Cannondale Jekyll 27.5 Carbon Team - Review

Oct 20, 2014
by Richard Cunningham  

Reviewing a proven winner is no easy task. In the hands of mild-mannered Jérôme Clémentz, the 160-millimeter-travel carbon-fiber Jekyll has proven to be one of the most successful race bikes on the Enduro World Series. The SRAM-sponsored shredder races with a two-legged RockShox Pike fork, but enduro racers here in North America have had no problems racking up wins running the single-sided SuperMax Lefty that Cannondale specs on the bike, and what’s more, WTB/Cannondale sponsored Marco Osborne recently trounced all comers at the Mammoth Mountain US ProGRT national DH race on his SuperMax-equipped Jekyll 27.5 Carbon Team. Proven performances earned in the exact realms for which Cannondale’s designers intended the bike to excel makes it tough for a reviewer, armed only with riding impressions and objective criticism, to beat it down to size.




Cannondale developed its Dyad RT2 in partnership with Fox
Racing Shox. The pull-shock configuration keeps the moving
bits bathed in oil and simplifies the rear suspension.




Few components are more recognizable than Cannondale's Lefty
single-sided suspension strut. The 160-millimeter-stroke, carbon
fiber SuperMax has new, gravity-specific damping circuits.


Different Can Be a Good Thing


Criticism is one thing that Cannondale’s most successful trailbike has had plenty of – and very little of it is bounded in the realities of handling and performance. Most detractors point at Cannondale’s extensive use of non-standard components as their source of ire. Forget the fact that its 160-millimeter-stroke single-sided “fork” is lighter than any of its two-legged competitors and stiffer than many DH forks: “It just looks wrong.” Overlook that Cannondale’s headset never needs adjustment: “I can’t adjust it!” Neglect to admonish that Cannondale perfected the 30-millimeter aluminum BB standard with oversized, pressed-in bearings years before major players considered the concept: “It doesn’t have threads.” Forget that the Dyad-RT2 pull-shock turns a supple long-travel suspension bike into a sharp-pedaling short-stroke climber with a flick of a lever: “I can’t bolt a coil shock on that.” And, of course there is that one-sided front hub that allows the rider to change a tube or a tire without removing the wheel from the bike: “So, now I have a wheel that won’t fit on my DH or dirt-jump bikes?” For the record, the Jekyll is not the bike for those who dream that all production bikes and their associated parts will someday be globally cross-compatible, so customers can creatively mix and match parts like a Lego mountain bike builder’s kit.

For the open minded, Cannondale’s Jekyll is one of the few truly integrated bicycle designs – a well-appointed, carbon-framed, 160-millimeter-travel technical trail shredder that delivers race-winning performance and handling. The Jekyll’s non-standard parts were developed by Cannondale to permanently resolve nagging problems related to performance, efficiency and reliability that contemporary bike and component makers were either patching up or ignoring entirely. For example: Rather than providing a compromise shock tune with a lockout or traction option, the Fox-made Dyad RT2 shock provides two separate shock systems, each with its own damping and spring rate – a 160 millimeter circuit, tuned for technical sections and descending and a 95-millimeter option with a stiffer spring rate and slower rebound for pedaling and climbing.

That said, Cannondale is not fixated upon using dedicated components merely for the sake of differentiating its products. Look beyond the Jekyll’s dedicated shock, “fork” and headset arrangement, and the remainder of its components are items that most would expect to find on a premier enduro racing bike: WTB i23 rims, DT Swiss hubs, Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires, a SRAM XX1 drivetrain, a RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post, Magura MT-7 brakes and a Gravity 740-millimeter carbon handlebar and 50-millimeter aluminum stem combo. Built accordingly, the complete medium-sized Jekyll Team, at only 26.86 pounds (12.21kg) ready to rock, is lighter than most trailbikes with much less suspension travel. MSRP for the top-drawer Carbon Team reviewed here runs $7580 USD, with and sizes offered in small, medium. Large and X-large. More affordable models range from the $6170 Carbon 2, to a pair of aluminum-framed models: the $3900 Jekyll 3 and the $3250 Jekyll 4.



Jekyll 27.5 Carbon Team Details:

• Frame: Impact-resistant ballistic-type carbon construction, 160/95mm travel, single-pivot swingarm suspension, X-12 through-axle system, external cable routing, ISCG 03 tabs.
• Wheel diameter: 27.5-inch
• Fork: Lefty SuperMax, 160mm stroke, Carbon upper, aluminum lower, external rebound and lockout
• Shock: Dyad-2, Air-sprung, two chamber, remote-controlled pull-shock, 160mm or 95mm travel options with separate low-speed rebound controls. “Enduro” high-speed compression tune.
• Headset: Cannondale integrated 1.5-inch pressed-in type
• Bottom bracket: Cannondale BB30 press-in type
• Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 eleven-speed with Cannondale Hollowgram BB 30 aluminum crankset, 30-tooth XX1 chainring.
• Brakes: Magura MT6 with 180mm rotors (MT7 four-piston brakes are the current spec)
• Wheels: WTB i23 Team rims, DT Swiss 305 hubs, and DT Swiss Competition spokes.
• Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post, 100mm stroke.
• Weight: (Medium size tested) 26.86 pounds (12.21kg)
• Sizes: Small, medium, large. X-large.
• MSRP: $7580 USD
• Contact: Cannondale USA



Construction

Cannondale says that it makes the Jekyll’s carbon chassis using a special high-modulus material that is used by armed forces where armor protection is necessary – which implies that it has a higher degree of impact resistance than more commonly used high-strength carbon. With two decades of carbon fiber bicycles under their belts, Cannondale’s designers are not afraid to profile the Jekyll’s frame tubes as narrow or as wide as required. Up front, the frame’s oversized head tube contains Cannondale’s tried-and-true press-fit 1.5-inch headset system which requires no periodic maintenance or adjustments. The massive top tube tapers quickly to meet the slender seat tube, while the downtube widens dramatically to 85 millimeters midway to the bottom bracket to support the suspension’s carbon fiber pull-shock rocker link. Elsewhere, the single-pivot swingarm and seatstays are crafted in semi-rectangular shapes to maximize stiffness and strength without taking up valuable real estate where drivetrain components and DH-width tires must pass.

Cannondale Jekyll Carbon Team 2015
  (Clockwise) The Dyad RT2 pull shock may appear complex, but the tradeoff is that the suspension linkage needed to operate it is remarkably simple. The tubular axles for the suspension pivots are clamped in place. Cannondale has long been a supporter of the 1.5-inch steerer tube and oversized, press-in headset bearings. The Jekyll's brake caliper mount is molded into stiff, hollow carbon dropouts. A top-down view of the carbon rocker link shows the ovalized downtube and wide bearing placements.


Hollow, 15-millimeter-diameter axles are used throughout the Jekyll’s rear suspension and the sealed ball bearings are widely spaced to maximize lateral stiffness and minimize the effects of free play, however miniscule, that naturally occurs as all bearings wear over time. The axles are clamped to the outer segments of the suspension rocker link and swingarm to further secure the system against unwanted flex and also to simplify disassembly and maintenance.

At the rear of the bike, Cannondale designed massive, hollow carbon dropouts that house a pair of sealed ball bearings at each seatstay pivot, where clevis-type seatstay attachments further strengthen the pivot junctions. The aluminum derailleur hanger also attaches to the carbon dropout with a sturdy clevis mount. Cannondale employs the Syntace X-12 through-axle system which is secured with a six-millimeter Allen key. Threads on the drive side and a tapered collet on the left side lock the axle securely to the swingarm.

Practicality and ease of maintenance may have been the motivations for Cannondale to choose (with one exception) to route the Jekyll’s shift housings and brake hoses externally on the frame. Clean looking screw-in aluminum guides collect the two hoses and one housing that run to the bottom bracket on the underside of the downtube, where a tough rubber frame guard does double-duty, protecting the control conduits from injury. The remote hose for the bike’s RockShox reverb Stealth dropper post tucks into the seat tube though a rubber grommet. Oddly, even though there is an empty, fourth slot in the downtube guides, the remote cable that operates the Dyad-RT2 shock is internally routed through the downtube. The only explanation is that Cannondale’s design team were not committed to a one-by drivetrain and made the call to leave a spot for a future front derailleur housing.

