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Manuel Fumic's Cannondale Scalpel Si

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Forever different to the rest of the field, Cannondale has overhauled its longstanding full-suspension XC bike. We take a look at the Scalpel Si belonging to Manuel Fumic

Forever different to the rest of the field, Cannondale has overhauled its longstanding full-suspension XC bike. We take a look at the Scalpel Si belonging to Manuel Fumic (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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Silicone grips from Prologo sit next to the new Level Ultimate brake levers. These levers feature sealed bearings in the pivots for an amazingly smooth lever feel

Silicone grips from Prologo sit next to the new Level Ultimate brake levers. These levers feature sealed bearings in the pivots for an amazingly smooth lever feel (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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DT Swiss 240 hubs sits at the axis of the Enve M50 rear rim. They're laced with DT Swiss Aerolite spokes

DT Swiss 240 hubs sits at the axis of the Enve M50 rear rim. They're laced with DT Swiss Aerolite spokes (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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Fumic stands out for the element of fun he brings to his racing

Fumic stands out for the element of fun he brings to his racing (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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The Cannondale OPI stem forms part of the Lefty's steerer tube

The Cannondale OPI stem forms part of the Lefty's steerer tube (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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The Lefty has actually been around a fair while now (before 32mm stanchions were in XC). The Scalpel Si gets a Lefty '2', which includes an extended 55mm offset

The Lefty has actually been around a fair while now (before 32mm stanchions were in XC). The Scalpel Si gets a Lefty '2', which includes an extended 55mm offset (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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Eighty-Aid take care of the 88+ suspension tuning on Lefty forks. You can bet that Fumic's has a few special touches going on inside to further improve the stock ride

Eighty-Aid take care of the 88+ suspension tuning on Lefty forks. You can bet that Fumic's has a few special touches going on inside to further improve the stock ride (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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There's no rear pivot point here! We weighed a bare frame at 2.16kg including the rear shock, seat clamp, bolts and thru-axle

There's no rear pivot point here! We weighed a bare frame at 2.16kg including the rear shock, seat clamp, bolts and thru-axle (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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A cheeky weight weenie trick is to use tape instead of bolts for unused bidon bosses

A cheeky weight weenie trick is to use tape instead of bolts for unused bidon bosses (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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Another is to remove a few 'fail safe' bolts, such as those at the brake rotors. It's not recommended for the everyday rider, but there's little risk in using just four bolts when you're under 70kg and have your bikes professionally checked this often

Another is to remove a few 'fail safe' bolts, such as those at the brake rotors. It's not recommended for the everyday rider, but there's little risk in using just four bolts when you're under 70kg and have your bikes professionally checked this often (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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The Scalpel Si has fully redesigned pivot bolts. The top rocker link bolt is hollow too

The Scalpel Si has fully redesigned pivot bolts. The top rocker link bolt is hollow too (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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More a road standard, the Scalpel SI uses a 'flat-mount' brake mount and adaptor

More a road standard, the Scalpel SI uses a 'flat-mount' brake mount and adaptor (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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In order to achieve a super short chainstay length of 435mm, the Scalpel Si shifts the whole drivetrain 6mm to the right. The rear rim is then dished (centered) 6mm back to the left for straight tracking

In order to achieve a super short chainstay length of 435mm, the Scalpel Si shifts the whole drivetrain 6mm to the right. The rear rim is then dished (centered) 6mm back to the left for straight tracking (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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Wider bars are the clear trend in cross country right now. For 2016 Fumic moves to 700mm items

Wider bars are the clear trend in cross country right now. For 2016 Fumic moves to 700mm items (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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At the time of meeting him, Fumic was still running SRAM's original XX1 drivetrain. We expect to see him move to the new 12-speed Eagle for the second World Cup round

At the time of meeting him, Fumic was still running SRAM's original XX1 drivetrain. We expect to see him move to the new 12-speed Eagle for the second World Cup round (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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Fumic is using this neat chain guide to ensure the chain can't lift from the top of the narrow-wide ring. We're stumped as to who makes it – any help?

Fumic is using this neat chain guide to ensure the chain can't lift from the top of the narrow-wide ring. We're stumped as to who makes it – any help? (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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In town for the first World Cup round in Cairns, Australia, we sat down with Manuel Fumic to learn more of his bike setup

In town for the first World Cup round in Cairns, Australia, we sat down with Manuel Fumic to learn more of his bike setup (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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Fumic's teammate and Cape Epic partner, Henrique Avancini, has this cool tapered thru-axle on his new Scalpel. The pointed edge is sure to find its way through to the thread end far quicker in the event of a flat

Fumic's teammate and Cape Epic partner, Henrique Avancini, has this cool tapered thru-axle on his new Scalpel. The pointed edge is sure to find its way through to the thread end far quicker in the event of a flat (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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The Cannondale Scalpel Si features 'Zero Pivot Flexstays' out back, improving frame stiffness and durability while saving weight

