Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    439

    Considering a Scalpel

    I've been riding MTB's for about 15 years now, ride hard, the occasional adv. race, mostly just long rides up in the mtns on N. GA. Never ridden a FS bike, so I don't know what I don't know. I've done my research and understand the VPP, Single Pivot and 4-bar designs. I looooooove to climb and can hold my own on downhills and rough terrain. Previous ride is a Klein Attitude w/XTR goodies @ 21.5lbs.

    Now, at recent C'dale demo day, I spent a good hour on both a Rush and a Scalpel. The rush was great on flats and descents, but sucked the life out of me on climbs. I really felt the weight, couldn't find a rhythm and my legs burned in an unusual way during climbing. Felt a lot of bobbing while pedaling. The SRAM X0 that was on the bike required significant effort to shift - probably worn cable/housings.

    Handed it back with the idea that this wasn't the bike for me. Got on the Scalpel, team version, and after it was setup properly, took off for one of the fastest, most enjoyable rides I've had in a long time. The suspension action was awesome, Lefty was awesome, Crossmax tubeless were awesome and the bike was like a rocket.

    Now the question. Is the travel gonna be enough? Will the 2" be enough over the long haul? Did I just feel comfortable because it was similar to my hardtail? Should I be patient and try to get a ride on a Blur XC, etc?

    Thoughts from long-term Scalpel users?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ctracer01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    268

    get a demo bike

    Quote Originally Posted by mhopton
    I've been riding MTB's for about 15 years now, ride hard, the occasional adv. race, mostly just long rides up in the mtns on N. GA. Never ridden a FS bike, so I don't know what I don't know. I've done my research and understand the VPP, Single Pivot and 4-bar designs. I looooooove to climb and can hold my own on downhills and rough terrain. Previous ride is a Klein Attitude w/XTR goodies @ 21.5lbs.

    Now, at recent C'dale demo day, I spent a good hour on both a Rush and a Scalpel. The rush was great on flats and descents, but sucked the life out of me on climbs. I really felt the weight, couldn't find a rhythm and my legs burned in an unusual way during climbing. Felt a lot of bobbing while pedaling. The SRAM X0 that was on the bike required significant effort to shift - probably worn cable/housings.

    Handed it back with the idea that this wasn't the bike for me. Got on the Scalpel, team version, and after it was setup properly, took off for one of the fastest, most enjoyable rides I've had in a long time. The suspension action was awesome, Lefty was awesome, Crossmax tubeless were awesome and the bike was like a rocket.

    Now the question. Is the travel gonna be enough? Will the 2" be enough over the long haul? Did I just feel comfortable because it was similar to my hardtail? Should I be patient and try to get a ride on a Blur XC, etc?

    Thoughts from long-term Scalpel users?
    i'm not a scalpel rider, but i am a bike mechanic, and my shop carries cannondale.

    that said, all bikes should be bought based on the rider. buy the bike that feels right for you and make sure it is designed to do what you want to do. in this case, it seems like the scalpel may be just the ticket for you.

    a lot of other ppl before you chose the scalpel after coming off a hardtail because it feels similar while still providing a little suspension. and as you move up the suspension chain (like into the 4" range) every bike will feel slower.

    my advice: go to your LBS, ask them to get a demo scalpel, and spend a week with the bike. you'll really get a feel for the suspension and you'll be able to make a better decision. if you can, also get another bike that is made for racing (ie geometry, rising rate suspension, etc), with a little more travel. see which feels better.

    talking from experience, i've had a rocky mountain carve (4-bar), and currently a titus racer-x (4 bar with horst link). suspension travel on both is almost identical (around 100 mm), the horst link gives the racer-x a definite edge, and the suspension is much stiffer out of the saddle. i've tried my friends scalpel, which is not designed to have rising rate suspension, and comparitively i get a lot more bob out of the scalpel (this was with both bikes with their fox rp3's in full open.)

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    439
    Can you imagine the looks I get when I walk into a shop and try to convince them that I'm not kicking tires and that I want to demo a $4k bike? Like I said, C'dale gets huge props for putting a demo day together for that reason alone.

    I'd love to ride a Titus, Blur, Spyder and Fuel but I can't get a ride anywhere. Hell, I just want to make the best, most informed decision I can.

    BTW, what do you mean by rising rate?

  4. #4
    taTegOi
    Reputation: ribisl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    58
    Hello

    Last year i had to decide about the same thing. I had i Hardtail and i wanted a fast and light Fully!
    I have changed my HT into a Scalpel, which is a really good XC Bike, but now after one year of riding, I know that for me the decision was wrong!
    The ideal solution for me is a HT and a real Fully!

    greetings martin
    Lg Martin
    pics

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,082
    If the Rush bobbed while climbing chances are it was not set up properly.
    Your description of the Scalpel is spot on though. When I tried the rush I could not feel the extra 400grammes over a similarly speced Scalpel though.

    I've been on a scalpel now for two years. My impressions and comparison tells the following:

    The Scalpel is a more pointy sort of bike, The faster you ride it the more rewarding it is. If you're a qquick rider You'll get a lot more from the rear end if you run the rear shock at 12-15% sag instead of the prescribed 25%.

    The scalpel require more attention than the Rush does. You simply hop onto a Rush and it goes where you point it. Suspension action was superb on the Rush. Better suited to all day type riders and marathon racers.

