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  1. #1
    Victim of Circumstance mightypudge's Avatar
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    Questions about riding style and components.

    Sorry for the long post, but I have a lot to say.

    A few months ago the bug hit and I got into mountain biking. Originally it was all about getting into shape, having fun, enjoying the scenery, and possibly meeting new people with similar interests.

    The Scalpel 800 is my pride and joy. The bike is simply amazing, and I feel that once I increase my skills on this bike I will be unstoppable. However, I feel I may have selected some components which are not complimenting my riding style or skill level.

    I'm only out for fun and excercise. I don't race, and I don't do major drops or jumps, although I do hit the occasional "step" and that is about a 6-12" jump. The trails I ride are easy to moderate techincally speaking, with the usual obstacles; rocks, roots, etc.

    Let's start with the pedals. I really like having the clipless pedals (I went with Time ATACS) for better power transfer, and it's nice to stay in the pedals during bumps, jumps, and climbs. But I now fall ONCE on every ride. Usually it's when I hit a bad technical area and the bike stops suddenly on an obstacle. I'm starting to think I should have gone with a freeride-style platform until I mastered the trackstand.

    Secondly, the fork. I didn't choose the fork, it's the one that came on the bike. Because the bike is a XC racing bike, the fork is relatively stiff and with short travel (about 80-100 mm). Sometimes I wish I had a fork that was smoother and with more travel, and something with adjustable damping. I've test ridden some bikes in our shop, and I like the feel of the forks on the freeride/dirt jumper bikes.

    Finally, let's talk about the bike itself. The Scalpel is a XC bike. It's geometry is different from a FR/DJ bike. The wheelbase is longer, the handlebars are lower, and while the bike is light it is also a slightly stiffer feel. The rear travel is only like two inches, but I know plenty of people that swear by their hardtails for the type of riding I do.

    What I'd really like to do is swap out some of the components on the Scalpel to make it feel a little more like a FR/DJ bike. Maybe put some platforms pedals on there, swap out the fork and stem, etc. Or does it make more sense to shop for a quality hardtail with the geometry and components I want?
    Andrew

    "The Scalpel climbs like a monkey on crack." - BAC5.2

    '03 Cannondale Scalpel 800
    '05 Giant Cypress SX

  2. #2
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    I'd keep the Scalpel as it is and get a second bike. Why? You're going to ruin the design intention of that bike. It's intended as a XC race bike. I'd keep if for those days you want to ride long distances at a fast pace.

    Buy yourself a DJ/FR hardtail with a long travel fork and platforms for the days you want to "Play around" when you want to practice your jumps...etc.

    You can never have too many bikes and one is NEVER enough!

    After you DJ/FR hardtail, you need an unsuspended single speed, then a road bike for training, a beater for running errands and a tandemn to ride with your wife/s.o.

    L8r
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by a2psyklnut
    After you DJ/FR hardtail, you need an unsuspended single speed, then a road bike for training, a beater for running errands and a tandemn to ride with your wife/s.o.

    L8r
    Sound advice, a2.
    1 Chainring; $35, 1 Cog; $25, 14 Gears; Priceless.

  4. #4
    Victim of Circumstance mightypudge's Avatar
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    Originally posted by a2psyklnut
    I'd keep the Scalpel as it is and get a second bike. Why? You're going to ruin the design intention of that bike. It's intended as a XC race bike. I'd keep if for those days you want to ride long distances at a fast pace.
    Who has time for long rides?

    Originally posted by a2psyklnut
    Buy yourself a DJ/FR hardtail with a long travel fork and platforms for the days you want to "Play around" when you want to practice your jumps...etc.
    I think what I may do is sell my Trek 4900 and invest in a high-quality Freeride.
    Andrew

    "The Scalpel climbs like a monkey on crack." - BAC5.2

    '03 Cannondale Scalpel 800
    '05 Giant Cypress SX

  5. #5
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    essentially whay a2phyklnut said is spot on.
    get a 2nd bike for the more FR type of stuff you want to do.
    Keep the Scalpel as intended.
    An ounce off the wheels is worth 3 off the frame

  6. #6
    Victim of Circumstance mightypudge's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TimB
    Keep the Scalpel as intended.
    And what exactly is that? I am getting a lot of different opinions on what the Scalpel was intended for. The trails I usually ride are not *that* techincal, but there are some rocks, roots, drops, and other obstacles.
    Andrew

    "The Scalpel climbs like a monkey on crack." - BAC5.2

    '03 Cannondale Scalpel 800
    '05 Giant Cypress SX

  7. #7
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    It's a lightweight XC race bike. No big jumps, no big drops, going fast uphill and down. Longer rides. Out of saddle sprints, climbs.

    Basically what 90% of riders ride. When I mean no big drops I'm talking drops less than 2'. Jumps would be the occasional whoop-de-do and small dirt mound where you get a little air.

    Roots, Yeah, absolutely, that's what the 2" of travel helps with.

    L8R
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  8. #8
    Victim of Circumstance mightypudge's Avatar
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    Cool, I'm on track.

    I had a long discussion with a friend of mine that races, and he told me the Scalpel should be fine for the trails I ride.
    Andrew

    "The Scalpel climbs like a monkey on crack." - BAC5.2

    '03 Cannondale Scalpel 800
    '05 Giant Cypress SX

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