Demo day from Cannondale, got to ride the new Jekyll and the habit. This was my first time riding a Cannondale and the new Jekyll was quite the introduction. Sorry for the lack of footage actually reviewing the bikes but I only had 40 minutes with each and wanted to ride as much as possible so below is a short-written review of each bike. – Cannondale has really out done themselves with this bike. The new Jekyll has been made into a real top notch endure bike.
Its climbing ability is way beyond a lot of other bikes in this category, partly due to the sram eagle and light carbon frame but mostly due to the new gemini system. This system adjusts the travel down and firms things up for a super planted pedal platform. This isn’t just some middle compression setting, it really retains a supple and useful suspension but when you put a few pedals in or pop off a small little rock it feels like a hard tail.
When in full dh mode this bike really comes alive. The long, low and slack geometry means the bike really struggles to ever get out of line. The only real downsides were highlighted on two specific features, tight turns and drops.
The long and slack nature of the bike mean that low speed and tight corners require a bit more man handling but nothing you cant get used to after a few rides. Drops also were a bit odd on the Jekyll; it seemed to have a habit nose dive a little unless you really manacled off the lip. Both how ever can most likely be attributed to me not having the time to set the bike up and really get used to it. All in all this is easily one of the best performing bikes I have ridden and would be perfectly at home on the trail, at an enduro race or a weekend in whistler.
The Cannondale habit knows exactly what type of bike it is, a trail bike. The last year has seen a few companies come out with some new bikes that seem a bit confused on what they are (intense recluse and yt jeffsey 27 come to mind), these bikes try to cross over categories which can lead to compromise. The habit doesn’t do any of this, from first glance it screams trail rocket. First off the climbing was amazing, but for this type of bike was nothing revolutionary.
On my Marin I am very used to having to flip the shock into the firm setting on climbs or flowing single-track, which I ended up having to do on the habit to make it really climb. All in all I would give the climbing 8/10 (very good but not game changing, some room for improved kinematics). Once I pointed the Habit the downhill is when I was really surprised. I was fallowing my fiend down a short little decent with an ok mix of fast flow, little drops and tight rocks.
Obviously the bike railed little berms like an F1 car and snapped out with more speed than you went into the turn with. The bike was super composed in the air and was more than happy boosting off little drops and rollers. The steeper angles made for a very nimble and stable ride in tight twisty stuff.
The left me blown away with the habit, a ridiculously poppy personality and efficient suspension design made for a 120mm bike that rides like it has much longer legs. The only real fault was the Schwalbe’s…
I prefer to run maxxis minion dhr2s due to their cornering consistency. Schwalbe’s have always felt twitchy to me and like I can never trust them to grip like a maxxis. So my one complaint is a simple spec choice than can be changed for low price if Schwalbe’s aren’t your cup of tea.
– Very up to date geometry and wheelbase
– Amazing spec (especially the two lower price point models)
– Gemini system
– Climbing and sprinting performance
– Extremely easy to jump and pop off anything
– A little nose heavy in the air
– Long wheelbase means more effort in tight slow turns and rocks
– Super good climbing
– Refined trail bike attitude
– Surprisingly capable for a short travel trail bike
– Efficient suspension
– Steeper geometry matched with the bikes go fast attitude can get you coming a little too hot into some sections
– Schwalbe tires…