    I rode my Scalpel at the Cape Epic 8 day stage race in April this year. It's not the sort of biek you want to spend 8hrs in the saddle on. It's comfy for that sort of riding but it takes more out of you tokeep it going where it's supposed. it requires more concentration due to its race orientation.

    For the weekend warrior I'd recommend the Rush over the Scalepl any day.
    For the racer , the Scalepl wins hands down.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ctracer01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    268
    the demo bikes they send out aren't 4k bikes but they do have demo bikes that the reps have at their disposal. we just got a large demo rush in w/ xt components for a guy. if your lbs looks at you funny go somewhere else.

    rising rate is a term that applies to the suspension design on the bike. the more "rising rate" a frame has, the more the suspension stiffens up when you apply pressure to the pedals. not quite sure how it is done, but is generally achieved by the position of the lower pivot connecting the rear triangle to the seat tube- the higher the pivot, especially above the middle chainring, where you spend most of your time, the stiffer your suspension will be under load.

    for instance, look at the giant nrs-bob free. the fallback is they've designed the bike to be so stiff under load that it locks up more than other bikes under braking force, which is generally on downhills= bad thing

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    75
    If you were getting lots of bob on a rush climbing the suspension was set up wrong or you didn't turn on the propedal on the shock, if I flip on the propedal mine is practically locked out it feels totally rigid until you hit a large bump then it absorbs it and goes back to feeling rigid just like it was designed to. But I do notice the weight of my rush versus my hardtail, the rush feels like a tank compared to the hardtail, but it's miles better than any other full suspension bike I've tried. That said I haven't gotten to try a scalpel, I think I would really like it, but I'm afraid my weight and the rocky environment I ride in would be a bad mix with carbon fiber, the rush is much more durable.

  8. #8
    USED2COULD
    Reputation: NS2000X's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,274
    Quote Originally Posted by ctracer01
    the demo bikes they send out aren't 4k bikes but they do have demo bikes that the reps have at their disposal. we just got a large demo rush in w/ xt components for a guy. if your lbs looks at you funny go somewhere else.

    rising rate is a term that applies to the suspension design on the bike. the more "rising rate" a frame has, the more the suspension stiffens up when you apply pressure to the pedals. not quite sure how it is done, but is generally achieved by the position of the lower pivot connecting the rear triangle to the seat tube- the higher the pivot, especially above the middle chainring, where you spend most of your time, the stiffer your suspension will be under load.

    for instance, look at the giant nrs-bob free. the fallback is they've designed the bike to be so stiff under load that it locks up more than other bikes under braking force, which is generally on downhills= bad thing
    XT build Rush = Rush 2000 MSRP $4,299 CDN ($3500USD). Depending which side of the border you are on, that is a $4k demo bike.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    75
    Quote Originally Posted by NS2000X
    XT build Rush = Rush 2000 MSRP $4,299 CDN ($3500USD). Depending which side of the border you are on, that is a $4k demo bike.
    The one I demo'd before buying mine was XTR wich is a Rush 3000 I believe. Only problem was they didn't get the suspension settings quite right and they didn't have the right size so the bike was a bit small.

  10. #10
    LA CHÈVRE
    Reputation: Dan Gerous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    9,429
    Quote Originally Posted by ctracer01
    rising rate is a term that applies to the suspension design on the bike. the more "rising rate" a frame has, the more the suspension stiffens up when you apply pressure to the pedals. not quite sure how it is done, but is generally achieved by the position of the lower pivot connecting the rear triangle to the seat tube- the higher the pivot, especially above the middle chainring, where you spend most of your time, the stiffer your suspension will be under load.
    Some precisions:

    Falling rate: the shock is hard to compress at first, then offers less resistence as it moves through it's travel. Less shock compression for wheel travel at the begining of the suspension travel, more shock compression for the same wheel travel at the end of the travel.

    Rising rate: the shock becomes harder to compress as it goes through it's travel. More shock compression for wheel travel at the begining of the travel, less shock compression for the same wheel travel at the end of the travel.

    Those rates are more determined by the geometry of the suspension, the position of the shock itself and the direction of the force that pushes on it, not the swingarm pivot location. On a Prophet for exemple, the frame gives a falling rate but most air shocks have rising rate. So the Prophet has a fairly linear rate.

    The 'rate' of a frame/shock design is independent of the force applied to the pedals, it always there even if you don't have your feet on the pedals and hit a bump. Swingarm pivot location has a lot of influence on a bike's bobbing effect (or lack of)....

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

  11. #11
    mutaullyassuredsuffering
    Reputation: used2Bhard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2,053
    I went from a hardtail to a scalpel and thought it was the greatest thing on earth. After two years of riding the scalpel I tested a friend's Rush and was green with envy.

    The scalpel is fantastic for XC but I just felt beat to death on real rocky stuff. I also was paranoid to ride it in Moab or other areas where you have alot of steps or drops. I've seen two many scalpels break in two on the rough stuff (Cannondale always replaced the frames under warranty). I took a Rush and a Profit on a demo, and one month later built a Rush.

    I feel a bit slower on the climbs and fast XC stuff, but I'm having way more fun on my normal trail rides. Now I go over things instead of around them, and I can stay in the seat alot more which helps on the long rides. I think overall I might ride one ring higher in the back on moderately steep hills when I'm getting a little tired.
    I can also still outclimb my friends who have Reign's and Profit's. The Propedal works like a charm.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ctracer01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    268
    thank you for the correction-duly noted.

    i suppose my explanation applies more to vpp suspensions, then.

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

mtbr.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.