After Cannondale launched their new hardtail last year, replacing the very popular F29, we had to wonder when the Scalpel would get an overhaul. While the Scalpel has been a very popular bike, it often wasn’t seen as the competitive XC full-suspension bike that it could be. Sure, that’s an opinion, but it’s also one held by Cannondale aficionados who stuck with their hardtails, waiting for something a little lighter, more efficient, and more XC focused to come along. Perhaps like the original Scalpel.
Earlier this March we saw a new Cannondale being piloted through the Western Cape of South Africa, under a variety of Cannondale racers including Manuel Fumic,Henrique Avancini, Darren Lill and Waylon Woolcock amongst others.
The shape of the frame is pretty similar, but you can see the linkage is more like the Habit, so the frame doesn’t have the supporting strut that was present in front of the seat tube in the past. On larger frames it’s shown to be a good place to store some spares – always a plus for stage races and marathon races alike.
The main triangle has always had the down tube moved forward – of sorts – so it’s closer to horizontal in front of the BB. With the shock also sitting higher, Cannondale have creatyed what just about everyone wants in an XC full-suspension bike. The ability to carry to water bottles, within the mainframe. The BB is still BB30 for SI cranks, and we can see cable exits are just in front of it.
Is that it from Cannondale?
Is that it? No, the shock now sits into the top tube, so there should be some weight savings as the mouldings can be incorporated into the tubing. You can also see the ports either side of the head tube for internal routing, something that was always lacking on the Scalpel.
What we can’t tell is what the cable entries will do – beyond the obvious. With good access up the seat tube, it’s likely the frame will take a stealth dropper post. There doesn’t appear to be a port on the underside of the top tube for a remote lockout cable or hose for the rear shock. And it doesn’t look like any of the riders are using them. That may be preference, as they might be able to run internally direct the the shock.
This shot shows a plug on the top side of the lower downtube which will allow access for a side swing front mech, or even a Di2 cable. There’s a mount behind the ring, that Fumic is running a micro guide on. The Spider ring is very neat too.
The rear seat stays look a little more svelte, and there’s a good chance the back end is Boost spacing (148mm) but that’s a guess. And travel? Most likely 100mm but it could be anywhere between 90-110mm.
The Lefty is clearly carbon, and could be a new model as well. But for further details on weight, geometry and suspension we’ll just have to wait.