Geometry tweaks to make the Jekyll 27.5 a more capable AM/enduro bike include a longer wheelbase and a slacker, 67-degree steering angle for high speed stability; slightly longer top tubes across the sizing range to compensate for its 50-millimeter stem, and a steeper seat tube angle to enhance climbing ergonomics. The offset of the Jekyll’s Lefty SuperMax has also been increased to 50 millimeters to match the bike’s steering geometry with its mid-sized, 27.5-inch wheels.

Detail oriented riders may appreciate that the simple profile of the Jekyll allows room inside the frame for a full-sized water bottle, and that the right chainstay has a large molded silencer/protector. Near the bottom bracket, a bonded stainless steel grind-guard prevents a derailed chain from destroying the carbon swingarm. Strangely, Cannondale chose the earlier, ISCG-03 mounting pattern for its dedicated chainguide tabs – but it’s there, nonetheless, for those who want the added security. Finally, if you absolutely need a front derailleur, Cannondale sells a direct-mount adaptor that fits threaded mounts on the right swingarm pivot – a handy item for any racer with a drivetrain sponsor that is keen on front mechs.



Dyad RT2 Pull-Shock

Cannondale worked out a new, high-flow compression circuit and tuned the Jekyll’s Dyad RT2 shock to work especially well on fast, technical descents that are typical of European enduro courses. As previously mentioned, in lieu of a lockout or a low-speed compression boosting circuit like Fox and RockShox use, the Dyad’s remote handlebar lever can switch the pull-shock between two fully functional 95-millimeter or 160-millmeter-travel modes.

Those who want to check out the inner workings of Cannondale’s Dyad RT2 pull shock should check out Matt Wragg's Q&A on the subject. The short version is that the Dyad offers two separate damping and spring-rate functions in one shock mechanism. The pull-shock arrangement is not necessary to make the Dyad function properly, but it simplifies the suspension’s mechanical design and the damper benefits greatly by having all but one of its seals continuously lubricated. Dyad shocks have three chambers: the central pull-shock is basically a pump. When the suspension pulls on the pump shaft, depending upon where the remote lever is located, the pump forces shock fluid into one or both of the adjoining chambers.

Cannondale Jekyll - Rear pull shock
  Two chambers, each with its own red rebound dial are the secret of the Dyad shock's dual-rate suspension action. Two Schrader air valves appear near the bottom of the shock. the left fills the positive air springs in both chambers and the right valve pressurizes the negative chamber beneath the central "pull-shock" pumping piston. The thin mast between the two chambers is a sag and travel indicator.


Each of the side chambers has an internal floating piston (IFP) and the air space that the floating pistons create functions as the shock’s air spring. In the long-travel mode, the pump fills both chambers and because the combined volume of the air springs is at its maximum, the Dyad shock’s spring rate is very linear. In short-travel mode, one chamber is closed off, which causes the pump to push a larger volume of fluid into a smaller air space. The combined effects create firmer damping, a sharply rising spring rate, and about a 50-percent reduction in the shock’s travel. Separate low-speed rebound circuits allow riders to fine-tune their rear suspensions for both short and long-travel modes. Small-bump sensitivity is tuned by adjusting the pressure of the Dyad’s negative air spring – an IFP located in the lower section of the pump.

While deciphering the Dyad’s workings can make many readers dizzy, the damping controls are all the same bits that one finds in conventional shocks Fox Racing Shox partnered with Cannondale to engineer the Dyad RT2 and it has proven to be a reliable system. Cannondale also has done diligence by opening authorized service centers that can maintain and tune them. Two important Dyad RT2 facts that prospective Jekyll owners should know is that it should be run with at least 30-percent sag in the longer-stroke position and that you’ll need to bring the special high-pressure shock pump that Cannondale provides if you want to do trailside adjustments. Dyad shock’s normal pressures begin at 300psi (about 20.7 bar), which is the top of the red zone for a standard shock pump.


Three Things to Know About the Lefty SuperMax

How it manages to be torsionally rigid: The Lefty’s inverted tubular stanchion tube is necessary to provide a sealing surface. Inside, the stanchion is rectangular and instead of sliding on bushings, it rolls on four rows of needle bearings trapped between the stanchion and matching tracks in the Lefty’s carbon fiber upper. Unlike sliding surfaces like conventional fork bushings, the Lefty’s needle bearings roll freely with minimal lubrication. Additionally, its four-sided tracks arrest torsional flex far more effectively than the wimpy arches and oversized axles that are used to prop up the stiffness of conventional forks.

Conventional damper: Inside the Lefty is a pretty conventional damping cartridge, similar to what you may find in many 160-millimeter forks. The 2015 SuperMax on our test bike has a new high-flow compression piston and both its compression and rebound valve stacks are tuned for higher speeds and proper descending. Two-legged forks typically use one side for hydraulics and the other for the air spring. The Lefty, however, splits the real estate inside the strut, with the damping cartridge occupying the upper section and the air spring housed in the lower, stanchion end. The damping cartridge requires only one special tool and is easily removed from the top for tuning or service.

Removing the wheel: The Lefty’s aluminum front axle is tapered, so it requires a matching hub. Many top wheel makers offer Lefty-compatible front wheels and hubs so Jekyll owners need not be concerned about future upgrades. There is no need to remove the wheel to change tires or fix a flat, but when you do have to remove the Lefty wheel, you’ll first need to unscrew the two fine-threaded 8mm screws that fix the brake caliper to the Lefty’s stanchion about two revolutions. The caliper mount will then lift off the screws and the brake rotor, which will in turn, allows the hub to move off of the axle. Unscrew the hub from the end of the axle with a five-millimeter Allen key and be sure to keep the hub and the exposed axle squeaky clean, because the bearings will be exposed and their inner races are a precision fit over the axle. After you reinstall the front wheel, replace the caliper mount. As long as you didn’t squeeze the front brake lever, the counter-sunk heads of the caliper retention screws should re-center the brake pads where you left them.


(Left) Loosen the two screws on the bottom end of the Lefty's caliper mount and the entire assembly will lift off the rotor. The Lefty's hub is removed with a 5mm Allen key and the screw remains in place on the hub to make reassembly easier. Push the big red rebound dial down to unlock the "fork." Push the blue button and the dial pops up and locks-out the Lefty.


Specifications
Release Date 2015
Price $7580
Travel 160mm
Rear Shock Dyad RT2 pull-shock
Fork Lefty SuperMax 160mm
Headset Cannondale HeadShok Si
Cassette SRAM XG-1199, 10-42, 11-speed
Crankarms Cannondale Hollowgram, SRAM XX1, 30T chainring
Chainguide NA
Bottom Bracket Cannondale BB30
Pedals NA
Rear Derailleur SRAM XX1
Chain SRAM XX1, 11-speed
Front Derailleur NA
Shifter Pods SRAM XX1
Handlebar Cannondale C1 riser, carbon, 740x15mm
Stem FSA Gravity Light, 1.5", 31.8, 50mm
Grips Cannondale lock-on
Brakes Magura MT6 (Tested), MT7 (spec'ed)
Wheelset Cannondale custom
Hubs DT Swiss 350 rear, Lefty front
Spokes DT Swiss Competition
Rim WTB i23 team
Tires Hans Dampf, Snakeskin Trailstar, 27.5x2.35" tubeless ready
Seat WTB Silverado Team Volt, CroMo
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth





bigquotesThose unaccustomed to riding a mountain bike with half a fork should probably throw on some lights and make their first outing on the Jekyll at night.

Those unaccustomed to riding a mountain bike with half a fork should probably throw on some lights and make their first outing on the Jekyll at night. Both of the riders who participated in this review admitted that it took three or more rides to stop looking down at the Lefty SuperMax and imagining that it was acting in ways that in reality, it doesn’t or simply can’t do. In truth, the Jekyll’s front suspension requires a break-in period before its needle bearings start to run freely and its low-speed damping falls into step with its two-legged competitors – about seven hours, says Cannondale, before the Lefty really starts to impress. Seven hours of riding is well beyond the scope of a parking lot test, so prospective clients may be put off by the initial harshness of the one-sided strut if they throw a leg over a fresh one for a first ride. True to their statement, though, the Lefty smoothed out considerably after the first few rides and we found that we needed to increase the air-spring pressure five to ten psi to compensate for the new-found suppleness.

Dialing in the Suspension: Setting up the Jekyll’s Dyad RT2 shock was made easier by the printed guide that was pasted to the frame, and also by the fixed sag gauge on the side of the pull-shock chamber. Because a pull shock relaxes in the completely retracted position, an O-ring on the shock shaft is not an option.

