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Cannondale Scalpel Review

The Scalpel is one of the most well known full suspension mountain bikes on the market, the first Cannondale Scalpel was launched way back in 2001. When first launched, the Scalpel was designed to draw racers away from hardtail mountain bikes, instead choosing to fit short travel suspension. The Scalpel has always been an incredibly innovative bike, with carbon fibre, a lefty fork, tubeless wheels and disc brakes at its launch.

Two decades later, the Scalpel range has been relaunched - and it’s more technologically advanced than ever before, whilst staying true to its roots - a short travel full suspension race bike. The travel remains at just 100mm and those who knew the old bike will recognise the top tube mounted suspension and two bottle cages.

New technology is not far away though, there’s a new suspension layout - which features flex stay frame, more modern geometry, and more carbon fibre, which makes this bike 200g lighter than the previous frame. The suspension is more progressive, and the new upper shock link doesn’t swing from the top tube like it did on the old version of the Scalpel. The rear shock now has an alloy link that mounts to a forward strut on the seat tube.

The Scalpel also varies depending on what size model you get, there are different ratios, anti squat, and anti rise levels across the different frame sizes. These variations are achieved by slight changes and variations to pivot points - keeping the shock dimensions and alloy links exactly the same size, across all frame sizes.

The Scalpel range also uses a one piece carbon fibre swingarm, which is built around a four bar suspension platform. One of the biggest differences between the Scalpel and similar models from other brands, such as the Scott Spark - which have seatstays which flex, the Scalpel has flex within the chainstay - which they claim provides a more active suspension performance, which minimises pedalling and braking, affecting suspension performance.

You can view the complete Cannondale Scalpel range across our site, and get in touch if you have any questions about the right model for you and your riding requirements.