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  1. #1
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    New question here. Your say on Scalpel 08 vs. Epic 09?

    Now the big discussion begins on which bike performs better. With Sauser just winning the World cup on board a prototype epic 09 while Roel ending 7th place on his scalpel.. lets hear from the expert which bike is now the best race bike in the world!

    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCWha...14&refp=USHome

    http://www.cannondale-vredestein.com/

    What's your opinion.

  2. #2
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    Well, Jakob Fuglsang won the under 23 Worlds Championship on a Scalpel prototype last year.
    I think Sauser was more successful in the Cannondale team than he is now in the Specialized team anyway. Sure, winning the Worlds is great, but since this is an Olympic year the racers will peak later this year.
    The 09 Epic looks really nice, but the Scalpel still looks way better from an engineering point of view. The maintenance free linkage is such a big plus and will save weight.

  3. #3
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    Sauser would have won on either bike!

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    Don't give Mike Sinyard any more money!!! Cannondale Scalpel is the only option! Oh, and in terms of ride...I'd take the Scalpel. The Scalpel is pivotless, thus less maintenance...I prefer the simpler design than the likes of the four-link with brain. I see the Specialized as the overly technical, marketing enhanced bicycle for the idiot that doesn't know any better.

    Historically, I have found Cannondales to be more fun, better riding and more durable than the likes of their rival Specialized bikes. Lighter, stiffer and stronger. Four-link suspension is great, just not Specialized's version of it. I have found my Cannondale to pedal amazingly uphill and offer greater response and confidence downhill. I have never owned a Scalpel however I have ridden one of the new ones. Amazing just what can be done with such a light, little, stiff bike...I love it! My single-pivot Prophet is a way better trail bike than the likes of the Stumpjumper FSR and Enduro SL, if that means anything.

    I simply love the feel of Cannondales...ride both and see what you like. I think Cannondale is to Specialized what BMW is to Mercedes-Benz...have you driven a Mercedes-Benz?

  5. #5
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    excellent analogy.....i couldn't agree more.....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmblg
    excellent analogy.....i couldn't agree more.....
    Yep, same here!
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
    Custom Prophet and Custom Delta V

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mylesofsmyles
    I think Cannondale is to Specialized what BMW is to Mercedes-Benz...have you driven a Mercedes-Benz?
    Unfortunately, I haven't driven either. Curious what you mean exactly? I own an entry level Cannondale HT, but have been eyeing some Treks and Specialized.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by djp2k8
    Unfortunately, I haven't driven either. Curious what you mean exactly? I own an entry level Cannondale HT, but have been eyeing some Treks and Specialized.
    They are all great bikes, someone will like each one more than the next. I was referring to the BMW vs. Mercedes-Benz as they are both great cars, much like Cannondale and Specialized are great bicycle manufacturers. BMW believes in a "pure" motoring experience, simple, sporty and effective. Is there something that is technologically more advanced or superior, yes, but that doesn't always equate to a better or more fun experience. A BMW is more of a driver's car; I'd say a Cannondale is more of a rider's bike...they have a sportier, more lively feel; think VW GTI not Honda Civic.

    I think the Epic is a marginal bike hidden behind terms like S-Works, FSR and Brain...and a small number on the scale...if these are the only things to consider when buying a bike, than Specialized has it all over Cannondale. I'd suggest ride both, the better bike will speak for its self.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mylesofsmyles
    I think the Epic is a marginal bike hidden behind terms like S-Works, FSR and Brain...and a small number on the scale...if these are the only things to consider when buying a bike, than Specialized has it all over Cannondale. I'd suggest ride both, the better bike will speak for its self.
    The old Epic was starting to slide backwards. One of my friends had an alu Epic Marathon, and it was 27lbs. The Stumpjumper Comp weighed 27.5lbs.

    I think first and foremost is the Lefty is the best XC fork period. It weighs about the same as the SID World Cup but is 1000 times stiffer. One of the kids I coached had a Team Taurine and he noticed the stiffness over his SID immediately.

    I am curious about the overall bike weights. I believe the higher end Scalpels are stock weights at under 23lbs.

    Finally, pedaling performance and small bump compliance will have to be a subjective evaluation. I wonder if the Epic will outperform the Scalpel in plushness. I assume the Scalpel will still be tops in pedaling efficiency.

