Scalpel HT: Cannondale surprises with a new advanced hardtail

Mountain bike 9 nov. 2021 15:11 Migue A.

Mountain bike equipment has been evolving very fast in technology and performance in recent years, but it felt like progress in hardtails was only measured by weight. Cannondale has changed the approach with this new Scalpel HT, which increases travel and introduces a geometry capable of facing more technical areas.

Cannondale Scalpel HT: a hardtail XC with a full suspension MTB soul

This is a hardtail mountain bike designed for XC, ready to mount 100 or 110mm travel forks and with 29" wheels and tyres up to 2.25". The brand says that for the development of this new model they have combined everything they have learned from their previous competition Hard Tail (the F-Si), the most capable Trail bikes (Scalpel SE and Habit) and their flagship XC full suspension model (Scalpel) to create a machine that responds to everything you would want in a competition Hard Tail.

Although we have said that Cannondale didn't want to focus only on weight for this Scalpel HT, the truth is that they have achieved a very light mountain bike with a Hi-Mod frame that comes in at around 895g. The complete bike in HT Hi-Mod 1 version is 9.680 kg, size M. But let's look at the rest of the features, which is where the magic of this model lies. 

Cannondale Scalpel HT Geometry and Specifications

Without forgetting that we are dealing with a hardtail mountain bike, the Scalpel HT has adopted the new trends that come from the World Cup and are committed to more stable bikes that allow to overcome more and more technical areas.

In that sense, the Cannondale Scalpel HT has a very relaxed 66.5° steering angle that offers more confidence on any descent, and the new Lefty Ocho fork with its increased offset helps the bike maintain agility on any line (with 100mm forks the steering angle is 67°). At the same time, the 74.5° saddle angle allows for agile and powerful pedalling on climbs. 

Thanks to Cannondale's specific "Proportional Response" design, each size increases in chain length as the frames get bigger. So the rider is always centered between the wheels, for stability on descents and relaxation on climbs.

  1. Lefty Ocho: One of the most advanced XC forks is updated with 110mm of travel for this model. Testers agree that it's probably the most sensitive and responsive fork on the market.
  2. Proportional Response: Size-specific frame geometry, including chainstay length. Keeps the rider centered between the wheels for the best traction and agility.
  3. Slack Head Tube Angle: The super slack 66.5° head angle offers plenty of confidence on descents, which will translate into speed.
  4. Connected: The integrated wheel sensor provides a wealth of activity-related information, allows you to log each bike, offers maintenance reminders and more. All via the Cannondale app.

New suspensions and more travel

The suspension travel is also extended on this Scalpel HT, which is presented as the first competition Hard Tail designed for forks over 100mm. Alongside this model we also see for the first time the 110mm Lefty Ocho fork. This is the last model that was presented with 120 mm, stiffer than the original, but adapted to 110 mm.

At the rear triangle, there are still some great new features. Unlike Cannondale's previous hardtail model, the FS I, now the seat stays of the Scalpel HT are attached to the down tube below the saddle, something we've already seen in other road and gravel models from the brand, and which improves lateral stiffness and vertical absorption. But the big breakthrough in absorption is in the chainstays, which house a system similar to the FlexPivot that debuted on the full-suspension Scalpel in 2020. This works together with the seatstays to reduce vibrations and help draw the terrain without losing traction.

The Scalpel HT arrives as one of the most aggressive, progressive and innovative XC Hard Tail of the moment, with the ability to be very light on the climbs, explosive in the sprint and very capable on any descent.  

Cannondale Scalpel HT: models and prices

The new Scalpel HT range arrives in the Cannondale catalogue with four models, all in carbon. The lightest versions with the Hi-mod frame are fitted with 110mm and 100mm Lefty Ocho forks. The Carbon versions include RockShox SID SL forks. Prices range from €2,499 for the HT Carbon 4 to €6,999 for the HT Hi-Mod 1.

Scalpel HT Hi-MOD 1 - 6.999€

  • Frame: Cannondale Hi-MOD Carbon
  • Fork: Lefty Ocho 120 Carbon, 110mm
  • Rims: HollowGram 25, Superlight Hi-Impact Carbon,28h, 25mm IW, tubeless ready
  • Hubs: (F) HollowGram Lefty 60 / (R) HollowGram w/DT Swiss Star Ratchet internals, 12x148mm
  • Spokes: DT Swiss Competition Race, straight-pull
  • Tires: (F) Schwalbe Racing Ray EVO, 29 x 2.25", SnakeSkin, Addix Speedgrip, tubeless ready, (R) Schwalbe Racing Ralph EVO, 29 x 2.25", SnakeSkin, Addix Speed, tubeless ready
  • Crank: HollowGram, BB30a w/ OPI SpideRing, 34T, 55mm chainline
  • Bottom Bracket: Cannondale Alloy PF30-83
  • Chain: Shimano XT, 12-speed
  • Rear Cogs: Shimano XT, 10-51, 12-speed
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano XTR
  • Shifters: Shimano XT, 12-speed
  • Grips: Cannondale XC Silicone
  • Handlebar: Cannondale 1 Flat, Carbon, 31.8mm, 9° back, 760mm 
  • Stem: Cannondale 1, 7075 Alloy, 1-1/8", 31.8, 7°
  • Headset: Integrated, 1-1/8 to 1.5", sealed angular contact bearings
  • Brakes: Shimano XT hydraulic disc, 180/160mm XT rotors Shimano XT hydraulic disc
  • Saddle: Prologo Dimension NDR, Tirox rails
  • Seatpost: C1 Carbon, 27.2x400mm
  • Connectivity: Cannondale Wheel Sensor
  • Sizes: SM, MD, LG, XL
  • Colors: Carbon (CRB)/White (WHT)
  • Price: 6.999€
Scalpel HT Hi-MOD 1

