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  1. #1
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    Another Scalpel Bites the Dust

    My third Scalpel frame broke on me yesterday.

    This time the bond failed between the drive-side chainstay and the aluminum BB/seat tube. Upon further inspection, the carbon downtube was also cracked about four inches up from the BB (this was a very fine crack perfectly perpendicular to the downtube - looks like it was scored with a knife and goes roughly haflway around the downtube). I'm guessing the bonding failure resulted in undue stress on the downtube and thus one failure leading to the other.

    Sorry, no pics - there really isn't much to see other than a tiny gap where there shouldn't be one (not sure it would even be visible in a photo).

    Depending on what the rep can do for me, I'm pretty sure I'm done with the Scalpel. I loved the thing; it was so sweet when it was working right, but it's either just too weak or riddled with QC problems (I weigh 170 soaking wet, I'm of average strength at best, and I ride with finesse, riding around bumps rather than over them, and only on appropriate XC terrain).

    I'll keep you folks posted on how this pans out. Not a good time of year to be in need of a new frame!

    -Pete
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  2. #2
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    I like warranty threads. Keep us posted!

  3. #3
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    Not much news yet, but the bike shop did talk with C'dale who said I could pick any mountain frame in their catalog. Although the RZ-120 is probably more than enough travel, I'm having trouble thinking of reasons not to go with the RZ-140 Carbon.

    I really can't find any good reviews of either bike - just one or two paragraph overviews.

    Thoughts?
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  4. #4
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    going from a scalple to a rize 140 will be rather noticeable.

    The climbing and positioning are different.

    You will also get a problem with bugs in your teeth from being able to go downhill faster.

    Also, you lefty will fit, but normally the rize (or RZ) come with a 140 lefty.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  5. #5
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    After reading the last post I was curious if they use the same lefty? Since the travel would be different 110 vs the 140. Anyone else have experience with warranty regarding that?

  6. #6
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    The LBS guy with whom I spoke briefly stated that C'dale would swap out forks with me (I currently have a Speed Carbon SL, so hopefully they're talking about swapping for a Max Carbon PBR).

    I realize the 140 is a very different beast than the Scalpel. I was thinking of buying a second bike - either a trail or AM bike, so I'm vieiwing this latest Scalpel failure as an opportunity to enjoy a different biking experience. Then, if I miss the XC racer enough, perhaps I'll add one as my second bike someday. The majority of the guys I ride with have either trail or AM bikes, so it would be nice to be able to take the same lines as them (I learned very quickly that I can't tailgate guys with longer travel and more laid back geo, and because I'm frequently recording video, I like to tailgate).

    If there was a carbon RZ-120, I'd probably go with that. Am I putting too much value on the carbon?
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  7. #7
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    i'd go flash carbon 1 (26")

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dypeterc
    i'd go flash carbon 1 (26")
    If I raced, I'd be on that. What I loved about my Scalpel was that I never felt like I needed anything stiffer or lighter. I never even felt the need to use pro-pedal much - 14 years on a Super V will do that to you. Based on my riding preferences, and some of the great trails around me that I would love to ride but couldn't properly enjoy wiht the Scalpel, I'm ready to head in the direction of more squish.
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  9. #9
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    I love my RZ140 and the Rize 1 I had before it, they are basically the same bike so the reviews on that might help you too. You would have to get pretty lucky for C-dale to swap forks with you straight up. You should at least be able to get some sort of deal on a Lefty Max fork though. The geometry on the RZ is way different but its much more versatile and still pretty light.

  10. #10
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    I have a Red 09 Rize 3 and live in Hooksett. I'm sure we have probably crossed paths at FOMBA or Bear Brook. If you want to check out my Rize first hand let me know. I don't have any complaints, In fact I love it! A friend of mine has a Rize 1 Carbon and it's a feather compare to my Rize 3.

