The drawbacks are not many with the front end arguably the best in the biz and a rear end that moves more (up and down) and less (side to side) that anyone thinks it will. Mix in a who’s who of top parts and that leaves the only gripe I have sitting at the stem… I would LOVE for Cannondale to find a way to make this rig easier to swap stems, but a good dealer should frankly do this for you if they fit you a bit off and you need a change in the first month.
I would also like it more if a few other wheel manufacturers had lefty tech hubs. In fact it would be GREAT if Cannondale sold a slick hub set with a couple drilling patterns. It’s not like they lack the design and execution to do it!
The Scalpel Team is all about the way the frame and Fork operate and as you work down through the range, something less than the team is giving you the better part of all of its operational advantage, if not the cream0crop parts list.
29ers are the rage, but for ultimate quickness and control, there isn’t a 29er that behaves like this. Not everyone has the same flowing trails that allow 29 to shine. And while this bike has a slick enough, 100mm front end and good durability that allow it to take more tough things than lots of XC bikes should, make no mistake about it’s field of expertise…
The crazy part is that any day now you’ll see the next Scalpel… And while I am grinning from ear to ear about this one, there are proto forks in the works that will break the 1K barrier and still be more than competitive with stiffness. The frames are getting tweaked and suspension on the whole is getting better…
The biggest threat to the 2009 Scalpel team is very likely the 2010 Scalpel team.
(editors note: Charles Manantan is a guest reviewer from www.pezcyclingnews.com)