Help - Trek Supercaliber or Cannondale scalpel- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Help - Trek Supercaliber or Cannondale scalpel

    Looking to buy a new XC machine. 5k limit. I just want to ride and do a few long races (Leadville, Wilmington, Stage Race). I may do the local NJ XC Series next year but it depends on the kids schedules.

    I really want to use LBS so:
    New Scalpel
    https://www.cannondale.com/en-us/bik...ku=c24401m10sm

    --or--
    Supercaliber 9.7
    https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...de=black_white

    If I get really poor service locally (or a timeframe for delivery into July) then perhaps:

    Canyon Lux
    https://www.canyon.com/en-us/mountai...nfarbe=RD%2FWH

  2. #2
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    Just not a fan of the Lefty. If you're riding more than racing, I'd at least consider the Top Fuel over the Supercaliber.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  3. #3
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    Not the drivetrain, wheels or fork I'd hope to get for the price of the SuperCal.
    I'd want a SID 120, SLX12 and 30mm inner rim width wheels. Nino runs 30s.
    Not a Lefty person.
    These bikes are pretty targeted. And that means to me they only work at the top spec. And that's a lot more money.
    I'd prefer a Spark non RC for more riding scope. It'll take 2.5 tires on wide rims. But it ships with 25mm rims on the 910.
    https://www.scott-sports.com/us/en/p...spark-910-bike

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Not the drivetrain, wheels or fork I'd hope to get for the price of the SuperCal.
    Agree on the specs. I'm trying to get a good 'start' that I can upgrade. For example, if I get carbon wheels I want good ones - I don't want to have to upgrade everything

    The Scott bike is an option to but my LBS has a troubled relationship with them.

  5. #5
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    I just went down the exact same path, and budget last week. Nearly all the same bikes as you, but also was looking at the Orbea Oiz. If you look at comparison based solely on spec, the Lux CF SL 6.0 competes directly with the Cannondale and Trek, but it does it for $3400. The Lux 8.0 really is loaded compared to the others. What services are included with bike purchases at your LBS, besides sales tax? I'm guessing tune ups for a year?
    I decided to take a look at hardtail bikes after I was pretty well set on the Lux 8.0, and I ended up ordering the Exceed CF SLX 9.0 for $4088 delivered. The spec is just incredible. I just wanted a legit race bike to go along with my big bike. I've got 30 days to decide if I like it or not. I know myself, and I see a lot to upgrade on the Trek and especially the Cannondale.


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  6. #6
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    Well, one has a proprietary fork, the other has a proprietary shock/rear end. The point of the supercaliber is to replicate the power transfer of a hardtail and by all accounts, it does this to an extent not seen before on a suspension bike. The cannondale is likely pretty efficient and not bad in this department, but the SC is a more purpose driven design IMO. I wouldn't get one for just riding around, only XC racing. It also doesn't seem to be the kind of race bike you could put a 120mm fork on to make it more relaxed for some general trail riding (like having two forks, one for race and one for trails/training) due to the disparity of rear travel.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    The cannondale is likely pretty efficient and not bad in this department, but the SC is a more purpose driven design IMO.
    The lefty intrigues me - its just something totally different I'm willing to give it a try. I went to the LBS and they can get me one so all good. I'm getting the Cannondale Scalpel which is lefty and 100mm, but there an SE wants 120mm front and rear so worse case I'll just buy a new front fork and swap as needed.

    I choose to use the LBS because they are knowledgeable guys and they've been nice to me in the smaller stuff. They do local rides (road) and had one of the brands I wanted. Canyon is great, and known for their great finishing kits, but I need to support local business - for the long term.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiscott View Post
    I choose to use the LBS because they are knowledgeable guys and they've been nice to me in the smaller stuff. They do local rides (road) and had one of the brands I wanted. Canyon is great, and known for their great finishing kits, but I need to support local business - for the long term.
    Could not agree more with this. FWIW, my local Trek dealer will swap out just about any part that doesn't meet a buyer's needs. They do this on a cost/cost basis, and sometimes add $50 to the price to cover the shop time of making the changes.

    Have fun choosing a new toy!
    Whining is not a strategy.

  9. #9
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    The Scalpel is a great bike (CFR consistently wins the top team award in XC), and the Lefty works well. Good choice.

  10. #10
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    I have had my scalpel since 2013. It has been a great bike and the only issue I had was the avid brakes failed on my during a race. not so good... But I have not had any issues with the lefty shock except getting new wheels.
    Dont make me go all Jonathan Winters on this gas station.

  11. #11
    No good in rock gardens..
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    I'd avoid the Lefty, tbh.
    Less isn't MOAR

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sideknob View Post
    I'd avoid the Lefty, tbh.
    You either love them or hate them -- I haven't tried it so Its a 700 test it and see . That's 700 for a Sid to replace it.

    I know you know what I mean - everyone has an opinion. Some people might find a gyrating storm trooper perverse - others will find it funny

  13. #13
    No good in rock gardens..
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwiscott View Post
    You either love them or hate them -- I haven't tried it so Its a 700 test it and see . That's 700 for a Sid to replace it.

    I know you know what I mean - everyone has an opinion. Some people might find a gyrating storm trooper perverse - others will find it funny
    I had a Lefty for a few years and it blew up twice.

    Lockout and rebound first.

    Then the bearings let go leaving me with a semi rotating fork lower.

    Most unreliable bit of gear I've ever had on a bike.

    And costs a lot to swap out.

    I think even Lefty guru Mendon Smith on here doesn't sing their praises anymore.

    Get on the Cannondale forum and ask.
    Less isn't MOAR

  14. #14
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    The Supercal is definitely a hardcore XC race bike, but can take a 120mm fork.
    The rear suspension is ridiculously efficient, but surprisingly effective. Standing, you don't feel it much, sitting, you can tell it's not a full suspension, but it's also quite obviously not a hardtail.

    I've spent a good bit of time so far just figuring the bike out, but I think I finally have it dialed.

  15. #15
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    I've had the supercaliber since April. What an amazing efficient bike. I don't do xc racing. I just wanted a bike to take off a little of the beating from the trails. It surely does that and much much more. I do not hesitate to recommend this bike. You will not regret it.

    I found that the 9.8 was the sweet spot for price / specs. If you can swing the extra thousand or so, definitely go with that. Too many compromises on the 9.7 and too much luxury and price increase on the 9.9.

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