    Steve
    12 Scalpel 2
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    11 EMD 9 - Retired

  11. #11
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    Always go with the most expensive frame possible. In the future, if that frame breaks, you are automatically given a top tier frame. Thats how I went from CAAD4 to CAAD5 to Optimo to Caffeine to Caffeine 29er. All warranty exchanges.

  12. #12
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    Thanks, Shicks. I'll PM you.

    Good point, apacherider. I think that's one of the things making me want a carbon frame and thus leaning towards the 140. I really don't know the prices on the Flash or Moto, but I don't want either of those frames. The Flash would be sweet if I was a racer, but I'm not, and even a compliant carbon HT is not a very good tool for the job on the rooty/rocky NH trails I ride (because I've been on the Scalpel there are a lot of great trails that I haven't been riding). As the RZ-140 might even be a little too much squish for me, the Moto would be way over the top.

    PG - there will probably be some wheeling and dealing going on. My Scalpel had a long history of unreliability...I often referred to it as the pre-Ford Jaguar of mtn bikes, and C'dale has been very good about stepping up to the plate. Besides the fork, the RZ would have different handlebars, and I'm assuming a larger rotor at least on the front. I'd also like to upgrade to a BB30 crankset. It might be easier to just see how much C'dale would charge me to swap my complete bike for a new RZ-140 Carbon 1 rather than wheel and deal on a part by part basis.
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalphile
    The LBS guy with whom I spoke briefly stated that C'dale would swap out forks with me (I currently have a Speed Carbon SL, so hopefully they're talking about swapping for a Max Carbon PBR).

    I realize the 140 is a very different beast than the Scalpel. I was thinking of buying a second bike - either a trail or AM bike, so I'm vieiwing this latest Scalpel failure as an opportunity to enjoy a different biking experience. Then, if I miss the XC racer enough, perhaps I'll add one as my second bike someday. The majority of the guys I ride with have either trail or AM bikes, so it would be nice to be able to take the same lines as them (I learned very quickly that I can't tailgate guys with longer travel and more laid back geo, and because I'm frequently recording video, I like to tailgate).

    If there was a carbon RZ-120, I'd probably go with that. Am I putting too much value on the carbon?
    If Cdale will swap your Lefty out to a 2010 140 mm lefty, that is a great deal there. I would go for that!!!

    No you are not putting to much value in carbon. The ride is better, stiffer and lighter............................you just pay through the nose for it. I just picked up a road bike for training and rainy weeks. I wouldnt even look at a bike that didnt have a carbon fork and carbon rear triangle.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  14. #14
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    Given your description of your use of the bike, I think the RZ140 would be a good choice. They are still light and efficient pedalers enough to be good XC bikes but capable of more abuse and to tackle rougher trails confortably compared to the Scalpel. Before I got my Scalpel, I even raced with my 140mm travel Prophet and the RZ is much lighter, stiffer and has a better geometry to XC ride than the Prophet.

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

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    Given your description of your use of the bike, I think the RZ140 would be a good choice. They are still light and efficient pedalers enough to be good XC bikes but capable of more abuse and to tackle rougher trails confortably compared to the Scalpel. Before I got my Scalpel, I even raced with my 140mm travel Prophet and the RZ is much lighter, stiffer and has a better geometry to XC ride than the Prophet.
    Sweet! Thanks for chiming in, Dan. You always give solid advice.

    -Pete
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  16. #16
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    I had a carbon Rize and had it down to 10.8kg with a relatively normal build. its a great bike - not as quick as the scalpel though but if your trails demand more travel and slacker angles, its hard to beat it.

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    Did you decide on a replacement frame yet?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by njdahms
    Did you decide on a replacement frame yet?
    I've requested a RZ-140 Carbon (hopefully the 1, since I'm not real keen on the bright red finish on the 2).

    How it will be built up remains to be seen since some of my Scalpel parts are not appropriate, such as fork and handlebar, and I also would like to go with a BB30 crankset instead of the non-BB30 that's on my Scalpel.

