Cannondale Scalpel XC Full Suspension

DESCRIPTION

Zero Pivots, Zero Competition. The lightest, stiffest, most efficient dual suspension XC race bike on the planet. The Scalpel isn’t just in a class by itself - it’s attending an entirely different school.

  • Frame: Scalpel, 80mm, BallisTec Hi-MOD full carbon, Zero Pivot, BB30, 1.5 Si headtube
  • Fork: Lefty Speed Carbon PBR, 100 mm, OPI, Solo Air
  • Rear Shock: Fox RP23 w/ Boost Valve
  • Crank: FSA SL-K 386, BB30, 42/27
  • Chain: Shimano M980, 10-speed
  • Bottom: Bracket: FSA BB30
  • Handlebars: FSA SL-K Flat 620 mm
  • Stem: Cannondale OPI adjustable, -5 degree, 31.8
  • Seat Post: Fi;zi:k Cyrano 31.6x400

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 144  
[Nov 07, 2019]
Muddybugger


OVERALL
RATING
3
Strength:

Model: cannondale scalpel Si Se 2020 So....I’ve owned the bike for a month or two now. I’ve not been across or down anything to hairy as I’m getting used to it’s long wheelbase and wide bars. I’ve been riding a Caffine F2 for year so it’s gonna feel strange! I love the way the 29’s iron out bumps making the ride experience more comfy but more sluggish in the turns compared to the F2. The front forks and rear shocks seem to do a good job although I’ve not pushed them on anything too tricky. The bike as a whole seems really positive and easy to ride and gives me more confidence apart from the wide bars zooming in and out of trees on single tracks! The only real downside is the paint, which leads me to.....

Weakness:

So after a few basic sighting runs on flat ground to get my bearings on it I took it out to see what it could do. Now locally in Essex it is flat as a witches t!t, so nothing harsh or interesting! So I’m on a towpath next to a river, damp ground, claggy in places with occasional bits of gravel! The tyres that I chose on the bike were Magic Mary’s as this is what I’m used to! About a mile into the ride the tyres had picked up mud as they would and even with helicopter tape and mudguards the bike was loaded with mud and sounded like grinding and scraping! Nothing unusual with that I hear you say...and your right!.... What is unusual, which I only found out when I got home and washed the bike off, the damage inflicted to the frame from one ride was outrageous! The rear pivot area was chipped from mud and light gravel. Mud thrown onto the chain ring from the rear wheel had scraped gouges out of the frame as the crank turned. Various other chips on any exposed paint also were apparent. I got onto Cannondale Warranty to ask why was the paint so weak (soft or brittle) and he basically to me to F off, not out problem! He kept on banging on that as it’s not flaking it’s not out problem. He was completely missing my point! Anyway, my view is...unless you want a bike frame to be wrecked after a few rides out due to crap paint, cool go for it! Cannondale should be rectifying this paint to be more hardy or advise customers to fully wrap their bikes from new. No further advice was given by warranty, no repair option, no, we can send you a touch up paint to match, just wanted me to go away. On the basis of this I will never buy a Cannondale again on pure principle again. A very unhappy customer

Price Paid:
3000
Purchased:
New  
Model Year:
2020
[Mar 09, 2016]
Steve
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

SRAM 1 x 11 set up, Carbon Lefty 2.0 (yes, it really IS that good), Schwalbe Racing Ralphs

Weakness:

The only thing that I'm not 100% on is the SRAM X-Actuation shifter...both triggers are under the grip and thumb activated (a bit of a reach on upshifts). Coming from Shimano Rapid Fire where both thumb and index fingers are put to use, I believe that is the optimal configuration. But, the beauty of this rig is that there's only one shifter needed!

Wow! I really don't know what else to say about the 2016 Cannondale Scalpel 29 Carbon Race. It is an incredible, dream-like ride that begs to be pushed to the limit. Every time out it asks, "How fast can you push me?" Speed, ride quality, tracking, turning, fit, components, functionality...Cannondale just knocks it out of the park with this bike. I have ridden mountain bikes for 25+ years and this bike is without doubt the finest representation of a full suspension, cross-country racing rig (some call the 29er platform 'cheater bikes' because they go so damned fast) that I have ever ridden. I had thought that my Sugar 1 could not be topped. This bike is simply no comparison to the Sugar, a great bike in its own right, for its day and as a 26 inch pure racing rig. I've only been riding the Scalpel for a few months now, and have yet to race it, but I'm certain that I have yet to hit any limits with it. Pure speed, pinpoint connection to the trail, spot on turning, suspension set up is just perfect. Forget about not much, there is absolutely nothing not to like about this bike. Even the bright green color grows on you after a while. Having never owned a Cannondale XC bike before, I'm now left wondering, "What took me so long?" Whether its this top-of-the-line model or another in the Scalpel line-up I would venture a guess that you can't go wrong with any of them. Plus, the older we get (I'm pushing 60), there's no looking back to hardtail, carbon or otherwise. Full suspension all the way! Especially if you're going to race of any duration. As an endurance XC racer -- marathons, 12 & 24 hour solo racing -- full suspension is the only way to go. At 24 pounds, this bike gives me everything that I'm looking for in a racing rig. All I can say is GET ONE!

