Cannondale Scalpel 2000 2002 Full Suspension

4.78/5 (37 Reviews)
MSRP : $3303.99


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (37 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Gerrit a Cross Country Rider from Mere, Belgium

Date Reviewed: June 15, 2006

Strengths:    Accelleration, pedalforce all goes to the ground, comfort, weight, looks, feel, cornering,...

Weaknesses:    Original (first) rear triangle, price, front travel.

Bottom Line:   
I loved this bike since the first time i saw it. After testing a friend's i just had to have one. So i built up my own from a used frame with the componants i wanted. That way i found it the ideal XC and Marathonracer i wanted it to be. I also used to find it to fluffy in the rear, till i changed the parts last year to the much stiffer triangle that is still use now. The DT shoc eliminated the little pumping there was, so all there's left is a little more travel on the headshoc (tuned and works perfectly). I think everybody would love this bike, but it needs some time and experience to find the right setup, meaning that it's not really originally provided (unless you have a great bikeshop). Only 3 for value because the bike should have evolved a bit faster, or become a lot cheaper.

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Favorite Trail:   Wéris

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   used

Bike Setup:   Bought frame and fork used. Only seatpost remains from original setup. Now has XTR with Rocket shifters, CMax SL, Hope Mono M4, Braxxo carbon bar, Tune barends, Schwalbe Big Jims, new composite triangle, new swingarm, DTswiss shoc

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dai Baker a Weekend Warrior from DC

Date Reviewed: April 8, 2006

Strengths:    The Acceleration when the trail flattens out is amazing, give the pedals a bit welly and it just flies, I've never experienced that on another bike.

Weaknesses:    Didnt like the riser handelbars, felt a bit cramped, but they can be changed.

Bottom Line:   
Rode the Rush and the Scalpel back to back, I expected to prefer the Rush as I allready have a full sus bike and was not that convinced buy the soft tail design. The Rush was amazing for the first mile of the trail but I started to find it hard going and very stop start. The Scalpel just flew over the trail. Confident down the tight twisty sections and just floated on the flat, it it build to go fast. I have never felt real acceleration in a bike before, untill today. You know you have found the right bike when you find your self shouting "OH YEAH BABY"

I'm 6'2" 190lbs and I'm going to get the large, XL was to big for me felt like I was sat on it, center of gravity to high. My only concern is a couple of reviews saying it's a bit fragile. I'll post an update after purchase.

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Favorite Trail:   cwmcarn

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Similar Products Used:   Marin Rift Zone, Cannondale Rush.

Bike Setup:   Stock 2000.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Brian Hann a Cross Country Rider from Knoxville, TN, USA

Date Reviewed: November 21, 2005

Strengths:    Lefty fork, light weight

Weaknesses:    Manufacture defect of the top tube, rapid rise rear derailure

Bottom Line:   
The scalpel is a nice light weight xc bike however, the top tube on the large frame goes up at a sharper angle that the small and medium. Because of this, the rear derailure cable is constantly in tension and causes missed shifts in the rear derailure. This may be a function of the quality in the rapid rise action. It seems as if the XTR components are too fragile for excess use.

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Favorite Trail:   Fast Single Track

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2300.00

Purchased At:   The Bike Zoo

Bike Setup:   Stock, except for riser bars

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ryan a Cross Country Rider from WI

Date Reviewed: March 1, 2004

Strengths:    UST, Magura brakes provide excellent power and modulation, seat is comfortable, and most importantly it's a Cannondale!


Weaknesses:    Brakes make a bird chirping sound, and Shimano chains can be touchy.


Bottom Line:   
Great distance and racing bike. This bike was not built to be a downhill or freeride bike so look elsewhere because it is relatively fragile. Stock tires flat easily, rear tire got cut in the first week of riding, so I switched to Jet/S and they go fast. Overall a very fun bike if you don't mind sacrificing strength to save weight.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   single track

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   Riverbrook Bike and Ski

Similar Products Used:   Specialized S Works Trek Fuel

Bike Setup:   stock exept pc99 and EC70 bar.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Brian from CT

Date Reviewed: August 2, 2003

Strengths:    Light and responsive, great handling. Perfect transition rig for life-long hardtailers. Ideal for xc racing. Took it to Moab and loved it esp on the steeps.