    I'm currently waiting for C'dale to come back and let me know what kind of deal they can offer since, call me crazy, I'd rather take delivery of a complete bike and hit the trail than be given a bare frame and lots of homework - it would be fun to build up a frame if it were for a second bike, or if I was down with an injury or something, but I just want to be back on a modern bike - riding my 15 year old Super V has been better than not riding, but 50mm of clunky travel from an elastomer Headshok just doesn't cut it these days.

    -Pete
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalphile

    How it will be built up remains to be seen since some of my Scalpel parts are not appropriate, such as fork and handlebar, and I also would like to go with a BB30 crankset instead of the non-BB30 that's on my Scalpel.


    -Pete
    Those BB30 cranksets go from $250 for the FSA afterburner to $900 for the Hollowgram SL. I think it's upgrade time!!
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  20. #20
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    I think you were right going for the RZ-140. The RZ-120 does not make much sense to me really, AM style frame and geometry, but with shorter travel? Seems like Cannondale are just looking to cheaply fill the gap where the Rush currently is.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ziscwg
    I think it's upgrade time!!
    Yes it is. I was saving up to buy a second bike anyway (trail/AM), so this is a good opportunity to get into something different for less than I would have shelled out for a second bike. I have a feeling there will only be small handful of trails that make me miss my Scalpel (I certainly won't miss it breaking every few months).

    Quote Originally Posted by chick0
    The RZ-120 does not make much sense to me really, AM style frame and geometry, but with shorter travel?
    I can see what C'dale was thinking - you've got the Scalpel at 100mm, then 20mm jumps between the two RZ models and also the Moto. What doesn't make any sense to me is that the RZ-120 is not available in carbon. I do see your point regarding the geometry being so close on both bikes.
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalphile
    Yes it is. I was saving up to buy a second bike anyway (trail/AM), so this is a good opportunity to get into something different for less than I would have shelled out for a second bike. I have a feeling there will only be small handful of trails that make me miss my Scalpel (I certainly won't miss it breaking every few months).


    I can see what C'dale was thinking - you've got the Scalpel at 100mm, then 20mm jumps between the two RZ models and also the Moto. What doesn't make any sense to me is that the RZ-120 is not available in carbon. I do see your point regarding the geometry being so close on both bikes.

    You won't be disappointed. It's a great all-rounder and it really makes riding fun since you can do so much with it.

    -Steve
    12 Scalpel 2
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    09 Rize 3 - Retired
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHICKS
    You won't be disappointed. It's a great all-rounder and it really makes riding fun since you can do so much with it.

    -Steve
    Thanks, Steve. I really wasn't able to find anything negative about it at all.

    The bike shop finally heard back from C'dale today - not particularly good news: minimum 4 week wait for the new frame. Ugh! I can't say I'm all that surprised, however, given that it's spring and I'm sure they have lots of sales to service, although it would be nice of them to put me a little closer to the front of the line since they took my money long ago and have yet to deliver a reliable bike.

    Does anyone know how much a Scalpel Carbon or RZ140 Carbon frame retails for? C'dale was willing to give me only $1k credit towards a complete bike...doesn't seem like much consolation for all the trouble I've had (lost 12 weeks of the season last year due to two frame failures and numerous other problems). Needless to say, I told them to send the frame/fork asap and I'll deal with building it from a mix of my old Scalpel parts and some new ones (different handlebar, bigger rotors, and a BB30 crankset since my Scalpel's is non-BB30 and I'd really like to ditch the adapter so I can actually take advantage of the BB30 frame).

    -Pete
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  24. #24
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalphile
    Thanks, Steve. I really wasn't able to find anything negative about it at all.

    The bike shop finally heard back from C'dale today - not particularly good news: minimum 4 week wait for the new frame. Ugh! I can't say I'm all that surprised, however, given that it's spring and I'm sure they have lots of sales to service, although it would be nice of them to put me a little closer to the front of the line since they took my money long ago and have yet to deliver a reliable bike.

