Cannondale Jekyll 29-1
Action Photos by Trevor Lyden
Definitely more Hyde than Jekyll, Cannondale’s newest iteration of their flagship enduro machine has been graciously updated for the modern trail rider. Cannondale has been at the forefront of shape shifting technology for many years, and the latest version continues to employ a bar mounted lever that will allow you to flip from between “Hustle and Flow” modes to give you the most bang for your buck. Depending on whether you’re channeling your inner Jekyll or Hyde, the new Cannondale Jekyll offers on the fly adjustability from 120- to 150mm of travel to get you up or down the trail like a mad man.
Cannondale’s linkage driven suspension design was created to keep the bike active under braking, while retaining the lateral stiffness, strength and reliability of a single pivot. By flipping the bar-mounted switch to Hustle mode, you can reduce the bike’s travel and air volume of the Fox Factory Gemini shock to 120mm. This makes the bike a very impressive climber for the category. Once at your summit, simply click the switch again to activate Flow mode and unleash the full 150mm of travel. Working in unison with the rear end is a 42mm offset Fox Factory Float 36 fork with 150mm of travel.
The BallisTec carbon front triangle and SmartForm C1 alloy swingarm give the bike a smooth and refined look while also offering consumers a sturdy and reliable frame. Something unique about the Cannondale Jekyll is their offset rear axle. Just six millimeters is all it takes to maximize chainline for modern 12-speed cassettes while also giving improved wheel stiffness thanks to evening out spoke angles on both sides of the rear wheel. We also liked Cannondale’s downtube protector however it didn’t hold up as well as we’d hoped. You can see in the photos how it’s beginning to separate from the frame a bit.
Jekyll geometry is inline with most other 150mm 29ers without going over the top, like Specialized’s Stumpy Evo. A 65-degree head tube angle balance steep terrain confidence with climbing agility, although we may have felt a bit more stable at 64.5 degrees. Cannondale gives the Jekyll 29 short, 442mm chainstays a front center of 832mm (Size L) and a wheelbase of 1,273mm. Combined with a 75-degree seat tube angle and 355mm bottom bracket height, the Jekyll is smack in the middle of the spectrum of a do-it-all bike for 85% of consumers.
The build on our Jekyll 29-1comes at a price $6,850 which isn’t exactly cheap, but it comes with a SRAM X01-Eagle drivetrain, SRAM Code RSC brakes, 200/180mm Centerline rotors and Stan’s NoTubes Flow MK3 wheels – components that are certainly well-respected at the trailhead.