Cannondale Joins Europe’s Big-Wheel Revolution – Eurobike 2011

Sep 11, 2011
by Richard Cunningham  
“Ignore the fact that Europe has the largest concentration of lift-access trails. Ignore the Continent’s massively popular Enduro and Megavalanche events and let me show you our new line of XC 29ers.”

Such was the theme of Eurobike 2011, and Cannondale was surfing the big-wheel wave at the Expo like everyone else with a full lineup of dual-suspension Scalpel 29ers – no doubt, capitalizing on its US affiliation with the genre. But don’t flee this page until you check out French Enduro ace Jerome Clementz’s Claymore and the new full-carbon Jekyll all-mountain scorcher that Mark Weir has been campaigning on in North American soil. Cannondale has its sights set on the aggressive trail/AM segment and they are gaining traction.


Jerome Clementz’s Claymore Enduro Racer

Cannondale’s Claymore is built from massively oversized hydroformed aluminum tubes and fitted with wide-stance rocker arms and main swingarm pivot, and double bearings at the dropout clevis to arrest even the thought of lateral flex. The DYAD RT2 pull-shock is made-by Fox, and it remotely switches from 110 to 180 millimeters of rear-wheel-travel. Stock Claymore-1 models come with Fox 36 TALAS forks and a SRAM X.9/Shimano XT hybrid 2-by-10 drivetrain. Clementz is a SRAM guy, so his racer is decked out in X.0 and RockShox, and by the looks of his 39-tooth single chainring X.0 setup – Jerome is a very fast SRAM guy.

Jerome Clementz Claymore
Jerome’s Claymore details: (clockwise) The Claymore frame cuts a clean profile for a 180-millimeter all-mountain bike. An angled seat tube adds tire clearance necessary for its short-ish, 43.3-millimeter (17-inch) chainstays • Wide-stance rocker link pivot locations with hollow, 15-millimeter axles are mighty stiff in torsion • Made-by-Fox pull shock keeps the weight low in the frame and makes for one-click short-travel climbing action • Watch for Jerome Clementz and the Green Machine in next year’s European Enduro series.


Jekyll Carbon 1

The dual-suspension trailbike that began life as Cannondale’s 120-millmeter-travel orphan has grown up to be a fleet-footed ready-for-anything AM/Trailbike. The Jeykll Carbon 1 frame has internal cable routing, wide-stance rocker pivots, decent stand-over clearance, modern trail geometry (67.8-degree head angle and 73.6-degree seat angle) and an ISCG -03 chain guide mount waiting for that moment when you get serious about descending. Suspension is by Cannondale’s remote travel-adjust, Fox-built DYAD RT2 in the rear (90mm to 150mm) and a Kashima TALAS 32 150 fork. With through-axles on both ends, the Jekyll is the real deal.

Jekyll
Jekyll Carbon 1 Details: (clockwise) The Jekyll’s carbon chassis is refreshingly void of the ridges, swooping curves and other needless gothic automotive styling treatments that plague molded-plastic bicycles • The pioneer of the 1.5 head tube standard adds internal cable and hose routing to its carbon frames • The stainless steel chainstay protector seems like an afterthought, but the SRAM 38 x 24 wide-range gearing is brilliant • Curving dropouts make sense for carbon fiber manufacturing and the 142/12-millimeter rear axle makes sense on mountain bikes in general.


Scalpel 29er Carbon 1

We thought long ago that Cannondale’s Lefty was doomed to the sporting goods shelves of Wal-Mart disguised as a pogo stick, but the 29er has breathed new life into the one-legged, needle-bearing front-suspension strut. The dual-crown strut is laterally stiff and it steers with authority – two qualities that big-wheel bikes lack. Behind the 100-millimeter-stroke carbon Lefty is a beautiful carbon frame with matching rear-wheel travel. Carbon gave Cannondale engineers the freedom to eliminate the pivot at the rear dropout, which gives the Scalpel 29er an elegant profile. Drivetrain is SRAM XX two-by-ten with a special SRAM-built chainring spider adapted to Cannondale’s Hollowgram crank. DT Swiss Tricon wheels with Schwalbe Racing Ralph 2.25 tires top off an excellent 29er trail spec.

Scalpel 29
Scalpel 29er Carbon 1 Details: (clockwise) Cannondale seems to have tagged the 29er dual-suspension bike quite well. It was one of the sweetest lookers at Eurobike • Clamp-type fittings secure the Scalpel’s hollow, 15-millimeter pivot axle. The arch around the front of the seat tube eliminated the seat stay bridge and makes room for the rear tire at full compression • The Carbon Lefty makes sense on a 29er where steering stiffness is more important than suspension travel • The Scalpel’s no-pivot rear end features a 12-millimeter through-axle.

