Cannondale Scalpel 3000 2003 Full Suspension

4.75/5 (24 Reviews)
MSRP : $4499.99


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (24 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by tyson kaman a Racer from marlborough, ct

Date Reviewed: May 10, 2004

Strengths:    racer. i have ridden many bikes, and this is my favorite go fast rig. it isnt the best climber, it isnt the best decender, it isnt the best at acceleration, and it isnt the lighest (but sub 23 lbs with a responsible tubeless built isn't bad) and it isnt aflicted by any weekspot. all the handling aspects are good. the travel feels ample (not for big air and the like). the frame feels stiff and responds to power well. and though not 100% bob free it is not really noticable, even after i get tired and my pedal stroke goes to all hell. the lefty is awesome. and the lockouts work well, even without the elo. i didnt use the rear remote so i have no comment about that. the parts spec is the best. commonly skimped items were not looked over, xtr chain and 5degrees of sweep in the bar are things that make a bike better that catalogs dont really mention. i even liked the grips.

Weaknesses:    with this part speck you cat look forward to upgrades.
the lefty can make putting the bike into the car a pain.
why didnt cannondale put a strait top tube on this bike? the increased standover isnt worth the cramping of the triangle's h2o bottle space. some might want a riser bar (not me for this bike)


Bottom Line:   
if you want to dust your buddies on a variety of trails this is the bike for you. if you want to go big look somewhere else. i have replaced it with an 04 team issue so i could use the cannondale si crank with only 2 gears in front.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   competitive edge

Similar Products Used:   i have owned and raced an epic, a sugar, ans several fsrs. ive also ridden just about everything out there but it is hard to judge a bike set up for someone else.

Bike Setup:   stock but with a use carbon post and a slr seat. changed tires for stans filled regular pythons without anything but smiles

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by BingBang a Cross Country Rider from Bromont, Quebec, Canada

Date Reviewed: February 17, 2004

Strengths:    Lefty, Lefty, Lefty. Super stiff. rear suspension really feels like 3 1/2" and plush. New XTR crank !!!

Weaknesses:    I had the electronic device that control the ELO system changed. After that it ran perfect.

Bottom Line:   
I like the ELO and remote lock out for the rear shock, never felt more confident on an xc bike like the Scalpel. It handles very quick that takes some get used to it. Of course climb up everything. I feel so quick, my first ride felt like I could win a race.
Mavic UST are just great. This bike is for anyone who doesn't need 5" more travel. It's very quick and can be ride all day. I even got my best riding partner buy one in 2004. Of course the price set you back in your car payments, but look what you got for the money and what other company offers for the same buck, it conviced me.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   # 6

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   MOMO Sports

Similar Products Used:   Spec. FSR, C'dale Jekyll.

Bike Setup:   Changed Shimano dual control( brake-shifter combo) to Sram
X.0 grip shift and derailleur. Had the dual control on my previous Jekyll, think I got used to it and then borrowed a friends' bike with the new X.0 and realized I'm not going back to Shimano. Changed to a riser bar.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Drew a Cross Country Rider from Cumming, GA

Date Reviewed: September 18, 2003

Strengths:    Looks, ride characteristics, weight

Weaknesses:    rear pivot points, thin tubing

Bottom Line:   
This is the last time that I will review this bike. I figured a LONG term update might be usefull. The Scalpel ride is superb. Perfect XC riding machine. Unbelievably fast and nimble. Point the bike where you want to go and hammer the pedals with confidence. You don't really notice the suspension working, but it is! I trashed the original Magura Marta brakes for Hayes. Been on the Hayes for about 5 months now and they have not had ANY maintenance performed on them!! The Marta's were great brakes but too maintenance intesive for me. The SRAM X0 drivetrain rocks. Accurate and fast shifting, and extremly durable. No more lever/trigger flicking. Just a twist of the wrist and you are there. The Lefty is amazing. Much better than traditional forks. Pain in the ass to transport, but well worth it. The Scalpel frame has held up relatively well for 2 years of hard riding from a 220lb'er. There seems to be some weaknesses in the rear swing arm though, and the tubing used to make the frame is really thin ( dent's really easy but, this is a light wieght racing bike). About two months after purchasing the bike, one of the tubes of the rear trangle came apart. No biggie. Replaced by C'dale. Lately the rear of the bike has become "mushy" feeling in the corners. Upon inspection, we found that the pivots have worn prematurely creating a lot of un-wanted movement. Kind of a pain in the anus, but C'dale is going to send new parts under warranty. So, I'll give the Scalpel 3 flamer's, but I'd have to give C'dale warranty department 5 flamer's for their support, so we'll average it to 4 flamer's over all.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything that is not pavement

