Bike Setup: Bike's setup is very easy to recognize by looking at all Cannondale bikes. Rear shok is very soft, so don't worry about going down the hill. I don't think that wheel that comes with bike is very comfortable, you almost have to lie on the bike.
a Weekend Warrior
from Orange County California
Date Reviewed: December 1, 2002
Strengths: Nice paint (grey and white on flat black)and a smooth ride. The head shock seems to be more stable in the turns, and the gearing is lower than my hard tail making it easier to stay on the bike. The dealer also upgraded the tires to Hutcheson Scorpions for true of road use, and the derailer was smooth and silent.
Weaknesses: The seat(not stock) felt more like a brick but that could be just me. Maybe I'll get used to it. The chain is so close to the frame member it needs protection if you did not get any with the bike buy something asap. Also because of the fatty headshock design the frame sits higher than usual giving the front end a lighter feel and less clearence for "the boys".
I took the bike out for a ride on Thanksgiving morning up saddle back mountain (about 5000') in So Cal. The ride was about 12 miles to the top and mostly fire roads. The climbing was brutal but the Jekyll made it easier than my hard tail would have. On the way down was the real diffrence though, the bike was so much more stable than I am used to and I felt I could go faster than my hardtail and I did for a while till I crashed. I hit hard and so did the bike but it did fine, a couple paint scrapes was all. I'm still recovering (lol). While it out preforms my hard tail hands down I will have to find some technical singletrack to see if the bike is what the salesman said it is. If you are looking for an upgrade from your hardtail or want to start riding a good entry level softtail I would recomend this bike, although I don't think you will see any of these on the racing circuit. For what it is, a very nice bike for the money and one I will keep aroud for a while.
Weaknesses: seat, super fatty M fork, wheelset will not accept disc brakes
For the price I paid, I think I did fine. The shock does bounce and needs to be replaced. The seat is very uncomfortable and need replacement too, but this is so minor it bearly is worth mentioning. If I had to do it over, I'd have gone with the 600 just because it comes with the disc compatible wheelset. This is my first mountain bike and it's great - it'll be even better with a better fork.
Bike Setup: stock for now, but upgrading to Fox Forx 100R. After the fork is upgraded, I think this will be a super kick-ass bike.
from Long Island, New York
Date Reviewed: October 24, 2002
Weaknesses: Pedals and brakes
My 2003 Jekyll 500 has the smoothest ride and is solid - I love this bike especially with the rear fox lockout - It's great for downhill rough terrain, especially for jumps. Before getting this bike, I went through three other hardtail Cannondale bikes in the last six months and this is the best one yet. Thanks to Cannondale and Brands(where i bought the bike) I love the sport even more. Sorry for all those back-aching hardtailers - my advice - get full suspension! This bike definitely kicks ASS!
Bike Setup: Replaced handlebar to Easton monkeylite 3/4 riser with avid mechanical discs brakes and platform pedals, easton seat post and LX Shimano brake levers.
a Weekend Warrior
from Redding, CT
Date Reviewed: October 15, 2002
Strengths: Great climber, very stable on the down hills, lockout front and rear suspension, great paint job (silver/black).
Weaknesses: The bike is a little heavy (29 lbs). Although this makes it difficult to climb paved hills for long periods (not designed to be a road bike anyway), the rear suspension does a great job compensating for the weight by gripping into the hills. I was pleasently surprised how well this bike climbs the trails.
Although I did not test ride very many bikes prior to making my purchase, I did read many of the reviews on this sight. I also felt pretty secure purchasing a Cannondale due to their excellent reputation and the fact that they are made less than 20 miles away from me. The bike rides awesome, it handles great, and is a bike that I can grow into as I gain more experience. I think that unless you are racing competitively or primarily doing "Big Hits", this bike is great for any level of rider. Sure the stock parts could be better, but upgrades are always possible and there has to be some upside to breaking parts (upgrading!). Buy it, you will love it. If you need disc breaks, pay the $$$ andget the 700. Personally I like the Black fork that comes on the 500 (adjustable to 100/120mm and dosen't look as dorky as the headshock).
Similar Products Used: Tested Stumpjumper M4 FSR, which I didn't like due to frequent chain suck and light front-end.
Bike Setup: All stock except for Time Atacs
a Weekend Warrior
from Atlanta, GA, USA
Date Reviewed: July 2, 2002
Strengths: The bike is nimble and quick, handles well over rocky terrain and around sharp switchbacks. I have a feeling I have only begun to get a taste of the Jekyll's adjustable frame and look forward to pushing its limits over the July 4 vacation. The headshok has far smoother rebound than any of the traditional shocks on the market. The front is light and easy to get up over debris on the trail.
Weaknesses: About 2 - 2.5 lbs heavier than the hardtails I've been accustomed to. Wish I'd gone with the Jekyll 700 that came with disc brakes and clip pedals. Crossed through several streams and had a tough time stopping afterwards.
