The Cannondale Scalpel is one of those bikes I remember well. I was a junior in high school when the first gen came out. Tinker was racing one and the bike was, for better or worse, ahead of its time: A then radical EPO carbon flex stay, a carbon lefty fork with an ELO electric lock out, and a remote cable lockout for the rear shock.
It was badass. The team replica in baby blue/lightning white fade was sweet, but I wanted the Scalpel 2000 in ball-burnished aluminum pretty badly. My local shop took pity on me and lent me one (and a Jekyll) for a handful of extended test rides.
I was hooked. My parents had other ideas so I ended up with a Specialized FSR Stumpjumper FSR XC Pro. I loved the Stumpy but the Scalpel left a lasting batshit fast impression on this kid.
Now, 20 years is a long time. 29in wheels are now totally in, components are more closely integrated than they ever were down to including tools, a whole new school of thought of geometries, and the return of the (even thinner) carbon flex pivot.
It’s great to see Cannondale raise the bar on the Scalpel once again. I might need to do something about that nostalgia.