  10. #10
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    If anybody thinks that the bike made a significant difference in the results then you need a reality check.Its not the bike, its the rider. Suggesting that riding a Specialized mountain bike can cause you to win the World XC championship is like suggesting that riding a Specialized road bike will cause you to snort coke.
    In the same way a lot of riders who might want to ultra weight weenie their bikes like Sauser does also probably neglect to take every last pound off their body like he does. He looks super thin this year, which probably has more to do with his results than a bike he rode for the first time less than a week before the race and the fact that a lot of riders are peaking later for the Olympics.

    Kevin

  11. #11
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    Specialized pulled out all stops to win! Why? I assume the fact that the Epic was not winning which was costing them sales! I was undecided between the Scalpel & the Epic. After all the problems they had with their AFR shock & that the Epic was heavier, the choice was simple. The Scalpel! Not to mention the maintanence is more simple.
    I think Spec made the right choice to change the design(looks like a Scalpel), I still think they should get rid of the Brain. They will still have issues.
    By the way I think Sauser would have won regardless which bike he was on!

  12. #12
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    Are you a Liberal or a Republican?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ar1981
    Are you a Liberal or a Republican?
    What does that have to do with anything here? Unless you compare Specialized to the likes of Big Tobacco...that is even a stretch!

  14. #14
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    I already have a fork with a brain, it's a Lefty Terralogic! Okay, everybody knows how much I like Specialized as a company but still, a few of my thoughts:

    First thing that would keep me off that bike is the forks and shocks. I wouldn't want the trouble to have to send them back to the company every few rides... So far, their reliability records are about the worst from the whole bike industry.

    I don't like the looks of the Epic, it's too busy and oddly proportioned. I know that's not really important but it just jumped in my face: not elegant.

    Specialized are already waaaaay overpriced and the whole range is supposed to see price increases for 09, a 2009 S-Works Epic will probably cost a whole lot, it's already ridiculously expensive, especially as the current one is such a heavy and unstiff pig. With a re-design, new forks and shocks, new marketing campaigns to finance and innovative companies to buy or sue, the new Epic prices will probably skyrocket.

    Category leading sub 3-lbs fork? Where were they the last few years? A Lefty Max with 130mm is now sub 3lbs! And wait for the next top XC racing Lefty model... it's probably going to put to shame all other manufacturers who claim they have light forks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    And wait for the next top XC racing Lefty model... it's probably going to put to shame all other manufacturers who claim they have light forks!
    Please elaborate, the secret is safe with me

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiar577
    Please elaborate, the secret is safe with me
    I have nothing confirmed for now but the CV riders already had Lefties with new one piece spindle assemblies at the Worlds last weekend. I have seen rumors about a composite spindle... But apparently, the more interesting bits can't be seen so I'm guessing the internals will see major changes... But this is just between you and me.

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  17. #17
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    I'm a big Cannondale fan, but I think its too early to compare the bikes since the 09 Epic is still far off.

    I am impressed by Specialized's attempt at lightening up their main XC rig to be able to compete with the comparable xc rigs out there
    You know what sucks worse than training? Losing.
    You know what sucks worse than losing? Nothing.

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  18. #18
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    I think i remember the new epic having BB30.... If im correct i believe they are a little late to that.....

  19. #19
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    Specialized never innovate, they buy out, bully, sue, copy or whatever they can get away with... They're the Microsoft of the bike industry.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by leadpack
    Now the big discussion begins on which bike performs better. With Sauser just winning the World cup on board a prototype epic 09 while Roel ending 7th place on his scalpel.. lets hear from the expert which bike is now the best race bike in the world!

    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCWha...14&refp=USHome

    http://www.cannondale-vredestein.com/

    What's your opinion.
    I don't think that you can argue which bike is better for oneself based on who has more wins. It's the rider that wins, not just the bike.

    I really haven't ridden either (current models or previous), so I can't honestly say much of either, but don't base a buying decision on which brand attracts the better athletes.

    Have you tried both bikes to see how you like the fit of each?

  21. #21
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    Lets not forget that Cannondale scalpel ( Fugelsang and Roel ) have also recently won the Cape Epic, arguably the toughest MTB stage race in the world. They beat Sauser ( who lost his partner ) and a host of various Specialized riders.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by leadpack
    Now the big discussion begins on which bike performs better. With Sauser just winning the World cup on board a prototype epic 09 while Roel ending 7th place on his scalpel.. lets hear from the expert which bike is now the best race bike in the world!

