Great all-mountain bike!! Its light enough for cross-country and sturdy enough for downhill. I've done both and this bike performs awesome! I especially like the fact that the rear shock is protected by its own cage. Its a shame Cannondale discontinued this bike and went with the Prophet (although the Prophet rides well too). The only downfall I've had to adapt to is the replacement of components. The original set-up falls short of the performance the bike has to offer. Additionally, the bike gets squirrelly if you upgrade your fork more than 120mm. Bottom line: great bike!
Similar Products Used: DBR v-link. nice but not as the jekyll
Bike Setup: xt driv train all thro.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: April 21, 2004
Strengths: Great Frame! Good weight! Upgraded lockout shock very nice!
Weaknesses: pedals are junk. I upgraded to clip.
This is a nice bike! The value of this bike is way above what asked. The Specialized is the only contender to this bike, and even that does not handle the award winning jekyll design. I upgraded to the lockout shock since Vermont has too many hills. No bob what so ever! I love crusing down a Vermont trail with fully active suspension! You can feel the shock doing all the work for you! The frame is very sturdy and even looks better then most frames. Bottoming out is also not an issue, this bike with the upgraded shock is a dream to ride! Find the 2003 model and buy it. The 2004 400's are downgraded. Get this with an upgraded shock. My dealer gave it for free since it was an '03. 2004 Jekylls have crappy forks and are heavier than regular, look for this model! I give it value five for the shock upgrade and and overall five because I love the jekyll frame!
Similar Products Used: Sugar 4+, Stumpjumper FSR, Giant VT3, Tomac 98 Special
Bike Setup: Fox Float L, clip pedals, disc maybe soon!
a Weekend Warrior
from Eugene, OR
Date Reviewed: November 24, 2003
Strengths: Stable, well made, finnished
This bike is amazing. We have a lot of sweet single track here in the pacific north west. I started doing 2.5 foot drops NO PROBLEM. And I am a 200lbs guy. The bike is really sweet. I know, 2.5 foot drops are no big deal but in a cross country single track they are to me!
The bike was very very responsive and I had no real bob effect when I climbed. The bob I did feel was due to the front shock (AXEL) that I could not lock out.
I felt SO much more in control and single track climbs felt great cause I could stay in the saddle and ride over roots and such. Stay in saddle, better balanced for climbing. I was blastign over stuff that others were having a tough time.
The only thing I did not like was the breaks. Lots of noise and weren't set up well so I had to tweak them. More the fault of local bike shop than Cannondale but worth a look. The '04 400 comes with disk hubs so as soon as I can afford it, disks are going on.
If you have more questions, feel free to email me. For the money, this bike kicks butt!
Similar Products Used: GT iDrive 1.0, Cannondale Jekyll 1000, Gary Fisher?
Bike Setup: Stock with Welgo cheap clipins
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: November 5, 2003
Strengths: Light weight, only 2 lbs. heavier than my hardtail! Stiff frame, frame size and geometry gives me optimal riding position and comfort.
Weaknesses: Cheap Sugino crankset and Shimano bottom bracket, with a plastic bottom bracket cup!
