First Ride: Scott's New Gambler and Voltage FR

Jul 3, 2014
by Mike Kazimer  
 
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Scott Sports chose the mountains that make up the border of Switzerland and France as the location for the launch of their new Gambler and Voltage FR, a fitting choice since much of the testing during the bikes' development took place in this area. Chairlifts climb skyward out of nearly every valley, providing endless options for long days of lift assisted mountain biking with jaw dropping backdrops. Ben Walker, one of Scott's product developers and testers, even built a trail in Morgins, Switzerland, that features a mix of bermed turns and root choked straightaways designed specifically to run the bikes through the full gamut of suspension scenarios, everything from hard G-outs to rapid-fire square edged hits. The weather and the trail conditions swung wildly from one extreme to another during our time in the region, and we were able to ride the new bikes in everything from slippery, greasy mud (picture the track conditions during Danny Hart's famous 2011 run in nearby Champery) to tacky, grippy perfection.




The Gambler 700 retains the same distinctive suspension layout as the previous model, but has undergone a host of changes to ensure the bike can maintain its reputation as a downhill race machine capable of taming the steepest of tracks. The most notable change to the frame is the fact that the bike can now accommodate 27.5” wheels, but that doesn't mean that the 26” crowd has been forgotten – the smaller wheels will still fit, and the bike's adjustable BB height, head angle and chainstay length allow similar geometry to be achieved with both wheel sizes. Following the current bike geometry trend, the Gambler's front center has been increased, with the top tube length on the medium frame going from 550 to 595mm, which adds approximately 10mm to the bike's reach.

Head angle adjustments are accomplished by swapping the stock cups for the included Syncros angled headset cups, which allows riders to choose from a super-slack 61° head angle all the way up to a quicker handling 65° degree setting, or anything in between in one degree increments. There are also two bottom bracket height positions that are selected by flipping the aluminum chip found at the lower shock mount. The Gambler's chain stay length is adjustable as well, and can be set at either 424 or 440mm at the lower bottom bracket height setting.

Details

• 210mm Floating Link suspension
• 6061 aluminum frame
• 27.5” or 26" wheel compatible
• 61° - 65° head angle
• 422 - 440mm adjustable chain stay length
• Adjustable BB height
• Sizes S, M, L
• Gambler 710 weight: 38.58lb



Scott Gambler 2015
  The Gambler's Floating Link has been refined to better match Fox's newest RC4. The bike's fork bump stops now do double duty as cable guides, and two rear wheel positions allow riders to alter the bike's chain stay length.

Suspension and Frame Design

The Gambler is designed to work best with Fox's RC4 rear shock, and when Fox made the shift to a smaller shaft diameter it became necessary to slightly tweak the Floating Link suspension layout to match the damping characteristics of the new design. By adjusting the size of the links, Tim Stevens, the engineer behind the design of the Gambler 700, was able to reduce the amount of rotation that occurs at the mounting hardware from 36° to 12° at the top of the shock, and from 12° down to 4° at the lower mounting point. This should help increase the bike's small bump sensitivity and bushing lifespan by translating impacts more quickly to the shock with less stiction from the rotation of the shock hardware on the bushings. Other small refinements to the frame include new fork bumpers that also serve as cable guides, and the switch to routing the rear derailleur housing through the drive side seat stay, which helps give it a better angle when it reaches the rear derailleur. The bike's weight remains roughly the same, and the 710 model, kitted out with a mix of Saint and Zee components and Fox's Air 40 fork checks in at 38.58 pounds.

Photo Christoph Laue
  Flat out is the Gambler's preferred pace, and once up to speed it'll quickly mow down anything in its path. Photo: Christoph Laue

Ride Impressions

Riders who have spent time on previous versions of the Gambler will be glad to know that its monster-trucking abilities are still firmly intact, along with its rock solid feel on steep and rutted tracks. The Gambler isn't a bike for the timid, though, and if you're planning on creeping down the trail while grabbing a fistful of brake this bike could prove to be a handful. While there are lighter, more playful bikes out there, at high speeds the Gambler turns into a bump eating, turbocharged rototiller that will churn through the nastiest terrain and keep asking for more. Even in chunky, awkward sections of trail the rear suspension remained very predictable, with a smooth, well-controlled stroke as the bike went through its 210mm of travel. For the DH rider looking for a full-blown race sled, the Gambler is certainly capable of taking on the most challenging tracks, while at the same time possessing enough adjustability so that it can be ridden on less rowdy bike park trails without feeling out of place, although it's still best suited to more advanced, aggressive riders who can push it hard enough to make it come alive.





