Cannondale Scalpel 1000 2003 Full Suspension

4.76/5 (17 Reviews)
MSRP : $2499.99


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Teodor Malmborg a Cross Country Rider from Åre, Sweden

Date Reviewed: August 13, 2004

Strengths:    Lightweight, high quality and unique look.

Weaknesses:    Hard to service on you own. Too expensive in Europe.

Bottom Line:   
Since owning my 98 Cannondale F400 without any problems at all, it was no discussion about switching to another brand.
I checked out the Jekyll aswell, but after a test ride and closer look on the Scalpel I chose the Scalpel 1000.
It is probably good value for the money since it is basically the same bike as the team model. I had the opportunity to buy the 3000 model for about $300, but with the ELO being the only big difference I didn't think it was worth the money.

This bike had a list price of about $4100 in Sweden, which meant I got the trip paid (including flights, hotels and everything!) by buying it in the US. 5 Flamin' Chills for the value of buying it in the US!

The Scalpel gives a really smooth ride and it really let's you pedal full force on bumby trails.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2250.00

Purchased At:   Orange Cycles Orlando

Similar Products Used:   Other Cannondales, only hardtails.

Bike Setup:   Stock except Avid front disc. Serfas barends.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bill a Cross Country Rider from New Jersey

Date Reviewed: October 10, 2003

Strengths:    Overall build quality, geometry, handling, looks, paint, brakes, suspension especially the Lefty,warranty.

Weaknesses:    Those damn tubeless tires! These things have to be ridden at max. psi or they separate at the rim and pssssssst!! instant flat. They KILLED the crisp handling of this bike. Once I stuck my favorite tires on the bike was transformed into a rocket on rails. Cannondale should forget the tubless hype and stop putting them on their bikes! Trust me, there's no added value there!

Bottom Line:   
A truly awesome bike. I had a Raven 4000SX which developed a slight problem with the gel-coat on the Carbon while in MOAB. No big deal but I let C-dale know anyway. They responded by first offering me a new frameset but then came back and gave me a complete bike. FAR MORE THAN I EXPECTED! This is why they have me as a repeat customer. I have contributed to at least 20 sales due to their outstanding customer service and products. Anyway, this bike is razor sharp and does EVERYTHING extremely well. It's light, rigid, fast, handles GREAT and is well made. I agree with a previous post regarding the flexy spokes. Nothing urgent though. I also had the ghost shifting and noticed the too-short cable housing passing over the rear suspension rocker arm. I replaced the housing with a longer piece, creating more of an arc in the cable and the problem was solved. I have had nothing but great fun on this bike and no problems. Can't wait to take it on a few epic rides. I'd recommend this bike to anyone. Three cheers to Cannondale for a great effort.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Jim Thorpe PA

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $100.00

Purchased At:   Genesis Cycles EASTON PA

Similar Products Used:   Trek.....once..and a GT..once and then quite a few Cannondales. There's nothing else better or more innovative in my book.

Bike Setup:   Started as a standard 1000. The LX is what you would expect. I quickly went straight to full XTR and a San Marco saddle, Panaracer Dart/Smoke, better cables and Eggbeaters.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Justin Wilson a Cross Country Rider from California

Date Reviewed: October 7, 2003

Strengths:    Lefty fork, the frame is a gread design no BOB or any unwanted flex. great climber and decender (just enough travel to take the edge off.

Weaknesses:    I don't like Hutchison tires. The normal troubles with getting used to climbing on a new bike.

Bottom Line:   
I love Cannondales because of the Lefty fork and there attention to there products. You know when you buy a Cannondale that you are getting quality not quantity. That said the bike is everything I knew it would be and more It climbs great and decends just as well. I put XTR cranks on just because in my opinion there is nothing better. The whole package is great you get Marta brakes and everything you could not ask for a better package. I will end up changing out the tires for some 1.95 Maxxis fly weights. And when everything is said and done I will have XTR on the whole bike. This bike is perfect for racers and will hold it's own on all day rides on single track trails. This bike is money well spent, if you can afford the 3000 I would go for it because when I'm done with all my upgrades It will be a 3000.

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Favorite Trail:   all

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Trek fuel 100, Intense Spider, Etc...

