Lachlan Morton completes 2,670-mile Tour Divide on Cannondale Scalpel

We take a look at the bike Morton used to ride 2,670 miles in 12 and a half days

Lachlan Morton Tour Divide bike.

Lachlan Morton rode 2,670 miles in a blistering time of 12 days, 12 hours and 21 minutes to finish the punishing Tour Divide route in Canada and the USA.

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The EF Education-EasyPost rider rode his Cannondale Scalpel from Banff in the Canadian Rocky Mountains to Antelope Wells in New Mexico with a minimum of 12 hours’ rest every 48 hours.

The Australian was confronted by wet and cold weather, fires sparked by lightning, trench foot, mechanical issues and saddle sores along the way.

The acknowledged fastest-known time for a self-supported rider was Mike Hall’s 2016 record of 13 days, 22 hours and 51 minutes, on a slightly different and longer route.

Morton’s time will likely not be considered a replacement for Hall’s, due to the revised route and the presence of a camera crew, which some argue invalidates the claim of being truly self-supported.

Lachlan Morton’s Tour Divide Cannondale Scalpel

Lachlan Morton Tour Divide bike.
Lachlan Morton’s Cannondale Scalpel specced out for the Tour Divide ride.
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Morton’s Tour Divide ride was part of his alternative racing calendar, which has seen the 2016 Tour of Utah champion trade professional road racing for bikepacking and ultra-endurance races.

The most notable ride in the alternative calendar was the Alt Tour, which saw Morton ride the 2021 Tour de France route, finishing the 5,510km ride five days ahead of the peloton.

Lachlan Morton Tour Divide bike.
Morton completed the Tour Divide in 12 and a half days.
EF Education-EasyPost

Morton completed the Alt Tour on his Cannondale SuperSix Evo, but he has ridden many of his other off-road endurance events on a Cannondale Scalpel.

This is the bike he chose for the Tour Divide attempt, with a number of modifications making the bike more suitable for endurance riding than cross-country racing.

A long-distance cockpit

Lachlan Morton Cannondale Scalpel cockpit.
Morton used a flat bar with tri-bars and bar ends.
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Cyclists heading out on long rides such as this will often opt for a cockpit setup that provides plenty of different hand and arm positions to help minimise the aches and pains that come from holding your body in a limited set of positions.

Morton is no different, with the Australian rider using a flat mountain bike handlebar paired with tri-bars and bar ends on his Tour Divide bike.

Where he does differ is his preferred stem angle. Morton’s Scalpel appears to be fitted with an adjustable stem, enabling him to have the flat bar in an incredibly low position.

Lachlan Morton Tour Divide bike.
The cockpit has a bottle cage mounted to it with a bike computer on top.
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This is presumably to put the tri-bars low enough for Morton’s preferred riding position.

Morton also strapped his mobile phone to the tri-bar and mounted a bottle cage to it with a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt attached on top.

The end of the tri-bar appears to have remote gear shifters poking out from underneath the bar tape.

Instead of using a handlebar bag, Morton strapped a roll-top dry bag out front.

The handlebar also has a RockShox TwistLoc Remote.

Bags, bags and more bags

Lachlan Morton Tour Divide bike.
Morton’s bike was covered in seven bags.
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Morton probably has a water bottle on his bars because it’s the only place left to mount one –  his Scalpel is covered in bags.

The front triangle of the cross-country bike is taken up by a large Tailfin bag.

Lachlan Morton Tour Divide bike.
A Tailfin bag fills the front triangle.
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The frame bag is marked as an ‘R&D Divsion’ product and was presumably custom-made to fit his bike.

While there isn’t room for any bottle cages in the front triangle, Morton has fitted a C02 canister holder to the down tube mounts.

Lachlan Morton Tour Divide bike.
There is also a Tailfin fin rack.
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Two cylindrical drybags are mounted on either side of a Tailfin rear rack, with a third bag on top.

There is a rather worn-looking Tailfin bag mounted on the top tube of the bike and the mounts on the underside of the down tube hold a final, seventh bag.

A spare spoke comes in handy

Collage showing spoke holding rear derailleur in place on Lachlan Morton's bike.
Morton had to improvise with a spare spoke.
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Cycling incredibly long distances often entails finding solutions to unforeseen issues – cutting up a pair of cheap sandals to avoid enduring foot pain is one such example from Morton’s Alt Tour.

Morton’s Tour Divide bike has a SRAM XX1 Eagle mountain bike groupset, with a 38t front chainring and a 52t cassette, and on around the 11th day of his ride, it failed.

Either the rear derailleur or shifter stopped working, and Morton resorted to jamming a spare spoke through the derailleur cage and wedging it against the chainstay.

This is said to have given the Australian rider a 3-speed setup before shifting returned for the run into Antelope Wells, according to Cycling News.

Finishing touches

Lachlan Morton Tour Divide bike.
The bike has purple Muc-Off bar ends.
EF Education-EasyPost

Morton’s Cannondale Scalpel is completed with components from EF Education-EasyPost’s other team sponsors.

The bike features FSA mountain bike wheels wrapped in Vittoria Mezcal tyres.

Lachlan Morton Tour Divide bike.
The Prologo Scratch M5 PAS saddle is set at a fairly extreme angle.
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Morton has a Prologo Scratch M5 PAS road bike saddle pushed back in the dropper post’s rails and angled downwards.