My Scalpel only got 3 months old before it's gone again. It was ment to be the ultimate XC race bike, but a broken collar bone put a stop for me to live up to the potential of the bike. It never really got used to the bike, as I couldn't find the perfect postion on it, so it had to go.
So I have moved on to a Rush with the Lefty with Fox XTT internals. The components are almost the same as on the Scalpel, beside from the wheel set. I sold the CK from the Scalpel and have ordered AMC rims and a DT 240s rear hub and lefty front hub, which should be around 1420g in total. The wheelset on the picture is borrowed from a friend, as I'm wating for the rims and spokes. Teh frame wa a bit heavier than expected. The Xl frame weighed 2950g with the headset cups pressed in. Bearings was 56g. The fork was 1508g + steerer at 135g. Lighter than I has expected. With light tires the bike weigh around 10kg.
I had my first ride on it today, on the trails near my work. There's a lot of roots, with very short and steep climbs and lots of sharp turns. It's very technical and you have to react very fast, as there are a lot of trees on the trails, that you have to ride around.
I had set the pressures in the fork to 70 psi and the Fox RP3 to 170 PSI, which gave a sag of about 15%. The rear felt very damped in the full PP setting and in no time I found that the middle setting made the bike ride the best. I had borrowed a low end Rush test bike some weeks ago, which felt much less damped than mine, and where the PP settings wasn't as different and effective as on mine. Are there different tuned shocks on the different bikes? I know that there is on the Float and Float R shocks, but thought all the RP3's was the same, as there was different PP settings to choose from.
Back to the ride. This is a very different bike from the Scalpel on most points, but I think they share some things. You should think, that the difference in head tube angle would be felt, but actually I think they both are very fast in the steering. Maby it has something to do with the fact, that the build height of the Fatty on the Scalpel is bigger, so the actual head angle is slacker, than with a Lefty. I think the lefty is 470mm and the Fatty around 182mm. So maby the angles are about the same?
I just love how the fork works. As written it's the 2006 Lefty with Fox internals, so it features the XTT (Trail Tune) valve, with a bleed hole bypassing the Terralogic valve. I had a Fox F100X fork on my old Blur, and noticed the bad side of the Terralogic, when it was slow to open at low speeds. This is not the cast woth the XTT internals. You never feel the valve in the fork open. It will bob about 15mm when locked out. Actually it's wrong to called locked out. Very damped would be a better word. It actually feels like when the RP3 is in the full PP mode.
it's a releaf not to have to worry about locking out the fork on the climbs and even better that you can't forget to open it again.
The rear suspension:
While the fork don't seem to have to break in, I think the rear shoch has to. Not that it didn't feel very good, but from experience and from the bike I borrowed, I know that it will only get better with time. The suspension is very active and use lot of the initial travel, as it's very linear. As said earlier I found the middle PP setting to work the best. The full setting felt almost like a lock out, and that just doesn't work on a full suspension bike, as it feels like the rear end is moving up and down with your pedal stroke. The one thing I have to get used to is, that the rear shock will compress, when you go into turns, where G-forces play there role. When you are out of the turn again, the rear suspension kind of has to reset, before you can lay the hammer down again. I'm sure it's just something i have to adjust to, and I will learn how to keep the speed up out of the turns.
I have to say, that I rode with too low air pressure in the tires, as they are latex and I didn't pump them before going for the ride. This made the tires wobble a bit in the turns and slowed me a bit.
I think it's a perfect bike for me, as it can be setup for both longer rides or for XC racing, if you pump up the rear shock a bit.
Let me know if you have any questions.
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