Cannondale Scalpel 800 2002 Full Suspension

4.69/5 (16 Reviews)
MSRP : $2423.99


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Richard Robertson a Cross Country Rider from Suisun, Ca,usa

Date Reviewed: May 20, 2004

Strengths:    Extremely light, great climber. The best XC bike I've ever owned. Race ready and race proven. This bike has limited suspension travel, Free Riders and downhill riders would do better with a heavier, more travel style bike.

Weaknesses:    Decals on the rear seat stays started to peel off within the first month. But after a year of hard riding the seat stays came loose from the wheel carrier and it was replaced under warranty. And the new seat stays didn't come with decals and looks even better.

Bottom Line:   
Cannondale scalpel looks great, rides great and if you look can be purchased at an excellent price. The lefty is the only way to go, I got mine on e bay new for $750.00, retail is $1250.00

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rockville

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1550.00

Purchased At:   e bay

Similar Products Used:   Raleigh M800, Marin Pine Mountain.

Bike Setup:   I added XTR to the rear, Replaced the 44/29 crank for a XT 44/32/24, easton carbon front handle bar, and best of all a carbon left with elo. Next year I hope to add some better wheels.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eric Eller a Cross Country Rider from Abingdon, Virginia

Date Reviewed: April 9, 2004

Strengths:    Incredibly light. Scary fast. Quick, responsive steering. Suspension works so well you don't realize how rough the terrain really is. Climbs like a dream (rear lock-out helps alot). Ultra Fatty Headshok is above and beyond any standard suspension fork on the market.

Weaknesses:    After almost 2 years of riding(1000-1500 miles a year)I noticed some lateral movement in the rear suspension, After inspecting suspension components I found that the aluminum seatstays are seperating from the rear dropout hangers. Local dealer now has the bike and is sending it to Cannondale for Warranty Repair/Replacement, Now I'm out of a bike for 2-3 weeks. I urge anyone who has a Scalpel to inspect this area of the suspension before a possible seperation of these two pieces occurs. This is the only problem I've had with the bike.

Bottom Line:   
Excellent bike, I don't think anybody builds a better ride. Downhillers need not apply, this is total XC, from the nimble lightweight handling on the race course to the incredible climbing power on a weekend ride with your buddy's, this bike has it all.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Beartree/Bushwacker Trails

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Mtn, Sports Ltd. Bristol, Va

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale Super V, Specialized FSR, Jamis, Marin

Bike Setup:   Stock except for new riser bar, XTR front & rear, and IRC Mythos tires.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Felipe Huete a Weekend Warrior from Santiago de Chile

Date Reviewed: April 25, 2003

Strengths:    Light, great suspension, frame.

Weaknesses:    Crank sounds like grandpa's bike on hard climbing!, Front DW, Poor Chain got stucked on binding point.

Bottom Line:   
For the first time I'm able to buy a good MBK with my own money. It's a great bike, disk brakes are incredible (first time user), and climbing is very easy.
But the chain and crank...come on!!... Did I pay $1500 for the chain to get stacked on the crank every time it got some dust??!!! (I really thought that with this “over $1000 bike” every mechanical problem would disappear…)

Anyway...the suspension performance is incredible…Cannondale guys did an excellent job with this frame but some components just didn’t make it to the needed level. (LX FDW, CRANK)…overall is an excellent bike but I’ll need to spend some more money to tune it up….

Anyone can tell me why do I have to re-align the rims every two or three rides or the disk brakes will start getting the “lousy” noise????

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   XC

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Sport Chalet

Similar Products Used:   Trek 6000- 1994 (Been out of MBK for a while)

Bike Setup:   Just added amoeba jy 875 aluminum bar ends.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Albert Smith a Cross Country Rider from san jose california

Date Reviewed: December 26, 2002

Strengths:    Light weight, Super Stiff, Excellent workmanship, Climbs and rides like a pro rider, Great handling, Lockout on both ends and the front shock is fantastic great steering (exelent shock).

Weaknesses:    none yet...........

Bottom Line:   
Best XC bike I've owned,It has everything a cross-country rider or racer (who is not looking for 4 inches of rear travel) needs. Smooth, responsive, agresive tracking and just the right amount of suspension its amazing. downhillers
does not apply to this bike its only for xc use if you want freeriding, look for another bike like the jekylls, or santa cruz, orange.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Similar Products Used:   Fisher Sugar, Trek Fuel 100, Specialized s works, Cannondale Jekyll

Bike Setup:   handlebar easton ec-70 carbon, saddle selle italia pro link carbon, hutchinson scorpion tires

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Frank a Cross Country Rider from Bend, Or USA

Date Reviewed: October 22, 2002

Strengths:    Very agile, Gooooood climber lock it out then cruise up. Great through the tight winding trails, light wieght, good tires (Continental Explorer), I have found the brakes to be very good (Magura Julie) despite others review.

Weaknesses:    Crank is CRAP, already bent with no falls just riding. FD is LX it's crap too!, seat is to narrow, Headshock losing pressure, I'm with the rest of ya! CODA parts are CRAP. Very unstable at high speed (+28MHP) do to carbon fiber stays. But who rides that fast anyway

Bottom Line:   
Buy this bike if your looking for a light, agile, fast, good climbing fun to ride bike. Shop around the deals are out there!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The trail I'm currently on.

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   secret!!!

Similar Products Used:   Fisher Sugar, Trek Fuel, Specialized Enduro, Cannondale Jekyll, Santa Cruise Superlight and many more just tired of typing. It came down to value vs. performance

Bike Setup:   Stock, but I'm changing the crank, FD, H-Bars

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Shirriff a Weekend Warrior from Bloomington, MN USA

Date Reviewed: October 2, 2002

Strengths:    Responsive steering, relatively light for a full suspension frame, climbs well, lock-outs front and rear, disk brakes

Weaknesses:    Front derailleur

Bottom Line:   
I wanted a FS bike costing no more than $1500 that I could ride on local trails and maybe do a few races with. This bike fits the bill. I had some intial trouble with the front shock losing air, but Erik's replaced it no charge and I've had no further difficulty with it. It's very responsive, feels 'light' and climbs well. The price was right, and I may replace some of the components with the money I saved. I wish it was April instead of October!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lebanon Hills

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1450.00

Purchased At:   Erik's Bikes-Richfield

Similar Products Used:   Gary Fisher Sugar 3, my old Specialized Stumpjumper hard tail

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Doug Strand a Racer from Olympia Wa. USA

Date Reviewed: September 26, 2002

Strengths:    Very quick, feels fast and light, climbs great. I was racing a Super V but instantly started doing better when I bought the Scalpel (7-8 races so far). Magura Julies work great (although fragile levers)and the dual lockout capability lets me fly (reletive term) up those long mean hills. Holds corners well, descends all right (not great but she's not a downhill bike either. Components seem OK, I swapped the seatpost out for a Easton carbon, swapped XT d's with XTR and SRAM Rocket Shorties and added Bontrager short barends. I haven't had a problem with the cranks but I'm an old roadie who spins rather than mashes. Mavics seem tough enough. Overall, great race bike.

Weaknesses:    Maguara Brake lever snapped off during a biff but Bike Tech replaced it under warranty(good service department), saddle was uncomfortable at first but its still there so it couldn't have been that bad. Bike feels fragile (maybe because she's light) but holds up like a dual suspension bike should in race conditions. I'm not crazy about the Hutchinson tires that came with it and the paint chips pretty easy. Not as good as the Super V in choppy technical sections (less travel) but a heck of a lot more comfortable over a 20+ mile race. I'm being pretty picky. It's a great race bike.

Bottom Line:   
Yeah, buy it if you're racing and you like Cannondale. If you're freeriding, or downhilling, go get that Intense, Santa Cruz or Kona. If you're just out there plodding, go get a Huffy and watch out behind you! I'm passing on your right!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   my own secret trail

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Bike Tech Olympia

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale Killer V, Super V, GT STS, (still have them all!)

