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  1. #1
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    From Enduro 29 to Scalpel 29 - What to expect?

    So, I ditched my Enduro 29 Comp (sad day) for a 2013 Scalpel 29 Carbon 2.

    A lot of the stuff around where I live now is more uphill and I wanted a carbon FS bike that'd be a dream to climb on.

    Going from 6" of travel to 4" has me a bit worried but, I'm wondering:

    Has anyone else gone from a long-travel trail bike to a XC bike?

    What are the major differences?

  2. #2
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    Sadness.

  3. #3
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    From Enduro 29 to Scalpel 29 - What to expect?

    And a bad case of herpees from the cannondale


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  4. #4
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    WOW So basically you've gone from a ultra plush, slack angled bike to a very harsh, steep angled bike, hum

    What you'll notice more is the geometry a lot more so than the loss of suspension. You'll find the Scalpel feels nervous and twitchy on steep descents the Enduro used to have no worries on. You will find that the Scalpel climbs better by far compared to the Enduro, no two ways about it, but do you really have that any hills that only go up and not back down or race? There's guys here on Scalpel Ultimates and while they're light and fast on the flats and ascents, they are always complaining on their DH performance. From my personal experience, if I could only have 1 bike, it WOULD NOT be something like a Scalpel or Epic, just for the angles, not travel. Actually I have my 1 bike stable bike right now, the Banshee Phantom - adjustable geo 67.5/68/68.5*, 105mm of rear travel matched to a 120mm fork, 17.5"/17.4"/17.3" stays, climbs amazing, descends even better.
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  5. #5
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    Went from a Stumpjumper " 26 " to a Scalpel Team carbon 29er.

    As much good stuff as you hear about the Enduro, It won't climb with the Scalpel.

    If a fast nimble XC bike that climbs like a dream was what you were looking for then you found it. I ride mine everywhere and find it more then capable in the rough .

  6. #6
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    Don't you still get to ride down after all that climbing? I can't imagine making that change, but I hope you enjoy it.

  7. #7
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    Sounds to me like you went too far in both directions. You can find a bike that climbs well but also decends well, or one that does one a little better than the other. If you wanted an all out XC machine, the Scapel will do the job. Never ridden 1, but XC bikes will be more rigid. Just enough suspension to absorb small hits. Great pedaling efficiency and sharp steering. When you point it down steep terrain they get awful. Rider skill can acomplish much in this regard but its a XC rig after all ! Not meant for too much beyond that. JM2c.

  8. #8
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    You could always get a happy medium, coming from Enduro 29 to a XC race bike will feel awkward, you should try a Niner RIP RDO or Ibis Ripley instead
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  9. #9
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    Damn.

    I know I should have just got that new carbon Tallboy!

    We'll see how I like it. If I hate it, I'll just sell it for really close to what I got it for and get a trail bike.

  10. #10
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    The point is far more time is spent climbing (unless you shuttle). So why not have a bike that excels at climbing?

  11. #11
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    I haven't even ridden the scalpel on dirt yet, just tried an alloy one out back of the shop. I might love it. We will see this weekend.

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    Just because AM bikes are a lot more capable than XC bikes doesn't mean XC bikes aren't capable.

    It's not like he's going from an AM bike to a cyclocross bike.

    Yes, it's going to be different, please be careful and take your time getting use to it, etc., but as long as the terrain isn't super rugged that change isn't going to kill the fun that is MTB, it will just make the way you ride a bit different. OP, I think you'll be amazed at how much more efficient the bike is on flats, straights, and climbs.
    '12 Santa Cruz Superlight 29 | '12 Santa Cruz Butcher | '06 Specialized Allez Comp | '81 Schwinn Converted Fixie

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by morandi View Post
    Sadness.
    Second that!
    Last edited by Max24; 03-09-2015 at 10:55 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dry Side View Post
    The point is far more time is spent climbing (unless you shuttle). So why not have a bike that excels at climbing?
    Cuz it will break when I launch it like the Enduro. Can't launch off stuff uphill

    Despite my 29lb Enduro and doing pretty well on it, it's nothing like my carbon fiber hardtail for climbing. That cannondale isn't going to be the most active FS bike, some other more modern designs are a better tradeoff IMO (the E29 sure isn't one of them), but it will climb great and accelerate much better.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  15. #15
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    I personally went from a Tracer 29 (5.5") to an Epic last year. For me, and the trails I frequent, it was the right choice. I'm faster everywhere on the Epic as compared to the Tracer. Today I rode a trail that I often see riders shuttle with big travel / DH bikes. Did I walk some sections? Yup, but they were the same sections I walked on the Tracer as well (super tight switchbacks kill me and super technical sections with lots of exposure that I tend to walk).

