New Cannondale Scalpel HT Gets Party Geo at XC Race Weight

All photos courtesy Cannondale.

The base carbon model includes a 100mm lefty Ocho fork, Shimano XT brakes and 12-speed drivetrain, Stan’s alloy rims, and a carbon handlebar and seat post. For another thousand dollars, buyers will get the HI-MOD carbon frame, XTR in place of the XT kit, a Cannondale HollowGram crankset, carbon rims, seat post, and handlebar, and a 110mm Ocho fork up front. Those changes should equate to a whole lot of gram shaving for $1,000.

The lifestyle imagery around this launch is a bit of a departure for an XC race bike.

Now for the buried lead: this Scalpel HT has some real fun looking geometry for a 29″ carbon hardtail that’s designed to rip climbs just as well as descents. The 110mm forked version has a slack-for-a-race-bike 66.5° head tube angle that just might be the deepest lean on the World Cup circuit. The effective seat tube angle remains moderate to accommodate a variety of powerful pedaling positions, and the small and medium frames have a 74.5° STA while the two larger sizes tick up a touch to 74.6°. Reach for the Scalpel HT still looks to be asking for a long stem, with 404, 423, 444, and 465mm measurements across the size run. Unlike many frames on the market, chain stay lengths vary based on frame size for a more proportional fit and ride feel for everyone.

The dropped seat stays are said to minimize trail chatter.

Seat tubes on this bike aren’t the shortest, so sizing up may be difficult for folks with shorter inseams. Also, there is no mention of dropper routing on the Cannondale site, and with the 27.2mm internal seat tube measurement there are only a few droppers that will fit this bike.

A featherweight World Cup-level XC bike will typically set you back between seven and ten thousand clams. The updated Cannondale Scalpel HT is arguably a good deal compared to some in its class, with two builds retailing for $4,000 and $5,000 respectively. While upgrades can be made, and the bikes that pro riders are on weigh less than these, that’s not a terrible starting point. Cannondale says the new frames weights start at 895g.

Head over to the Cannondale page for further details.

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