All-New Cannondale 27.5″ Trigger & Jekyll Mountain Bikes Unveiled w/ Long Travel Lefty SuperMax (UPDATED)

2015 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon 275" 650B enduro mountain bike

The big “C” has finally jumped into the 650B game with all-new Cannondale Trigger 27.5 and Jekyll 27.5 mountain bikes. To go with them, they’ve introduced longer travel Lefty SuperMax forks to match.

Introduced as a 130mm part on the Trigger 29er, we first spotted a prototype longer travel Lefty SuperMax on team rider Ben Cruz’s bike last fall. They recently announced that their team riders would be racing on a new version of the fork, but details were scant until now.

The bikes themselves get reworked frames, particularly the Trigger, and both completely replace the 26″ models. As in, no more 26″ wheeled Trigger or Jekyll. Both get longer top tubes and front centers and slacker head angles, making them more stable when descending. But, as you’ll see, that’s not at the expense of pedaling proficiency…

LEFTY SUPERMAX & DYAD SHOCK UPDATES

2014 Cannondale Lefty SuperMax long travel suspension fork

These bikes introduce much longer travel Lefty SuperMax forks, coming in at 160mm (Jekyll) and 140mm (Trigger) depending on the bike. That’s up from the 130mm introduced on the Trigger 29er, but it’s more than just a travel change. Cannondale’s MTB PR manager Peter Vallance says it’s an entirely new structure and damper. He says the revised tune, dampers and internals make for a much more supple fork through the mid-stroke with less force required to get it moving initially.

Each bike will get it’s own internals, with the Trigger using a Trail Damper and Jekyll running an Enduro Damper. Like the 29er version, axle offset is specific to the wheel size, so it’s not just a delimited 29er version. Offset is 60mm on the 29er and 50mm for the 27.5 forks.

The carbon version is 1855g and alloy is 2055g (claimed weights). Both will be available aftermarket, too, and can be used with their Lefty For All adapter kit to run on any modern frame.

UPDATE: Here’s more detail from Cannondale’s Murray Washburn: “On SuperMax, the different travel levels get different length internal needle bearing strips and bearing races, so travel is set at the factory. The Trigger 29 and Trigger 27.5 both use the updated “trail” tune damper which has a new Widemouth piston that increases the forks’ plushness by reducing high speed compression damping while keeping low speed compression intact to retain the fork’s resistance to brake dive. For the Jekyll’s 160mm SuperMax, we created what we called the “endure tune” damper, which has a different (larger) shaft diameter and different valving designed to increase the plushness for sharp, high speed impacts and fast, choppy hits like you’d find in the EWS style racing. We also change the airspring volume/spring rate for each fork to suit the travel and damping.”

2014 DYAD rear pull shock for Cannondale Jekyll and Trigger 650B mountain bikes

Out back, the dual-travel DYAD shock gets new pistons and internals, letting it move more oil through the circuit under mid- and high speed compression for improved sharp edge and bit hit response. Check the tech basics on how the DYAD shock works here. As a quick refresher, the way Cannondale’s dual travel suspension bikes work is fairly unique, with the shock simply limiting travel in the shorter “Elevate” mode and opening up a secondary chamber for the longer travel “Flow” mode. We reviewed it on the Trigger 29er last year, and it works brilliantly because it keeps the bike’s geometry sitting up higher for the shorter travel mode, then drops the angles, BB and sag for longer travel mode. Essentially, things are where they should be for the designated travel, and it does all that with minimal weight penalty.

They also changed the recommended sag rating from 40% to 30%, giving the shock (and bike) more usable travel. A better sag indicator on the side simplifies set up. The improved oil flow also let them increase the range of rebound adjustments, giving you more control over the feel. All in all, the changes help it match the feel and performance of the new PBR damper in the Lefty SuperMax.

2015 CANNONDALE TRIGGER CARBON 27.5″

2015 Cannondale Trigger Carbon 275" 650B trail mountain bike

2015 Cannondale Trigger Carbon 1 27.5″ mountain bike.

The new Trigger is a big departure from the original 26″ bike. Before, it was sort of a maladjusted XC bike that didn’t fit directly into any category. Now, it’s “a full on Trail bike, ready for any madness you can throw at it,” as Vallance put it.

