I have a Scalpel frame (and headshock) I purchased on Ebay a few months back because it seemed like a good deal. I ride A Kona 4" frame but I was thinking of setting the Scalpel up with a Fox F80 (or something simillar) for my wife who currently rides a Kona hardtail. So the question: do you think the Scalpel is a good match for my wife? She is about 140 lbs, and a pretty good rider, but not a "basher" so to speak. Also she has never ridden a full suspension before. She has ridden my Kona and loves it, but I don't really feel like spending another $2k on a Queen Kikapu and thought the Scalpel might work out good as somewhere between a 4" bike and a hardtail. Do you think it will be comfortable enough compared to my 4" Kona? We ride mostly fairly technical northeast singletrack when we are together. She does not freeride or do any downhilling, no more than 6-8" drops and trees, this is why I though the Scalpel might work out for her. Thanks for the help!
The Scalpel isn't really considered to be a true full suspension bike. It's a so called "Soft Tail" which means it's a Hard Tail that takes the worst edge out of things.
It's perfect for racing and single track but jumps and drops are a big No-No for the Scalpel..even if she's only a 140lbs.
If you don't want to spend a fortune, but still get some air with the bike go for a Super Vee or a Jeckyll. They're pretty light and strong.
Any drop that's greater than 3-4 feet calls for a stronger frame though, like a Prophet or Gemini.
Unless you like snapping frames and pay high medical bills that is
(I didn't mention the Perp, Judge etc. because they're expensive and you said you're on a budget).
"Common sense isn't always that common!"
Custom Prophet and Custom "Leftified" Delta V
At 140lb she should be fine for jumps less than 1 foot. I actually find the Scalpel's rear suspension to work extremely well for its travel, due to the fact its very progressive. I find it quite active over smaller bumps, and I have owned bikes up to 5" coil sprung rear travel.
Of course if you plow through rock gardens the limited travel starts to show, you do have to pick your line with the Scalpel.
I would say let her try the bike out, I think a Fox 80 would be a good match for the bike and a lot cheaper than a Lefty.
Thanks for the feedback, this is what I was looking for. Like I say, she stays away from the drops and jumps, but I was looking for something a little more comfortable for her. The big thing here in the northeast is roots and downed trees. I am happy to hear that the Scalpel works well even on the smaller bumps. I think I will give it a try, unless someone chimes in to really recommend aginst it. I have all the parts outside of the fork, so the beauty is that it is almost free.
The Jeckyll seems like it is a pretty complicated design, I always liked the Scalpel due to it's simplicity.