Mark Weir brought a carbon Cannondale Jekyll to the 2011 edition of the BC Bike Race. His choice likely allowed him to have much more fun on British Columbia’s infamous, technical-feature-filled trails, but we can't help but wonder if a 150mm-travel trail bike is really the right machine for a seven-day cross-country stage race.
Weir’s steed tipped the scales at a hefty 30lb – about 9lb more than the carbon hardtail piloted by French champion Thomas Dietsch at the same race. But there was one key difference; Dietsch’s bike didn’t make it past stage three and had to be replaced with a full-suspension model from another manufacturer.
Man and machine: Weir and his carbon Cannondale Jekyll
Weir and teammate Jason Moeschler had no such problems. In fact, they had a solid week on the burly BC trails, carding a final time of 18 hours, 53 minutes and 10 seconds – good enough for sixth overall in the men’s open duo category. Their performance is a testament to what Cannondale bill as their “go anywhere, ride anything, two-bikes-in-one superbike”.
The Jekyll's split personality is due in large part to the Fox DYAD RT2 dual shock that toggles between 150mm and 90mm of travel. This is achieved via a handlebar mounted switch, meaning no sketchy reach-between-the-legs maneuvers required. The idea with the DYAD is that it provides small-bump response, traction and efficiency in the 90mm Elevate climbing mode, and true 'trail bike' feel in the 150mm Flow mode.
The mission control center includes Shimano XT shifters, a Gravity Dropper lever and Fox DYAD 150mm/90mm travel adjuster
The 90mm setting reduces sag by 40 percent, raising the bottom bracket and making the bike more pedaling-friendly. The 150mm setting lowers the bottom bracket and slackens the angles, which helps the bike to eat up rough trails, which were in great supply in BC. Handling is further improved by the Jekyll’s five-part ECS-TC (Enhanced Center-Stiffness, Torsion Control) system, which is said to eliminate unwanted flex in links and pivots, to deliver improved responsiveness and control.
Weir’s bike was spec’d primary with new Shimano XT parts, giving it an everyman feel. “It’s truly an off-the-shelf setup,” he said. “That’s the idea – to show people that you can really race a bike like this.” Personal touches on Weir’s bike include a 5in-travel Gravity Dropper Turbo seatpost and a Grid Designs adjustable headset spacer.
Weir rode the week-long race on Shimano's new M780 XT group
- Frame: Cannondale Jekyll Carbon, size medium
- Rear shock: Fox DYAD RT2 dual, 150/90mm
- Fork: Fox 32 Talas RLC FIT, 150mm, 15QR, 1.5in steerer
- Headset: Cane Creek Zero Stack, plus Grid Design spacer
- Stem: PRO Koryak, 60mm
- Handlebar: PRO Tharsis, 715mm
- Grips: WTB lock-on
- Front brake: Shimano XT M785
- Rear brake: Shimano XT M785
- Brake levers: Shimano XT M785
- Front derailleur: Shimano XT M780-E
- Rear derailleur: Shimano XTR M985 Shadow Plus
- Shift levers: Shimano XT M780
- Cassette: Shimano XTR M980, 11-34t
- Chain: Shimano XTR M980
- Crankset: Shimano XT M780
- Bottom bracket: Shimano XT
- Pedals: Shimano XTR M980
- Wheelset: Shimano XT M785
- Front tire: WTB Mutano 2.2in
- Rear tire: WTB Mutano 2.2in
- Saddle: WTB Silverado Carbon
- Seatpost: Gravity Dropper Turbo, 5in travel
- Bottle cages: Cannondale standard aluminum
- Rider height: 5ft 10in (1.78m)
- Rider weight: 175lb (79kg)
- Saddle height from BB: 721mm
- Seat tube length: 457mm
- Saddle nose to center of bar: 480mm
- Head tube length: 135mm
- Top tube length: 564mm
- Total bike weight: 30lb