Bike Setup:   Stock except for XTR cranks and rear der,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chuck a Cross Country Rider from Nashua, NH

Date Reviewed: September 15, 2003

Strengths:    Excellent XC development from Cannondale, raced on one of their F1000 hardtails last year. The quality of the frame is top notch, everything is well thought out. As of this writing I have ridden and raced the bike for 6 months and it tracks like it's on rails, super plush small bump performance. This thing is a joy to ride in any trail conditions and will do what you ask except obviouly for serious FR/DH. One addition note I can not say enough good things about the Cannondale Lefty and the Magura Marta brakes.

Weaknesses:    The tires, not impressed with the UST Hunchinson Scorpions they really don't do anything that well at least for riding and racing conditions in New England. Also the wheels are laced-up with to small of a gauge spoke, "Lots O Flex", I weigh in at 192lbs. I didn't care for the remote rear lockout, to hard to keep clean and lubed, I installed the original Fox blue lever, still easy enought to reach.

Bottom Line:   
Cannondale should definitely continue to refine this bike. For both XC riding and racing it's the best in breed, awesome weight versus performance/comfort.



Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   XC Number 12

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Goodales Bike

Similar Products Used:   Jekell, Fuel, Sugar.

Bike Setup:   2003 Scapel 1000 Marta brakes, DLR Lefty, Cannondale hubs with Mavic 223UST rims, Fox Float RLC. Upgraded to complete XTR Drivetrain with shifters, Easton EC70 post, IRD carbon flat bars, TITEC cabon bar ends, WTB saddle and Tioga UST Red Phoenix tires.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Adam Cochran a Cross Country Rider from Barnesville

Date Reviewed: June 24, 2003

Strengths:    This bike is very durable but at the same time is very smooth. I'm was riding a hardtail before and this bike has given me the best of both worlds. Very quick and again very smooth. The lefty is great.

Weaknesses:    The shifters SUCK!!! Tires are a little to big for me but handle really well.

Bottom Line:   
Again this bike is very fast and very smooth. After riding my old hardtail for so long this is a welcome change. I really dislike the stock shifters and tires, but I have changed that. I have yet to have the ghost shifting problems like the other guys, but I agree with some when they say for the price the components could be a little better. Buy this bike you want regret it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Dauset, Camp Thunder

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2300.00

Purchased At:   Bike Center

Similar Products Used:   Gary Fisher Sugar, Klien Palomino, Giant NRS 2 demo only

Bike Setup:   Terry Ti Gel saddle, XTR shifters, and front Derailleur and coming soon XTR crank.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by John Schmitmeyer a Cross Country Rider from Cleveland, OH

Date Reviewed: June 6, 2003

Strengths:    Lefty is amazing. Once dialed in, the rear suspension is barely noticeable over bumps until locked out. just how i hoped it to be. Magura brakes are awsome too compared to my old V-brakes

Weaknesses:    Tires wear out very quickly. Ghost shifting while climbing until i found a problem with the cable (more on this below). Other than that excellent bike

Bottom Line:   
For the first 50 miles of riding this bike, i had a horrible ghost shifting problem. Turns out Cannondale cut the shifter housing to short near the rear shock. On the stand with the suspension extended fully, the housing was pulled so tight that it actually began to be pulled out of the bosses on the frame. I would then adjust the shifting to this setup. When climbing though, the suspension would compress and the housing length would shorten effecting shifting. The problem went completely away by adding a longer housing and placing the rollamajig on the rear derailleur as said above.

After this tweaking of shifting, the bike has been nothing but a joy to ride. It just loves to carve up tight downhill single track and climbs like a goat.

The Bottom Bottom Line:
As much as I hate to admit that a bike made me a better rider I feel the Scalpel accomplished just that.

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Favorite Trail:   Vultures Knob

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Cannondale Direct

Similar Products Used:   Mid range LX/XT '97 Cannondale hardtail

Bike Setup:   Stock except i removed remote lockout and placed the rollamajig on rear derailleur cable.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Steve G a Cross Country Rider from Dearborn

Date Reviewed: May 23, 2003

Strengths:    Very lightweight, awesome suspension with lockouts
Bike climbs like a dream.


Weaknesses:    Tires really stick, they are huge though. Cannot be ridden on any muddy trails. The mud doesnt shed. Rear lockout (handlebar remote) is pretty archaic.

Bottom Line:   
Bike is great because of suspension and discs. Functions just like a hard tail. I have never ridden a bike that climbs better than this. I am hoping it isnt because of the tires, because I want to get rid of them and get something that rolls a little faster (much less tread down the middle). I followed what everyone says about dropping these tubeless to 29 psi, but it feels like I am pulling a tank when I do that. I ride at about 40-45 psi and cruise...could be due to my 210 pound weight though.