2015 Cannondale Trigger Carbon 275" 650B trail mountain bike

Travel increases to 140mm with an 85mm Elevate (climbing) mode. Different frame configuration in the way the pull shock works, mimicking the Trigger 29er’s design rather than the very Jekyll-like 26″. The upper pivot is moved considerably further forward than on the 29er, though. It upgrades to a rear thru axle and keeps the solid rear triangle of the Trigger Carbon 29ers (alloy bikes use a rear axle). This likely means designed-in flex at the seat stays, but also a rear end that resists twisting and lateral forces quite well. Internal “stealth” dropper seatpost routing on both bikes pops in on the back of the seat tube, behind the shock. Most other cable routing runs externally on the bottom of the bikes.

2015 Cannondale Trigger Carbon 275" 650B trail mountain bike

2015 Cannondale Trigger Carbon 1 27.5″ mountain bike

The 27.5″ Trigger starts off a full degree slacker at the head tube, too, at 68º, and a 73.5º seat angle in Elevate. It drops one degree for Flow, and bottom bracket height drops 10mm, putting the bike a little further into its sag to keep the suspension working the way it should when switched to long travel.

2015 Cannondale Trigger Carbon 275" 650B trail mountain bike

While the Trigger 26″ had been limited to just a single model for European markets only for the past year or so, this one completely replaces any 26″ offerings in the line. The Trigger 29er bikes remain.

2015 CANNONDALE JEKYLL CARBON 27.5″

2015 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon 275" 650B enduro mountain bike

2015 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon 1 27.5″ enduro mountain bike

The Jekyll looks mostly the same but also gets a bump in travel. It used to be 150mm, now it’s a 160mm enduro bike. When it’s time to climb to the next start, pop it into the 95mm Elevate mode.

2015 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon 275" 650B enduro mountain bike

This one has a steeper 74.9º static seat angle when in Elevate but a slacker 67º head angle. The idea is to put the rider in an aggressive pedaling position without giving up stability at speed. Like the Trigger, it gets one degree slacker for Flow mode. Bottom bracket also drops 10mm on this one.

If that geometry sounds weird, it apparently works. It made sense for us on the older bikes we’ve ridden, and it’s since been proven under some of the best enduro riders like Jerome Clementz, Ben Cruz and Mark Weir. And they’ve been working on it for quite a while. Vallance says they’ve been testing it for a full year, with full race testing starting the day after Clementz’s Enduro World Series finals win last fall. He won the Andes Pacifico in Chile in February on the new bike.

2015 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon 275" 650B enduro mountain bike

2015 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon 275" 650B enduro mountain bike

2015 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon 275" 650B enduro mountain bike

2015 Cannondale Jekyll Carbon 2 27.5″ enduro mountain bike

Pricing and full spec lists should be finalized next week. No word on alloy models yet, but we’d bet they’re on the way, too.

VIDEOS

Jekyll Overview above, Trigger below.

2015 DYAD RT2 overview above, Jerome’s Andes Pacifico win below (using a Rockshox fork). Those yellow wheels are most likely the Mavic CrossMax Enduro launched last year.

Quick side note: We asked about Mark Weir’s health and word is he’s walking again after having his pelvis crushed by a falling tree. Speedy recovery, sir, and best wishes.

2015 Cannondale Trigger Carbon 275" 650B trail mountain bike

Cannondale.com

Comments

rentedshoes - 03/27/14 - 9:29am

So, we aren’t even finished with Q1 and Cannondale is releasing MY15 bikes. Am I the only one who sees the issue here?

iperov - 03/27/14 - 9:31am

why need suspension fork?? I ride rigid fork on hardcore terrain, and I like how bumps massaging my muscles

Jose - 03/27/14 - 9:45am

Rentedshoes, I concur. I’d be choked if I was a dealer.

duder - 03/27/14 - 9:52am

i used to ride a Prophet with a Lefty Max. It had 2 problems: small bump compliance sucked and i had to constantly reset the bearings (including while riding) to get full travel after big hits. I hope they’ve fixed those issues.