    Here's what I noticed, and might be helpful to the OP: If you were really using that 6" of travel, and spending lots of time in the air, you'll need to reset expectations--but that should be obvious.

    With that said, XC bikes these days are pretty gosh darn capable machines--especially if you have some skills as a rider. However, the "margin of error" is much smaller on the Epic as opposed to the Tracer. I can't just plow EVERYTHING. I have make sure I have a plan to attach trail features, and really work on looking down the trail, even more so when carrying lots of speed. If I wonder off mentally, I find myself in over my head, so to speak...

    With that said, for me, its a much more engaging (interesting) way to ride. I can't imagine my next ride having much more than 4" of travel out back--unless I find myself in a completely different area of the nation. Since the bike can't 'bail me out,' my skills have gotten sharper, and I'm a better rider today than I was 18 months ago.

    The last thing I'd suggest (if you haven't already) is to throw a dropper post on the Scalpel. Might sound weird, but that was the best upgrade I've done. I know its not the case, but it feels like the the whole geometry of the bike relaxes when the seat gets dropped.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by morandi View Post
    Sadness.
    Yeah. So, I had fun on the way up, but hated it on the way down.

    Much too stiff for my liking. Enduro had me spoiled.

    I'm going to sell this bike and probably get a carbon Tallboy or Tallboy LTc.

    Sadness is right. It's a rocket ship going up but on the way down, it's a pain factory

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dry Side View Post
    The point is far more time is spent climbing (unless you shuttle). So why not have a bike that excels at climbing?
    Because they aren't as fun.

    To the OP - Nothing wrong with the Scalpel. The difference you'll notice is that you are getting a much faster bike overall, but way less fun.

    Gotta figure out your priority. Fun = Big trail bike. Fast = Steep XC bike. if you're somewhere in the middle - either two bikes or a slack-ish 5" full squish.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by yuppie View Post
    Yeah. So, I had fun on the way up, but hated it on the way down.

    Much too stiff for my liking. Enduro had me spoiled.

    I'm going to sell this bike and probably get a carbon Tallboy or Tallboy LTc.

    Sadness is right. It's a rocket ship going up but on the way down, it's a pain factory
    If you dislike the Scapel that much you probably won't like the Tallboy either as I don't think it's going to be all that much more forgiving, seems like the Tallboy LT is the way to go for you.
    '12 Santa Cruz Superlight 29 | '12 Santa Cruz Butcher | '06 Specialized Allez Comp | '81 Schwinn Converted Fixie

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost_03 View Post
    If you dislike the Scapel that much you probably won't like the Tallboy either as I don't think it's going to be all that much more forgiving, seems like the Tallboy LT is the way to go for you.
    Agreed. Tallboy LT it will be. I just need to get this thing sold now. It's in NEW condition! lol

  20. #20
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    Look at the Intense Carbine 29er. Best all around bike I've had, like an updated, slacker TBLTc. Used it for a rocky XC endurance race this spring and ended up selling my 4" XC bike when I had been planning on keeping both.

  21. #21
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    Look at 140 mm of travel. The Enduro's at 160 lately, right? For me, 160 (an Ibis, so YMMV) is where I cross the threshold to way too big a bike and no trail feel.

    I really enjoy my race bike. But, I race. When I demo, I feel like trail bikes climb a little vaguely and descend like XC bikes. Lame. If I'm going to sacrifice a little on climbing, I'd like to get something in return on the descent. I had a lot of fun demoing Trek's 140 mm bike the other day (Remedy?) - doesn't climb any worse than a Fuel, descends a lot better. Nice.

    Go to some demo days, and don't go off half-cocked again. Either you can't get as much money back out of your Scalpel as you think now, or you aren't going to lose that much more value on it by waiting a little longer.

    Also think about some "real" tires. A lot of XC bikes come with really pathetic tires. They're impressively fast during a parking lot test ride, though. :-p Stick some actual mountain bike tires on there, or even just one, on the front, and you may find you feel a lot more secure.

