Sunday, August 05, 2007

Dr Jekyll and Mr Ride

At the beginning of 2006 I stripped out my Jekyll of all it's bling and built a Turner Flux. I have since collected together the bits required to rebuild it as a free rider. I was looking for a relaxed downhiller to complement rather than replace my light and quick XC bike that really doesn't like the rough tough downhilling of Afan.

The two significant changes to the frame were to rebuild the rear pivot point and remove the archaic headshock (reused in a Cannondale hardtail). I used an Ison adapter to enable fitting a Rockshox Revelation.

Other bits include;
  • XTR Mechs and Cassette
  • XT Shifters and H2 Crankset modified with Enduro Fork Seals bb bearings
  • Sram 991 chain
  • Hope XC/ Mavic 317 wheelset
  • Hope M4 180/180
  • Bonty AC-X Gumbi
The result....the "phoenix" Jekyll has an adjustable rear shock position, in standard trim that allows the head angle to be wound back to 69deg but has the unfortunate consequence of reducing ground clearance. The Revelation fork is 130mm and raises the ground clearance again and further pushing the head angle back. This is how I've set it up.

Single Pivot versus 4point Horst Link....well, this is about as good as single pivot gets, drive is very direct resulting in the bike feeling very quick, it does lift off the ground more and it does feel like the bike bends in the middle but it's well controlled so long as the rear shock is set up right. It's very light, the bare frame significantly lighter than an already anorexic Turner Flux.

The Jekyll climbs ok although feeling somewhat cumbersome it's a little difficult to keep on the narrow at low speed but the front wheel stays on the ground even on the steep stuff in bottom gear, it does not have that ability to put the wheels inch perfect on the track as the Flux does but all that sacrifice is rewarded when the terrain turns back down. It inspires confidence feeling strong and capable, the fork works brilliantly laid back like this, always maintaining grip and able to soak up bumps and holes that would have seen me going headfirst on the old headshock.

So it's turned out to be a fine bike in it's own right, rudely quick, relaxed and capable, not quite a proper freerider but at about 27lbs who can complain. It's a perfect complement to my newly rebuilt (or at least will be when Hope finally deliver the bits) Turner Flux, but that's another blog.


Farqui said...

The Jekyll does indeed sound like a super stablemate to accompany your Flux. I'll be interested to see how you get on with it down at Afan.

Having spent a number of years on a single pivot, I'm keen to hear if that original/pre-propedal shock stays that way for long.

Good job mister.