has some of the world's most challenging terrain in their backyard. The lift-access trails that weave throughout France and Switzerland's Portes du Soleil offer an ideal test ground for developing gravity bikes that can handle the world's toughest obstacles. We recently had an opportunity to ride the 2015 Scott gravity bikes, the 27.5-inch Gambler and 27.5-inch Voltage. Scott Sports
Brendan Fairclough is one of mountain biking's most stylistic and aggressive racers. His feedback has been instrumental in developing a bike that can help him tackle everything from Redbull Rampage to the World Cup Downhill circuits' most challenging tracks. Photo: Keno Derleyn
It was no secret that one of the bikes that we would have an opportunity to ride was the new 27.5-inch Gambler. Brendan Fairclough and the rest of the Gstadd-SCOTT World Cup DH team have been testing and racing on different iterations of 27.5-inch Gamblers since 2013. The research and development within this elite group has led to the production version we're set to ride in Chatel and Morgins.
Even though at first glance the new 2015 Gambler 710 looks strikingly similar to the version they released in 2012, the new 27.5-inch model has been completely overhauled to accommodate both 26- and 27.5-inch wheels, while still maintaining 210 millimeters of rear wheel travel and the ability to have nearly the same geometry regardless of wheel size. Photo: Keno Derleyn
My first runs on the new Gambler left me forgetting about the bigger wheel size. That's a good thing. The travel, geometry and fit on the bike felt familiar. And like the 2012 Gambler, the new version rewards you for riding committed and aggressively. It really came to life when I trusted the bike and let it charge through rough, wide-open terrain. It's in those situations that the traction and control of the floating link really shines through. Add to that, the undeniable rolling advantages of a bigger wheel, and it was hard not to feel confident. Photo: Christoph Laue
The head angle on the new Gambler is now a degree steeper out of the box at 63 degrees, but comes with 2 Syncros angled headset cups. Run it stock or swap the cups for either plus/minus 1 degree or plus/minus 2 degrees in either direction, and riders can run it as slack as 61 degrees or as steep as 65 degrees. Photo: Keno Derleyn
Scott’s proprietary IDSX dropouts have an eccentric conical design that interface with the frame to offer an incredibly stiff rear-end, while still offering the rider an adjustable wheelbase of either 425 or 440 millimeters. Photo: Martin Bissig
The 2 position adjustable bottom bracket height can have you as low as 331 millimeters on 26-inch wheels, or as high as 353 millimeters with 27.5-inch wheels.
It's not all about adjustability on the Gambler, there are clever details with the cable routing as well. This new integrated cable guide/fork bumper leads the rear brake and shifter toward the rear linkage, where the rear shifter cable runs internally through the seat stay. The rear brake to runs externally, ensuring that brake bleeds are kept easy. Photo: Martin Bissig
The Gamblers' diversity in motion – Brendan Fairclough on his 27.5-inch race ready rig leads Nico Vink and his 26-inch equipped Gambler off the shark-fin hip jump. Photo: Keno Derleyn
The new 2015 Voltage has been completely redesigned and incorporates many features found on the Gambler line up–27.5- and 26-inch compatible, and IDSX dropouts, along with the Gamblers' large sized bearings. The Voltage also comes with a set of adjustable headset cups. At 64 degrees out the box, it's possible to rake out the head angle as slack as 62 degrees or as steep as 66. Photo: Keno Derleyn
After spending the better part of two days riding the Gambler in Chatel, I was admittedly a bit apprehensive to switch over to the new Voltage FR 710. Any fears or doubts about the bike quickly subsided though. The Voltage is nothing but fun, and extremely capable. At home in the berms and on the jumps, the Voltage didn't miss a step when it got into the rough, rugged terrain. Photo: Lee Trumpore
Adjustable travel can be set up as either a 170 millimeters in the short travel setting, or as I rode it 190 millimeters in long travel. Photo: Martin Bissig
The Voltage sports an interchangeable dropout system that can run a 12×135 millimeter IDSX dropout (pictured), or a standard 10×135 quick release rear axle. Photo: Martin Bissig