    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCWha...14&refp=USHome

    http://www.cannondale-vredestein.com/

    What's your opinion.
    My opinion is that this is neither the time, nor the place to ask this question, since:
    1. This is a Cannondale forum. What do you expect people to answer?
    2. Almost no one has ridden the new Epic. Might be a lemon, might be the greatest bike ever.
    3. Winning world cups has little to do with the bike itself (No bike will ever be marginally better in this level) and a lot to do with the rider and team.
    4. Most new full sus. bikes have recalls in their 1st year (EX9, rush/ speed dlr, spesh enduro and other spesh branded forks, new scalpel etc.).

    We will only know who's better in a year or so.

  23. #23
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    DG
    You missed something in your post.

    Specialzed claims category leading rigidity at under 3 pounds for their fork. Its real hard to believe that their fork is more rigid than a Lefty. But then maybe they are only comparing forks, not to the Lefty which is a strut.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by eaglecat
    DG
    You missed something in your post.

    Specialzed claims category leading rigidity at under 3 pounds for their fork. Its real hard to believe that their fork is more rigid than a Lefty. But then maybe they are only comparing forks, not to the Lefty which is a strut.
    That makes sense, Spec is a mkting company. The sad thing is that if they spent half the money they use in marketing into research & development they would have very nice bikes. I'm sure they don't care one bit.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    Specialized never innovate, they buy out, bully, sue, copy or whatever they can get away with... They're the Microsoft of the bike industry.
    But they came up with TSI (Total Suspension Integration).....to design a bike as a "whole".
    Sounds like cannondal'e's SI, system integration...
    Very innovative of Specialized to just add a letter...
    "Common sense isn't always that common!"
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  26. #26
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    I think its silly to try to broaden the question of which bike is better to include concerns about the companies as a whole - I just want to ride a bike that fits me and works well. The old model Epic, in my opinion had some serious issues that made me never want to buy one: 1) suspension design seemed to require the brain - in other words, if you opened up the flow control all the way, it seemed like a very poor suspension design. 2) Heavy and ugly. 3) lots of pivots to loosen up and make the rear end feel flexy and cause maintenance issues. For these reasons, I chose a Scalpel. However, its not like there are no issues with the Scalpel - 1) Suspension stiffens very badly under braking (I can live with this - it is a fair design trade off, but still really bugs me in some situations). 2) Single length head tube on all frame sizes means fit is very difficult for riders over 6'3" (which I am). 3) I've never known anyone who has made it through a whole season on a carbon Lefty without serious maintenance or replacement issues. (the alloy ones seem to be fairly trouble free but are relatively heavy - way heavier than the carbon Lefty , but also even heavier than a Fox f100 rlc.)

    The new 09 Epic appears to address my first two concerns, causing me to reconsider this bike. However, I'm still convinced that it will be significantly less laterally rigid than the Scalpel, especially after a few months of hard riding. I really really wish that Cannondale would find a way to make a light weight Lefty that keeps working and make the Lefty with longer steerer tubes for XL frames.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    . They're the Microsoft of the bike industry.
    "There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over" -FZ

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gerous
    Specialized never innovate, they buy out, bully, sue, copy or whatever they can get away with... They're the Microsoft of the bike industry.
    In my opinion, Specialized ACTS like microsoft. They have gotten bigger and stronger, but there are bigger compannies don't act like it.

  29. #29
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    Would you buy it?

    Epic 2009 price at approx.USD 9400

    heres why:
    "After a little over two hours of racing on Sunday the turnaround was complete and Specialized's fears were allayed - there were no breakages, no surprises, just the best possible result as Sauser triumphantly crossed the line as the new world champion. Even during the race, though, it is said that team managers were on the phone with Specialized headquarters to formulate a plan depending on how things went. In the end, it was decided that if Sauser won, the bike could be presented for photos. Anything less and the bike was to be taken immediately back to the truck."

  30. #30
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    specialized makes the "same things" like cannondale
    SI is the keyword
    and specialized is founder owned and has much much more money -
    i really hope cannondale can handle the dorels
    look at fox ...
    look at gary fisher ...
    which other bike manufacturer makes a gap between two bikegenerations of 700g (if it´s true - old epic s-works-new one for 2009)
    i know scott makes some good stuff too ...

    and christoph sauser is unbeatable like t. frischknecht years ago ...

