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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:17 am 
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Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 501
Location: Tropical Wales
Hi everyone,

This is my second contribution to this excellent site. My previous bike was a 10kg Santa Cruz Superlight http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=90888&hilit=santa+cruz+superlight and this new project is the evolution :D

My goals for building this bike were similar to the Superlight:
- To be the one bike for all my riding (quick up, confident down, fast yet fun)
- Stiffness, reliability and performance are the priority
- Light overall weight is always nice

This is of course reasonably easy to achieve with deep pockets. The caveat for this build is:
- Do all of the above for less than the cost of a top end XC frame (e.g. Santa Cruz Blur XC, Yeti ASR-C, etc so ~£2500).
- Buying second hand makes this very reasonable to achieve but everything on this build was bought new with a full warranty.

Weighed at 8.62kg with tubes, Rotor cranks, 24mm to BB30 adapter. Expecting 8.39/ 18.49lbs tubeless and with FSA K-Force BB30 cranks replacing the Rotor cranks and adpater:
*Or 7.84kg if you take off the heli-tape, Garmin mounts, put on some 4Ti's and Maxxis 285's as is standard WW procedure :lol:

I hope this goes some way to show that with some sensible choices and a little patience it is very possible to build a super light weight, very fast, very functional bike without having to spend the earth! Easily more room to shed even more weight 8)

Enjoy! :beerchug:


Some early pictures of the initial build :D

Both poor camera phone pics, one at home and one after getting a pinch puncture on a steep, rocky section.


Image

Image



Frame/ Cannondale Scalpel (incl. headset & BB bearings) 1620
Chainset/ Aluminium bolts w/ Rotor heads 6
Absolute Black 35
FSA K-Force Light 470
Chain/ KMC X10 SL Gold 230
Rear mech/ Shimano XTR M980 w/ Alu Bolts & Aerozine Ceramic Pulleys 165
Chain Guide/ MRP 1x w/ bolts 54
Brakes/ Shimano XTR w/ Ti lever bolts 444
12 Ti rotor bolts 14
3 Ti, 1 Steel Countersunk Bolt & steel washers & Post-Post adapter 34
2 Ti Bolts & steel washers 7
Quaxar Iris 160mm rotors 137
Shifters/ Shimano XTR M980 w/ Ti Bolts + Alu adjuster 99
Cassette/ Shimano XTR 11-36 273
Cables/ Shimano 30
Steel Inner 30
Wheels/ American Classic/ Podium MMX/ Revolution 1262
Tyres/ Scwalbe Racing Ralph 2.1 909
Inner tubes/ American Classic Valves 7
Stans sealant 140
Headset/ 1.5 to 1 1/8 Adapter 50
Fibre Lyte Carbon top cap & alu bolt 6
Spacers/ BBB Ultra-Space Carbon 3
Forks/ Magura Durin Race 1353
Starnut 10
Stem/ Syntace F99 105mm w/ Ti bolts 105
Bars/ Mt Zoom Ultralite 25.4, 640mm 98
Bottle Cage/ Smud Carbon 11
Seatpost/ Thomson Masterpiece w/ Ti bolts, Smud lower cradle 180
31.6-30.9 USE adapter 11
Grips/ Ebay Foam 22
Seat QR/ Mt Zoom Ultralite 34.9 6
Wheel QR/ KCNC Ti 43
Saddle/ Selle Italia SLR 135
Pedals/ Shimano XTR w/ Ti spindles 275
Extras/ Tape and Heli-Tape 80
Garmin mount and cadence/ speed sensor 33


Last edited by DanW on Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:17 am 


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:30 am 
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nice bike and great job on the wt


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:19 am 
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Dang those rear stays look snappable

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:07 am 
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Joined: Fri May 02, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 501
Location: Tropical Wales
Don't say that TrekUK :noidea: They are actually more beefy in real life than they look in a photo

The design is really nice to have almost hardtail like simplicity and easy of cleaning but maintain the advantages of a full suspension frame. It is my ideal frame in those respects and could only be bettered in my opinion by a Funk La Ruta :D

Cheers for the comments liketoride :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:39 pm
Posts: 364
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TrekUk wrote:
Dang those rear stays look snappable


They look just fine. They are attached to a rear shock as well. If you think those are thin you might want to take a look at the OPEN mtb from the founders of Cervelo. Those stays are very similar to their R-series bikes and it's a hard tail bike.