Weaknesses:    CODA crankset wore out (wouldn't stay tight on the BB)replaced w/ XT and no prob since, Ultra fork has been a source of periodic trouble, primarily because the local shop/dealer doesn't know how to work on it. It's leaked oil and air. This latest visit, the shop explained that they won't touch it - sending it to Cannondale for service. The UST's are great most of the time. Just carry a spare tube for the inevitable.

Bottom Line:   
Great light weight racer for the light weight rider. The frame with its carbon/aluminum rear tri and light components seems too delicate for the heavy-set rider. Stay away from big drops for the same reason.

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Favorite Trail:   Arcadia, RI

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2300.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Bike Setup:   Stock w/ Marta's, Fox shock (no problems but I'm a light 145lb rider)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andrew a Racer from Winston-Salem

Date Reviewed: January 2, 2003

Strengths:    this bike is awesome, i would HIGHLY recomed it to anyone who races, or just wants a really nice handeling, smooth bike. it can carve corners like its on rails, sprints amazingly well, is very comfortable, very fast and smooth, around 24.5 pounds so is pretty light as well. im kind of a cannondale fan anyway, but this bike truly has convinced me that cannondale rules the xc/fs world(thats what i think atleast)

Weaknesses:    none! its fast as no other

Bottom Line:   
this bike rules. id give it 6 of 5 if i could because it looks really cool too, but i cant, o well. for a xc racer who wants the best, go for this bike, you'll have no regrets.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   tsali!

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Bike Setup:   XT,XTR drivetrain, marta disc brakes, easton carbon post and bar

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Deb a Cross Country Rider from Los Angeles, CA

Date Reviewed: December 12, 2002

Strengths:    Lightweight, good component mix, no bob even when not locked out

Weaknesses:    2x9 crankset may be tough to get used to.

Bottom Line:   
When I got this bike, I promised to share it with my husband. Fortunately he didn't hold me to my promise. The Scalpel is a great bike for XC riding. It's not particularly plush but coming off of a hardtail, I was looking for a FS bike that allowed me to pedal efficiently yet took the edge off of the trail. This bike is perfect for that. My first few rides with good climbs, I made sure to use the lock out. One day I was riding up some steep stuff with loose rocks and sand and kept losing traction...my rear wheel was jumping all over the place. For some reason I activated the shock and since then haven't locked it out. Now I don't even notice the suspension when pedaling and can fly up the hills faster than before.

This bike, with the geometry, is great for climbing. It's also a smooth ride down. Having the suspension gives you more room for error than a hardtail. No complaints about the Marta's after the usual break in period. The 2x9 gearing takes some time getting used to but it also makes you a stronger rider. It requires more strength to get up hills instead of spinning away in granny. Despite the very thin sounding tubes on the frame, I ride in areas with lots of loose rocks that hit the frame and have crashed in a rock garden , yet the frame remains dent free. Luck or quality? Probably a bit of both.

Overall, this is a great bike for people who like to go fast and don't want or need the plushness of a longer travel bikes. The list price of US$3300 is much too high though even though it is a wonderful ride. I'm giving it 5 chili's though for value because I got it a lot cheaper.

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Similar Products Used:   Schwinn, Trek hardtails

Bike Setup:   Stock- except with Thompson Seatpost, wellgo pedals and Pythons. Removed remote lockout.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by John a Cross Country Rider from Phoenix, AZ, USA

Date Reviewed: December 4, 2002

Strengths:    suspension design, appearance, weight

Weaknesses:    None so far but suspect tubeless tires may be more trouble than they're worth

Bottom Line:   
This is my first softtail after finally succumbing to the unforgiving riding conditions in the desert Southwest. It replaced my Ibis hardtail that was stolen and all I can say is "thank you, thief" because it is a dream to ride! My bike came full custom from my team director and is probably the lightest 2000 out there - sub 23lbs. for sure due to the ti upgrades and XTR. The rear travel makes up for the minimal front and even allows decent climbing without locking out. This bike has a long wheelbase (barely fits in my tray) due to the suspension design and causes me to bottom out more often so it may not be the best technical riding bike out there. Not convinced that tubeless tires are way to go for desert riding either.

