Jerome Clementz's Prototype Cannondale - EWS Round 3, Ireland

May 12, 2016 at 12:01
by Mike Kazimer  
Wicklow Ireland. Photo by Matt Wragg.

Jerome Clementz's prototype Cannondale made its first public appearance at last weekend's British Enduro Series race, and the green machine is back again, polished and ready for EWS Round 3 in Wicklow, Ireland. Cannondale are still remaining tight-lipped about the specifics of the new frame; “We're always trying new things” is the official line, but we were able to take a closer look at what could possibly be the 160mm Jekyll's replacement.

The bike's front triangle is constructed from carbon fiber, usually a sure sign that a bike is close to being ready for production, since carbon molds don't come cheap. Compared to the Jekyll, the ports for the internal cable routing are in a slightly higher location on the head tube, with a larger entry point that should make it easier to install or replace housing. The rear end is still aluminum, which could be how the bike remains when it's officially unveiled, but more than likely that's an indication that Cannondale are still experimenting with different pivot locations. Right now the bike is a link-driven single pivot, with the rearmost pivot located on the seatstays. Could we see Cannondale make the move to a Horst Link driven design? We'll just have to wait and see on that one.

Wicklow Ireland. Photo by Matt Wragg.
The linkage design leaves room for a water bottle cage to be mounted on the seat tube.

Water bottle placement isn't always the top priority when it comes to full suspension frame designs, but it looks like Cannondale haven't forgotten about the hydration pack averse crowd; the shape of the linkage allows for a bottle cage to be mounted on the lower portion of the seat tube.

Jerome is a SRAM sponsored rider, and as would be expected his bike is fully kitted with all of the latest components. An Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, a Super Deluxe rear shock – when you're one of the fastest enduro racers in the world you're granted access to the newest goodies before the rest of the world. There's a RockShox Lyrik up front, Guide Ultimate brakes to slow things down, and Truvativ's new stem and handlebar with WTB's PadLoc grips.


Wicklow Ireland. Photo by Matt Wragg.
Truvativ's new Descendant bar and stem are mounted up front.


Wicklow Ireland. Photo by Matt Wragg.
"Ok, that's enough... Show and tell is over."


Photos: Matt Wragg


99 Comments

  • 71 4
 Only possible due to metric shock design!
  • 28 2
 At least its not a proprietary shock. This is something that anyone can work on.
  • 2 43
flag fecalmaster (May 12, 2016 at 15:52) (Below Threshold)
 Very suprised Cannondale would design a fsr frame, on top of that they put the rear pivots on the seat stay for some demented reason??????? Strange things go on.
  • 14 4
 It's a single pivot.
  • 7 1
 @fecalmaster: by definition it's not FSR if the pivots are on the seat stays. It's linkage driven single pivot. FSR horst link pivots are on the chainstay, lower than the axle.
  • 5 1
 @fecalmaster: This comment was a joke right?
  • 3 2
 Everyone knows the correct number pivots to have is summed up in the formula = n + 1
  • 2 7
flag fecalmaster (May 13, 2016 at 15:47) (Below Threshold)
 Call it whateva ya want that thing a throw back to 2001 but good luck as always to Mr. Clementz this weekend.
  • 3 1
 @fecalmaster: Your comments are slightly worrisome....
  • 37 2
 Looks dialed. Kinda wierd seeing cannondale getting away from proprietary parts, but that's great in my eyes.
  • 6 3
 Absolutely. I think it looks great. I wonder how they're going to spin the demise of their 'superior' DYAD shock. This could still be a little way out, but I'd be nervous if I just bought a Jekyll. No disrepect (maybe a little) to DYAD, I love the idea, but the horror stories around service have kept me away from the Trigger and Jekyll.
  • 10 0
 @WasatchEnduro: horror stories? Im on 3 DYADs on my bikes since 2011 and never had any issues (alpine terrain) The only thing I hate about the DYAD is its collossal weight. Jerome's bike could be now in the under 12kg range. And that is a good thing.
  • 4 1
 Rode a habit SE the other day, conventional works really well for cannondale! absolutely stamps all over the trigger, just because of the weight difference, equivalent build is at least a kg, maybe 1.5 lighter!?
  • 1 0
 @WasatchEnduro: metric DYAD is not available yet! Wink
  • 5 0
 @radiomir: Have to agree here! I live in a fairly "remote" part of Canada where you can't just drop your shock off at the shop for service. Box it up, send it in the mail and wait 3 months (or more) for it to get back to you. Seeing as our biking season only runs from mid-May til' early November, not the most ideal set up. I've been running the DYAD on my Jekyll 2 for the past 3 seasons without a hiccup, none. Shock preforms great and has been super reliable so far. Yes, its a tad' on the heavier side but I'm also on the heavier side (6'2, 205 lbs) and I like the fact that it preforms and feels "robust". Hopefully will get a few more years for sure out of the DYAD. BTW: Love the new Cannondale design! Looks super dialed and more "conventional" which, is not always a bad thing!
  • 2 1
 new engineer, new design
  • 16 3
 Did anyone else read an interview with Gee Atherton recently where he said that Trek made him a custom sized Session DH carbon for testing? According to that it would seem that you don't need a mega bucks machined mold to make a custom carbon frame anymore. Just a thought...
  • 2 1
 Gee runs a reach adjust headset?
  • 7 4
 you can hand lay carbon, but it looks much different than production carbon. That's probably what they're referring to, is that this doesn't look all blobby like a hand-laid frame would.
  • 14 1
 Trek HAS mega bucks and its own production facility for carbon frames. If you are paying for molds at a factory that you don't own, it's a lot more expensive! Plus the Atherton contract is a big deal, they may have even written something about prototype frames into the contract, who knows.
  • 5 0
 @thepwnstar39: There are a handful of pro roadies that get custom geometry carbon frames. Definitely the exception and not the rule. I know Peter Sagan had one while he was on a Cannondale.
  • 8 0
 You don't need big expensive molds for one offs. You can use less costly materials to make them, HED wheels has used wood molds to make wheels for years. If you have in house CNC capability it really drives the cost down for projects like that.
  • 10 0
 We used styrofoam, had that machined coarsly. Then applied a layer of ceramic paste, had that dried out and then machined accurately to the finite shape. That's excellent material for a one-of as the mold last for exactly one single product. Molds for mass production are expensive as they have to be made out of durable materials (like steel) and obviously machining that is expensive as it takes a while and causes your cutting tools to wear more quickly. Styrofoam on the other hand doesn't cause too much wear on cutting tools and you can work quick.

