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Customised: Cannondale Scalpel

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We review a customised Cannondale Scalpel. Because the owner of this extraordinary bike, preferred to remain anonymous(and we respect that) we are going to refer to him as our friend(because that is simply who he is). We can’t exactly take credit for building this bike.

So our friend is a FOX Shox specialist, he leant us his bike to test and review. He has custom built his Scalpel, and it rides and looks brilliant! As we have said before, customizing your bike, has endless possibilities. It’s about what gear and technology works for you when you’re riding. So this bike and its gear works for our friend, and yes, it also worked for us.


The Gear

Our friend’s Cannondale Scalpel has some of the best gear and technology in the cycling industry. Firstly, the frame:

Cannondale’s SI (System Integration) frame technologies incorporates the Lefty, BB30, HollowGram and the recently developed Ai-Drivetrain to insure that all components on a Cannondale bike work in absolute harmony together.

Our friend’s Scalpel features the BB30, HollowGram and BallisTec technologies.

The BB30 is an oversized bottom bracket with a 30mm aluminium spindle and oversized bearings pressed onto the bb shell, a Bottom Bracket developed by Cannondale’s expertise.

The HollowGram is simply Cannondale’s super light, extremely strong and durable, hollow aluminium cranks.

Our friend’s Scalpel carbon fibre is made from Hi-Mods or High-Modules, which are part of Cannondale’s BallisTec carbon fibre technology. BallisTec has carbon fibres specifically placed in areas of the frame for strength and durability, therefore Cannondale calls those areas of the frame, Hi-Mods. And with Hi-Mod fibres, P1020630   Cannondale is able to build light-weight and durable carbon frames.

Next, we have the suspension. The FOX Factory Float 32 fork and the smart FOX Factory Float 32 rear shock. Now what’s special about this suspension is that they both have Kashima Coats and they are both electrically controlled by FOX’s iCD technology, with a flick of a switch you can lockout your shocks or open them back up, all in less than 2 seconds and with nearly no effort. Also, because our friend is a FOX specialist, he customised and built his shocks! So you won’t find FOX Shox with the same components as our friend’s in the bike shops!    P1020596

We’ll tell you how all this technology benefits you, in a minute. But we’d like to just mention the other components that our friend has customised his bike with. The ultra-light-weight Easton 29 inch EA90 XC rims and Fizik saddle help save weight. But the mega weight saver on this bike, is the Avid EXR hydraulic brakes and Sram XX1 drivetrain which has carbon fibre woven into some of its pieces like on the derailleur and shifters. Our friend has customised his bike well, in our opinion, finishing off with FSA carbon fibre handlebar, stem and seat post.


The Experience

On the test, OUR FRIEND’S BIKE WAS FAST AND FURIOUS! All the technology truly benefits its rider in REMARKABLE ways! Starting at the frame. Since it is made from carbon fibre, it is easier to ride uphill, more sturdy and stiffer, and is slightly more manuverable on sharp turns. Thanks to FOX’s iCD technology, when you are racing and going flat-out, you simply have to flick a switch on your handlebars to adjust your suspension, allowing you to focus and maintain speed. With a 1×10 gear setup, we were able to keep a good pace on up hills and simply fly downhill! Plus, the gear ratio was especially helpful on technical sections.

P1020612     You can tell our friend built his bike for xc-racing and marathons, because your position on his bike is in a racing mode, and, the saddle is uniquely comfortable      for racing. The 29 inch wheels do create more drag on ascending, but on descending, our friend’s bike is a blur and everything around its rider is blurry! Although 29 inch wheels are not so manuverable on technical sections, they are beneficial in rolling over some big rocks, plus with the awesome suspension that his bike has, the ride is smooth, fast, and furious.

So we had fun testing and reviewing our friend’s customised Cannondale Scalpel. And a huge thanks to our friend for lending us the bike!

Tech: 99%                                                     Experience: 97%P1020629

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Bike guide

Built for: Dual Suspension Trail
Year launched: 2022