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  1. #1
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    2016 Scalpel 3 vs Habit SE

    Looking for opinions on this. I'm getting a warranty replacement discount for my Rush carbon 26er. I'm deciding between the Habit SE (which I haven't ridden) and the Scalpel 3 carbon. They're similar in price but different components and I can't decide which I like better. Remote lockout on the Scalpel, SRAM x1 on the Habit plus more travel. Other deciding factor: I can get the Scalpel now but the Habit not until late February.

  2. #2
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    Ok... I kind of went through this too. ended up with the habit carbon 3 (because the lefty can be extended to 130 anyway, and because of the $) but for me it was between the '15 closeout scalpels and the '16 habit carbon 3... here's what it came down to for me:

    you're talking about one bike that's really at one end of the spectrum, and another bike that's dead in the middle, so this is more about riding style and conditions, than bike choice.

    the scalpel is gonna be a twitchy steep race bike. It's gonna be real fast and probably not that inspiring to ride. if fast is your thing, I say go for the scalpel

    on the other hand, the Habit is a 27.5 slackish HTA 120/130 travel bike... it's not gonna be as fast (arguably) but I think the fun factor and playful factor (just based on the numbers) will be the take-away here. so if you're into playful fun riding, and don't care about strava times and lycra... Habit is your move.

    I decided that I'm never really going to race XC and I don't want to be the fastest guy on the trails. I'd rather have a poppable, nimble, descendable bike that is more of an all round "quiver killer" (though I don't love when people use that word, because I don't really think there's a such thing), so I went with the Habit.

    do you have an opportunity to ride both? if so, that would be the best way to decide IMO.

  3. #3
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    These bikes aren't in the same league.

    I own a Scalpel and test rode a Habit yesterday.

    My Scalpel is FAST...and terrifying...depending on what you are doing. It's an XC bike. I didn't know better. I'm a "trail" rider.

    Instantly when I got on the Habit I figured out my Scalpel is the wrong bike for me for my use. The Habit is much more playful, much more confidence inspiring.

    You need to figure out what you want to do with the bike and buy the right bike for the purpose. Don't get all caught up in the build specs between the two, worry about the geometry differences between the two.

    ac

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoNin9r View Post
    Ok... I kind of went through this too. ended up with the habit carbon 3 because the lefty can be extended to 130 anyway.
    How? Have you confirmed that with Cannondale?

  5. #5
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    My lbs manager is my best friend of 10 years and said the rep is personally going to do this to my lefty to teach them. Whether that's true or not I will certainly confirm or deny as soon as I know

  6. #6
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    Two totally different bikes. I agree with the comments above. The scalpel is fast, stupid fast if you ask me. Im actually afraid of mine, and rarely ride it (carbon 2). In all fairness i really like fat bikes and have a few that i now ride year round, so the scalpel is the bike i let friends ride, and it often scares them too.

    my buddy rode the habit, and he often rides my scalpel, and he much preferred the habit for trail riding

  7. #7
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    HABIT! I have owned Scalpel's, Trigger 29/27.5 and many other Cannondales. Habit is a great all-round fun and very fast bike. Unless you are a professional mountain bike racer I bet you would be faster on a Habit than a Scalpel anyway.

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    Thanks for all the replies, appreciate the input. It's hard for me to figure out the exact best option as I live in a rural area and haven't been able to ride a habit yet. I ride mainly in West Virginia and Virginia where the trails go from nice packed dirt/pine needles to large rocks and tons of roots and from sweet long downhill runs to long climbs (but I'll be somewhere else in 9 months so can't say what riding conditions will be then) I've ridden 2015 Scalpels and they seem pretty alright but I wonder if another 10-20mm in suspension could be beneficial. I rode a Trigger as well and it wasn't bad, a little heavy. I rode a Carbon 1 Jekyll and while light, I didn't like it at all, way too much play/pedal bob. From what I've read it seems like the Habit is somewhere between Scalpel and Trigger in ride quality/capability.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by avc8130 View Post
    These bikes aren't in the same league.

    Don't get all caught up in the build specs between the two, worry about the geometry differences between the two.

    ac
    While that's true to some degree, shifting is pretty important and swapping that out is expensive. I rode a Niner and the Jekyll with x1 and I liked it a lot.

