Cannondale Jekyll - Mountain Bike of the Year Nominee

  • By Chris Degenaars
  • 14 Dec, 2017

"Business up front, party in the back" - Pinkbike.com

Why it's nominated...

Cannondale have always marched to a slightly different beat, but the latest iteration of the Jekyll may be the most conventional-looking version of that model yet. There's no Lefty to be seen, with a 170mm Fox 36 taking the place of the conversation-starting, one-legged fork. Of course, it wouldn't be a Cannondale without at least a couple unique touches, and in this case it's the bike's adjustable travel (a bar-mounted lever is used to choose between 130 and 165mm of travel) and an asymmetric rear end that make it stand out.

But it's the 27.5" Jekyll's handling that truly earned it the nomination – with a generous reach and stubby chainstays the Jekyll is a riot to ride, a bike that can be pulled up into a manual at the blink of an eye, yet still possesses enough stability for racing and bike park usage.

The Cannondale Jekyll 2 Review

Earlier this year, Pinkbike.com published a review of the 2017 Cannondale Jekyll 2...
The Cannondale Jekyll has undergone a number of revisions over the course of its existence, but the latest update is the most significant yet. The bike is still rolling on 27.5” wheels, and retains the ability to switch between two different travel modes (either 165 or 130mm), but the proprietary Fox Dyad pull shock found on the previous models is gone, replaced by a Fox Float X Gemini, the result of another Cannondale / Fox collaboration. The one-sided Lefty fork has also disappeared, at least in its longer travel configuration, and all of the Jekyll models are equipped with more traditional looking suspension.

The Jekyll's geometry has also been altered, and if you've been following the recent geometry trends you shouldn't have any trouble guessing most of the changes. That's right, the Jekyll is now longer, lower, and slacker than before. Cannondale slackened the head and from 67° down to 65°, and also shaved 20mm off the chainstays, shortening them to 420mm. All of these revisions were designed to make the Jekyll more capable than ever, an attempt to create, in Cannondale's words, “the best enduro bike on the planet.” Did they succeed? I spent three months aboard the yellow and green machine to find out.

The Jekyll 2 tested here comes in at $6,000 USD, with a carbon front triangle, an alloy swingarm, and a build kit that includes SRAM's X01 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, a 170mm Fox Float 36 Performance Elite, and WTB i29 rims shod with a 2.5" Maxxis Minion DHF up front and a 2.4" Minion DHR II in the back. There are three other models in the lineup, beginning with the full alloy Jekyll 4 that retails for $3,199, all the way up to the top-of-the line full carbon Jekyll 1 for $7,750 USD.

Frame Details

The Jekyll 2's front triangle is constructed from BallisTec carbon, which Cannondale says uses fibers similar to those used for military ballistic armor, combined with resins that are typically used for carbon baseball bats. In other words, it's designed to be stiff, strong, and able to withstand the hard riding the Jekyll is intended for. The swingarm is aluminum, which helps reduce the overall cost of the bike. Looking for all-carbon everywhere? The Jekyll 1 has a full carbon frame, plus carbon wheels, but it'll cost you $1,750 more than the Jekyll 2.

The derailleur, brake, and dropper housing are routed inside the front triangle, with the brake and derailleur housing running externally under the bottom bracket. Yes, it would have been nice to see that housing run above the PressFit30 BB, but for what it's worth, I've spent countless hours on bikes with similar routing without any issues. That's not to say that pinching a cable is impossible, it's just that it's very unlikely.

Even though the Jekyll has Boost spacing, Cannondale decided to offset the rear triangle by 3mm towards the drive side. Called Asymmetric Integration (Ai), the offset rear end was first seen on the Scalpel-Si and F-Si cross-country race bikes, and is designed to increase wheel stiffness, along with allowing the bike to have short chainstays with plenty of tire clearance.

How does an offset rear end increase wheel stiffness? It's the same concept as a rim with asymmetric spoke holes – by shifting everything over, it's possible to have the same spoke tension on the drive and non-drive sides of a wheel. What does that mean if you need to swap out the rear wheel? It means that you'll need to budget in some time to re-dish the replacement, otherwise the tire will sit too close to the drive side chainstay and swing arm. Cannondale may have their reasons for the asymmetric rear end, but I would have liked to see a 'regular' swingarm - who wants to re-dish a wheel when you need to install a spare?

" The travel adjust feature does create an extra piece of housing, but it's all cleanly routed through the front triangle."

