hose for the remote lockout. Some of our test
riders had a difficult time turning the rebound
knob on the trail—another reason to do the
tweaking at home.
Cornering: The Scalpel-Si doesn’t feel like your typical XC race
bike in the corners. The wide bars and slack geometry allowed our
test riders to push harder in corners than they normally would have
on other XC rigs. In tight switchbacks and banked turns, the Si
could be whipped through with ease, demonstrating a very playful
side that is not common in these types of machines.
Climbing: Cross-country races are often won on the climbs,
and cross-country race bikes need to be able to respond
when the trail points up. The Si comes stock with a Sprint
Remote for the front and rear suspension. With the suspension locked out, the Scalpel transforms into a fully rigid
bike that motors uphill. During hard efforts out of the
saddle, the Scalpel responds quickly, reminding us of its
XC racing roots. The Scalpel isn’t a bike that just spins
up hills; the aggressive geometry encourages riders to
push harder and charge any rise.
Descending: This isn’t normally a category that
XC bikes excel in, but the Scalpel-Si can rip descents.
The combination of the progressive geometry and offset on the fork gave our riders a very balanced and
stable feel at high speeds and over technical sections
of trail. At times, our test riders didn’t feel like they
were riding a bike with only 100 millimeters of travel.
The aggressive geometry had our weight centered
and back behind the bars, and the wide bars gave us
solid leverage. Occasionally, the Lefty felt a little too
stiff over rocky bits of trail, but it held its own overall
with plush travel.
Something custom: RockShox
produced a custom banjo for the
tight, tricky cable routing for the
Full Sprint remote. This banjo helps
keep the cables routed internally for
a clean overall look.
Keep it light: The rear spacing is 12x142 with Cannondale’s Ai
offset. This offset pushes the drivetrain and hub 6 millimeters
to the right to allow for more tire clearance and the ability to
run a front derailleur.
Make it a habit: Cannondale released the Habit featuring a
new suspension linkage called Lockr. The Scalpel-Si uses the
same carbon fiber link with collet-style hardware that can be
serviced if you’re out on the trail.