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Summary of Reviews
We have read all expert and user reviews on the Cannondale Scalpel SE. In summary, this is what cyclists think.
13 reasons to buy
- Buyers can choose between two carbon-framed builds in different price ranges, the SE 2 and SE Ultimate.
- The SE Ultimate uses Cannondale's lightweight Lefty Ocho fork and HollowGram carbon rims.
- Cannondale's FlexPivot suspension design is streamlined and lighter, swapping the traditional Horst link pivots for carbon fiber 'flex zones.'
- The XC design fits two water bottle cages in every frame size.
- The Scalpel SE's suspension kinematics are optimized for each frame size (Proportional Response design).
- Reviewers like the gearing range provided by the SRAM drivetrain on the SE Ultimate (34t chainring, 10-52t cassette).
- Flip Chip technology allows owners to adjust the bike's geometry for different terrains and riding styles.
- Both Scalpel SE builds have a sensor on the front wheel. This allows riders to track their ride through Cannondale's app.
- The Scalpel SE Ultimate has a frame-integrated storage compartment with a tool kit included.
- Reviewers appreciate the sleek lines and internally routed cables.
- Cannondale offers a five-year frame warranty, which includes the fork.
- The Scalpel SE has a high 303lb max weight limit.
- A new rear wheel release design lets it come off without sliding the axle out.
6 reasons not to buy
- Some experts believe the Scalpel SE's geometry is too conservative, so it isn't as capable as other trail bikes.
- The Lefty Ocho fork used on the SE Ultimate limits wheel hub options for future upgrades.
- Reviewers are disappointed by the dropper seatpost's meager 125mm of travel.
- Multiple testers say the Maxxis Ardent Race front tire lacks grip.
- Experts note that Cannondale doesn't cover the carbon rims under warranty.
- Several reviewers believe the 160mm brake rotors are too small for this type of bike. They are prone to overheating on long, steep descents.
Expert Reviews74/100 based on 3 rated expert reviews
Cannondale Scalpel SE LTD Lefty 120mm Test: Race or Trail? [Spanish]
The Cannondale Scalpel SE LTD is emblematic of the new downcountry concept: a bicycle with the lightness, rigidity, pedaling efficiency, and stability of an XC rocket, but with suspension and components to challenge many pure trail bikes.
Test | Cannondale Scalpel SE LTD 2022 Full Suspension [Dutch]
With its slacker geometry, 120mm of travel, dropper post, and, above all, its phenomenal ‘pop’, the Cannondale Scalpel Carbon SE definitely invites more play than its competition-oriented stablemate with 100mm of travel.