The Cannondale Scalpel has long been one of our very favourite cross country racing bikes. It’s lightweight and very laterally stiff, but what’s always impressed us most is its ‘pivotless’ rear suspension.
Employing chain stays that flex instead of using bushings and complicated linkage designs the suspension is designed like none other. The flexible chain stays are actually preloaded to be bent downward slightly. This means that in its preloaded state the stay wants to return to a slightly more upright position and as a result reacts well to small bumps, eating up chattering cross country trails and providing a plush ride. As the stay starts its bend from preload the wheelbase actually lengthens slightly, further absorbing small bumps. It’s a genius design for a cross country bike.
The spec’s on this Scalpel Carbon 2 don’t exactly hurt either. Lefty Speed Carbon front shock, DT Swis XCR rims, FSA After Burner BB30 crankset with carbon spider, Sram X0 and X9 parts, on so on. We especially like the red anodized touches on the bike that match the red Sram X0 rear derailleur and the bike’s paint job. Nice. At $5200 it’s not the cheapest bike around, but on the other hand it’s an attainable dream. Check it out for yourself and we’re sure you’ll agree.