The word freeride may have been superseded by the 'E' word over the past two seasons, but Scott still believes there's a demand for a long travel, versatile bike that can be built up in multiple configurations, whether it's with a 180mm single crown fork to make a playful bike park / big mountain bike, or with a 200mm dual crown fork to create a DH race bike. Enter the Voltage FR. The Voltage sports 190mm of rear travel that can be dropped to 170mm by flipping the rear shock mount, and can be run with either 26” or 27.5” wheels. Like the Gambler, the bike's head angle can be changed by switching out the headset cups, giving it a range of options from 62°- 66°. With 26” wheels the chain stay length can be set at either 410 or 425mm, and with 27.5” wheels it is fixed at 425mm. Previously, only two sizes of the Voltage were available, but the FR will now come in small, medium, and large sizes.

The size of the Voltage's bearing and axle hardware has been increased to help the bike withstand lap after lap of bike park shredding, and a brace has been added between the rear seat stays to increase rear end stiffness. The Voltage 710 we rode in Chatel, France, and Morgins, Switzerland is well spec'd with 27.5” wheels, a 180mm version of Fox's new 36, Shimano XT brakes, a pair of Schwalbe's Magic Mary tires, and weighs in at 35.72 pounds.

Details

• 170 or 190mm travel
• 6061 aluminum frame
• 27.5” or 26" wheel compatible
• 62° - 66° head angle
• Interchangeable dropouts
• Sizes S, M, L
• Voltage FR 710 weight: 35.72lb


Scott Voltage 2015
The Voltage can be run with either 170 or 190mm of rear travel. A brace has been added between the seat stays to add stiffness, and there are two rear wheel positions for 26" wheels, and one for 27.5", along with interchangeable dropouts for either a 12x135 thru axle or a 135mm quick release.


Photo Lee Trumpore
  Whether we were hitting scenic step downs over bunches of wild flowers or rallying through the mud, the Voltage FR took it all in stride. Photo: Lee Trumpore.


Ride Impressions

Compared to the Gambler, the Voltage is more user friendly, and it only took a couple of lift served laps to feel right at home on it. On everything from trails filled with tight berms to long, steep rocky chutes, the bike dishes out a good time, and it actually felt faster in some of the twistier sections of trail than on the Gambler, simply because it took less effort to whip it around the corners. The amount of travel was more than adequate, especially when the performance of the Fox 36 is factored in. The 36 possesses what would be on most riders' list of requests for their dream fork: incredible small bump and beginning stroke sensitivity, plenty of mid-stroke support, and a smooth ramp up at the end of the travel. It does a stellar job of filtering out the trail chatter that can cause sore hands and arm pump by the end of a day in the bike park, and even under heavy braking on super steep sections of trail it settled right into the sweet spot of its travel. The rising popularity of all-mountain and enduro bikes does raise the question - who is the Voltage FR for? It's for the rider that wants a bike that can take a season's worth of abuse in the bike park, and possibly be called into duty as a downhill race machine as well. For riders searching for a relatively simple and stout gravity sled with excellent handling, the Voltage is worth a look.



www.scott-sports.com
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151 Comments