The 2 stage Dyad shock looks awesome, but i really wish they’d get past the single pivot design. Isn’t the fsr patent expired now? Move that pivot and put a regular fork on and i would pick one of these up.

gringo - 03/27/14 - 10:52am

-Open Comment to numbers driven industry guys and gals….not just Cannondale.

What Cannondale has done here, introducing MY15 bikes in MARCH of 14 (!!!!!) is so completely F’ed and disconnected from reality it blows my mind.
What the hell is a dealer supposed to do now, with a shop full of MY14 bikes? Offer a discount to consumers whining that whats on the shop floor is outdated? not sell the bikes?

Here is an idea:
DELIVER a bike when you say you will. A launch 6-8 months before a (delayed) delivery is not acceptable anymore.

thanks,
The rest of us.

PS. these new 650B jekyll and Triggers look rad.

Chris Caro - 03/27/14 - 11:38am

As a cannondale dealer we have known about the mid year release for almost a year, cannondale has given us increadible pricing and ample warning, in fact this has been our best year yet because of it. And yes they fixed the bearing reset issues the lefty used to have, small bump comp is money now, but mostly I am amazed every time I sesh how stiff and responsive that fork is.

K11 - 03/27/14 - 12:27pm

@duder. i agree with the regular fork thing.

a serious question to lefty fans- (yes i have experience riding these “things”)

If the lefty is such a superior fork in all regards in the industry, WHY not build a dual leg long travel fork to be used in world cup style downhill or red bull rampage style riding?

happy consumer - 03/27/14 - 12:55pm

@gringo and Jose. As a consumer, I love this….I love having the opportunity to purchase the latest products, or not to. But it is my option. I don’t like being slave to “model year” set arbitrarily. Imagine having to wait another year for this bike. Most other consumer goods do not follow model years, so why do bicycles and vehicles….In fact, even the auto industry is now constantly releasing new/updated models throughout the year these days. I think it is the way forward and it is a good thing for the average consumer! And I am very excited about this and hope others will move in this direction.

And as for dealers….The dealers have to just DEAL with it. Its in there job description, you can spell dealer without the word DEAL!

Just my option!

Simon - 03/27/14 - 1:27pm

@K11: They did in the late 1990′s when they were strong in the DH scene: http://ep1.pinkbike.org/p4pb7828061/p4pb7828061.jpg . It didn’t reach production due to the very high cost, but they had 2 “long-travel” (120 and 100mm) travel dual crown forks in that era that were in normal production. The shorter travel “Moto FR” was a traditional-looking fork, but rode on needle bearings and square stanchions like the lefty, while the longer travel “Headshok Moto 120″ had a more conventional bushing design, but was USD.

As for why they aren’t doing this today, Cannondale doesn’t have a DH bike. They haven’t sold a full DH bike since 2008, and stopped selling a DH frame in 2009. Since the purchase of Cannondale by Dorel after their bankruptcy, they were re-focused on the Road, XC, and mid-travel markets so as not to strongly conflict with Dorel’s other properties (such as GT), who have a larger focus on the DH/FR/DJ sector.

Additionally, it’s a bit more complicated than slapping 2 lefties together and riding hucking away to the wild blue yonder. If the answer is as simple as you think it is, then why not go to ebay, pick up a pair of cheaper, old lefties, mount them on a dual crown, and do it yourself?

Modern R&D is rather expensive, and very time-consuming. With C’dale being an engineering-driven company, they tend to move a bit slower than other companies, and thus their development costs are higher. They’re a big bike company, but nowhere near the power of the the other big 3 (Specialized, Trek, and Giant).

It is possible that C’dale has a DH bike being developed, and if that’s the case, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re working on a new iteration of the Moto fork to go with it.

goridebikes - 03/27/14 - 1:53pm

K11, Did you read the question you asked before you wrote it?
“Why not make a dual leg long travel fork…?” Uh… because everyone is already using dual-leg, long-travel forks for DH???

