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  1. #1
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    2011 Scalpel – obsession vs practicality

    I’m wanting to get back into more ‘serious’ short and endurance (50-100k) racing. My local trails are rocky/rooty and steep so bought a Giant Trance X2 and have a ‘race’ kit I change on it (wheels, tyre, seat and post etc.) which drops it to 25.5 pounds which all works ok for training and racing. I am finding however that having the seat height that maximizes power affects handling despite trials with 90-110mm stems and all configurations of saddle distance etc., plus pro-pedal still sees some bob. I’ve also realized that although it hurts I really like climbing and probably sweeping and techie single track more than bombing downhills.

    I’ve always been inappropriately worried about weight and then along comes the 2011 Scalpel. Super light weight, stiff and just plain looks awesome – so I have been spending an unhealthy amount of time reading all about it on the internet – obsession has kicked in. Quoted prices in Australia for Cannondales have dropped about $2,500 per bike from 2010 – 2011 and a Scalpel 3 (at 20?-22? Pounds) looks like a winner given it is a significant upgrade over the 2010 bike.

    Options are to drop $2000 to get Trance X2 to 24 poundsish. Or buy a Scalpel 3 (AU$5000) and sell the Giant.

    The concern is that the sharp handling, lack of suspension etc. on the Scalpel will be hard for me to transition to and I will get ‘beat up’ on the trail training and racing. I was thinking about mods for comfort such as high rise bars (less weight on hands – I’m aging), 2.2 tubeless tyres and possibly a 650B front for the local techie trails and then back to light weight for racing.

    What you think – go the obsession or continue with practicality? Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Love isn't blind... its retarded.

  2. #2
    LA CHÈVRE
    Reputation: Dan Gerous's Avatar
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    Since I'm having a similar dilemma, I wont help you out. I'm debating switching my 2008 Scalpel for a new one... Get a frame, sell mine? Get a whole new one with a low specs kit, swap parts and sell the old one? Sell mine as a whole, get a new one? Pffff, it's hard.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  3. #3
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    Man its going around. Got a '10 ultimate and want an '11. Many a sleepless nights thinking about it. I'm probably gonna sell the frame fork and transfer the rest of the kit which hasn't changed in the last year.

  4. #4
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    What you think – go the obsession or continue with practicality? Thanks in advance for any advice.[/QUOTE]

    Dude, just get the scalpel - no debate - the lefty is THE best cross country / endurance race fork. It will smoke any fork out there in the same category. And the frame? no pivots, no complicated set-up, no maintenance, very stiff laterally, super light and plenty of plush travel for racing!
    Buy it, race it, love it!

  5. #5
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    My 2008 scalpel is a bit of a freak, I have a noir world cup riser bar, rocket Ron 2.4 up front and rocket Ron 2.25 in the rear on crossmax slr running tubeless. I weigh about 170-175 dry and am running 24 lbs up front and 27 lbs in the rear, and I love it. I found that the large volume has taken some of the harshness out, very suple over roots. Also the bike climbs like a goat over roots with the big grippy tires now.

    I say go for it and throw on some large volume tires, you won't regret it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dblvanos
    My 2008 scalpel is a bit of a freak, I have a noir world cup riser bar, rocket Ron 2.4 up front and rocket Ron 2.25 in the rear
    That is the tire setup, with the exception maybe being a ralph in the back, that I'll run if I end up with a scalpel.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by V-Tach
    I am finding that having the seat height that maximizes power affects handling.
    Get an adjustable seatpost.
    Keep the Country country.

  8. #8
    FIRENZE rulez !!
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    fellas , hurry up.

    get a 2011 .

    best upgrade:

    31.6 seatpost

    bombproof BB shell

    rear chainstays hard as rock

  9. #9
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    daymmm after reading all the hype- I suddenly want to upgrade my 2010
    Last edited by spartan23; 10-08-2010 at 11:09 PM.

  10. #10
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    Thanks

    Thanks for all the input. Unfortunately for me once I start obsessing about a bike its all over - I can rarely hold back. But the comments above give me faith that I can make it work. I may even keep the Giant as a training bike.

    Spoke to the local dealer and Scalpels are due in Aus later this month. Scalpel 3 is $5000 but straight away without any prompting the dealer said he can do better than that no problems. Oh, he had me at hello...
    Love isn't blind... its retarded.

  11. #11
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    Just do it. You are not getting any younger. I am taking the 2008 components off of a builtup 2008 scalpel and building a training bike out of a 2008 rush. Slowly buying 2011 parts to further drop the weight on the scalpel. I think I will get it in at about 22 lbs when I am done. and the rush will be 26 lbs. Bomb around on the prophet, train on the rush and race the scalpel.

    There are plenty of other places to cut back in life to justify the dream bike.

    BTW: Did my first cyclocross race today. A small local race that was open to any kind of bike and won the short distance on the scalpel by a couple of minutes. The bike is a rocket. Can't wait to drop the additional 2 lbs off of it. SL crank, formula r1 brakes and a new 2011 lefty sl are the big upgrades from the 2008 components. The frame will have to wait until I break this one.

  12. #12
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    does anyone know if the frameset is available or do you have to buy the complete bike?

  13. #13
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    Framesets are available but the way Cannondale prices them, you might as well just buy the bike.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by V-Tach
    Thanks for all the input. Unfortunately for me once I start obsessing about a bike its all over - I can rarely hold back. But the comments above give me faith that I can make it work. I may even keep the Giant as a training bike.

    Spoke to the local dealer and Scalpels are due in Aus later this month. Scalpel 3 is $5000 but straight away without any prompting the dealer said he can do better than that no problems. Oh, he had me at hello...
    Hey V-Tach, just curious to know what sort of figure your local dealer gave you. I am in Brisbane and thinking of ordering the 3. Any barganing power I can get would be useful! SIck bike!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradmac
    Hey V-Tach, just curious to know what sort of figure your local dealer gave you. I am in Brisbane and thinking of ordering the 3. Any barganing power I can get would be useful! SIck bike!
    No exact dollars but my feeling (and nothing to base this on) was about 10-15% off. Honestly though - who knows and it all gets harder to ask for a discount when you order a bike sight unseen...
    Love isn't blind... its retarded.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by eliflap
    fellas , hurry up.

    get a 2011 .

    best upgrade:

    31.6 seatpost

    bombproof BB shell

    rear chainstays hard as rock
    I think I will wait for the 2012 now.

  17. #17
    FIRENZE rulez !!
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  18. #18
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    I'm waiting on the 29" Scalpel

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAL 9000
    I'm waiting on the 29" Scalpel
    Not coming! cannondale can't get the flex stays correct with the 29 inch wheel.
    29er FS will be a totally new model for 2012.

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