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  1. #1
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    04' Jekyll 2000 as an XC/trailbike

    HI. I was able to take a 2003 Jekyll 2000 for a couple of test rides last year (bike had the Lefty Max TPC+ and XT/XTR mix). I currently own a 2003 Scalpel 1000 and love it for general XC riding, but sometimes feel that I can get beat up on the roughest trails (I am 150lbs), especially on road trips to other areas. I was considering buying a Jekyll and selling the Scalpel-here are my comments/questions:

    The first ride on the Jekyll 2000 I rode felt sluggish-slack steering and very upright. The "adjustable geometry" was in the middle. Awesome on the downhills. It was very slow on technical terrain (stuff I could ride through with ease on the Scalpel)-I was getting pushed around on the Jekyll and wasn't confident riding at slow speed through rock gardens. Climbing really sucked-the front wheel was hard to keep on the ground. The bike really felt "freeride" more than XC trailbike-it simply wouldn't go where I wanted it to on technical terrain.

    Second ride-I made some modifications. Adjusted the geometry all of the way forward, dropped the fork crown (it was set at 146mm from tire height, I dropped it to 138mm). I also swapped the stem out from the shorty riser 80mm to a 120mm flipped upside down (set downward at 10 degrees). Also swapped out the funky stem/bar combo and put on a Maxim 25mm carbon riser. This made a big difference in handling-much quicker and precise, a better climber. But, it still didn't handle like the Scalpel, which I really love-I feel that the Scalpel does exactly what I ask of it, and is perfect for most trail riding-I just want a bit more rear travel. I did fall in love with the plushness of the Jekyll, especially up front-what a fork!

    Here are my questions: in the current iterations, which bike would be the better XC/trailbike-Jekyll or Scalpel? What else can I do to make the Jekyll a precise XC bike? I don't need a freeride rig. Also, the pro-pedal/Swinger may help with pedaling efficiency-definitely something to consider, as last year's Jekyll was noticeably soft. I feel that if I can get the handling of the Scalpel into the Jekyll, with the extra travel, I will be able to ride much faster through technical terrain and on downhills, and not get beat up as much. Exactly what I am looking for!

  2. #2
    jcw
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    I agree with your assessment 100%. I had an '02 jekyll 1000, and last year made the switch to the Scalpel 1000. I liked the Jekyll a lot, but the Scalpel just feels like an extension of my body, like I would imagine a custom frame would feel. This year I was strongly considering switching back to the Jekyll 2000 for the same reasons as you. At interbike I demo'd both extensively. There's no question that the addition of the SPV rear shock improves the climbing ability, and it felt like I could ride over anything with that bike. But the handling just wasn't as sharp as the Scalpel (no pun intended). In the end I wound up ordering another Scalpel (the 2000), as it better suits my riding style and the local terrain. I'd also love to have a Jekyll to use for the rougher trails and road trips, as you suggest, but it seemed dumb to make my purchase decision based on perhaps 10% of my total riding. If I lived in an area where downhill ability was the priority, I'd buy the new Jekyll in a heartbeat. And if you don't mind giving up a bit of climbing ability, and loosing a bit of that razor sharp handling to gain that extra plushness then by all means get a Jekyll. But in my experience there is just no way to make a Jekyll handle like a Scalpel. Personally I'm waiting for the air sprung, SPV equipped, Lefty Max to get another Jekyll. If only!

    Quote Originally Posted by dawgcatching
    HI. I was able to take a 2003 Jekyll 2000 for a couple of test rides last year (bike had the Lefty Max TPC+ and XT/XTR mix). I currently own a 2003 Scalpel 1000 and love it for general XC riding, but sometimes feel that I can get beat up on the roughest trails (I am 150lbs), especially on road trips to other areas. I was considering buying a Jekyll and selling the Scalpel-here are my comments/questions:

    The first ride on the Jekyll 2000 I rode felt sluggish-slack steering and very upright. The "adjustable geometry" was in the middle. Awesome on the downhills. It was very slow on technical terrain (stuff I could ride through with ease on the Scalpel)-I was getting pushed around on the Jekyll and wasn't confident riding at slow speed through rock gardens. Climbing really sucked-the front wheel was hard to keep on the ground. The bike really felt "freeride" more than XC trailbike-it simply wouldn't go where I wanted it to on technical terrain.

