Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 29er 29er Full Suspension

Cannondale Scalpel Carbon 29er 29er Full Suspension 

DESCRIPTION

Designed from the ground up and incorporating the best features from our Flash 29’er, Scalpel, RZ and OverMountain bikes, the new Scalpel 29’er is a lightweight, plush and precise all-around trail rocket. It will give racers an edge on longer, rougher courses and put smiles on the faces of fast trail riders everywhere. The new Scalpel 29’er – get ready to operate.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 26  
[May 09, 2016]
Ex-Cannondale
Racer

Strength:

Light

Weakness:

The frames are so fragile, better not to ride these off-road.

I think this is a great bike if it stayed in one piece for more than five rides. I broke my first on on the chainstay, was climbing a hill and heard the crack. I got a new frame - great - that one lasted three rides before the downtube cracked at the BB junction. It looks like something whacked it but I can assure I was riding a fast relatively smooth descent and heard a very loud crack. There may have been some stones on the trail, one may have kicked up but this is supposed to be a mountain bike, should be able to withstand a pebble hitting it. Cannondale has refused to replace it, way to stand behind your product. I see the new Scalpel SI is now released, I hope that's note a one time use bike like mine have been.

I am a 165 XC racer, don't do drops or anything remotely crazy.

Similar Products Used:

Niner Jet9, Niner Air9

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
3
[Oct 15, 2015]
Todd
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Fast, holds a line, climbs like a goat and yes nimbel for a 29er.

Weakness:

Magura brakes are just ok. Not bad but not shimano

Ok, I've been mtbing for 30 years and that includes short races, 24hr and Xterra Tri's. So, I've ridden, raced and demoed everything out there. From single speed to Enduro bikes.

This bike is NOT for beer drinking baggy pants out of shape chair lift riders. It's a pure X country bike that gets you from point A to B fast and true. So, please if you fall into one or more of those categories above don't get this bike or post a review on it. Just come to the realization that you got the wrong bike. Because, let me tell you it's not about the bike in this case.

10 months I've been riding this machine and I've found very few flaws. I've got the 2015 Carbon 3 version and I'm 51 so that's the only reason why I passed on the Carbon 2 with the 1x. Plus. I think the grey/red looks better than the blue/white. 1st flaw, Magura brakes are just average but I do like the magmatic pistons in the brake calipers to hold the pads in place, very nice design. X7 shifters and front der are fine but come on Cdale couldn't you've made the full groupo x9 instead of just the rear der. It's a $4k bike! Anyway, the bike performs well in all areas and has a super tight feel to it. This is my first lefty and it out performs any XC front fork I've ever raced on. No mechanical issues other that the wedge recall that was installed for free. Not sure why they didn't just replace the steerer tube?? I'm no engineer though

Similar Products Used:

Ellsworth Truth and Evolve, Litespeed Ti frames, Trek Fuel and Specialized

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[May 13, 2015]
scott

Strength:

Its an out of the box 23lb 3 oz x-large full springer 29r with single lever lock out on the bars

Weakness:

adjustments when dealing with the OPI stem system are limited and not exactly easy but its worth the pain for the gain for such a rigid structure

This review is for the 2015 Team Model which is got all the stuff one would want to end up with a XL 23 pound full springer.with 29r wheels. I have been riding and racing over 25 years and have had or ridden a lot of mtb bikes in that time.
This bike is simply the best I have ridden thus far. The carbon lefty makes my thru axle fox fork seem primitive, its just plain butter on the trail but tracks like nothing I have ridden before. Push the pedals and this bike moves forward, no flex even remotely detected.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 21, 2015]
Andrew Eckel
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

So many. Super light. Great spec. Climbs like a goat. Nimble for a 29er. Very fast.

Weakness:

The bars are too wide. I clip things in tight situations. Rear hub issue w/ the Tricon XM 1550 - a common ailment - requires rebuild by DT Swiss. Tubeless setup is more of a chore than usual.

Hands down the best bike I've ever owned. I've had 30+ over the years and the Scalpel Carbon One 29er slays them all. The S-Works Epic was my standard XC ride until 2012. I usually flip bikes after a season. I've never considered selling the Scalpel. The bike has heart. It's a heroic climber. Simply astonishing how well it tracks and hooks up on steep ascents. Incredible traction below 25psi. It's carves well, is very nimble for a 29er. Stable and sturdy in choppy terrain. Set up tubeless with XTR pedals my 2012 Large weighed in at 22.9lbs. Did I mention it's fast?

The only mountain bike I've ridden for 2+ years now. I've had no reason to look elsewhere..

Similar Products Used:

S-Works Epics & Stumpys, Numerous 29er & 26" hardtails, Orbea Oiz, Gary Fisher Superfly, Giant Anthem and Trance.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 23, 2015]
hoiminglee
All Mountain Rider

Strength:

No issues after 2 years of ownership
Strong, no breakages (knock on wood), i've seen postings around frame and chainstay breakages...
Fast
Reynolds wheels have held up great
2013 Lefty Carbon XLR 100mm fork holding up well
Feels light and fast on the trails, easy to pick up front end and move the bike around in technical

Weakness:

Price,
Relative complexity of BB
Stock Schwalbe racing ralphs suck... too thin, easy to puncture

Purchased in 2013 and after 3,500 kms of riding I wanted to post a follow up review. Why... well the bike deserves it and people paying top dollar would appreciate a follow long term review. Honestly i've had no issues with the bike, i'm take jumps and bash through rock gardens etc.. and haven't found a fault with this bike. I would happily put down my $$ and do it again, there is value in the bike believe it or not... (Light, fantastic fork, solid wheelset, handles great, fast)... choose something more expensive however it will weigh more and probably won't handle as well.

