Cannondale unveiled its new 2015 OverMountain line this week, and while we couldn’t be there (for reasons explained below), we still got the scoop on the new 27.5 Jekyll and Trigger bikes. Both models make use of Cannondale‘s new Lefty SuperMax fork and travel-adjust Fox DYAD pull shocks.
Cannondale’s Lefty fork is legendary in XC circles for its sensitivity and stiffness, and the new SuperMax iteration brings that refinement to the trail and endure markets. With its dual integrated crown design, 36mm stanchion and massive 46mm upper, it should be as stiff as any fork on the market. Unlike traditional forks, the SuperMax moves on needle bearings like previous Lefty’s, keeping the action smooth. Since it is available in 27.5 and 29 versions, it will also come with size-specific offset: 60mm for the 29er and 50mm for the 27.5 versions. That extra offset helps keep the steering precise while allowing the head tube angle to slacken. Think of it as an even more pronounced version of the Gary Fisher/Trek G2 geometry.
The guts inside are Lefty SuperMax are new as well. A new damper is said to increase oil flow, aiding small bump sensitivity and high-speed plushness. This helps riders maintain low-speed compression damping for minimal brake dive. According to Cannondale, it will weigh in at just 1,850 grams.
Keeping the two ends of a mountain bike from twisting is the key to getting the best suspension performance. The new OverMountain bikes use 15mm thru-axles for key pivots, clamping on the end of the axle while keeping the axle bearings inboard. The bearing preload is also set with a collet sleeve.
At the rear dropout the bearings are doubled side by side to better resist twisting loads.
The DYAD shocks are unique in that they are really two shocks in one. With two modes: Elevate and Flow, they can be transformed with the flick of a switch to perfectly match the terrain. In Elevate mode, the shock acts like a normal, short-travel XC shock, with oil flowing only through one chamber. It is optimized for climbing and rolling terrain by reducing air volume and creating a more progressive spring for efficient pedaling. According to Cannondale, it controls unwanted suspension movement through the spring rate, rather than compression damping like traditional shocks.
In Flow mode, both chambers are utilized, creating a large-volume air spring, while the oil is routed through only the Flow circuits. This allows the air spring rate to become very linear and supple like a coil spring.
The DYAD shocks get a new tune for 2015 as well, with a redesigned Flow mode to better compliment the new SuperMax fork. Cannondale says it improves mid to high speed compression damping, giving a more supple and smoother feel on small bumps and high speed chatter. Other changes include reducing the recommended sag from 40 percent to 30 percent for more usable travel and a wider range of rebound damping adjustment.
Switching between Flow and Elevate modes also adjusts the bike’s geometry based on how it sits in its travel. Cannondale calls this Attitude Adjust. Moving from Elevate to Flow mode slackens the head tube and drops the bottom bracket slightly.
Ridden by Jerome Clementz to an overall victory in the inaugural Enduro World Series, the 26-inch Jekyll was no slouch. Now it’s been updated with 160mm/95mm of travel and, of course, 27.5 wheels. The Jekyll is built around a 67 degree head tube angle, 73 degree effective seat tube angle and 17.3 inch chainstays. There will be two carbon and two aluminum bikes available, as well as a carbon frameset. The two aluminum models will ship with a 160mm RockShox Pike instead of the Lefty SuperMax.
The Trigger 27.5 joins its 29er stablemate for 2015, offering 140mm/85mm of travel for a do-it-all trail bike package. It sports a 68 degree head tube angle, 73.5 effective seat tube angle and 17.2 inch chainstays. There will be three carbon and two aluminum versions, as well as two carbon 29er versions with 130mm/80mm of travel. The two aluminum models will get a Fox 32 fork instead of the Lefty SuperMax.
Heal up quick!
Oh, and the reason we couldn’t be there to ride the new Cannondale models was our editor, Mike Cushionbury, had a rough day on his motorcycle and lost some skin, as well as some insides from his knee. He is in good spirits and will be just fine, but it will be a bit before he is back on two wheels. Wish him well at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get well soon Mike!