The new 2021 Cannondale Scalpel mountain bike comes in their traditional 100mm travel version, plus a new 120mm Scalpel SE model. Both versions use the same frame, but only the 100mm Scalpel Carbon gets a premium Hi-Mod carbon fiber version that comes in at a claimed 1910g in size medium.
2021 Cannondale Scalpel Carbon models & specs
For the full technical story on the new suspension design, check out our launch coverage. Here, we’ll run through all available models, specs and pricing for the Carbon, SE and Women’s specific models.
The Scalpel Carbon is the 100mm travel XC race bike version and was designed around the Ocho. Thankfully, it gets a much sleeker head tube shape now that they’ve done away with the dual-crown Lefty forks for XC bikes. All of these bikes get 29.x2.25″ tires front and rear.
Worth noting that all of the bikes get ESI foam grips, 760mm wide flat handlebars, and have Cannondale’s Garmin-made wheel speed sensor that pairs with their app to help you see ride data and get maintenance alerts.
2021 Scalpel Hi-Mod 1
The Scalpel Hi-Mod 1 is the top model. It’s the lightest frame, coming in about 150g lighter than the standard modulus carbon fiber frames on all other bikes shown here. Spec highlights are a Shimano XTR group and brakes w/ XT cassette and Cannondale HollowGram cranks with their one-piece 34t SpideRing, carbon rims and handlebar from Cannondale, ENVE seatpost and their top-level Lefty Ocho fork. Retail price is $9,000 (£6,800 / €7,999 / CAD $11,000)
You may have noticed that all-black Scalpel Si version pictured in the launch story. For now, that version, which was decked out with the black-stanchioned Fox Performance shock to keep it murdered out, is a photo model only. That said, Cannondale has been known to do Black Inc and Ultimate editions, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see where they go with this.
2021 Scalpel Carbon 2
The Scalpel Carbon 2, and all remaining models, use their standard-mod BallisTec carbon frame. The spec drops to an XT group and brakes and Cannondale carbon seatpost. Retail is $6,000 (£N/A / €4,999 / CAD $8,000). There’s a women’s version, too, scroll to bottom for all women’s bikes and details on the differences.
2021 Scalpel Carbon 3
The Scalpel Carbon 3 switches to Stan’s NoTubes Crest alloy rims, an XT/SLX mix and alloy Cannondale bar and post. Retail is $4,500 (£3,500 / €4,199 / CAD $6,000). Look for a gray/black/gray colorway in this one, too. This one and the model below lose the integrated STASH tool kit on the downtube, but you can add that later. Check our launch coverage to see it, it’s cool.
2021 Scalpel Carbon 4
For European markets only, there’ll also be a Scalpel Carbon 4. Its color is called Hilighter, and it gets a budget-friendly SRAM NX Eagle build with Truvativ Stylo 6K cranks. These, and the HollowGram cranks on the other models, all use Cannondale’s Ai offset to match the frame’s offset, so you’re not likely able to swap for a standard crankset, but maybe.
The Carbon 4 model is the only bike to get a standard fork, using the Fox 32 SC Rhythm fork with 100mm travel. Retail on this one is €3,699.
2021 Cannondale Scalpel SE models & specs
This is the bike they expect to sell more of. It’s the 120/120mm travel version that gets a dropper post and bigger tires. And the new SID Select+ fork and shock to keep weight down.
Utilizing the same frame, Cannondale was able to use a longer stroke shock and a 120mm fork to create a very lightweight “light trail” bike. We’ve been testing one of these (review coming soon) and it’s an impressively fast option for riders who want XC speed with a little more capability. Here’s how they’re built…
2021 Cannondale Scalpel SE 1
The Scalpel SE 1 gets a full XT group and brakes with Cannondale’s lightweight HollowGram alloy cranks and one-piece SpideRing chainring. It gets their housebrand DownLow dropper seatpost and bigger tires than the XC models – all SE bikes use a 29×2.45″ front tire and 29×2.35″ rear. Retail is $5,500 (£4,200 / €4,999 / CAD $7,000).
2021 Cannondale Scalpel SE 2
The Scalpel SE 2 keeps the same SID Select+ suspension but switches to a SRAM SX Eagle group with Shimano MT500 hydraulic disc brakes. And it loses the STASH tool kit, but you can add that later. Retail is $4,000 (£3,200 / €3,799 / CAD $,5000).
2021 Cannondale Scalpel Women’s models & specs
Cannondale is offering two women’s specific builds for the Scalpel, one each for the Carbon 100mm XC version and the SE 120mm version. Most of the specs are identical, with a couple of key differences: The crank arms are shorter, and they drop to a 32-tooth chainring. All of the other bikes shown above use a 34-tooth chainring. These two get their own colors, also.
Cannondale’s Proportional Response geometry changes shock and linkage orientation and other slight variations across frame sizes to keep the rider’s center of gravity the same regardless of size. So, frame sizes are the same for all models, and the air springs front and rear help you tune it to your body weight.
2021 Scalpel Carbon 2 Women’s
The Scalpel Carbon 2 Women’s is for the European market only for now. It has the same XT build as the regular version, but with a couple key changes. It switches from Cannondale’s carbon rims to a Stan’s NoTubes Crest MK3 wheelset with Lefty NEO hub, and gets a Fabric saddle rather than Prologo. And a purple/black/red fade paint scheme. Retail is €4,999.
2021 Scalpel SE Women’s
The SE women’s model is for North American and European markets and gets the same SID Select suspension setup, with a Stan’s NoTubes Crest rim laced to Shimano Deore hubs. The drivetrain is SRAM SX Eagle with Stylo cranks, Shimano MT500 brakes, and a sweet muted metallic Lavender paint. Retail is $4,000 (€3,799 / CAD $5,000).