[First Look] The New Cannondale Scalpel

[First Look] The New Cannondale Scalpel

Marco Toniolo, 21/05/2020
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Marco Toniolo, 21/05/2020

A lot has been said about it in our Italian forums, and finally here it is in its official capacity: the new Cannondale Scalpel! The coronavirus has postponed the press launch, with that in mind the only way for media to assess their thoughts on the bike was to mail out test rigs. So, I received the bike for testing on our home trails. In the video below, in Italian,  I present it in detail and perform a standard field test – below you can find photos, prices, geometry and assemblies.

 

Our take

A cross country bike with a unique suspension that works really well uphill as well downhill, supple and high in the travel. The 100mm of travel feel like more, while a dropper post is a must to bring this machine up to speed on rough terrain, because it can take a lot of beating, something you wouldn’t expect from a race rig. A modern geometry and the love to detail and design make the new Scalpel one of the hottest XC bikes of the year.

Details

  • 29″ wheels
  • 100mm travel front and rear
  • Boost spacing
  • Pivotless “flex stay” rear end
  • Storage system with 8 in one Fabric tool, Dynaplug racer and CO2

Cannondale Scalpel Hi-Mod1 size Large 10.06 kilograms (with Enve non-telescopic, carbon fiber seatpost)

The big news, the rear end that flexes at a specific point on the chainstay, where the joint of a Horst system would be. Depending on the size, the material is comprised of more or less carbon layers to provide different attributes.

On mine, I immediately installed a 100mm travel Yep Components Uptimizer 3.0. The extra weight is exactly 300 grams.

The Lefty Ocho can’t be missed. 100mm of travel, remote control lock out, compression adjustment via an external knob.

100mm of rear travel managed by a Fox Float with a remote control

And here it is, the remote control. It’s the classic Fox lever, made from thermoplastic. Behind you see the Optimizer lever with ESI foam grips rounding everything out.

Shimano XTR 1×12 transmission (except the cassette which is XT), Hollowgram cranks with a 34t chainring paired to an ultra minimalist chain guide.

The brakes are also XTR, with 160mm discs in front and back.

160mm isn’t quite enough for such a fast, capable bike on the descents…

Specifically shaped frame to integrate a Fabric multitool on the right …

… and pump or co2 cartridge + Dynaplug racer plug kit is fitted on the left side.

The rear end is fixed to the front triangle with an axle and pivot sitting inboard, inside the seat tube. The box construction provides extra rigidity to the frame.

The name “Scalpel” is found in the upper part of the horizontal tube

Geometry

Specs and prices

Hi-Mod 1, € 7,999

Carbon 2, € 4,999

Carbon 3, € 4,199

Carbon 4, € 3,999

Then there is also the Scalpel SE, with 120mm of front and rear travel. The shock absorber has a longer stroke, with the same wheelbase.

 

Carbon SE 1, € 4,999

Carbon SE2, € 3,799

Cannondale.com