New Cannondale Scalpel-Si Takes XC Further


With World Cup and local XC race course taking a turn for the technical, XC race bikes have become more long-legged and capable. Of course they can still climb like a billy goat, but now they can increasingly handle technical drops and obstacles that would make previously required a “hang on and ride it out” strategy that didn’t always work so well. The all-new Cannondale Scalpel-Si aims to deliver the best of both climbing and descending and Cannondale engineers have employed some serious trickery to make this a reality.

Applying the learning from their F-Si hardtail racer, the new Scalpel-Si utilizes an optimized Lefty fork to allow for a relatively slack 69.5 head angle combined with a 55mm offset to maintain proper trail. Cannondale dubs this OutFront Steering Geometry and follows some of the similar patterns we’re seeing on other modern XC bikes.

In the back, there’s a party going on too as the rear triangle utilizes a proprietary Ai offset drivetrain and surprisingly still sticks with a 142×12 axle instead of going Boost 148. Still, chainstays are wicked-short (435mm) due to the 6mm drivetrain offset. In addition, top tubes are longer for a more modern, long and low geometry.

The Cannondale Scalpel-Si Race ($9060 USD).

The Cannondale Scalpel-Si Race ($9060 USD).

Key highlights of the Scalpel-Si:

  • OutFront Steering Geometry delivers 69.5 deg head angle with sharp handling
  • BallisTec carbon for added impact resistance
  • Ai offset drivetrain to allow for shorter stays
  • RockShox Monarch rear shock
  • Modular cable routing for mechanical and electronic drivetrains
  • Dropper post capable
  • 100 gram system weight reduction
  • Aluminum models coming summer 2016
  • Pricing: $12,790 – $3,200

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About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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