This is my first FS bike and it is awesome. I would highly suggest this entry into FS bikes for anyone wishing to get a little more aggressive about the sport. I would have had a hard time paying the $1499 MSRP, but at $999 I know I got a fantastic deal! If anyone's in Atlanta, drive up to Blue Ridge. Believe it or not these guys have some nice bikes and better prices than in the metro area.
Favorite Trail: Chub, St. Louis, MO & Pine Log Mtn, Atlanta, GA
Duration Product Used: Less than 1 month
Purchased At: Blue Ridge Cycling
Similar Products Used: Cannondale F500, Trek something or other
Bike Setup: Stock: See www.cannondale.com for specs and cool comparison charts.
Date Reviewed: June 10, 2002
Strengths: My jekyll is a 2001 modle..close out deal with an upgraded rear shock..it will lock for up hills.. i have only had this bike for 3 days and have gone over 35 miles..i did 24 miles yesterday on the w&od in Va ..and while the other 3 were almost dead..i felt great..i think i might have been able to do alot more...this bike moves... i had no problem leaving everyone in my dust..i plan on getting my girlfriend a Jekyll 700 tomorrow.. The Paint job..i have the dark silver/grey with trible markings..talk about a badass looking bike..i slept with it the first night.....
Weaknesses: I have to admitt..the head shok is kinda gay looking.. but it works well...but....its kinda gay looking...but...it works well...catch 22 if you ask me..
well...since i have only had the bike for 3 days..i must say..it kicks ass...i will submit another review later..i just wanted to submitt this now because of the incredable ride i had....
Similar Products Used: Fisher sugar 3..trek somthing or other
a Weekend Warrior
from Westwood MA USA
Date Reviewed: June 7, 2002
Strengths: Quality frame with lovely welds, lovely paintjob. Rides great, plush rear suspension, unique handling. Versatile.
Weaknesses: A bit heavy, weak componenty -anything that is "Coda" or "Cannondale" componentry usually isn't that good. The Super Fatty M is very pogo like -poor rebound control -and makes a bit of a weird noise after a bit of use. And you're stuck with Cannondale specific stems which is a pain, as well as pretty much Cannondale options for front suspension upgrades. Front tyre choice for model year 2001 is ....just crazy.
I got this bike on a closeout -it is the model year 2001, not 2002. But the original specs are almost identical.
I love this bike. It does have its faults but for the price I paid I think I got a bargain -could be hard to justify paying full price for it though. I was also lucky in that I'd recently upgraded to alot of new SRAM stuff on my hardtail, so I simply swapped out everything to the C'Dale and put the originally specced stuff on my old hardtail. For those people who aren't anti-Cannondale I recommend it heartily, just not at the MSRP price -I think it's a great introduction to FS.
I thought that I might find I'd be slower on my usual x-country circuit (added weight and pedalling induced bob) but was surprized to find out I was faster. Yes, rear suspension really does work! I was able to keep a nice cadence going through the rootier and rockier sections I can't on my old hardtail -maybe there are better designs out there (can't really compare since this is my first FS) but I can say that this bike really works for me.
Annoyances: proprietary C'dale stuff you're stuck with, pogo-ish front suspension -but I knew that buying it. Also the bike fell over and the top tube dented -boy, that aluminium must be thin! Front suspension makes funny noises under pedalling stress. Bad front tyre selection for anything but dry, non-gravelly, non-muddy conditons (see below)
More-than-annoying-downright-silly: ok, so I said this is a 2001 model, and it came equipped with Hutchinson Mosquito tyres. Though adequate on the back for my kind of gentle x-country riding, having one on the front is suicidal! The front wheel slides horrendously on corners taken at even a slow pace.
Good Stuff: Just feels right, handles really well for me. Rear suspension bob seems to be non-existent -I really can barely tell it happens at all if it does. Front end is lighter than most bikes with "traditional" shock forks so you have to get used to the feel (until you get used to it, you could describe the handling as sketchy round corners), but a big advantage is that the front end comes up very nicely, but it still seems to climb well when you don't want the front end up.
Don't-really-know-what-to-do-with-it-stuff: I haven't changed the geometry; I've kept it the same since I got the bike and it's setup for x-country. Someday I'll change it for the heck of it.
Ratings: 4 for overall -can't give it 5 based purely on the front shock. 4 for value -would give it 5 for the price I paid but knocked off a chili for the MSRP.
Bike Setup: SRAM 9.0 all round with LX crankset, Formula Activa brakeset with LX levers on originally equipped Mavic X139 rims with XT hubs. WTB saddle, Profile Stubby bar ends.
a Weekend Warrior
from Central Virginia
Date Reviewed: May 23, 2002
Strengths: Great Jekyll frame, smooth rear shock, beautiful Cannondale paint job (I got the 2001 model, with team blue/black fade).
Weaknesses: Weight! Adjusting the Jekyll frame geometry usually requires readjusting the front derailleur. Lack of Clipless pedals. Front shock is an entry-level Coil/Elastomer (Super Fatty M). Price is a bit more than the competition.