Wood as @zutroy mentioned lasts quite a few products more and as such also takes considerably longer to produce (the mold, that is).
  • 2 0
 @groghunter: Hand laid carbon can be made to look as good as production with enough time, care and sanding. But at Trek they have the capacity to make one off molds themselves, so if they made Gee a custom frame they likely made it the same way as a production bike.
  • 4 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: What do you mean by hand laid carbon? I'm not aware of fibres not being hand laid unless we're talking filament winding, pulltrusion or using a robot for laying fibres. But for bicycles, it is probably still mostly manual, isn't it? Back in the day they did join pulltrusion tubes in steel lugs or otherwise, but that doesn't really happen anymore with mountainbikes, isn't it? Or do you mean using prepregs (like what we saw in the video of Cesar Rojo's new brand) instead of working with dry fibres and applying resin separately (for instance resin transfer molding)? I thought the latter two were common with bicycles and once you've got a mold, you can use it for single or series production just fine, right?
  • 1 1
 @Fix-the-Spade: I wonder, considering Gwin had a blobby hand laid frame last year from Spec. Hand laid carbon isn't really worse in any way except finish.
  • 4 0
 @vinay: By hand laid I would mean resin and carbon strips applied to a form and then vacuum bagged for curing. As opposed to pre-impregnated strips of carbon being placed in a mold and compressed. Guess I should be more specific.
  • 5 0
 @Fix-the-Spade: Allright, clear. But then still I don't see why they wouldn't use pre preg material for a prototype as well. If they invest in at least a laser cutter they should be able to cut the pre-pregs to their exact shape as they otherwise would with the dry fibres. I do agree you could get some voids or excess resin in a vacuum bagged product. But voids typically only occur if you have a leaky mold. But I have no experience with pre-pregs. In my mind it not only gets harder to achieve proper adhesion between the layers (especially in strongly curved areas where you could risk bridging the curve if the resin shrinks when curing) and you could get dimples between the fibres on the outside. But that's speculation, I haven't worked with pre-preg. I did get dimples though when shaping (heating and bending) carbon composites with a thermoplastic resin.