  • + 174
 Definitely getting the Voltage. So glad they gave you a 26" option. 26 FOR LIFE
  • + 86
 Don't worry TheFonz03, I was in the same boat as you screaming 26" for life. It is the cool thing to do but the reality is, 27.5 offers a quicker ride as far as picking up speed while rolling over obstacles a bit easier WITHOUT a lot of the negative aspects of the wagon wheel. Its not mind blowing but take my word, hop on a 27.5 Voltage and give it a few good months, park it and hop on the same 26" version & lets talk! Ok ok, all you die hard 26" fans, I know its coming, hit me with the negatives...
  • + 25
 410mm cs
  • + 12
 Was in the same boat aswell, i have a tracer 2 but was curious about 27.5 last year so i converted and havent looked back, its like what socal said not like a huge difference but its all the little things that add up on the trail, my bikes last three years before my tracer was a glory and reign-x , my bikes this year and for the next three years will be tracer275 an the 951evo i got about 5 months ago. But each to their own 26/275/29 as long as your riding and having a good time thats what counts
  • + 27
 650b is more like 26" and a bit, it's not the reason you buy a new bike. You buy a new bike because yours is rattling to bits and isn't worth fixing OR getting all the upgrades on your ever increasing list isn't worth doing because it equals the cost of a new bike that comes with those parts. If a new bike has 26" wheels or the ever so slightly bigger 26" and a bits, they still ride great and it probably isn't worth getting too fired up about. If it makes you that mad, just go ride a bike, its a great stress reliever.
  • + 4
 "Gambler 710 weight: 38.58lb". What???
Looks freaking great though!
  • + 3
 650b wasnt the reason why i decided to get new bikes, main reason was i had compound fractured my femur riding Motocross, so sold both my old rigs and got new ones while i was down. Just run what you brung, wheel size doesnt get me mad by any means i was just saying i feel the same as Socal as stated above
  • - 19
flag rupintart (Jul 3, 2014 at 21:26) (Below Threshold)
 27.5 is a gimmick. Any of you who say "the slightly taller tire is better rolling" are full of it.

A taller/high volume tire (like a Der Kaiser as ONE of many examples) gives you at or bigger than a 27.5 wheel. I outfitted my Jekyll and sat it next to a Bronson, my tires were the same height, but without the "handles like a UPS truck" geometry that the Bronson has....which apparently is "nimble" for a 27.5.

26" may have been an arbitrary wheel choice in the beginning, but it has over 40 years of geometry tuning to dial in bikes for specific purposes...specific tracks even. You barely have, if even a 1/4 of that time refining on the other wheel sizes. Right now it's all sling shit on a wall and see what sticks for geometry. I don't care what trigonometric calculations you do to account for the larger wheel, it simply doesn't work (yet....arguably) Lots of things work great on paper but FAIL in reality...bigger wheels on bikes being one of them. 27.5 bikes handle like shit. 29" bikes handle like shit.

