MOUNTAIN BIKES GEARED FOR CROSS TRIATHLON
Why would a triathlete want or need a mountain bike? Well, with the burgeoning popularity of cross and Xterra racing here in Canada, many multisport athletes are looking for bikes they can train and race on. Others might simply be looking for a bike they can hit the trails on as a fun way to switch up their bike training. We have a look at two great options for multisport athletes to consider when it comes time to find a new mountain bike. The Cannondale Scalpel has long been a cross-country race machine preferred by elite athletes as well as amateurs looking for a dual suspension bike that doesn’t sacrifice pedalling efficiency. The Scalpel has seen many design changes over the years, but, thanks to its razor-sharp feel and efficient suspension design, it is at the top of the list of suspension bikes that are a viable alternative to hardtail (bikes without rear suspension) models.
One look at the Scalpel and it’s hard to miss the unique look and design of the Cannondale Lefty fork. Utilizing a single leg instead of two, Cannondale was thinking outside the box when dreaming up this fork. However odd it may look, there is no denying that the Lefty is one of the best front suspension systems on the market. The Scalpel Carbon 3 comes with the 100 mm Lefty 2.0 equipped with the Xloc full spring hydraulic remote. Cannondale matches the Lefty with a Rock Shox Monarch XX 100 mm shock also equipped with the full sprint remote lock out. The lock out is a great feature, allowing you to simultaneously stiffen both the front and rear suspension with the push of a button.
The Scalpel Carbon 3 doesn’t have a front derailleur
– there’s a single 32-tooth direct mount chainring attached to the immensely stiff Cannondale Si crank. If you prefer to have two front chainrings, Cannondale does have options for you as well. A Shimano XTR rear derailleur and XT shifter ensure you are always in the right gear, while the XT brakes bring everything to a stop quickly. The build, which also includes Stans famous ZTR Crest rims, keep the Scalpel Carbon 3 light and nimble, which you really notice when climbing.
Cannondale says the 2018 Scalpel is designed for XXC, adding an extra “X” to indicate the bike is more capable than ever. Cannondale changed the geometry in 2017 to make the Scalpel more suitable for descending technical trails. When you point the front wheel downhill the Scalpel really inspires confidence compared to many other cross-country race bikes. Cannondale also includes a wider handlebar (measuring in at 760 mm), which adds to the bike’s ability to navigate difficult trail sections. Cannondale made all these changes, but still managed to maintain excellent climbing efficiency and the excellent handling the Scalpel is famous for.
Cannondale Scalpel-si Carbon 3 $6,930