  10. #10
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    Either way you are looking at two good bikes. I would not worry too much about actual suspension travel, there is more to a bike than that. In this case the geometry of the bikes are different since the target audience is different. That said, the rider makes the most difference. Just look at the video of Peter Sagan riding the Fsi. He totally rips on rollers and jumps using a XC race bike.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdrphil View Post
    While that's true to some degree, shifting is pretty important and swapping that out is expensive. I rode a Niner and the Jekyll with x1 and I liked it a lot.
    He's looking at the Habit SE...it's 1x11.

    ac

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdrphil View Post
    Thanks for all the replies, appreciate the input. It's hard for me to figure out the exact best option as I live in a rural area and haven't been able to ride a habit yet. I ride mainly in West Virginia and Virginia where the trails go from nice packed dirt/pine needles to large rocks and tons of roots and from sweet long downhill runs to long climbs (but I'll be somewhere else in 9 months so can't say what riding conditions will be then) I've ridden 2015 Scalpels and they seem pretty alright but I wonder if another 10-20mm in suspension could be beneficial. I rode a Trigger as well and it wasn't bad, a little heavy. I rode a Carbon 1 Jekyll and while light, I didn't like it at all, way too much play/pedal bob. From what I've read it seems like the Habit is somewhere between Scalpel and Trigger in ride quality/capability.
    After reading this u have to say that I think the habit is the right bike for you. Maybe even the habit 2 with 120/120. Any of that rocky rooty stuff you're talking about is not going to be fun on a 71 degree head tube.

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    Thanks again. I'm leaning more heavily to Habit again thanks to replies, plus I found a few more reviews of it. Only problem is I like the SE components and gotta wait until February for that. Found my Rush's cracked btm bracket in late April/early May so been without a bike a long time. Argh...

    About the Habit 2. That would be awesome but it's about a grand outta my max price range.

  14. #14
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    Ahhh understandable. I settled for the carbon 3 myself. I don't really need the 1x11 and even so I'll probably end up just going with a OneUp expander cog setup as I already have the race face NW chainring. Then it's just a wheelset away from being my dream bike (since I already have a dropper post).

    From what I'm told by my lbs and their can no dale rep, the 120mm lefty can be travel adjusted to 130. I think the rep is going to come into the LBS and demo strategy same on my fork as a Guinea pig.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoNin9r View Post
    Ahhh understandable. I settled for the carbon 3 myself. I don't really need the 1x11 and even so I'll probably end up just going with a OneUp expander cog setup as I already have the race face NW chainring. Then it's just a wheelset away from being my dream bike (since I already have a dropper post).

    From what I'm told by my lbs and their can no dale rep, the 120mm lefty can be travel adjusted to 130. I think the rep is going to come into the LBS and demo strategy same on my fork as a Guinea pig.
    I did some demo rides yesterday at a local event. I fell in love with 1x11. It just makes so much sense. It made the 2x10 on my Scalpel just feel dumb. I'm looking at the OneUp conversions as we type.

    What wheelset are you looking at? Something lighter?

    Now that I look over the specs again, the SE looks like a "bargain". 10mm more front travel. 1x11 drivetrain. Dropper post. The brakes are "better", but then we argue the virtues of SRAM vs Shimano. All for "only" $750 more.

    ac

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by avc8130 View Post
    I did some demo rides yesterday at a local event. I fell in love with 1x11. It just makes so much sense. It made the 2x10 on my Scalpel just feel dumb. I'm looking at the OneUp conversions as we type.

    What wheelset are you looking at? Something lighter?

    Now that I look over the specs again, the SE looks like a "bargain". 10mm more front travel. 1x11 drivetrain. Dropper post. The brakes are "better", but then we argue the virtues of SRAM vs Shimano. All for "only" $750 more.

    ac
    reevaluating. I think you're right. considering the cost of adding a dropper and 1x11 the $750 doesn't seem bad. As I mentioned, I think the travel may be a non-issue because I think the 120 is limited by a spacer, but can be extended (subject to confirmation... i.e. i'll believe it when I see it).

    another thing to consider (and I don't care what anyone says... this is important), is that I really LIKE the look of the carbon 3, but really LOVE the SE. so if that's important to you, then you may be happiest on the SE.

    I would love to go that route but considering even the 3 I ended up getting was already out of my price range, I may have to stick with it :-P

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoNin9r View Post
    reevaluating. I think you're right. considering the cost of adding a dropper and 1x11 the $750 doesn't seem bad. As I mentioned, I think the travel may be a non-issue because I think the 120 is limited by a spacer, but can be extended (subject to confirmation... i.e. i'll believe it when I see it).

    another thing to consider (and I don't care what anyone says... this is important), is that I really LIKE the look of the carbon 3, but really LOVE the SE. so if that's important to you, then you may be happiest on the SE.

