Triple Bike Check: Comparing the Scalpels of Cannondale Factory Racing

Oct 1, 2020
by Daniel Sapp  

Cannondale Factory Racing's team is stacked for the first XC World Cup races of 2020. Henrique Avancini recently signed with the team for a further three more seasons with his new contract ending in 2023. Manuel Fumic, however, will only be staying with the team until the end of 2021 after he completes the final season of his career. Maxime Marotte brings a duo of podiums from the 2019 World Cup calendar and a diverse resume of XCO and Marathon wins.

Cannondale's team will toe up to the line this weekend on Cannondale's new Scalpel. The bike was released earlier this year and was a part of our XC Field Test, however it hasn't seen nearly the action it typically would due to the abbreviated World Cup season. All three racers are on a size medium frame and are very similar in height and weight. As far as set ups go, the riders don't change all that much throughout the year after getting their initial settings dialed in at the pre-season training camp. The only modifications are small adaptations for the course, tires, and tire pressures.

The Riders

Manuel Fumic

Manuel Fumic World Champs 2017

Height: 5'9" / 175 cm
Weight: 152 lb / 69 kg
Age: 38
Instagram: @manuelfumic
Maxime Marotte


Height: 5'8" / 173 cm
Weight: 137 lb / 62 kg
Age: 33
Instagram: @maxime_marotte

Henrique Avancini

Photo Courtesy of Michele Mondini.

Height: 5'9" / 175 cm
Weight: 148 lb / 67 kg
Age: 31
Instagram: @avancinimtb



Manuel Fumic

Fumic

Fumic
Fork pressure is 105psi with 5 tokens. 9 clicks of rebound from closed and no compression.

Fumic

Fumic
145psi in the shock with rebound 8 clicks in and a custom compression tune.

Fumic
Fumic
2.35 Racing Rays with air at 1.1-1.3 bar (16 - 19 psi) with no inserts.

Fumic
All of the bikes have a full lockout system for the front and rear suspension.

Fumic
730mm wide 9-degree sweep bars with an 85mm stem and a -10 degree rise.

Fumic

Fumic
Fumic
A 38t chainring, 10-45 cassette, and 175mm cranks put the power down.



Maxime Marotte

Marotte
The frame here is the "World Cup" edition Scalpel, as are the others.

Marotte
Marotte runs 95 psi in his fork with 4 spacers. Rebound is 9 clicks from open and compression is wide open. He's fussy about his suspension and likes to run it soft as possible.

Marotte
Marotte
A 36t chainring, 10-45 cassette, and 170mm XTR cranks.

Marotte
Marotte
For tires, Marotte is on Schwalbe's Racing Ralph in a 2.35 width. 1.3-1.45 bar (19 - 21 psi) for pressure.

Marotte
In the shock, there is 135psi. 5 clicks from open to closed on the rebound and there's a custom compression tune.

Marotte
Marotte
Like the others, Marotte runs a lockout for the front and rear.

Marotte
Handlebars are 700mm with a -10 degree rise and 9-degree sweep and Prologo grips.

Marotte
A Prologo Dimension saddle on a dropper post.



Henrique Avancini

Avancini is on a custom Brazilian color for his medium Scalpel.

Avancini
100psi, 4 tokens, and 10 clicks from closed on the rebound. No compression...a unified theme.

Avancini
The shock sees 145psi, 7 clicks of rebound, and a custom compression tune.

Avancini
Avancini
All bikes are on an XTR drivetrain. Henrique has a 38t chainring, 10-45 cassette, and 175mm cranks.

Avancini

Avancini
Avancini
XTR brakes for the team.

Avancini

Avancini
Avancini
ENVE's XC wheels hold onto the Racing Rays. 19 psi in the back, 18 up front.

Avancini
735mm handlebars on an 80mm stem with -6 degrees rise.

