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Difference between Prophet, Scalpel and Jeckyll

2792 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  ChipAllen
I've got a 95 (or so) Cannondale M900 hardtail with the original Headshock. I'm thinking about upgrading. I'm researching the new Cannondales but can't get a good straight answer to the differences.

So - I'm asking the experts.

What is the difference between the Phropeht, Scalpel and Jeckyll?

I'm in the Dallas Texas area. I don't do any downhill, it's all cross country. I retired from racing in 1997. I'm 6 foot tall and 200 lbs (and falling). I'm doing about 100 miles per week between my road bike and my mountain bike. I ride fairly aggressively, but I'm not doing any huge drops (24" at most). I do a lot of climbing, so I think weight and pedal bob will be an issue. I was fairly sold on getting another hard tail until I began really researching it. It looks like a lot of you guys are using full suspension for cross country.

Help me pick a bike. :D
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The Scalpel is intended for xc-racing, the Prophet is more of a trailbike. You'll have more fun on the prophet but you won't climb as fast as you would on the scalpel. The Jekyll is the previous generation of trailbike, a good bike but the Prophet is much nicer.
It's all about preference dude....Goto your LBS and test them all. I have an C'dale F1000 and I like it but I just got a Prophet and am in love with it! I live in New England and I was sceptical about getting the Scalpel with the carbon stays. My Prophet (1000) doesnt bob at all and can probably outclimb my F1000.

IMHO - Get a Prophet but it's all about what you feel good with.
Tha Scalpel will be closer to your hardtail, it's like a light fast hardtail but better. The Lefty Speed is a world better than the Headshok you have now and the rear suspension is just enough to make you go even faster and make you flow through the trails, a very nice bike that just always wants to go faster. And even if it is marketed as a race bike, it doesn't mean it can't be ridden as a trail bike, depends of the trails you ride and personnal preferences.

If you ride more aggressively in more technical trails, then the Prophet might be a better option, it eats bumps for breakfast with the added travel front and rear, it will handle a beating more than the Scalpel (Scalpel has lighter and more fragile wheels for exemple). It's heavier than the Scalpel but it doesn't mean it can't climb well, the geometry has a lot to do with that IMO.

The Jeckyll, while still a good bike, has been replaced by the Prophet, there is only one left in the Cannondale line-up (2 with the women-specific model) but you could get a good deal on one if you can find a shop that still has one.

For choosing, it all depends on how and where you ride. Before, I would have got a Scalpel because I was mostly riding fast hardpacked trails with some rocks and roots, but nothing too hardcore. Now I ride much more technical terrain with huge rocks and big roots all over the place and a few downhill sections so rocky and steep that I couldn't even stay on my F1000 (long low stem, XC race position) so the Prophet fits the bill better for me. That doesn't mean you can't ride those trails with a Scalpel (in fact, my main riding partner has a Scalpel 2000) but it's all about choosing what you like best.

For me it was easy to choose, I've always been a good climber but wasn't as good a downhiller so now, with a slightly heavier bike with a more upright riding position and more travel, I am a lot faster on downhills and not much slower on long climbs. My Scalpel friend on the other side, is a natural downhiller but not as fast on long climbs so with our bikes, it all evens out. :D

The funny thing is, after riding a 5" travel FS last year, when I took out my old F1000, I was much faster on descents than I ever was, maybe the FS bike just gave me more confidence.
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Thanks. I'll go ride them in the parking lot during lunch and see if I can figure it out.
Greg WJs said:
Thanks. I'll go ride them in the parking lot during lunch and see if I can figure it out.
Let us know what you think!
I've yet to ride a prophet but I test rode a Jekyll several times when it was time to graduate from my F1000 a few years ago. No matter how much I wanted to like it, I just didn't feel right on the Jekyll at all. The Scalpel offered me the most comfortable and familiar riding position with the added comfort of the rear suspension.

I really like the minimalist approach to the Scalpel - not a lot of linkages to work loose or to maintain. As for durability, I've had my Scalpel since '02 and the chainstays are still in perfect condition as well as my Mavic 24 hole rims and XTR drivetrain.

Sounds like the Scalpel would be a good choice for your riding style. I haven't ridden the new RP3 shock but I hear great things about it. Also, I'm a Headshock Ultra user so the Lefty will also offer you more travel up front than what I'm used to which could be a good thing if you're looking for the added cush.

Happy hunting and ride each bike several times before you buy. Don't buy right away either - go back the next day or so and ride them again and again. In the end, listen to yourself and not the marketing hype or the opinions of others.
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Scalpel, Prophet and Jekyll all great bikes

I own a Jekyll & Scalpel. Love them both. Haven't really had any interest in getting a Prophet, maybe next summer if I save my pennies. I'm even thinking of getting a new Cannondale road bike in the future. Any bike Cannondale makes is good IMO. I'd get the Prophet just because you can do lots with it. The Scalpel is a total XC racing bike and good for XC riding. If you can get a hold of a Jekyll from a LBS in your area you won't be disappointed at all. Goodluck either way your going to be happy with any Cannondale bike you get.

I can't tell crap in the parking lot. :mad: They don't have them aired up, so both the Jekyll and the Prophet feel like pogo sticks to me.

They both seem light enough, but I can't seem to get my mind off the F600 or F800. Something about the weight and simplicity of a hard tail keeps calling me. Better components for the same dollars. To make matters worse, the two bike dudes (one hippy, one 16 year old kid racer) disagree on the hard tail vs soft tail issue. I did note that the racer dude rides a hard tail when he races.

The problem is, I can't convince anyone to let me demo a bike on the trail. And I can't fully test a bike in the parking lot.

Confusion Reigns!
Get the Scalpel. If you live in Dallas, the terrain isn't too demanding (I live in Austin and ride mine at City Park quite a bit and it does fine) and you are accustomed to no rear travel. Also, there is a lockout option if you want to go back to being a hardtail...
Sympathy said:
Get the Scalpel. If you live in Dallas, the terrain isn't too demanding (I live in Austin and ride mine at City Park quite a bit and it does fine) and you are accustomed to no rear travel. Also, there is a lockout option if you want to go back to being a hardtail...
How much $$$ for a Scalpel?
Scalpels rock bottomline!

If you can get a hold of a Scalpel goodluck. I orded mine about a month ago, and got it two weeks later. It was quick in getting to me. But it the fact of the matter is they only had one left in my size. My dogg told me the Scalpel is a hard bike to get a hold of. I'm lucky. Check with your LBS and score a deal. I got a killer deal on mine. Goodluck otherwise.
Waiting a few weeks or so is worth getting the bike you really want. If you're leaning towards getting another F-series bike then you definitely owe it to yourself to go ahead and get the Scalpel. I rode an F1000 for a long time and really appreciate the extra suspension that the Scalpel brings - just enough for us old school cross country types.
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