Once I straighten out all the variables, I will post again.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Jekyll 800, Trek Fuel

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dane Benjaminson a Cross Country Rider from Bloomington

Date Reviewed: May 19, 2003

Strengths:    This bike was well thought out! The rear end works quite well, you can ride up a hill and not have to use the rear lock-out, but then agen you have it if you like. Good thinking Cannondale, I like it! The Lefty is stiff and plush. The front and rear shocks really do there job so you don't have to worry about the bumps. It's a great smooth ride!

Weaknesses:    I have had some problems with studer shifting. But the guys at the shop said the cables most likely just stretched and thuse the problem. Other than that the ocational disc drage but that will happen to everyone with bakes on there bike, no big deal.

Bottom Line:   
The frame is the same thing as the team bike. the fork is great, and for a $1,000 more I could have E.L.O., (electronic lock out)carbon fiber & 5-8 ounzse less weight; but it's not worth it to me. You can always change the Shimano grouping that it comes with to somthing lighter and better. It's the frame and fork that are the most important part of your bike! And Cannondale has done there home work to really stress the details of the scalpel line. This is no MADE IN CHINA bike, it's not one of those cheep, mass prodused, junck bikes you would see at WallMart. Cannondale hand builds there bikes in Pennsylvania,USA.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The Farm / Buck Hill

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1870.00

Purchased At:   Erik's Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Specalized Stumpjumper FSR
Cannondale F1000SL


Bike Setup:   It's got all stock on it acept for the Easton CT2 handel bar and Salsa Cycles grips on it. I have no money to get a Selle Italia Prolink gelflow saddle yet. otherwise everything works just fine and I don't plan on getting all XTR or somthing like that anytime soon.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Earl a Racer from Canton, GA

Date Reviewed: May 10, 2003

Strengths:    Climbs like a goat and will leave you behind on the flats and even down hill areas. Fast bike.

Weaknesses:    Have had a ton of trouble with bike GHOST shifting, especially on climbs. Have been unable to fix this problem. About to change to XTR rear. The seat stay joint tend to loosen after about 400 miles but can be replaced, still a little aggrevating. Magura Julies SUCK. If you buy a bike with these, throw them away ASAP. They suck I say-suck. Expensive frame but they grind the welds which costs alot of bones.

Bottom Line:   
Cool bike. I just hope I can get the GHOST shifting thing handled.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Blankets Creek

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   Roswell Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Entry level Giant Boulder, GT i-drive 3.0.

Bike Setup:   Monkey Lites, Cross Roc Tubeless, Hutchinson-Pythons, XT-cranks, Avid-levers and mechanical brakes.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Rob Schaap a Cross Country Rider from Vernon

Date Reviewed: May 5, 2003

Strengths:    Lefy Fork, Rear Lockout, Tubeless

Weaknesses:    Aluminum, cyclocomputer doesn't fit on Lefty so far...

Bottom Line:   
I was a die hard hardtail rider. My last bike was a 12 year old ti frame, with updated XT componentry, Judy XC Fork. I was REALLY hesitant to move to a dual suspension. This is one of the only that I would consider, because of the remote lockout on the handlebar, lefty fork, and weight. I'll never "race" it... marketing BS, but the geometry of a race bike should make sense to anyone who rides cross country... with that said, the geometry is fantastic. Very comfortable.

Saddle is comfortable too - suprised by that.

Been riding Tubless for a year now, Hutchinson Python and Scorpions. Great tires, though they tend to have a short life. Very tacky tires. Scorpions come standard on the Scalpel 1000. I weigh 210 and generally like to ride around 22-25psi.

Sorry, about the ride. It's very very much like a hardtail. Though with the lockout on - it obviously is one. When the suspension is active, climbing is not an issue. No pogo effect - I'm 210 again, and on a hill that i'd guess was around a 14% grade, I didn't need to lockout. When I did, I gained a little power, but not as much as you'd think. You dial it in at will really. More air, more rigid, less air, more plush, soft.

I'm still amazed by this though - I'm used to most frame materials, been on everything for close to 15 years now. I was really under the impression that the dual would "eliminate" the aluminum stiffness, rigidness. But I could really feel frame's rigidity still. So I can see how a ti-dual would be perfection... if money is no object... Car money I mean. $2500 is enough for me, and I'm really happy with my big purchase, will write some more feedback - should anything negative or nagging come up.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   sure.