Scalpel HT Carbon 2 - 4.499€

  • Frame: Cannondale Carbon
  • Fork: Lefty Ocho 100mm
  • Rims: Stan's NoTubes Crest MK4, 28h, tubeless ready
  • Hubs: (F) Lefty 60 / (R) Shimano 7110, 12x148mm
  • Spokes: DT Swiss Competition
  • Tires: (F) Schwalbe Racing Ray EVO, 29 x 2.25", SnakeSkin, Addix Speedgrip, tubeless ready, (R) Schwalbe Racing Ralph EVO, 29 x 2.25", SnakeSkin, Addix Speed, tubeless ready
  • Crank: HollowGram, BB30a w/ OPI SpideRing, 34T, 55mm chainline
  • Bottom Bracket : Cannondale Alloy PF30-83
  • Chain: Shimano SLX, 12-speed
  • Rear Cogs: Shimano XT, 10-51, 12-speed
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT
  • Shifters: Shimano XT, 12-speed
  • Grips: Cannondale XC Silicone
  • Handlebar: Cannondale 1 Flat, Carbon, 31.8mm, 9° back, 760mm 
  • Stem: Cannondale 3, 6061 Alloy, 31.8, 7°
  • Headset: Integrated, 1-1/8 to 1.5", sealed angular contact bearings
  • Brakes: Shimano XT hydraulic disc, 180/160mm XT rotors Shimano XT hydraulic disc
  • Saddle: Prologo Dimension NDR, Tirox rails
  • Seatpost: C1 Carbon, 27.2x400mm
  • Connectivity: Cannondale Wheel Sensor
  • Sizes: SM, MD, LG, XL
  • Colors: Candy Red/Purple Haze 
  • Price: 4.499€
Scalpel HT Carbon 2

Scalpel HT Carbon 3 - 3.299€

  • Frame: Cannondale Carbon
  • Fork: RockShox SID SL Select+ RL, 100mm
  • Rims: Stan's NoTubes Crest MK4, 28h, tubeless ready
  • Hubs: (F) Shimano MT410, 15x110mm thru-axle / (R) Shimano MT510, 12x148mm thru-axle
  • Spokes: DT Swiss Competition
  • Tires: (F) Schwalbe Racing Ray EVO, 29 x 2.25", SnakeSkin, Addix Speedgrip, tubeless ready, (R) Schwalbe Racing Ralph EVO, 29 x 2.25", SnakeSkin, Addix Speed, tubeless ready
  • Crank: Cannondale 1, BB30a, OPI SpideRing, 34T
  • Bottom Bracket: Cannondale Alloy PF30-83
  • Chain: Shimano SLX, 12-speed
  • Rear Cogs: Shimano SLX, 10-51, 12-speed
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT
  • Shifters: Shimano SLX, 12-speed
  • Grips: Cannondale XC Silicone
  • Handlebar: Cannondale 2 Flat, butted 2014 Alloy, 31.8mm, 3° rise, 8° sweep, 760mm
  • Stem: Cannondale 2, 6061 Alloy, 31.8, 7°
  • Headset: Integrated, 1-1/8 to 1.5", sealed angular contact bearings
  • Brakes: Shimano M6100 hydraulic disc, 160/160mm RT64 rotors
  • Saddle: Fabric Scoop Shallow Elite, hollow cro-mo rails
  • Seatpost: C2 Carbon, 27.2x400mm
  • Connectivity: Cannondale Wheel Sensor
  • Sizes: SM, MD, LG, XL
  • Colors: Black Pearl/Highlighter 
  • Price: 3.299€
Scalpel HT Carbon 3

Scalpel HT Carbon 4 - 2.499€

  • Frame: Cannondale Carbon
  • Fork: RockShox SID SL 100mm
  • Rims: WTB STX i23, 32h, tubeless ready
  • Hubs: (F) Shimano MT410, 15x110mm thru-axle / (R) Shimano MT410, 12x148mm thru-axle
  • Spokes: DT Swiss Champion 2.0
  • Tires: F) Schwalbe Racing Ray EVO, 29 x 2.25", Twinskin, tubeless ready, (R) Schwalbe Racing Ralph EVO, 29 x 2.25", SnakeSkin, Addix compound, tubeless ready
  • Crank: Shimano M5121, 30T, 55mm chainline
  • Bottom Bracket: PF30 to 24mm sealed cartridge bearing BB, for 55mm CL Shimano cranks
  • Chain: Shimano Deore, 12 speed
  • Rear Cogs: Shimano Deore M6100, 10-51, 12-speed
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT
  • Shifters: Shimano Deore M6100, 12-speed
  • Grips: Fabric Funguy
  • Handlebar: Cannondale 2 Flat, butted 2014 Alloy, 31.8mm, 3° rise, 8° sweep, 760mm
  • Stem: Cannondale 2, 6061 Alloy, 31.8, 7°
  • Headset: Integrated, 1-1/8 to 1.5", sealed angular contact bearings
  • Brakes: Shimano MT501 hydraulic disc, 160/160mm RT54 rotors
  • Saddle: Fabric Scoop Shallow Sport, steel rails
  • Seatpost: C3 Alloy, 27.2x400mm
  • Sizes: SM, MD, LG, XL
  • Colors: Black Pearl/Acid Red
  • Price: 2.499€ 
Scalpel HT Carbon 4

For further information, please visit the official Cannondale website.

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