First Look: Updated 2015 Scott Gambler and Voltage FR 2

<b>Introducing the 2015 Scott Gambler, slightly muddy after its third wash of the day.</b>

<b>Scott's updates to the 2014 linkage are subtle, but they have a significant impact on the feel of the rear suspension. It uses a standard 10.5x3.5-inch shock and now sees less bushing rotation.</b>

<b>Brendan Fairclough was on hand to demonstrate how capable the Gambler is at shredding DH tracks (as if we didn't already know). Numerous hucks to flat were mandatory.</b>

<b>Two of Scott's main test riders, Brendan Fairclough and Nico Vink, demonstrate the Gambler's "freeracing" abilities.</b>

<b>Brendan wanted rear suspension that was soft yet firm. Scott pulled it off. The new suspension design is incredibly supple but offers more support than the previous model.</b>

<b>This is one of the original Gambler prototypes used to dial things in.</b>

<b>FOX technicians were on hand during our test session to help with setup as well as to gather additional feedback before finalizing the Gamber's custom internals.</b>

<b>The Syncros headset allows head angle adjustment ranging from 61 to 65-degrees. FOX and Scott developed custom crowns with extra offset for Brendog to address the unique handling characteristics of a super slack DH bike. A quick parking lot test hints at a much snappier steering ride...</b>

<b>The keyed rear axle prevents both twisting and loosening when getting wild and sideways. Choose from short (425mm) or long (440mm) stays, and 26 or 27.5-inch wheels.</b>

<b>There's not much left to debate at this point. 27.5 wheels are faster and noticeably take the edge of braking bumps and chatter. A bit vague feeling in the corners at first, we were fully used to them on a DH bike by the end of day one.</b>

<b>15mm of chainstay length, 10mm of BB height, and 4-degrees of head angle adjustment allow a totally custom fit.</b>

<b>Why turn right, left, than right again when you can just jump two corners and turn once? Brendan's ridiculous cornering ability hasn't been slowed a bit by the larger wheels.</b>

<b>Magic Mary tires, big wheels, and the shortest chainstay setting. Bring on the mud!</b>

<b>Vital's Lee Trumpore says that even when pinned, he was nowhere close to riding the Gambler to its full potential.</b>

<b>Don't let the simple looking design fool you, the new Voltage FR 710 packs Gambler like performance in a nimbler, more affordable package.</b>

<b>You can run 170 or 190mm of travel by flipping the rear shock mount. The +/- 2 degree Syncros headset cups allow you to run a 180mm single crown or 200mm DH fork without adversely impacting the geometry.</b>

<b>Gettin' zesty on the Voltage FR.</b>

<b>Just like the Gambler, the Voltage FR accepts both 26 and 27.5-inch wheels with 410 or 425mm chainstays. The rear dropouts are convertible between 10x135mm and 12x135mm.</b>

<b>You probably haven't heard of Vincent Tupin yet, but you will. He hucked bigger and smoother than anyone all weekend. Someone forgot to tell him the Voltage FR isn't a 'real' DH bike... #watchthisspace</b>

<b>Part park bike, part freeride, and part DH, the Voltage FR is a blast to ride.</b>

<b>Ben Walker is the man responsible for the infamous Champery track as well as legendary tracks in Morgins and Chatel. He's also in large part responsible for the Gambler design in its current form.</b>

<b>Dan Roberts is the man behind the new Voltage FR. He also rallies the steepest trails at Morgins with the the best of them.</b>

<b>Both of these bikes were designed by shredders for shredders. Here Gambler engineer, Tim Stevens, gets fully loose around one of Morgin's dozens of super steep switchbacks.</b>

<b>The Gambler and Voltage FR will be each be available in three versions (sorry, no root beer). Check out <u></u> for more details.</b>

How do you improve the already incredible Scott Gambler downhill bike? Oh, and the Voltage too? We spent a few days in France and Switzerland riding steep, muddy downhill trails and eating cheese while Scott filled us in on the details, which we've captured for you in this slideshow.

Put simply, the rear suspension on the updated 2015 Gambler is awesome. It has no bad habits, and gone is the deep stroke wallow of the earlier design. Given how hard Brendan Fairclough rides from the back of the bike it's no surprise this was a significant change for the new year. The adjustability of the previous models remains with the addition of being able to switch between wheel sizes, which only adds to the fun. Even when fully up to speed we were nowhere close to riding this bike to its full potential.

The new Voltage FR is a treat as well. At a time when many would rather ride a trail bike than a DH bike because of the versatility and fun they offer, the Voltage FR manages to maintain the playful feel of a trail bike while being able to tackle some of the gnarliest trails the French and Swiss Alpes had to offer. It also allows you to go near DH race speeds without having to work as hard. At about half the price of the Gambler it's bound to be a hit with bike park riders and non-enduro racing trail riders alike, and for that reason we're giving it two thumbs way up. The Voltage FR combined with a 180mm FOX 36 fork might just be the most fun DH(?) bike we've ridden in a long time.

Visit for more details.

Photos by Lee Trumpore, Keno Derleyn, and Christoph Laue // Video by ShapeRideShoot
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  • Big Bird

    7/5/2014 8:01 AM

    That Voltage is pretty fresh and clean looking.

  • sspomer

    7/5/2014 8:56 AM

    ^^^ yeah, it looks dialed!

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