Beginning with Cannondale’s rider weight/shock pressure guidelines (320psi for the positive spring and 280psi for the negative side), the sag gauge measured 30 percent. At that setting, the Jekyll’s rear ride height felt a touch tall on steep descents unless the Lefty’s spring pressure was set higher than necessary. Dropping the spring pressure to get the shock to sag at least to the 35-percent mark and running the Lefty’s sag a little higher at 25-percent achieved a good balance for descending and technical trail work. Lesson learned during suspension setups was to be mindful of the negative spring pressure. Too low and the Dyad’s rebound circuit gets overwhelmed and the Jekyll will bounce when it lands a jump or bangs through square-edged hits. We learned to err on the high side of the negative spring chart and to set the long-travel side of the Jekyll’s suspension downhill soft – because we quickly discovered that we could rely on the super firm, short-travel mode for any substantial stretch of pedaling.

Cannondale Jekyll
bigquotesThe Jekyll felt a bit sluggish when climbing until the shock was switched to short-travel mode. At this moment, the tail of the Jekyll rises slightly, the bike's geometry feels a tiny bit steeper, the rear suspension wakes up and the bike accelerates with more ease and a snappier feel at the pedals.

Climbing and acceleration: With a suspension tune that was admittedly biased for the downs, it should come as no surprise that the Jekyll felt a bit sluggish when climbing until the shock was switched to short-travel mode. At this moment, the tail of the Jekyll rises slightly, the bike’s geometry feels a tiny bit steeper, the rear suspension wakes up and the bike accelerates with more ease and a snappier feel at the pedals. The difference is not subtle. Some designs in the Enduro/All-mountain category, like the Pivot Mach 6 or Intense Tracer 275c, feel reasonably efficient while climbing or sprinting with the pedaling aids switched off. The Jekyll is not among them. It will accelerate and climb in the 160-millimeter mode if called upon, but beyond short stints to top rough climbs or to gap a jump, most riders will be reaching for the remote lever. That said, the lever is both easy and intuitive to operate – push the thumb-lever forward for climbing and simply tap the button at the end of the lever with any part of the hand to release it to full-travel mode. Cannondale designed the lever so it can be reversed and used on either side of the handlebar.

Technical skills: The Jekyll’s lateral and torsional rigidity up front makes short work of boulder drops and dicey descents where line choices are measured in inches. That said, there is enough handling in reserve to cover a multitude of sins should you blow your line and have to bounce and skid to safety. Cannondale’s choice of tires was a good one, with the 2.3-inch Schwalbe Hans Dampf knobbies able to find grip on a variety of surfaces, from dust to slick rock. Braking and climbing traction were definitely enhanced by the tires, but much of the credit is due to the Jekyll’s roomy feeling front center, which allowed test riders to keep pressure on the front tire while descending steeps and also to weight the rear wheel while climbing technical stints without the need for excessive fore and aft body movements. The Jekyll feels long and with the medium sized bike’s wheelbase at 46.4 inches (118cm), it is, so it feels much more balanced at speed than it does poking around at a tourist pace in the rough.

Cannondale Jekyll
bigquotesThe Jekyll rider can push the front or slide the back tire with a degree of confidence, without dropping a foot...

Cornering: With a tallish, 14.3-inch bottom bracket, one would imagine that the Jekyll would be less than smooth around the bends, but its length and weight-balance may override that aspect. Once riders learned to trust the Jekyll at speed and push it into the turns, our apprehensions melted. The Jekyll rider can push the front or slide the back tire with a degree of confidence, without dropping a foot – although I must admit to a few low-sides due to overconfidence and not dropping my foot. The downside was that in two months we nearly ripped all the edging blocks off both tires – which says a bit for the bike. To reach those sweet blocks of tacky rubber, we had to lean the bike pretty far over, because the narrow, WTB i23 Team rims further rounded out the profile of the already round Schwalbe tread pattern. Note to Cannondale: “Please spec wider rims, maybe the i25s, and add a rear tire with sturdier edging blocks like the Rock Razor.”

Descending: Part of the reason for the untimely demise of the Hans Dampfs may have been the hours spent riding the local DH trails. Riding what is essentially a 160-millimeter, mini DH bike that weighs under 27 pounds and climbs with relative ease means that is possible to double the number of downhill trails that can normally be ridden in an afternoon session on a big bike, so the Jekyll got a lot of extra credit laps on trails that pushed it close to the edges of its design envelope. Pushing the Cannondale hard into rock gardens and skipping down stepped drops showcased the Lefty SuperMax's big-hit smoothness and steering precision. Riding at full volume plays well to the Jekyll's long wheelbase and DH rear-suspension tune. With the rider more or less centered between the wheels and a "fork" that stays up in its travel, the bike feels calm and controllable down the steeps. Turns out that the Jekyll also jumps pretty well and its suspension can shake off some pretty hard landings too.

Riding DH trails also highlighted the fact that the Jekyll was under braked for its capabilities. Our test bike was equipped with Magura’s lightweight MT6 brakes, which feature two-piston calipers and are normally used on lighter weight XC/trail machines. Cannondale indicates in its published specifications, that the Jekyll Carbon Team should have had Magura’s much more powerful MT7 brakes with four-piston calipers, which would have been the better choice. A phone call to Cannondale revealed that in fact, Magura did not have the MT7 brakes when our first-production test bike was built, so the MT6 brakes were substituted. All subsequent Jekyll Team Carbon models have the more powerful four-piston calipers and upgraded levers.

Oddly, the MT6 brakes may have assisted us in keeping the Jekyll’s rear wheel in control down the steeps. Like most single-pivot-swingarm suspensions, the Cannondale’s tail end tends to stiffen up under braking. The softer bite and ease of modulation of the Magura’s MT6 brakes helped us to keep both wheels rolling and in control. We never ran short of power stopping the bike with the Magura MT6 brakes, but we had to use two fingers and squeeze harder than we wanted.

Canondale Jekyll Test Shoot
bigquotesTurns out that the Jekyll also jumps pretty well and its suspension can shake off some pretty hard landings too.


Component Report

Reverb Stealth dropper post: Good – still the one all droppers are measured by. Bad – only 100 millimeters of travel is not enough for a bike that descends as well as this one.
WTB i23 Team rims: Good – tubeless aired up with a floor pump, still running straight and well-tensioned. Bad – i23 is the new width for cross-country, not all-mountain.
Dyad RT2 shock: Good – full-time rear suspension, exactly what I want, exactly when I want it.
Magura MT6 brakes: Good - Lighter than stink, good modulation on slippery terrain. Bad – lack of power and the direct-mount perch for SRAM shift lever needs more angular adjustment range to get the levers closer to the thumb. Note: Cannondale sent us a set of MT7s, and we will report back later.
Lefty SuperMax strut: Good - Best Lefty ever, not as good as a RockShox Pike is for damping quality, but it kicks ass at speed, especially in the steering department. We could be happy with it.
Cockpit: Good - Comfortable WTB saddle, just-right 740mm handlebar width, and we liked the 50mm Gravity Light stem. Bad - Cannondale's lock-on grips spun on carbon bars.
Hollowgram BB30 crankset: Good – Competitive weight with carbon cranks and it can be trusted to take a beating - and it's outfitted with a SRAM XXI 30t chainring.
Hans Dampf tires: Good - One of the best all-purpose technical trail tires. Bad - Jekyll needs a better edging tire on the rear.



Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesThe Jekyll 27.5 Carbon Team is the package deal that most would consider to be a competitive enduro racing bike. Look no further than Cannondale's Overmountain enduro team to find proof. It is lightweight enough to challenge any superbike with similar travel and its dual-range rear suspension lets the rider decide when energy conservation takes precedence over traction and control. Its single-pivot-swingarm suspension, while not sophisticated, is rugged and simple, with performance that is tough to beat on the downs where it matters most. On paper, the bottom bracket is too tall and its steering angle is too steep, but the Jekyll burns up corners and inspires confidence when smashing technical trails. Its chassis is long enough to hold a line at speed and while the Jekyll's stability may take away a measure of its singletrack appeal, most enduro racers or all-mountain shredders would happily sacrifice some low-speed nimbleness for the extra shot of confidence that the Cannondale offers up on the opposite end of the spectrum.

