Fumic's Scalpel, Last's Lynx and RockShox's New Lockout Actuator - Stellenbosch World Cup XCO

Mar 12, 2018
by Paul Aston  


Four-time Olympian, Manuel Fumic, from Germany has made a number of changes to his Scalpel Si from last year. The major difference is a switch from SRAM products to Shimano. His carbon framed bike being lathered with XTR, Stages, Enve and Schwalbe tires.


Fumic uses a Stage's power meter and a heads-up display on the stem to keep his watts in check. His Lefty even has a carbon steerer with the preload/top cap removed for maximum lightness.

One of the best PB comments I ever read said "two crowns beat two legs any day of the week"

The handlebar is kept clean with a combined brake lever and shifter mount.
Finned brakepads provide some extra cooling in the African heat.
Shimano IceTec brake pads provide some extra cooling in the African heat.

Enve s new M60 wheels.
Fumic uses Enve M50 rims and their 'Protective Rim Strip' to save the Schwalbe Thunder Burt being pinched between a rock and a carbon place.

XTR race brakes.
ESI foam grips are one of the XC racers favorite, Manuel uses them in conjunction with an Enve bar. He also uses the under-bar hydraulic lockout lever to control the Lefty.

That's a big chainring, probably a 38t for laying down the braaappp-horsepower.
No Di2 here, Fumic keeps it old-school with a cable actuated derailleur.

A carbon rocker on the Scalpel-SI.
A carbon rocker on the Scalpel-SI.







Spotted on various SRAM athletes bikes this week was an all-new grip shift style lockout lever. The clean design uses a rotating grip that the rider turns back towards themselves to actuate. To disengage, the pilot simply needs to press the 'RockShox' logo'd button to release the lockout. Simple and clean, I like it, hopefully, this will become available for all Deluxe shocks soon.


Twist lock charger remote for running a reverb
The slim and clean design allows riders to easily mount the lockout lever and a Reverb 1X under-bar remote.
custom rocker on the Top Fuel
This Trek Top Fuel is running a new rocker link to accommodate the metric-sized Trunnion mounted shock and lockout.






Annie Last had her breakout year in 2017 taking her first World Cup win in Lenzerheide. She has moved on from the OMX/Silverback team to ride for BH/SRSuntour. Unfortunately, she couldn't repeat last years win in the opening round of 2018, but the 28-year-old finished a respectable 12th, not bad considering nearly every aspect of her bike is different to last year.

At 168cm tall, Annie rides a medium sized Lynx Race carbon frame. She spent some time testing with SR Suntour during the UK winter in snowy conditions, the exact opposite of Stellenbosch, yet she feels they have already found a comfortable and predictable setup that is still efficient when putting down the power. 75psi front and 150psi in the rear suspension, with a chunky dual lockout lever on the handlebar.

Magura's brakes are also new to Annie who chooses the MT8 Raceline's with Storm SL.2 160mmm rotors. 'Dat lock out lever though...

Mavic wheels and Michelin tires are an all-new combination too: a Jet 2.1" rear and 2.25" front with 1.2 bar pressure. Annie says one of the toughest changes from a British team to a French team was swapping between psi to bar in rider-to-mechanic chats.

A Prologo Dimension saddle from Italy is the perch of choice.
Annie runs a SRAM Eagle derailleur and cassette, a KMC chain, Rotor cranks with a round ring and Time pedals for relaying the power.


