Cannondale drops the covers off its new Scalpel

2021 Cannondale Scalpel
(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.

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 was the Tech Editor Cyclingnews between July 2019 and June 2022. He was born and raised in South Africa, where he completed his BA honours at the University of Cape Town before embarking on a career in journalism. Throughout this career, Aaron has spent almost two decades writing about bikes, cars, and anything else with wheels. Prior to joining the Cyclingnews team, his experience spanned a stint as Gear & Digital editor of Bicycling magazine, as well as a time at TopCar as Associate Editor. 

Now based in the UK's Surrey Hills, Aaron's life revolves around bikes. He's a competitive racer, Stravaholic, and Zwift enthusiast. He’s twice ridden the Cape Epic, completed the Haute Route Alps, and represented South Africa in the 2022 Zwift eSports World Championships.

Height: 175cm

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