Avancini

Avancini





39 Comments

  • 46 2
 That bike. Congratulations Cannondale.
  • 42 5
 For pure XC, the Scalpel is still one of the sexiest rigs out there, IMO.
  • 16 1
 Beautiful bike that Scalpel.
  • 13 2
 "Saddle position angled forward putting a lot of weight on the fork." Or... it's because they're sitting in stands the put the rear of the bike 4 inches higher than the front...
  • 2 1
 It's all about aerodynamics!
  • 4 0
 Not seeing the line you quoted. Did they change it with no acknowledgement?
  • 2 0
 @just6979: It would appear so.
  • 7 0
 Why aren't the clicks counted consistently? The forks say "clicks from closed", "clicks from open", and "clicks from closed"; the shocks are "clicks in", "clicks from open to closed", and just "clicks". I thought that by now everyone knows clicks should be counted from closed, and "clicks in" (sounds like maybe "from open") and "clicks" are completely ambiguous.
  • 9 2
 “Also running a very far forward saddle position.” Saddle rails indicate the opposite.
  • 3 0
 Not seeing the line you quoted. Did they change it with no acknowledgement?
  • 4 0
 The interessting thing is tire choice for me. Running Ray/Ray in bad conditions is a superb combo. Here at my local rides people gave me shit all winter long last year for running a front specific tire in the back... ( who cares anyways )
  • 3 0
 Interesting choices for sure.
Either Ralph/Ralph (Marotte) or Ray/Ray (the other two).

Would have expected to see Ray front / Ralph rear, also as Schwalbe suggests. (and I personally prefer the rear tyre to wash out sooner than the front as well)

Anyway.

Oh and btw: Flückiger even used two Thunder Burts....
  • 1 1
 Since Marotte was the top finisher is XCO race # 1 with the 2.35 Ralph/Ralph combo...does that mean it was a better choice than the Ray/Ray combo?
  • 1 0
 @PapaStone: no, it means he had a better day, better legs, etc.
  • 6 0
 Thirty fkn eight
  • 3 0
 Fumic runs his tire as low as 16 ps, with no insert! Starting to see a trend here, with Mathias Flueckiger also running low pressure.
  • 1 1
 I know it's XC, not trail or enduro. However, with no insert, I don't see how the hell those tires don't feel squirmy as a bean bag or burp in the turns.
  • 2 0
 @bman33: They don't ride heavily bermed courses or have the grip on flat turns to put those kinds of loads into them. These guys are also featherweights compared to most of us.
  • 1 0
 also racer kg is super lightweight Hence low psi tyres and custom tube shock and fork compression open
  • 1 0
 Flucki is running low pressures but he’s pretty lightweight and runs tubolight inserts actually
  • 1 0
 Great piece- it looks like they are all on medium sized frames, I wish it was confirmed in the article. I wish I could find the skinwall tires for sale somewhere - they look great.
  • 1 0
 The new Scalpel has less anti-squat than the previous iteration, and with large 36 and 38t rings even less so. It makes sense that the pros would run a custom compression to combat bob.
  • 3 0
 What's with the medium cage XTR rear derailers 45T only?
  • 3 0
 Yeah, GS 45, SGS 51
  • 5 0
 Lighter, closer shifts, less rear mech hanging down to get caught on stuff, marginally better shifter on the shorter cage. Some XC types don't feel the need for super wide range gearing. Depends on where you live and race. Plus even the larger men on the pro circuit are usually less than 150 pounds so 36 or 38 by 45 is plenty of gear. I bet many would use a 10-42 if it was available for 12 speed.
  • 4 0
 scalpel is betterWink
  • 3 1
 Why does the caption say one tire, but the tire says another tire.
  • 10 0
 They’re gaslighting you
  • 8 2
 @diegosk: That's because it's XC. If this was enduro, it would be gasheavying.
  • 4 0
 Because Pinkbike's "editors" don't seem to proofread. Looks like there were a bunch of errors in this article that were covertly corrected after a bunch of readers noticed.
  • 1 0
 I like the paddock stand going straight into the crank, are these available?
  • 1 0
 There's a few - Google bike stand through crank and you'll get a load of options.
  • 2 0
 Chainring 38T...OMG that is insane!
  • 1 0
 Those are some big gears they are pushing!!!
  • 1 0
 Looks fast, rides fast! Wink
  • 1 0
 Hmm, thought they would run a 40T. Oh well. ;-)
  • 5 8
 Can Non and Dale ride these bikes?
  • 1 4
 El ad non nac?

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