The Jekyll's downsides are not deal breakers either. Its suspension takes a while to achieve the correct balance before the bike can deliver the full measure of performance it is capable of. Its skinny rims are outdated in the realm of AM/enduro and, if the Magura MT6 stoppers are the correct spec, it is a under-gunned in the brake department. That said, step back a couple of paces, view the Jekyll Carbon Team as an entire package and the truth is that, without changing a thing, it has everything a good rider needs to crush some stages at the local enduro races, or knock out some infamous lines on the home trails. What the Jekyll can't do is answer all the questions you are sure to get about its unusual looks. That is, unless you let the trail do the talking. - RC


For more high-res images of this review, visit Erik Eilers' gallery.




212 Comments

  • 125 15
 This bike pleases my eyeballs.
  • 16 2
 Likewise
  • 31 4
 yep she's a beauty. can't wait until 2 years from now when i can afford one
  • 27 2
 It pleases all my balls!
  • 6 6
 DAYM!
  • 30 4
 The lefty actually looks.....wait for it.....right!
  • 11 30
flag FlowMasterO (Oct 21, 2014 at 3:33) (Below Threshold)
 Thing is soooo uhhgly I would never buy one. And in case you guys didnt notice they broke the fork in half on the test ride. So the whole bike is probably defective
  • 11 2
 I'm starting to like the lefty
  • 2 9
flag rclark (Oct 21, 2014 at 8:59) (Below Threshold)
 This bike pleases my balls.
  • 16 0
 Props to Cannondale for continuing to put new stuff out there and try to push innovation that makes sense to the end user. Even with their changes in ownership they seem to be able to pull off challenging projects and keep some design integrity to their line. I think this bike looks great. Maybe kind of complicated next to the 'average' AM bike but cool features for the geek inclined.
  • 102 7
 Someone please put a lefty on the new demo
  • 48 4
 $7580 This what Polish president says he earns a month.
  • 12 5
 Not sure about Poland or whats going on over there, but yeah probably wouldn't spend that much cash on a bike I don't particularly like the looks of. Santa Cruz Bronson, or Norco Range get my vote for enduro
  • 28 0
 Fair enough, but the aluminum versions offer good value. The lowest model has a Pike and SLX components for $3250 USD.
  • 6 0
 7580 is about the same as my batting average
  • 15 0
 Then Bronisław can buy 12 of these a year.
  • 3 0
 Sweet! He can get twelve! Well, maybe 11, not so sure about tax rates on bikes in Poland. I am sure the Poles can ride thoughSmile
  • 2 0
 Having met some Poles, I can confirm that wages over there are very low. I'm sure all the Poles on here can confirm that as well.
  • 24 7
 Avarage sallary in Poland is about $1000 per month. Off course there are people who earn $50 000, and people who earn $200. If you earn $3000 and your wife earns the same, you are quite rich comparing to society. It gets dangerous to show more. Prices of majority of goods are 3/2 of the prices in the States. The complete cannondale is very likely to occur in Warsaw at about $10 000. This is all because of taxing and taxing. Even the government doesn't believe that there is anybody paying all the taxes honestly. The president says it is his basic sallary, which does not include all extra money per month, per three months and per year. Of course it is very convenient to say for him that the sallary is so low and he's working hard for society. Occupying a high social function in the government also means a lot of wonderful opportunities to run several private buisness facilities with extreme ease of avoiding taxes. Being a president you cannot really show yourself on 12 Cannondale bikes, unless it is in front of TV camera promoting your healthy lifestyle along a heavily secured tormac alley. Looking at the economics and how people behave in buisness, we are 50 years behind the States. This would include the second world war and the russian occupation up to the year 1989 when we started to develop FAST. As for history, tradition and culture the USA will never reach our level, becasue Poland was established in the year 966 and earlier there was an empire called Lechina (just google it) merging all the North European nations and ruled mainly by poles. "Lech" is a Polish surname. The empire was as large as the Roman empire. They called us "the Barbarians". I am sure everybody heard the name. I am 31 now and I learned about it a year ago. It is amazing how russians wiped the history out from all of the school books.
  • 14 2
 He can screw in a light bulb by himself.
  • 3 0
 @moefosho classic
  • 6 0
 @jedrzeja may I ask what provoked that rant?
  • 6 0
 While the rant was a little from left field @jedrzeja ... it was awesome. Having spent time in Poland recently and seeing how amazing the place is despite not having as much money or infrastructure as many countries most PinkBike users are from. What it lacks in financial wealth it makes up for in rich culture that outweighs many "western" countries which is similar to neighbouring countries like Czech Republic. Also got some decent mountain biking when you get to the border of those two countries, huge fan of Singltrek pod Smrken as an example :-).
  • 7 0
 Pinkpolitcs!
  • 2 1
 @crf-999: Czech Republic is quite different from Poland, it's much more liberal and secular (3rd least religious country in the world, after China and Japan). It was called "Bohemia" for a reason.
  • 1 0
 Agree @Extremmist but I guess it was generalised point in the sense that the countries share the common ground of not being wealthy financially but sharing the commonality of holding very rich culture and histories which money can't buy. Having spent time in both countries and agree they are vastly different from the perspective you raise of religion and liberalness of their societies but my point still stands based on its intent.

But on more important subjects .... They do share some common ground of having some pretty sweat riding is you know where to look :-)
  • 3 0
 Bohemia's a region of the Czech Republic, not the whole thing. The other two large regions are Moravia and Silesia.
  • 2 2
 TL,DNR
  • 10 1
 I would say this is Pinkbike globalisation, as it was surely assumpted. Pinkbike is not just about bikes, it is mainly about global society of riders. In my opinion we should all be encouraged to introduce ourselves and find a way to harmony. Nothing provoked me, I don't have any emotions about all the facts. Pinkbike is generally promoting (among others) the Canadian scene of biking. I am trying to promote Poland. Why shouldn't I? I don't find the lack of money as a disadvantage, so please don't you all worry. This is a transition stage and it all changes unbelievably fast. We will all see in next ten, twenty years. I am spending time on Pinkbike because "a rider" in Poland is completely weird and unknown phenomenon among society. Surely there are a lot of Polish riders on Pinkbike, but the majority of society perceives bikes only from the aspect of being a cheap mean of transport for poor people who can't affort to buy a car. I compared the USA, just because it is so well known. Poland has some homework to do (it is not that much) before it reaches the economic level of western countries and this also involves bike industry. I mentioned about the sallaries, to inform the Cannondale about the market. If they want to offer and sell complete bikes worldwide, prices so high are out of discussion not just in Poland. This is the feedback bike industry needs, because we all see that bike prices are getting ridiculous. So my main goal is a participation in a right development of keeping the quality high at reasonable prices. Global society of riders is in my opinion the coolest of them all. It is about richness in variety of ages, occupations, talents, attitudes and we all communicate just because of this one simple device that makes us move, keeps us healthy and admiring the nature. It is all a great idea and this is my participation in supporting all of this.
  • 2 0
 Good underlying point @jedrzeja now that i understand where you're coming from.

Affordability of bikes is a issue in most countries in some way or another. It is why i like how affordable but good quality manufacturers from Poland like Dartmoor & NS Bikes design affordable, functional and durable products because they are attune to their customers and what they can afford .... well from my perspective anyway.

Czech equivalent would be Agang or Arthor which are cheaper again but can definitely take a beating and get the job done.
  • 5 1
 There is also the other side of your point. People perceive cheap products to be low quality. This is mainly what antidotebikes owners think, or at least this is what impression I have after talking with them. I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to introduce a supreme quality downhill frame into the market, it can't be cheaper than 90% of the existing equivalents. Otherwise it would be hard for people to believe in the quality. To change the situation of affordability, customers' stereotype of price / quality ratio should change first. It's always about the same. Whatever and wherever the problem is, it is always about the way of thinking, not the nature of the very problem itself.
  • 2 0
 When talking about Czech bikes, you must not forget RB (RaceBike), which is closer to Santa Cruz or Liteville (custom configuration, colours, stickers, made in Czech Republic)
www.rb-bike.cz/en/homepage
  • 2 1
 RB Dragster dh or fr from the Czech Republic was my dream back in the days (shame to confess when). A friend of mine owned one and sold it for a lot of money, even after ten years. In my highschool times I planned to travel there just for the bike. There was no bike websites yet, so I used to stay late at nigh, with a flash light deep in my bed watching RB brochure. The Dragster fr was presented in grey and light olive green with inverted fork of something about 150mm travel and it looked like a serious machine, just like a weapon. I think I still have the brochure somewhere, I just need to find it.
  • 1 0
 Hadn't heard of RB before, another good example of what we're on about. Nice one.

