Hooray! The fruits of the union between Cannondale and suspension guru Jeremiah Boobar are out in the open, with the all-new Jekyll and Trigger models revealed this week. And, dang, doesn't it look like Cannondale have got their ducks in a row with these!
When we interviewed Boobar last year, he alluded to us that the Jekyll would be a major focus for him. And not too much later we started to see EWS legend Jerome Clements on board what looked to be a decidedly different shaped Jekyll, which has evolved into the beasts you see here.
The Trigger is completely new too. For all intents and purposes, it’s a shorter-travel, less aggressive version of the Jekyll. All the key tech points are the same, so we’ll deal with both bikes together below.
In a nutshell
Jekyll: Full-blown Enduro beast machine. 170mm front, 165-130mm rear. Slack and ready to get nasty.
Trigger: Trail weapon. 150mm front, 145mm rear. Still pretty slack and hungry for the gnar, just not as much so as the Jekyll.
No more DYAD shock on either bike!
Gone are the funky dual chamber FOX DYAD shocks, which looked a lot like a scuba tank bolted to the bike. While we liked the way these shocks facilitated on-the-fly travel adjustment, they were tricky to set up, required an aerospace engineering degree to service them, and limited frame layout a lot. Plus they just looked weird, and if they blew up (and they did) you couldn’t just bung a different shock in while yours was getting revived.
Ditching the DYAD has meant that Cannondale can now fit a water bottle into the frame too. Good.
Say hello to the Gemini shock!
If you’ve been a long-time Cannondale fan, you’ll no doubt be happy to see the name ‘Gemini’ back in the C’dale vernacular. The new Gemini shock is a partnership with FOX, like the DYAD, but for all intents and purposes it’s not too different to a regular FOX Float shock, other than the on-the-fly air volume adjustment talked about below.
This means you can also fit ANY other shock to the Jekyll or Trigger. Blow up your shock? No worries, stick a mate’s shock in there and go. Want to fit some exotic shock your mates don’t have? Go for it.
Is it still rear travel/geometry adjustable?
A key component of the Jekyll has always been its dual identities (Jekyll/Hyde) via adjustable rear travel and geometry. This has been retained in the new bikes, just with a much simpler shock arrangement. As in previous versions, a bar-mounted lever switches modes on the fly. There’s a longer travel Flow mode (145mm in the Trigger, 165mm in the Jekyll) and the shorter travel Hustle mode, which reduces the shock’s air volume and drops the travel to 115mm on the Trigger and 130mm on the Jekyll.
We like this system. Because it uses volume reduction rather than compression adjustment to achieve the change in travel, you don’t lose suspension performance when you change modes, you just get a firmer spring curve.
What are the geometry standouts?
Cannondale describe the Jekyll and Trigger as having ‘proper’ geometry, which just means they’ve been brought up to speed with the slackness and reach measurements that are now expected on modern trail and Enduro bikes. The Jekyll runs a 65 degree head angle, the Trigger is 66 degrees, and both use steep seat angles to stop you feeling like you’re pedalling a recumbent.
Cooler are the super short rear ends. Both bikes have 420mm rear-centres, made possible by Cannondale’s Asymmetric Integration (Ai) rear end spacing, which was launched on the Scalpel last year (read all about it here). All you need to know, is that 420mm is super short, which should make these bikes very playful.
By the way, the Jekyll and Trigger are 27.5″ only. For now. We’ll bet you $50 there’s a 29er Trigger one day soonish.
We’ve got a Jekyll coming our way on an plane very soon, so hold tight for a review!