Rephrase that maybe? Do you understand the specifics of why a Lefty is better so you can try again on that question? e.g. – Why isn’t anyone else using needle bearings in suspension?
The majority of the advantage conferred by the lefty is based from it’s single-sided design, while another large portion comes from the needle bearings…

Dave - 03/27/14 - 2:02pm

@rentedshoes & gringo The “2015″ Trigger 29ers are the same as 2014 with the exception of the 4 being gone.
We didn’t book any 26″ Jekylls knowing that no one wants it. I doubt many did. We’ve been waiting for the 650b to show up and now they are here. The earlier the better in this case.
So really nothings has been replaced, only added and we’re not left holding the bag on anything. However the way the “year” is used as a tool is kinda funny. Car manufacturers are notorious for this too.

@duder
I’m surprised you didn’t like the small bump compliance as that’s typically the strong suit of the (bearing) system! All the newer Lefty’s without the rubber boot and the new sealing system, reset the bearings on bottom out of the strut. Migrating bearings are essentially a thing of the past. I have about 7 months on my Trigger 1 29er on the “North Shore” (yes the Vancouver one) and I can say the bike (and Lefty) has been excellent! The bike has been ridden on all the hard, steep terrain including jumps and drops. I’ve reset the bearings once in that whole time near the beginning. It’s even easier to do now too.

Putting it bluntly the Lefty makes a mockery of most forks on the market. It tracks and steers FAR better than any other and doesn’t bind under load. The square leg, bearings, one piece lower spindle assembly (you know like a car or plane landing gear) all equal this. Oh yes and it’s inverted (less unsprung weight) and that puts the strength (diameter) where you need it, up top. Which reminds me since it’s dual crown it doesn’t “tuck” on steeps like a single crown. Make the lower legs as big as you want on a single crown fork, the limiting factor is the steerer and crown.

The chassis is flawless in my mind and experience so the damping is the only limiting factor. The damping on the new ones is very good and the new damping sounds even better. If I could put a Charge (Pike damper) in the Lefty it would be completely game over for any fork out there.

So it’s lighter than almost all single crown trail forks, stiffer, smoother, lower maintenance (they cut the maintenance intervals in half on the new ones) and it works better.

I don’t mind if riders don’t like them, just don’t discount them based on not understanding how they work or not riding them.

@K11 they did build a two square leg version way back when on the Freeride Super V’s. It’s redundant as proved by the Lefty (it’s a 14yr. old design now) so two legs aren’t needed and they aren’t pursuing big bikes at the moment so no point I imagine.

Signed: long winded CDale fan?

CW - 03/27/14 - 2:30pm

Ah Cannondale, a marketing company that makes bikes… If the lefty was in any way better, others would copy it. Marketing, all marketing. Yes I have ridden lots of them. Awful. And they just copied (hired away the engineer) of the old Scott Genius design which Scott abandoned. The pull shocks have to run at such a high pressure that they have an awful topout. I have been in the industry for close to 15 years and cannot understand how Cannondale still sells bikes. They have some of the greatest marketing of any company.

DeafDaddy - 03/27/14 - 3:59pm

“No word on alloy models yet, but we’d bet they’re on the way, too.”

Cannondale’s website has the alloy models up, but no pricing.

http://www.cannondale.com/overmountain/

K11 - 03/27/14 - 5:04pm

@simon and @Dave. thanks for the info and constructive answers on the questioned i asked.

@goridebikes, maybe pay attention to the adult answers that @simon and @Dave gave.
(yes i am aware of the needle bearing thing, cannondale has been cramming that and other marketing hype/tech down the bicycle community’s throat for years about leftys.

What - 03/27/14 - 5:54pm

Lefty is the best fork out there period! The only people that bash them are dealers that sell different brands. Jealous much?

AZBikeFreak - 03/27/14 - 7:48pm

So I am recent convert to Lefty’s after riding Fox only for 12 years. I was converted after building up a 10 year old DLR fork into a Fatty fork for my Fatboy. Two rides on the Lefty on my fatty and I was blown away. My reasons for converting:
1. The smoothness of the stroke was fascinating. I hadn’t felt that kind of plush action ever.
2. The stiffness was amazing as well.
3. The ease of maintenance. I thought the fox forks were maintenance friendly. Sure, you need a couple of specialty tools to do the job but that’s no biggie.
4.