Agree with you @jedzreja regarding perception of price equals quality, have done test rides on some "top" brands in terms of cost and reputation which were less impressive than their more affordable and criticised counterparts. Sadly perception is everything.

Anyway, good chat lads. Hope to catch up on here again soon. Do zobaczenia.
  • 2 0
 RB was more popular about 10 years ago during the extreme freeride era, in 2003 Michal Marosi rode it during Red Bull Rampage and finished 4th:
www.pinkbike.com/photo/128309
Today it's difficult to compete with the big players because the factory is located in Czech Republic and can't afford to adapt to all new trends and standards, it's mainly a brand for local nationalists who want something different and personalized (like Nicolai in Germany but without German prices).
  • 7 4
 Am I the only one who read the polish comments with a accent?
  • 25 4
 It's not a fork It's a skewer
  • 5 8
 One bolt on bottom crown. It should help saving weight by leaving teeth out there.
  • 41 1
 everyone who doubts the lefty should look here:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WlRqcAQr2w

more of a fork than lot of other "forks"
  • 8 2
 Thanks for the post ustemuf. Nice info.
  • 9 5
 He's comparing it to a low end fork. Look at the hollow brace. What he's saying is true, but it's not as extreme as this comparison leads people to believe. The difference in performance between a Lefty and a fork of equal value is much smaller. What he doesn't talk about is how much more frequently the Lefty requires service, and how much more expensive that service is.
  • 6 1
 Mecabeat: The service intervals for the lefties are a fair bit longer with the new hybrid bearing designs. No more need for bearing resets all the damn time and the internals, a modified rockshox design, are pretty durable. As for service costs...quite honestly they're not that much different than what most factory services are. Or if you're in the know a bit more, send it to Mendon Cyclesmith and get a lower assembly service for like...45 bucks. Dude covers half the return shipping too! The "nightmare" of keeping a lefty up and running hasn't held true for years, and I wouldn't trade mine for any other suspension...except for maybe a newer lefty.
  • 6 7
 I'm not going to name any names, but several races have been lost by multiple people this year due to Lefty's getting stuck down in their travel mid-race.
  • 4 1
 All parts fu bar sooner or later. EVERY SINGEL ONE OF THEM. Just keep pushing.
  • 5 13
flag g11rant87 (Oct 20, 2014 at 19:28) (Below Threshold)
 Jerome Clementz rides what?
Oh, right... a pike.
comparing a lefty to a walmart special is not a legitimate argument
  • 14 1
 Pointing out what clementz gets paid to ride isn't a legitimate argument either.
  • 3 12
flag mikaeljc (Oct 21, 2014 at 0:03) (Below Threshold)
 If Clementez liked the lefty, he would ride it and get the same amount of Money from Cannondale as he gets from SRAM.
  • 12 1
 Huh? That doesn't make sense. Clementz has/had a contract with SRAM before this fork existed.

I hate it when facts get in the way of a good argument, don't you?
  • 2 1
 ''Never let the truth get in the way of a good yarn''
  • 5 1
 How's Clementz fork relevant? First of all he uses what the sponsors give him and second he would win races even with a Marzocchi Z150.
  • 2 0
 Wait one sec. Don't knock the z150 FR. I'm still rocking one (not by choice). It in my basement taken apart and waiting for a part to rebuild. Still working great
  • 2 0
 I'm not saying it doesn't work but it's heavy as a Russian tank, a dual crown Boxxer is lighter...
  • 19 6
 Leftys get a lotta hate from people who have never ridden one, so kinda hard to take their opinion seriously. I would ride it if i got the chance looks fun. My burning question is why lefty why not righty? is it cuz the drivetrain is on the right?
  • 68 1
 Rotor and Caliper is on the left
  • 7 8
 Not much of a bike guru i just ride, is it not possible to put the front rotor and caliper on the right? I just figrured the weight distribution would be kinda weird if it was on the right with the drivetrain also being on that side, but I have seen bmx bikes with the drivetrain on the left, obviously they don't have disc brakes, but i would imagine it was possible to have the brakes on the right and the drivetrain on the left.
  • 14 0
 Possible? Yes. Wise? No.

The caliper would either have to be mounted upside down, causing all sorts of funky issues, or manufactured backward so that the mounting flange was on the right instead of the left side of the caliper. That would leave you with either a hard to bleed brake or a proprietary caliper. Neither would help sell people on the concept of a half fork.
  • 10 2
 It may be a great fork but I'm visually fucked every time I look at it...
  • 25 5
 Jules says in Pulp Fiction "Sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherf*cker."
Kinda sums up my feeling towards Cannondale these days. They may be the best riding bikes out there, but I can't get my around the way they look. Is it a rational opinion? Nope. Although my Cannondale Gemini was pretty good back in the day.
  • 3 10
flag wallheater (Oct 20, 2014 at 20:18) (Below Threshold)
 Here's a novel idea. One could have the main leg on the right with all the damping and oil shenanigans going on. And the left leg would almost be a dummy leg, with just some air in it and some holes for mounting a brake caliper and the left side of the front wheel. I know it seems crazy but it might just catch on.
  • 3 0
 I want that fork but I wish it was available in 26 so i can put it on my cannondale moto carbon...
  • 1 0
 jozhua130 im pretty sure you can run it any from 26-29.
  • 13 0
 Why are companies struggling to make a stiff inverted fork when C-dale has been doing it with only half the equation for years?
  • 3 0
 i want to upgrade my lefty(smooth, plush when you want it to be, really great! ) to 2013 version on my RZ120 but it is £900. I may buy PIKE or FOX as they are way cheaper!!! rhetorical WTF!
  • 1 0
 willjacobson, I didn't know that hehe. thanks
  • 2 0
 @jozhua130: use 27.5F + 26R setup, Liteville sells their bikes with larger front wheel and they make some of the best enduro bikes on the market.
  • 1 0
 @maxlombardy: I've heard (here and in other places) that it's because of one of the limitations of the square stanchion needle bearing design, which is what makes the Lefty so stiff. The needle bearings have to be very precisely aligned relative to each other, or they'll wear themselves out and wear into the stanchion extremely quickly. Aligning bearings on four sides of a square tube is relatively straightforward, but getting eight sets of needle bearings in two fork legs to all match each other throughout the stroke would apparently be virtually impossible, because even the slightest flex would put one leg out of line with the other. So Cannondale's got a monopoly on this technology for the time being.

But that's just what I've heard. No engineering degree here.
  • 13 1
 No, i23s are not the widest rims out there, but seeing their inclusion as a negative is a bit surprising. They're a fairly standard rim to find on a bike in this class, and they offer great stength-to-weight and excellent tubeless setup. Flow EXs and i25s are a touch wider but you pay a weight penalty.
  • 11 0
 I didn't understand that either. Did the reviewers actually notice any difference in stiffness or were they just trying to follow the latest enduro fads?
  • 16 0
 people are commenting faster then the extra speed i get on my 650 b.
  • 14 2
 I raced on this bike this season and it was the best bike I've ever riden! I don't think I would ride an enduro bike without the lefty in the future!
  • 11 2
 Before I read the title, I looked at the picture and thought I saw a Cannondale with Dual Crowns. I got really excited, but I can see now I was wrong. Carry on then.
  • 14 4
 Best fork I ever had , always precise under loads
  • 5 16
flag jedrzeja (Oct 20, 2014 at 16:37) (Below Threshold)
 You serious?
  • 8 1
 The lefty doesn't bind under load ie burns, and braking. It stays nice and active and believe it or not it's much stifer
  • 8 2
 Had 2 lefty's , I have pike on another bike and I can't front load my corners my wheel will wash and warp. that can't happen on a lefty
  • 1 0
 I had a Fatty 70 in 1996. It still worked with the bars turned. Unreal. I'd try one again if I could get it on the cheap.
  • 17 10
 If they just put on a fake plastic right-hand side so it looked like a real fork, I would give the lefty a try and maybe even ride it in front of my friends.
  • 4 0
 "Practicality and ease of maintenance may have been the motivations for Cannondale, with one exception, to choose to route the Jekyll’s shift housings and brake hoses externally on the frame."

