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  1. #1
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    Scalpel vs. Flash...which do you prefer?

    I'm still trying to decide which bike to purchase for 2013. Lately, I've been considering both the Carbon 1 Scapel and Carbon 1 F29...price wise they are basically identical.

    So my question to the group is which do you prefer? I've been away from riding for a while...and technology has definitely changed since my last purchase. So let me hear your thoughts on pros and cons of each model. Which model is better for certain conditions, etc.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Happy Trails
    Reputation: Scott In MD's Avatar
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    My heart says F29, but the brain says Scalpel. Smooth is fast. Full suspension will be faster, and the weight penalty is not relevant anymore, at least for my riding. I ordered a Scalpel ... pics in a few weeks.

  3. #3
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    dardeca! That's a nice problem to have. ; )

  4. #4
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    Go for scalpel, your back will be happy

  5. #5
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    My only concern with a scapel is whether it will feel soft when I get on it hard and really try and accelerate. Thoughts?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dardeca View Post
    My only concern with a scapel is whether it will feel soft when I get on it hard and really try and accelerate. Thoughts?
    The 2013 Scalpel 29er 1 comes with a X-Loc hydraulic remote lockout (same type of lockout as the Lefty XLR) for the rear shock so it should take care of that! The frame and the rear end is laterally very stiff so when locked, it should be quite explosive.

    Personally, I'd probably go for the F29 carbon 1... but I like light, simple bikes...

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  7. #7
    Just Ride
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    I'm torn between the Scalpel 3 and F29 3 carbon.

    For me it's weight vs, speed and comfort. I'm really leaning toward the scalpel even though I know it'll be much heavier! I can't afford and refuse to spend 5k on something without a motor.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  8. #8
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    So why is everyone saying a Scalpel is faster than the Flash? I don't get that.

  9. #9
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    It's hard for the rear wheel to propel you forward .... When its not in contact with the ground. That's why....

    ... Is what I think.

  10. #10
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    I have made this transition recently, as well as a few other team mates. The Scalpel is definitely faster on technical terrain and climbs and its the traction that makes it faster with a minimal weight penalty. The XLoc on the Scalpel 1 is not the firm lock out like the Lefty, but does provide a good pedaling platform, but honestly, with the platform engaged, there is minimal wasted travel when standing or climbing. As with any full suspension design, you can hammer on the pedals and make it bob, but in real situations its incredibly efficient.

  11. #11
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    Agree with trauma-md. Went from Flash 29er Alloy to Carbon Scalpel 1. Scalpel is way faster on the rooty, twisty single track here in NC.

  12. #12
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    I just recently went from a Flash carbon 29er to the Scalpel 29er 2. My Flash was 18lbs, 6oz, and the Scalpel is 24lbs and change. Despite the weight difference, I feel faster on the Scalpel most of the time. I do notice the weight difference on climbs, as expected. I liked my Flash, but I am really happy with my decision. If I had the money to keep both, I would be choosing the Scalpel more often than not. Probably depends on your trails and ability. The Flash just wore me out a lot sooner!

  13. #13
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    One is not faster than the other, at least not everywhere. It depends where you ride, obviously rougher trails will tend to be faster on the Scalpel... smoother ones will be faster on the Flash. But there are lots of things that can change this.

    One of the biggest difference that is often not mentionned is that the rider makes a big difference too. Not everyone has the same riding style and abilities. A rider who's very good technically, smooth, will probably be faster on a Flash in most XC trails, explaining why most World Cup levels riders are on hardtails. A strong rider that tends to just plow through the trails without being as good (or willing) to pick the best lines and that doesn't 'hover' over roots and rocks will be faster on a Scalpel...

    And usually, lighter riders are not helped as much by the suspension but penalized more by the bike weight compared to heavier riders.

    On longer rides, getting beat up by the ground wears you down but so does carrying the extra weight of a FS bike on the climbs and accelerating it in twisty trails.

    What I'm saying is, one bike is not the best for everyone everywhere.

    DAN.GEROUS.NET : MOUNTAIN BIKING : CYCLOCROSS : ROAD :

  14. #14
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    I struggled with the same question recently. only I was torn between the scalpel carbon 2 and the F29 carbon 2. I had to drive 2 states over to find one I could put my hands on. I myself was leaning towards the F29, however everyone at the shop including staff, customers and my wife were telling me I should get the Scalpel. I'm 6,4 250lbs so I think that had a lot to do with why everyone was pushing me to the scalpel. I pick it up next week I'm so excited. I have not been on a bike for 15 years prior to yesterday and I'm not a do it yourself repair person so all the extra parts intimidate me, but its a huge investment so I will learn. That is also why I joined this forum today to chat with you guys.

