I talked to a buddy and smoked a little and we formulated a plan. To build it up. He was all like 'rambles you could totally yahoo people with that shit. People will go crazy. So I got the email list of the contestants. I went to the library and this very nice kid helped me to join the yahoo. My plan was in motion. Maybe i could even rattle the competition. So I sent out my first email.

'your vertical god is coming' 7 days left... so fukin epic. ....
day 6 i send the yahoo 'he is on his way. 6 days to go'
day 5 i forgot to get out of bed so that day was a write off
day 4 i met this kid and he helped me put a note on a kitten ' you will know him by his glittery coat'
day 3 i had watched a special on playdo or someone so i wrote 'know thyself'
day 2 'behind the big glass is a hell of a man'
day 1 i got up to go to the library and my friend larry called and asked if i still wanted him to drop me off at the race. i miscounted. oh well... race day...
  • 5 0
 Don't know what you're talking about. But it sounds rad! (you had me at playdo and glittery coat)
  • 3 0
 read this one first
  • 1 0
 Sounds like a cool event. Your screen name fits.
  • 9 0
 Since when are FR600 rims available in 27.5?? DT Swiss needs to update their website or Pinkbike needs to update their post.
  • 3 0
 You're right, it's clear that Brendog is also on 26" wheels.
Just take a look at the second picture. Huge clearance between front tire and fork's arch.
  • 1 6
flag mikromakro (Sep 25, 2014 at 1:39) (Below Threshold)
 Brendog got a custom made crown on his fork to increase travel.
  • 5 0
 To increase TRAIL, not travel. It was a mistake. Let me laugh, how would crowns increase travel ?
And by the way I was talking about the lower leg's arch, not the crowns.
  • 6 2
 Should someone have a chat with Nico to get some more details on the bike? Smile Looks a little sparse compared to the big write up the Freeracer gets Smile
  • 2 0
 Shouldn't the caption under the 2nd picture say either "increase the rake" or "reduce the trail" instead of "increase the trail"? Ben points that out lower in the article. Increasing the trail would give the bike an even sluggish steering characteristics
  • 2 0
 i was wondering about that odd set of words there too didnt make sense to me. but what do i know lol
  • 14 10
 I hope it Scott what Brendog needs for a win !
  • 14 11
 Im not a gambling man, but id wager that brendog scott what it takes.
  • 9 11
 I seatpost he scott what it takes for the rim
  • 1 1
 Thats some gentle comedy son....
  • 1 0
 That's because they are.. I owned one for two years and it is an amazing bike once you pick up the speed but as far as park riding or playful it sucks.. That's when I boarded the demo 8 train...
  • 2 0
 Rampage + Gambler = Rambler
Whole new kind of competion evolving, wait for it .................. waking down mountains! Cus your to s**t scared ro ride it.
  • 1 1
 I'm interested in those crowns. I ride a scooter to work every day, and the steering is quick and precise for cutting traffic at low speeds, but also very stable up over 100km/h.

Much better than my 65deg head angle mtb.

I know there are a lot of variables, but the front axle on the scooter is positioned on the back of the fork legs. That must lengthen the trail.

I don't know how the steering geometry is decided upon, but I am convinced it's far from perfect with most modern slack MTBs. Perhaps Scott are going to make a great positive step with their new setup.
  • 1 0
 You need to start hitting scooter stepdowns
  • 2 1
 So now UCI riders can participate in not UCI championship. Or is it just me that don't know that Rampage is part of UCI championship, CMIIW.
  • 7 5
 they should put some put those silver crowns into production. I want some.
  • 2 3
 They do look sick!
  • 2 2
 are they titanium?
  • 3 1
 remind me of the monster T (silver crowns) i like them.
  • 2 0
 aluminum I think? Monster T also had more offset than normal.
  • 9 0
 you can strip the paint off yours and polish them.
  • 4 1
 Great scott!
  • 3 0
 Vinks bike is sick. Big Grin
  • 3 0
 more rambles please
  • 1 0
 I don't care if bren ever wins a wc, he's still the bombdiggidy and always will be.
  • 2 1
 Is it just me, or do these Gamblers always look slack as f**k!?
  • 10 0
 Well...they are slack as fuck
  • 1 0
 somehow the linkage looks like Cannondale's Moto Hatchet drive
  • 1 1
 I think the linkage look's horrendous.
  • 1 0
 Am i the only on who thinks the pics look CG
  • 1 0
 how about claudio's bike?
  • 2 4
 Just a thought here but why aren't the seats all the way down? When are they gonna be seated on their runs? Wouldn't it be better to have 'em outta the way even more?
  • 1 0
 I always have mine set at the top of my knees, i find more comfortable/stable to have the seat there.
  • 4 0
 back of the seat will eventually drag on the rear tire under full shock compression. that might be why
  • 1 5
flag IamZOSO (Sep 24, 2014 at 21:06) (Below Threshold)
 How about a seatless frame design then, like a trials bike?
  • 1 0
 IamZOSO@ Uhm you know these guys do seat grabs....
  • 4 0
 You pinch the seat with your knees when you do a no hander...
  • 4 0
 Control with seat a lil higher (from what I hear)

When I have my seat high i'm looking for pain in an area us men really hate.
  • 4 0
 i think that seat helps you corner better
  • 1 0
 Gamblers got robbed
  • 1 0
 Yeh 26''!
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