Cannondale has invested a huge amount into its new Jekyll platform, a bike that aims to be the ultimate do-it-all mountain bike. With a unique pull shock design and adjustable travel and geometry, it's well suited to true all-mountain riding.
And its credentials have just been proven, with success in the Trans-Provence stage race. TP is a challenging seven stage race that places emphasis on descents but with climbs still a key feature, so choosing a bike that is both light for fighting gravity while also having enough travel and decent geometry for making the most of the downs is a tricky bike choice for the competitors. A bike that balances the two fundamental bases is what is needed, and the right setup choices can make the difference between winning and losing.
So when Frenchman Jerome Clementz piloted his Cannondale Jekyll to victory in the event last weekend, there must have been smiles at Cannondale's head office in Connecticut, US.
Jerome's Cannondale Jekyll
Here's a video of Jerome talking us through his bike setup with Dirt Mag's Steve Jones. He outlines some of the key modifications he made over the standard out-of-the-box Jekyll.
Well the frame is standard, a carbon fibre Jekyll frame but, of course, with a custom paint finish. Fitted with the new Mavic CrossMax ST wheels, SRAM XX brakes with 180 rotors front/rear, RockShox Lyrik with fixed 170mm travel, Reverb dropper post, 750mm Truvativ handlebars and a 50mm stem.
It's clearly a bike built but someone that is looking to maximise fun and speed on the downy bits. That long fork will slacken off the headangle a huge amount too, compared to the 66.8° with a 150mm fork fitted.
Cannodale's own cranks with 170mm arms are fitted, with 22/38t rings complete with a bashguard and out back a SRAM XO rear mech. For the tyres, Maxxis 2.3in front and rear with an Ardent on the front. Pressures for the event were 1.8bar front and 2bar rear.
Interestingly, he uses SPD pedals and prefers the smaller body of XC pedals, rather than the platform SPD that you might think he would prefer.
All in the bike weighed 29.6lb.
Bikemagic rides the Jekyll
Last summer we got to ride the Cannondale Jeykll at the world launch. We came away impressed.
"Compared to other all-mountain 150mm bikes the Jekyll really does climb with the ease one would expect of a lightweight short travel XC bike. Granted, there’s no getting away from the fact you’re on a ‘big bike’, but it never felt sluggish or wandery on the steeper inclines, the front wheel never got away on the really steep trails and on the flatter stuff I could shove the bike along at a decent speed with little wasted energy.
"Reach the top of the hill (or mountain, in this case) and flipping the lever sets the bike up perfectly for the ride back down. In Flow mode the bikes character changes dramatically, from that of an eager climber to one ready to get you down the hill with the biggest smile planted across your face. The suspension is impressively composed and felt bottomless, the geometry was spot on with accurate turn in and confidence inspiring steering, it made for an impressive transformation."