MENTIONS: @Cannondale



109 Comments

  • + 167
 That's it, I'm removing my top cap to save weight. KOM here I come.
  • + 33
 The Lefty doesnt need a top cap.
  • + 13
 @rocsipeti: Yup. I've never run a top cap on any Cannondale's I've owned. The Lefty sans top cap is a convenient trash storage place!
  • + 2
 @rocsipeti: sure, but all a conventional fork needs a top cap for is headset compression, if you crank on your topcap bolt and then overtighten your stem bolts, you should be able to remove your topcap and be A for away!
  • + 4
 @PAmtbiker: Same here. And that storage place had a matching toolset before anybody else.
  • + 12
 @GumptionZA: why would it require overtightening the stem bolts?
  • + 0
 @jflb: your stem is not giving the headset compression not your topcap so you cant have it sliding up (but dont worry about it i was trying to make a joke)
  • - 66
flag Keystone08 (Mar 12, 2018 at 15:31) (Below Threshold)
 Wow gayest comment ever by far. Lol
  • + 24
 @Keystone08:

"I could totally squeeze my sausage in there"

There, now it's number 2.
  • + 1
 @GumptionZA: Why overtighten your stem bolts?
  • + 0
 “Some person” designing bikes told me lately that top caps are bollocks and if we had real big bolts in the stems they would suffice since some BMX don’t have one. What do you guys think? Sounds like a horse shit...
  • + 1
 Could you just put the top cap on to get the right headset compression. Then tighten the stem bolts, then remove the top cap? In theory it should work? not sure why you would do it, but you could. The star nut weighs far more than the top cap, so not for real weight savings
  • + 11
 @Whistlerbike:
If you are a real weight weenie you also knock out the star nut after you tightened the stem bolts...
  • + 3
 @GumptionZA: @Whistlerbike: Think of all the times you've twisted your bars after crashing or clipping a tree. If you take out the top cap your bike will ride like shit after a twist until you get home to re-compress the headset with your top-cap
  • + 1
 @Whistlerbike: You wouldn't use a star nut, but a removable compression adjuster

@YoungGun13: This is racing so if you are having to readjust the headset compression after a crash your race is already over
  • + 1
 @BeardlessMarinRider: In races you can usually just reef on it until it looks straight-ish, without the top cap the bars would twist up and not just rotate.
  • + 3
 @Whistlerbike: The OneUp EDC headset compression system with the threaded steerer and aluminum topcap-ring is one of the lightest setups I've seen. With the actual tool removed of-course.
  • + 0
 Now we all sound like people from “white people” memes.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: you need the top cap for the compression bolt to work. There is no way to eliminate top caps, but as stated you can always remove them after your adjustment is made.
  • + 79
 Appreciating the solid XCO coverage here. Definitely some interesting tech and pretty amazing races on both the men's and women's side.
  • + 21
 "One of the best PB comments I ever read said "two crowns beat two legs any day of the week"" For XC applications under 120mm this may be the case, however the Lefty seems to suck on longer travel bikes. *former 4 time Lefty owner
  • + 12
 Definitly, there's a good reason why Mark Weir and Jey Clementz aren't running a lefty. The suppleness, linear feel and overall chassis stiffness make it an excellent XC fork though.
  • + 19
 Dent the lefty technically have two half crowns?
  • - 10
flag Boardlife69 (Mar 12, 2018 at 9:07) (Below Threshold)
 I've been waiting decads for that thing to DIE ALREADY! Never owned one, and I could be wrong but my judgemental opinion based on no facts whatsoever about how it looks make me want kill it with FIRE! DIE LEFTY DIE!!!!
  • + 38
 Sorry about that, must be Monday.
  • + 5
 @Boardlife69: My bro has one and has had nothing but good things to say about it. He's not once had any mechanical issues either.
  • + 4
 The issue with the lefty has always been the dampening, not the engineering of the chassis. The single-sided, inverted, dual crown design is mechanically superior than a regular fork, but the execution isn't the best on the lefty.

First, the most important part of a shock for buttery smoothness is manufacturing tolerances and quality of the bushings. I've read that the Lefty doesn't have the best unit-to-unit manufacturing consistency, as some leftys feel awsome and others like thick peanut butter.