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2499.00

Purchased At:   LBS - Vernon Cycle Shop

Similar Products Used:   Only hardtails - Steel, Titanium, Aluminum Hardtail. I had a trek, cannondale V (really a BAD bike-bad geometry)

Bike Setup:   Factory - only 1 day of use will post back later...

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Tyler a Weekend Warrior from Baltimore MD USA

Date Reviewed: May 2, 2003

Strengths:    1 - Suspension, 2 - build quality, 3 - ergonomics (seat/pedal/bars relationship and standover clearance), 4 - brakes, 5 - coolness factor (lefty fork, pivotless rear, looks)

Weaknesses:    Tires. Although they seem to grip pretty well (but not highly ranked in the tubless tire section of mtbreview), my first time out I managed to knock the rear tire loose from the rim enough to lose much of the air, even with 30-40lbs of pressure to start with. The good news is there was still enough air to keep riding - not something I could have done with a tube tire, which probably would have gone completely flat on the initial hit.

Bottom Line:   
I was REAL hesitant to spend this much on a mtb. I am REAL happy I did for this bike. I'm coming from a rigid bike, but the suspension on this Cannondale is plush, even without using all of the rear travel. Additionally, it works so well that I couldn't imagine locking out the rear. Even with just the front locked out, there is no noticeable bob from the rear. I agree with one of the prior reviews that this model makes a fantastic all around trail bike, even if Cannondale doesn't market it that way (I'm sure the success of the Jekyll is the reason).

One of the unique andvantages of this bike is although my inseam puts me between a small and a medium on many bikes, the way the frame is designed on this bike makes standover real comfortable. This means the advantages of the larger bike without the anatomy risks.

Cannondales are known to be well built bikes, and this is obvious just by standing over this bike in the store. Nothing feels cheap, the bars are the right width, the welds are seamless and everything just falls into place. I could not have asked for more.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2250.00

Purchased At:   Princeton Sports

Similar Products Used:   Trek Fuel 98, Jekyll 1000, rigid composite mtb

Bike Setup:   stock except the pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John W a Cross Country Rider from Missoula, MT

Date Reviewed: March 14, 2003

Strengths:    Precise handling, lightweight, feels like more travel than 2.7", lockouts F & R, Lefty fork, Marta disc's, Mavic UST.

Weaknesses:    Original spec (LX shifters and cassette, Deore cranks, ES-51 BB)is a bit weak for the price.

Bottom Line:   
Initially I was planning on getting the new Klein Palomino but was able to demo both back to back on the same trails and it was no contest. The Scalpel felt better than any bike I've ever ridden. I've heard people talk about a bike feeling like an extension of their body, and I now know what they mean. I think this bike just fits me and my riding style perfectly. I think its a shame that C-dale markets this bike as a "race only" rig as it's a great xc/epic trail bike. Great climbing, handles amazingly in rough, technical stuff - it just goes right where you want it to. Obviously it's not a bike for big drops, but if it's more than 3' I'm walking anyway. For anyone considering this bike, I'd highly recommend taking a demo ride if possible. I love this bike!

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Favorite Trail:   Kruger/Three Larch

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   EP @ Open Road

Similar Products Used:   Jekyll 1000, Klein Palomino, Trek Fuel, GT XCR 1000, Marin Mt. Vision, Specalized Enduro, Titus Loco Moto.

Bike Setup:   Immediately swapped shifters, cranks, BB, and cassette to XT, and upgraded pedals to Eggbeater Ti's. Also bike came with Fox RL rear shock instead of the spec'd L.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Dan Garrison a Cross Country Rider from Phoenix, AZ

Date Reviewed: February 24, 2003

Strengths:    Light, nimble climber with just enough rear cush to soften the bigger bumps. Real looker in the ball-burnished finish with black componetry

Weaknesses:    LX front derallieur and shifters.