    Does anyone know how much a Scalpel Carbon or RZ140 Carbon frame retails for? C'dale was willing to give me only $1k credit towards a complete bike...doesn't seem like much consolation for all the trouble I've had (lost 12 weeks of the season last year due to two frame failures and numerous other problems). Needless to say, I told them to send the frame/fork asap and I'll deal with building it from a mix of my old Scalpel parts and some new ones (different handlebar, bigger rotors, and a BB30 crankset since my Scalpel's is non-BB30 and I'd really like to ditch the adapter so I can actually take advantage of the BB30 frame).

    -Pete
    Im feeling you on the 4 week wait....Cannondale is telling me the same thing about an RZ 120 I just ordered today.....crossing my fingers for you and me that they get these bikes rolling out of there a bit quicker

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanhugh
    Im feeling you on the 4 week wait....Cannondale is telling me the same thing about an RZ 120 I just ordered today.....crossing my fingers for you and me that they get these bikes rolling out of there a bit quicker
    The salt in the wound for me is that I was told complete bikes are shipping much quicker than 4 weeks...don't know if this was misinformation due to the game of Telephone or something, but my question was, "Why not divert one of those here and just don't build it?"

    Anyhoo, perhaps this is a bit of hope for you...
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by chick0
    I think you were right going for the RZ-140. The RZ-120 does not make much sense to me really, AM style frame and geometry, but with shorter travel? Seems like Cannondale are just looking to cheaply fill the gap where the Rush currently is.
    I disagree, the Rush needed replacing and the RZ-120 looks to be much more capable. The RZ-120 doesn't appear to have the same geometry at the RZ-140 on paper, having a bit steeper seat and head angles........ which should make for a better cross country bike compared to the 140!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalphile
    Thanks, Steve. I really wasn't able to find anything negative about it at all.

    The bike shop finally heard back from C'dale today - not particularly good news: minimum 4 week wait for the new frame. Ugh! I can't say I'm all that surprised, however, given that it's spring and I'm sure they have lots of sales to service, although it would be nice of them to put me a little closer to the front of the line since they took my money long ago and have yet to deliver a reliable bike.

    Does anyone know how much a Scalpel Carbon or RZ140 Carbon frame retails for? C'dale was willing to give me only $1k credit towards a complete bike...doesn't seem like much consolation for all the trouble I've had (lost 12 weeks of the season last year due to two frame failures and numerous other problems). Needless to say, I told them to send the frame/fork asap and I'll deal with building it from a mix of my old Scalpel parts and some new ones (different handlebar, bigger rotors, and a BB30 crankset since my Scalpel's is non-BB30 and I'd really like to ditch the adapter so I can actually take advantage of the BB30 frame).

    -Pete
    I think I got quoted $2400 for the Rize carbon frame I looked at. I walked away from that. The value was not there for me.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

  28. #28
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    And Don't be surprised if after the 4 weeks of waiting, C'dale tells you there is a delay and you have to wait 4 weeks more... and so on......

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by kneejerk
    I disagree, the Rush needed replacing and the RZ-120 looks to be much more capable. The RZ-120 doesn't appear to have the same geometry at the RZ-140 on paper, having a bit steeper seat and head angles........ which should make for a better cross country bike compared to the 140!

    The Rush does need a replacement, and there may have been small geometry tweaks, but its essentially the same design.
    I personally feel after a day test riding a 120 that the bottom bracket, and the perched riding position are too high for it to be a true marathon/XC bike.
    But due to the shorter travel, its less capable then the 140 ( i have a Euro Rize Carbon with a 140mm fork), but with no noticeable advantage in pedaling efficiency.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sebastian21
    And Don't be surprised if after the 4 weeks of waiting, C'dale tells you there is a delay and you have to wait 4 weeks more... and so on......
    Fortunately that hasn't been my experience in the past, but there is a delay this time.

