A Closer Look at Cannondale’s New Jekyll
Yes, Cannondale’s new Jekyll is yet another carbon all-mountain bike, but it’s loaded with new technology and smart features that sets it apart. In fact Cannondale feels the Jekyll’s riding characteristics are so different it needed a whole new category. Cannondale calls it “OverMountain”.
Here is the nerd-factor rundown of what makes the Jekyll tick:
The Jekyll’s frame uses Japanese Military Ballistic Fibers in conjunction with High Impact, Hot Melt Resin found in carbon baseball bats. Cannondale claims this combination of materials will allow the frame to withstand bails that involve cartwheeling through rockgardens.
In addition to the nails-tough frame, Cannondale worked hard to optimize what they call “center stiffness”. Center stiffness is the slight deflection within suspension linkages. A bike can have poor center stiffness, which is usually just a small amount of wiggle room, but good overall stiffness. Cannondale says that high center stiffness is what gives a bike a good “trail feel”.
Cannondale maximized the center stiffness of the Jekyll by using clamped-axle pivots with bearings in the main frame (think fork through axle) rather than just having the bearings in the linkage which would let one side of the linkage to move independently from the other during twisting forces (cornering and mashing pedals).
The other thing Cannondale did to improve center stiffness was to double up the bearings on each seatstay pivot (where using a clamped axle is impossible).
While the frame is packed with neat little features to improve ride quality, the real geek-out part of the bike is the rear shock(s).
Cannondale hired the brains over at Fox Racing Shox to build a true two-in-one shock. The shock has two travel settings, two air volumes, and two rebound (independently externally adjustable) and compression circuits. The pull-shock is activated via a handlebar-mounted remote.
In the 90-millimeter “Elevate Mode” setting, one of the air chambers, along with the DH rebound/compression circuit, is closed and the XC rebound/compression circuit is opened up. This gives the rear suspension a progressive feel with the proper damping tune to match.
In the 150-millimeter “Flow Mode” setting, both air chambers and the DH rebound/compression circuit are opened, while the XC rebound/compression circuit is closed. This gives a DH tune to the shock as well as a more linear suspension feel.