The development of the new Cannondale Scalpel began at the Mont St Anne World Cup, almost three years ago.
Cannondale’s chief product guru, Scott Vogelmann, asked the Factory Team riders to outline what they wanted out of the new bike. The answer was a bike that placed race performance as the principal issue and a bike that they would never have to hesitate on. I have ridden the previous model Scalpel and whilst it is indeed blindingly quick on the climbs, the head angle is in fact pretty steep and the bike is also a little short for the gnarly conditions that XC and marathon racing often poses. But you can’t just change one thing on a bike and expect it to be golden, as Scott Vogelmann says, the bike is an eco-system and nothing should be viewed or changed in isolation. Needless to say, the changes to this new Scalpel are wholesale. I have spent about three weeks riding the bike and this is my take on it.