I honestly wish they would show off the carbon a bit more, and a fellow weight weenie in Italy did enough work to give you a more clear view of what the co-mould frame looks like (along with modifying almost everything else on the bike)
The weight and stiffness that come with this package are a noticeable factor. Coupled with the SI cranks (and yeah, the top line wheels and race rubber) and it provides for an exceptionally quick platform that transfers power that is, in a word, “direct”. In fact, given the exceptionally light front end (and total package really), the geometry had me at times wishing I had chosen to be fit a little more forward and lower at the bars. Pulling the front end off the ground is easier on this bike than any other bike I have ever owned.
The frame here is stiff… Frankly I wish I could have this bike with a couple different forks just to do a better job of narrowing down exactly what’s what with regard to directional control. That said, I would not at all be surprised to find that the frame fork and rear end are each (stand alone) stiffer than competitive bikes in class.
Put the stiffness of these segments all together and unlike most things bicycle, “scalpel is a pretty damn appropriate name.
There’s so much feedback and so little slop anywhere that I’ve not been on anything else that handles like this bike. In fact I’ve been on dual suspension bikes with front and rear locked out that don’t react as quickly as the Scalpel does with its suspension fully active.
Not sure what else to say except that XC bikes in general are getting to be genuinely exceptional. There are a lot of great choices out there and lots of places to spend BIG money.
For me, after testing top line bikes from a few other companies, I’m not sure that there are more than a couple other bikes that rival the Scalpel Team. At the best part of $7000 it’s not going to be for everyone. It doesn’t look like an over the top amount of money when you look at the parts list and frame and fork spec, but this is a bike that simply should not be judged by it’s off the charts parts list.