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Cannondale drops the covers off its new Scalpel

2021 Cannondale Scalpel
(Image credit: Cannondale)
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New 2021 Cannondale Scalpel goes slacker and longer (Image credit: Cannondale)
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2021 Cannondale Scalpel

New patented four-bar FlexPivot suspension system is essentially a pivotless Horst link system (Image credit: Cannondale)
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2021 Cannondale Scalpel

1x complete with chain guide is standard across the range (Image credit: Cannondale)
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2021 Cannondale Scalpel

New Scalpel boasts a 68-degree head angle on the the 100mm Lefty Ocho models (Image credit: Cannondale)

We first got wind of an all-new Cannondale Scalpel being tested by the Cannondale Factory Racing duo of Manuel Fumic and Henrique Avancini when pictures of it surfaced at the Tankwa Trek MTB stage race in South Africa during February this year. 

An untimely mechanical and trail-side fix showed what appeared to be an unbranded Scalpel test mule complete with pivotless rear triangle - undoubtedly being tested ahead of what would have been the 2020 Absa Cape Epic. After much speculation, we can finally confirm that these were indeed 2021 Cannondale Scalpel full-suspension prototypes after Cannondale officially dropped the covers off its new full-suspension offering today.

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2021 Cannondale Scalpel

News of Cannondale's revamped Scalpel first surfaced at the Tankwa Trek stage race in South Africa earlier this year (Image credit: Supplied)
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2021 Cannondale Scalpel

Cannondale factory Racing were testing prototypes ahead of the Absa Cape Epic (Image credit: Supplied)

The big news hinges around the brand's new patented four-bar FlexPivot suspension system. Essentially a pivotless Horst link, the durable carbon-fibre flex zones articulate without the weight or flex of bolts and bearings, which means it can be precisely tuned depending on your riding style or terrain on offer.

With two travel options available - 100mm and 120mm - the 100mm model is naturally the more XC-focussed of the two, sporting a 68-degree head angle, longer reach and shorter chainstays for improved singletrack agility. The Scalpel SE, on the other hand, is one for the trail riders. Utilising 120mm of front/rear travel it gets an even slacker front end (67-degrees), larger volume tyres (up to 2.4in) and a dropper post.

At just over 1900 grams complete with shock, the new all-carbon frame makes it one of the lightest full-suspension mountain bikes in the category - the frame can also adequately house two water bottles. Other notable additions include a new Stash-Kit system and Dynaplug and CO2 canister located on the downtube. 

The new Scalpel will be available in the choice of eight models including the Scalpel SE and women-specific Scalpel Carbon 2 and Carbon SE. The model line up spans sizing from S, M, L, XL. Women’s models are available in S, M and L only.


  • Scalpel Hi-MOD 1 - £6,800 / $9,000
  • Scalpel Carbon 3 - £3,500 / $4,500
  • Scalpel Carbon SE 1 - £4,200 / $5,500
  • Scalpel Carbon SE 2 - £3,200 / $4,000
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Aaron Borrill

Aaron is Cyclingnews' tech editor. Born and raised in South Africa he completed his BA honours at the University of Cape Town before embarking on a career in journalism. As the former gear and digital editor of Bicycling magazine and associate editor of TopCar, he's been writing about bikes and anything with wheels for the past 16 years. A competitive racer and Stravaholic, he’s twice ridden the Cape Epic and completed the Haute Route Alps. When not riding, racing or testing bicycles in and around the UK's Surrey Hills where he now lives, he's writing about them for Cyclingnews and Bike Perfect

Height: 176cm

Weight: 61.5kg

Rides: Cannondale SuperSlice Disc Di2 TT, Cannondale Supersix Evo Dura-Ace Rim, Cannondale Supersix Evo Ultegra Di2 Disc, Trek Procaliber 9.9 MTB 

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