Finale Ligure, Italy
Clémentz's Cannondale Jekyll
WORDS Mike Levy
PHOTOS Richard Bord
To the victor go the spoils. Jérôme wrapped up the 2013 Enduro World Series title before rolling out of the gate at this weekend's race meeting in Finale Ligure, Italy, but that didn't stop the diminutive Frenchman from racing hard over the last two days. Hard enough, in fact, that he took the overall win by a scant 1.2 seconds over Jared Graves, an impossibly small margin of time after nearly twenty minutes if timed racing. To put it in perspective, that amount of time could be lost in a single blown corner, or by dropping just a tenth of a second over twelve corners during a weekend of racing at redline. Clémentz took the win aboard a very special, one-off Jekyll that Cannondale assembled in secret in order to surprise the champ, with a matte black paint job and "Enduro World Series 2013 World Champion Jey Clementz" decals that set the rig apart from his usual steed. It's good to be the champ.
Jérôme's Jekyll details
• Rear wheel travel: 90mm - 150mm
• Wheel size: 26"
• Frame material: carbon fiber
• DYAD RT2 shock
• RockShox Pike fork
• SRAM XX1 drivetrain
• Quarq power meter
• Mavic Crossmax Enduro wheels
|A good weekend of enduro is one that you share with you friends and some nice trails. I think that enduro is a balance between physical and technical skill. I think the good balance is when a downhill guy and a cross country guy can race together, and they both have the chance to win. If just a cross-country guy can win, it's not an enduro. When just a downhill rider can win, it's just a longer downhill. So we have to find a balance between them, so both kinds of riders can battle together and be at approximately the same level.|
Suspension: The Jekyll is quite unique in that it utilizes a special pull shock rather than a more traditional damper that nearly every other bike on the market utilizes. Yes, it's far from being the first pull shock around, but it could be argued that it is likely the most evolved of the species, as well as the most adjustable. ''The DYAD was developed as a collaboration between Cannondale and the suspension wizards over at Fox Racing Shocks,'' Murray Washburn, Cannondale's Global Director of Product Marketing explained to us. ''In its most simple form, the DYAD RT2 is two completely different shocks in one. You have a short-travel shock with a small air volume and a long-travel shock with a bigger volume, both of which get their own dedicated damping circuit designed specifically for the travel.'' A handlebar mounted remote is used to control the flow of damping oil, as well as how the shock uses its two
air chambers that determine whether the bike runs in its 90mm or 150mm travel modes, with both chambers linked to create a longer and more linear stroke when Jérôme has it set to its 150mm travel full open mode. When he approaches a section of trail that could be ridden faster with a firmer setting, Jérôme switches the shock to its 'Elevate' mode that completely closes off one of the air chambers and redirects the oil to the suitable circuit. This has drastic changes to both the shock's spring rate and damping, creating a 90mm travel bike that obviously rides much firmer than when run open, which in turn also tweaks the bike's geometry. There is no denying that the DYAD RT2 is more complicated than a standard shock, but its instant adaptability also perfectly suits enduro racing that might include short and intense climbs during timed stages or long ascents during transfers. Remember, Jérôme took the win in Italy by just 1.2 seconds, a meager amount of time that could be won or lost anywhere on course.
Of course, the key to any technology designed to make you go faster is being able to make use of it, and having all of the above be controlled by a shock mounted lever that would require Jérôme to reach down to switch between the two settings would be a complete waste. Picture yourself breathing through your eyeballs at the base of a climb and then taking one hand off of the bar to reach under you... it likely wouldn't end well. Stock Jekylls come with a thumb operated DYAD remote that is mounted on top of the handlebar, but Jérôme has enlisted a SRAM Grip Shift on the left side (pictured above
) to do the same thing, with a cut down WTB lock-on grip butted up against it that allows him to toggle between the bike's 90mm and 150mm travel settings without having to move his thumb around. It's not only a trick setup, it is also one that any Jekyll owner could employ, so long as they run a single chain ring are are okay with a bit of tinkering to dial it in. Components:
Jérôme's bike is built up with a full XX1 group from SRAM, and he chooses to run a minimalist chain guide that includes an upper slider and taco-style protection to keep the 36 tooth ring out of harm's way. While we've seen other racers going with a guide-less setup and have little or no troubles, Clémentz spent the seven event EWS season fighting for an overall title, a crown that he didn't want to forfeit due to a minor mechanical. Interestingly, his drive side XX1 carbon crank arm has had its spider swapped out for one that integrates a compact power meter from Quarq, a company that SRAM purchased in 2011. Power outputs aren't likely to be something that Jérôme would pay attention to during racing, but we could certainly see him gathering information for an off-season of training, thereby giving him some precise numbers to base his workouts around.
In a bit of a French connection, Jérôme's bike is fitted with Mavic's new Crossmax Enduro Wheel Tire System that includes the new yellow hoops and Mavic's Charge and Roam XL tires. The rims actually feature a different inner width front and back, with a wider 21mm design up front that better suits the high volume 2.4" Charge tire, and a 19mm width for the rear rim to work with the 2.3" wide Roam XL rubber. The differences don't end there, though, with 24 Zicral spokes up front and just 20 out back. Mavic says that the UST wheelset weighs in at 1,660 grams for the pair, and further grams are saved by the sealed rim bed not requiring a rim strip to seal it. Other details include a set of Shimano's standard XTR pedals rather than the Trail model that feature a larger platform, and a 750mm wide carbon fiber BlackBox handlebar from Truvativ, one of the few BlackBox labelled items that consumers can get their paws on. www.cannondale.com