    "Show your bike some love and it will show the love back."
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by leadpack
    Epic 2009 price at approx.USD 9400

    heres why:
    "After a little over two hours of racing on Sunday the turnaround was complete and Specialized's fears were allayed - there were no breakages, no surprises, just the best possible result as Sauser triumphantly crossed the line as the new world champion. Even during the race, though, it is said that team managers were on the phone with Specialized headquarters to formulate a plan depending on how things went. In the end, it was decided that if Sauser won, the bike could be presented for photos. Anything less and the bike was to be taken immediately back to the truck."
    I'm sure he won because of the bike

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by djp2k8
    Unfortunately, I haven't driven either. Curious what you mean exactly? I own an entry level Cannondale HT, but have been eyeing some Treks and Specialized.
    I have 2 Cannondales and 2 Specialized and also a Mercedes. Cannondale was the best brand when they made alu frames, now they are only another brand with good quality bikes but with freak and bad non-compatible forks.

    Specialized is now one of the best brands in the market, with good r+d department, but they are beginning to use non-compatible forks and perhaps in few years the market will punish them. Their carbon frames are very good, and their full suspension bikes are top sellers, and their road bikes imo are unexpensive and top quality also, but perhaps they are going to die for success.

    About Scalpel vs Epic 09, well Scalpel is no more than a softail, and Epic is a real f.s. bike, we can´t compare them.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by beatnik_
    About Scalpel vs Epic 09, well Scalpel is no more than a softail, and Epic is a real f.s. bike, we can´t compare them.
    I totally disagree. I rode the 2009 Scalpel Carbon Team last night at Skeggs (bay area, CA). Cannondale had their demo truck there. What an amazing bike. I understand why you would call it a soft tail, due to the lack of pivots. However, with 4" of travel, its by no means a soft tail. It was amazingly efficient and I was able to rail down the rocky manzanita trail with no fear or hesitation. I've never ridden an epic, but I can't say enough good things about the Scalpel. If I could sell my Intense Spider for $3K, I'd probably go by a Scalpel Carbon 1.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by beatnik_
    I have 2 Cannondales and 2 Specialized and also a Mercedes. Cannondale was the best brand when they made alu frames, now they are only another brand with good quality bikes but with freak and bad non-compatible forks.

    Specialized is now one of the best brands in the market, with good r+d department, but they are beginning to use non-compatible forks and perhaps in few years the market will punish them. Their carbon frames are very good, and their full suspension bikes are top sellers, and their road bikes imo are unexpensive and top quality also, but perhaps they are going to die for success.

    About Scalpel vs Epic 09, well Scalpel is no more than a softail, and Epic is a real f.s. bike, we can´t compare them.
    I have to admit we both agree in something: Their FS bikes are top sellers, period.

    As for the rest, I won't make a comment.

  35. #35
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    Old Cannondale Scalpel?



    Nope...1994 Stumpjumper. Who is copying?. Come on guys, changing a pivot for a carbon flex chainstay is not the best idea in the world. I don´t test the new Scalpel, but the old one was like you are riding with a flat tire. New one is still a softail, and perhaps is so far better than old one, but you know for me is an scooter compared with a xc motorbike.

  36. #36
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    Specialized bikes are for people with no imagination.

    I have owned both Cannondale and Specialized hardtails, and there is no comparison, the 'Dale wins hands down.

  37. #37
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    why is it so hard to recognize the advantages of a lefty ...

    why did specialized use
    - the horst link (is it really so good?)
    - the bb30 open(!)standard
    - the (trek e2) tapered steerer tube ...
    ...

    "Show your bike some love and it will show the love back."
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  38. #38
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    Actually, the tapered steerer tubes were on Cannondale road bikes before Treks... but then again, it was on Ridleys even before that. At this point, it's irrelevant to pin point who was the first to use a swing link, who was the first single pivot... Pretty much all current suspension designs are refinements and evolution of older designs. You have to look beyond one pivot, one little part and look at the whole package. Sure that old Stumpjumper has the shock positioned like the old Scalpel but try both and it's night and day, there are other things to consider and there is more to a great performing bike than what it looks like at first glance.

    And if you think the Scalpel felt like it had a flat tire, I suggest taking the time to setup the suspension for your weight and riding style, that's true for all suspension bikes... or make sure the tires are not flat.
    Last edited by Dan Gerous; 07-04-2008 at 09:11 AM.

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    Give this guy a break, obviously Specialized marketing dep made an excellent job with him

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by beatnik_
    I have 2 Cannondales and 2 Specialized and also a Mercedes. Cannondale was the best brand when they made alu frames, now they are only another brand with good quality bikes but with freak and bad non-compatible forks.

    Specialized is now one of the best brands in the market, with good r+d department, but they are beginning to use non-compatible forks and perhaps in few years the market will punish them. Their carbon frames are very good, and their full suspension bikes are top sellers, and their road bikes imo are unexpensive and top quality also, but perhaps they are going to die for success.

