a Cross Country Rider
from Brownsville, Texas
Date Reviewed: September 10, 2004
Strengths: Light weight. Good Handling.
Weaknesses: Chain slips off chain ring when pushing hard up steep inclines.
I had a severe skipping problem when cranking up hill. I have been in contact with Cannondale for 2 years trying to fix the problem. After switching out the chainrings, cogs, rear derailleur, the rear triangle and finally, the frame, I still had the same problem. Finally figured out that it is the SI crank. Cannondale sent me a 2000 frame and I put on an XTR crank and the problem was solved. Now I really love the bike. The SI crank may be good for light weight riders, but is too flexy for us heavier folk!
Bike Setup: was stock - now, have switched frames to the 2000 version with XTR bottem bracket and crank
a Cross Country Rider
from Seattle, WA
Date Reviewed: December 10, 2002
Strengths: Lightweight (24 lbs on the store scale); good fit & standover clearance (medium frame, I'm 5"9"); Marta discs; Lefty "fork"; 29-tooth chainring (at least for the trail I test-rode the bike on); tubeless tires; did I mention lightweight?
Weaknesses: Coda saddles are awful; blue & white paint job (I really like polished alloy Cannondale frames); 29-tooth small chainring for most trails in the Pacific Northwest (I need a REAL granny gear!). The 1.9 front tire felt a little skittish at times, and it was quite dry when I rode; I think something more meaty would help in this part of the US.
I was really impressed with this bike; I thought I'd miss having a lower granny gear but at least on the trails I rode (no really huge climbs), the 29-tooth small ring was perfect. I think the combo of light weight and the tubeless tires made the bike feel like a rocket. The Lefty felt much smoother than my '01 'Zoke X-fly (both forks have same 100 mm travel). Although the rear end has about 1 inch less travel than my Instinct and a little smaller tire (1.9 vs 2.1) it felt just as plush. I weigh 210; I put about 150 psi in the fork, and played with the rear shock until I had 5mm of static sag; everything seemed to work just fine. Maybe not for everybody (I'd worry about drops over a couple feet or too many long, fast pounding descents) but a very sweet ride for the right person (light, or strictly XC riding and racing); highly recommended! Can't give 5 flamers for value because it's so expensive, but this bike makes me wish I had the $5K to spare....
Similar Products Used: I've owned a Rocky Mtn Instinct for 2 years.
Bike Setup: Stock except for Easton Monkey-lite riser bar.
a Cross Country Rider
from Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK
Date Reviewed: December 2, 2002
Strengths: I actually own the 3000 but hey... This bike is awsome, tried loads when I was replacing my Marin but this won hands down. Light, Forgiving, Sharp, Well put together
Weaknesses: Seatpost - seriously thats it - and only then 'cos its not Carbon!
Fantastic climber with sharp tracking. It steers like a dream and goes wherever you point it... Downhills are great with just enough sus to keep you on track without being OTT. This bike really re-energised my riding..
Strengths: Great top tube length. Excellent shock absorbing both front and back. Nice bike to ride in general
Weaknesses: This bike shifts like $hit. The top pulley hits the cassette in the 34 and 30. I even contacted Cannondale - and the product engineers blamed the Shimano deraileur design! Total BS. Fix this problem and they have a great bike - otherwise I would not buy another. Skips like crazy when pushing up the hills (Even with a new cassette & chain)
a Cross Country Rider
from Old, Northants, UK
Date Reviewed: October 18, 2002
Strengths: Super sharp steering, incredibly light for full susser, silky smooth ride, takes the bumps like it has a lot more than 63mm rear travel
Weaknesses: I didn't like the factory spec so went for a custom build.
Dreambike spec @ dreambike price but if it lasts like my old Rockhopper I'll be happy. Razor sharp tracking & silky smooth handling. Incredibly light and it doesn't feel as though strength has been compromised. It imspires the confidence in me to ride faster in all conditions. Uphill it's like a rat up a drainpipe provided you lock out the rear....and that new Ritchey rubber is sticky, sticky, sticky!