Sweet bike :thumbup: I't lighter than my first road bike!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:45 pm 
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Location: Tropical Wales
Cheer plpete :D

It would be nice to be sub 8kg but that involves some serious money especially when being realistic and including the weight of Garmin mounts/ heli-tape/ proper pedals and tyres.

I have some ExtraLite Hypergrips to lose 10g
Seatpost and saddle are next on the hit list but are very expensive (not a fan of using a seatpost adapter and I think I can gain comfort). Plus I lust after a Berk saddle :thumbup: ~140g

Even the lightest Lefty taking everything in to account will not save many g's (around 100g)but cost towards £1000 :shock: I would be better off hunting for a Durin SL or change the cartridge. ~50-100g

Lighter chainguide is possible but flimsy and pricy. ~18g
Maybe an XX cassette to save ~60g
Formula R1 ~90g I have them but can stand the drag and tight tolerance on the pad-rotor gap
Powercordz ~25g
Some other SPD style pedals? ~50g

If I made all those changes I could be down to 7.9kg (7.4kg w/ no Garmin, no tape, 4Ti's and Maxxlite 285's just to show off here) but the cost would be enormous.

Happy as I am :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:21 pm 
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Location: Malmö, Sweden
Have you had the bike on a scale or is it just calculated weight? I'm pretty surprised with the frameweight at 1620 grams - seems to be included rear shock?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:50 pm 
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Hey Mads,

Yes. 8.62kg on a hanging scale with with tubes, Rotor cranks, 24mm to BB30 adapter as in my first post. With a tubeless set up and with FSA K-Force BB30 cranks replacing the Rotor cranks and adapter I expect 8.39kg. There was only a very small discrepancy between the individual component weights and full bike on the hanging scale (10's of g's rather than 100's) as I weighed the individual parts with the required grease/ etc to not be over optimistic and also accounted for easy to miss things like the frame tape. I was pretty surprised to have nearly 100g of frame tape on and I was trying to be quite minimal with it! When I go tubeless and get the FSA cranks on I will weight it again on the hanging scale.

Frame is 1.62kg with headset bearings, BB bearings, derailleur hanger and shock. Only the seatclamp not included as I replaced the original Cannondale one. The shock it a Carbon DT Swiss so no doubt that helps.

It seems reasonably consistent with other frames here on WW. The Cannion frame is 1.33kg minus shock and bearings which is pretty shocking when you think of it like that :shock:
1504g with a carbon DT shock. Unsure of size. Add around 100g for both sets of bearings.
http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=101592&hilit=cannondale+scalpel
1643g, a medium with an RP23, presumably with bearing as these aren't listed elsewhere.
http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=113106&hilit=cannondale+scalpel
1662g, medium with a Rockshox shock. Maybe with headset bearings too? 49g for BB bearings.
http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=83606&hilit=cannondale+scalpel


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:10 pm 
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Dan, glad to see you found a pivotless (and hopefully low maintenance) frame to fit your budget. Nice job on making a really good looking, light and yet functional bike at a great total cost.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 6:57 pm 
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Thanks Dan. For me this frame and build was the attainable version of your Funk. I wouldn't take a lot of convincing to swap, even if yours is slightly too large for me :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:12 pm 
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Hey DanW - thanks for the info. That's a great weight for a fully frame - thought that my Scott Spark RC was light at 1839 grams but there goes that illusion :-)

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:35 pm 
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I had always factored in the frame coming in around 1.7kg to not be too disappointed with the reality but when you take away the headset and BB bearings and realise you have a 1.5kg frame with shock it really is quite amazing.

My only criticism of the bike (it is my first properly light build) is that it does not contain any witchcraft- a big, tough climb is still a big tough climb :D I guess the old quote that "it never gets easier, you just go faster" is applicable for this bike :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:18 am 
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[quote="DanW"a big, tough climb is still a big tough climb :D[/quote]

True :-)

Have you tried other fullies? wondering how a bike wihtout a pivot at the BB feels - I switch between a fully and a hardtail and really notice a big difference in the grip on climbs with loose sand besides the obvious.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:37 am 
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Just as good maintenance I would check the rear stays every now and then for your safety, seems they to snap....quite often to on a quick google search.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:20 am 
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TrekUK, everything can break and I believe every component should get a good regular checking over. Not quite sure what your picture is but it isn't a Scalpel and isn't a pivotless BB either.