As for CNC capacity, something I think companies overlook is the versatility of these standard robot arms. You know, these orange KUKA robots you're may relate to the welding robots in a production line for cars. They're versatile and, due to the large numbers they're being sold in, relatively cheap. I did my graduation project at a company for filament winding and they had a KUKA robot in the production hall that could guide the fibres on one side for the actual filament winding and, when you changed the tool for a router, could turn around towards the lathe and produce the mandrels. So this way a simple lathe turned into a CNC lathe Smile . A few months ago I attended a lecture by Prof. Archim Menges who's also been experimenting with using the relatively cheap robots for winding, fibre laying and CNC machining. They may obviously not be as quick as a dedicated CNC machine like they use at Hope, but they're versatile and cheap for prototypes and large enough to actually machine a bicycle frame mold.
  • 1 0
 Listen up children. This guy, @vinay, knows what he is talking about.
  • 2 0
 @freestyIAM: Not always, but this time I do, thanks. I made a typo though, it is Achim Menges (so without the "r"). Look him up, the stuff he's been working on is really cool! It will open your eyes to what these robots can do. In a typical mountainbike component production facility all these robots get to do is take components in and out of the CNC machines. And that is only at companies the scale of Wellgo. That is like using a modern computer as if it were an electronic typewriter.
  • 9 5
 Am I the only one who feels like the usual product tests/bike porn stuff is just pfaff after the Stevie Smith tragedy? I know the world goes on, I just find myself really not giving two shites about bling right now... just gutted.
  • 6 0
 Stevie was such an insparstion to me and I am gutted as well, however I know he would want us to not forget, which we won't, but continue riding and being happy. RIP
  • 5 1
 Kind of weird seeing a bike like this today. Even more weird is it's from Cannondale - the champions of weird, gimicky shit. That linkage looks like it came from 1996. I appreciate the position though - FSR and VPP are public now, but Cannondale using one would be admitting they've been using an inferior design all these years.
  • 5 0
 Hey ! I always thought it was wrong to clamp your dropper post like this. Is it actually safe ?
  • 2 0
 I always thought the same thing. But the more I watched videos from different mechanics and just random pictures I'd seen here and there it seems that it's fine. I've been clamping mine to the post for 2 years and haven't had a problem. Just make sure it's not too tight and the post is fully extended.
  • 2 0
 I wrap a towel around it for peace of mind around scratches. But that's because I have old school park, the Feedback ones are designed with droppers in mind.
  • 2 0
 So you don't mash the hose or cable with the clamp.
  • 1 0
 Maybe the angle is important too ? I'm confused... :p
  • 1 0
 Totally fine to clamp it as shown. I use the same stand and just make sure the clamp jaws are clean before clamping it. I also pull the bike off the stand for any high torque jobs.
  • 1 0
 @LucWicklund: I am guilty of it too but one thing i try to keep conscious is to not put rotational torque through idk pulling or wrenching some other part of the bike. I just imagine the blocks or collars jumping out of their grooves and bad things happening.
  • 4 3
 I knew C'dale would do this, it's the same design as the model with a pull shock, it's just in front of the link now. When I first bought my Jekyll I said to myself.... Wait.... This is stupid, and turned out I was somewhat right.
  • 3 2
 Here's my take on this: Cannondale will probably do something different when this bike hits production because as it sits it wont be a good pedaling machine. They either need to go Horst Link on the rear end (which would also solve the brake jack problem the current bike suffers from) or do a push type DYAD shock to give the bike a "climb mode." I for one don't want to pedal a 160mm travel single pivot bike without some sort of help beyond the little lever on the rear shock. Plus the DYAD has the advantage of changing the geometry as well, not just firming up for climbs. We shall see what they end up doing. Lets also hope they improve the valving on the Lefty SuperMax while they are at it.
  • 2 1
 I don't understand why companies who had the resources to do so didn't have a Horst Link design sitting there behind the curtain waiting for that patent to expire...??? stupid is the only possible conclusion I can come up with...
  • 1 0
 Assuming the spares and water he carries below the shock are heavier than the shock and linkage itself, it's not actually such a bad idea for getting the weight down low. Still look ugly to me though, like they have modified the current frame to run a standard shock.
  • 1 0
 i think moving away from a DYAD type shock would be a HUGE mistake...Ive owned and ridden many of the top tier bikes from the big names and they were mostly Very nice, high quality rides..I bought the Jekyll because of its unique shock which i actually use a lot out on the trails..The DYAD has been very reliable and incredibly effective at switching between an xc ide and an enduro ride with the push of a lever....
  • 4 0
 Metric Shock!! He gona win.
  • 4 1
 I'm impressed with the water bottle cage mounting area. Well thought out Cannondale
  • 7 6
 Stoked to see them not using the dyad shock. It felt amazing but $300 service every season and having to wait a month till you could ride again was NOT my favorite
  • 11 0
 Who on earth did you send it to? Shipped my dyad to fox last week and they quoted me 165 with return shipping included.
  • 7 0
 @dynamatt: that is not acceptable! a fox dyad service here in EU costs 142 EURO shipping incl., sent on Monday, was back in 3 days. (official fox distributor)
  • 2 1
 @radiomir: oh that's one of the reasons I no longer own my Jekyll!! I had it for 2 seasons and every year it took 3-4 weeks door to door for a service. And fox is 3 hours north of me
  • 3 1
 to me it looks like the existing jekyll just with a new linkage/shock alignment
  • 3 0
 They could enter into my top 10 list with this new bike ...
  • 2 0
 Jerome, buddy, quit cutting up those SRAM chainguides to make them like the MRP AMg and just call me bro!
  • 2 1
 Notice the headtube is for tapered steerers only. Word on the street is that the new Jekyll and Trigger will no longer be specced with Leftys.
  • 4 1
 NO LEFTY?
thank you this bike looks hot hot hot
  • 1 0
 So is there a brace between those seat stays was all I could think about and no spy pics. These Cannondale chaps are super secretive...
  • 3 0
 This Bike... not sexy enough.

Beer
  • 1 0
 I always get nervous about clamping a dropper post to my stand, but I guess it's ok after all....
  • 1 0
 It's fine as long as you don't make it too tight.
  • 2 0
 Those Feedback Sports stands have a padded jaw that you can do perfect pressure with. It's why they basically replaced everybody else's stands in pro settings overnight. I just wish they made a shop stand, or a retrofitable clamp for park stands. park has a micro-adjust clamp, but it isn't as nice.
  • 2 0
 @groghunter: Hey groghunter, you're in luck! Feedback Sports does make a commercial grade Pro-Elite clamp and it's available on the website under the Premium Work Stands tab. This bad boy plugs right into a commercial base.
  • 1 0
 @FeedbackSportsTech: Oh wow! that is so rad. know what I'm buying for my stand. Keep making awesome stuff!
  • 8 5
 Looks flexy
  • 1 0
 since they have the beast of the east now back, I think this should be the new PROPHET Smile
  • 2 1
 Lets take our old suspension design, and put a shock in front of the pivot, instead of behind it.
  • 1 0
 does that not look like a tapered head tube? no 1.5 inch anymore? might mean no lefty spec'd on this model...
  • 1 0
 looks good does that,, nice bike cannondale
  • 1 0
 I he running padloc grips?
  • 1 0
 yeah, he is.
  • 2 3
 Thank God they are getting rid of the Dyad. That thing looked like a four pack of beer. Can they scrap the long travel Lefty next?
  • 2 1
 i think i prefer this more than older jekyll
  • 1 0
 really weird to clamp the stanchion of the reverb??? am i wrong?
  • 1 0
 Looks like Diamondback slipped C-Dale a little tongue
  • 1 0
 The only Cannondale I'll ever ride the rest were blah!
  • 1 0
 Looks like a YT Capra and a Patrol stuck together in a weird way!
  • 4 3
 look's like Orbea
  • 3 1
 or chumba
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Or a Transition Covert
  • 5 6
 Well that looks shit. What ever happened to the innovator that was Cannondale from the mid 90's to mid 2000's?!
  • 4 2
 I think it looks dope. Reminds me of Orbea and Liteville. Simple, stiff, sexy.
  • 2 0
 @WasatchEnduro: beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Ha ha. Not for me though.
  • 2 2
 What happened to all that innovation you ask...? Nobody bought that shit, even with one of the top EW riders in the world killing it on their frame, still nobody bought that shit... people don't want to go riding around on a science experiment that other bike companies don't NEED to make their bikes work!

anyway, I think your crazy, the bikes aesthetics are excellent. Just don't understand why they would do that without a Horst Link? Bo back and weld up a new rear triangle you lunk heads...
  • 1 0
 @yetiboyjay: I admit..... it's no Yeti.
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: Exactly.... why do a redesign without just going all in and switching away from faux bar to horst. C'mon C'dale!
  • 1 0
 The new "Prophet"?
  • 1 0
 OMG My dream color!!
  • 1 3
 water bottle cage... hahahaha
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