Brendan Fairclough's Rampage Special - Crankworx Whistler 2016

Aug 20, 2016 at 15:06
by Mike Levy  
Brendan Fairclough s Scott Gambler Photo by Paris Gore


I seriously doubt that there's a World Cup downhiller out there that's more exciting to watch than Scott's Brendan Fairclough. It doesn't need to be said that he's pretty handy between the tape, but the UK racer also has a massive fan base for his style on the bike when there isn't a clock ticking away. And while anyone who races World Cups is an absolute wizard when it comes to bike handling skills, there aren't many who are willing to lean on that talent in the heat of the Red Bull Rampage.

Fairclough, however, has competed in a few Rampage events over the years, bringing an entirely different kind of style to an event that is more about amplitude and tricks than his obvious focus on speed and smoothness. This is the Scott Gambler that he'll be on come Rampage this October.


Brendan Fairclough s Scott Gambler Photo by Paris Gore
Brendan Fairclough s Scott Gambler Photo by Paris Gore


Surely his Gambler sports custom geometry? Nope. With the production frame coming with a Syncros headset that allows for a head angle anywhere between 61 and 65-degrees, and chainstay adjustment that can sit between 425 and 440mm depending on the setting, there's no need for Brendan to be on anything but the stock frame that you or I could purchase and then ride a whole bunch slower than he does. The green and orange colours are special and very much not production, though, with Scott painting up two frames for the event; one to ride and another as a spare. Besides that, and a custom seat from Syncros with his name embossed across the top of it, his machine is remarkably normal. Or as normal as a World Cup rig can be.

As you might expect, Brendan's suspension would feel extremely firm for the needs of the average rider, and he'll likely even up the spring rates further once he gets to the Utah desert later this year. There's also a good chance that there's some suspension trickery going on inside his Fox shock and fork.


Brendan Fairclough s Scott Gambler Photo by Paris Gore


MENTIONS: @SCOTT-Sports




65 Comments

  • 54 0
 Love the British Racing Green! The accents should have been yellow though!
  • 10 30
flag Happymtbfr (Aug 20, 2016 at 23:56) (Below Threshold)
 Sorry but nobody wins with British racing green on their ride. Ask Steve Peat!
  • 3 0
 @denomerdano lol.. thats what I came to write. Green with flo yellow would be sick
  • 1 1
 @Intoxication: the orange matches the color of the brake disc.
  • 29 0
 A bike check without details....
  • 2 0
 What settings is he using?
  • 9 0
 Kick ass looking bike. As for the custom geo references in world cup. It is interesting that with carbon taking over custom bikes are less and less common.Aluminum is pretty easy to alter and modify to suit a particular riders preferences, but carbon is pretty much impossible without retooling expensive casts.. I know Gee has a custom session, but their bikes are hand made in Wisconsin, perhaps making it easier than when a frame is produced overseas.. Aarons bike last year had a different layup, not sure if geo was any different. And i thought greg had a longer chainstay in addition to the longer linkage he uses. I know theirs a few riders with alu bikes that have some tweaks. ( sam blenki's alu rear end is 5 mm shorter) and sam hill's pulse is modified as well. ( shortend top tube, longer rear end ). Other than that im not aware of any other custom bikes. ( not including rocker links, as theirs lots of those ). Its like steve jones said. Years ago it was the weekend warrior's who lusted over the super trick custom bikes. And now pros are the ones who must suffer the humiliation of riding production bikes. Haha. But really its also that bike are so good now, that cutom geo is required far less often than it was. SIzing is pretty spot on. Not to say that i think alot of pros wouldnt benefit from small tweaks, after all every rider is different,from riding style, body shape, personal preference. And five mm here or their certainly make's a difference. If cost was no object i think pretty much every WC rider would be on a modified bike to varying degrees.
  • 2 0
 Gee's Bike has a custom triangle, not a whole frame.
  • 18 1
 For all the good it's done him. He performed better on the production spec aluminium Fury.
  • 2 0
 pretty sure he has a custom triangle as well
  • 21 4
 @jaame: perhaps Gee should get on a Demo, it could be the perfect match. The most disliked rider on the most disliked bike. Every time he wins, I'd put on my best suit, sit by the window and play "Spiegel im Spiegel". The very thought of desparity of cycling community would trigger ultimate schadenfreude. It would cross my eye balls and bring this "nutted but she's still sucking" grimace on my face.
  • 3 2
 I wonder if this move to carbon is slowing the evolution of geometry. IMO we are probably 95% there with geometry but its the last 5% that is the most difficult. With Al bikes racers could make slight changes between races. With carbon it would be seasonal or when new models are released.

This is why a bike like the Gambler is great especially for the average punter.
  • 1 0
 I can see more manufactures haveing geo-chips or oversized head tubes (for angleset headsets) built in to carbon frames in the future to give riders and racers what they want. Got it on my banshee and love it
  • 4 0
 @mattvanders: or rather: an illusion of choice. How many times have you heard someone riding steeper setting and how many times have you heard a dude proudly speaking of using slacker setting for bad asses? Smile
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: 71 degree HA FTW
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: my upper pain threshold is around 68.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I was at 69.5 for a while but that was with big old man wheels.