It's still early for me and didn't have a coffee yet. So either I lost my english (possible) or RC says external routing is unconvenient for maintenance?? That's an interesting perspective. It's so much easier to cut the hose and have oil (or better: DOT!) dripping inside your frame when removing the hose! Do you perfomr maintenance yourself Rich or do you drop your bike at the bikeshop (or PR of the company)?
  • 3 0
 I was confused at first, too, but I don't think that's what he's saying - the wording is a little wacky, though grammatically valid. RC goes on to describe where all the cables are routed: "clean looking screw-in aluminum guides collect the two hoses and one housing that run to the bottom bracket on the underside of the downtube", "the remote hose for the bike’s RockShox reverb Stealth dropper post tucks into the seat tube though a rubber grommet"... and then: "Oddly, even though there is an empty, fourth slot in the downtube guides, the remote cable that operates the Dyad-RT2 shock is internally routed through the downtube." I don't think he means internal cable routing is Cannondale's one exception to practicality, as the Jekyll seems to have only one run of it. Rather, Mr. Cunningham is pointing out that one run of internal cable routing is the only exception to the practical external routing found everywhere else on this frame.

Written another way: "Practicality and ease of maintenance may have been the motivations for Cannondale's choice to route the Jekyll’s shift housings and brake hoses externally (with the Dyad's remote line being the one exception)."

Get this man a coffee! Wink
  • 3 0
 I had several coffees but it didn't help. Now I need english lessons it seems!
  • 4 0
 Properly spanked, Bluefire^^^ Yours was a much better sentence.
  • 5 0
 Actually, considering Clementz was injured most of this year, the most successful bike in ews history was the Jekyll 26, was it not? ;-)
  • 6 2
 The most successful bike yet on the EWS is Graves' Yeti SB66, given that it won and got podiums on a season and a half worth of enduros.

And yes, Clementz was on 26" for the entire 2013 enduro season, which he dominated.
  • 7 6
 I tend to say: thy who shall cast a stone on a 29er for being "not playful enough" shall first throw some scrubs and tables, or he may remain silent. One who accuses an owner of a 29er of compensating for poor skills shall sell his 64ha long travel bike and present his skills on something less forgiving or so should he as well remain silent. For I tell you my brethren, one who cannot jump a 29er cannot jump a 26er either.
  • 3 0
 Not being able to "creatively mix and match bike parts like lego mountain bike builder's kit" isn't the problem with proprietary bikes. It's being able to quickly and easily fix something when it breaks. My friends new 160 lefty already had to be sent back for a weird compression issue that apparently lots have. I do think they're fantastic race bikes, but the geometry wasn't for me, more business than pleasure.
  • 6 1
 Do people who comment in here even,ride bikes! Sounds like you all know too much and,ride to little! Enjoy the ride. Any ride suckasSmile
  • 3 0
 Jekyll Rulez!!!I have the older one and I love it....Cannondale is the father of "Enduro" or All mountain...May be you need a period to break in your mind in this bike but it`s a rocket downhill and uphills. Alloy versions has the best quality material and it´s miles away to other brands...This bike it´s a real do it all bike,it pedals well and it´s really light and tough,near to indestructible. In my Experience the Dyad rear shock works really well and it can survive long periods without any attention. this bike can take you really far,I ride 100-120 km of trails in one day,like in an XC bike without dying over the bike...It´s totally true that Cannondale headset never comes loose...3 years of really hard riding and I never touch it. This bike is the most "Enduro" bike on the market,other brands like Canyon take some ideas for his new bike Strive cos it works. I love this bike! my future bike it´s another Cannondale!!!
  • 3 0
 What will the comment boards say when Jerome C comes back next year and sweeps the EWS? Still a whack bike with proprietary stuff? Or, is it as cool as Graves bike with equally exotic design? Mountain bikers are funny, so involved in "tech" but in practice they want the least tech products... what if F1 was the same way or aero space? They'd still be riding suspension designs from 25 years ago just like the bike industry..
  • 3 0
 Highland had pull shocks on their fleet and the shop said the only problem was the constant rebuilds they had to do on the pull shocks. Apparently the pressures are pretty intense in there.
  • 1 0
 I have main with little tuning options like higher SAE degree oil,better rubber rings (thicker,custom ones) and needle bearings (up and down). A good mechanic can do this with closed eyes...
  • 5 0
 I'm wondering if the 160mm Lefty can be reduced to 140mm for a Tallboy LTc.

That would be my dream fork/frame setup.
  • 3 0
 They make a 29er version which is 130mm travel.
  • 3 0
 Yep, I have the 130mm version on a regular Tallboy. A2C is ~535mm.
Pretty sure it can be extended up to 150mm but haven't checked yet.
  • 4 2
 Is it wise to put a lefty on anything other than a Cannondale designed to run it? I mean, it sure stress the frame in a different way than any other fork, since all the forces are only on the left side, applying a greater torsion on the head tube, while a single crown fork would not. Ask SC about it before doing it, if it does not break your frame you might lose warranty...
  • 3 1
 The forces from a lefty would be the same as from any other fork.
  • 3 2
 How come? The Lefty puts all the stress only in one side of the top tube, and does it in two points, under the top tube, and over it, also since it is only on the left side there is an added torsional force applied on the frame, on a single crown fork this torsional force is null because the structure absorbs it. I have always wondered why Cannondale won't do asymmetric top tubes, to deal with this force. Maybe they use a different internal width on the frame...
  • 2 0
 No, it doesn't.
  • 4 1
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/11553327

Extremely simplified model, showing that it actually does...
  • 3 2
 Perhaps all of the Boeing and Airbus aircraft should immediately shut down, as you've proven that their designs are flawed, and that their single-sided landing gear are simply not up for the task of supporting several hundred tons of metal, fuel and flesh.
  • 2 0
 why did someone negprop caiokv?
He raises an interesting point, and his model is clearly more interesting than what Fouad said without argument
Although jekyll frame are build to support the stress from lefty and normal forks, I m not sure SC are build the same way
  • 1 0
 @zede: Thank you!

@LeDuke:

Those look pretty different from both lefty's design and usual mountain bike suspension's design and their models are completely different, therefore no need to shut them down yet:

www.airbus.com/fileadmin/media_gallery/photogallery/big/800x600_1279895407_close_up_A380_landing_gear.jpg

www.boeing.com/assets/images/commercial/777family/images/02_10_777_l_gear.jpg
  • 1 0
 You can run a lefty on a non-cannondale frame just fine as long as you have the right steerer/adapter clamps, which cost between $90 and $200 bucks. Is it the best idea for an older frame with a straight 1 1/8" HT with minimal gusseting? Eh, not really, but a modern tapered or 1.5" HT will be fine!
  • 1 0
 @Spykr
So you're sure that the stress is the same?
  • 1 0
 As a second year geography major, I can fully assure you that unless you're doing something incredibly stupid (awesome) with your bicycle, putting a lefty of a similar A2C of your current fork on your bicycle, provided it doesn't have a HT as spindly and weak as a dry noodle, will most likely not lead to your headtube snapping off unless the bicycle has already sustained some kind of damage.
  • 1 0
 @Spykr I also believe a frame failure would not easily occur, but warranty is likely to be voided since the frame was not designed to handle the added stress. The lefty is a more frame-demanding fork in some aspects, if not in all. But I believe the main problem would not be most critical on the head tube, but on the top tube and down tube, since they are longer and more susceptible to the momentum generated from the single sided fork.
  • 1 0
 I tried to model it, but the best I could do was a comparison between a single and a double crown suspension. A lateral momentum must be added to the frame twitching the head tube laterally, to simulate the lefty, but that I can not do on ftool...