Mads, I don't have a lot of experience on other XC race frames but spent reasonable time on an Anthem and the last 2 years on a Santa Cruz Superlight (always hardtail before that- the last was a Commencal VIP Team frame). The Santa Cruz is a particularly plush 100mm travel frame so is perhaps frame for comparison since it is at the plushest, grippiest end of the 100mm spectrum.

My motivation for riding full sus is exactly as you say, grip in the loose and rough climbs and also to take the edge off continuous, long rutted, rough sections where you want to save energy and stay seated pedaling but would get beaten up if you tried this on a hardtail (so where pedaling standing to absorb the bumps is just wasting energy). I am pretty happy descending on a hardtail so strangely it is the off-road flats and climbs where I value full sus. Strange but true!

It is quite hard to find good insightful reviews of the Scalpel frame since most are short term tests of people more used to heavier longer travel bikes so tend to just focus on the weight and say you really need to pick your line carefully. Not especially helpful! I'll do my best to get across my first impression then report back with more time in the saddle. I also believe that the set up of all the other components has a large influence on the overall feel of the bike so it is nice I am using largely the same parts on both frames to make better comparisons. If I jumped on a Factory Cannondale build it is likely my impressions could be different for example.

It is definitely not a hardtail feel with respect to comfort and grip. It is definitely far more comparable to a plush 100mm frame like the Superlight comfort-wise. I have the shock set with 25% sag (I believe most Scalpel owners pump up their shocks too hard) and would be hard pushed to tell the difference between the Superlight and Scalpel for comfort over the small to medium hits, for example those long, extended rough sections where you really want to be pedaling seated as much as possible to conserve energy. If I flick on the shock lockout the difference in these sections is profound. Before trying the frame I was prepared for quite a harsh seated pedaling (hardtail) experience but it really isn't the case. Basically, comfortable and grippy seated in the small to medium hits- much like a plush 100mm frame.

Where you gain over the standard 100mm XC frame (even over the Anthem in my opinion) is in climbing and pedaling out of the saddle. Standing up and riding hard off-road is pretty damn amazing on the Scalpel and I think it is this that leads most reviewers to describe it as a "fast" frame. When you are off road and need the grip of full sus climbing out of the saddle it is remarkable, better than a hardtail I would say for the extra grip. Also, noticeably better than the Superlight and Anthem in terms of a more direct and fast (non bobbing) feel. Once you get on to a steep road climb without the need for the suspension finding the extra grip for you, you realise you are not riding a hardtail. It isn't especially bobby, it is just that it is full sus and you would notice the difference to a hardtail. But then that is what the rear lockout is for. I never lock out my forks though and will probably continue not to, just to help the locked out rear end sit a bit higher than the front of the bike on the steep climbs. Summary again, amazing ride out of the saddle with grip and speed off road at greater efficiency than most XC full sus frames but not magically a hardtail on a steep road climb. I should also say, that when I say a "steep road climb" I am talking 20% gradient, gaining 500-600ft on road so not exactly the home terrain of a full sus!

The trade off by comparison to a plush 100mm frame is descending on the medium to large hits. Small to medium, descending is pretty equal but on those bigger hits the Scalpel does not sink in to its travel like say the Superlight would. I guess the end stroke damping is quite firm on the Scalpel meaning you don't get much more out of the shock on the big stuff. It is still much better descending big hits than a hardtail but if you really like to compress the rear in to the depressions in the trail and use the suspension to pop out and float over stuff then you will get a shock. It requires a bit more body language and effort to ride like that whereas on the Superlight it was so plush and playful I could mess around more on the scary descents and be confident everything would be fine. Basically, not comparable to the plushest of 100mm XC frames on the big hits, although a bit more attention and body language with get you through anything. The frame is so stiff you want to steamroller everything but have to resist the temptation (or at least be paying attention properly!).

That is a bit of a ramble but is what springs to mind as first impressions. Hope that helps :beerchug:


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Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:20 am 


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