The lightest, stiffest, most responsive dual suspension XC race bike in the world. With race proven Zero Pivot technology, BallisTec Carbon construction and full System Integrated componentry, the Scalpel is the ultimate cross-country race weapon.
I bought a 2013 from my local bike shop and got a great deal on the price. I was a little concerned about the Lefty, but after riding it a bunch, it's fantastic. So, smooth and stiff. I owned a Giant Anthem before and it was more plush than the Scalpel. However, I was looking for something that was faster and climbed better. Going from alux to carbon made a huge difference. However, the Scalpel is stiff, fast and less plush than I was used to. However, I'm getting more into racing (Xterrra, local 1 hr races, etc) and it's a much better bike for me. This is a race bike. It could be lighter, but that's a function of spending more $$$ and simply getting the Scalpel 1 with carbon hoops. Very specific bike, but for what it does, it does well.
I bought the 2013. Paid $4600. I had the 2012 flash carbon before this and I did not like it. This bike is amazing. It does what I want it to do. My confidence has increased. My body is not tired like it was on the HT. took me three bikes to get here but now I am completely satisfied. Aluminum wheels very light weight.
I love this bike, it is as light as a hardtail 26" 21lbs, and it as fast as a 29er. The zero pivot suspension translates to zero lost energy, is springs you up obstacles and propels you beyond the competition. No question this is the fastest bike I have EVER ridden, I have ridden a lot of bikes 26" and 29er. It is so fun lively that it is my go-to bike for any occasion, never will go back to anything else.
Similar Products Used: Rocky Mountain Element Team RSL 29er
Santa Cruz Tall Boy
Specialized Stumpjumper 29er
Litespeed Niota 26"
Titius Racer X 26"
Bike Setup: Stan's Wheels
XLR 100mm Lefty
Rock Shox Monarch
Elixir 9 Brakes
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 7, 2011
Strengths: The lightest full suspension XC bike you can get!
Weaknesses: It’s the best for XC racing or trail, but don’t try to go hard core downhill with it!
The white grips are good looking but get easily dirty (well, they are white!).
The 2011 Scalpel is just the greatest bike I have ever ridden!
I have the Scalpel 2 which offers a great gear upgrade in comparison with the Scalpel 3 and I thought the Scalpel 1 price was just not justifiable (though the Carbon Lefty would have looked great).
I bought the European model because the frame is the same colour than the Scalpel Ultimate (and not black like in the US), full Sram X-0 and with great DT Swiss Rims and Spokes.
The remote lock on the handlebar for the Lefty is nice to show-off with friends but actually I don’t really need to save 0.3 second to lock/de-lock my fork!
During the week days, I even put 1.5’ tires to train on the road/ easy dirt-road and gain a lot of speed (you could even put 1.3’).
Bike Setup: Full Sram X-0
DT Swiss XCR 1.5 Wheels
Lefty Speed XLR, 100mm
Rock Shox Monarch RT3
Shimano XTR SPD pedals
a Weekend Warrior
from Morrison, Colorado
Date Reviewed: May 13, 2009
Strengths: I have just ridden it a couple of times on short rides, however, the performance is amazing. I am able to climb like never before and it offers very responsive handling. I just went from a Jekyll to this, I find this bike to be much more responsive and a much better climber.
Bike Setup: Mavic Crossmax SLR wheels, Avid Juicy Ultimate Brakes
a Cross Country Rider
from Yucaipa, CA
Date Reviewed: January 27, 2008
Strengths: light, stiff, loves to climb, fast around corners, balanced on descents
I have done two long rides on this bike. It feels like a very solid unit that fits my riding style of fast uphills and controlled downhills quite well. Look for it in the middle of the pack at the Xterra race in Temecula due to my lackluster swimming and running ability.