Cannondale details
(Left) SRAM’s Truvativ division worked out the XX 2-by spider to adapt Hollowgram cranks to the SRAM drivetrain. (Right) The X12 through-axle system and post-type caliper mounts are well integrated to the carbon fiber Scalpel dropout.


Visit Cannondale to delve further into its all-mountain and trail segment – and if you dare, have a look at its growing 29er lineup. You may be impressed. Send Pinkbike your comments. We’d like to know.


98 Comments

  • 36 13
 Cannondale has always seemed rather gimmicky to me.
  • 35 14
 Gimmicky? You do realize a shit ton of the tech on modern DH frames come from Can's ideas (and also GT's ideas). Many of the wild and crazy ordeals that exist today would never have happened if it weren't for these 2 companies. Cannodale has proven to be one of the true leaders in pushing technology, and the fact they have been doing it for well over a decade proves such. I've never been a Can fan myself, but I always have very high respect for what they do, and design. They are one of the best R&D companies in the world. GT was, but dropped out, but now, GT is back doing the same thing. Even the french DH company took notice and reverse opposite engineered the design.
  • 30 8
 I seem to have offended you in some way?
  • 7 1
 Yeah but you have to admit that clementz's ride looks pretty sick Smile
  • 3 0
 Scott has already had a pull-shock style frame for quite some time. I've never ridden it but it looked really sick and this cannondale one looks quite promising too!
  • 3 1
 hey, we are forgetting a few big players in suspension design... including Specialized, Yeti, Turner, Intense and at least 5 more... They have been around for just as long as Cannondale. Many of those have not gone out of business btw...
  • 1 2
 Actually the big players are FSR who played a big role on suspension design, especially in specialized. And Dave Weagle has been working alot with different companies developing new designs as well. Yeti has been doing their own thing, they are actually a very innovative company. Pull shock isn't something very new... Still, a good idea though!
  • 6 0
 Cannondale's innovation goes back a lot farther than suspension design. They were one of the first big believers in Aluminum frames as a lightweight alternative to steel. And look where the industry is now. Yes, many of their inventions seemed gimmicky, but only because those are the ones that didn't catch on. To me, a product is "gimmicky" if it is made solely for the purpose of being different. I do believe that Cannondale's innovations (whether successful or not) were intended to push the industry further.
  • 13 0
 People complain when bike companies come out with designs that look like everyone else. And now people complain when it looks different. Big Grin
  • 1 2
 Complaining and having an opinion are two different things, Sir! To each his own. Smile
  • 1 0
 Those green cannondales with the pull shocks are tight i saw someone riding one at northstar today and it looked so cool going over bumps!!
  • 1 0
 I'm not targeting you in particular, B-Red... just generalizing on the PB community Smile
  • 5 0
 There is nothing gimmicky about pull-shocks, that is what Nico ACC won alot of races on. having two travel settings that you can adjust on the fly is absolutely the future of mountain biking, especially considering it gets slacker and lower in the long travel setting. To top it off both travel settings are independently adjustable, so you can set it up for firm pedaling response in the shorter travel setting. As awesome as this concept is for all-mountain riding, it could also be applied to DH racing and save racers time on tracks with significant pedaling in them. The only drawback might be that you can't use a coil shock.
  • 1 0
 And hollowtech is the bee's knees
  • 1 0
 @ B-Red........"Complaining and having an opinion are two different things, Sir! To each his own."


Not on pinkbike!
  • 2 0
 "hey, we are forgetting a few big players in suspension design... including Specialized, Yeti, Turner, Intense and at least 5 more... They have been around for just as long as Cannondale. Many of those have not gone out of business btw..."

WTF are you talking about? Specialized uses FSR. Something designed in the 90's. They haven't come up with any new crap for DH since the 90's.

Intense uses the VPP, which was NOT created by Intense. Santa Cruz just the same. Turner uses DW link, which was NOT created by Turner. YETI is the ONLY one in that list that HAS come up with new designs without purchasing the rights to a design from a 3rd party in the last 11 years in the list of yours. Cannodale, just like GT, just like Yeti, HAVE come up with multiple new designs without having a 3rd party engineer design and license it to them. Know your history and tech before you make ignorant claims. It's more than common knowledge to know Specialized has been out of the engineering game patent wise for over a decade, and many of the other botique brands use PAID FOR designs by third parties.