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   Adventure Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Trek Fuel, Santa Cruz Superlight, Giant NRS, Specialized

Bike Setup:   '02 Scalpel 2000, XT crankset, SRAM X0 shifters/derailer, XTR front derailer, tubeless, hayes, egg beaters, ELO Lefty

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Scott from Gladwyne

Date Reviewed: September 12, 2003

Strengths:    Read review

Weaknesses:    Expensive

Bottom Line:   
This review is for a 2002 Scalpel 3000, not a 2003. The main difference being that it does not have the 2003 XTR, so I cannot comment on that. This is a terrific bike, I finally made the jump to full suspension and man am I loving it. The design/geometry of this bike really suits my riding style and the terrain I ride. I don't do a lot of big drop offs, if you do look elsewhere. I rarely drop off anything more than a few feet. Let me start with the Lefty, all I can say is WOW! It just gobbles up everything that comes its way. Yeah, I was skeptical at first, I had to ask myself, "Is this just a gimmick or is this for real?" Well after a lot of research and a season of riding I can say that it is legit. The action is great, and it is super stiff. The only downfall being that it obviously isn't going to work with a fork mount rack. This isn't really a downfall, just something you need to be aware of.
Now on to the rear suspension. I love this design, although it is obviously not super plush. It is designed for fast XC riding and it does it's job well. There have been times where I've wished I had a bit more travel on some really rocky descents, but it makes up for this on the climbs and overall maneuverability. It just carves in, out, up and over everything I come across. If I had to sum up the way it climbs I would have to say it is somewhere between a scalded monkey and a caffeinated mountain goat, in other words it climbs fast. This is not a 100 % bob free design. I can't honestly say, "Who's Bob?" The bobbing is kept to an almost unnoticeable minimum and does not pose any problems on climbs etc. I'm really happy with the rear suspension, but as I said earlier it is NOT designed for big drops, free riding etc. It is designed to eat up small to medium bumps and to go fast, it really excels in this department.
The components on this bike are top notch, not much needs to be said about full XTR with XT cranks. Read the reviews on those if you need to. I'm also very happy with the Magura Marta brakes.
This bike works for me, if you fit into this category you'll love this bike. Let's face it, there's lots of great bikes out there, and you can't go wrong with a lot of them, especially in this price range. This bike just fit me the best, and when I rode it it just felt right, if that makes any sense. I was in between sizes in several other brands. Take your time, Demo as many bikes as possible. You'll definitely be happy with the Scalpel if that's your choice. It is very $$$, so I can't give it a full rating on Value, there are just so many options at that price range, and a bit below. Just based on performance I give it the highest rating, five flaming turds, or whatever those things are.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Manayunk/Gladwyne trail

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Bike shop

Bike Setup:   Stock 2002 Scalpel 3000, go to Cannondale.com for full specs.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John a Cross Country Rider from Marin County CA

Date Reviewed: July 20, 2003

Strengths:    Light, stiff, amazing fork action. ELO is great. I lock out the front suspension way more often than I ever did with my Rockshox SID carbon. The fork feels rigid when locked out, not creaky like the sid.

Weaknesses:    Cables all over the place. You need to keep a bit more weight over the front end than some other bikes.

Bottom Line:   
A perfect bike for cross country racers and hardtail riders.
Between the lefty fork and Magura discs- this bike increases the speed that I can go safely. I can bring my speed down later and more predictably than with rim brakes. The lefty fork must be ridden to be beleived. Rolls over things that I used to need to lift my front end for. Rides light in spite of having 100 mm of travel. My bike weighs a
little over 23 lb- I could make it more like 22 lb. if I cared.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Tamarancho

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $3500.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Moots YBB, Fisher Sugar.