The Cannondale Scalpel Si features 'Zero Pivot Flexstays' out back, improving frame stiffness and durability while saving weight (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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SRAM provides its latest and greatest brakes – the Level Ultimate

SRAM provides its latest and greatest brakes – the Level Ultimate (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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Clean cable routing for the new Scalpel SI. Plenty of guide options are available, including for dropper post use and Di2

Clean cable routing for the new Scalpel SI. Plenty of guide options are available, including for dropper post use and Di2 (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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The rear shock is now sunk into the top tube. This is done for a few reasons, but mainly to allow clearance for a second water bottle. The rear shock's hydraulic remote lockout has a different banjo to fit correctly

The rear shock is now sunk into the top tube. This is done for a few reasons, but mainly to allow clearance for a second water bottle. The rear shock's hydraulic remote lockout has a different banjo to fit correctly (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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Another view of that tucked away rear shock and the space it provides for a second bottle within the main frame

Another view of that tucked away rear shock and the space it provides for a second bottle within the main frame (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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So much love for carbon on the new Scalpel SI. That is indeed a one-piece carbon rocker link

So much love for carbon on the new Scalpel SI. That is indeed a one-piece carbon rocker link (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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The Cannondale Factory Racing team ride with Prologo saddle and grips

The Cannondale Factory Racing team ride with Prologo saddle and grips (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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Cannondale's 'Si' term stands for 'System Integration'. If the Lefty fork weren't enough, Cannondale also designs its own cranks, which are well known for class-leading stiffness-to-weight ratios

Cannondale's 'Si' term stands for 'System Integration'. If the Lefty fork weren't enough, Cannondale also designs its own cranks, which are well known for class-leading stiffness-to-weight ratios (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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Fumic doesn't have a pedal sponsor and so chooses to use titanium/alloy pedals from Exustar. These offer the performance similar to that of a Shimano SPD pedal, but at a lower weight

Fumic doesn't have a pedal sponsor and so chooses to use titanium/alloy pedals from Exustar. These offer the performance similar to that of a Shimano SPD pedal, but at a lower weight (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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Sitting on Fumic's left Cannondale SISL2 crank arm is a power meter from Stages Cycling. At less than 20g, these always stay in place come race day

Sitting on Fumic's left Cannondale SISL2 crank arm is a power meter from Stages Cycling. At less than 20g, these always stay in place come race day (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)
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Manuel Fumic hitting the 'Rodeo Drop' at the World Cup in Cairns

Manuel Fumic hitting the 'Rodeo Drop' at the World Cup in Cairns (Image credit: David Rome / Immediate Media)

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

Germany's forever stylish Manuel Fumic brings charisma and a touch of rebellion to the sport of Olympic-discipline cross-country mountain biking. First it was casual sunglasses; more recently Fumic (and teammate Marco Aurelio Fontana) raced at the pointy end of World Cups in baggy shorts.

Style is one thing, but Fumic's consistent results prove this friendly and funny racer isn't there just to participate. As a multiple-time German national champion and three-time Olympian in the discipline, Fumic is commonly found in the top five placings.

It was officially released just days ago, but Fumic has been racing Cannondale's latest dual suspension race platform – the Scalpel Si – for a number of months.

We sit down with Fumic in Cairns, Australia to discuss his new bike, something he's already well acquainted with having recently taken a stage win at the 2016 Absa Cape Epic (with help from teammate Henrique Avancini),

Pass the Scalpel

With the iconic Lefty fork, the bikes of the Cannondale Factory Team are certainly the most unique-looking in the field. Factor in the new asymmetric frame – intended to allow for short chainstays, space for two bottles and extremely progressive geometry – and the new Scalpel is right at the forefront of cross-country race bike design, and well-suited to the ever more technical courses.

Fumic tells BikeRadar that the new Scalpel Si is now far closer to that of the F-Si hardtail. "The F-SI and Scalpel SI are more or less similar in terms of geometry and you can jump between them," he says. "It feels comfortable [making the] switch."

Look over Fumic's bike and the most notable aspect is how 'stock' it is next to an off-the-shelf Scalpel Si Team.

"There's nothing prototype on my bike. It's just like what will be sold to customers," says Fumic of his still-new ride. "It's proven, nothing crazy light and just normal stuff anyone can buy.

"You can go into the bike shop and say, 'I want that Fumic bike' and you can buy it," adds Fumic proudly.

As for his personal setup, Fumic has his suspension fettled by Eighty-Aid tuning. This process starts with optimizing the 88 needle bearings within the Lefty, before focusing on the damping aspects such as lower friction seals, oil viscosity, and for Fumic, a different blow-off threshold setting.

"There's a few adjustments on the suspension which I use different, but anyone can get the same setup as I have. I have my lockouts set up slightly different, in that when I lock it out, I still have a little movement in my fork, so the bike feels more like a hardtail, rather than fully locked." Fumic says of his RockShox 'Full Sprint' hydraulic lockout setup, which sits by his left hand.