Similar Products Used:

Gary Fisher Sugar 1, Kona Hei Hei 29, Gary Fisher Joshua, Specialized Stumpjumper, Trek Antelope

[Jan 27, 2013]
michael
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

I love the Lefty! this is a beautiful rig; tracks wonderfully, really rips up technical stuff

Weakness:

wait, what?

I've ridden a bunch of different bikes: kona, SC, trek, yeti. This bike is at the top of the heap. Very responsive, fairly lightweight. I thought I'd never be one of those "I can now climb stuff I never could before" poster... Alas. What a blast!

[Dec 15, 2012]
Dustin

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Lefty, stiff, lightweight, FAST

Weakness:

No rear shock lock-out

I bought a 2013 from my local bike shop and got a great deal on the price. I was a little concerned about the Lefty, but after riding it a bunch, it's fantastic. So, smooth and stiff. I owned a Giant Anthem before and it was more plush than the Scalpel. However, I was looking for something that was faster and climbed better. Going from alux to carbon made a huge difference. However, the Scalpel is stiff, fast and less plush than I was used to. However, I'm getting more into racing (Xterrra, local 1 hr races, etc) and it's a much better bike for me. This is a race bike. It could be lighter, but that's a function of spending more $$$ and simply getting the Scalpel 1 with carbon hoops. Very specific bike, but for what it does, it does well.

[Dec 13, 2012]
Roger
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

light weight; handles like a dream; responsive

Weakness:

none

This is a great, relatively inexpensive way to get a podium-quality steed. You won't be disappointed with this ride. I've ridden turner, fisher, yeti, kona and many others. The only other make that comes close IMO is the Turner 5-spot.

[Oct 07, 2012]
Chad

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Light, responsive, smooth, looks great.

Weakness:

Hmm.... Maybe more travel.

I bought the 2013. Paid $4600. I had the 2012 flash carbon before this and I did not like it. This bike is amazing. It does what I want it to do. My confidence has increased. My body is not tired like it was on the HT. took me three bikes to get here but now I am completely satisfied. Aluminum wheels very light weight.

[Jul 30, 2012]
Triathlontoni

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Super light, super fast...climbs like a dream and goes way faster than I can push it. Tried some North shore trails and stands up to rough stuff better than I thought a bike this light would. Truly a cross country bike par excellence.

Weakness:

I'd have to say I'm the weakness with this bike...if you have the skill this bike has the speed. Definately not a downhill bike but it's stronger than it looks.

This is my first carbon mtb so haven't really compared it to others having only ridden 90's hard tails in the past but this is really an awesome ride.
The lefty is strong and agile when it comes to roots and rocks and I'm a 200lb rider that isn't graceful. Heavier bikes tend to plow into stuff where this bike easily floated over terrain I unintentionally went down that would've had me breaking wheels on in the old days.

[Jul 23, 2012]
Mark
Racer

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Speed, Fast, Quick, Winning
Light, Fun, Strong!

Weakness:

None for me

I love this bike, it is as light as a hardtail 26" 21lbs, and it as fast as a 29er. The zero pivot suspension translates to zero lost energy, is springs you up obstacles and propels you beyond the competition. No question this is the fastest bike I have EVER ridden, I have ridden a lot of bikes 26" and 29er. It is so fun lively that it is my go-to bike for any occasion, never will go back to anything else.

Similar Products Used:

Rocky Mountain Element Team RSL 29er
Santa Cruz Tall Boy
Specialized Stumpjumper 29er
Litespeed Niota 26"
Titius Racer X 26"
Intense Uzzi
Intense Spider

[Feb 19, 2012]
chikai
Weekend Warrior

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Strength:

Super stiff aluminum front frame, Lefty looks unique and dampens everything, The full package is light and strong.

Weakness:

If I had to gripe about one thing...it would be the slight side to side lateral flex of the carbon rear triangle. Only really feel it riding on road.

This is a review for the 2006/7 Team Replica. I came across this bike on a local Craigslist listing with the description of a blown front Lefty fork. The price was tempting and after 30mins looking over to ensure nothing else was wrong I pulled the trigger. The set up was full SRAM X-0 except an XTR front derailleur. Turned out the fork was beyond repair and after waiting four weeks for Cannondale to replace the Lefty, I had the pleasure to pounce on local trails today. First impression was this thing climbed like a goat on red bull. I felt I could tackle the steepest hills. Although I haven't spent the time to dial in the Lefty, it felt nice and smooth on the hardest hits and biggest ruts. It is a strong feeling to on the Lefty as it just doesn't look right. But boy does it feel great. The full package of the bike worked really well. I wanted an exceptional climber with some comfort from a full suspension frame. Could not ask for more! Only issue as mentioned above is the flex of the rear triangle...not major, but most noticeable on concrete.

Similar Products Used:

None...my first full suspension X-Country. Had hardtails most of my life...Voodoo D-Jab, Specialized Comp, Giant Cadex

[Dec 28, 2011]
Nondescript
Cross Country Rider

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Strength:

Affordable, Fit, good value

Weakness:

It's soft

It's okay, if you like this sorta thing.

Similar Products Used:

Trek, Diamondback, Turner

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