Bike Setup:   Scalpel frame with fox rl, Carbon Lefty, 03 xtr cranks, SRAM X-0 shifting, Syntace Carbon bars, Thomson seatpost, Dave's speeddream disc wheels with CODA front hub, kinf disco rear, Bontrager Mustang Disc wheels. 708 gram front wheel, 877 gram rear wheel! Magura Marta Disc brakes with SL rotors. Tires with Tubes- none of that tubeless stuff. Been there, Done that.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by DirtDad a Cross Country Rider from Orange County, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2003

Strengths:    Traction on technical climbs, taking small to medium bumps on descents, active suspension, XC geometry, lateral stiffness

Weaknesses:    Suspension will bob and requires lock out sometimes for max efficiency.

Bottom Line:   
The frame feels very lively and flex free. Lots of long travel bikes are called "flex free", but the Scalpel is in another category. The rear suspension is light, simple, and reacts very fast, which is different from fast damping. The suspension is also very active. As a result, it tracks very well.

It absorbs small to medium bumps really well and does not bottom out harshly when you take a hit beyond its limits. It is actually a fun, capable descender. But pedaling is NOT isolated from the suspension. On the smooth stuff you have a choice. Lock out the rear, live with a tiny bit of bobbing, or firm up the rear to eliminate bobbing but also hamper the wonderful downhill performance. I choose lock out.

When the climbing gets technical, you will want the suspension enabled. The improved tracking more than pays for itself. Also, really hard pedaling causes the suspension to extend, which pushes the rear wheel downward, causing a noticable increase in traction. Sand, loose stuff, rocks, whatever, the rear tracks it all. I love this effect.

I have come to look at the rear suspension of this bike as more of a mini-DH set up than anything. It is certainly not a stable platform style of suspension. Instead it is fully active and gives you the option of a lockout for when it is not helping. I think that is a great compromise in suspension design.

By shinking the travel as Cannondale has, any downsides of this design shrink to near zero, traction remains high, and downhill performance shrinks less than you would expect. This is a great bike for a die hard hardtailer. I was riding a Raven with twice this amount of travel, and I find that this bike is more fun everywhere except on those really big hits. For that, I plan on building up a long travel bike.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale Raven, Jekyll, F4000, Super V, Giant MCM, Proflex 857, Trek Y22, Specialized Steel Stumpy.

Bike Setup:   Lefty DLR, Forumula B4SL discs, Easton carbon post & flat bar, Single Track Systems Bar ends, Stan's tubeless, other lightweight parts. Weighs in at about 22.5 lb, and I can drop it to about 21.5 on race day.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Randy Compton a Cross Country Rider from Philadelphia

Date Reviewed: June 27, 2003

Strengths:    Full suspention w/disc Brakes at the weight of a Hard Tail. Stability in the tight technical and fast downhills. MADE in the USA !!!

Weaknesses:    Sizing, I am between a large and a medium, but, my Cannondale rep and the shop lent me a demo of each size to figure it out. Great customer service considering your about to drop $4000.

Bottom Line:   
Cannondale has delivered the fastest XC bike on the planet. If you like to ride hard and do agressive XC/or race you need this bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Wiss, Philly & South MT, phoenix AZ

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Guysbicycles.com

Similar Products Used:   Specialized epic, giant NRS, plush leather couch

Bike Setup:   Stock except for Easton Monkey risers.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Robert M a Cross Country Rider from Evergreen, CO, USA

Date Reviewed: June 19, 2003

Strengths:    Beautiful & light.

Weaknesses:    Silly fragile remote on ELO Lefty - what's this doing on a mountian bike?!