Suspension

Compared to the previous version, the new Jekyll's rear suspension layout looks like it was turned inside out. It's still a link-driven single pivot, but rather than sitting just above the bottom bracket, the shock is now situated between a boomerang-shaped carbon rocker and the upper portion of the downtube. Along with making it possible to run any metric shock on the market, the new orientation leaves just enough room underneath the rocker to squeeze in a regular sized water bottle.

The Jekyll's Fox Float X Gemini can be switched between either 165 or 130mm of travel via the handlebar mounted remote. When the remote is depressed, the shock's volume is reduced, which makes it impossible to compress it more than 130mm, a design that's similar to what we've seen Scott use on the Genius. The bike's geometry remains the same, but the decreased travel alters the bike's personality, making it better suited for climbing or more rolling terrain.
" The handlebar mounted remote is used to select between either 165 or 130mm of rear travel."

Specifications

Price...........................
$5999.99
Travel......................... 165mm
Rear Shock................ Fox Float X Performance Elite EVOL w/ Gemini remote-actuated dual mode air spring system,
Fork............................ Fox Float 36 Performance Elite, FIT 4 damper, 170mm
Cassette..................... SRAM XG-1295, 10-50T
Crankarms................. Truvativ Descendant Carbon Eagle, 30t
Bottom Bracket ....... 
Cannondale Alloy PressFit30
Rear Derailleur.......... SRAM XO1 Eagle, 12-Speed
Chain......................... SRAM PC-XO1 Eagle
Shifter Pods............... SRAM XO1 Eagle Trigger
Handlebar................. Cannondale C1 Carbon Riser 780mm
Grips.......................... Cannondale Locking Grips
Brakes........................ SRAM Guide RS
Hubs.......................... SRAM 900 Boost
Rim............................ WTB Frequency Team i29
Tires........................... Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5", Minion DHR II 2.4"
Seat............................ Fabric Scoop shallow
Seatpost.................... RaceFace Turbine 150mm dropper

Pinkbike's Take

" So, is the Cannondale Jekyll the 'best enduro bike on the planet?' Well, I don't know if I'd go quite that far, but I will say that it's a damn fine attempt, and this is certainly the best Jekyll yet. The geometry updates have turned it into a more potent race weapon than ever before, and even riders without any intention of rolling up to a starting line will find that it delivers a very enjoyable ride on just about any type of terrain. "

Dallas Bike Works is a proud dealer of Cannondale Bicycles! Stop by one of our locations  to learn more!
To see the other bikes nominated for the 2017 Pinkbike Mountain Bike of the Year, click here.
To read the rest of the Cannondale Jekyll 2 review from Pinkbike.com, click here.
*Disclaimer: This review was originally published on Pinkbike.com by their staff and does NOT directly reflect or express the opinions of Dallas Bike Works or any of its staff.

In The Shop by Dallas Bike Works

By Chris Degenaars 21 Dec, 2017
Gravel rides have taken off over the past few years all across the United States, but especially here in Dallas we have seen an increase in weekly group rides heading out to the gravel roads to avoid traffic.

BikeRadar has released its Top 5 Gravel Bikes for 2018 and featured the 2018 Cannondale Slate as a bike that “can handle the full range of gravel.”
By Chris Degenaars 14 Dec, 2017
Cannondale have always marched to a slightly different beat, but the latest iteration of the Jekyll may be the most conventional-looking version of that model yet. There's no Lefty to be seen, with a 170mm Fox 36 taking the place of the conversation-starting, one-legged fork. Of course, it wouldn't be a Cannondale without at least a couple unique touches, and in this case it's the bike's adjustable travel (a bar-mounted lever is used to choose between 130 and 165mm of travel) and an asymmetric rear end that make it stand out.

But it's the 27.5" Jekyll's handling that truly earned it the nomination – with a generous reach and stubby chainstays the Jekyll is a riot to ride, a bike that can be pulled up into a manual at the blink of an eye, yet still possesses enough stability for racing and bike park usage.
By Chris Degenaars 04 Dec, 2017

The TCX Advanced Pro 1 ticks all the boxes on my cyclocross grocery list. And it has already found a home under pro riders in the highest echelons of the sport, yet it costs about as much as a mid-level road bike. This seems to be the sweet spot in cyclocross, affording you everything you need to make a real run at the podium while maintaining some semblance of a budget for things like food and shelter. Fortunately, I like the way the TCX rides almost as much as I like dinner and the roof over my head.

