Cannondale Jekyll Review

The Cannondale Jekyll range is described by the manufacturer as being made up of mountain bikes which are not intended to fit into any existing genre or bracket. The OverMountain setup with dual travel and full suspension means that the bikes can be slack and supple to take major hits one minute, before becoming taught and stiff enough to conquer climbs the next. Here is a look at the two bikes in the basic Jekyll range, both of which use alloy frames and the same dual travel setup which defines this kind of cycle. For our opinion on the Jekyll Carbon bikes, follow that link.

Cannondale Jekyll 4

The SmartFormed alloy frame of the Jekyll 4 definitely helps this bike to live up to its literary namesake, because it looks twisted and muscular while being slightly uncanny at the same time.

The geometry gives you plenty of ground clearance so that downhill sections can be tackled competently, but the really interesting aspects of the bike are of course the shocks.

At the front you get a RockShox Sektro TK fork which has the all-important dual position feature that allows you to modify the amount of travel you have access to on the fly. At the rear is the Fox DYAD RT2 dual shock which can be switched between 90mm of travel and 150mm of travel as and when this transformation is required. The DYAD is controlled by a remote lever to give you that immediacy of manipulation that is promised in the Cannondale hype.

It is difficult to tell just from looking at the raw specifications of the Cannondale Jekyll 4 and its sibling exactly what kind of performance can be achieved as a result of this relatively unusual setup. But once you get onboard it and put it through its paces, this should become obvious. The Cannondale Jekyll wants to be two distinct bikes at once, so you can enjoy fast and efficient performance on climbs while still gaining the specialised shock-absorption that only comes from a dedicated downhill machine.

Avid Elixir 3 hydraulic disc brakes at the front and rear with 180mm rotors indicate that this bike means business. Meanwhile SRAM X5 and X7 components on the gearing help to give you the pedalling efficiency and durability that is required of such a bike.

Cannondale Jekyll 3

The Cannondale Jekyll 3 retains the alloy frame of its sibling but this time swaps in a Fox 32 Talas RL fork with its own custom lockout threshold. SRAM SLX and X7 components combine with Shimano XT kit to help you maintain forward momentum.

The Fox DYAD RT2 rear shock is another enduring feature and it is worth pointing out that the two settings, known as Elevate and Flow, do indeed act as if they were completely independent of one another. The geometry, travel and ride of the bike changes completely as you switch between them, which continues to feed into the idea that the Cannondale Jekyll range gives you two for the price of one performance.

Cannondale has addressed the issues of floaty, imprecise handling and rider interaction which can hamper the experience of riding a full-sus bike of this kind. It has implemented its ECS-TC system to give you excellent lateral stiffness and a feeling of engagement and control that could otherwise be lacking.

SunRingle Inferno25 rims are combined with Schwalbe Hans Dampf Snakeskin Trailstar tyres to form a solid, forgiving platform for the Cannondale Jekyll 3. DT Swiss Champion spokes ensure that serious impacts do not lead to breakages or shearing, while Avid Elixir 7 brakes ensure that this bike is lighter than the standard Jekyll 4.

Cannondale Jekyll MX 2013 Specifications

  • Front Fork: Fox 36 Float R, O/C, Performance, 160mm travel
  • Rear Shock: Fox DYAD RT2 Dual Shock, 150/90mm
  • Front Derailleur: SRAM X7
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT Shadow +
  • Gears: 20
  • Chainring: 36/22T
  • Cassette: SRAM S1400, BB30 with MRP 2x Chainguide
  • Shifters: SRAM X7
  • Brakes: Shimano XT Trail, 180/160mm
  • Wheels: WTB Stryker TCS I23, Tubeless Ready
  • Tyres: WTB Vigilante 2.3 TCS

Model: Cannondale Jekyll
4.5 / 5 stars
*****