Bottom Line:   
The best description I can give for the type of riding I do would be, "endurance riding" - extremely long rides. I prefer up hill to down hill and would not use the word, "extreme" to describe how I tackle a decent. I do not race as I am in the sport for personal satisfaction however I do dominate on the trail. ;) I am 6'2", 185 lbs & 32 years old. I mention the age because I finally switched to the full suspension due to my old-man back. A typical ride might last 3-4 hours and the constant jitter of the terrain here (Rocky Mountains, CO) takes its toll quickly. My last bike was bent in shipping over seven months ago. During that time there was no riding for me. Since the purchase of this bike I have ridden several of my favorite trails without suffering my annual early-season lower back problems. The rear suspension is just enough to fight off fatigue and does not interfere with my climbing - in fact I do not even lock it out on long uphills. I would recommend this bike to anyone who spends a lot of time on long rides and on technical trails... or who races XC (although I wouldn't know anything about that).

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Any - Telluride, CO - Moab, UT

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $4000.00

Purchased At:   Big Ring Cycles - Golden, CO

Bike Setup:   Stock - exception: 2002 XTR Rapid Fire shifters, 2002 XTR rear derailluer, XT disc brakes, (old school) toe clips.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Alex Vasquez a Racer from Houston

Date Reviewed: June 5, 2003

Strengths:    03' XTR, Lefty Fork, Cross Max SL, On the fly front and rear lockouts

Weaknesses:    rear tire mud clearance

Bottom Line:   
All of our racers loved it and so did I. The Scalpel 3000 is great in all terain. This bike got a beating from me being 190lbs and stood the test of time. I raced it over 240 miles and trained on it 300+. NO mechanicals, and NO flats all season long!!!! New XTR was very easy to get used.

Team Manager LSC.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Webster Bicycle

Bike Setup:   Stan's No Tubes system with Stan's Al. rotors. Shimano 959 pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Harold Spencer a Racer from Houston, Texas

Date Reviewed: June 4, 2003

Strengths:    Light, no flex, does its job - fill the shocks up if you want it to ride stiff, less air for soft, or lock it out. No brainer. Most solid rear end of any FS bike I've ridden, no wag, no flex. New linkage has no slop.

Weaknesses:    Putting the Lefty on your roof rack isn't the easiest and the ELO is tough to reach sometimes and seems fragile. But if I was that worried, I could just get the manual lockout.

Bottom Line:   
It's for XC riding/racing, not hucking. Ther rougher the trail, the better the Scalpel is. In Texas, I keep the bike active and it steers where I want it to go. Cannondale rider Jason Sager lives in Texas and races the Scalpel, as does Tinker, so the bike must be doing something right.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $4000.00

Purchased At:   Bike shop

Similar Products Used:   Trek Fuel, Specialized FSR, Santa Cruz

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Cara C a Cross Country Rider from Philadelphia, PA

Date Reviewed: June 1, 2003

Strengths:    
Excellent climbing ability, XTR components, disk breaks, ELO (electronic lockout) carbon fiber lefty headshock.


Weaknesses:    Some problems dialing in rear XTR derailer.

Bottom Line:   
There is nothing that I can't climb on this bike. If you can't do it, there are no excuses other than your own incompetency. The guys at Sicklers did a great job fitting the bike for my needs and fixing the problems with the rear derairler. I experienced a significant amount of ghostshifting my first ride, but it was nothing they couldn't take care of in 10 minutes. The new Shimano XTR break/shifters take some getting used to, but haven't given me any significant problems as of yet. You might want to consider adding the carbon fiber riser bar. Overall, this is an amazing bike that boosted my riding confidence dramatically.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Wissahickon Valley

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $4000.00

Purchased At:   Sickler's

Bike Setup:   Eggbeater pedals work great for me, however I have heard complaints from others that they create hotspots.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by David Wood a Racer from Waldorf, MD, USA

Date Reviewed: May 25, 2003

Strengths:    The bike climbs very well, accelerates like a hardtail, and is as light as most. The new crossmax wheels are a nice addition and work well with stans juice and a standard tire. The left is stiff and precise, and can soak up anything you run over

Weaknesses:    I opted to get ride of my remote rear lockout due to some previous gripes that I have heard. I also replaced 03 XTR rear Der. with the old school XTR and shifting has been awesome.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is completely awesome, the more you push the bike the better it seems to feel. I would recommend the scalpel to anyone who is looking for a sweet XC bike.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Fredrick

