An all-new Scott DH platform has been in development for several years. And now the full carbon Gambler Tuned bets it all on the World Cup Downhill circuit as one of the lightest, most adjustable race bikes available – tune setup quickly on race day with adjustable suspension progression, adaptable geometry & your pick of wheelsizes.
2020 Scott Gambler Tuned carbon DH race bike
The new Gambler Tuned was developed with a single, focused directive – to go downhill fast. It has been several years since we have seen a major update to Scott’s Gambler DH mountain bike, but we got a good look at Brendan Fairclough riding an alloy test mule of the downhill race rig last summer at Crankworx. That time in development wasn’t just spent dialing in suspension & geometry, but figuring out what actual adjustability could be built in, to tailor the bike to go faster on every type of downhill course.
The bike’s suspension design evolved more from Scott’s enduro & trail bikes, with a classic Horst-link four-bar design that takes shock forces out of both the top & down tubes for 200mm of tunable rear wheel travel.
DH race adjustability
Adjustability is a hallmark of a proper race bike to dial it in for course variation, and the Gambler has it in spades. A 4-way adjustment chip on lower shock mount allows for an easy swap between 2 progression settings & 2 BB heights, with clear & concise labels that actually makes it easy to know what you are doing.
The simple flip chip makes for real user customization to account for changes from coil to air shocks, a shift in ride balance from more technical to higher speed tracks, or just to allow each racer to get their preferred weigh balance & progression feel.
The new Gambler also builds in the same easy multi-wheel size swaps like on Scott’s trail & enduro bikes from 27.5 to 29″ and back again with just a simple BB height flip chip & wheel swap to preserve the same ride (no fork or headset changes necessary.) All of the chainstay, BB & headset positions will also work with either wheel size, so the possibilities are quite open.
Scott also says that thanks to the dual-position chainstay length, shock flip chip & adjustable headset, you can also run a mullet setup – business up front, party in the back – with a 29″ front wheel & 27.5 rear. That setup requires a bit more effort to dial in, but the adjustability is there to set it up and mullet DH bikes have been shown to win a couple of World Cup DH races already this season.
The new bike gets updated geometry and fits, now with four reach options to fit a wider range of riders on small or big wheels (S-XL). Scott also says a new size specific seattube angle and new Syncros saddle gives the possibility to get lower & further back without tire interference, even for small riders on 29″ wheels. All of the bike’s adjustability means 62-64° head angles through interchangeable headset cups, and 435 or 450mm chainstays through the two axle positions.
Scott is always big on integrated setups with their in-house Syncros component possibilities. The new DH bike gets a new custom developed chainguide & bashguard that ditch ISCG mounts for overall better performance.
The Gambler-specific solution improved chainstay strength & stiffness, longer bearing life thanks to the ability for wider space bearings, and resulted in lower weight overall eliminating in-molded alloy elements – all by dropping those standard tabs and creating a chainguide optimized for the Gambler’s chainline & chainring sizes.
The bike also gets a new one-piece 290g Hixon iC DH carbon handlebar & direct mount stem. Just like they’ve done for XC, the one-piece solution is lighter & much stronger than two individual components – and you probably see less stem length adjustment on a DH bike anyway, right? It also gets a special two-part Syncros front fender to fit directly to the Fox 40/49 DH forks.
Scott created the 200mm travel full carbon Gambler Tuned to be superlight, but also put a lot of development into balancing frame stiffness & flex so that the bike would track well racing, but eat up some bad line choice too. They call it the ideal mix of stiffness & rider comfort, so it sounds like it should be stiff enough for elite pro DH racers without becoming overly stiff to beat you up.
The carbon bike is impressively light for a DH racer, just 2650g (5.84lb) for a medium frame with all of its hardware. 160g of that is the carbon rocker link that with newly developed manufacturing is measurably stiffer than anything alloy could ever match.
The carbon frame includes integrated soft rubber downtube, chainstay & seatstay protection to keep the tough carbon underneath looking good and long-lasting. The 12x157mm, BB107 frame also integrates fork bumpers and gets secure internal cable routing to run quietly.
Availability, spec & pricing options
The new Gambler will be available now in two carbon bike builds and two alloy models – all with 29″ wheels & the carbon rocker link. This top-spec 8000€ Gambler 900 Tuned gets a Fox 40 Factory Float fork, DH X2 coil shock, SRAM X01 DH 7-speed drivetrain & Code RSC brakes.
The 6000€ Gambler 910 mates the carbon main triangle to alloy stays and swaps in a Performance Elite Fox 40, a GX DH drivetrain & Code R brakes.
A 4400€ Gambler 920 drops down to a hydroformed, butted 6061 aluminum frame with pretty much all the same features of the carbon bikes, and gets a Fox 40 Performance Elite fork, Fox Van RC coil shock, SRAM GX DH drivetrain & 4-piston Shimano brakes.
The entry-level 3700€ alloy Gambler 930 gets a RockShox Boxxer Select fork, X-Fusion Vector R coil shock, SRAM X5 8sp drivetrain & 4-pot Shimano brakes.
2020 Scott Gambler Tuned carbon DH bike, 200mm travel lightweight full carbon World Cup Downhill race mountain bike
photo by Sven Martin