    Second ride-I made some modifications. Adjusted the geometry all of the way forward, dropped the fork crown (it was set at 146mm from tire height, I dropped it to 138mm). I also swapped the stem out from the shorty riser 80mm to a 120mm flipped upside down (set downward at 10 degrees). Also swapped out the funky stem/bar combo and put on a Maxim 25mm carbon riser. This made a big difference in handling-much quicker and precise, a better climber. But, it still didn't handle like the Scalpel, which I really love-I feel that the Scalpel does exactly what I ask of it, and is perfect for most trail riding-I just want a bit more rear travel. I did fall in love with the plushness of the Jekyll, especially up front-what a fork!

    Here are my questions: in the current iterations, which bike would be the better XC/trailbike-Jekyll or Scalpel? What else can I do to make the Jekyll a precise XC bike? I don't need a freeride rig. Also, the pro-pedal/Swinger may help with pedaling efficiency-definitely something to consider, as last year's Jekyll was noticeably soft. I feel that if I can get the handling of the Scalpel into the Jekyll, with the extra travel, I will be able to ride much faster through technical terrain and on downhills, and not get beat up as much. Exactly what I am looking for!
    "The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule by fictitious miracles."
    John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 1815

  3. #3
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    What about buying a Jekyll, removing the Lefty Max, and going with a 100-130mm Minute 1 or 3, or Fox TALAS RLC? That would take the weight and heft off of the front end, and sharpen up the steering considerably. It might not be as plush, but pretty darn close (the Lefty Max technology is licensed from Manitou, so I suspect the Minute 1 would be a very similiar ride). Front end would be adjustable to suit riding style-longer travel for downhills, shorter travel for XC and climbing. Would that be a possiblity?

  4. #4
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    What heft?

    Quote Originally Posted by dawgcatching
    What about buying a Jekyll, removing the Lefty Max, and going with a 100-130mm Minute 1 or 3, or Fox TALAS RLC? That would take the weight and heft off of the front end, and sharpen up the steering considerably. It might not be as plush, but pretty darn close (the Lefty Max technology is licensed from Manitou, so I suspect the Minute 1 would be a very similiar ride). Front end would be adjustable to suit riding style-longer travel for downhills, shorter travel for XC and climbing. Would that be a possiblity?
    The Lefty Max on my Gemini feels fairly light. Is it considerably heavier that the Manitou offerings?
    gfy

  5. #5
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    The first thing I did when I got my Jekyll was to put a flat bar and lower, shorter stem on it. My front wheel stays well planted. In the rear I put the tightening collar behind the yoke so I could get the yoke 3/8" further forward. This makes a difference, but the biggest difference is how you set up the rear shock and what gear ratios you climb in. You'll see that with the pivot centered on the middle chainring it will be most active in the middle gears. Pedaling in the small ring and lower gears will pull the rear wheel down into the ground. They say this maximizes traction but I don't think so since lower gears apply more torque to the ground and torque is what overcomes traction and causes wheelspin.
    Don't expect to make the Jekyll feel just like your Scalpel. The Jekyll in XC settings will be much taller. My bottom bracket height is 35.6 cm., Your Scalpel is a bit under 32 cm.. It took me about 150 miles to get used to it. Now, after 250 miles, I feel uncomfortable on my old F600.
    Finally, of course the Swinger shock does make a big difference. So, for XC trailriding the Jekyll will be the better choice. No you won't get the handling of the Scalpel into a Jekyll, but once you get used to the Jekyll's geometry that won't matter. I'm sorry you have to sell that Scalpel, though.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by damion
    The Lefty Max on my Gemini feels fairly light. Is it considerably heavier that the Manitou offerings?
    It isn't so much the weight (although the Max weighs in at 4.5 lbs vs. 4 for the Minute 1) but the adjustable travel-I could shorten the front end and therefore steepen the head tube, making the bicycle quicker when desired, and more stable when desired.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dawgcatching
    It isn't so much the weight (although the Max weighs in at 4.5 lbs vs. 4 for the Minute 1) but the adjustable travel-I could shorten the front end and therefore steepen the head tube, making the bicycle quicker when desired, and more stable when desired.
    Dawgcatching, that is similar to my thoughts. I have a Jekyll 2000 that I built up with a fox Talas. This is the ultimate in versatility, I feel. I set up the adjustable geometry for slackness with the fork at 125mm, and when I drop the front to 80mm I can climb without fighting the front end so much. For normal up-n-down rolling trails I set the fork at ~105mm and split the differences in handling. I love it! PM if you have any questions.