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Bike Doctor

Similar Products Used:   Specialized rock hopper pro

Bike Setup:   I changed the stock grips to something nice and soft, running stans juice with a standard tire (much lighter), and added the old school XTR rear Der. Nothing else needed to be done to a bike with full XTR

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Joe Aponte a Cross Country Rider from Allamuchy, NJ

Date Reviewed: May 22, 2003

Strengths:    Frame

Weaknesses:    alot

Bottom Line:   
This bike sucks. It doesnt even come close to the Santa Cruz Blur. Its all over the place, the components are shoddy, the frame is thin and tends to crack. "Crackendale." I DID feel alot of bob when climbing. You know what it is with this bike? Its just not FUN to ride. All this talk about FS XC race bikes. Please. Give me a break. Give me a nice , quick, responsive 100mm of travel bike like the Blur or Intense and throw the VPP in there and I'm happy. I am selling my Scalpel on E Bay if anyone wants it. Already put my order in for a Blur. This bike is not even in the same league as the Blur. Amen brother.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   All

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Cycle works

Similar Products Used:   Blur

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brian Freeze a Racer from Houston

Date Reviewed: May 18, 2003

Strengths:    Handles and looks great, love the new xtr, one ride on the lefty and no other fork will do.

Weaknesses:    rear derailler this seem to be a problem many have had with the new xtr it does not seem to be Cannondale fault

Bottom Line:   
Anyone who races cross-county owes this bike a ride. It is a dream to ride and looks great too. It is super light and climbs like a goat. I have never been so impressed with a bike in 20 years of racing. Cannondale is a great company and this bike is light years above anything else out there. Give this bike a try and you will be hocking your car to get one.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rocky Hill Ranch

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Webster Bicycles

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   Stan's no-tubes and brake rotors

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Henrik Crone Köser a Racer from Denmark (Europe)

Date Reviewed: May 2, 2003

Strengths:    The way it handles on the technical trail... and ofcaurse the uphill climbs... it´s like a rocket. i´m still not a fan of the XTR-03 shifters, but the crank and brakes are the Scalpel3000 is best i have ever tried.. and!!! the Crossmax wheels - whauuu, they are fast as hell and looks like a supermodel. overall rating - this is my my dreambike - nothing else comes close

Weaknesses:    ..the XTR-03 shifters, i have allways been using gribshift.. so!!! and also the cannondale lock out on the handlebar, combined with the DTswiss rear sus. not the greatest thing in this world.. so i took it off.

Bottom Line:   
This i the fastest bike on earht if you like racing xc and 24 hours... I´M IN LOVE.. IN MY BLACK BEAUTY

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Fusion Denmark (Åhus)

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale hardtale, Specialized m4, Commencal VIP,

Bike Setup:   complete with 2003 XTR, 03-Crossmax (lefty)..and a USE carbon stick + Fizík alliente sadle (titan)

Reviews 1 - 15 (24 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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2003 Scalpel 3000 - What's it worth?

I'm just about to put my 2003 Scalpel 3000 up for sale but have know idea what it's worth now. It's in good condition with full original XTR components, new generation XTR cranks, Mavic Crossmax SL wheels and a carbon Lefty. Anyone out there have a ball park figure on what I should put it on for? ... Read More »

Im selling 2004 Cannondale Scalpel 3000. Race level XC cross country full suspension

[url]http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180508159056&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT[/url]Read More »

Carbon Lefty that came stock on 04 Scalpel 3000.

Hi, which Lefty is it and how would it compare to the Carbon Lefty that came stock on an 02 Scalpel 3000? Thanks for the help.Read More »

NEW 2007 Cannondale Scalpel 3000 Mountain Bike.... $2,600

Ceeway Bike Building Supplies is one of the leading bike distributors.We are Legitimate registered Company under .All our products are fully assembled,and We ship via cargo, and your ordered items will get to your door step within 48 hrs(Two Working Day).We sell all kinds Cannondale, Cervelo, Ellswo ... Read More »

Scalpel 3000

Just brought this little guy home about an hour ago...found this steal of a lifetime on Craigslist....time to start buying parts! [IMG]http://i37.tinypic.com/28ispdg.jpg[/IMG]Read More »

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