Sneak Peek: Cannondale’s Scalpel 29

Cannondale showed us its brand-new carbon full-squish wagon wheeler.

Words by: Kevin Rouse and Ryan LaBar
Photo and Video by: Ryan LaBar

One of the bigger sneak-peeks at this year’s Sea Otter Classic, the new Cannondale Scalpel 29 marks Cannondale’s entry into the full-squish 29er market. In typical Cannondale fashion, the bike is no burden on the scales. Featuring 100 millimeters of travel front–which is new for the Lefty 29–and rear, the bike takes cues from both the 26-inch Scalpel and the new Jekyll. It borrows the pivot-less rear dropouts from its small-wheeled sibling, while the two 15-milimeter through-axles found at the pivots are a design feature pilfered from the Jekyll. The bike also features a 142×12 rear end like its longer-travel stable mate.

Hitting the scales at 21.7 pounds fully-built (sans pedals), the frame and shock run around 1900 grams, a respectable fighting weight for a size large. Cannondale plans to offer a full size range for the Scalpel 29, which is noteworthy as this marks the first time they’ve offered a size small in their 29er range. As for geometry, the size large features a 70-degree headtube angle paired with a 73.5-degree seat tube angle. Paired with an extremely short wheelbase, it seems sure to be a rather lively ride.

The Scalpel 29er will be available later this year as 2012 model.

Cannondale was still prepping its new Scalpel 29 when we arrived at the booth.


Less than 22 pounds without pedals, the Scalpel 29 is lighter than many hardtails in its class.


The Scalpel 29 rocks 100 millimeters of rear travel–a touch more than the 26-inch version.


The front derailleur is attached to the chainstays for maximum shift performance throughout the bike’s travel.


Cannondale switched from standard BB30 to SRAM’s Pressfit 30 for an ultra lightweight bottom bracket shell. Additionally, unlike the the 26-inch version the Scalpel 29 rocks a real swingarm pivot, instead of just flex stays.


Post-mount brakes and a 142×12 through axle in back. Cannondale is paying attention.


The bike’s seatstays are designed to flex and act as the rear pivot.


The Scalpel 29′s headtube junction is massive.


Taking cues from the Jekyll, the Scalpel uses through-axle pivots for better stiffness.

Cannondale’s Director of Mountain Bike Product had this to say about the Scalpel 29.

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