When Cannondale introduced the modern Jekyll two years ago, it came with a new “Over Mountain” category to describe the bike’s ability to climb as well as it could descend. Then came the longer travel Claymore, aimed at light gravity and park riders that might still want to climb a bit before bombing down the hills.
The secret to their dual performances was a Fox-developed DYAD RT2 twin chamber pull shock. Using two separate circuits and chambers – Flow for long travel, Elevate for short travel – compression and rebound was completely tuned for each type of use without affecting the other. That, combined with a two-step travel adjust fork, gave the bikes a split personality that seems to work pretty well (based on a few rides on the Jekyll).
Where the Claymore pushed the technology to longer travel, gravity segment, the all-new 2013 Trigger takes heads the other direction. With shorter 120mm / 70mm settings and tighter geometry, the Trigger is aimed at the aggressive XC / Trail rider. Imagine combining a Scalpel and a Rize into one bike and you start to get the idea…
KEY TECHNOLOGIES / FEATURES
The Trigger uses all of the same OverMountain features as the Jekyll and Claymore:
- The Trigger 1 gets the DYAD shock with 120mm to 70mm on-the-fly adjustable travel. The lower Trigger 2 model will get a fixed travel 120mm X-Fusion pull shock.
- The Trigger gets a smaller DYAD pull shock than the other bikes. Elevate mode has a race-oriented tune for a firm, efficient ride, and Flow mode has a softer, more trail-worthy tune. Another benefit of the pull-shock design is a lower overall center of gravity.
- Bike height is lower overall than the Jekyll with a steeper 69º head angle and 33cm BB height.
- Perhaps counterintuitively, putting the shock in Elevate mode raises the sag point, which steepens the head angle. In Flow mode, there’s 40% more sag, a slacker head angle and lower BB for better high speed handling and a more stable, lower center of gravity. More on this below.
- Main pivots use 15mm thru axles that are clamped into place. These oversized pivots make for a very stiff frame, and bearings are set as wide as possible.
The DYAD shocks work by switching which compression and rebound circuits control the motion, and by opening or closing air flow in the secondary canister. In the short-travel mode, it’s using the air in the larger air volume canister for the initial 70mm of travel. Switch to Flow mode and it opens up the second canister to provide more air volume and more travel. The switch also reroutes the oil to the appropriate damping circuits. Because the shorter travel air can is used in both, when it’s limited to just that canister, it’s staying in the first 70mm of travel…which is why the bike sits higher with a steeper angle in the short travel mode. Contrast this to travel adjust forks that compress the fork into its stroke when in the short travel setting.
The shock has separate rebound adjustment knobs for each setting. Spring curve is somewhat linear for the first half (Elevate) to two thirds (Flow) of the travel, then they ramp up pretty substantially near the end of travel. Cannondale’s marketing manager Murray Washburn says they don’t use any sort of platform on the DYAD RT2 shock because it would limit small bump sensitivity. Instead, they left it open to track well over little stuff, but the steep ramp in the curve keeps it from dropping too far into travel when your hammering.
Keen observers will note the Trigger gets a Lefty fork, and it’s the new Lefty with revised internals and no lower boot. Look for a separate post on the Lefty soon. One of the key differences between the Trigger and the Jekyll is that the Lefty is fixed at 130mm. The Jekyll gets a Fox TALAS adjustable height fork on the top two models. So, only the rear suspension changes travel on the Trigger.
As a refresher, Cannondale’s BallisTec carbon fibers were developed for ballast armoring and have a higher strength by weight than steel with excellent resistance to crack propagation. Add in specific layups, and they’re able to make something that’s stiff, light and tough. The ECS-TC (pronounced ecstasy) stands for Enhanced Center Stiffness, Torsion Control and refers to the frame construction combined with use of the oversized axles and wide bearing placement. It also refers to the double bearings, which eliminates being able to feel any inherent play in each single bearing cartridge. Lead engineer Peter Denk says the benefits of this design is better, more accurate feedback in cornering. He says it really lets you know what your bike is doing, which lets you both push it to the limits and know when it’s at the limit, helping keep you in control.