O, to add to the list, Foes is another company that has been issued new suspension patents in the last decade. Just like Lapierre as well, and Canfield also. I can't think of too many other companies that actually have invented and patented a new tech in the last 10 years. Just because a bike company is a top botique brand, doesn't mean they invent squat. They just have the money to buy others tech, just like Yeti, Schwinn, Rotec, and Tomac did with the Lawwill design almost a decade and a bit ago.
  • 1 0
 Specialized didn't develop fsr either. They bought the patent just like Santa Cruz did with vpp.
  • 6 1
 Here you guys go, if you want to find out more about the lefty. I was curious myself and looked it up - www.pinkbike.com/news/cannondale-lefty-sea-otter-2010.html
  • 1 0
 Thanks LA!
  • 4 1
 DA EFF? A productive post by a 16 year old on pinkbike...*checks outside to see if pigs are flying*
  • 5 0
 i own a jekyll for a while and let me tell u that is the sickest frame i've ever try. Cannondale really stepped up their game!!
  • 5 0
 Can i just say, "europe" doesn't mean the actual riders, just the marketing people.
  • 2 0
 I have a Carbon Jekyll and I am in love. I have done everything on it from DH trails to long XC rides and the bike kills it everywhere. The bike is seriously stiff and has the best small bump compliance of any mid-travel all mountain bike I have ever ridden. All in all, I am super stoked on this bike and really don't need to have 2 bikes any more.
  • 2 1
 La seul chose que vous voyez c'est la Lefty?! Come on guy, il y a 2 bike sur cette page qui merite un leger ''take a look'' Vous avez 2 bike le Claymore et le Jekyl avec lesquel vous pouvez modifier la geometry ''on the spot'' passez de 90 a 160mm et de 110 a 180mm directement sur la trail sans outil sans taponage. 2 belle machine qui attendent les drop et qui sont quand même capable de monter sans ''chair lift'' les montagne. Le dual shock de cannondale c'est quand même une belle inovation... le Jekyl est en carbone balistique qui peut prendre bien des abus, un all mountain de 28 livre qui ce pedale pour vrai dans les monter. Et le claymore, un beau gros freeride bullet proof avec lequel on peut droper a 110mm pour pédaler les section qu'on a le gout de remonter. Lachez moi la lefty qui by the way est toute un fourche, ya plus de technologie dans une lefty que dans n'importe quel autre fourche. Vous connaissez beaucoup de fourche avec des bearing a aiguille... ?
  • 8 1
 ^ what he said!
  • 6 1
 Yes but what did he say?
  • 2 0
 He said he wants a waffle, or a hooker.... meh, same thing.
  • 1 0
 I would like both a waffle and a hooker please.
  • 1 0
 Then a cigarette.
  • 1 0
 Draggon and I think alike
  • 1 0
 They all just go together, like peas and carrots. Session and I share the same brain......I just forgot the brain.
  • 1 0
 yeah it's like we were born from the same set of cousins.
  • 1 0
 Nothin' says lovin' like lovin' your cousin.
  • 1 0
 I'd like to know how Cannondale is mounting the Reverb post remote. Looks like its upside down which seems to be what some riders are doing for better protection and ergonomics though it definitely wasn't designed to be mounted that way.
  • 1 0
 How exactly are 1.5 steerer forks proprietary? Because that's what the majority of cannondale mountain bike frames come with, and the lefty forks will fit any other frame with a 1.5 headtube as a result. Hell there are even steerer tube adapters made for Lefties to fit 1 1/8 sized frames. They don't market the forks as DH forks... so stop comparing them to a small custom DH suspension company. The longest travel lefty is 140mm.
  • 1 1
 hey, stop bringing some sense into this!
  • 1 0
 You realize C-Dale came out with the 1.5 inch head tube for the lefty? It wasnt a DH instired design. They needed the size and strength to eliminate a fork tube. Those 1 1/8 adapters you refered to? Those were so people could run C-dale forks like the headshok and lefty on other companies frames. In the 90's having a bright purple c-dale with no indexed shifting was a major race rig.
  • 1 0
 Wow... you're way wrong. 1.5 was for the Headshoks Fatty's, starting around '92... The Lefty came around '98-'99. 1.5 wasn't even a standard until 2002, which is different from C-dales original 1.56 headtube. You can't run a Headshock on any other frame other than a Merlin, maybe

BTW, C-dale stole the Headshok idea from Action-Tec, which made a 1.125" fork with the internals in the steer tube. www.actiontec.us/proshock.htm
  • 1 0
 Actually the cannondale headshock/lefty frames used a steerer and bearing size that was slightly greater than 1.5". They simply adopted the new standard because it opened up the chance to offer their customers more choices, and it would free them from having to rely on developing their own BIG travel forks in the future. Going 1.5 simply meant new bearings for the System Intergration frames that would accept 1.5 steerer tubes. It was a quick and easy switchover for them.