After owning a 1988 Cannondale hardtail with a rigid front fork(suspension forks weren't invented yet!), I knew someday I would buy another Cannondale. They are just great bikes, period. Extremely light, very stiff, and abuse proof. The Jekyll is only 2 lbs. heavier than my Schwinn Mesa Hardtail! I don't know if my body is Cannondale's model for frame geometry or sizing, but it fits me perfectly! Perfect front/rear balance. I can ride this bike comfortably for hours and not feel like I'm forcing myself to adjust to the bike. Everything just fits naturally. Leg extension and angle over the handlebars is excellent (with the addition of the 135mm Kore stem). I notioe that my Formula disc hubs seem to roll easier and are more friction free than on my Schwinn Mesa GSX hardtail. I suspect that's due to Cannondale's quality control and stiffness of the Jekyll frame. Whenever I would remove the back wheel from my Schwinn Mesa, I could never get it to fit back perfectly in the rear dropouts without having to readjust the Hayes caliper. With the Jekyll, I've removed the rear wheel three times, and it went back on perfectly centered in the Hayes calipers. No adjustments! I think the Mesa's dropouts were flexing under compression of the skewers, causing uneven loading on the hub bearings, causing the hubs to drag. I'm only 130 lbs., so take my review with a grain of salt if you're a heavier rider. I took the Jekyll out for the first time for a two hour torture test, including hillclimbs, downhill speed runs, mild offroading, and onroad hammering. I left the factory setting slone on the Fox Vanilla, and had the Manitou set on the softest setting. The Fox Vanilla rear shock is smooth as silk. No bobbing even when standing on the pedals hammering uphill. The Manitou Black fork is decent, but it does bob on heavy climbing. The combo together work quite well. I can't believe how the Jekyll sticks to the ground like a suction cup. It digs in and stays planted. It's a very nimble and surefooted bike. I did a couple of high speed sidewalk curb to road jumps, and the Jekyll soaked it up like a sponge. Offroad climbing and riding were an experience, as the Jekyll always remained composed and surefooted, rarely losing traction. I did a full suspension extension test by going down a set of stairs, and the Jekyll handled it without bottoming out, although it was pretty close. Remember heavier guys, I'm only 130 lbs. Hitting downhill speeds of about 35mph+ onroad resulted in a little high speed wobble, but that could have been due to the GEAX tires. I have no real complaints as the Jekyll, Fox Vanilla, and Manitou Black fork worked great together, to the point that I wasn't beat up or fatigued after two hours of hard riding. My legs were willing to call it a night, but the rest of me wanted to go for another two hours. Cannondale has some great engineers who really know how to size the frames properly. If you're a shorter rider, like me, you probably know the frustration of finding a small frame that's either too small or slightly too big. Cannondale has a frame that will fit everyone from ultra small to huge. The frame geometry is so comfortable that you can ride for hours without getting tired, yet the bike is nimble and relatively light for a full suspension bike. It will put up with as much punishment as you can dish out, and the frame setup makes you a better rider, as it gives you confidence to "stretch" your riding skills, as it is more forgiving of radical maneuvers (the stupid factor). On my first ride, I found I could ride easily with no hands on the bars. To me, that's a sign of a frame geometry that's not twitchy or overly responsive, which gets really tiring fast, as you're constantly correcting on the bike, and you can't focus ahead on the trail. Cannondale's aren't cheap, but then again, you get what you pay for. During my entire torture test, the Jekyll didn't squeak, rattle, or complain. It remained completely silent. It just kept asking for more! I did find that removing and greasing the Fox's rear swingarm mounting bolt with moly lube made it even smoother and more responsive. I've always loved Cannondales, and they're still a tough act to follow. My only gripe is with the ultra cheapo Sugino crankset that looks like it was painted with black matte spray paint (and comes off as easily), and the cheapy Shimano bottom bracket with a plastic cup on the non-drive side. Give me a break! A Cannondale deserves better. Needless to say, I didn't buy the Jekyll for the components, I really bought it for the frame, as all the components on it were tossed before I ever rode it. In defense of the Cannondale v-brakes, I threw them on my Mesa, and surprisingly, they were pretty strong. I was able to do a front wheelie with my RST suspension fork! So they may look plain, but they have stopping power. Don't sell them short. You may want to use them for awhile and put your cash into other components first before going with discs. The Jekyll is the best investment I've made in a mountain bike so far. Highly recommended for urban assault, terrorizing your neighborhood, XC riding, and general offroading. Great all around full suspension bike for the money. I would give it a 4 for value, but since I got it for a blowout price, 5 it is. Now, I've got to scrape together some cash to pickup a Gemini 900 and get into some serious offroad punishment!
Bike Setup: Shimano XT '04 Crankset, Hayes 6" Mech Discs, Avid Speed Dial 7 levers, XTR '04 rear derailleur, Formula Disc hubs and Alex rims, Flite Titanium saddle, Kore 135mm stem. Waiting for XTR front derailleur to arrive.
a Weekend Warrior
from Wilton, CT, USA
Date Reviewed: September 14, 2003
Strengths: The strengths for this bike are that the fork is excelent and so is the rear shock. The frame is very strong and so are the rims.
Weaknesses: The gears totally suck. Its hard to get them to stay in the right gear but i can be eaislly fixed.