Bottom Line:   
Love, love, love this bike. It is extremely responsive and climbs like a freakin' goat. Can put it where you need it w/ almost no effort. Virtually no bob with shock engaged, and can go hardtail or rigid w/ lockouts. Lockouts are very accessible and easily engaged on the fly. Going to swap out LX front and shifters for XTR and upgrade pedals and cranks to shave a bit more weight. Mine's a large (21")and weighs in at 27 lbs stock. Will get it down close to 25 lbs pretty easily. Was a bit put off by the Lefty when I first saw it, but it is solid as a rock and the bike still balances perfectly. Recommend for the recreational racer and anyone who loves hardtails but wouldn't mind a little squish to take the edge off.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Wasatch Crest, SLC, UT

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1799.00

Purchased At:   Supergo

Similar Products Used:   GT I-Drive Pro, Specialized FSR M5 Comp, Fisher Sugar 3+

Bike Setup:   Lefty w/ lockout, Fox Float RL w/ Remote lockout, LX/XTR, Mavic 24 spoke w/ Hutchison Scorpion Tubeless

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Rod Towart a Cross Country Rider from Yorkshire/ England

Date Reviewed: February 9, 2003

Strengths:    Very lightweight frameset,unique fork,smooth controlled travel,front and rear remote lockout( best front lockout of all forks tried )

Weaknesses:    None with regards to the bike and how it rides. Perhaps value for money regarding the shimano componentry. Not keen on tubeless tyres.

Bottom Line:   
My bike came with the new back end, composite seat stays and forged links/dropouts so the frameset is the same as the 3000. I already new how the bike rode from an earlier test ride. Last years 1000 which rode well but I wanted the Lefty fork, which is spec. on this years.
The suspension works as smooth as anything else that I have tried, and you really don't miss the extra travel compared to most other bikes ( 100mill ). But I was surprised at how much traction you have compared to the other bikes I've had. The fork works really well, light weight and is as stiff as my PRST forks. Makes RShox sids feel very flexy.
I would reccomend this bike to riders who are looking for a fast, lightweight bike. If you are reasonably skillfull and smooth, this bike will compliment you. If you tend to hit things rather than gliding over it,you may not like it

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2799.00

Purchased At:   Freetown sports

Similar Products Used:   Pace hardtail,Marin Mount Vision,Whyte PRST, all good bikes for my type of riding.( xc riding + endurance racing )

Bike Setup:   I decided to change most of the parts on the bike. Some for personal reasons eg. tubless wheels and because some of the components were not high enough spec/lightweight. The bike now weighs 23.5Lbs with pedals and bar ends after some choice upgrades.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by joe robinson a Racer from houston, texas, USA

Date Reviewed: December 1, 2002

Strengths:    everything, its lite, quick, and solid.

Weaknesses:    not one thing.

Bottom Line:   
SWEET. the best bike ive ever ridden. Well next to the scalple 4000. it climes like no bike ive been on befor, and the cornering, it takes some getting used to, its so much quicker than any other bike. If you want a xc race bike, this is it. If you want a big hit bike go with something else.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lake Bryan

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Bike Lane, Cypris station

Similar Products Used:   jekyll, super v, sugar 1, f 900.

Bike Setup:   well i first rode it as it came. but soon after i swaped the XTR shifters, and deraliars over to the scalple. I just put on a Hugi DT240 hub set on Mavic 331 rims. also Easton monky lite bars and Thompson seat post with flite gel sadle.

Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


2002 Scalpel 1000 question

Hey all, I'm in the market for a new All-Mountain type rig and a 2002 Scalpel 1000 just popped up in my local listings. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this bike and how it handles? I'm 6'2 and 208lbs so I'm kind of a big guy and am worried about the headshok Fatty Ultra Air for ... Read More »

2003 scalpel 1000 - good deal?

hi, i just saw a 2003 scalpel 1000 in our local classifieds. the guy who sells it says he can't ride any more - it is supposedly in good condition, it comes with two seats, two seatposts, a brand new set of lx disc brakes (not mounted yet) and a spare set of shifters. i have not seen it yet (will do ... Read More »

'06 Scalpel 1000 for AM riding?

I'm debating between a Cannondale HT and Scalpel. I know they're both XC bikes, but I want something light-weight and that's where it's at. Does anyone have experience on riding a Scalpel on AM-style terrain. I'm mostly concerned with handling on steep downhills. [URL="http://www.cannondale.co ... Read More »

Cannondale choice: '07 Caffeine F1 or '06 Scalpel 1000

I can get either bike for ~$2,000. Right now I ride mostly AM but would like to get into XC for more exercise. I'm concered with bike weight, and would like to keep the rig to 25#s. Click the pictures for the Cannondale specifications page: '06 Scalpel 1000 [URL="http://www.cannondale.com/bike ... Read More »

weigth question scalpel 1000 2007 vs rush 5 2007

does anyone have an idea what the weigths are of these (Euro) models : scalpel 1000 2007 vs rush 5 2007 (both have lefty in euro version) is there a full lockout on the fox rear shoks of both these bikes ? thnxRead More »

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