The new Cannondale Scalpel HT is revealed: a race hardtail, for riding as fast as you can between the tape. This replaces the Scalpel F-Si, but is a completely new platform. Whereas the head angle on the last F-Si model had been ‘slackened’ over its lifetime to 69o, the Scalpel HT starts its race career at 66.5o.
The seat tube is a steep 74.5° for increased power and efficiency on the climbs. Cannondale’s ‘Proportional Response’ size-specific design increases the chainstay lengths as the frames get bigger, centering the rider between the wheels for handling and traction. It’s a race hardtail engineered around a longer travel fork – a 110mm version of the Lefty Ocho – though some models come with a 100mm fork. Out back, sculpted flex zones in the chainstays work with the dropped seat stays to tame the chatter and take the edge off hits.
The Scalpel HT is a whole new breed of XC race hardtail – one that takes a hammer to the old “fast-climbing, sketchy-descending” formula of traditional hardtail race bikes. By focusing on handling, traction and capability above all else, the new Scalpel HT delivers everything up you love about a hardtail – the lighter-than-air climbing feel and explosive acceleration – plus a whole lot more. More grip at the limit. More bump-absorbing smoothness in the rough. More balanced, intuitive handling. And a whole lot more lay-off-the-brakes-and-let-er-rip confident control on the descents. All designed to give you an edge in those clutch moments, the oh-shit moments, the moments that make the difference between podium and pack-fill. In other words, it’s a hardtail worthy of the Scalpel name.Cannondale
It’s more, OK? For those of us whose ‘oh-shit’ moments tend to involve an embarrassing low speed topple into a ditch while failing to unclip, all this more might be lost on us. Luckily, Cannondale has had some high speed riders make us a video, so we can see how its supposed to be used.
‘CFR racer and XC legend Henrique Avancini narrates a story about the purest form of racing and what it means to ride. We follow two up-and-coming riders, Ruby Ryan and Tydeman Newman, around their journey towards a race in Lake Tahoe, Nevada on 17 July 2021.RubyRyanis a 19-year-old mountain bike racer and kinesiology student from New Zealand. She represented New Zealand at the Junior World Mountain Bike Championships. Ruby is passionate about women’s nutrition and listens to Six60, Sticky Fingers and probably some country on Spotify. 19-year-old aspiring racer Tydeman Newman’s sights are set on being the best. Tydeman skates, surfs, and is an all-around bike nut. He is at home on any size wheels and brings to the sport a unique brand of what it means to be a bike racer.‘
Ah, to be young with cool hair. Anyway. We can have cool bikes, whether or not we’re fast enough to make our locks flow in the wind. The new Scalpel HT is available now in four models:
- Scalpel HT Hi-Mod 1 – £6,200
- Scalpel HT Carbon 2 – not available in the UK
- Scalpel HT Carbon 3 – £3,400
- Scalpel HT Carbon 4 – £2,600
The tippy top of the range Hi-Mod 1 frame weighs just 895g, with the other carbon frames being 1075g. It might surprise you to discover that top of the range price doesn’t include any electronic shifting either – it’s Shimano XTR – although models do get a Cannondale wheel sensor to gather some key ride data, and this top model includes the Lefty Ocho Carbon 110mm fork. The Scalpel HT Carbon 2 comes with a 100mm alloy Ocho fork, while the Carbon 3 and Carbon 4 come with a Rockshox SID.
If you like what we do - if you like our independence then the best way to support us is by joining us. Every penny of your membership goes back into Singletrack to pay the bills and the wages of the people who work here. No shareholders to pay, just the people who create the content you love to read and watch.