Secondly, the dampening has always been sub-par on the lefty. It currently uses a pass-through shaft like the new, stupid trek rear shocks. This makes external compression adjustment extremely difficult, so you're stuck with the factory settings which is probably an XC tune for XC rider weights. Also, with the pass-through rod design, the system isn't pressurized, so unless its bled properly and designed very well you can get cavitation in the oil easily. This is why the longer-travel Trek bikes still have a small piggyback reservoir, which also helps with temperature changes affecting the oil volume. The Lefty has neither of these, but on XC with less travel (and therefore less oil volume) its not as much of an issue.
  • + 5
 Lefty with a proper damper would be perfect if you can handle the looks (which I couldn't).
  • + 1
 @WhatToBuy: They're like mirrors. Look great and can be flattering in the right light, but you break it and you'll never be able to put it back together. Either he leaves it hanging in the garage all the time, or he hasn't had it serviced ever.
  • + 20
 @hamncheez: dampening is what you do with towels and thunderstorms. damping is what you do with a forkses
  • + 0
 @raditude: lol ok...

He rides multiple times a week in the summer and has had it serviced ONCE since he bought the bike in 2007. The service was actually last summer because it started leaking oil out the top. Yes, I know he's not very good about maintenance, but I'll call BS on them not holding up to riding...that's ten years of summers.
  • + 3
 @maximumradness: Thank you. One of my pet peeves is the mispronunciation of that word. It'd be like saying, "I adjusted my compressioning setting".
  • + 2
 @maximumradness: Thanks for the correction. I'm disabling the autocorrect on my mac now
  • + 1
 @raditude: Good point- one of the reasons why leftys don't perform well is that they are never serviced
  • + 4
 @Barkit: Clementz is on rockshox because BLACKBOX...
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: Have you tried the various SuperMax Leftys? I've got a 1.0 carbon on my Scalpel. I adore the thing, I think it's the best XC suspension available in terms of weight/stiffness/sensitivity. Damping is the only weak point to me. I've been mulling a SuperMax for a 29er trail build on the assumption things improved in the last few years. The alternative is something like a Fox 34, Pike, Ribbon, or what have you. The first two haven't blown me away on test rides. Noticeably inferior sensitivity. Do you think they're still better than the SuperMax?
  • + 1
 @alexdi: I demoed a Jekyl with the 160 supermax carbon at a bike park, and I took it down both DH race trails and some flow trails with large tables and berms.

The demo bike was broken in, so the Lefty was the smoothest front shock off the top that I've ever felt, even more so than my lefty I had on my prophet a decade ago. However, thats where the good news ends. The lefty only has external rebound and air preload, so there isn't much in the way of tuning options. I had very bad brake dive, the worst I've felt on a shock newer than 2010. I kept messing with the air pressure, and to keep it from diving it took way too much, to the point that there was no sag when I was on the bike. It also felt over-damped on short, fast hits like braking bumps. Mike Levy said the longer travel leftys are like "peanut butter", and I agree. The high speed compression feels way over damped, even though its extremely smooth, like trying to stir peanut butter. However, once you pushed past the top inch or two of peanut butter travel, it would just blow threw the rest of what was available (hence the brake dive). My hands were more sore from the brake bumps on the lefty 160 than my personal pike with the same travel, despite being smoother off the top (my bike is also a 29er vs the Jekyll 650b, so maybe not the most direct of comparison).

The Lefty is supposed to be the 'stiffest' shock out there, but mine was paired with some very noodley, ultra-light XC rims and bars, so the front end tucked and wobbled all over the place, but thats not the fault of the Lefty. The flimsy components kept me from being able to evaluate the performance of the lefty chassis. I'm also 200 pounds, so many bike parts feel noodley to me.

I'm looking up to build an aggressive hard tail (like the Kona Honzo), and I'll need a shock around 120mm travel. I'm actually thinking about giving the lefty supermax a try despite my previous experience. I demoed the new Scalpel with a lefty, and it felt really good at 110mm of travel. I'm guessing that with the shorter travel its like having bottomless tokens so the air ramps up more, and lets face it with less travel less precise damping is needed. My only worry is that the leftys have more offset than a regular fork. This worked really well on the Jekyll (last gen) and Scalpel, both of which have conservative HTA but felt slacker and more aggressive than the numbers would suggest. I don't know if higher offsets would pair well on a frame not tailor-made for it.

My final caveat is that I'm just an average rider, so who knows if my opinions are worth anything.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: It's a useful opinion to me, thanks. I recently demoed a Specialized Camber at 120mm travel. Paired with 2.3" tires, it wasn't noticeably more capable than my 100mm Lefty with a 3.0 up front, so I'm thinking I'll have to be at ~140mm to see an appreciable difference. That may be pushing the Lefty's performance range. I can tell it's going to be really, really hard to give up that small-bump response, though. (If my Lefty has high-speed compression damping, it's too subtle to have a negative impact.)

For your new build, calculate the trail of the geometries you're comparing. That's the most direct indicator for how they'll steer. More offset means less trail, less stability, and more agility. There's a wide range of acceptable numbers. The 2016 Scalpel with the Lefty 2.0 had trail of around 73mm. That's not far from a road bike. For comparison: Fuel EX (97mm), Stumpjumper (107mm), Jeffsy (108mm), Whyte S150 (121mm). I'm partial to nimble bikes, so I try to aim for 105mm or less.
  • + 17
 The twist-grip shock lockout is awesome, intuitive, and a serious improvement over clunky triggers or push-pull buttons, and it probably weighs less too.
  • + 1
 Really? Back in the days i use to have a gripshift bike and since then I absolutly hate anything rotating in the grip area. So probably it is not for evrybody. And btw. there are some mini trigers that imo can't be beaten by this in weight (ie the dt swiss mini lever).
  • + 5
 @IluvRIDING: GripShift for gear changes is absolute shit. However, I can see a useful application for this or dropper post actuation. Assuming it is lighter than the simple levers that are being used today, that is.
  • + 0
 Grip shift dropper post lever. Rotate further for the amount of rise/drop. I don't see that working, though. It'd just be funny.
  • + 0
 @Poulsbojohnny: AFIK it is much heavier. According to SRAM website gripshift is 140g (includes clamps, cable and JAWS™ lock-on grip). And I have just weighed the DT Swiss Lightweight Remote Lever at 12g (sans cable). Even if you add the wight of one grip and cable it will not get to 140g.
  • + 3
 @Ron-C: You could probably remove the lockout button part so that it returns to normal. That would then make for a hydraulic reverb gripshift remote.
  • + 1
 @IluvRIDING: Is there room for the DT Swiss Remote Lever and a dropout remote lever on the same side though? I think that's the real benefit.
  • + 12
 Headset top cap removed for lightness.... that's 6 grams weight savings. Are you kidding me? How about switching your steel rotor bolts to titanium, that's 14 grams savings, or take a dremel to your derailleur parallelogram, that's 20+ grams savings. As a WW I sympathize, but the dust that accumulates inside that steerer tube is going to weigh more than 6g.
  • + 3
 Shouldn't that be more if you also include bolt and starnut?
  • + 3
 Steel Finned brakes pads vs non finned ti backed pads over 35gr savings.
  • + 62
 Pre race dump leads to 39.762 grams of weight savings and that's on a pasta diet. Try Mexican and it's like 1.39kg. And these are exact numbers.
  • + 12
 Guys, the Lefty doesnt need that top cap. It has two fixed crown, so there is no things to preload.
  • + 5
 The steerer tube is a straight tube all the way down, like you can see straight through it. There's nowhere for dust to accumulate. And the lefty top cap is literally just a piece of plastic that pops in like a cork, his mechanic might've just popped it off and lost it lol.
  • + 11
 @sunringlerider: day in, day out I'm pretty sure I unload the weight of a full wheelset with DH casing tyres and cush core.
  • + 3
 @Kickmehard:
Hahahaha I'm glad I didn't crush the core of my shorts when I read this.
  • + 3
