Date Reviewed: April 2, 2007
Strengths: lightweight bike, good for climbing and lefty fork has very smooth travel. Good bike for XC racing. love the crossmax wheels, they bent but only after a crash, besides that they were always in true. XTR components are very tough and precise.
Weaknesses: very flexy in the rear end that causes gears to grind and flex under torque. Shock broke through rear mount after 2 and a half years. Lefty fork will pull slightly, with the flexy rear end it feels like the bike is not under control sometimes but it will get you where you need to go fast. XTR doesnt seem to be very good in mud. hubs needed replacement after 3 yrs of racing as well (keep in mind this has been raced hard for almost 4 yrs + lots of training rides so its held up pretty well I belive)
good XC bike, fast and lightweight, buy it if you are going to be racing and don't need a bike thats going to last forever. not the most responsive but it will get you where your need to go quickly and not give you too much trouble.
Similar Products Used: Roland piece of junk and a purple steel haro w/ used parts
Bike Setup: full XTR, crossmax wheels, fizik arione wingflex saddle.
a Cross Country Rider
from harrogate, north yorkshire, england
Date Reviewed: August 25, 2005
Strengths: very light weight and full XTR, lefty carbon fork
Weaknesses: limited travel, bushings needed replacing after 2months!
My bike was built to be sub 22lbs which makes this an insanely fast bike. Found the travel to be not enough and a fair bit of bobbing on climbs. Fantastic frame however but needed to replace bushings after 2 months. Good quality paint job and great XTR spec and fantastic fork
Bike Setup: Michellin tires,I have change the front derailleur to XTR,Lefty DLR2,FOX float RP3
from Yucaipa, Ca, USA
Date Reviewed: April 23, 2005
Strengths: It's a Cannondale! Made in the USA. Lefty fork...fox rear. Sloped top tube. True-Lockout. Great looking. Climbs great.....decends incredibly.
Weaknesses: None thus far. Mine doesn't have the Fox inertia valve technology......I loved my F80x fork. But, the lefty is the "plushest" fork I've ever ridden. Cannot be improved (except for inertia valve).
Had to buy a new bikerack to accomodate the "Lefty". Got a Sportsworks rack - That thing rules! Shoulda got it a long time ago.
I wasn't very sure about switching from my Turner.....I mean I love my Turner. But, there is something to be said for technological advances. I get another inch of travel at the rear, in addition to a "no-bob" shock.
My full suspension Turner tips the scales at a scant 22.5lbs.... and the Cannondale stock is 24.5. It will be easy to shed a couple lbs..if necessary.
I was amazed at how I was instantly comfortable on the new bike. It truely "fit like a glove" on the first ride and I am now decending down gnarly single track faster than ever before.
I haven't had a single issue with the bike thus far...only positive experiences.
Weaknesses: not many, the xtr disc brakes are much louder then i expected, having a lil trouble keeping the seatpost from moving around on me
well i just had my first trail ride on the thing and i must say that i can't believe that i waited this long to go full suspension. i had a stumpjumper HT before this and loved the geometry and weight but the down hills were brutal on the knees and after surgery it was too much. the DT Swiss 210 is amazing, i mean it is heavenly how nice it soaks up the bumps it's probably my favorite part of the bike, i was skeptical about the lefty but it too is amazing and so light weight. not really into the blue with white accented color of the frame but it'll do. oh and i dont understand why so many people hate the dual control shifting it took me about 5 minutes and i was sold over the old rapid fire style. this bike is perfect for the xc riding that i do , so if you have the money to drop on this model i would go for it, there is a huge difference between the LX/XT mix i use to ride and the full xtr this bike has, hands down no going back for me. oh and if you are in the central Oklahoma area check out Buchanan Bicycles in Norman, they were very patient with me on my purchase and hooked me up with some great deals. 4 chilis on the value due to the extreme price.