26 = real mtb
29 = xc (there's no doubt about it, if you xc race, you're stupid not to have a 29er simply for, if nothing else, the climbing and roll-ability)
27.5 = bigger wheel bandwagon
  • + 0
 It's all good, I was speaking more to the 650b sceptics out there rather than you in particular redbullrick, I agree with both you guys. Some people just get mad easily about silly stuff you know?
  • + 1
 Haha no prob man, shit thing is i got staph infection in my knee/femur , i was almost back to normal after a year and a half but now back at square one and two more surgerys to go, now i need a 29er for rehab riding haha jk lol
  • + 2
 Both bikes looking sick as. Not light but you know they're built to last. If I lived in the alps and banged out run after run I'd get one for sure.
  • + 3
 i personally love 26 for playing about. 27.5 for the fast race bike, 26 for just good old two wheel fun.
  • + 11
 @ rupintard, same tire make/size on the larger wheel 'will' be a larger diameter, you are comparing a high volume tire to a wimpy xc tire most likely. Common sense dude...Your crazy, I like you but your crazy...
  • - 12
flag megatryn (Jul 4, 2014 at 0:12) (Below Threshold)
 *You're
  • + 19
 Oh shit! Its the grammar police!
  • + 3
 I love all wheel sizes and I own all 3 in different variants. The different wheel sizes are here to stay and for good reason. Get over it and move on the wheel size debate as it is now extremely boring!
  • + 2
 Yeah, I'm also an ex ''26 for life'' guy!!!! I still do own and enjoy my kona entourage BUT I'm having super fun on my new specilized enduro 29er!!! I can jump the hell out of it too..... So , just get a good bike and dont stick to the labels....
  • - 4
flag rupintart (Jul 4, 2014 at 6:36) (Below Threshold)
 High Roller on the 27.5 with a Kenda Nevegal on the 26...the Nevegal was the same height when mounted and inflated to 40 psi. Look it up, 27.5 don't measure to true 27.5 height, some are 27, others are 27.25....they're vary too much. funny at all the negs....I like it. Shows how little of you have actually really ridden them all or put them side by side to compare.
  • + 5
 In all seriousness, most riders that comment on wheel size don't throw whips and scrubs and will never understand the real benefits of 26. In that case, the 27.5 is a good option for those.
  • + 1
 If you like giant wait a little while because the new glory will be 27.5. You could put that money into components vs. a more expensive frame.
  • - 3
 Its a good thing i have a brother in the industry which helps out alot
  • + 6
 Stop bitching about !!!! Leogang 2014 proved that the wheel size doesn´t matter with the only top team on 26" taking 1st and 2nd. Grab your bike and go for a ride instead of arguing about what is better on Pb.
  • + 3
 Not to mention that in the same time the only one top rider on 26" won the EWS. To say that 650B is faster is just a ridiculous statement at this rate.
  • + 1
 @rakeothon. Your talking complete and utter bollox. I have hit the same jumps on my 29er as my 26 inch 4x bike. In fact I raced my 29er at a 4x race and put the big wheeler on the podium. A bike is a bike no matter what the wheel size. Get over the wheel size debate and move on as I have already said.......believe me it's as boring and fook now it really is.
  • + 3
 Also, those top tier racers than won on a 26" bike would still win on a 27.5 bike, at that level its 90% rider. Childish statements being flung around...
  • + 2
 Oh fook me. Not only are the grammar police are out the "Bigger than 26 inch wheel Detectives" are out in force too..... GET OVER IT AND MOVE ON ITS TEDIOUSLY FOOKING BORING!!!!!!
  • + 1
 I can see that the marketing guys from all mtb company made a really good job...
  • + 2
 @rupintart
I'm afraid you are the one that is coming across like you haven't ridden or measured the difference between 22in/559mm and 23in/584mm aka 26in vs 27.5in wheels.
For the same width tire and model the difference is 1in or 25mm. Sure that is less than the 2.5in/63mm difference between a 22in(26er) and 24.5in/622mm (29er).
  • + 2
 More bikes should have a 26/ 27.5 option
  • + 1
 it's nice that you posted 559mm and 584mm...because those mean actually nothing...mount them on the same rim, put them next to each other and you'll see the difference is MAYBE 10 mm....definitely not the 1-1.5 inch difference. that measurement is the measurement at the bead...that has absolutely no impact on the overall height of the tire.

My Jekyll had Der Kaisers, Nevegals, and Hans Dampfs all mounted to i9 wheels. The Bronson next to it had Enves with Nevegals...the tire at most was 10 mm taller. When I mounted DKs to my wheels, my tire height was the same as the Bronson with Nevegals, which are fairly tall tires.

