Cannondale Scalpel 2003 Full Suspension

User Reviews (57)

Showing 1-10 of 57  
Mountaindudespike   Weekend Warrior [Sep 11, 2010]

Amazing bike, has lasted me ten years of extreme riding. One hell of a bike. Perfect weight, not too light or heavy, Get it.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Colton Hutchins   Cross Country Rider [Jul 15, 2003]
Strength:

Great Bike! The frame feels nice and stiff but is smooth where it needs to be. Climbs well for a full supsension bike. OH and its light!

Weakness:

Well, I ride agressively but one day I took a small spill nothing big just fell over. My rear trinagle bent sideways and caused my tire to rub really bad. Cannondale is replacing my frame which is one of the great things about owning a cannondale. I have talked to others and have heard similar reports but cannondale has since redesigned the rear triangle and I have had no problems.

This Bike is the ticket for XC! I use mine for more than it is probably intended for and it takes the abuse! I have 3 bikes and this is my favorite!

Similar Products Used: F1000
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
DirtDad   Cross Country Rider [Jul 09, 2003]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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

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.

Similar Products Used: Cannondale Raven, Jekyll, F4000, Super V, Giant MCM, Proflex 857, Trek Y22, Specialized Steel Stumpy.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Randy Compton   Cross Country Rider [Jun 27, 2003]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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.

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.

Similar Products Used: Specialized epic, giant NRS, plush leather couch
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Adam Cochran   Cross Country Rider [Jun 24, 2003]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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

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.

Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Sugar, Klien Palomino, Giant NRS 2 demo only
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Robert M   Cross Country Rider [Jun 19, 2003]
Strength:

Beautiful & light.

Weakness:

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

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).

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Frank   Cross Country Rider [Jun 18, 2003]
Strength:

Great suspension, really sokes up the bumps, tracking is excellent.

Weakness:

Crank & BB SUCKS I have 400 miles on it and they are toast, seat in horrible.

Great bike but you need to replace; Crank & BB, Seat and Bars. Ratings after replacements made

Similar Products Used: Jekyll, Gary Fisher Sugar, Trek Fuel.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Anthony   Cross Country Rider [Jun 17, 2003]
Strength:

Handles great, climbs great, travel is fine where it is, makes you a little better rider as you are carving up the trails because of its great handleing.

Weakness:

Supergo swiped the LX FD for just Deore. The only weakness is SUPERGO. You seem like you are getting a great deal, look at the specs on some of the bikes, they are not the same as the manufacturers spec's, IE this is why they are so much cheaper. The sales people are great but there service department together is not as smart as my 3 year old girl. Bought two bike from them and both have been put together wrong. How f#@*$ hard is it. Oh yeah, seat pinches the jewels something fierce.

Bike is great. I have had many bikes and this one felt great right from the get-go. My Ellsworth and Intense were great bikes but I am not XC rider who mixes in the Freeriding. Most MTN bikes are all about the set-up. Cannondale does a great job of putting the right set-up together. THANK GOD THEY ARE NOT USING KODA ON THE SCALPEL. If you are a rider that is all about going everywhere and over most anything this is probably no the bike for you. If you are into riding demanding single technical single track and a little of the shady stuff this is the bike. Not to mention while everybody else is trying to lug their beast up the trail to go down, they are looking at your arse the whole way.

Similar Products Used: Cannondale Raven 800, Cannondale Jekly 3000(Horrible Bike), Ellsworth Truth, Intense Tracer, Specialized Stump FSR
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
eayste   Cross Country Rider [Aug 29, 2003]
Strength:

Solid design
Light weight
Looks great
you can put 700 x 30 c wheels on it.
Great ride feel

Weakness:

none so far

This is a very solid design that has a great ride feel.
For XC use it's hard to beat.
It's great for climbing and desending and fast on the flats.
I had a jekyll 3000 with a lefty and it was great for going downhill but sluggish going up and on the flats.
I sold it for the scalpel and it was well worth it .
I even can put a set of cross wheels on it and I ride it to work. Very versatile bike.
I got the 800 over the other models mainly for the headshok.
I like it better than the lefty or other forks.
The scalpel is a great handling and solid ride.

Similar Products Used: Cannondale Jekyll
Cannondale F700
Trek 8000
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
John Schmitmeyer   Cross Country Rider [Jun 06, 2003]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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

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.

Similar Products Used: Mid range LX/XT '97 Cannondale hardtail
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 57  

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