That’s because it complements my strengths (short, explosive sprints) and accommodates my weaknesses (just about everything else … har har). The size M/L I tested has somewhat long geometry numbers (1031mm wheelbase, 429mm chain stays, 61mm bottom bracket drop, 569mm stack, and 386mm reach), which contribute to its stability during all-out sprints. Pushing the TCX Advanced Pro 1 up a false-flat on the backside of Valmont Bike Park felt intuitive and stable even while torquing hard and leaning the bike over. The Giant encourages pedal-mashing, and it keeps you on an even keel as you do so.

You’ll be able to get over the front end and explode forward without the rear wheel skipping all over the place. Stability is the name of the game here. It’s not the most nimble for tape-to-tape cornering, but everywhere else the TCX is a rocket. The long wheelbase, trail, and chain stays that contribute to that stable feel also limit the TCX slightly in the tightest turns, though it’s far from being a sluggish steerer. If your bike-handling skills are up to snuff, you won’t notice too much fight here.

Quick line changes on fast descents were a breeze, while serpentine twists through the trees required a bit more input. That may be due to the 61-millimeter bottom bracket drop. For comparison, that’s 8mm higher than the BB on a 56cm Specialized Crux. Cyclocross geometry is all about compromise — though Giant’s geo might not feel snappy, a taller bottom bracket will let you pedal through steep off-camber or deep mud ruts without striking your pedals.

By Chris Degenaars 04 Dec, 2017

It’s an common adage: practice makes perfect. But it’s difficult to prepare for races when the actual route takes place halfway across the world. Or if your schedule doesn’t give you appropriate time to hit the course.

Whatever the reason, indoor smart trainers (like the KICKR ) have helped riders access unique training plans that can dynamically recreate courses and conditions in high detail. In conjunction with Best Bike Split,  for example, riders can access a complex physics engine that takes into consideration power data, course info, and race day conditions to carve a perfect plan of attack.

For triathletes, this is crucial training; Getting as close to real conditions in your workouts can shave off valuable time when rubber hits the road on race day. When each second counts, you can’t afford to throw away training time to incomplete sessions.

So are you looking to maximize your training time for a race? Reach a new PR? Take on your first triathlon? Recreating these routes for your training is simple; just grab your KICKR, start up the Best Bike Split program, and follow the steps below.

How to Set Up Best Bike Split on Your KICKR

Step 1: Create a race course within Best Bike Split. Most Ironman courses are already included (just a simple search for them should pull them up) or you can build your own custom route.

Step 2: Choose a race plan based on your FTP to provide an optimum bike split OR plug in a target time and BBS will load a plan based on those specific targets.

Note : Once you have your race plan, you’ll notice it looks a bit like a cue sheet; there is target wattage or speed to hold for X Miles information available.

Step 3: After you save your race plan, navigate to your ELEMNT and authorize BBS. It will sync your course down in the “Routes List.”

Step 4: Now get on your KICKR. There are 2 ways to utilize this new race plan.

If you want your ELEMNT to control it in simulation mode, just select the route and it will augment the KICKR based on grade simulation (insane KICKR CLIMB  session, anyone?). You’ll also have your target power/speed to hold just like you will have to do on the road.

If you want to see the BBS race plan while you train, just select the BBS custom screen on your ELEMNT for live updates on your progress and targets.

Bonus Tip : If you want to practice being held to that wattage, you can export your data as a variety of files and then attempt it on Trainer Road  or put it in the Zwift Workout builder.

By Chris Degenaars 14 Nov, 2017
*This review was published on VitalMTB.com as a review their staff created after testing and using the Santa Cruz Reserve Carbon Wheelset - the opinions expressed do not reflect those of Dallas Bike Works or its staff
By Chris Degenaars 25 Sep, 2017
Dallas Bike Works is excited to announce that they will now be an official dealer for all Cannondale Bicycles products!

This is very exciting news for both the White Rock Lake and Oak Cliff locations, and both shops are excited to begin carrying Cannondale Bicycles! They will be one of only a handful of dealers in the immediate Downtown Dallas area and look forward to providing their excellent customer service and knowledge to new Cannondale customers!
By Chris Degenaars 28 Aug, 2017
Giant Bicycles, a world leader in cycling technology, has unveiled its all-new Propel Disc range of aero road bikes. Engineered and designed over a multi-year development phase involving Giant engineers, Team Sunweb pro racers, and aerodynamics experts at the Aero Concept Engineering facility in France, this cutting-edge aero road machine features all-new frame airfoils and shapes, plus integrated disc-brake design.
By Chris Degenaars 01 Aug, 2017
Released on August 1st of 2017, Wahoo announces the redesigned ELEMNT that offers users a simple and compact computer that offers insightful data without the overwhelming overload many computers come with. At just $99 you can get yourself a new, smart, powerful computer with an RPM Speed Sensor included! 
By Chris Degenaars 24 Jul, 2017

Giant Bicycles has introduced an all-new range of Reign enduro bikes featuring updated  Maestro suspension technology  and refined frame geometry. Aimed at competitive enduro racers, big-mountain adventurers, and anyone who loves to tackle aggressive trails, the new Reign comes to market with pro off-road performance in its DNA.

