Cannondale Scalpel 2002 Full Suspension

4.68/5 (90 Reviews)
MSRP : $2423.99


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (90 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.

Expand full review >>

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.

Expand full review >>

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.

Expand full review >>

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:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Oliver 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.

Bottom Line:   
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!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $5500.00

Purchased At:   Bicycle World of Brownsville

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale Scalpel 2000

Bike Setup:   was stock - now, have switched frames to the 2000 version with XTR bottem bracket and crank

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

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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: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:5
Submitted by Gabe a Weekend Warrior from Miami, Florida, USA

Date Reviewed: November 22, 2003

Strengths:    Lite, solid and very fast

Weaknesses:    Heavy wheelset, harsh front fork (no rebound)

Bottom Line:   
Remember this is not a Freeride nor a downhill bike. If you going to be jumping off of cliffs this is not your bike. But if you ride/race XC type courses this bike will make you faster.

So far the only thing I have to complaint about is the fork. Although extremely light it is also extremely harsh. The lack of rebound adjustment makes this bad boy a stiff ride. But all is forgotten when you're passing your friends like if they were standing still.

The bike was lite to begin with, but after replacing the wheelset, the tires, handlebar and the new cassette I managed to knock off 2.64 lbs. It now weighs in a little over 24 lbs for an XL and all this for less than $300.

I love the lock out. They work. Now I can also keep up with my roadie friend. The brakes squeal a lot but they stop on a dime.

Overall the bike has responded to everything I dished out and is asking for more.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Oleta State Park

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Mack Cycle

Similar Products Used:   K2 4000SE & DiamondBack V Link both heavily upgraded

Bike Setup:   Alex Vectra D2 Wheelset, Tioga XC SL 1.8 & Ultrega Cassette 12-27 & 150 grm handlebar

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.

Expand full review >>

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: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:4
Submitted by Paul Verstraete a Racer from South Bend In U.S.A.

Date Reviewed: March 21, 2003

Strengths:    lite,very sharp looking,top of the line components and name
brand.


Weaknesses:    none that I've noticed at this time. Coda competition series
disc brakes not powerful but very tough looking, cooler
looking than Hayes.


Bottom Line:   
the bike is tight so far and looks alot better than almost
anyones bikes i see out on the trails. guys i know they
and their bikes can't even touch this bike period.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anywhere awsome

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   the pony shop

Similar Products Used:   hard tale bikes and cannondale ravens

Bike Setup:   ball burnished frame and anodized orange mavic wheels and orange seat.also fully xtr no question about it.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Tyler a Cross Country Rider from San Marcos

Date Reviewed: January 22, 2003

Strengths:    This is an update to a previous review. I ditched the Continental tires, and "upgraded" to Michelen XC pro blackwalls. I love these tires, and voila, no more pinch flats. I am really enjoying the full suspension that this bike offers, and even find myself climbing with it active. Proper gearing seems to be the key on approach and descent. I would like to blame some of the characteristics of this bike misgivings on the engineering, but it is a big difference from a hard tail. Suspension comression sometimes contributes to loss of momentum, and pedal clearance can be a challenge in areas that I used to clear. The stance of the bike is higher, and that has led to more than a few rocky dismounts (and one crash off of a steep ledge). I would like to emphasize, it is not the bike, just an adjustment to the full suspension riding experience. The downhills are a joy, no more tail bone pounding rock descents, and I have noticed my lower back is not as sore. The shifters now perform flawlessly after a shop adjustment at thirty days, which is great because I am changing gears more to power up for the full suspension ascents. I love the front fork, with the extra travel from my old DD50 Headshok. Tracks straigh and plush. Also, style wise, the black and yellow color scheme has really grown on me. Cool.

Weaknesses:    The brakes are very suspect, squealing and no modulation for me. All or nothing, with feathering the only modulation at the brake lever. There is also a perceptible ticking noise in the front rotor after the first few desents. It increases and decreases with speed, so I will have that checked out soon. Ditch the original tires.

Bottom Line:   
These are just reflections of the last three months of riding. I really enjoy the full suspension, a much needed improvement over my hardtail. And the biggest benefit is no loss of traction or climbing ability, a credit to the Cannondale engineering group. For the price, I could not have done better. With the extra money I saved, I am considering an upgrade to Hayes brakes. Another side note, most retailers don't stock Magura parts or pads. However, Hayes equipment is readily available, so that will happen in the next six months. Thanks MTBreview, for the great forum.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Double Peak Trail

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1399.00

Purchased At:   Supergo Oceanside


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Lynn a Racer from Baton Rouge, LA, USA

Date Reviewed: January 20, 2003

Strengths:    Built for cross country and rides like it. This is a complete bike, well thought out, rather than some tacked together parts. It is LIGHTER THAN ADVERTISED by Cannondale, 24.5lbs XL. A typical marketing gimmick to glamorize their high-end models.