I'm not saying all tires are the same height...I guess somehow the internet retards missed that. My point is that you can still get all the "benefits" of a 27.5 wheel without switching to a 27.5 bike with tire choice. And if that's the case, what's the point in riding a bike that has slower, less nimble geometry than the 26" offerings? Oh, that's right...fanboys.
  • + 1
 Seriously dude...
559mm IS the rim diameter of a "26in" rim aka 22in and 584mm is the rim diameter of "27.5in" aka 23in so YEAH there IS a 1 in difference. The difference is ~15mm when you compare a 26x2.5 with a 27.5x2.3! A schwalbe Muddy mary 26x2.5 measures 690mm and a magic mary 27.5x2.35 measures 706mm!
I agree that you can get a 26in tire that measures 27.5in or bigger but it has to be a very tall tire eg. Duro leopard 26x3.0 => 703mm
  • + 1
 Get a room!
  • + 1
 Read all the Hype.Test rode a 275 last year and loved the feel of it on the trail. Went out and bought one! I believe there's scope for all three wheel sizes. Now chose one and be a Douche about it! Big Grin lol
  • + 3
 Here's my take on 27.5" wheels. The biggest complaint (apart from the cost of buying a new bike/wheel set/fork) is that they are less nimble and playful than 26". That might be true, but the difference is small. The problem is that bike companies were so eager to jump on the 27.5 market so they hastily produced 27.5" bikes that lacked the extensive R&D that's gone into 26" bikes. Now that companies have had several years to refine the geometry, I think we're going to see more 27.5" bikes that actually handle the way companies claim they do. I'd definitely consider a 25.7" #enduro or trail bike. Yeah not all 27.5s feel great, but let's face it, there are also some 26" bikes that are just shit. Honestly I think people should focus more on a bikes' feel and personality than it's wheel size. As long as bike companies keep making DH/FR bikes like the Voltage, I'll be happy.
  • + 3
 Changing wheel sizes with frame sizes makes a lot more sense than a blanket size to me.
  • + 31
 That FR looks beautiful. That niche is a rare breed these days.
  • - 2
 Ive been worried the 26" wheel was going to take the proper freeride bike down with it. Glad to finally see a big single crown for 650b!
  • + 2
 I think it might be a perfect gravity enduro bike with an 11-36 cassette and dropper post.
  • + 30
 Thank you Scott! You actually "get it". A real riders company.
  • - 2
 As long as that rider isn't an XL. Luckily XLs don't count.
  • + 4
 My 6'5 riding buddy is on a size L Norco Aurum, gravity bikes are a little bit more compliant to larger folks
  • + 1
 Funny that cos i'm 6'3" and a large aurum is way to small for me , I know people that have ridden mediums for years but with aurum had to go for a large , these are people around 5'9"
  • + 29
 FR is dead
4X is dead
Sick of that cr*p
Thank you SCOTT!!!!
The voltage could well be my next bike
  • + 22
 Love my 13' Gambler but dammmmmmmm that things fine! There still cheaping out and putting ZEE brakes on the WC model with all Saint group, and Elixirs on the mid level Gambler that has all ZEE groupset, dont understand that! Figured they'd just stick with a groupset, all Saint on the top level, all ZEE for the mid level, and whatever else on the base model Gambler.
  • + 2
 A lot of people find Saint brakes too grabby and Zee a better happy-medium. So the option to have them is possibly due to this and for budget concerns so they can offer the full build at lower price.
  • + 6
 Have you ridden zee brakes? They are amazing
  • + 5
 Not questioning the quality of the ZEE brakes whatsoever...just questioning the splitting up of the groupsets. I wish my Gambler 20 came with ZEE brakes... TO MATCH THE CRANKS MECH AND SHIFTER.
  • + 1
 I've actually found the Zee Freeride rear derailleur to be a great match with a Saint shifter. The Zee is extremely similar to the Saint (and is actually lighter).
  • + 16
 I'm in love with that voltage. Good lord.
  • + 11
 The Scott gambler looks so sick!!!
  • + 8
 Freeride is not dead!!!! Want to throw a leg over that Voltage pretty badly right now.
  • + 6
 Great to see responsible manufacturers like Scott/Ibis/Orange etc who offer frames in both wheel sizes.
Will we ever see a review on the new Orange alpine 160 26er on pb is another question
  • + 2
 I don't think orange offer any of their frames as compatible with both. They offer 26 and 27.5 variants of the alpine, and 27.5 and 29 variants of the five, but neither can be switched between them like these.
  • + 2
 yes, thats what i meant. thanks for elaborating
  • + 8
 That Voltage is absolutely gorgeous. Want want want want want droooooool.
  • + 8
 61 degree is slacker than a pair of dockers!
  • + 7
 DH/FR bike review on Pinkbike? All is well in the world again
  • + 2
 The gambler looks weird, but I like weird. The tuneability of these bikes is definitialy something more companies should do. And the free ride bike specific bike is always nice to see. I wasn't really a fan of Scott bikes before, but now I am...
  • + 2
 Not sure about that seat tube on the Voltage, one thing I liked about my '11 was that you can still run a full length seat post for some enduro-bility. Looks like there's very little room for seat height adjustment now, but it is a true FR bike.
  • + 2
 That the was the main (and only) drawback that I had noticed on the voltage - gotta get that seatpost cut absolutely right as no room for adjustment, other than that the bike looks sweet as.
  • + 2
 Presumably that means it has better pivot placement and therefore a decent suspension curve. On a bike like this, I'd take that any day over the ability to run a full length post.
  • + 3
 Is Enduro-bility really a thing now?....
  • + 2
 Not on a bike like this... Though there are always people riding wildly inappropriate bikes around trail centres here
  • + 1
 Just meant its nice to be able to put your seat up after your downhill run and climb to the top again, not everyone has lifts and shuttles. I'm not suggesting people should use it as a trail/enduro bike.
  • + 1
 The Gambler looks rocking! I weigh 185 lbs (at 5'9") when lean and prefer long wheelbase rigs. My '11 Kona Operator is everything I like in a bike (and it hasn't even snapped yet! LOL) EXCEPT for the wheel and geo adjustability. I used to want a new GT, but this is starting to look like the objective of choice.
  • + 2
 Shame about the voltage losing its straight seat tube. Used to be able to climb pretty good with a reverb in there. Short chain stays is probably more in keeping with its target market though.
  • + 1
 It's true.
I've bought older version of Voltage FR frame just because of straight seat tube - and I built excellent (super?)enduro bike. Or just freeride bike.
  • + 1
 There might not be a straight seat tube, but it will fit a dropper post.
  • + 1
 Well, some riders still prefer traditional seatposts.
According to the "Keep It Simple, Stupid" principle.
  • + 1
 Does anyone have comments on the new sizing chart? S, M, L vs the Short Long. It looks like the M and L overlap quite a bit. Moving into DH/FR, what does a newbie do when they fall smack in the middle of the sizing chart at 181 cms?

