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  1. #1
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    Buy a Scalpel 29er Carbon 1 or Fuel EX 9 29er?

    I just sold my Adept Pro and Palomino that were collecting dust and looking to get back into riding. I was set on a 2014 Fuel 9 or 9.8 29er until I found an out of state 2012 Scalpel 29er Carbon 1 brand new for $4,600. Seems like an awesome deal. My only concern is I've never ran SRAM and read some negative things about the XO brakes and buying out of state may make support more difficult if there's issues. I know the bikes are different beasts so its not exactly apples to apples. The travel on the Scalpel is similar to the Klein's I had before and I'd be riding central MD mostly (Patapsco Avalon). However, I'm likely moving to Seattle or Vancouver area in 2 years and wonder if I'd like riding the Fuel more. I'd be paying retail or slightly less for the Trek. Just looking for input while I can still pick up the Scalpel.

    Tldr: 2012 Scalpel 29er Carbon 1 for $4,600 or 2014 Trek Fuel 9/9.8 29er?

  2. #2
    29ers Forever
    Reputation: CannondaleF9's Avatar
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    Go for the Trek Fuel EX, as it is new new, and that it has Shimano, which is much better than SRAM. Also, the Fuel EX has 120mm of suspension travel while the Scalpel is a XC racing bike with only 100mm of travel.
    2013 Trek Cobia- 29er serious mountain bike
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  3. #3
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    Some more bikes in your range to look at--- SC TB2, P[vot 429c and Ripley.
    XC CF 29'er Reviews - Part 2

  4. #4
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    Both are brand new bikes, so I'm not concerned with model year. In fact I've read that the '12 Scalpel is preferred over the '13 due to components and color scheme. It seems that the '13 just offers lighter wheels and a new Lefty and a slightly inferior drive train. I'm wondering if its worth just swapping out the XO brakes for XT's assuming the XO/XX drive train is just as good or better than XT. The Fuel offers the advantage of being able to ride more technical trails at the expense of about 6-7 lbs. on an XL frame. I liked the 100mm suspension on the Adept Pro for local rides and wonder if the Fuel would feel like too much. It's tough getting a feel for the bikes by just riding them around the parking lot. I have until about this Thursday to pull the trigger on the Scalpel and I don't want to miss what may be an awesome deal so if anyone has more input it would be much appreciated.
    2014 Trek Fuel EX 9.8 29er
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  5. #5
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    I think the Fuel is a lot more versatile, and a better all around bike unless you plan on racing. I have a Fuel Ex 9 on order and it has a great build.

  6. #6
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    You've got to decide for yourself if you prefer Shimano or SRAM, very personal preference, DO NOT mind CannoldaleF9's blatantly biased opinion. I myself prefer Shimano, especially for brakes. Your idea about just replacing the XO brakes with XTs is a fairly good one, IF the rest of the bike - geo, travel - suits you.

    As to the bikes, I can't see such a difference in weight between them, maybe 5lbs, even if it is as high as the 6-7lbs, I for one would prefer the more relaxed angles and extra travel of the Trek, especially considering you'll be moving to somewhere where for sure there's trails that'll easily make use of it all and leave you wanting for more. Don't forget the Trek comes with a dropper post, which, if you're riding steep stuff is a worthwhile piece to have, so add that to the Cdale and the difference drops significant;y between them.

    Bit of an anecdote, 2 guys down here have Cdale Ultimate Scalpels and they're sweet bikes, for sure, no question and they do for a lot of our XC trails, but when it gets nasty, steep, wet and slippery, I sure don't mind the extra weight (about 10lbs) and slacker angles of my Prime compared to their Scalpels, I totally enjoy and ride it while they're busy hoofing it

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  7. #7
    Keep on Rockin...
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    The Scalpel will make a way better transition for you going from an Adept to a 29". The Fuel would likely feel big and sluggish and turn you off to the big wheels.

    Get the Scalpel.

    In two years , if you are getting to more rugged trails, get a trail bike with real travel. 120mm is no man's land. That way you'll end up with a sweet xc rig and a real trail bike with real travel.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbn_designs View Post
    I just sold my Adept Pro and Palomino that were collecting dust and looking to get back into riding. I was set on a 2014 Fuel 9 or 9.8 29er until I found an out of state 2012 Scalpel 29er Carbon 1 brand new for $4,600. Seems like an awesome deal. My only concern is I've never ran SRAM and read some negative things about the XO brakes and buying out of state may make support more difficult if there's issues. I know the bikes are different beasts so its not exactly apples to apples. The travel on the Scalpel is similar to the Klein's I had before and I'd be riding central MD mostly (Patapsco Avalon). However, I'm likely moving to Seattle or Vancouver area in 2 years and wonder if I'd like riding the Fuel more. I'd be paying retail or slightly less for the Trek. Just looking for input while I can still pick up the Scalpel.

    Tldr: 2012 Scalpel 29er Carbon 1 for $4,600 or 2014 Trek Fuel 9/9.8 29er?
    Im not a weight weenie, but I would go scalpel because of the massive difference in weight. Even if you get to harder trails, as your skills improve you will be able to ride them on the scalpel. Also a 120mm fork on the scalpel (if it can take it) might actually be enough.

  9. #9
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    Easy decision for me - racing XC then the Scalpel is the bike to have.
    Not racing, then the Fuel is a more versatile all around bike.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sethdem View Post
    Easy decision for me - racing XC then the Scalpel is the bike to have.
    Not racing, then the Fuel is a more versatile all around bike.
    This post was from JULY!

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