I actually went home and sold my three fox forks (Fox F29 120 Terralogic, Fox F29 120 Talas, and Fox F29 120 RL)

I bought me a 2013 Lefty hybrid 29ers and a 2014 Supermax 29er and I couldn’t be happier. In fact, I am so happy with the performance that I bought my wife a 2011 PBR 140 Max for her bike.

I was also thinking the other day about the whole single sided suspension thing. I started listing vehicles that use single sided suspension:

1. Cars – Every car in the world uses single sided suspension
2. Motorcycles – BMW and Ducati use single sided suspension in the rear swing arms
3. Aircraft – Most every aircraft in the world uses single sided landing gear

Mindless - 03/27/14 - 11:41pm

Lefty is stiff, but its damping is crap. I will take Pike over this new one any day of the week. No stupid adapters needed (cause no way in hell will I ever ride Cannondale suspension frame) no proprietary hubs needed. Canondale and Lefty is for riders who go to their dealer to change tubes.

Pablo - 03/28/14 - 12:30am

@Mindless

You know what’s funny about your comment?

The fact that the Cannondale uses Rockshox dampers in all their (current) Leftys.

Shows who’s talkin’ out of their ass.

greg - 03/28/14 - 1:05am

im pretty sure the only rockshox parts in the lefty are the Solo Air piston and the X-Loc on the XLR model. i could be wrong though.

noodles - 03/28/14 - 1:11am

unless you dirtjump on the street or ride downhill, all this hyper technical suspension must be for people that dont want to feel a couple rocks and roots. why even ride in the dirt? just go fatbiking in the sand or stick to the nearest Rails to trails pathway on your $3500 carbon quick.
“oh wow cool suspension” yes facinating, innovative, incredible, i really would like try it! but looks like 8 grand of overkill when i catch up to you on my 35lb franken-klunker.

nsp234 - 03/28/14 - 5:29am

That new longtravel Lefty sure is cool, but ith all the beefing up the weight advantage is gone. You have to buy the carbon version to get in a Pike weight area…

K11 - 03/28/14 - 12:40pm

this is my take, yes i posted this before. is not a constructive comment,
nor is it meant to be-

a lefty suspension fork is like a one legged man in a butt kicking contest,
i would not bet on either.

What - 03/28/14 - 5:53pm

nsp234 – Wrong!

Yuppy - 03/29/14 - 11:31am

@k11…Now you are definitely talking out of your a$$.. You have obviously never ridden a supermax Lefty. I have the 2013 Trigger 29er 1 and it’s amazing. Before posting idiotic comments, try to actually ride one.

‘Nuff said!

härbert - 03/30/14 - 2:55pm

Here you can see the prces and specs (for gemany) probably cheaper in US…

http://www.cannondale-versand.de/artikelbereich/mountainbikes/

Jake - 03/31/14 - 11:47am

You’d think that after one video of Clementz shredding on a Lefty, all the hating would stop. They’re good forks, and the last one I used was an older model that I had to reset once a month. The new ones are probably even better!

Durishin - 04/01/14 - 2:12pm

@CW, LOL!

ricardo - 04/03/14 - 5:51pm

Cannondale launch two redesigned bikes in 650 b ,they haven t 650 b in their line up , who wants a 29er doesn t want a 650 b , so for me i dont see a problem in that ,they have 140mm or 150mm so do you see any bike in their 29ers models with this specs ? no, i like thse bikes ?no ,for me these are not the real cdales designs ,Peter denk is an expert in carbon but not a exceptional designer ,far away from that , so many pivots and axles to improve better torsion ,and some basic lines , lefty is the most rigid ,performance and linear suspension in the market ,no rivals ,some problems solved other not ,but amazing !

Sid - 05/02/14 - 5:21pm

So has anyone seen any pricing on the Trigger 3 27.5? Converting the German pricing to American puts the price at $4500 which sounds pretty steep.

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