    What else? If you set up the cockpit wrong or didn't bother to do it at all, it's not good for handling.

    So not to dismiss your current dislike for the bike, but maybe take two approaches - try a few inexpensive tweaks on the Scalpel and see if it grows on you, and also demo some bikes and make sure you get it right if you do decide to plunk down the credit card again.
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  22. #22
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    Look at geo and suspension design, you don't need a whopping amount of travel for a plush, relaxed trail bike. You want a HTA of <69*, chainstays <17.6", designed for a 120mm+ fork and shorter stem with longer ETT, active suspension design that pedals well.
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  23. #23
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    If I didn't race, I'd probably find something in the 120-140 range if I only had one bike (probably closer to 140 27.5).

    I'd suggest demoing as many bikes as you can. There are many designs which still climb well and are good descenders. Check out an Ibis Ripley (I didn't care for it, but some people really like them) in addition to the TB.

  24. #24
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    The Scalpel is an XC race bike. If you race, you need something like it. If not, might I recommend the Niner RIP9?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    The Scalpel is an XC race bike. If you race, you need something like it. If not, might I recommend the Niner RIP9?
    Yes, you might. Looks like a great bike. Is that aluminum only? The RDO is the carbon?

  26. #26
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    From Enduro 29 to Scalpel 29 - What to expect?

    I your looking for a good platform for climbing and descending why look any where else but at a stumpy. I love mine. I have yet to ride another bike that's made me second guess this bike. Plush when you need it and climbs like a billy goat.


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  27. #27
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    How about the Pivot 429 , carbon or alloy. Demoed the carbon awhile back: Fast bike both up and down and on the flats. The DW suspension in the rear is very good in many ways.
    Tahoe29er

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by rushman3 View Post
    How about the Pivot 429 , carbon or alloy. Demoed the carbon awhile back: Fast bike both up and down and on the flats. The DW suspension in the rear is very good in many ways.
    Great recommendation. DW is unreal.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by yuppie View Post
    Yes, you might. Looks like a great bike. Is that aluminum only? The RDO is the carbon?

    Yes, Niner makes a hydroformed alloy and a carbon fiber version of most of their bikes. Either one has really fine craftsmanship. I myself have owned a Jet 9 aluminum, currently ride a Jet 9 Carbon, and have a couple of friends with the Jet 9 RDO, but we are racers. I have another (girl) friend who does epic rides all over the country and she had a first-gen aluminum RIP 9 and now has the new hydroformed RIP 9 aluminum. With 2.3s and a Pike fork it's a beast! But if you want something really unstoppable, check out the 27.5 eater, the WFO 9.


  30. #30
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    If you're in your early 20's you'll be fine, else hahahahahahaha

  31. #31
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    Those NINERs are sounding about right.

    The more appropriate question is:

    What is a fair asking price for a brand new 2013 Scalpel Carbon 2?

  32. #32
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    From Enduro 29 to Scalpel 29 - What to expect?

    The wfo is a niner I want to ride. That looks like so much bad ass fun😎


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  33. #33
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    I actually have a Scalpel so I can tell you what to expect. Phenomenal climbing. This thing just goes. Not quite as fast as a hard tail on smooth climbs, but as close as you can get to a hard tail. Technical climbs is where it absolutely dominates. Everybody telling you that you have lost a ton when it comes to descending is flat-out wrong. Can you just blow over stuff like you can with the enduro? No, you have to be more careful with your line choices. But if you have the skill this bike can go nearly anywhere the Enduro can. I get a little beat up on rocky descends, but that's because I run 2.1s that are actually closer to 2.0s. The only place I would say that you will truly be losing in, are the bigger (4+ foot) drops. Heck, this thing even jumps pretty well. Plus, the benefit of running a racier geometry is that it is incredibly snappy. Nearly no wagon wheel feeling. If you don't like the 71 degree head tube angle, you can move the spacer from the top of the stem to the bottom and slacken it just a tad to make it more stable on the downhills. I haven't because I don't feel the need.

    Plus, as you ride circles around them, you can point and laugh at the others as they suffer up the climbs on their heavy all mountain rigs.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by yuppie View Post
    Yeah. So, I had fun on the way up, but hated it on the way down.

