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Cannondale unveils Scalpel HT, a lightweight, race-ready hardtail

Cannondale Scalpel HT
(Image credit: Cannondale)

Cannondale has released the Scalpel HT, a lightweight race-ready hardtail that features dropped seat stays and progressive geometry. This is Cannondale's first hardtail edition in the Scalpel range and will compete with the best lightweight mountain bikes under 10kg

The brand has taken learnings from its F-SI hardtail, which was previously Cannondale's best hardtail mountain bike range, as well as the Scalpel full-suspension XC bike to create the most "aggressive, progressive and innovative" hardtail Cannondale has created. 

Central to the bike's design is dropped seat stays as opposed to a more traditional design where the seat stays meet the seat tube at the end of the top tube. Dropped stays are more common on road or gravel bikes and help with vibration dampening on the trail. The dropped seat stays were actually a giveaway that Cannondale had a new bike on the way after it was spotted under EF Education-Nippo's Alex Howes. 

The Scalpel HT features a progressive 65.5-degree head tube angle to give riders confidence on fast or technical descents, and the seat tube angle measures in at 74.5-degrees, which helps with power transfer and efficiency on the ups. 

The bike also uses Cannondale's Proportional Response design, which means that each size frame features different chainstay lengths. This creates a better handling bike no matter what size frame you are riding.

Cannondale Scalpel HT

The Cannondale Scalpel HT HI-MOD 1 will weigh less than 10kg (Image credit: Cannondale)

The frame also has flex zones in the chainstays that also help take the edge off of trail chatter and square edge hits.

Cannondale also boasts about the lightweights achieved on its new hardtail. The brand claims that the top-of-the-line build weighs about 9.8kg out of the box, while the mid-range Carbon 3 model weighs about 10.5kg.

The Scalpel HT will be offered in four model levels ranging from $2,200 to $5,000. The top two models use a Cannondale Lefty Ocho fork while the others use suspension from RockShox.

The top-end Scalpel HT Hi-MOD 1 will have a Shimano XT/XTR build kit along with Shimano brakes and Cannondale HollowGram 25 carbon rims and Schwalbe tires.

The entry-level Scalpel HT Carbon 4 uses a RockShox SID SL fork, WTB STX rims, Shimano Deore and XT shifting and Shimano brakes.

The frames are available in sizes S-XL from Cannondale retailers.

Ryan Simonovich

Ryan Simonovich has been riding and racing for nearly a decade. He got his start as a cross-country mountain bike racer in California, where he cultivated his love for riding all types of bikes. Ryan eventually gravitated toward enduro and downhill racing but has also been found in the occasional road and cyclo-cross events. Today, he regularly rides the trails of Durango, Colorado, and is aiming to make a career out of chronicling the sport of cycling. 


Rides: Santa Cruz Hightower, Specialized Tarmac SL4