This week our Fast Bike Friday feature takes a more detailed look at a bike that was launched in late June and quickly garnered a lot of attention thanks to its stunning looks and its unique suspension configuration; the Cannondale Jekyll 1 2022 is a long-travel mountain bike built ready for the most demanding Enduro races out there.
Aimed at super-fast Enduro racers and trail riders who love to push the boundaries and conquer steep, tight, technical singletrack and wide-open super-fast tracks peppered with high-speed berms and huge gap jumps. The Jekyll 1 features 170mm of suspension travel upfront complimented by a plush 165mm of rear travel; with an acknowledgement of how the Cannondale engineers see this bike being used they’ve spec’d large 29” wheels to help you hold your speed and carry your momentum through those loose, loamy turns.
The striking iridescent paintjob on the Cannondale Jekyll 1 changes colour as you move around the bike, click the link and see the magic for yourself.
You’ve no-doubt already cast your eyes over the bike and will have spotted elements which reflect some common trends appearing more and more on both Downhill bikes and Enduro bikes alike – high pivot? yep, idler wheel? yes; there are some key aspects of this bike which have a lot in common with other bikes launching on the mountain bike market in recent months. Drill a little deeper though and you’ll discover that while Cannondale may be acknowledging some of the same suspension and geometry principles as other bike brands there’s a lot of unique engineering going on here too, all coming together to create a really active, super-smooth long-travel trail bike.
The all-new Jekyll features a high-pivot suspension platform with idler.
Jekyll 1 Key Features:
- Gravity Cavity
- High Pivot
- Four Bar Linkage
- Proportional Response
It’s the Jekyll’s clever suspension configuration that gives you a magic carpet ride downhill.
So, let’s take a closer look at those key features starting with Cannondale’s hidden suspension shock setup which goes by the quirky name of the ‘Gravity Cavity’. The idea behind this configuration was to sit the shock as low as possible within the downtube to give the Jekyll a really low centre of gravity. This shock positioning really helps improve the bike’s handling with a more planted feel through tight turns and enhanced stability at high speed.
Cannondale’s ‘Gravity Cavity’ houses a Fox Shock positioned low in the frame; that low centre of gravity makes the ride more stable at speed.
There’s a protective guard on the underside of the Gravity Cavity.
There’s a real trend developing at the moment for gravity-focused trail bikes to feature a high pivot within the suspension configuration and rightly so. The swing arm pivot on the all-new Jekyll 1 is positioned up high on the seat tube above the drivetrain. The effect of this positioning is that as the rear wheel hits an obstacle the wheel arcs backwards and up, meaning that your wheel slightly moves back and away from the obstacle as well as upwards, allowing you to carry more momentum and not hang up on objects that would otherwise stall your speed; meaning you’ll basically have a smoother, faster ride.
The Jekyll’s main pivot is placed high above the drivetrain for a greatly-improved rearward path at the axle.
High pivots have been around for a while but have notoriously suffered from ‘pedal kick back’. With a high pivot and the rear wheel following a pronounced arc it causes the chain to tension up and pull on the chainring which in turn pulls your cranks backwards causing pedal kick back. To prevent this from happening Cannondale added the ‘Guidler’ – part chain guide part idler – this clever inclusion eliminates chain growth and stops any potential for pedal kick back. Now a consistent pedal stroke and smooth rear wheel movement can happen simultaneously without any negative effects between the two.
The Guidler works its magic, preventing pedal kick back.
The Guidler – part chain guide, part idler.
The Cannondale Jekyll’s four bar or ‘horst link’ system helps to manage two important factors of rear suspension – rise and squat. Squat is the tendency of the rear suspension to compress under acceleration, when you pedal and put the power down. Alternatively, if you hit the brakes on steep descents the front end of the bike will compress and the rear rises up, that’s rise. The Jekyll’s four bar linkage allows Cannondale to engineer in ‘anti-rise’ and ‘anti-squat’ so when pedalling hard out of turns the suspension doesn’t squat and when you’re braking hard to scrub off speed before a tight turn it doesn’t rise too much; the rear suspension stays in the sweet spot for maximum traction and bump absorption.
The Jekyll features a four bar link to help eliminate unwanted suspension squat and rise.
Cannondale are very proud of their ‘Proportional Response’ design principle and rightly so! Their engineers clearly understand that people of different sizes have a different centre of gravity, so Cannondale use proportional response – size specific design to ensure that each bike size option best suits the rider’s proportions. Geometry, chainstay length, rider position and most importantly the suspension kinematics are all unique to each size option of the Jekyll. They all get their own custom suspension layout with different pivot locations and leverage ratios so that the suspension is specifically tailored for that size.
Cannondale’s Proportional Response design principle means that the chosen bike size suits the rider’s proportions.
The Jekyll’s main frame and rear triangle are constructed from light but tough carbon fibre.
The rear brake hose and rear gear cable are neatly routed internally through the frame.
Looking beyond the Jekyll’s frame and clever suspension configuration Cannondale have spec’d this race-ready model with some of the very best components available, enhancing the ride and overall performance of the Jekyll. That sophisticated rear suspension setup we’ve already looked at is facilitated by a Fox Float Factory X2 air shock with adjustable high speed/low speed compression and high speed/low speed rebound allowing you to fine-tune the bike’s rear suspension performance to suit you, your riding style and the trails or race tracks that you’re testing yourself on.
A tuneable Fox Float Factory X2 air shock brings out the best in the Jekyll’s unique suspension configuration.
Complimenting the rear Fox Shock there’s a capable Fox Float Factory 38 fork upfront with 170mm of plush, tuneable travel. Those massive 38mm stanchions help to keep steering sharp and eliminate any unwanted twisting forces potentially incurred from constantly hitting rocky terrain and negotiating tight, twisting trails at high speeds.
