“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’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 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 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.(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.