FIRST LOOK: CANNONDALE SCALPEL HT
Cannondale’s next generation XC race hardtail
The legacy of progressive Cannondale XC race hardtails continues with the all new Scalpel HT. Cannondale says it took learnings from its previous F-Si race hardtails, capable trail bikes, and Scalpel to create this new design. The resulting bike pushes a few boundaries particularly in the front end geometry department.
XC race bikes are typically all about the climb, but not this one. It comes with a slack 66.5 degree head angle paired to an increased offset 100mm or 110mm travel Lefty Ocho fork. Its seat angle is on the steep side for a xc race hardtail too at 74.5 degrees. The chainstay length is size specific, getting longer with bigger sizes to maintain balanced weight distribution between the wheels.
Weight is one of the first things that cross country racers think about and the Scalpel HT hits the scales with a claimed frame weight of 895 grams. Flex zones in the chainstays paired to a lowered seatstay junction at the seat tube are designed to take the edge off of rough terrain too.
The Scalpel HT is offered in four different models ranging in price from $2,200 for the Shimano Deore/XT equipped Scalpel HT Carbon 4 to $5,000 for the Hi-Mod 1 version with 110mm travel Lefty Ocho fork and Shimano XT/XTR drivetrain. Claimed weight on the Scalpel HT Hi-Mod 1 is 21.34 lb. (9.680 kg) out of the box in a size medium.