Bike Setup:   XTR f&r, Easton carbon seatpost, Sram Rocket shorties with Bontrager barends, Time ATAC pedals (Shimano pedals don't clear mud like we need up here in Olympia), Otherwise stock.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brian from Ft. Collins, CO

Date Reviewed: July 8, 2002

Strengths:    superb handling for fast descents and lightweight for steep ascents

Weaknesses:    I've had probs with the CODA cranks and bottom bracket - wore 'em out in just under a year. Also had to replace the inner chain ring with a more durable steel one. These are problems I never had in 7 years with previous bike.

Bottom Line:   
I wouldn't buy this bike if you are over 6' and over 200lbs because I question its durability for a bigger rider like myself. If you're a medium to small build this is a great XC bike and you'll be getting one of the best bikes for the $$.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Hewletts Gulch & all at Winter Park

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   local Bike store

Similar Products Used:   GT Tequesta

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jason McCrystall a Racer from Christchurch, New Zealand

Date Reviewed: June 4, 2002

Strengths:    Light weight, Super Stiff, Excellent workmanship, Climbs and rides like a rocket, Great handling, Lockout on both ends.

Weaknesses:    None so far, but have upgraded some components because want to - and had some spare $$.

Bottom Line:   
Best XC bike I've owned, Super fast and light. The UST wheels really make a difference with grip and extra suppleness in ride. Better for racing than the Jekyll.
Totally love Cannondale bikes now and get best possible service from my local Cannondale shop here in New Zealand.
Anyone who is serious about racing XC should look at the Scalpel range??.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Port Hills

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Fleet Cycles Christchurch NZ

Similar Products Used:   Owned a Jekyll 2000 as well so could compare between both of them. Decided to use the Scalpel as my Race bike and Jekyll as muck about/training bike. Spoiled for choice.

Bike Setup:   Was standard setup for 4 months but have upgraded to Mavic Crossroc UST wheels, XT shifters, XT bottem bracket & crankset, XT cassette and Crankbros eggbeater pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Edson Sandoval a Cross Country Rider from Mexico City

Date Reviewed: June 1, 2002

Strengths:    Weight, geometry, speed, control and build quality

Weaknesses:    Some components are cheap. it´s not a very smooth ride.

Bottom Line:   
It´s not a good bike. It is a GREAT bike. its driving is save and well controled. Other bikes are good climbers but very bad descenders (Scott, K2), but the Scalpel is better in both aspects. Suspensions (both) are accurrate and fine, and the equilibrim is very stabilizing factor, but their short travel. Riding is amazing: i can't ride to low speed! The components are'nt the best but work fine and accurate: brakes are powerfull and well dosificated, all shimano drivetrain is fast and with good quality and the wheels are a well constructed mavic. The bike permit several upgrades with their consecuent loss of weight. But the stock permits win all races that you need or enjoy a cross country adeventure of any distance.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Viansi

Similar Products Used:   GT i-drive, Trek Fuel(test), Scott(test), K2 Razorback(test)

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Harry a Cross Country Rider from Boca Raton, FL, USA

Date Reviewed: May 27, 2002

Strengths:    Build quality, design, engineering, weight, speed and comfort.

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
I just got the bike. I was sold on the ride. It accelerates like a hardtail yet rides like a full suspension. The bike feels very tight and controlled. No slop whatsoever. You don't seem to notice the suspension working at all, you forget its even there. But the ride is fast, controlled and powerful. I live in Florida, there are really no hills or mountains, so this is based on flat terrain. Cannondale does not seem to market this as a mountain bike, its a cross country racing bike according to their web site. If you plan to use it as a mountain bike, be sure to spend some time testing it in that environment. The frame (black) is just beautiful. The workmanship down to the smooth welds is beautiful. The brakes are amazing. I even like the seat! The suspension lockout is pretty cool. The bike just looks and rides great. Its even amazing on the pavement.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   International Bicycle

Similar Products Used:   Trek Fuel, Specialized Rock Hopper, Schwinn Rocket 88 Stage 1.


