All-new 2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT is an XC hardtail with a modern geometry

New hardtail model follows in the footsteps of the full-suspension version with aggressive, modern geometry

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Cannondale has introduced the Scalpel HT hardtail to its range of Scalpel cross-country mountain bikes, previously comprised only of full-suspension models.

The latest addition to the range follows in the footsteps of its full-suspension sibling, the 2021 Cannondale Scalpel, with slack, trail-focused mountain bike geometry.

The figures are headlined by a 65.5-degree head tube angle and proportional chainstay lengths that grow by 5mm for each size of Scalpel HT.

It also has a new dropped seatstay design, said to smooth out the ride, and similar to the brand’s SAVE Micro-Suspension seen on the Cannondale F-Si, the model this bike will replace.

Unsurprisingly, the Scalpel HT is built around 29in wheels front and back, but now gets from 100mm to 110mm of front-wheel travel depending on the model.

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT hardtail cross country mountain bike
Cannondale has launched the Scalpel HT for 2022.
Cannondale

The 2022 Scalpel HT will be available in four configurations.

The most expensive Scalpel HT Hi-MOD 1 gets the brand’s lightest-weight carbon material, with a claimed frame weight of 895g, has Shimano’s XTR M9100 mountain bike groupset and costs £6,200 / $5,000 / €6,999.

The cheapest version, the Scalpel HT Carbon 4, retails for £2,600 / $2,200 / €2,499, and is decked out in Shimano Deore M6100.

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT frame details and specifications

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT hardtail cross country mountain bike
With clean lines from front to back, the frame certainly looks attractive.
Cannondale

The 2022 Scalpel HT has been designed with a focus on low weight and Cannondale claims the flagship frame weighs 895g. This is for the medium-sized Hi-MOD version, painted in the lightest black colour, without axle, seat clamp, headset, etc.

The lack of heft is impressive and should appeal to the bike’s target audience; riders looking to get to the top of the race podium or blast (repeatedly) uphill.

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT hardtail cross country mountain bike
The Hi-MOD version of the frame is claimed to weigh 895g.
Cannondale

The internal gear cables use a full-length outer cable as standard, as is usually the case on internally-routed bikes, but can also be modified to use interrupted cables in a bid to further save weight.

Any weight saving would be minimal, but at the sharp end of XC racing, incremental gains might add up. This feature could appeal to riders looking to take weight saving to the extreme, and who aren’t concerned about needing to regularly change gear cables.

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT hardtail cross country mountain bike
The frame has internally-routed cables.
Cannondale

Although the press material doesn’t mention Cannondale’s SAVE Micro-suspension seen, on the old Scalpel, by name, the new model does have “sculpted flex zones” in the chainstays, matched with dropped seatstays to provide rear-end compliance over chattery terrain.

I tested the Cannondale Trail SE 4, which has dropped seatstays similar to the new Scalpel HT, and noticed just how smooth it felt out on the trails. Hopefully, the Scalpel has inherited some of that model’s inherent calmness.

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT hardtail cross country mountain bike
The rear end has built-in flex areas to improve comfort and compliance.
Cannondale

Elsewhere, the Hi-MOD and standard carbon frames share the same PF30-83 press fit bottom bracket standard and tapered head tube. They’re both fitted with SRAM’s UDH, and use a 55mm chainline.

The frame is also stealth dropper-post compatible, with cable routing options, however none of the stock models are fitted with a dropper post from the factory.

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT wheel sensor

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT hardtail cross country mountain bike
The wheel sensor is made in collaboration with Garmin.

The front wheel is fitted with a sensor that connects to Cannondale’s smartphone app to provide information such as current speed, route and ride distance information, plus it registers your bike and reminds you when it needs servicing, among other features.

Although the sensor’s exact specifications aren’t listed, it is co-branded and has been co-developed with Garmin.

The sensor is fitted to the entire range of Scalpel HT bikes, from the most affordable to the dearest.

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT geometry

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT hardtail cross country mountain bike
This is a lightweight XC hardtail with a modern take on geometry.
Cannondale

The four-size range of Scalpels (from small to extra-large) all feature geometry that wouldn’t have looked out of place on a more hardcore, trail-focused hardtail only a few years ago.

However, only the most expensive Hi-MOD 1 bike comes fitted from the factory with the 110mm travel fork. The extra travel jacks up the front end and pushes XC hardtail geometry into new territory with a 66.5-degree head-tube angle.

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT 100 geometry chart
SizeSmallMediumLargeExtra-large
Seat tube length (mm)390440480530
Top tube length (mm)571594617640
Headangle (degrees)67676767
Effective seat tube angle (degrees)75757575
Standover (mm)748785814850
Wheelbase (mm)1124115411831214
Chainstay length (mm)430435440445
Bottom bracket height (mm)315315315315
Stack height (mm)602612623635
Reach (mm)410430450470

Reach figures for the Hi-MOD bike range from 404mm to 465mm, and are slightly shorter than the 100mm travel bike thanks to the longer-travel fork. On the 100mm travel models, reach figures start at 410mm and rise to 470mm.