www.pinkbike.com/u/caiokv/album/useless-stuff
  • 1 0
 geography major. lol
  • 5 0
 Lefties look really awkward (cool), but maaan would I love to have one just to mess with people who dont know about bikes
  • 2 0
 Own a 2013 Jekyll 3. Hands down the most versatile do all MTbike I have ridden. It quickly replaced my upped 2011 Remedy 8 as my go to ride. Yeah it's a different looking ride, and but they got the engineering and handling right. The Dyad is just magical.
  • 2 0
 Haters gonna hate but the Lefty is a true-and-tried design. My bigger concern is that monstrosity of a rear shock. It may work well during the first year but rebuilding and long-term maintenance would worry me. I also question the ability of most riders to get something that complex dialed in properly.
  • 1 0
 The Dyad it´s near to indestructible...I have my bike 2 year now and only 2 services on it...The only question here is if the Fox service can do the job well...I'm from Spain and the official service here send mines back wrong...is really sad...but if you have a trust mechanic there is no problem. I have main with little tuning options like higher SAE degree oil,better rubber rings (thicker) and needle bearings (up and down)...I'm sure that Jerome Clemetz rides in a tuned one too,like other riders at top level (most riders runs prototypes that you and me never would ride). The Dyad has 2 or 3 times more oil in than a regular shock and all is well lubricated. It's a clever design...
  • 4 2
 27.5 = useless!
Cannondale had made blind test in secret to amateur and professional drivers. Lovers have found NO difference between 26 and 27.5! Worse they do not know on what size wheel they were driving!
Only professionals ontr toruvé a difference.
Thank you to Mark Weir who revealed this testWink
  • 5 0
 always wondered why they do not use a directmount stem on the lefty
  • 1 0
 Id like an answer as to why it does not
  • 3 0
 Can somebody explain me Cannondale politics? Why is still putting ISCG 03 tabs for their machines?
I thought that is one of the moderns brand.
  • 4 3
 It doesn't matter, the chain guide is half dead, due to NW chain rings and clutch rear mech. You may as well live with upper guide only that can be fixed with bb mount. Taco is also half dead because bashring can be up to 50g lighter option
  • 1 0
 A comment for the reviewers regarding the rear shock set up. What were the final PSI settings you settled on to get your 35% sag for what body weight. Did you drop from 320 Positive 280 Negative to 300 Positive 265 Negative? Did you end up dropping one or more rider weight recommendations for your weight? You also mentioned that you were adding more negative air than recommended, approximately how much more? Any response would be appreciated I am still working on getting my rear suspension dialed in.
  • 5 0
 Start by setting the reccommended negative and positve spring pressure and then add or subtract positive pressure until you get to 30-percent sag on the indicator. Next, add negative spring pressure until it sags to 35 percent. That is how the bike worked best for us. If you are bottoming out a lot, but you like the way the shock works, then add pressure evenly in both chambers until you only bottom once in a while each ride. Use Negative pressure to set ride height, similar to how you would normallly use low-speed compression.
  • 1 0
 I'm surprise no one has pointed out that you'd be limited to only doing cross-ups to the right and forget about doing tail whips.

In all seriousness... I'd give it a go. 300g lighter will shave my strava times down for sure Smile
  • 5 0
 B*tch please, average sallary in Bulgaria is 300 $ !
  • 2 6
flag WAKIdesigns (Oct 21, 2014 at 7:53) (Below Threshold)
 Nobody cares about countries like Bulgaria, Poland or Belarus. Get oil, uprising or Putin and you may be in the News.
  • 2 0
 Hell yes, and Bulgaria is where Spartacus was from. And the president of Poland may be able to get 12 bikes a year, but the Mayor of Sofia had a Veyron.
  • 1 0
 No, no, no. It wasn't the mayor, it was the owner of the company responsible for trash collecting.
  • 1 0
 I know it’s a bit late on this comment board, but after having ridden the Jekyll for over three seasons (first on the 26” and for the past three months on the 27.5”) I have to add my two cents. I haven’t ridden the lefty on any of my Jekylls, so I can’t comment on that (although I wouldn’t hesitate to try one).

First off, the statement in the article about the head angle being steep and the BB too tall is true on paper, but not true at all while bike is being ridden. I've even heard the angles called "outdated" by some "experts". Here's the secret:


www.pinkbike.com/u/grizzlyatom/blog/jekyll-275.html
  • 1 0
 In the uk the jekyll team is £600 ($1000) cheaper than a yeti sb6c and the yeti comes with X1 not xx1 so suppose it depends where you are as to which is better value etc.

I have been looking to get a jekyll team for a while, interesting to see the 2015 review! Is this bike actually a new unreleased bike as it looks and has same spec as the current team bike? Not sure if the current is a 2015 that's been out for a while or if the current is being replaced by this one?
  • 1 0
 I do not like somehow even I like Cannondale in general and have Synapse Carbon Road bike. Here the chain stays pretty long. I really do not know somehow does not look for me. I would rather take new Yeti or Norco or Kona Process 153 (if they had Carbon) or the most possibly new Canyon.
I might get some to negatives but that is truth - If spend so much money I also have like my bike by the look.
  • 1 0
 Would be a consideration for my next bike, but a Fox suspension is a deal breaker for me. Never will I ride Fox last bike I bought was a 1st year Session 88 with Fox 40 a real POS 2nd day riding it at Angle Fire for a MSC race the seals and the bladder blew. Stopped by the Fox trailer for some help I was told I needed to learn how to work on my own shit. Took the 40 and the DGHX off put on a DB Coil and a Old 2008 Marz 88RC the last good fork Marz has made. Was a 1000% improvment and never have to deal with the Fox twats.
  • 3 1
 100mm dropper? Typo? Figured the norm should be 150mm, unless it's on a size: small or something. 125 isn't even enough to get that seat out of the way on my bike.
  • 3 0
 Word on that probi^^^^ We had to drop the post into the frame to get it low enough for DH trails.
  • 6 3
 Honestly even if the lefty is a great fork, I couldn't get over how ugly it is. Now a 2 sided lefty would be super sick
  • 2 2
 If they were more common people would feel different. When f1 cars were changed in 2009 to have narrow wings at the back and wide at the front people collectively vomited at the first ones. Now the regs are still the same and that is just how they are now. Nobody talks about the wings being ugly anymore. They were too different originally and that made people dislike them. Once they forgot what the old ones looked like nobody mentioned it anymore.
  • 1 0
 With all the new school riders coming up through the field, on this bike they'll only be able to do a right handed X up, no bars spins on a broken looking downhill fork. Don't look down when riding!
  • 3 1
 After read this, for another 7K (almost 8K) bike the performance looks nice.
But, i'm not pleased with MT6 brakes and the WTB wheels.
  • 1 1
 Sounds like a great bike besides the single pivot rear end. Used to ride Cdale and the Lefty was pretty good, but ended up moving on because the brake jack from the single pivot really hurt handling in low speed techy situations. I'm half temped to try the new Bionicon coming out to get a adjustable Geo and a Horst link.
  • 2 0
 Am I the only one who knows enduro isnt a real thing? We called it mtb riding a few years ago... no shit a 160mm bike is gonna do well.
  • 5 2
 looks like a three legged dog
  • 3 0
 The new Demo should use this fork.
  • 1 1
 wrong side
  • 4 0
 Specialized could call it the "Demi 8"
  • 4 2
 Very cool simply for the fact it isn;t a clone of every other bike out there.
  • 4 5
 I rode carbon jekyll with Pike and I was a bit unimpressed. I find it surprising that they liked how the bike goes around the corners because one I rode turned like a DH bike, it was probably good for JClementz speeds but with my skills I was just unable to utilize the incredible stability the bike provided. When in a rockgarden (track I rode was one big rockgarden - 601 at lake Garda) I found it very hard to switch lines, it was pretty much a point and shoot machine buldozering through stuff, but on 601 things can go out of depth of any bike, especially when it gets wet, so you may want to have a bit more control. I actually found Stumpy 29 evo to be more Nimble. Another proof for me that wheelsize is overrated and it is about the complete bike.
  • 2 0
 That's funny.. Smile Are you sure you had correct size frame? I'm asking because I've had similar feelings on XL frame, but size L is quite nimble for me (I'm 187cm). I've also tested both stumpjumper evos (29 and 26) and I can't agree with your conclusion..
  • 3 4
 I rode Medium while I should have Large. I mean it is a great bike but in this price category, there are more "subtle" options. I'd expect an AM bike to be less straight-downhillish at the first impression. Perhaps if I had few days on it, I'd dial it and adjjst myself to the way it rides. Even on asphalt on slight descend, going like 40-50km/h, the bike felt planted on the course, hard to lean any harder, to do some slaloming. Few days later I rode Liteville 401 with 275 wheels and it felt more agile out of the box. Mot as assuring at high speeds but I did not need to force it with my whole body to go around a tighter turn without skidding.
  • 2 0
 Sorry but this doesn't make any sense. I do own alloy 2015 version since june and never had such problems. Nor did any of my friends notice anything drastic like it (btw.. One of them actually owns mk10 lv301). While jekyll is certainly not the most nimble bike out there (especially with 60-584 Hans dampf on the rear), it still shreds corners remarkably well. The pricing for basic model is quite modest too - I got mine for 2150€. You are clearly over exaggerating on all fronts Wink
  • 1 0
 I just started running MT7/180 front and rear on my Nomad and it's been a hoot! Can't wait to hear your comments.
  • 3 0
 ...Gemini.....
  • 3 5
 Rear shock has no external LCS or HCS adjustment. Only Travel, and LSR for each travel level.

That's retarded.