Great overall bike just don't beat the hell our of the gears like I did by going over rocks and doing drops and other stuff. Great for freeride just not 25 foot cliffs and stuff.
a Weekend Warrior
from PHOENIX, ARIZONA
Date Reviewed: July 24, 2003
Strengths: WELL BUILT--STRONG STURDY FRAME--FAIRLY LIGHT FOR A FULL SUSPENSION--VERY NIMBLE ON THE DOWN HILLS---FAST, FAST, FAST
Weaknesses: PEDDLE BOB IN THE CLIMB--PRETTY MUCH A GIVEN WITH MOST FULL SUSPENSION RIDES--CAN BE FIXED WITH A REAR SHOCK UPGRADE THOUGH
THIS BIKE IS AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME. I DON'T EVEN RIDE MY SUGAR ANYMORE--UP FOR SALE TO BE HONEST.
VERY QUICK AND A BLAST TO RIDE ON THE DOWNHILL!!!! VERY RESPONSIVE HANDLING---NIMBLE!!! ADJUSTABLE GEOMETRY ALLOWS YOU TO CUSTOM FIT THE BIKE TO WHATEVER THE DAYS TRAIL MAY THROW AT YOU--VERY EASY TO ADJUST.
PEDDLE BOB ON THE UPHILL SIDE IS FAIR PROBLEM AS WITH MOST FULL SUSPENSION RIDES. THIS CAN BE FIXED THOUGH AS I PLAN ON UPGRADING THE REAR SHOCK TO A FOX FLOAT RL (WITH REMOTE LOCK-OUT) CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS UPGRADE BECAUSE THE BIKE WILL CRUISE UP THE HILLS THEN!!!!
CAN'T GO WRONG WITH CANNONDALE FOLKS!!!! I HIGHLY RECOMEND THIS BIKE TO ANYBODY CONSIDERING IT. YOU WON'T BE SORRY---ESPECIALLY AT THE PRICE SUPERGO HAS ADVERTISED FOR IT RIGHT NOW---YOU WOULD HAVE TO BE A FOOL TO PASS IT UP. GET IT AND GO RIDE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
a Cross Country Rider
from Livemore CA
Date Reviewed: June 11, 2003
Strengths: Handling, I cannot strees how good this bike Handles, even after 6 months
Weaknesses: Wheel set, stock C-dale brakes
Im following up on the review above, and Im sorry for sayong that Im a downhiller. I have had this bike for a little over 6 months, and it ROCKS! Im a big guy, so i put beefy springs in it and it just rules.
Bike Setup: Ryno light wheel set, race face cranks, isis BB, 900 lb. spring
a Cross Country Rider
from Temple City
Date Reviewed: May 8, 2003
Strengths: Great downhills! This ride just screams through everything if you point it down the trail. It's taken hits better than I have. Stays under control over rough and technical stuff.
Weaknesses: It's a bear to climb! Heavier than your comparable hardtail. Derailers (front and rear) haven't always worked real well.
In the months that I have ridden this ride, it has been quite an experience. My first full-suspension. I'm gettin a liitle too reckless downhilling. You can pretty much blow by anything out there if you don't pull back the reins a little. The fork is just ok. Nothing too good or bad you cansay about it. Fox rear works adequetly. Climbing is tougher. Weight is higher than I would like. Some serious bob if you hammer hard. It is sturdy though since I'm over 6' 200lbs and it has held up. I just wish I could afford all the goodies I would like to upgrade my little battle-wagon.
Bike Setup: Stock for now, may get new front fork and new pedals
from Livermore CA usa
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2003
Strengths: Great handleing this bike handles like a dream, you can make any turn in a ny terain without any worries. This bike is nice and strong.
Weaknesses: wheel set front spring (way to soft) grips
This bike is a blast it handles superbly and is great for all kinds of riding style and terain. I replaced the front spring because it was way to soft, and it took 3 months before manitou sent me the correct sping for the up grade. manitou really was bad with the ordering, nobody knew what they were doing. but over all it is an awsome bike.
I just bought a used '04 Cannondale Jekyll 400 (forced to find a new one after my Rockhopper was stolen). I'm thinking about replacing the fork - Manitou Axel Super. I've heard bad things about the fork, and was hoping for some advice as to whether I'm safe sticking with this one for a while. I'm no ... Read More »
I just bought Cannondale Jekyll-400 2003, now I could like to upgrade rear shock from coil to air has lock, but I really don't which one should I buy? please give advice. Thank you for your advice in advance.
DNRead More »
I want to design an upgrade plan that I can impliment over time to loose some weight and improve performance. The difference in weight between the 400 and the 800 seems significant and the current brakes, for example, are fairly ordinary (Cannondale Fire). I will only be able to do this gradually so ... Read More »