Cannondale's re-entry into the world of downhill bikes came this year via a wild, high-pivot prototype that can use two shocks
(but only one has damping) and offers all the adjustments. Matt Simmonds did the 2019 World Cup season aboard the bike as a toe-in-the-water return to top-flight downhill racing for Cannondale, but don't be surprised to see a full-on factory race effort in 2020.
Downhill bikes are always interesting, but it looks like someone at Cannondale is thinking about a bit less travel, with this all-grey prototype being spotted in the lift line at Mountain Creek Bike Park this weekend. There are some big differences, too. While the downhill bike sees an optional dual-shock layout that lets them separate damping and spring duties, it looks like they've ditched that system here as there's no forward shock mount. There is a water bottle in the same spot, though, while the shock is hidden from view inside the downtube and behind a bolt-on shield, just like on the downhill bike.
The downhill bike (on the right) sees its shock hidden inside the downtube and protected by a bolt-on shield, as does the latest prototype (left).
A few other things to note, including that those sure look like 29" wheels, and that they've skipped the adjustable-length chainstays used on the race bike. The drive-side is mostly hidden by the rider's leg, but given that it employs a similar-ish high-pivot suspension layout, it's a safe bet that it's using an idler-pulley to route the chain up equally high as well.
Of course, Cannondale has the 165mm-travel Jekyll
(or 150mm on 29" wheels) as their current enduro-y bike, but something tells me that you have an idea where this might be heading in 2021.