    Much too stiff for my liking. Enduro had me spoiled.

    I'm going to sell this bike and probably get a carbon Tallboy or Tallboy LTc.

    Sadness is right. It's a rocket ship going up but on the way down, it's a pain factory
    Tallboy in carbon if possible is a great choice. 130-140 Fork will keep it a climber and on the way down its still a blast. Pike is obviously the best fork but other options are good too. I have what's considered a CX rig (not in my opinion) its slacked up front with bigger fork and its a blast. Climbs and blasts DH. Just wish wheelbase was shorter but hey, its a hell of a stable bike.

  35. #35
    memento mori
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    I'd be ready to take a $500 hit on the Scalpel. 2nd hand generally means no warranty.
    If you liked the Enduro's ride maybe look into a Camber EVO.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by HSracer View Post
    If you don't like the 71 degree head tube angle, you can move the spacer from the top of the stem to the bottom and slacken it just a tad to make it more stable on the downhills. I haven't because I don't feel the need.
    Ok, I need to find a tutorial on this one. I asked my LBS about it when I first picked it up. He said that since the mounts on the fork are fixed, you can't do that.



    Are you guys talking about the thick piece right below the top fork mount?

  37. #37
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    From Enduro 29 to Scalpel 29 - What to expect?

    Quote Originally Posted by yuppie View Post
    Ok, I need to find a tutorial on this one. I asked my LBS about it when I first picked it up. He said that since the mounts on the fork are fixed, you can't do that.



    Are you guys talking about the thick piece right below the top fork mount?
    Ok, I recently pulled apart my stem to clean it so I know how to do it.

    1. Loosen the bolts that hold on the Lefty.
    2. At the bottom of the head tube is a place where a BB9 tool can be used to unscrew the piece that runs through the head tube. You can actually see it in your picture. When you find it it's easy to see where the bb9 tool's teeth go.
    3. Unscrew that piece. Remember it's upside down, so it unscrews the opposite way you first think.
    4. Take that piece out.
    5. Find something small enough so it can fit through your head tube and reach the stem. I used the handle of a hammer, but many use PVC pipe.
    6. Using a hammer, hammer up towards the stem until it pops loose (mine was tight and took a while to get). Make sure whatever you are using ( PVC, wood, etc.) is in contact with the stem, not the bearing.
    7. Remove stem and spacers. You have three on there (black, green, black). I'm not sure how many you want to move, so you might have to play with this.
    8. Remove desired number of spacers and put the stem back together. Remember to re-grease everything.
    9. Take the spacer(s) you removed and put it on the piece that runs through the head tube. Push it all the way to the bottom. It will fit perfectly.
    10. Screw the sucker back in.
    11. Replace bolts that hold the Lefty on.
    12. Done!

    Let me know if you have questions. This is also a great time to clean and re-grease everything.


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  38. #38
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    Your shop's full of $hit and don't know WTF they are talking about. There's no need to move/change where the clamps are on the fork, you are just moving a spacer from ontop the headtube to below it to give a roughly 1/2 degree slacker HT angle. I've done it for the guys down here with Scalpels and they said they didn't notice much of a difference. What I'd suggest is that coupled with doing this, you also run quite mis-matched tyres of say 2.1-2.2" in the back and 2.4" upfront, as this will also help slacken the HTA a bit more and you'll prob get around 1 degree total with the right tyre combo.

    Quote Originally Posted by yuppie View Post
    Ok, I need to find a tutorial on this one. I asked my LBS about it when I first picked it up. He said that since the mounts on the fork are fixed, you can't do that.



    Are you guys talking about the thick piece right below the top fork mount?
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  39. #39
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    I'm not going to swap all this stuff around just for a 1 degree change.

    I probably wont notice it. What I am noticing is the bike is just much too stiff for my liking.

    That new 650b Enduro sounds tempting. I think it'd get rid of the big-ol boat feeling I had with my Enduro 29.

    I'm also looking at a Tallboy LT.

    Just need to sell this Scalpel already!

  40. #40
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    Before you buy this time, rent bikes. Some bike shops have tons of rentals and will apply the price to the purchase price. Ride on the trails you normally ride on and bring tools to keep adjusting the bike on the trail (shock pump!).