This is a very solid bike -- my second Cannondale (the first was an F500) and I have been pleased with it. The rear shock is extremely smooth and reliable. The bike always tracks like it is on rails-- the best-tracking full suspension bikes I test rode. (Maybe its that Headshok design!?)
Despite the difficulty in adjusting the Jekyll geometry (see weaknesses, above) I have really loved that feature. I played with it for a while when I first got the bike, and after about a month or two, I settled into a geometry that I really like and haven't touched it since. The ability to play with that was a hoot -- notch it one way for quicker steering, notch it the other way for a lower standover height and a more laid-out, downhill stance.
My only serious complaint is the weight issue. On some uphills, I really miss my hardtail. Also, because of the long wheelbase (108 inches on the medium!) and the weight, I find it much harder to bunny hop small logs, etc., as compared to my old hardtail. So some of my technical skills have faded away, and instead I just plow through stuff, trusting the full suspension to soak it all up.
I love the graphics, and I wish other companies with follow Cannondale's (and Klein's) lead with classy, quality-looking paint jobs. I mean, you get on the bike every day (or every weekend) and you should like the way it looks.
I also love that Cannondale frames are handmade in Bethel, CT -- smooth, seamless welds and all. With so many companies building their frames in automated factories in Taiwan, it's nice to purchase something that's been designed, tinkered with, and built, all right here in the USA.
The coil/elastomer fork is a competent cost saver, but I am looking to upgrade to the air/oil shock of the Super Fatty DL. (With Cannondale, you can upgrade just by swapping out the shock cartridge, without getting a whole new fork. Unfortunately, this still costs about $200 installed, which is close to the price of a whole new fork anyway.)
Also, I noticed this year that Cannondale has added an extra size to the Jekyll frames. With five frame sizes and the adjustable geometry, almost everyone should be able to find a Jekyll that feels like it was custom designed for them.
Bike Setup: Stock, except for new clipless pedals.
a Weekend Warrior
from Calgary, AB, Canada
Date Reviewed: May 19, 2002
Strengths: wicked climber and great components for the price (except for the seat). Headshok kicks serious @ss on drops, ski runs, potholes and tree roots.
Weaknesses: "the crippler" - aka the seat. I've never sat on a more uncomfortable seat in my life. Cannondale should be ashamed of selling such a mixed bag of components on a bike like this.
ditch the stock seat and you've got one sweet ride for the mountain trail - the weight is hardly noticeable. One of the best value bikes that i've found if you're switching from hardtail b/c of the top grade components that Cannondale has put together. Other similar bikes i've ridden were generally $400 more.
Bike Setup: swapped seat and pedals (just like everyone else, it seems)
from Cooper Mountain CO USA
Date Reviewed: January 11, 2002
Strengths: great Bike, but not a great value.
Weaknesses: Price. As with all bikes in this range.
I used this bike for approx. a month. Bike has its weak spots. For the price you pay you would figure on a better compliment of features. Shocks weak, seat and pedals weak. Overall, overpriced. I was able to take a Giant Bike, full suspension and built it from the ground up. Sweet Bike. I was able to use the frame and added on all the goodies and spent alot less than I spent on this bike, and with all of my add ons, the giant bike is awesome. For all of you riders out there, consider buying an awesome bike to strip down and build up and save some bucks while getting some extreme performance.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 1, 2001
Strengths: incredibly plush rear suspension. The fork is also suprisingly supple-while still being very rigid. awsome componentry for the money
Weaknesses: the bike is very heavy, but i batrly notice it on the trail, the pedals are horrible-swap them out for some lightweight clipless pedals like time. The seat is uncomfortable also- ask your dealer to swap them out. this is not a bike for weight weenies
great bike. if you you bring the weight down by swapping the pedals and the seat, it makes it even better 5 chilis
My brother has a 2002 Jekyll 500 and wants to upgrade rather than buy a new bike. Don't ask me... he loves the bike.
Any idea as to the longest travel fork he can pull off on his frame? I think his current fork that came with the bike is a 120mm (2002 Manitou Black Comp). Thanks for any thou ... Read More »
Local craigslist has a 2003 Jekyll 500 advertised. By the pics it looks to be in Very good condition. Can anyone shed some light on what a fair value would be for this? I'm 5-11 and its a medium. Would this be a good fit?
Some of the equipment includes:
*******Fork : Manitou blac ... Read More »
Just bought a 2003 jekyll 500, looking to replace the handlebars. Does anyone know anything about the stem size?
Diameter of handlebar clamp would be good for starters, also, length, and stem angle would be helpful. (I think its a 130mm length and 10 degree angle, but not sure).
Also, ... Read More »
Any opinions about the Jekyll 500 with hydraulic brakes upgrade. I can get this for about $1200. Other bikes I am considering are a 2003 Marin rift zone or 2003 east peak with LX upgrades or a 2003 giant vt2. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I will be doing mostly cross country riding ... Read More »