I raced my new Scalpel for the first time this weekend at the NORBA NCS race in Waco Tx and, well, there are still some bugs I'm working out. One thing I've found out is that C-dale support is top-notch (we'll get to hat is a sec.)
My team and I arrived on Friday (left Thursday night) in time to do some preriding and last minute bike setup. All of us were riding bikes no more than 2-3 rides old and that was definitly on our mind. I swaped the stock 1.7" Scorpions out for 2.1" Pythons and it made the bike ride like a new machine- much easier to handle and the corning was 100% better. I also slowed the rebound a little in my shocks.
The C-dale mech. that was onsite with the demo trailer was awesome. He fixed my rear lockout (which hadn't been working) and helped me fine tune my shifting. Plus, he showed me how to rotate my front lockout lever out of the way so I wasn't hitting it with my knee when I stood. The lockouts were really important for the Waco course beacuse of the long uphill start on a paved road.
The race was slightly more frustrating. Luckly, I never crahsed (but came darn close). However, my stem kept loosening up and moving slightly off angle to the right of my front wheel . Stoping to fix it cost me second place. I had that baby torqued on there to spec before the race and then way past when I had to stop during the race and fix it. Again, the mech came to my rescue. After I got a different stem (after the race of course) the problem went away.
Enough of my mechanicals. The Scalpel rode great. I really noticed a lot more confisence on the decents compared to my hardtail last year. The cornering is the best aspect I can pick out. It likes to be leaned rather than steered and the fast decents on the 2nd half of the course were a dream. I actually noticed better climbing traction after I unlocked my rear shock too.
The verdict so far- as long as there are no mechanicals, this bike is a purpose built rocket for xc racing.
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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Thread: First race on Scalpel!