Similar Products Used: My old Rockhopper hardtail has done me proud for 7 years & I didn't think I would ever go for full suspension until I sat on a Scalpel....then picked it up & found it was lighter!!
Bike Setup: Scalpel, carbon Lefty, Spinergy Xyclones, Ritchey Excavaders, Hope Mini, Easton Monkeylite, SRAM XO rear mech/shifter, XTR/Proshift front shifter/mech, Middleburn RS8 & slickshift rings, eggbeaters
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: October 5, 2002
Strengths: Very sharp handling - light weight (with some tweaks) - for now the perfect FS XC racing bike...until something better comes along.
Weaknesses: Rear shock is very cumbersome to remove for service. The white Teflon bushings/washers between the shock linkage and frame require regular replacement, every four months or so with frequent use of the bike (4-5 days a week).
It takes some experience until you get the suspension properly set-up. After that the bike handles like an XC racer's dream. It allows you to go faster than you're used to on a hard tail over rougher single track. Don't expect any plushness from the suspension. It's only there to optimize speed and the contact of the tires to the terrain. Truly race orientated.
For further comments I refer to the very first post below. Tom pretty much said it all.
(only 3 chilis for value due to the price in Europe...$7000 retail...common' that's just too high in comparison to US pricing)
a Weekend Warrior
from Fruita, Colorado, USA
Date Reviewed: September 6, 2002
Strengths: My friends Angry Man, Hemo the Magnificent, and Lee Bridgers, who used to know Frank Zappa, strongly recommend this bike, so that's all I need to know.
Weaknesses: The guys above say there is nothing wrong with it, so it must be ok.
First of all, please don't let anyone on the usenet discussion group Alt. Mountain-bike know about this. I really do like Cannondales, but I have to pretend not to like. I've never actually even swung a leg over one, but they look cool, and as I stated above, my friends think it's cool, so that's all that matters. As you can see from above, I've owned some pretty elite bikes, so I'm hoping if I continue to pretend to be a good father (when in reality biking comes before anything in my life) that maybe I can slip out of some child support. Those Cannondales are expensive you know! I'll really have to put in some long extra hours at the 911 call center, but like I said, nothing comes before biking in my life, so it's off to work I go, and when it comes to being a father, I put on a good show!
Favorite Trail: Any trail that's easy enough to make me look like I am a skilled rider!
Duration Product Used: Tested or demo'ed only
Purchased At: Over the Edge Cycles
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Sugar 1, Trek Fuel 100, Santa Cruz Superlight, Kona Kink Kikapu.
Bike Setup: I'm turning it into a single speed.
a Cross Country Rider
from Toronto, Canada
Date Reviewed: August 28, 2002
Strengths: Light, Fast, Stiff! This bike loves to climb and it slices through fast single track. Left Cardon tracks amazingly well and the Marta brakes are the best I've ever used.
Weaknesses: Had a couple minor problems with "pops" & "squeaks" in the rear suspension when the bike was new. I've since solved the problem and now have no complaints.
This bike loves to be raced and pushed hard. The Lefty Carbon is a very forgiving fork and has saved my butt on more than one occasion [particulary doing night laps at 24 hour events]. I don't think this bike is for everyone - due in part to the price, and the fact that most riders today seem to be looking for more travel in the rear [you don't need it!] It's ideal if you race or if you appreciate fast single track and epic cross country rides. Love then or hate them, you've got to appreciate Cannondale for once again pushing the technology envelope with the EPO rear and the Lefty up front. Awesome Ride!
Similar Products Used: Have tested just about everything comparable [Specialized M4, SantaCruz Superlight, Trek Fuel, Sugar 1] - this was my final choice.