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Walter a Cross Country Rider from Lexington, VA

Date Reviewed: March 12, 2002

Strengths:    Frame-super solid and strong
Suspension-smooth front fork (lock-out is incredible option), really good rear suspension for climbing, it is solid, and incredible climbing, the only rear suspension I've tried that actualy helps you in the climb
Weight-extremely light for a full-suspension


Weaknesses:    Front derailer was a little off from the factory, but the shop easily adjusted it before I took it home. Saddle a little uncomfortable (but not bad for a stock saddle), also easily fixed.

Bottom Line:   
The bike is unbeatable. The components are all competition worthy, and with the frame and suspension at $2100, the bike is one of the highest values around. As far as overall performance, the difference between the Scapal 800 and the $5000 Cannondale team Scapal is extremely slim. I wanted a bike that would feel just as solid and light as my last one (a completely rigid frame) but offered the advantages of a full suspension (which most importantly, didn't sacrafice climbing and cross-country performance). The Scapal 800 fulfills this perfectly. The fact that either the front or rear suspension can be locked out at any time is one of the best attributes.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sope Creek

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2100.00

Purchased At:   Roswell Bikes

Similar Products Used:   KHS Verde (rigid True-Temper cromoly frame)

Bike Setup:   Stock Components except for serfas saddle, cannondale bar ends, and IRC Mythos tires.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kerry O'Malley a Cross Country Rider from Dickson City, PA, USA

Date Reviewed: March 9, 2002

Strengths:    A stiff frame makes for a beast of a climber, and climbing is a breeze on this ride.The suspension is right on target and the carbon fiber arm gives just enough to make is a smooth ride.

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
This is a great bike. Because I am a 5'3 woman, the bent bar worked out perfectly. I would recomend this bike to everyone, espicially women.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Sickler's Cycles

Similar Products Used:   cannondale jekyll 1000

Bike Setup:   stock except for easton ct2 seatpost, and xt cassette, and fsr carbon crank with ti bottom bracket.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Steve Place a Racer from New Tripoli, PA, U.S.

Date Reviewed: February 26, 2002

Strengths:    Very durable frame, excellent craftsmanship. I would say that from the weld pattern this bike surpasses trek and others in its league. I love the carbon tail stay and the ammount of flexture it gives. I ride in the city as well and find this bike perfect for curbs, potholes, and street sweepers. I changed to a Thompson post for added strength and lighter weight. This combined with the comps that come standard do the trick just right.

Weaknesses:    I can't find any real heavy weaknesses, other than i wish they came in a different color than black and that green. Some sort of racier color or their own bruched aluminum would have been nice. I am thinking of getting the frame repainted at the factory since i am not that far from them. Or somewhere.

Bottom Line:   
Bottom line, if you can get the bike for 2k or under, GET IT, otherwise wait a bit till prices fall on it. I would say wait a little and get the 1000 for the original cost of the 800. Gives you a little better comps for the money. BUT, if you need it now, get this thing because its seriously a great bike

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   La Varendres' Canada

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2200.00

Purchased At:   Bike Shop Local

Similar Products Used:   Trek fuel 100

Bike Setup:   Standard setup with Thompson post.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mark Olematthew a Weekend Warrior from South Eastern, GA - USA

Date Reviewed: January 1, 2002

Strengths:    Fabulous ride, excellent responsiveness. Handles even Clydesdales with grace. Excellent climbing characteristics. Nice standover, good brakes and frame geometry. It just feels right...

Weaknesses:    CODA crank; tube tires; lesser seat post, bars, and XT rear derailleur; high price given these weaknesses.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great bike. It has everything a cross-country rider (who is not looking for 4 inches of rear travel) needs. Smooth, responsive tracking and just the right amount of suspension - it tracks like a hardtail, but saves your butt and back like a dually. I think the 2000 is a better buy, given its setup, and the 2000's ball-burnished finish is way cool... Nonetheless, the 800 is a great bike. If you can't afford the 2000, get the 800 or 1000 and enjoy - it's what' a great XC bike is meant to be.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2200.00

Similar Products Used:   Klein Adept Pro; Trek Fuel 98, 100

Bike Setup:   Scalpel, upgraded to XTR rear, XT front, XT crank, Mavic Tubless

Reviews 1 - 15 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


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