 @sunringlerider: that’s funny...mine weighs 28.99
  • + 2
 Puns are getting sad guys....
  • + 1
 @sunringlerider: pics or it didn't happen.
  • + 1
 @b-wicked:
Oh lawd we don't need to see no brown rag doll
  • + 2
 what if you have done all that already, and the last thing to remove is the top cap, eh? Smile
  • + 4
 @ismasan:
But why would you remove your top cap after pooing?
  • + 1
 @sunringlerider: That's all? Man, either your digestive system is running at 110% efficiency or you have an inside line on some real healthy Mexican. Or you just eat normal portions.
  • + 13
 Since when mechanical shifting is considered old school already? Just sayin...
  • + 3
 Since sram jumped on board. It's new age now
  • + 7
 I ride a Lefty Max 140mm with PBR internals. I switched over to the PBR just this last year. Previously It was a coil and oil Lefty Max. Been riding it for 4 seasons. Get it serviced every year by Craig Smith at Mendon Cyclesmith. Cost for the rebuild is very reasonable. I reset the bearings a few times a season. It's not that hard to do at all. I ride through all kinds of PA gnar with it. Never gives me a problem. Still debating whether or not I like the feel of the coil setup in it or the air. They are different for sure. No I never think my wheel is gonna fall off. Do the wheels fall off your car? Or airplanes? They don't have 2 sided forks. The Lefty is basically a strut type of setup. Never understood the Lefty hate.
  • + 7
 Great content, keep it coming Salute
  • + 3
 I still find it unbelievable that the Lefty forks have to go through a "bearing reset" procedure almost every ride (if you ride hard) in order to get full travel. You'll go from 100mm to 80mm of available travel in a matter of hours.
  • + 7
 It's a feature, TALAS-smart
  • + 2
 @blast-off Seems like you're not riding hard enough bro.. In all reality - you should be resetting your bearings by simply achieving a proper bottom out at least once on each ride....
  • + 3
 Just curious: xtr brake levers have no adjustability? Xt have both though bite point is almost useless with that damn screw. Shimano change that for a finger friendly dial as old code please
  • + 4
 They do race and trail, race comes without a dial and is an allen key like pictured and trail has the finger adjust
  • + 2
 @Scotj009: yep he's running the race version with no adjuster dial, however he's also running the finned pads from trail version for heat management. The race/xc version of xtr brakes makes do without fins on the pads.
  • + 3
 @stumpymidget: Yes the finned pads are an aftermarket option for the race...
  • + 3
 Well the Bite point adjust screw actually does nothing at all except satisfy your need for fiddling, so i see the point for leaving it out..
  • + 1
 I'm surprised the steer tube doesn't get crushed by the stem pinch bolts. On the one carbon fork I've ran if I didn't have the expanding starnut super tight my stem would always slip up. I chalked it up to the carbon deflecting without the inner support.
  • + 2
 It's nice to hear a pro actually willing to share her tire pressure. Going to put 1.2 BAR in my tires and fuck shit up at the world cups, the wrong tire pressure has been holding me back for to long.
  • + 3
 Isn't 1.2 bar like 17 psi? 17 psi in those puny little tires?
  • + 3
 @Tinga: @Tinga: She weighs 60kg, and I guess the bike doesn't weigh much either. So, unless you are the same rider and bike weight with the same terrain and tyres and etc. etc. the number is pretty useless
  • + 3
 Did nobody notice the top stem bolt on the Scalpel is over tightened and starting to crush the steer tube?
  • + 2
 I think the same,you can see the tube is perfectly round till it comes near to the top stem bolt,it is crushed or deformed. What is doing the bolt in that spacer in right of the picture?to me it looks like the steer tube is clamped too between the headset and the stem,maybe that is why it runs without the top cap
  • + 4
 Any glimpse on a new xtr groupsets in the paddocks? @paulaston
  • + 3
 That carbon steerer on fumics bike is aftermarket. Lefty doesn't require a starnut or for this case an expander plug.
  • + 1
 It is Manuel Fumic, not Manual as in the entry pic footnote says (a manual is a book with instructions, Manuel is the first name)
  • - 1
 While I can appreciate the growing loss of handlebar real estate, grip-shifts sucked in the ‘90s and they still suck today. Reason being, the different densities of materials between your grips and the shifter, as well as the thick shifter profile and thin material that it does have, makes for an uncomfortably rigid hand surface.