Bike Setup: Stock except for the following: - Pedals, Speedplay Frogs - Tires, Continental Twister Pros
Date Reviewed: August 11, 2002
Strengths: Cannondale Scalpel 3000 ( review here cause there isn't one for the 3000)
-Very light weight -front electronic lockout (ELO) -Lefty Carbon -great handling -well balanced -perfect for XC racers -love the anodized black frame -and the Magura Martas are INSANELY AMAZING
Weaknesses: little bit of problems with the mavic X3.0, due to bad tuning from shop. other then that, the bike is a gem, and it totally kicks ass
The absolute best bike i have ever ridden in my life. The scalpel is light as a feather, it turns on a dime. Hills are a breeze with the ELO and Fox Float RLC. Downhill descents are amazing thanks to the 4.0" travel Lefty.
For XC racers or just even riders that love fast technical single track, this is the bike for you. My placing in races has been incredible because i can attack single track and blow any one away without any trouble at all. The name says everything because it is the cutting edge of lightweight design, and it cuts up single track with precision.
A little bit on the hefty price range, but if you really love biking, then this is "cats ass of XC riding". There isn't anything it wont handle, with the exception of downhilling and freeriding.
I can only say positive stuff about this bike, because thats all there is. And for those of you out that that already have this bike, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Bike Setup: Stock Scalpel 3000 except for Time Carbon pedals and Amoeba Downhill Riser bar.
from Ridgefield, CT
Date Reviewed: July 22, 2002
Strengths: Light weight, perfect amount of travel for cross country use, razor (scalpel) sharp handling
Weaknesses: ? So far, so very, very good (knock on wood). Somewhat expensive, I guess, but everything else comparable is too. The 3000 model provides good bang for the $
This is an update on an original review posted in the Scalpel 2000 section. My bike is the black ano. 3000 model, basically the same as team, but with triple crankset and XT front der. The more time I spend on this, the more I love it for the fast technical riding I do. This is not a bike for freeriders-it weighs next to nothing, and flies up hills. Consequently, it is not made for big drops, chutes, etc. but does like air time; very 'flickable' over the slightest bumps-jump mine like a a skier from trail section to trail section. Amount of travel is just enough-don't miss the extra 'monkey motion' of longer travel bikes at all. Some wheel flop and barely noticeable flex from ti Lefty through slow speed rock gardens, but bike is so well balanced, you can thread a fine line, and place your wheels wherever wanted. Where this bike really shines is through fast singletrack, it just flows. It is a racer though, and does require your attention on fast, loose downhills. Marta brakes are very powerful but easily modulated. Rarely use the Granny, the UST Python tires provide incredible traction, and hook up through just about anything save serious mud. Have I mentioned I love this bike? I would undoubtedly purchase this same model again. Now if you'll excuse me, the sun is shining once again...
Similar Products Used: full zoot Raven, F2000 C'dales, Specialized FSR Enduro Pro, assorted buddy bikes
Bike Setup: As stock, but switched tires to UST Pythons when Mosquitoes wore out, jettisoned remote rear lockout for blue lever, added 959 clipless, and Singletrack Solutions plastic bar ends
a Weekend Warrior
from Rochester, Mich. USA
Date Reviewed: June 15, 2002
Strengths: Light weight,cross country specific. Perfect amount of travel,but climbs well and great power to the wheels. ELO and rear lockout (blue knob) are great. KLM got the bike in 2 days and spec'ed perfectly.
Weaknesses: Mounting a computer is a challenge. The suspension set up takes time to perfect. This is integral with the tires and pressures. Lots of tweaking.
A fabulous bike for me. I was looking for a full suspension, cross country bike that responds like a hard tail for my 44 year old body. This is it. I love the Cannondale technology, but it is an expensive bike.
Similar Products Used: Previous bike a Gary Fisher Joshua. Other bikes considered were the Sugar 1.
Bike Setup: This is the scalpel 3000 with SramX-0 shifters and Rear derailleur, Easton Carbon Fiber seat post and Terry Ti race saddle. Just switched out the Michelins for Hutchinson Scorpions. Otherwise, Stock
from Dirty Jersey
Date Reviewed: April 24, 2002
Strengths: Weight, Lefty, ELO, Tubeless, Its just rides great!!
