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Cannondale releases updated Jekyll 29er with high-pivot design

Cannondale Jekyll Enduro
New Jekyll is Cannondale's idea of a modern high-pivot bike (Image credit: Cannondale )

Cannondale is back in the big enduro bike game with its vastly improved Jekyll.

If you remember Jérôme Clementz dominating the first years of Enduro World Series racing on his 26- and 27.5-inch Jekyll bikes, then this new generation of Jekyll should be a thrilling prospect.

Beyond the lightweight Scalpel and trail riding Habit, Cannondale now has an enduro bike. What's striking about this radical new Jekyll design is that it doesn't look particularly radical. Cannondale has always been a wildcard when it comes to aesthetics and visually this new bike is a huge improvement over the previous Jekyll 29. 

The new Jekyll combines many firsts for Cannondale, in a single-crown mountain bike platform. Engineers have constructed a four-bar suspension system that sits low in the main triangle, with chain influence on the kinematics reduced by a high-pivot.

Cannondale Jekyll Enduro

(Image credit: Cannondale )

Embracing the high-pivot trend 

Cannondale has named its idler pulley the Guidler, as it also doubles in function – acting as an integrated chain guide. What are the benefits of this high-pivot Guidler? It allows the Jekyll to use its 165mm of rear suspension with a more natural rear axle path.

Designers wanted to lower the Jekyll’s center of gravity, and its frame features a twin-spar downtube. That’s right: the shock sits very low in the frame, effectively in the downtube, with a protective cover shielding it from terrain debris.

This is a bike targeted at committed enduro riders, who never shy away from any black-rated descent. Balancing the 165mm of rear suspension is a 170mm fork.

Evaluate the geometry chart and you’ll notice the Jekyll doesn’t have overly radical angles, considering its advanced suspension layout.

On a size large Jekyll, there’s 475mm of reach and all the bikes have a 64-degree head angle. As with its other bikes, Cannondale has also been mindful of size-specific geometry, with different length chainstays across the range.

Jekyll 1 2021 22

(Image credit: Cannondale )

Two build options 

The new Cannondale enduro bike is launching with two variants. The Jekyll 2 is built with a RockShox Zeb Select 170mm fork and Float DPX2 Performance rear shock. It shifts via a Shimano Deore 1x12 drivetrain, with deceleration handled by four-piston Deore M6120 brakes, clamping 203mm rotors at both wheels.

Rolling the Jekyll 2 along are WTB STX rims, with an internal diameter of 30mm rims. Tires? The proven Maxxis Assegai/Minion DHR EXO+ combination, sized 29x2.5in front and 29x2.4in rear.

If you want a comprehensive Fox suspension configuration, with SRAM drivetrain and brakes, that will be the Jekyll 1. This version has the Fox Float Factory 38 fork up front, with a matching Float Factory X2 shock at the rear.

The drivetrain is a SRAM combination of GX/X1 Eagle 1x12-speed set-up, with Code RSC brakes to modulate momentum on those steep gradients. The brake specification is massive, too, with 220mm rotors up front and 200mm at the rear.

The Jekyll 1 also has a nice finishing kit, with Cannondale’s 780mm wide HollowGram SAVE composite riser bar.

Pricing? The Jekyll 1 is $6,100.00 in an eye-catching Beetle Green color and the Jekyll 2 is priced at $4,400.00 with the options of Graphite or fabulous Purple Haze.

Lance Branquinho
Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born media professional who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his fascination with trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. Rides: Morewood Kwela Cotic Simple 26 Pyga 160mm aluminium prototype