short travel full-sus xc bike – salsa spearfish or cannondale scalpel?

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  • short travel full-sus xc bike – salsa spearfish or cannondale scalpel?
  • alanf
    Member

    Anthems are great short travel xc frames and worth investigating as an option.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Slightly odd pair to hone in on, the Scalpel is far more racey (than most XC FS bikes), worth testing one.

    Premier Icon teamslug
    Subscriber

    I had a scalpel and as njee20 says it is a proper race geometry. I ended up putting a 90mm custom made stem on to make it a bit more trail friendly. Really fast riding bike and lefty fork is the best tracking xc fork i have ridden…cant comment on 29er as I’m stuck in the dark ages on my 26ers….

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    they’re slightly different beasts aren’t they?

    if you’ve got a beard, get the spearfish.

    if you shave your legs, get the scalpel.

    campfreddie
    Member

    i quite like quirky bikes that tug at the heart strings, hence the salsa or cannondale.

    i don’t mind racey geometry at all, as my road bike is a giant tcr advanced which has quite aggressive geometry.

    the bike needs to be noticeably different from the sb-66 to make it worth having.

    i know that what i should really do is sell the sb-66 too and then buy a canyon spectral and pocket the difference, but i have really fallen in love with the yeti and couldn’t bear to part with it (unusual for me as i change my bikes more often than my underpants)

    i guess the question is… the scalpel is a super-quick xc racer, but do the new batch of 29er match that performance based upon their wheelsize?

    campfreddie
    Member

    oh, and anthems are excellent bikes, but a little too mainstream for my tastes (even though they are undoubtedly better than the more quirky options)…

    Tom Zesty
    Member

    I saw a Spearfish at Swinley yesterday and I thought it looked lovely (although too xc for my tastes – it looked fast and the rider was in full Lycra!). On an unrelated note, is your name taken from the original Italian Job?

    campfreddie
    Member

    i want a bike for xc work only. no need for anything more substantial as i have an all-singing, all-dancing yeti sb-66 for my welsh valley and alpine adventures.

    i want full sus and the budget is circa £1,500.

    so far i have narrowed it down to a new 2013 salsa spearfish 3 from triton (£1,150) or a new 2012 cannondale scalpel 3 carbon 26er (£1,600)

    i really fancy having a lefty fork as i’ve never had one before and the cannondale spec is pretty good (especially the full carbon frame), BUT it is a 26er as opposed to the Salsa 29er.

    i’ve just sold my Salsa Mamasita 29er which was an absolute revelation (my first ever 29er) in terms of traction, comfort and speed. i’m just not nimble enough to take advantage of what it can offer, hence wanting a bit of bounce at both ends.

    my head is shouting spearfish, but my heart is shouting scalpel.

    thoughts?
    other options?

    cyclical
    Member

    Interesting question as I had an old mk1 scalpel that I used for pretty flat xc runs from the house and when it died I replaced it with a spearfish which I bought unseen. The spearfish was a fantastically built bike but completely not what I was looking for – far too much weight for such little travel and the geometry didn’t suit me (I should have done my homework before I bought it !) – and it was very quickly sold and replaced by a new carbon scalpel 3 from Pauls cycles for £1600.

    As the guys say above it is very light and racey and a bit sketchy over anything rough (chunkier tyres and a shorter stem would help that but then you are getting away from the ethos of the bike) and with even slicker and skinnier tyres than the nobby nics it comes with would be the prefect commuter mtb.

    Buy one before Paul runs out, they are a steal at £1600 !!

    campfreddie
    Member

    hi tom,

    re. my name… yes it is… although, it is actually named after a yacht which was named after the character in the italian job.

    i am in real life neither camp (some might argue though) nor called freddie (although i have a sausage dog called freddie)

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    the bike needs to be noticeably different from the sb-66 to make it worth having.

    Either will tick that box, the Scalpel is undeniable further removed though, as I said, it’s about the raciest of all racey FS bikes!

    Not quite sure what makes a Giant too mainstream, but a Cannondale ok? I get the Salsa thing.

    If you like the SB-66, what about an ASR? Do Yeti even still do one…?

    I saw a Spearfish at Swinley yesterday and I thought it looked lovely (although too xc for my tastes – it looked fast and the rider was in full Lycra!)

    Probably Gee of this parish, I imainge he’ll be along shortly…

    campfreddie
    Member

    i think it’s going to be the scalpel… i’ve learnt from the yeti that if i ignore what i really really want and buy something else, i just end up selling it on.

    i’ve always lusted after the quirkiness of the lefty fork and as i want a bit of rear-end bounce, the f29 is ruled out. i don;t need much travel (as i have the yeti), so the rz120 is also out… this leaves the scalpel.

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