    About Scalpel vs Epic 09, well Scalpel is no more than a softail, and Epic is a real f.s. bike, we can´t compare them.
    So my friend and I want to know what you are doing for a living?! 2 C'dales, 2 of the bid S, and a Mercedes? Nice going.
    "Don't take life too serious. You'll never get out alive."

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiar577
    That makes sense, Spec is a mkting company. The sad thing is that if they spent half the money they use in marketing into research & development they would have very nice bikes. I'm sure they don't care one bit.

    where do you get your information? those are some bold statements to make.....

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    the scalpel just won another title...

    ... roel paulissen is marathon world champion...

    and he beat surprise surprise, christoph sauser on the new epic...


    it was a crazy race, but roel on his scalpel won...

  43. #43
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    Did you see the state of Roels bike when he finished? I would have rathered the Epic :P
    09 S-Works Epic (9.3kg)
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    Didn't you see that Christoph landed on Roel's bike and that the Epic was pretty much untouched by the riders?

    Quote Originally Posted by ryan_sherlock
    Did you see the state of Roels bike when he finished? I would have rathered the Epic :P

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by SantaCruzT100
    where do you get your information? those are some bold statements to make.....
    I just have common sense. Specialized makes average quality bikes and sells them at premium prices, sometimes considerably more expensive than anyone else. In the process they invest heavily in mkting to brainwash people around the world that they have the greatest susp. design out there.

    Don't get me wrong, their bikes are good, it's just they're not the best as they want you to believe. If they were worried they'd make the best bike, they certainly have the funds to do so.

    I have to confess: my first bike was a FSR and there's no way I'll go back. Thank God I opened my eyes

  46. #46
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    Specialized win over lots of corporate types with their flash designs, marketing and corporate speak but theybikes have no substance.
    The alloy bike welding is poor. Very poor. The finish on their carbon bikes is also poor but they cover it up with a nice thick layer of laquer. Shiny stuff must be good right....?

    I have seen more Specialized's fail than any other brand and the failures are not in one area.
    Headtubes, pivots, seat tubes, seat masts etc.
    They are really bad bikes with excellent marketing.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad
    Specialized win over lots of corporate types with their flash designs, marketing and corporate speak but theybikes have no substance.
    The alloy bike welding is poor. Very poor. The finish on their carbon bikes is also poor but they cover it up with a nice thick layer of laquer. Shiny stuff must be good right....?

    I have seen more Specialized's fail than any other brand and the failures are not in one area.
    Headtubes, pivots, seat tubes, seat masts etc.
    They are really bad bikes with excellent marketing.
    I haven't seen many of their bikes with failures, but the one I had was low quality: the welds, paint and overall finish of the bike was a joke compared to Cdale. In fact I sold my FSR the first time I saw/tried a Cannondale bike, and couldn't stop kicking myself for not looking around when I bought the Spec

    Just to clarify, I'm not saying Cannondale has the best bikes in the world, but I firmly believe they have the best frames from any of the big manufacturers, Santacruz included.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by mylesofsmyles
    They are all great bikes, someone will like each one more than the next. I was referring to the BMW vs. Mercedes-Benz as they are both great cars, much like Cannondale and Specialized are great bicycle manufacturers. BMW believes in a "pure" motoring experience, simple, sporty and effective. Is there something that is technologically more advanced or superior, yes, but that doesn't always equate to a better or more fun experience. A BMW is more of a driver's car; I'd say a Cannondale is more of a rider's bike...they have a sportier, more lively feel; think VW GTI not Honda Civic.

    I think the Epic is a marginal bike hidden behind terms like S-Works, FSR and Brain...and a small number on the scale...if these are the only things to consider when buying a bike, than Specialized has it all over Cannondale. I'd suggest ride both, the better bike will speak for its self.
    VW GTI not Honda Civic? Maybe it would be a better comparison if instead of just the utilitarian, fuel sipping basic Civic LX , you were to drive a Civic Si. A completely different machine! (I drive a Civic CRX Si, by the way)

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    Certainly the Cannondale frames and Lefty suspension are superbly finished. I've only seen 2 C'dales that failed at a weld and I know one of those bikes (a F-series Hardtail) was used as a jump bike, DH bike and XC race by the same bloke.It lasted him a good few seasons of this abuse before it failed.

    Reliability on Specialized products is also an issue. The shoes are fragile, I dropped an S-works helmet and it cracked.

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