Engineered, designed and developed with valuable input from Giant Factory Off-Road Team riders, the new Reign incorporates several new technologies and frame features that have been put to the test on the most demanding trails and enduro races around the world. Josh Carlson, who scored a top-10 ranking in last year’s Enduro World Series, rode multiple prototype versions, testing the Reign’s improved suspension capabilities at race events and on his local trails in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The updated Maestro rear suspension features 160mm of smooth travel and some key improvements to shock performance and the overall handling of the bike.  

A new trunnion mount allows for a longer shock stroke and a lower leverage ratio, which improves small-bump compliance and pedaling efficiency. The trunnion mount also allows for more insertion depth for longer dropper posts. And a new Advanced Forged Composite upper rocker arm increases frame stiffness, adds strength and reduces overall weight.

Every model in the new Reign range features new frame geometry including an aggressive 65-degree headtube angle and 73-degree seattube angle, engineered for 160mm of suspension travel front and rear. Developed and refined over time, the new geometry boosts overall control without sacrificing agility or climbing efficiency. And it’s all optimized for 27.5 wheels, which strike the perfect balance of lightweight agility, acceleration and control that’s needed to tackle aggressive terrain.

The 2018 Reign range includes two series. The Reign Advanced series is built on a lightweight, super-stiff Advanced-grade composite mainframe with an ALUXX SL aluminum rear swingarm. The Reign series  features a full ALUXX SL aluminum frame. This series also includes a Reign SX model with an added 10 millimeters of front suspension travel and a special build kit that places more emphasis on technical all-mountain descents.

All the new Reign models are engineered and handcrafted by Giant, the only major bicycle brand that controls the entire frame-making process every step of the way. In addition, all models in the 2018 Reign range are engineered with Boost hub spacing for stiffer wheel performance, added tire clearance, and improved handling on the trail.

For flat-out speed and confidence on rough and rowdy enduro terrain, this is the fastest, most capable range of Reign bikes yet.

For more information, including a video and all the technical details on the entire new Reign range, click here.

By Chris Degenaars 26 Jun, 2017

Giant has introduced a new addition to its legendary collection of Anthem cross-country bikes, the all-new Anthem 29 range . Designed for competitive XC riders and racers, and featuring all-new 29er-specific geometry with key updates to its Maestro Suspension system,  the Anthem 29 range consists of three different series ranging from a superlight full-composite frame race bike to a new ALUXX SL aluminum frame series.

Engineered, designed and developed with valuable input from Giant pro riders, the new Anthem 29 range is aimed at providing XC riders with the ultimate in speed and efficiency on technical terrain. The flagship Anthem Advanced Pro 29 series features a full-composite mainframe and rear triangle, and is the lightest 29er full-suspension frame ever produced by Giant. Each of the new models in the 2018 Anthem 29 range is engineered with 90mm of rear suspension travel and 100mm up front.

Every model in the new Anthem 29 range has a 69-degree headtube angle and 73.5-degree seattube angle. The updated Maestro Suspension system includes a new trunnion mount shock,which produces a lower shock leverage ratio for improved pedaling and braking efficiency. The rear suspension is further bolstered by its new Advanced Forged Composite upper rocker arm, which is lighter, stiffer and stronger than the aluminum version.

Models in the Anthem 29 range are engineered with Boost hub spacing for stiffer wheel performance, added tire clearance, and improved handling on the trail. And they all feature Giant Tubeless System technology, which means every bike is delivered with Giant WheelSystems and tubeless ready tires, making it easier than ever to enjoy the benefits of added traction, smoother trail control, and a reduced risk of flat tires.

Giant Factory Off-Road Team rider Carl Decker has been racing the Anthem platform since it was first introduced in 2005. He has experienced the evolution of a bike that started out as a World Cup XC weapon with 26-inch wheels and sharp-handling race geometry. The first 29er version of the Anthem debuted in 2010, and later a 27.5 version—aimed at more aggressive XC/trail riding with added suspension and slacker geometry—was introduced in 2014.

This all-new Anthem 29 range marks a strong commitment to the bike’s original DNA: uncompromising XC speed, efficiency and control.

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