Cannondale’s core strength
XC race bikes are Cannondale’s forte. They sell more Scalpels than any other model in their line-up. In German laboratory tests, they lead the class in weight and stiffness tests. But in this newest iteration, they spiced it up a little bit as they designed a bike that could go very fast in technical downhills as well. World Cup XC courses demand it and riding styles are changing to a more aggressive and fun descending style.
Core to the updates are a 2 degree slacker head angle at 69.5 coupled with an increased fork offset of 55mm. Top tube has been increased 10mm and the chain stays shortened to 435mm. What it delivers is a new bike that handles rocky, rooty descents with confidence. The front end goes up and over obstacles that used to be momentum killers or endo-inducing encounters. The rear end coupled with this front delivers quick handling with excellent climbing traction.
The Scalpel is still a 29er with 100mm of front and rear travel. There’s 8 men’s model and 2 women’s hinting at this bike’s importance to the Cannondale brand. All men’s bikes use the 29er wheel size except for the Small which uses 27.5. All women’s sizes use the 27.5 wheel size to ensure optimal fit. All models which use the 29er wheel size now accommodate two water bottles in the frame’s front triangle.
“Over the last few years, cross-country courses have been changing. The climbs are getting steeper and the descents are getting nastier. There’s no room for error and to win at this game, you need more than just light and stiff,you need capable and stable handling Scalpel-Si is literally built for the world stage,” said Scott Rittschof, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing.