All Jekyll no Hyde - with this mountain bike

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Cannondale's new Jekyll how moved the suspension hardware down low (Photo: Cannondale)
Cannondale's new Jekyll how moved the suspension hardware down low (Photo: Cannondale)
  • Latest version of the Jekyll is a big change for this Cannondale model
  • It has more suspension travel and 'gravity cavity' in the frame
  • The chain also follows a new trend, by routing through a high-pivot idler wheel

Cannondale has a significant presence in the local mountain bike racing scene. Its Scalpel is a respected lightweight mountain bike, with a unique appearance, thanks to its single-sided Lefty fork.

For those Cannondale brand fans who prefer descending steep and technical trails, instead of climbing up them, there is a new Jekyll.

The Jekyll has been an inspiring bike Cannondale. When the Enduro World Series (EWS) launched in 2013, it was won by Frenchman, Jerome Clementz, on a Jekyll. That bike featured a radical rear-suspension design which could increase or decrease rear suspension travel by 60%, using a remote trigger on the handlebar.

For Cannondale, the Jekyll has always been about unconventional design. A frame that encouraged new ideas. And the latest version, if full of them.

The frame's 'gravity cavity' allows for a nearly hidden shock (Photo: Cannondale)

High-pivot bikes are the trend of 2021

Product planners at Cannondale haven’t merely chosen some new colours and graphics for the new Jekyll, it has more suspension travel, a new shock position and unconventional chain routing.

You’ll immediately notice the idler-pulley, which guides the chain around an additional contact point. Why did Cannondale bother with this? Well, it creates a higher pivot point for the suspension, allowing the bike’s rear wheel to move more freely through its travel.

If you are wondering why you can’t see much of the new Jekyll’s shock, that’s because it has been mounted in the bike’s down tube. Using the latest carbon-fibre shaping technology, Cannondale’s industrial designers have managed to mount the Jekyll’s shock much lower, than what is possible with a conventional externally bolted set-up.

Jekyll bike
The Jekyll is available in some wild colours, like this 'Kanuga' version (Photo: Cannnondale)

A big bike for riding wild trails

The new Jekyll has a much lower centre of gravity, 15mm more rear suspension travel and looks much sleeker than its predecessor.

Looking at the bike’s headline numbers, it is clearly targeted at hardcore enduro and downhill riders. The Jekyll runs a 170mm fork, with 165mm of rear suspension.

Cannondale is marketing two models, both with 4-piston disc brakes and rolling Maxxis tyres, with an Assegai 29x2.5” at the front, developed by Greg Minnaar.

The market for 165mm 29er enduro bikes might be small in South Africa, but this new Jekyll would be right at home on a Jonkershoek double-black diamond descent. Or riding raw gravity trails, in Lesotho.

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