    I would love to go that route but considering even the 3 I ended up getting was already out of my price range, I may have to stick with it :-P
    The travel may be "extendable" from 120 to 130, but will your bike shop do it FREE? If not, throw that cost in as well comparing the 3 and the SE.

    Just get the darn SE :-).

    Isn't the internet great for spending your money?

    ac

  18. #18
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    mine will... lol LBS manager is a friend for like 10 years.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoNin9r View Post
    mine will... lol LBS manager is a friend for like 10 years.
    Well get him to cut you a good enough deal to move up to that SE!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by avc8130 View Post
    Well get him to cut you a good enough deal to move up to that SE!
    oh man the deal he cut me on the 3 was enough to make even my wife say yes! haha there is no more room!

    plus then he'd have to order it (I'm an XL, which they refuse to stock) and it would take even LONGER!

  21. #21
    LJJ
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    120mm to 130mm ??

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoNin9r View Post
    mine will... lol LBS manager is a friend for like 10 years.
    Hi, has this been done on your bike, yet ?? If so, was it straightforward ??

    Cheers

  22. #22
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    I seen the shock travel mod on a maxi and hybrid. Took shop owner maybe 5 minutes to do...
    My scapel was increased from 100 to 120 and settle on 110. 120 was feeling weird at dead bottom.
    At 110 I use about 100mm travel.

    The 2015 scapel head angle can be slacken slightly with the top spacer move and a bit more with the added fork travel. I basically went scapel 1) not convinced by 27.5 having ridden 26 for many yrs then moving to 29 and liking their roll over efficiency... Hard to go back to a 26 like wheel.
    2) weight... 3) for the trails were I ride 100mm 29 is plenty. I added the 10mm to the fork to get a bit more slack. Actually head angle wise my scapel is close to a habit but I have not measured compare trail which is a mother big factor.

    So much is depending on ur style of riding and terrain. Coming from a 26 I think u will really enjoy 27.5 habit. 29 takes a bit to get used to but for me I really like it now.

  23. #23
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    1x with proper front ring is awesome. I run 11-36 rear 28 front and don't need anything more. Rode a 30 front 11-42 rear and felt like superman climb anything.

  24. #24
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    [QUOTE=rcko;12302309]I seen the shock travel mod on a maxi and hybrid. Took shop owner maybe 5 minutes to do...
    My scapel was increased from 100 to 120 and settle on 110. 120 was feeling weird at dead bottom.
    At 110 I use about 100mm travel.
    /QUOTE]

    Any idea HOW he did it?

    ac

  25. #25
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    Take out shaft with air piston assbly through top cap. The spacers and bumpers are at the bottom.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcko View Post
    I seen the shock travel mod on a maxi and hybrid. Took shop owner maybe 5 minutes to do...
    My scapel was increased from 100 to 120 and settle on 110.
    I need to know as well. If I had 110mm Lefty and the spacer on the bottom I would be estatic with a 70.2 degree head angle.

  27. #27
    LJJ
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcko View Post
    Take out shaft with air piston assbly through top cap. The spacers and bumpers are at the bottom.
    Thanks. I plan to order my Habit 1 on Monday, and will ask the dealer if they can do this for me, ie 120mm to 130mm on the Lefty.

    Cheers

  28. #28
    LJJ
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    120mm to 130mm

    Quote Originally Posted by LJJ View Post
    Thanks. I plan to order my Habit 1 on Monday, and will ask the dealer if they can do this for me, ie 120mm to 130mm on the Lefty.

    Cheers
    Hi, I ordered my bike a few days ago. My dealer (UK) contacted CSG (the UK Cannondale importer). This is what the dealer came back with:

    "Yes, itís probably going to be possible to convert the fork to 130mm of travel. Iím reluctant to say it defiantly can, despite the enthusiasm of Cannondaleís Tech department for the idea, because it hasnít yet been done and no parts currently exist to do it. Itís believed that the necessary parts are arriving during the first part of next year. The fork will then need to be returned to CSG as special tooling will be required. They could not quote a cost for the parts or the labour at this time."

    Perhaps if the Lefty doesn't have the hydraulic lock-out (the Carbon 1 I ordered does), it's easier. But it ain't gonna happen on mine !!

    LJJ

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