thanks
  • + 1
 i 'm not knowledgeable on aluminium welding, but i really want to know,isn't that weld in the gambler's seattube where the pivot goes vulnerable? couldn't they just make it twisted like in the voltage? that's what hydroforming is all about,anyway. i'm guessing welded parts have less strength than the parent material?
  • + 3
 That voltage might be my next bike. I loved the previous ones but they just felt too small. Hopefully the large is a proper large.
  • + 4
 I know this isn't the point of the article, I'm just surprised they haven't released a carbon-framed version of the gambler.
  • - 5
flag hillatoppa (Jul 4, 2014 at 12:14) (Below Threshold)
 They can't. That would take away the only thing they have going for them... HEAVY.
  • + 0
 Have they changed the shock to 9.5" or is it still 10.5?
  • + 0
 9.5" on both Gambler and Voltage
  • + 1
 Finally, a couple of Scott bikes I would actually buy. Great work. Both look sick and sound sicker. Love to have a thrash on either. Scott had been a bit of brand I just never even considered. The gambler from 12/13 started to open my eyes and now they're wide open.
  • + 3
 Love my 13' Gambler, Its super fast and can take a beating and still keep going as well!
But that is a whole nother story of Bad @§§
  • + 6
 awesome bikes!
  • + 1
 The voltage looks lighter than the previous model but i don't think the frame is as low as the old one. Also I don't like the limited seatpost insertion as i do need to pedal the thing a few km's sometimes and like to ride with the seat set low. Other than that i'm glad that they didn't cease production of the voltage. I should get a test voltage in september or maybe sooner. Then I'll see if I should replace my 2012 voltage with it Smile
  • + 5
 That voltage. I'm in love with it.
  • + 1
 I'd be interested to see a back to back test on the gambler with each wheel size on different tracks, schladming style and something more flat out to suit the 650b. Many dh riders have 2 sets of wheels these days, one with dry tyres and one with spikes. If you could have 26's with loam tyres on for the uk and run the bigger wheel with a more rock specific tyre for smashing through the alps it could make the bike super flexible for the user. Seems like a good contender for next time around. Although a voltage with some 380's on could be a prime uk dh bike too.
  • + 1
 Cool idea. Although I'd use the bigger wheels for tamer UK tracks, and the smaller ones for alpine rock smashing and UK tech.
  • + 1
 Or we could wait until its released and see how they ride with what wheels where and decide then. Smile
  • + 1
 if you think about it they really didn't change a lot on the voltage other than how the shock is placed on the top tube and interchangeable geometry. but i totally dig! i'm getting one!
  • + 2
 They should rename the voltage to voltige and have a horse and acrobat graphics theme. That would be weird and very unexpected.
  • + 1
 That Voltage....I'm havin' flashbacks to an '04 Devinci I once had for a short time(it was too heavy even at that time, otherwise it rode great in 7" mode as I recall)...I don't recall the specific geo...
  • + 2
 Scott is a brand that I used to turn my nose up at.. but they have grown on me ...lots. love the new bikes
  • + 0
 El problema de las Scott es que montan unos muelles demasiado blandos, yo tengo una voltage fr en la talla (L) y es fácil hacer tope, el que vaya a ir grande tendrá que cambiarlos.
  • + 2
 to be honest i'm disappointed with the new voltage, in my opinion the older one looked a lot betterBig Grin
  • + 2
 Would a MZ 380 make this bike 100% compatible with both wheel sizes and look even sicker?
  • + 1
 Finaly a Bike Company that saves the true Freeride Bike ! I had a FR 20 and it was probaly the well balanced Bike i ever rode
  • + 3
 this was a shockingly good article! Scott always has amazing bikes
  • + 8
 I think you gambled on an overly obscure pun... There's no such thing as a free ride to top comment
  • + 2
 So glad they stiffened up the rear end of the voltage. that was my only real complaint about the previous years.
  • + 1
 Thats why i didn't get a new one after mine got all twisted. But this new one looks awesome.
  • + 2
 I think its about time that my SC Nomad should retire....That Voltage is just.....perfect...for me
  • + 2
 Wow super versatile. Such an amazing company. Hope to get my hands on both!
  • + 0
 Can someone explain to me all that extra linkage on the gambler? Looks like the shock could be mounted to the bottom of the top tube. Just seems like a lot of extra metal. Is there really a big benefit?
  • + 4
 here's a simulation youtu.be/CmaX7xPwLCU