Similar Products Used:

Previous generation of scalpel team

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Nov 03, 2013]
markrose
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

Handling,weight,stiffness,responsiveness and comfort.
As a result of all of the above,speed,and lots of it.

Weakness:

Noisey brakes when wet.
Get the right size and stem as there is less adjustment than other bikes out there.

Done just over 700ks so far.
I have been riding mountain bikes for close to thirty years and have tried just about every brand out there and this is the best bike I have ever riden.
Fast and resposive with sharp handling.
Rolls over heaps of stuff that would slow down a 26er and is super stable.
So far I have not found any of the so called diss-advantages of the 29 wheel size and am completely sold on the concept.
This bike climbs and decends well and is quick accelerating too.
I am noticably closer to the front of my group and even first to the top occasionally.
The bike is an XL and I am 6'2' and the fit is perfect if a little racey compared to a short stem trail bike.
Those riders used to 6" travel trail bikes my struggle with 4" as it is not plush and rides more like a hard tail.
You don't notice the suspension working and for me that's nirvana.
If you want to travel quickly over all sorts of terrain and arrive at your destination feeling fresh then this is the bike for the job.
I just love it.

Similar Products Used:

Most

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 01, 2013]
Ryan Densem

Strength:

Efficiency in tackling the hills.

Weakness:

Only weakness is wondering how good the Scalpel 1 is.

Beginner to intermediate rider. Done the upgrade from a 26er Alloy. Had a slight touch of buyers remorse trying to justify spending the money on this. First 2 hr ride would have paid a further 25%.
Outstanding bike!!! Great climber, smooth over the rough, clean sharp & hassle free gearing & brakes.
Anyone on the fence of buy or not to buy. My recommendations is grab one.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jun 01, 2013]
gashgash1
Cross Country Rider

Strength:

In one word - FAST.

Weakness:

None so far

Coming off an Ibis Mojo SL 26". The Scalpel makes me ride 25-30% faster. It feels like this bike begs to be ridden fast. It has snappy acceleration, stiff pedaling platform, and maintains momentum like nothing else.
I swapped the stock SRAM XO brakes, shifters and rear derailleur with XTR Race components and very happy with theis build. Did not have to mess with the cockpit as it is perfectly built for this bike. The Raynolds wheels and Racing Ralph tires are perfect match for pushing you faster on rolling hills and hard packed single tracks.
Look in the blogs for the optional white/magnesium color scheme. Its not on the official Cannondale website but the dealers can order it for you. Much better looking compared to the default red/blue colors.
Total weight at 22 lb (10 kg) for a small frame with XRT pedals and a bottle cage!
The bike is stiff no matter how hard you pedal. When engaging the front and rear lockouts it feels like a road bike. It is so stiff I only use it on asphalt. Read some reviews about the lockouts blowing out in some occasions, I never had this issue with my 155 lb weight.
Due to its short wheelbase the bike is easy to maneuver in tight single-track, and is supper fum when going downhill. But given the overall stiffness and limited travel, don't expect a plush ride when the going gets rough. The Racing Ralph's will reach their limits when climbing over slippery rocks and lose terrain.
Overall this is a supper bike which will make you better rider and definitely faster. I'm not talking about a small marginal improvement, you will feel a significant improvement in any loop you do.
If you can afford it, just go and get it. You will not regret.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 21, 2013]
joshua west
Racer

Strength:

I am coming of of a well equipped hardtail and I was a little nervous about the climbing. But the Scalpel climbs as good as a hardtail its different but more traction and easier on you if that makes sense. Corners like its on rails. Not sure if its the lefty or the rear suspension but super easy to throw into corners and the front wheel really holds. Super light and looks amazing as well. I couldn't even imagine going back to a hardtail. The bike just feels fast while you are riding it. First ride on my normal loop produced several PR's even with me stopping and fiddling with this and that and I felt way fresher after. Also had a PR on a 1.7m climb where you would think the hardtail would have it.

Weakness:

None really just small things. Bottle mount only allows a small bottle and even then it is still hard to get in and out. Also I have a bit of squeaking from the front end. But minor considering how awesome this bike is!

A fast race full suspension thats worth every penny.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jan 28, 2013]
AdamAlter

Strength:

Light, fast, and smooth. Looks great too, for those that care about that.

Weakness:

DT Swiss wheels
Not much room for a water bottle

I have the 2012 in a large.

I'm 210, without gear. While I don't ride to break things and look for huge 4'+ drops to air off of, I do ride fast and hard on intermediate trails (XC mostly) and don't avoid advanced sections. I was blown away with how fast and well it handles yet somehow smoothes out some rough DH sections that used to beat me up on other FS bikes.

The DT Swiss wheelset seems to have problems. They perform well and aren't super heavy, but my hubs are slipping and it looks like I'm not along. It started with the brakes feeling like they were shuttering and wasn't smooth. But when I took it in, they knew exactly what it was, having had the same problem with other customers as well as the pro tech who rode the same bike. Cannondale gave me no hassle and is replacing under warranty. I've been waiting a couple weeks for the replacements to come in, but when they do I'll be swapping them for some Mavic SLRs.

My other issue seems silly, but is the ability to hold a water bottle. The biggest I've been able to squeeze in my large frame, is a single 20oz bottle my daughter had on her bike. I wonder if a med frame could even hold one. While a Camelbak is fine, and some prefer, it does limit the ability to monitor water/liquid calories for many 1+hr laps in Texas heat... for those who like to regulate it with bottles. The Camelbak raises your center of gravity and somehow tends to make my back stiff over time.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 26  

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