  15. #15
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    I had both, but when I realised the only difference between the two of them was, I was getting beaten up on the Flash, I sold it to buy a Jekyll !

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathanbal View Post
    I had both, but when I realised the only difference between the two of them was, I was getting beaten up on the Flash, I sold it to buy a Jekyll !
    I should have probably brought a Scalpel if I'm 100% honest, as I tend to plow through things and I'm not overly smooth. However, the Flash forces me to improve as it's very un-forgiving. The more I ride it the smoother I get. It did hurt my back for a bit, but once I got it all setup properly, it was fine.

    Man up, and buy a Flash.
    and no, I am not missing the other half of my fork....

  17. #17
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    What do you guys mean by smooth trail? Smooth like hardpack clay with no rocks? Indoor MTB park?

  18. #18
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    I ride with guys on full suspension bikes like the Epic and Scalpel on mainly cross country trails and fire road that plain pull away on climbs but I have passed or wanted to past on some down hills on my flash. It really comes down to what you want because I don't think the bike makes the rider. The rider makes the bike.

  19. #19
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    Yes...the rider makes the bike.

    I demoed both in the spring of this year and absolutely loved the Scalpel but ended up with the carbon flash 29er 1 .I was first amazed at the weight,mine is just over 20lbs.

    I put more emphasis on climbing then any other aspect of mtnbiking and to me nothing I've ridden climbed quite like the flash.I also prefer the simplicity of a HT.

    If your looking for an efficient FS bike then look no further then the Scalpel.imo

  20. #20
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    Scalpel

    I rode my hardtail last night and I appreciate how light and simple it is but I love my Scalpel!

  21. #21
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    i've had both i had a 2010 scalpel 2 and now i have a carbon flash, i prefer the flash but i use it as a long distance training bike, i do 50 ish mile rides of mixed road, fire road, canal path and smooth trails on it, i have a jekyll for bigger terrain and now a chase built for 4x type stuff and playing about on, the flash is amazingly responsive and effortless, like a road bike on the road but it can hit the trails when needed, if i only had one bike it would be the flash

  22. #22
    Just Ride
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    What I'm seeing in this thread is it's really just a matter of personal preference between HT and FS.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  23. #23
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    I had the same problem, I got both. I think if you've been off the bike for a while the best way to go is the Scalpel. I can tell you one thing, the only thing that is going to make you fast, is you. If you were to ever decide the full suspension bugs you, it's always easier and cheaper to buy hardtail frames on and the parts will all transfer over.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumshcawheely View Post
    I had the same problem, I got both. I think if you've been off the bike for a while the best way to go is the Scalpel. I can tell you one thing, the only thing that is going to make you fast, is you. If you were to ever decide the full suspension bugs you, it's always easier and cheaper to buy hardtail frames on and the parts will all transfer over.

    good point there about swapping the components onto another frame, if you had a scalpel and you found yourself using the lockout lots or wishing for the flash instead, you'll get more money back on ebay or forum sale etc for the scalpel frame than you would for a flash frame, then get the flash frame or whatever you fancy with money from the sale

  25. #25
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    I raced Tempe Urban Dirt Tri earlier today on a course that is perfect for hardtails ... and I am glad I was on my 29 pound aluminum full suspension Titus RX29r. It was a short bike course (13 miles) and included about 3 miles of flats. I would guess it was 50/50 hardtails versus full suspension ... and lots of hard tails . up front (Lance won this race last year on a hardtail carbon Trek Superfly) ... but I'm convinced that I'm a faster racer on full suspension because of my lack of technical expertise. I'm not a bad rider, I finished 39th of 178 men and cleaned the entire bike course alongside some of the youngbloods hoofing it up the hill... but I don't think my technical skills are good enough to offset the forgiveness of bombing through the rocks on full squish 29r. And fresh legs mean faster run.

    I have a Cannondale Scalpel on order ... it'll be here in a few weeks and I am super-stoked. The little devil on my shoulder says "get an F29er you pu$$y".... but the little angel says "smooth is fast".

  26. #26
    Just Ride
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    ^and fast is fun!
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

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