they use the sequence of links for tuning leverage ratios
  • - 2
 Mike Kazimer, your reviews are normally awesome.

Bit disappointed with this one tho. Mostly because you are way off with the linkage design description for the Gambler. The very complicated linkage has nothing to do with "reducing the amount of linkage movement before the shock is activated". In fact the numerous additional bearings actually increase this free play a fraction, although not enough to worry about. The whole point in reducing the rotation of the linkage compared to the shock is because the shock bushings offer far more initial stiction than the ball bearings used at other points in the linkage. This reduced rotation drops the drag on the whole system, and reduces wear on the shock bushings, adding up to a plusher more durable rear sus system. Surprised you made such a basic error on this. You also make no mention of the major drawbacks in trying to make a frame design work with both 27.5" and 26". Usually one size suffers hard in terms of sus/geo performance. Some insight into how the two wheel sizes fare up would be nice. Also you seem to have drunk the 27.5 is better EVERYWHERE koolaid. Shame on you. Go ride some real DH tracks!

Jk, I'm sure you ride far more DH than I do....Sadly
  • + 1
 It is a "first ride" i am sure they will have a more in depth article on these bikes in the near future.
  • + 0
 Good point, at least as far as the wheel size thing goes. Doesn't excuse that he was just plain wrong about the linkage. I only complain because I normally take the name Mike Kazimer to mean that whatever I am about to read will be well thought out and intelligent. And not have glaring errors like that in it Smile
  • + 1
 Gabriel, perhaps what I wrote wasn't totally clear, but I was referring to the old linkage layout compared to the newer version when I wrote, "By adjusting the size of the links, Tim Stevens... was able to reduce the amount of rotation that occurs at the mounting hardware from 36° to 12° at the top of the shock, and from 12° down to 4° at the lower mounting point." MDRipper is right, this is simply a "First Ride", not a comprehensive review - it's just an overview of my initial impressions of the two bikes after a few days of riding. And wheel size never really crossed my mind when out on the trails - it's much less of an issue than you might think, and with both of these bikes having the option to run 26" wheels with similar geo, it's pretty much a non-issue. As far as riding real DH tracks, Morgins seemed pretty real to me, especially in the pouring rain.
  • + 1
 Gabriel, where are these "numerous additional bearings" you talk of? Also, you are assuming there are some major drawbacks to designing to work with both wheel sizes, but perhaps there aren't any, which is why Mike has not mentioned it?
  • - 1
 Yeah, I was joking about the "real tracks" thing. Just having a little dig cos big wheels annoy me.