    I spoke to the shop yesterday, and my frame is still due to arrive this week. The fork and shock have already arrived, but that's where the problem lies - C'dale sent an empty Lefty! It had no internals. The full Lefty has been ordered, but is not expected to arrive until late next week. With any luck, though, I'll finally be on my new ride the first weekend in June.

    I will be using most of the parts from my Scalpel, however, I did pick up an Easton Monkey Lite XC low riser bar as well as an Easton EA70 carbon seat post (the Scalpel used a narrower seat post). I also picked up an FSA K-force Light carbon triple crankset (BB30) - I would have preferred a Hollowgram crank, but C'dale wasn't willing to play ball and I'd really rather throw my money at a different company since choosing a C'dale bike has ended up maximizing my time on the sidelines (I sure hope I have better luck with the RZ).

    Does anyone know the difference in weight between a 2009 Carbon Scalpel frame (L) and a 2010 RZ140 Carbon frame? I'm assuming that even with the light crankset, the built RZ will be up to a pound heavier than the Scalpel was (the components are from a 2008 Scalpel 2).

    -Pete
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  31. #31
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    Case Closed



    I took delivery yesterday of a new RZ140 Carbon frame. As you can see, it is the black/green graphics from the '1'. Since C'dale sent a Lefty with white clamps instead of green, I decided to complete the 80's look with some white grips.

    C'dale sent a Fox RP2 shock with the frame, which I wasn't thrilled with at first since that's what ships with the RZ140-4, but upon doing some research, I learned this shock is the same as the RP23, except it only has one ProPedal position instead of three. Fortunately, the one position seems to work well for this bike and my riding.

    While switching frames, I did take the opportunity to upgrade to a BB30 crankset: the FSA K-force Light triple. This setup spins very nicely.

    I was lucky enough to have yesterday off from work, so I got a nice two hour ride in on the new toy. I love it! As expected, it's a very different beast than the Scalpel. The riding position is more upright and further back on the bike. After riding XC setups (high seat. low bars, wieght forward) for many years, it will take me a few more rides to get used to the different geo.

    This thing loves to soak up bumps! Even with the suspension only roughly dialed in, the bike behaved very well on all kinds of bumps. Despite the riding position, this bike still climbs well: if you can keep your butt on the seat and not run out of power, there's nothing you can't climb. Unseated climbing is obviously more cumbersome than on a XC racer, but if you can keep the front wheel planted, you have all the traction you should ever need in the rear.

    The best part: this 140mm bump-eating beast (complete with pedals ) tips the scales at a respectable 24.5lbs. (11,116g).

    I can't wait to be done work for the day so I can get back on the new bike!

    -Pete
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

  32. #32
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    Very nice Pete. You'll love it!

    I think I'm ditching my road ride tonight in favor of FOMBA. Let me know if you'll be there, I'd love to see it.
    12 Scalpel 2
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  33. #33
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    Was thinking Fort Rock this evening, but I'll switch to FOMBA. I'll keep an eye out for you (ETA = 5:30-5:40).
    I can barely get my mouth around it.

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    For all you weight weenies out there-"Them's the Breaks". In the 70s, a low weight limit was put on Motocross machines. I'm still happy smashing it up on my overweight Prophet!

  35. #35
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    Sweet bike!

  36. #36
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    Glad to hear it worked out for you. I'm in a similar situation, they are replacing my 2009 29er 3 with a 2010 Flash 29er 1 and i have to eat a bunch of the parts that won't fit or weren't there (29er 3 is a single speed). My bike has been at the LBS since the end of Feb. and they are telling me the new frame won't ship until june 19th. I have rounded up all the parts I need and they are happily waiting in a box on my work bench as I count the days until it arrives...
    2011 Cannondale Flash Carbon 2
    2010 Redline Monocog Flight
    2010 Specialized Roubaix Expert
    2011 Cannondale Jekyl Ultimate

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