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Favorite Trail:   Little Bear (Flagstaff)

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2200.00

Purchased At:   from race team director

Similar Products Used:   Ibis hardtail

Bike Setup:   Custom: XTR front/rear, Race Face CS/BB, XT disk brakes, Crossmax tubeless, ti seatpost/bar, upgraded rear shock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kenny a Cross Country Rider from Waldorf, MD USA

Date Reviewed: December 3, 2002

Strengths:    Awesome cornering, handles better than any of my other bikes in the past. Tubeless tires from the factory, the weight of a hardtail with the performance of a soft tail.

Weaknesses:    wasn't big on the headshock, added a carbon lefty, and got rid of those crap SPDS' and made room for egg beater pedals.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is the way to go if you want to compete or just have a bike that goes exactly where you tell it to. Cannondale doesn't play around, they know what they are doing and if you give it a shot, their bikes never cease to amaze. The scalpel is a winner, and I guarantee it will be around and at the top of its game for a long time.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Potapsco Avalon Area

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2900.00

Purchased At:   Local Shop

Similar Products Used:   Trek 4900, Kona Nunu, Specialized Stumpjumper

Bike Setup:   Carbon Lefty w/ electronic lockout, egg beater pedals everything else stock cuz its awesome.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mike a Cross Country Rider from Wellington, New Zealand

Date Reviewed: November 18, 2002

Strengths:    Headshok, Light, Design

Weaknesses:    None so far

Bottom Line:   
This is my 4th FS bike and to date its the best. Even with "only" 70mm front and 63mm back this is adequate travel for XC riding. The back end is fully active but if it wasn't for following riders telling me they can see the suspension working I wouldn't know. The front end bobs a bit on climbs but the lockout is easy to use and very accessible. I still have the remote lockout on the rear shock but only use it on the road so I don;t intend taking it off like so many others.

Only niggle so far is the Magura Marta brakes. They seem to need bleeding quite frequently and the pad material must be quite soft as the rear pads wore out in 150km (admittedly most of that was in wet muddy conditions). But talk about powerful and very good modulation. Much better than the XT disks on my previous K2 Razorback.

The 2X9 gearing certainly gets your leg strength up but I do find that I physically can't turn the cranks on some steep climbs (standing on the pedals just results in wheelspin). Still tossing up whether to wimp out and change to a triple crankset when I renew the drivetrain.

The frame design is great. With the rear shock outside the main triangle it leaves plenty of room for water bottles and/or and bracket for a battery. And it's so light that even kitted out with my lights and a 7.5amp/hr battery it's still light enough to lift over gates/fences without giving me a hernia.

Overall I really like this bike. It's ability far exceeds my own.

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Favorite Trail:   Whakarewarewa

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Burkes Cycles

Similar Products Used:   K2 Razorback Team

Bike Setup:   Stock with Time ATAC pedals & Rohloff chain

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Andreas a Cross Country Rider from Newport Beach, CA