What will and won't change

"My setup depends on the ground, the soil, whether it's raining, slippery muddy, and so on," Fumic goes on.

"For each race course, I have a different setting – for Cairns I changed tyre and suspension pressure. Each tyre has a different way of acting, and so you must adjust to each course. Rebound and compression doesn't change too much on the suspension though," he says.

For tyres, Fumic typically goes with Schwalbe Racing Ralphs in a 2.25in width, unless it's muddy, at which point the Rocket Ron may be put into use. Set up tubeless with sealant, his pressures typically range between 21 and 22psi – proving that riders at this level really can feel the difference in a half a psi.

While there are aspects of Fumic's setup that change, he's quite particular about his chainring. "I like a 36t, I run it at each race, even when it's steeper. I struggle to find the right gear when we swap. I stick to it, and it's an area of my bike I typically keep the same."

This is potentially set to change though, as Fumic will soon make the move from SRAM's XX1 11-speed drivetrain with a 10-42t cassette, to Eagle with a 12-speed 10-50t range. As we've seen with Nino Schurter's 38t chainring, we suspect Fumic will go bigger too – though the German tells us he's still to ride Eagle.

Counting on it

Weighing in at 10.31kg (22.73lb), Fumic's new Scalpel is light for a 29er dual suspension bike, but perhaps not as light as you'd expect, especially given its 2.16kg frame (including rear shock, seat clamp, bolts and thru-axle). For example, we weighed Julien Absalon's BMC Fourstroke at 10.18kg, and that included a full electronic suspension and gearing setup, and a dropper post too.

"I don't care so much about weight," explains Fumic of his setup. "For example, I travelled 40 hours to get here and it costs a hell of a lot. You don't want to be training for half a year, seeking a result and then have issues. I care whether the bike works correctly and has a good feel."

Fumic's Enve M50 wheels perhaps represent a good example of that approach. At approximately 1,400g for the pair, they're competitive but not class leading in weight. More importantly though, they're probably the stiffest and strongest race wheel money can buy. And it's this lack of taking chances that can pay off, as for example, Absalon spent much of the Cairns world cup race playing catch up after an early flat tyre.

All that said, weight is important for eveyone and there's no point carrying extra grams where it's not needed. There are a few little tricks on Fumic's ride to drop the weight, such as using only four titanium bolts to hold the rotors in place and replacing unused bidon bolts with tape.

Another is pedal choice and without a team pedal sponsor, Fumic is free to choose his own. Stating he likes the feel and that they're lighter, he's gone with a forged alloy and titanium SPD model from Exustar.

So what does the rest of the season hold for Fumic?

"Rio is so far away, I'm not even thinking about it yet," he concludes.

"I'm lucky in that OI have my spot in the team, but in the end I just want a good solid World Cup season and make sure I'm close to Nino (Schurter) and (Julien) Absalon. If I can beat them at a World Cup, then I can beat them at the World Championships and then Olympics." 

Complete bike specifications
Frame: Cannondale Scalpel F-Si, size Medium
Rear shock: RockShox Monarch XX, with XLoc Full Sprint
Fork: Cannondale Lefty 2.0 Carbon, XLR Isolated Damper, 88+ tuning, 55mm offset
Headset: Cannondale 1.5in Lefty
Stem: Cannondale Lefty OPI, 90mm, -5 degree
Handlebar: FSA K-Force Carbon, 700 width, flat
Grips: Prologo Mastery silicon
Front brake: SRAM Level Ultimate, 160mm 2-piece CLX rotor
Rear brake: SRAM Level Ultimate, 160mm 2-piece CLX rotor
Rear derailleur: SRAM XX1
Shift levers: SRAM XX1
Cassette: SRAM XX1, 10-42T, 11-speed
Chain: SRAM XX1, 11-speed
Crankset: Cannondale SiSl2, SRAM X-Sync 36T ring, 175mm, Stages power meter
Bottom bracket: SRAM PF30
Pedals: Exustar Forged ‘E-PM215Ti-1’
Front wheel: Enve M50, 29in, DT Swiss 240s Lefty hub
Rear wheel: Enve M50, 29in, DT Swiss 240s 142x12mm hub
Front tyre: Schwalbe Racing Ralph Evo, 29 x 2.25in
Rear tyre: Schwalbe Racing Ralph Evo, 29 x 2.25in
Saddle: Prologo Nago Evo X8 CPC, Nack carbon rails
Seatpost: FSA K-Force Carbon, 31.6mm, Straight
Bottle cages: Cannondale Nylon SSR, side access
Other accessories: Lightweight chainguide (unknown), Garmin mount

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 1.73m (5ft 8in)
Rider's weight: 68kg (150lb)
Saddle height from BB, c-t: 690mm
Effective top tube length: 599mm
Head tube length: 110mm
Seat tube length (c-t): 440mm
Chainstay length: 435mm
Weight: 10.31kg (22.73lb)