The Fox Float Factory 38 fork can handle aggressive trail riding with ease.
Those 38mm wide stanchions are built to handle the extra forces incurred during Enduro racing and aggro trail riding.
The Fox Factory fork and rear shock feature a Kashima coating for enhanced lubrication and a harder wearing surface, increasing shock smoothness and sensitivity.
The Jekyll 1 is spec’d with an efficient 12-speed SRAM NX Eagle groupset.
The SRAM NX Eagle rear derailleur is precise-shifting and includes a clutch mech to keep your chain taught and secure.
The SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed shifter provides dependable gear selection every time, perfect for the frenetic nature of Enduro racing.
One of the most popular brakes in Enduro racing, the 4-piston SRAM Code RSC brake calipers are well-liked for their huge amounts of stopping power.
SRAM Code RSC brake calipers combined with a 220mm rotor upfront and a 200mm rotor outback scrub of speed quickly.
The Jekyll 1 is spec’d with a wheelset consisting of tough, wide WTB KOM Trail i30 TCS rims and a Formula hub upfront with a SRAM MTH 700 hub on the rear.
Those WTB KOM Trail i30 TCS rims are wide, giving the tyre sidewalls a squarer profile and enhancing the tyre’s contact patch with the ground.
A 2.5″ Maxxis Assegai spec’d on the front wheel is a no-brainer for an Enduro bike like the Jekyll 1.
Another Maxxis tyre with a solid reputation within Enduro and Downhill, the 2.4″ Minion DHR II is tough and provides ample traction and control.
With EXO+ protection the Maxxis Minion DHR II tyres hold up well against sharp rocks on fast, flat-out descents.
A Cannondale DownLow Dropper seatpost gets your saddle out of the way for the steep, technical descents.
Cable-activated via a slim lever on the bars, the DownLow dropper is perfectly located and easy to use in all situations.
A Fabric Scoop Shallow Elite saddle is a nice, no-nonsense saddle that will be comfortable on the long climbs back up to your favourite downhill trails.
A short 35mm FSA Grid 35 stem works well with the Jekyll’s long top tube for sharp, reactive steering.
Helping to keep weight down and adding a small amount of compliance and comfort the Cannondale 1 carbon riser bar is a welcome inclusion on the Jekyll 1.
The all-new Cannondale Jekyll sits right at the front of the pack when it comes to cutting technology and proven suspension kinematics. With that beautiful carbon frame, super-low centre of gravity thanks to the Gravity Cavity shock positioning, smooth arcing rear suspension helping you hold your momentum thanks to the high pivot placement and that clever Guidler idler preventing any potential pedal kick back the Jekyll has been engineered to facilitate as much speed as you can handle. Throw in those large, fast rolling 29” wheels and plenty of suspension travel and you’ve got a bike that can handle anything from full-on Enduro stage racing to days spent at the bike park or sessions with your mates at those tight, technical local singletrack trails that you’ve been trying to steal K.O.M.s from all summer.
The all-new Jekyll 1 2022 has been engineered to facilitate as much speed as you can handle.
Cannondale Jekyll 1 2022 RRP £6,500
- Frame: All-New, 165mm travel, Carbon, Proportional Response Tuned, Guidler idler pulley/chainguide, BSA 73, ISCG05, tapered head tube, Ai Offset
- Fork: Fox Float Factory 38, 170mm, 15x110mm thru-axle, tapered steerer, 44mm offset
- Rear Shock: Fox Float Factory X2, 205×65 Metric Trunnion, Air, Adjustable High Speed/Low Speed Compression, High Speed/Low Speed Rebound
- Rims: WTB KOM Trail i30 TCS, 32h, tubeless ready
- Hubs: (F) Formula, 15x110mm thru-axle / (R) SRAM MTH 700, 12x148mm, XD Driver
- Spokes: DT Swiss Factory J -Bend
- Tyres: (F) Maxxis Assegai, 29 x 2.5″, Dual compound, EXO+ puncture protection, tubeless ready (R) Maxxis Minion DHR II, 29 x 2.4″, EXO+, tubeless ready
- Crank: SRAM X1 Eagle B148 CL55, 30T
- Bottom Bracket: SRAM DUB BSA MTB73
- Chain: SRAM NX Eagle, 12-speed
- Rear Cassette: SRAM XG-1275, GX Eagle, 10-52, 12-speed
- Front Derailleur: N/A
- Rear Derailleur: SRAM GX Eagle Lunar
- Shifters: SRAM GX Eagle, 12-speed
- Handlebar: Cannondale 1 Riser, Carbon, 30mm rise, 8° sweep, 5° rise, 780mm
- Grips: Fabric Funguy
- Stem: FSA Grid 35, 35mm
- Headset: Integrated Sealed Bearing, Tapered
- Brakes: SRAM Code RSC hydraulic disc, 220/200mm CenterLine rotors
- Brake Levers: SRAM Code RSC hydraulic disc
- Saddle: Fabric Scoop Shallow Elite, hollow cro-mo rails
- Seatpost: Cannondale DownLow Dropper w/ Matchmaker lever, 31.6, 125mm (S), 150mm (M), 170mm (L-XL)
- Extras: Jekyll Custom Fender
- Extras: Chain Device Guide and Idler
- Fork Travel 170mm
- Frame Travel 165mm
- Wheel Size 29
Written by Johnny Dodgin
Photos by James Vincent
Want to see more fast bikes? You can now see all of our featured bikes in one place over on Pinterest where you’ll find links to each of our Fast Bike Friday Blogs too!
Click the link below and search our archive…