Weaknesses:    As mentioned in a previous review, I too experienced scores of pinch flats, front and back, that can only be due to the Mavic X223 Disc rims and/or Continental Explorer Pro tires. They're slow leaks: I hang it up after a ride and the tire's flat in the morning, very suspicious. I'm gonna have to do something about that soon. I've tried everything from different pressure to tube size.

Bottom Line:   
I expected the Scalpel to be little high-maintenance so I'm not shocked at a few things needing tweaking. I bought this bike practically new on eBay and have put another 100 miles on it so far.

My best method of review comes by comparison to my previous bike, a CAAD2 hardtail that had been furiously upgraded. Even versus V-brakes on ceramic rims the Magura Discs are a luxury this first-timer didn't expect. I love the "smooooth" modulation going into turns; I could do without some squealing on quick stops, but a little Everclear on Kleenex scrub when they get too noisy and they quiet back down ;)

The Ultra Fatty DL is light, never bottoms out and it's the sharp-turning blade for this knife of a bike. The Fox in the back makes the carving smooth as butter, but enough metaphors. I could use a little more travel in the front but not as much slop as the Lefty would give; the Headshok reminds me I'm on an XC racing bike and trading comfort for efficiency.

For me, coming from an infamously-stiff frame that even a suspension seatpost couldn't tame, the Scalpel's Fox rear shock is a real comfort. I expected better descents and cornering, what I didn't expect was better climbing. Where my wicked-stiff rear would cause spin-outs under my frantic strokes, the Scalpel's rear travel flexes enough to keep the wheels dug into the dirt when I stand.

I have benefitted from the remote rear lockout because I figured out how to set it up correctly, apparently many bike shops haven't. Like V-brake arms, the lockout has three tensioning holes to choose from, if you don't choose the tightest one, your remote lockout may not have enough tension to work.

The reason I live by the rear lockout is because I'm a Clydesdale with big legs. My CAAD2 was unparalled for flatland sprints and I was greatly underwhelmed when I hit city rides with the suspension on. Turn it off and it's speed, speed, 27mph on a big bike. On trails I turn on the suspension and just carve, no bob noticeable on its proper terrain. Some people may want to get the proper preload adjusted to their weight on the front and rear, I don't think some of the complaints are well-experienced in this regard.

Overall, love, love, love, this is my ride.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1425.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale CAAD2 hardtail and a friend's Cannondale Super V 500.

Bike Setup:   Stock XL Scalpel 1000 with a 140mm stem -- I am 6'4", 195lbs. I plan to go 2x9 with some old cranks to replace the Hollowtech 3s, I just hate 3 up front.

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 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

Reviews 1 - 15 (90 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


Can I use 2013 hybrid 29er 90mm on my 2010 scalpel 100 frame?

Hello, Occasionally, I got 2013 lefty 29er 90mm. I should use this. I want to build this fork on my 2010 scalpel 100 team frame. No problem at all to use 29er fork on my scalpel 100? Any difference between 29er 90mm 2013 lefty and 26er 100mm lefty? By the manual of the scalpel, the maximum axl ... Read More »

rush to scalpel

I cracked my 2008 carbon rush and cannondale is replacing it with a 2012 carbon scalpel. I'll need to switch out the rp23 and get a bb30 crank and bb but I'm not sure which crank to look for. I liked the rp23 so I thought about looking into one to fit the scalpel. Does anyone know what length I n ... Read More »

Scalpel vs Niner Jet 9 RDO

I'm thinking about these two bikes for XC racing. Im leaning more towards the RDO but I've heard that it's "wobbly" on the tops after climbs , and hard to get up in high speed on flats. For setup , both bikes will have the same setup; XX1 and Lefty 100mm. Also heard that the rear shock switch on RD ... Read More »

Broken Scalpel CFR frame (2nd time around)

This was a Warranty replacement from my 2008 Scalpel Team, I wonder if Cannondale will continue to warranty this frame :skep: [URL=http://smg.photobucket.com/user/spartan23/media/IMG_7875.jpg.html][IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v151/spartan23/IMG_7875.jpg[/IMG][/URL] [URL=http://smg.ph ... Read More »

Need Help Removing LEFTY PBR 100 29 off an 2013 Scalpel 29er 3

It has a non OPI steerer and stem so traditonal still but the clamps are part of the fork so the rotating out of the way method I use to use wont work. I can get the steerer loose of the top clamp and bearing but am having trouble getting it out from the bottom bearing so the Fork is half stuck on t ... Read More »

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