Date Reviewed: October 24, 2002

Strengths:    I don't write reviews as a matter of principle. After two rides on my new Scalpel I have to throw out my principles (or at least this particular one).
I have never looked forward to my next ride (and the next, and the next...) as I do now. For a tall rider (6'6", 200 lbs) the most prominent difference I noticed is the increased control due to the suspension geometry in combination with the rear Fox racing shock: cornering on washboard trails, descending on rocky sections, this bike's ability to stay true to the line is remarkable. The suspension is more than adequate for XC, if you want to do tricks from table tops, better look elsewhere (and look at 10 more lbs too). Even the front (Cannondale Fatty Ultra) suspension surprised me (what, one shock doing the work of two??): it is smooth, responsive and the 70 mm of travel is plenty for even the gnarliest rides (if you are into 4 foot drops, you're on your own..)
The brakes are awesome, which is what I would expected from my first discs and another factor when it comes to control: rubber doesn't compare...
The 2 ring crankset in the front is sufficient if you race on courses without extremly steep and/or hour long ascends, or if you are a 150 lbs mean lean machine. I am willing to give it a few months of torture before I consider the fat-tourist-relief and get the triple setup.
On any grade that's not off the charts, climbing is a pure joy: fast and solid, both in locked out mode and with active shock.
If you can get one of the 2002 models: you can't beat the $1800 that Supergo is asking for a bike of this quality.


Weaknesses:    I wouldn't call it a weakness, but the obtrusiveness of all the stickers and labels distracts from the beauty of the lines. Call me a purist, call me an anal prick: after an hour of playing with my girlfriend's blow drier, all the stickers are gone: frame, shocks, rims look like the designer of the bike had envisioned this beauty and now she is most pleasing to the eye.
The 29 teeth on the small ring up front can be brutal on some very steep sections, it's like missing a gear and a half from my previous 'transmission'. But for right now I'll chalk that up to my own weakness rather than the bike's. If I find that my 200 lbs. are just too much to carry up on two rings, I'll switch them out for 3 down the road (up the hill?)
Obviously I haven't owned the bike long enough to uncover any detailed or long term use weaknesses (if any). The bulky remote rear lock-out is easily eliminated, so I wouldn't list that here.


Bottom Line:   
Great XC bike for strong riders; add a 3rd ring if you are not in this category and get the bike anyway. VERY light, suspension offers great control, Marta, Marta, Marta stopping power: catch up to your eyeballs..
suggested add-ons, accessories: bar ends, high pressure pump for suspension

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   San Juan Trail

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1800.00

Purchased At:   SuperGo

Similar Products Used:   Tomac 6 shooter, IronHorse Hollowpoint, GT LTS-2

Bike Setup:   so far all stock, incl. Magura Marta, Thomson post; getting bar-ends today

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Marcel a Racer from Pretoria, Guateng, South Africa

Date Reviewed: August 18, 2002

Strengths:    I have been a racer for some time now and I fell in love with the Scalpel as soon as I saw Sauser race one on t.v.

I was the biggest die-hard hardtail, V-brake person in South Africa, but my mind has changed after my first ride on my Scalpel. In South Africa it is very hard to get a top end bike, because there isn't a market for it. I set my sights on a Trek 9.8, but I had more trouble with them, so I left it. I called the importers of cannondale and asked if they had any top end bikes in the country, and said they have a Scalpel 2000. I bought it. It ate up the bumps like a hungry lion and flew up the hills. It corners great. I never felt so secure on a bike. My racing has betered ,because I feel fresh on the climbs and I murder on the downhills. And the Magura Marta discs is superb!!!! Ultra shock has enough travel ,70mm, because this is a XC bike not downhillbike.


Weaknesses:    I have no complaints except it took a while to set the Martas up.

Bottom Line:   
Every cent worth it!!!! I see bikes and ride them, because I work in a bike shop and I never seen or felt a Bike as great as the Scalpel 2000. If you have the cash, buy the bike, if not, Safe some more.

If you set the bike up correctly you will not have problems like the other guys in this review.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Bike shop I work at.

Similar Products Used:   First bike: schwinn Moab 2,Trek Fuel 90, Trek 9.8 ect.