Similar Products Used: Tested the Jamis Dakar XC pro, looked at the S-Works Epic and the Santa Cruz Blur frame, i have computer probles with the signal not getting picked up with the lefty fork
Bike Setup: crossmax sl ust, full xtr, handlebar is easton carbon, hutchinson scorpion light ust
a Weekend Warrior
from Patensie, South Africa
Date Reviewed: November 5, 2004
Strengths: Build quality, Rigidity, light
Weaknesses: Lock-out mission to keep clean in mud
What a bike! After a six month wait to get my Scalpel 900 to RSA, it was stolen after only two months. Although I looked around at other bikes, it was a no-brainer to decide on another Scalpel. To avoid another long wait, I decided to get a frame and kit it with stuff I like.
I ride a small frame and therefor decided to kit the bike with a headshock with less travel. This made the wheel base a bit shorter. The bike definately handles better than the 900 with the lefty I had before. The travel on the headshock is ample for the riding I do and I have never bottomed it.
The SRAM stuff is brilliant. I experienced no gost-shifting on the bike. I rode a muddy 100km race and was one of a few riders who, at the finish, still had all my gears working. I can really recommend SRAM.
At the end of that race the lock-out was dirty and did not work any more. Some guys pull a piece of tube over their shocks to keep it clean, and that seems to have worked. The lock-out on the Fox shock on the 900 was smoother to operate than the DT Swiss shock's.
I'm a bit disappointed with the Larsens - the rolling resistance is quite high. But then, it allows you to take a corner.
The Louise are deadly. Braking is predictable and precise. I've had no problems with them. Its brilliant. You stop when you want to stop.
The bike made me a better rider. I'm riding stuff I would never have dreamt of riding before. It loves single track, flies down hills and climbs like a baboon. I'm not the fastest rider and spends a hell of a long time in the saddle. That bit of travel at the rear makes a hell of a difference. It's no problem riding 8 hrs a day for 4 days.
The only gripes I have with Cannondale is that they took so darn long to get the first bike to SA. I mean 6 months is a hell of a long time to wait. The other is that on the new bike they sent me the wrong colour (after a 2 month wait). I would have had to wait again to get the right one. So I settled.
What it boils down to: This bike is made for cross-country riding and excels at it, but you can do a bit more technical stuff with it.It is a lekker bike and if I have to replace it, I would get another Scalpel.
Similar Products Used: Scalpel 900, Schwinn Moab Disc, Orbea team replica
Bike Setup: SRAM 9.0 shifters and rear mech, XT front mech and crank-set, egg-beater pedals, Magura Louise discs, Mavic Cross-max SL wheels with Maxxis Larsen TT UST tires, Fatty Shock
from Chester, Va USA
Date Reviewed: June 30, 2004
Strengths: Fast,Faster and the Fastest
Weaknesses: Frog and bottom eye bolt on shock
I am 6'4" 215lbs. At first I was afraid of this bike. I though I would crush it. This bike has held up just as well or better than my Ellsworth. I put the fastest lap as a Clysdale at 24hrs. Snow Shoe with this bike. It handled all of the Tech. stuff with no prob.
Similar Products Used: yeti, RM, Santa Cruz, Intense, Giant, Cannondale
Bike Setup: Stock
from Calgary, AB, Canada
Date Reviewed: March 27, 2004
Strengths: Full XTR. Light like lightening. Great price.
Weaknesses: Gigantic rear lockout is like a zit on a pretty face.
Really, I just wanted to be the first person to review this bike. From the moment I hopped on the saddle I knew I wanted this bike. I'm used to a hardtail, so I love the responsiveness of this bike, and the Lefty fork is super plush. I was a bit afraid of it at first, but the Lefty's an amazing fork. Although I think the rear lockout's a bit goofy I haven't needed it yet, so it's likely coming off soon. Also, the 2.0 tires seem a bit big and heavy (even for the lights) so I'll likely switch to the 1.75's that come spec'd on the Team Replica. Besides that, some 959 pedals to replace the 520's, and I'm all set. This thing climbs like a scared monkey on meth, so if I don't kick some butt this year I can only blame it on bad genetics and too much ice cream.
I'm just about to put my 2003 Scalpel 3000 up for sale but have know idea what it's worth now. It's in good condition with full original XTR components, new generation XTR cranks, Mavic Crossmax SL wheels and a carbon Lefty.
Anyone out there have a ball park figure on what I should put it on for? ... Read More »
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