    My main bike is a tallboy LTc which I love. My backup bike is a 29er carbon hardtail with a 71 degree HTA. I have to be a lot more careful with the 71 degree HTA as it is much easier to stuff the front end.

  41. #41
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    Re: From Enduro 29 to Scalpel 29 - What to expect?

    Quote Originally Posted by yuppie View Post
    I'm not going to swap all this stuff around just for a 1 degree change.

    I probably wont notice it. What I am noticing is the bike is just much too stiff for my liking.
    What happens when you let some air out of your suspension?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  42. #42
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    this thread hurts my brain.

  43. #43
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    Yeah, it mostly seems like a elaborate marketing scheme to sell a bike.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Yeah, it mostly seems like a elaborate marketing scheme to sell a bike.
    Maybe elaborate, but not too successful.

    I'm considering buying a shock pump. Would be good to have for sure.

    While it's waiting to be sold, I'm going to keep riding it as I've heard this lefty needs to be broken in a little bit.

    At any rate, I'm eyeing the Tallboy LTc, the Niners, which seem to be out of my price range, Jekyll 27.5, Trigger 27.5, Enduro 650b and the like.

    I'm not going to fiddle with the head angle or the tires, but I will try letting some air out of the lefty.

    I like the fact that this bike doesn't feel like a 29er at all. It responds so fast and handles so well. I'd just like some more squish.

    If no one comes close to the price I'm asking, I'll just keep the damn thing!

  45. #45
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    what to expect? you should definitely expect a plethora of douchebags, self included, replying to your thread professing via electronic ejaculation how smart they are and how how much more they know about you than even yourself

    next time you go to buy a bike, to ensure an optimal transaction, post an MTBR poll prior

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Look at geo and suspension design, you don't need a whopping amount of travel for a plush, relaxed trail bike. You want a HTA of <69*, chainstays <17.6", designed for a 120mm+ fork and shorter stem with longer ETT, active suspension design that pedals well.
    Which is exactly what the Pivot 429 is. Put on a dropper post and that thing rips going down.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Yeah, it mostly seems like a elaborate marketing scheme to sell a bike.
    I don't think there's anything disingenuous going on here...it just seems terribly weird to me to go from what is widely considered to be the best handling aggressive 29" long travel frame to a somewhat generic 4" travel "cross country" bike before giving it more than a once-over. I think the enduro is probably overkill for 90% of the trails I ride but I wouldn't give up the handling for anything. The kinematics of the suspension systems are pretty similar, so it's not even like you're moving to a more efficient bike, just a lighter one with more upright geometry. On top of that, he's debating what wheel size he's after...it might be worth to go back to the drawing board and try a few and see what clicks with you.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by yuppie View Post
    Yeah. So, I had fun on the way up, but hated it on the way down.

    Much too stiff for my liking. Enduro had me spoiled.

    I'm going to sell this bike and probably get a carbon Tallboy or Tallboy LTc.

    Sadness is right. It's a rocket ship going up but on the way down, it's a pain factory
    I went from an Enduro 29er to an Epic WC and although it was amazing on the climbs, it just was too twitchy on the descents, ended up selling it and got a Tallboy LTC and am very happy with it. It has a steeper head angle than the Enduro and a 2 inch shorter wheelbase, which makes switchbacks much easier, but still retains most of the travel. Try a Tallboy LTC, you will be impressed!

  49. #49
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkr80015 View Post
    I went from an Enduro 29er to an Epic WC and although it was amazing on the climbs, it just was too twitchy on the descents, ended up selling it and got a Tallboy LTC and am very happy with it. It has a steeper head angle than the Enduro and a 2 inch shorter wheelbase, which makes switchbacks much easier, but still retains most of the travel. Try a Tallboy LTC, you will be impressed!
    Thanks for the info!

    Yeah, same with me, much too twitchy on the downs!

    Like what the LTc has to offer but I'm also looking at the Heckler.

    Santa Cruz will be my next bike for sure.

    I'm thinking I will just keep the scalpel and save up for the new bike.

    Finally someone that was in the same situation as me! Haha

    Dont go from big travel to stiff suffering!

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich View Post
    ...widely considered to be the best handling aggressive 29" long travel frame...
    i asked my bike shop about that and they disagreed. in fairness, they dont carry specialized. they carry cannondale and they said the scalpel is the best climbing bike ever made, especially if made in carbon.

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