Bike Setup:   Stock, but put on Selle Italia Flite ti. and Time A.T.A.C.pedals (Shimano sucks)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jeffrey a Racer from Middletown, CT

Date Reviewed: July 16, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Had this bike for 6 months. Race XC - sport.....great oveall bike. Hated the Ultra shock it came with - no travel...replaced it with the Lefty - Titanium - and love that shock - however little bummed cause it added 1/2 pound, which makes my bike feel a tad heavier when I lift it....with the Ultra, it felt "light". Oh well. Only complaint is the play from side to side with the rear wheel.....in a static position, if you grab the top of the your rear wheel, and push from side to side - it flexs a lot, and even touches the rear triangle..... Overall though , nice bike....I wish Cannodale would come out with an Ultra shock (similar weight) with more travel, and alleviate the side to side motion of the rear swingarm.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   CT

Duration Product Used:   6 months


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Prestidge a Cross Country Rider from England

Date Reviewed: July 11, 2002

Strengths:    This is my second review, now that the novelty has worn off.
The bike still rides as good as ever, but it has been in for two warranty claims.


Weaknesses:    The rear triangle has given both problms. The first a striped insert, the second the alloy tube came away from the top shock support.
To be fair to Cannondale both problems have been sorted with no issues.


Bottom Line:   
The scalpel it a great bike, I really enjoy riding it, but I do wonder if long term it will be tough enough for the job, only time will tell.
Should I have brought something more main stream and less complex ???



No, I'll take the chance, its only money after all.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   Jeff / Larrys New York

Bike Setup:   Standard with D/H carbon bars

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Don a Cross Country Rider from Ogden, Utah

Date Reviewed: July 6, 2002

Strengths:    Excellent climbing, great overall quality and design, mostly good component choices.

Weaknesses:    The crank sucks, had issues with the Hayes rear brake at first. I'm on my second rear shock.

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike! This bike is perfect for my riding style. I ride strictly XC but do quite a bit of riding in Southern Utah and Moab. It is nice having a bike that doesn't fall apart on the occasional dropoff. I was pretty disappointed with the Fox rear shock. The first one blew out and the second one leaks to the point I top it off before every ride. I expected more from Fox. The crank was a little weenie too. Maybe it's just because I'm 225lbs, but life is better now that I swapped it out. The rear Hayes brake rotor warped my first ride and never quite worked right. I replaced the rotor and it has been perfect ever since. As far as the actual bike goes, I couldn't be more pleased, climbs great and handles well. I'm a lot more confident on this bike than any other bike I've ridden. Would buy the same bike over.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   Local Shop

Similar Products Used:   Trek Fuel and my old Gary Fisher hardtail.

Bike Setup:   Stock except for XTR crankset. I'll probably buy a new seat too.

Reviews 1 - 15 (37 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Whats the frame weight of the Scalpel 2000

Friend just bought the fram for $40.00 and is told frame weights 2100 grams.. seems good for forty.. But we are curious of real frame weights.. I can't find online... :madman:Read More »

Lefty options for Scalpel 2000

Hi I have a scalpel 200 with a fatty headshock and want to upgrade to a lefty. Can I fit a 120 or 130 lefty as well as the direct 110 upgrade. My manual says the max fork length from axle to headtube is 500mm, but I cant find any actual fork lengths for the lefty options. Any help greatly appreci ... Read More »

Scalpel 2000 w/ XTR & X.0 auction ends Sun.

[url]http://cgi.ebay.com/Cannondale-Scalpel-Bicycle-Lefty-Mountain_W0QQitemZ220240757865QQihZ012QQcategoryZ98083QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem[/url] Thanks for lookin'Read More »

My 04 Scalpel 2000 XC Race FS ad..

Edit: it's up now, please delete post. Thanks! =============================== Sorry for the n00bism- I just paid for a for sale ad here yesterday morning, and was wondering how long it usually takes for the ad to be generated? It still says "this ad has not yet been paid for", although I did pay ... Read More »

What would you pay for a 2004 Scalpel 2000..

.. with a new drive train and professionally maintained (of course the ad says that!) It's apparently under 26 lbs. I'm looking at some Anthems (mostly 2006-2007) and some Epics as well, all around the same price. Any insight would be appreciated. I've never ridden a Cannondale!Read More »

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