Seriously though Minnaar went slack then steeper.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: gee fury was a custom size.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I think if bike manufactures pushed the set up a bit more of geometry so a trail bike could be run as 64 to 66 degrees with chipset/angleset, then it would worth haveing said frame features. My mate has the canyon strive and I currency don't see the need for the shape shifter with its current geo.

On my 29er hardtail I've stuck an angle headset in it to get it slack at 65.5, my spitfire are in the slackest chip setting getting 65 but still temped to get a headset for it. I don't live in a steep trail area but it makes sence still for a stable bike at speed
  • 2 1
 @mattvanders: i know it makes sense, what I'm saying is they give you a good setting and a shitty setting so that you feel good about it. I manipulate my kids this way on a daily basis. Perhaps if they gave you 64/65 it would make sense
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: not bashing Gee at all. I think he's a good dude. I'm pointing out that custom carbon sounds nice but in the real world counts for little more than bragging rights.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: he looks cramped on it....time for a XXL trek!
  • 1 0
 @Travel66: I've not checked the numbers but how does the Trek cf GT? (The source of all knowledge wikipedia says) Gee is 6'3" so similar to Minnaar. Hence one would expect a similar length bike to the V10 XXL
  • 1 0
 @jaame: I was just talking usual crap, I didn't mean anything against your comment.
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Awesome dude
  • 1 0
 @fartymarty: his trek is same size as XL v10 and Large Tues
  • 9 0
 very nice all terrain bicycle
  • 7 0
 What no carbon -shock, horror. Cheaper more reliable frame that allows for experimentation. Shhh don't tell anyone...
  • 3 0
 saw him again at surrey hills this morning, always recognise him as a familiar face, say hi and then realise I don't know this guy just see his face on PB all the time, he always says hi back
  • 1 0
 Isn't it actually just a high single pivot? The front mount of the rear triangle could be pushing (or pulling) directly on a shock if it were oriented a little differently, the rest of the wishbones and links are all to manipulate the leverage ratio on the shock, no? If you take the shock and leverage linkages away, the rear triangle pivots at one point, making it a single pivot. It's how they choose to actuate the shock that is convoluted.

Looks badass, however you classify it.
  • 6 3
 Cool bike.. it would be even cooler if it actually had pedals
  • 12 0
 Pedals are so Enduro bro, this is DH
  • 10 0
 @connordoll21: This is Freeride.
  • 4 0
 Freeracing
  • 4 0
 Wheel size?
  • 1 0
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/13832682

27.5, you can see it on the sticker on the rear wheel
  • 3 0
 Sendin it at rampage! Yeah brendog!
  • 3 0
 Where's the water bottle going to go??
  • 1 0
 I'll be over here waiting for the brendog/niko shredit. The last one was epic.
  • 3 0
 *brendog/vinny t

A prime example on how to sell a bike

m.pinkbike.com/news/scott-in-your-hands-fairclough-tupin-2015.html
  • 3 0
 Dang it Pinkbike! You're late!

Here's your latest gambler edit with Nico Vick

youtu.be/QCp-bIGvq2o
  • 2 0
 What happened to the new link design of the gambler?
  • 3 0
 With an air shock he may not need it vs a coil shock
  • 1 0
 "a custom seat from Syncros with his name embossed across the top of it" but we never actually get to see it? Bummer.
  • 2 0
 His bum sees it though...
  • 2 0
 Smooth
  • 3 4
 Since the suspension platform on the Gambler is slightly regressive, I wonder how many volume spacers he has packed into his rear shock
  • 2 0
 Pretty sure I read somewhere that Neko and Brendog have custom linkage to make it ramp up more
  • 5 0
 It's not digressive at all, it's progressive throughout the travel (both the 2013-2014 and 2015-2017 models). Have mapped in Linkage myself - it's a smooth progressive curve which I think is one of the best available on current DH bikes (stable and not wallowy). The new custom linkage is designed to have more progression to suit the coil shock, so you'll see that link paired when the bike is running the X2 coil rather than the Float X2 being used here.
  • 1 0
 @uuuu: you've digressed mate.
  • 4 3
 That's a heck of a lot of pivots.
  • 5 0
 I counted the other day on a friend's bike and it's actually not more than on my horst-link bike!
  • 3 0
 get him a heckler then Smile
  • 2 0
 A rocker activated Horst has 4 pivots, the gambler has 4 pivots, VPP has 4
(Not counting shock mounts and from one side only)

I can see where you are coming from though, as i thought that the first time i saw a gambler Smile
  • 1 0
 bikeporn, sexy but not vulgar
  • 1 0
 Lookin' sharp
  • 1 0
 The wild dog!
  • 1 0
 Damn, that bike is fine.
  • 3 4
 Is it just me or does the Gambler have like 2 pivots too many?
  • 3 0
 if it had 2 less pivots it would only have 2 pivots. explain to me how you think that would be better.
  • 2 1
 @tfriesenftr: Less is better.
  • 2 0
 It has the same # of pivots as all other multi-link bikes so?
  • 1 1
 @zephxiii: the gambler has pivots for days

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