MANITOU is who actually developed the 1.5 steerer standard so they could solve a 'non' problem in the industry, that of steerer tube failures on long travel single-crown forks. I say 'non' problem because it wasn't a problem for any fork maker OTHER than Manitou. See in the early part of the last decade, manitou quit using Easton supplied alloy tubes instead going with something cheaper (and weaker) and began having steerer tube failures as a result. Rather than use a better (more expensive) alloy tube again, they declared the 1 1/8 size to be obsolete for big travel forks and brought out a new steerer size. This was history repeating itself as the Evolution 1 1/4 steerer standard got created for the same lame ass reasoning, in that case Gary Fisher Bicycles had had a bad batch of steel tubing failing in their 1" steerer rigid forks (something nobody else suffered from) so poof... rather than correct a material fault, use more material instead to bring the strength back up. A bunch of brands signed onto the new size (about 2 dozen total) but Tioga quickly came out with the 1 1/8 oversize steerer standard as a compromise and it became the new standard.
  • 1 0
 BTW, C-dale stole the Headshok idea from Action-Tec, which made a 1.125" fork with the internals in the steer tube. www.actiontec.us/proshock.htm

Actually Moulton was producing mainstream headshok bikes from 1963

4.bp.blogspot.com/-jNhIELKzFOw/TYTpsUBs49I/AAAAAAAAAUc/WioLesvKO2g/s1600/Moulton%2Bmarch%2B2011%2B001.JPG
  • 1 0
 The ActionTec fork only fits 1 1/4 headtube frames with a stack height of exactly 107mm so its less proprietary than the Cannondale forks have been, but still largely limited its availability to a handful of other mostly custom/boutique brands (Intense used the forks on their very first model, the original Spyder for example). It also is a short travel fork compared to what's common today.
  • 2 1
 Wow! What a plethora of jargon. I've got a quiver in fact..Session, Scratch, Rumblefish, Flash 29, Jab.. The lefty is the real deal. It is an XC & Trail fork. It is not meant for DH or All Mtn, although it can handle business. You'll notice it's not on the Jekyll, it's designed for the style of bikes its spec'd on. I can tell you that it is stiffer than my Lyric, but doesn't top the Boxxer.. naturally its a single sided dual crown. This is why many privateer racers here in Colorado use it on their Trek, Specialized, Niner and other 29" cross country race sleds. Stiffer, Lighter, Smoother. Fox and Rockshox believe in the chassis thats why they both make dampening cartridges for it. It does have regular service intervals similar to what Fox asks in its manuals, but who does that anyway? Fix it when it's broke. I guess the bottom line is: Ride if you dig it or are curious. If not, shut up and leave it for the people who do.
  • 1 0
 I just got my hands on a Claymore 1. AMAZING. Have only had 3 spins on it but I am loving this bike. I'm far far away from pro level and was looking for a bike that can get my fat ass up the hill better, but I still like to ride downhill. One price. Do anything bike! I couldn't ride for the the first few days I had it so it sat there in my office across from my desk to keep me happy. The guy I got it off had it set up for DH. With one plate and a chain guide, the R.Shock seat post gone, and a arozic carbon bar and medium frame it comes in at 30lbs. I'm happy with that!
  • 3 0
 that green claymore looks pretty tough...good thing Cannondale has finally broken out of their old designs.
  • 7 3
 People who are hating Lefty just because it "has only one leg" are stupid.
  • 3 9
flag audeo03 (Sep 11, 2011 at 6:50) (Below Threshold)
 I cannot stand Cannondale because they always try to do something different / proprietary. The perfect example is the Lefty. While the product may be good, the R&D and production costs are higher, which is just plain crazy IMO. They obviously have good engineers, but they are not going to be on top again until they stop trying SO hard to be different and let the frame designs do the talking...
  • 2 2
 ^^my problem exactly. I was riding a claymore in a bike park, and it held up well and was a very nice bike. Its just not enough nicer than, say, an enduro, for all the quirks and odd bits that come with it to be justifiable.