Cannondale has always been about proprietary shit for the sake of proprietary shit. Its the Apple of the bike world. Others do it better and more practically, but Cannondale/Apple have their rabid fanboys who think they're special, when in reality they're just behind the curve.
  • 2 2
 Riding a bike with a Lefty is like roller-blading. I don't care how much fun you tell me it is... I just can't bring myself to do it.
  • 1 0
 I wonder whether Lefty Carbon would survive Megavalanche race. Any thoughts?
Also, is there any rider weight limit on it?
  • 2 1
 Very sexy looking bike. Would definitely love to ride one
  • 3 2
 Seems like its not slack enough to me
  • 1 0
 I wish I knew what trail this was on. It looks kinda SoCal-ish to me.
  • 2 1
 Super cool bike!!!
  • 1 1
 Good: it rides nice. Bad: it costs $7500.
  • 1 1
 I never get used to seeing that fork ...
  • 2 5
 67deg HA and 14.3"bb on a 160mm bike = unrideable ..this isnt 2009 anymore

there is no way jerome isnt running an angleset or offset bushings to get the geo into the ballpark
  • 4 1
 Really? A bunch of guys who probably ride way more than you rode the bike for a few months and came away with a much different conclusion. Have you even ridden the bike for a few minutes?
  • 1 3
 My last bike had almost identical HA and BB height to the jeckyl and my new bike has geometry very similar to every other 160+mm "enduro" bike released in the last year..for its intended purpose (riding burly terrain at top speed) a bike with a light duty trail bike's headangle and a sky high bb is not ideal....why would someone buy a 7k$ bike with geometry from 5 years ago? There is a reason every bike released this year has a bb an inch lower and a 2deg slacker HA..too bad bike looks nice otherwise

Also look at the trails they are testing it on...
  • 8 0
 Where we test bikes and where we shoot them is not always the same place. Also, there are more factors than matching numbers that make bikes work. Consider that some suspensions adopt lower or higher ride heights than others when in motion, and that a good designer takes this into consideration when setting the static BB height of a particular design. Imagine how a Santa Cruz V 10 would handle if its ride height remained at 25-percent sag. I rarely look at the numbers until after the testing period, so that test riders can judge a particular bike on its performance. Afterwards, we use the numbers to help clarify our thoughts and to answer questions about the results. In the case of the Jekyll 27.5, the numbers don't accurately predict its perfomance, as mentioned in the text.
  • 2 2
 Not bagging on your review or reviewing procedure..I enjoy them thoroughly..
Was commenting on the fact that the majority of people would be put off by a 67deg HA on a 160mm bike in 2014. The first #s people look at when bike shopping is the HA, BB height and chainstay length. I would imagine the # of them you see on the trails in the coming year will reflect that. Also I have a hard time thinking the few extra mm's in ride height makes up for a full 2 degrees of HA and an inch of BB height although I would imagine it gets it a little closer.
  • 1 0
 I wish Cannondale would elaborate a little more on their suspension design philosophy. The numbers do seem strange, to say the least, on paper. You should read my blog post and see some real-world numbers that I was able to measure with a digital inclinometer and a set of calipers. I hope this helps shed some light on why the bike rides so well, despite the numbers.

www.pinkbike.com/u/grizzlyatom/blog/jekyll-275.html
  • 2 1
 Wydopen, please give me another example of an Enduro bike that is designed to be run with 35-40% sag.

You need to reserve judgement until after you've tried the bike... Unless you just hate Cannondale, in which case it's time to sniff some drawers and get on the YT wait list.
  • 1 3
 Its a bicycle not a trophy truck...maybe there is a reason it's the only one running so much sag?

Sorry to offend the Cdale fan boys..... pretty funny every post/comment you have made on this site is in defense of the big C
  • 1 1
 YT it is!
  • 1 1
 Have you ridden this bike? What have you ridden? Do you understand what RC is saying? Do you know the fastest known enduro racer in the world and other enduro legends chose the geo on this bike? Have you tried to pedal a 13" bb to a win on a gnarly race course? When set up in flow mode the bike has a 65 hta and a 11.5 bbh; just checked yesterday. You just keep on blind hating here and ignoring a cycling industry engineers educated insight.
  • 1 0
 People are comparing the bikes angles at sag..10% more of it at that, to bikes sitting on a stand...yes I understand.
Also it says right in the article that the recommended rider weight/springrate yielded 30% sag..Doesn't sound like it was "designed" to run 40% sag it sounds like people are dropping the springrate to compensate for the steep angles.. Not to mention there are other implications to running so much negative travel..

The funny thing is my original comment was meant to be on the sarcastic side..like I said people will be turned off by the #s regardless of if its warranted...If cdale was smart they would list "effective HA and bb height" or something...but I guess the reason they dont is the same reason they spec a 100mm dropper post on a 160mm bike

Jey would win on any bike...Just like Graves did well on both bikes he raced this season..
  • 1 0
 My owner's manual says 35% sag for trail riding and 40% sag for "enduro". I do agree with you that Cannondale needs to clarify all this mumbo jumbo themselves a little bit more, and also that Jey C. would most likely dominate on any bike. However, I do think the Jekyll complements anyone's pedaling strength more so than any other bike that descends at this level, so I don't think a transition to another bike would be seamless...
  • 1 0
 The 35% number is not all that foreign to anyone who rides moto. My yz450f recommended sag is 110mm (4.33") of the 12.5" travel, which is 35%. Many riders set rear sag even deeper in sandy conditions.

The adverse effects of running lots of sag are different depending on the suspension rates and leverage ratios. One possible negative is bottoming out. The Jekyll has a fairly linear dropping leverage ratio, (like the YT capra) which allows you to ride in the middle of the travel while still not bottoming on the bigger hits. The other negatives are the pedaling efficiency and low pedals leading to pedal strikes and crashes. Cannondale has addressed that by raising the bottom bracket accordingly and utilizing the Dyad in elevate mode for pedaling up.

Vital recommended over 30% sag on the Capra review. Even stating that the bike rode very well at 35%, but that the BB just go too low at that point on that bike.

www.vitalmtb.com/product/guide/Bikes,3/YT/Capra-Comp-1,14534#product-reviews/1930
  • 1 0
 I've been riding moto for 25years...Sag #s on a motocross bike arn't relative to a mtb..I can imagine so much sag results in a "dead" feeling and takes away some liveliness in the rough as well..
  • 1 0
 Daym, pretty bike.
  • 6 8
 For $7500 I would rather get the Yeti SB6c!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 7 4
 Good luck, yeti quality has gone downhill recently
  • 4 6
 No it hasn't numb nuts.
  • 7 2
 Oh ok so there haven't been a bunch of customers having to warranty their recent yeti's.. my bad... oh wait yeah there has...
  • 6 6
 Actually I have. I have worked at a Yeti dealer for a very long time and we have had great luck with them. Any bike breaks when a goon (shredjekyll) builds it. Sure we have seen a few break after about 5 years of abuse. The dudes were also over 200 pounds and not mellow riders. Shit happens. Life moves on. Get over yourself.
  • 4 6
 You are an arrogant douche. I've never built a yeti and specifically said "recently gone downhill" for a reason. I really could care less - was just providing some useful and truthful information
  • 4 2
 Then why did you send me a private message earlier to f*ck off? You are the d bag. Isn't it past your bed time??
  • 4 2
 I don't sleep - I wait
  • 2 0
 bitch fight!!!!!! :o)
  • 2 0
 Haha yes!!!^^^^^
  • 10 13
 this bike is sick no doubt but i just can get over the janky suspension setup cannondale makes
  • 6 6
 I agree, its a sick bike, but its hard to look at the suspension and not think that it looks funky.
  • 4 3
 Janky? I don't know about that, maybe different is a better word? Rear shock feels a lot more like a coil and super easy to dial in. For most riders the alloy versions make more sense and they are super rallyable!
  • 7 3
 If you rode the bike you would realize how damn good that lefty really is! When I first hot on mine it was weird just because it was different, but as soon as I started descending I was blown away. There is no such thing as a bad line with that bike. It's UNREAL.
  • 4 4
 I just upgraded my stock Fox rear shock to a DBA Inline - an upgrade that totally reinvigorated my bike. I wouldn't buy a bike that didn't leave me the option of at least one alternative if I didn't like the stock one. I'd love to try a Lefty.
  • 1 4
 That looks about as wrong as Kevin Bacon, DVO Emerald Inverted Fork would look smart
  • 1 3
 just needs a FULL fork
  • 7 0
 Lefties are awesome Big Grin
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