Weaknesses: Cheesey remote shimano BS lockout that falls off.
Rides perfect and is the first bike that takes everything I throw at it. It feels fast and rides great in rocky sections. The 2 1/2 inches travel is more than enough for those who want a quick responding full suspension bike. I have done my first two races ever on this bike and its a show stopper..further more my friends on the team have been laying the smack down all over competition on thier new Scalpels...Nuff Said
Similar Products Used: Schwinn FS, Merlin, Stumpjumper
Bike Setup: Full XTR, Magura Marta, Hugi Hubs, Thompson, Flite saddle
Date Reviewed: April 8, 2002
Strengths: Light, quick, stiff, carbon Lefty with ELO, Martas, all XTR, USTs, visually stunning
Weaknesses: None yet, cannot melt snow
The 3000 is the Team Scalpel in disguise for those of us who prefer not to push 18 speeds. Comes stock with 3 x 9 XT cranks. Sweet ano black finish. Great sprinter and climber, use the ELO on the Lefty and leave the rear lockout alone. Not used many other disc systems but MArtas are unreal - stopping power and modulation. Still too much snow here for a proper test ride. First race of the year in 3 weeks so will post another review. Awesome service from Spokes & Attire (www.coolbikes.com).
Bike Setup: Stock Scalpel 3000 except XTR cranks and 959s, no remote rear lockout.
from New Jersey
Date Reviewed: April 4, 2002
Strengths: ELO, Weight, Tubeless, hydrolic disc brakes, just damn fun to ride
Weaknesses: Remote Lock-What? throw it out and buy Fox's version. I dont have one for everyday of the week
This is a bike meant for people who love riding hardtails and finally want a full suspension bike that works. It is super light and has every function known to man avalible on the spec sheet. Dont expect to be launching big air and having this bike feel smooth through out the stroke. The EPO stays are very springy and will allow you to gring it on the climbs without sacrificing power and traction.
Similar Products Used: MErlin, FSR, Scwhinn Homegrow FS, I-Drive
Bike Setup: XTR Full, carbon bar, 959, CrossRoc w/hutchinson Scorpions
from Union County
Date Reviewed: March 18, 2002
Strengths: Hardtail lovers will have a new love for suspension. ELO lockout. Lefty Carbon Fiber, Ultimate componentry
Weaknesses: Your either love Cannondale or you hate them
This bike is ment for hardtail riders who want some cushioning. The rear end is perfect for bump absorbtion at any speed and super responsive. I have noticed faster riding due to the 4 inch stroke on the Lefty. This is great considering I ride my Merlin and love the hardtail feel. At only 1 pund more the Scalpel is able to do it all. I hated cannondale and it took me forever to decide, but FSR's and Fuels were just not waht I wanted for the way I ride. I ride fast and well technically not looking for 4 foot hucking ramps, and do lots of miles. The scalpel 3000 is the same specs but different color and is probably the better buy.
Picked up a new project today. One of the snowiest day in Seattle this year...but worth the trip to pick it up. Now a couple of issues to fix, so let me know your thoughts.
[b]Carbon SL Lefty[/b]: completely blown. Previous owner said he compressed down on a paved road, the seal blew and it ne ... Read More »
I've done a little research but would like to talk with other scalpel owners. I've found what I think to be a pretty good deal and before I pulled the trigger I wanted to hear some opinions. Below is a list of the components and a few pictures.
Components and Ad
------------------------------- ... Read More »
Found a 2008 Scalpel Team Replica @ my local Cannondale dealer. I currently own a Scalpel 3000 and was wondering if the new Carbon Frame is as durable as my 3000 frame.
I cracked several Campy Record seatpost so Im kinda leary about a Carbon Fiber frame.
Im ready to pull the trigger , any ti ... Read More »