That said, it did thoroughly impress me. Feels like an sx 1 minute and a stumpy the next.
  • 7 0
 Since when being different is not good? I thought mountain biking is about being yourself, and not being pulled by the hype? As we can see, Cannondale stands strong on their philosophy (which is pretty rare in this industry), and continues to improve their products over a decade (Lefty). I think that if Lefty were a miss, Cannondale would threw it away fast.

And what's your problem with production cost and r&d costs? Lefty pricetag is about $1000, and $1400 for the carbon model which is pretty much like high end Fox or DT fork.

I see the problem with the frames, although there is a 1 1/8 Lefty, still there is the headtube length which is pretty much important. If that would be solved in a different way, Lefty would be much more popular I think! Smile
  • 1 1
 its not that i dont like them because theyre different, i dont like them because you can't fix anything yourself with normal parts (because of theyre difference.) I just think its rediculous to change something soo much for such a small gain.
  • 4 2
 Waiting for the righty rear end. Yes?
  • 2 0
 Bjammin, you rode a Claymore in a bike park, which is exactly the reason you didn't see it much better than the enduro. Try climbing on one while you're in the short suspension setting and see if it makes a difference. And as for quirks - it has a pull shock - that's the only one.
  • 3 0
 Lehel-NS hit it on the head. you might think their production and R&D cost is "higher," but youd be wrong. its been around for well over 10 years and the price is very comparable to other high end forks on the market. their R&D cost might have been higher 10 years ago, but the fork hasnt drastically changed since its introduction.
haters gonna hate
  • 1 3
 gimmicky and proprietary... the lefty fork for instance, every part including the headset and steertube are proprietary and expensive. pull shocks may not be proprietary however but have fun getting service and/or parts for it as it will be incredibly rare and most likely fade into memory five years from now (then the whole bike will be unserviceable and unsellable). I see these things all the time on bikes less than 5 years old that were new and trendy and have become obsolete in a very short time.
  • 1 0
 You do realize how long pull shocks have been around easykillah, right? Also, both shops in my town don't sell cannondale, but they have been able to service lefties, and pull shocks, or get parts with relative ease. One of my friends fathers pretty much ONLY rides cannondale, and he has a stable of about 16 bikes, he's never had a single issue getting them serviced here, and about 5 of those bikes are pretty old (like 6+ years) and he still has them serviced monthly.
  • 3 0
 yeah i bet getting your shock serviced by Fox would be a nightmare! theyre just some small, no-name company that probably will go out of business soon right?
and last i checked, Cdales headsets werent expensive. nor were their steerer tubes (how often are you going to replace your steere??)
i LOVE the uninformed people on this site.
  • 1 0
 For real. Some guys here in UT started a site for cannondale stuff. www.cannondaleexperts.com Its pretty cool when you don't have a cannondale shop close by.
  • 1 0
 I also thought that although Cannondale developed the Lefty I thought that all of their technology was openly shared and able to be used by any bike company that wished. Like BB30.
  • 1 0
 Cdale has some crazy looking bikes/forks. But after 15 plus of building and servicing them, it's hard to find a better all around bike brand. Not sure about the current ownership group mind you....
  • 2 0
 Lefty has no stiction. Small bump compliance is superior when set up right.
  • 1 0
 needle bearing FTW! tup
  • 1 0
 WHAT THE POINT~!!!! NOT GOING TO RIDE IT IF I GET ONE JUST GOING TO SIT BECAUSE IM AFRAID OF CABLE RUB, SCRATCHES, SOMEONE GOING GTA ON ME.... SIGH.....
  • 1 0
 i don't really agree about the scalpel being "one of the sweetest lookers of eurobike". it certainly looks like a bike but nothing to get excited over
  • 4 1
 Inb4 haters
  • 2 0
 WOW i think there bikes look sick it would be nice to have some prices
  • 1 0
 i dont understand why they are calling the new Scalpel 29er a Scalpel.....its has a pivot.
  • 1 0
 The out of the mountain bike.
  • 1 0
 they should make a 29er claymore.
  • 1 0
 Or even better a carbon Claymore!
  • 2 0
 or a carbon 29er claymore!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 jesus that rear shocks bigger than anything ive ever seen
  • 1 0
 Where are the 27.5s??? Now that would be "Gimmicky"!
  • 1 0
 that size is the 650B
  • 2 1
 meh...
  • 2 4
 i think i would never understand the idea of having only 1 bar on the fork...
  • 1 0
 fuck u all
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