I acknowledge that manufacturers will need a less-expensive alternative to products, but I’m surprised with electronic shifting, they aren’t going the same way here as well. Seems to me systems integration could benefit them in the long-run in terms of weight savings (battery) and simplicity (one control unit). Just me 2c.
  • + 7
 You realize that that's a lockout and not an actual shifter, right? and from the picture it looks the same size as the grip. probably still different densities, but it depends on which grips you run. It seems like they could make it comfortable -- maybe sell it just bare plastic but make different grips to go on it? or make it thin enough to put any slip-on grip over it? That would be pretty cool.

To me, anyway, it seems like a better lockout (with a dropper) than pretty much any other one.
Except electronic. that would be awesome. (c'mon fox, release live valve already)
  • + 1
 I'm not sure the new bike was Annie's problem last weekend. If the legs aren't there, it doesn't matter what bike you ride. Hopefully she'll be up at the front next race.
  • + 1
 That is not a conventional steer tube for sure,there is another bolt in one of the spacers looking at the drive direction,you see that?
  • + 1
 A 38 tooth chainring is hardly big when you have a 46 tooth cassette...used to run one with a normal sized cassette without too much issue and I'm not a pro athlete
  • + 7
 1. It's 42t cassette.
2. It's one thing to run to run a 38t chainring; it's another to be able to keep up w/ World Cup athletes w/ a 38t chainring for a full race.
  • + 2
 Thanks for the close-up of the tire. I was curious if he was running liteskin or snakeskin, question answered.
  • + 1
 I find it interesting that Shimano hasn’t made a 1x12 yet. I would think they would have caught onto the band wagon by now.
  • + 3
 Its coming, look for it around may
  • + 2
 No mention of the Extralite stem on the Scalpel?
  • + 1
 Love the coverage of XCO. It helps me never have to pay attention to VeloNews and their road bike coverage. ????
  • + 1
 Some Cannondale FS i models have a retail price of $16k CAD. Why?
  • + 3
 They're owned by a company who makes corporate furniture and expect huge margins?
  • + 0
 @raditude: It was rhetorical, I was being facetious.
  • + 5
 Because Cannondale. And dentists.
  • + 4
 @raditude: With that in mind, can we get a decent bike company to be bought by Ikea? I'll put it together myself.
  • + 2
 @raditude: okay, but when is Ikea going to come out with a DH bike?
  • + 1
 cos someone is ready to pay it?

Rolls make 1 million € cars and the people buy it. 10000 € bike is not so rare today,even 3000€ or 5000€ is the average.
  • + 1
 Love my Thunder Burts on my singlespeed hardtail!
  • + 1
 Suicide without a stem cap Eek reminds me of your old setup @theminsta
  • + 1
 u kno ur a racer when
  • + 0
 Can't stand the look of the Lefty. Always reminds me of one-legged man. Gives uneasy feeling every time I look at it.
  • + 1
 thats not a 27.2 seatpost, what about com pliancy ,,,, 31.6 is soo 142x12
  • - 1
 i had a cannondale with a headshox fork once...what a pile of s*&t.
that prologo saddle looks like the work of a sadistic genius...
  • - 3
 Hunk o’crap
  • - 2
 Grip shit style controls will always be shit.
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