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT 110 geometry chart
SizeSmallMediumLargeExtra-large
Seat tube length (mm)390440480530
Top tube length (mm)572594617642
Headangle (degrees)66.566.566.566.5
Effective seat tube angle (degrees)74.574.574.674.6
Standover (mm)754790819855
Wheelbase (mm)1123115111811212
Chainstay length (mm)430435440445
Bottom bracket height (mm)318318318318
Stack height (mm)608617629641
Reach (mm)404423444465

Chainstay lengths for both travel versions grow as the bike’s size increases, dubbed Proportional Response by Cannondale. Chainstay lengths start at 430mm and rise to 445mm, growing in 5mm increments per size increase.

The effective and actual seat tube angles are kept virtually the same across the Scalpel’s sizes and travels, with the longer-travel bike having slacker angles, once again thanks to the increased front-end height. Figures hover around the 74.5-degree mark.

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT models, specifications and prices

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT hardtail cross country mountain bike
The Scalpel HT should be well suited to high-paced riding.
Cannondale

The latest Scalpel HT is available in four different builds, the highest-spec bike using the Hi-MOD carbon fibre frame, rather than the standard Cannondale Carbon seen on the remaining models.

Topping out the range is the Scalpel HT Hi-MOD 1, fitted with the 110mm travel Lefty Ocho 120 Carbon fork with a 50mm offset, Shimano’s 12-speed M9100 drivetrain, and ultra-light carbon fibre Cannondale finishing kit. It costs £6,200 / $5,000 / €6,999.

The lowest-specced Scalpel HT Carbon 4 is fitted with a RockShox SID SL 100mm travel fork with a 44mm offset, Shimano’s Deore M6100 12-speed drivetrain, and a host of Cannondale aluminium parts to round off the build, costing £2,600 / $2,200 / €2,499.

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT Hi-MOD 1

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT hardtail cross country mountain bike
2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT Hi-MOD 1.
Cannondale
  • Frame: Cannondale Hi-MOD Carbon
  • Fork: Lefty Ocho 120 Carbon, 110mm travel
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XTR M9100
  • Cranks: HollowGram BB30a, 34t
  • Wheels/tyres: HollowGram 25 rims on HollowGram hubs / Schwalbe Racing Ray EVO SnakeSkin Addix Speedgrip TR 29×2.25in (f), Schwalbe Racing Ralph EVO SnakeSkin Addix Speed TR 29×2.25in (r)
  • Brakes: Shimano XT 160mm rotors
  • Bar/stem: Cannondale 1 Flat / Cannondale 1
  • Seatpost/saddle: C1 Carbon / Prologo Dimension NDR Tirox rails
  • Price: £6,200 / $5,000 / €6,999

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT Carbon 2

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT hardtail cross country mountain bike
2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT Carbon 2.
Cannondale
  • Frame: Cannondale Carbon
  • Fork: Lefty Ocho, 100mm travel
  • Drivetrain: Shimano XT M8100
  • Cranks: HollowGram BB30a, 34t
  • Wheels/tyres: Stan’s NoTubes Crest MK4 on Lefty/Shimano hubs / Schwalbe Racing Ray EVO SnakeSkin Addix Speedgrip TR 29×2.25in (f), Schwalbe Racing Ralph EVO SnakeSkin 29×2.25in
  • Brakes: Shimano XT 160mm rotors
  • Bar/stem: Cannondale 1 Flat / Cannondale 3
  • Seatpost/saddle: C1 Carbon / Prologo Dimension NDR Tirox rails
  • Price: £3,400 / $4,000 / €4,499

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT Carbon 3

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT hardtail cross country mountain bike
2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT Carbon 3.
Cannondale
  • Frame: Cannondale Carbon
  • Fork: RockShox SID SL Select+ RL, 100mm travel
  • Drivetrain: Shimano SLX M7100
  • Cranks: Cannondale 1 BB30a, 34t
  • Wheels/tyres: Stan’s NoTubes Crest MK4 on Shimano hubs / Schwalbe Racing Ray EVO TwinSkin TR 29×2.25in (f), Schwalbe Racing Ralph EVO SnakeSkin Addix, TR 29×2.25in
  • Brakes: Shimano M6100 160mm rotors
  • Bar/stem: Cannondale 2 Flat / Cannondale 2
  • Seatpost/saddle: C2 Carbon / Fabric Scoop Shallow Elite
  • Price: £2,600 / $3,000 / €3,299

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT Carbon 4

2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT hardtail cross country mountain bike
2022 Cannondale Scalpel HT Carbon 4.
Cannondale
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  • Frame: Cannondale Carbon
  • Fork: RockShox SID SL, 100mm travel
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Deore M6100
  • Cranks: Shimano M5121, 30t
  • Wheels/tyres: WTB STX i23 on Shimano hubs / Stan’s NoTubes Crest MK4 on Shimano hubs / Schwalbe Racing Ray EVO TwinSkin TR 29×2.25in (f), Schwalbe Racing Ralph EVO SnakeSkin Addix, TR 29×2.25in
  • Brakes: Shimano MT501 160mm rotors
  • Bar/stem: Cannondale 2 Flat / Cannondale 2
  • Seatpost/saddle: C3 Alloy / Fabric Scoop Shallow Sport
  • Price: £2,600 / $2,200 / €2,499