My real issue was this "reducing the amount of linkage movement before the shock is activated"

Oh wait you have re-edited it now and corrected that bit. Woohoo! I had some input in a PB review! I assume my thank you is in the post?
  • + 1
 @stim
The "numerous additional bearings" are to be found in the linkage. A bike with no linkage such as an Orange has far fewer bearings between the rear tyre and the shock, meaning less slack to take up before the spring starts compressing. Tbh it's a non-issue really as the added play is an infinitesimally small amount.

There are major drawbacks to designing a suspension system to work with two different wheel sizes. Essentially the spring curves, pivot placements etc. can not be tuned specifically for either size, instead having to be tuned for a sort of average inbetween size.
  • + 2
 Sweet bike...everybody knows red makes you go faster.
  • + 1
 I always get a kick out of how complicated the linkage is on the scott gambler, its comical
  • + 0
 Gambler would be a perfect bike if it is equipped with 9.5in length rear shock.
Why Scott narrows the options to choose from other shocks?
  • + 1
 Scott make me boring....didnt like anything of this bike, there is nothing new....even the colors! Its another recapping.
  • + 1
 Anyone knows the price of the gambler 700? I'm about to sell everything I have just to get that bike.
  • - 2
 That new 36 on the voltage really has me second guessing myself, for this reason: Mike K's initial review drew comparisons to the pike, leading me to believe it's staggering weight loss moved it from SC DH/FR fork to "Enduro" purposes, especially considering the van 180 remains unchanged for 2015. It's almost as if Fox thought they needed to retain a SC DH/FR fork in the lineup and the new chassis isn't as robust.

I'm just very skeptical about this new chassis, but if it really is suited for day-in, day-out use in bikeparks, I'm going to use my Fox EP asap. The idea of losing 600g+ off the front end while gaining much impoorved damping all the while retaining rigidity is a win-win-win.

I would love to see deflection tests between the new and previous 36's.
  • + 1
 Always be sure to talk about your pro forms on the internet. It's great for everyone involved.
  • + 1
 pro form? it's summer----EP! but you are definitely right.

remember guys, we all pay retail.
  • + 1
 I raise a legitimate concern, and some a*shole hiding behind a fake account goes and hates on the fact I get a discount. Gear came a lot easier before I worked at a shop, but getting deals softens the blow of making half of what I did a year ago. Grass is always greener, bitch. Anyone care to chime in re: the actual fork and not my personal situation? Psssshhhhtt.... ESAD altabitch or whoever you are.
  • + 2
 Both of them are so MINT !!
  • + 2
 I hope they will also sell the voltage frame.
  • + 1
 Wow Scott have really impressed me!! defiantly thinking about getting one of these bad boys
  • + 2
 Okay, shut up and take my money... :O
  • + 0
 I wonder how the voltage compares to the specialized status 2, what do you guys think?
  • + 1
 That voltage looks ace, really want one!
  • + 1
 Jeez, the Gambler just looks bombproof
  • + 1
 I am pro spe', but dat bikes, Oh My Godness !!
  • + 0
 anybody else think that trying to dial the back shock on the gambler must be a pain? still a sexy layout though
  • + 0
 This bike is awesome, but what does Scott have against Carbon?
  • + 0
 I just wanna know when I can buy one!
  • + 0
 I just bought a voltage Smile can't wait for its arrival next month!
  • + 0
 anyone know the price on the voltage?
  • + 0
 does anyone know if you can get scott gear online?
  • + 0
 Is that bike (Gambler) really 38.5lb? I thought they were much heavier.
  • + 0
 theyre losing raceing customers with not going carbon on the gambler
  • - 1
 Not as big a fan of the new FR as I was from the last few models but that Gambler... Oh my!!
  • + 0
 Well done Scott! Freeride bikes is where it's at
  • + 0
 "12x135 thru axle or a 135mm quick release. " what, why?
  • + 0
 Will there be a Carbon frame version?
  • + 0
 ratios
  • + 0
 This is shocking stuff
  • + 0
 This is Bike Porn!
  • - 1
 Too many freaking pivot points, sorry. Voltage looks rad.
  • + 1
 have you looked at an Evil Undead?
  • + 1
 How many pivot points do you see?
  • + 5
 and 2 years later, there are people that don't understand that this bike have the same pivot/bearings as the other bikes
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