Three models will be offered, Trigger Ultimate, Trigger 1 and Trigger 2, with Cannondale’s BallisTec carbon fiber frames, BB30, 1.5″ straight headtubes and double bearings at the rear pivot. Both use a 135x9mm standard rear hub spacing, no oversized axles on this bike. Given the carbon fiber build, oversized axles and wide set bearings, we’re guessing stiffness won’t be an issue.
The Trigger Ultimate will, unfortunately, be a Europe-only model with ENVE carbon XC wheels, Si Hollowgram cranks, XX drivetrain with X0 carbon lever brakes.
Spec highlights for the Trigger 1, shown at top, include Reynolds Carbon wheels wrapped in Schwalbe Racing Ralph EVO 26×2.35 tires, Shimano XT shifters / XTR Shadow Plus rear mech / XTR Trail Brakes, SRAM X0 Direct Mount front derailleur and carbon crankset with integrated bash ring, Truvativ Noir carbon handlebar, Fizik seatpost and Prologo saddle. Fork is the Lefty Carbon XLR 130mm with the OPI integrated stem. Retail will be $6,999. Claimed weight is 24lbs.
The Trigger 2 gets fixed travel with 120mm in the rear from a X-Fusion P1-RL shock (US only) with remote and the Lefty PBR 130mm fork in the front. Spec highlights are Mavic CrossTrail wheels with Schwalbe Racing Ralph Performance 26×2.25 tires, SRAM X9 shifters / X9 Type2 rear mech / X7 Direct Mount front derailleur, Magura MT2 brakes and Prologo saddle. Retail will be $4,999. Claimed weight is 23.8lbs. The European Trigger 2 will get the DYAD RT2 adjustable shock.
Like the Jekyll, the Triggers’ DYAD shock uses substantially higher air pressures than normal, so Cannondale includes a high pressure shock pump with the bikes, even the Trigger 2.
With these bikes, Cannondale is bringing a high performance option to what’s quickly becoming the shortest travel range anyone’s still buying in 26″ bikes. Look for hands-on photos, real weights, ride report and more tech details soon!
2013 OVER-MOUNTAIN BIKE OVERVIEW & CHANGES
With the introduction of the Trigger, they were able to make the other OverMountain bikes a bit more aggressive.
Claymore – Their Big Mountain bike, it has a SmartFormed Alloy frame with massively oversized headtube. Travel adjust from 180mm to 110mm, being ridden by Aaron Chase. Has a two-position shock mount that lets you change geometry a bit, with a 1cm lower BB and slacker head angle in the low setting. For 2013, the Claymore 1 gets a 36/22 chainring combo with MRP 2-speed chainguide, wider bars, shorter stems and a generally more gravity-oriented spec. The Claymore 2 gets the SRAM Ruktion 1×10 crankset with MRP chainguide, WTB rims and Moto tires.
Jekyll – Their All Mountain bike, available in either BallisTec carbon of SmartFormed alloy. Travel adjust from 150mm to 90mm. Has a 67.5º head angle and 35cm BB height. For 2013, the Jekyll 1 & 2 get more aggressive, with 36/22 gearing, MRP 2-speed chain guides, slacker head angle with a bump from 150 to 160mm Fox TALAS 34 forks.
There’s also a new Jekyll MX that’s aimed at Enduro racers. It has a Fox Float 36 R 160 fork, WTB Stryker wheelset, Reverb dropper post and 36/22 gearing with MRP guide. The Jekyll 3 (alloy) gets a new Shimano MT68 tubeless wheelset with WTB tires and Magura MT2 brakes. The Jekyll 4 gets the X-Fusion non-adjustable rear shock and Magura MT2 brakes. Both the 3 & 4 keep the Fox Float 32 forks.
Scarlett – A women’s specific version of the Jekyll.