    -james

  8. #8
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    What year jekyll do you have? Can you post a picture of it? I have a y2k 900sl and I've been thinking of putting a fox talas on it.

  9. #9
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    Keep the scalpel.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaxe
    What year jekyll do you have? Can you post a picture of it? I have a y2k 900sl and I've been thinking of putting a fox talas on it.
    Mine is a 2003 frame. I'll try to post some pics tonight, I need to dig some out.
    -James

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by James@GearReview
    Dawgcatching, that is similar to my thoughts. I have a Jekyll 2000 that I built up with a fox Talas. This is the ultimate in versatility, I feel. I set up the adjustable geometry for slackness with the fork at 125mm, and when I drop the front to 80mm I can climb without fighting the front end so much. For normal up-n-down rolling trails I set the fork at ~105mm and split the differences in handling. I love it! PM if you have any questions.

    -james
    Yes, the Fox TALAS may be the solution-I really liked the plushness of the rear end and how that I could ride the bike very aggressively over rough terrain. With a new Pro-Pedal in the rear and shorter/adjustable fork up front, I may have a winner. The pro-pedal would be a welcome addition, as the Jekyll 2003 is so plush, it ends up being a very sluggish climber-I was 15 minutes faster on a long ride on my Scalpel, due to efficiency. The 2002 Jekyll's were much tighter handling-I still wish there was a 4" option and geometry, as lots of people are just riding XC and don't need a full 5.3" of travel.

    FWIW, I rode a Fisher Cake 2.5DLX today-I think the Jekyll is laid-out much better. Both bikes are of similiar design-5" rear single-pivot. The Cake was totally streched out on the top tube, requiring use of a short stem, which put me too far behind the front wheel for precise steering. Probably good for those with a super-long torso, but not so good for average-sized riders. As the Cake had a 120mm fork up front, it handled a little crisper than the Jekyll-probably very similiar to the ride you will gain with a TALAS or similiar fork. I also didn't care for the Manitou SPV 3-way in the rear-it seemed way too stiff on the small stuff, even though I dropped the SPV chamber to 25psi under the recomneded value.

  12. #12
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    Idea! A few things.....

    Quote Originally Posted by dawgcatching
    HI. I was able to take a 2003 Jekyll 2000 for a couple of test rides last year (bike had the Lefty Max TPC+ and XT/XTR mix). I currently own a 2003 Scalpel 1000 and love it for general XC riding, but sometimes feel that I can get beat up on the roughest trails (I am 150lbs), especially on road trips to other areas. I was considering buying a Jekyll and selling the Scalpel-here are my comments/questions:

    The first ride on the Jekyll 2000 I rode felt sluggish-slack steering and very upright. The "adjustable geometry" was in the middle. Awesome on the downhills. It was very slow on technical terrain (stuff I could ride through with ease on the Scalpel)-I was getting pushed around on the Jekyll and wasn't confident riding at slow speed through rock gardens. Climbing really sucked-the front wheel was hard to keep on the ground. The bike really felt "freeride" more than XC trailbike-it simply wouldn't go where I wanted it to on technical terrain.

    Second ride-I made some modifications. Adjusted the geometry all of the way forward, dropped the fork crown (it was set at 146mm from tire height, I dropped it to 138mm). I also swapped the stem out from the shorty riser 80mm to a 120mm flipped upside down (set downward at 10 degrees). Also swapped out the funky stem/bar combo and put on a Maxim 25mm carbon riser. This made a big difference in handling-much quicker and precise, a better climber. But, it still didn't handle like the Scalpel, which I really love-I feel that the Scalpel does exactly what I ask of it, and is perfect for most trail riding-I just want a bit more rear travel. I did fall in love with the plushness of the Jekyll, especially up front-what a fork!

    Here are my questions: in the current iterations, which bike would be the better XC/trailbike-Jekyll or Scalpel? What else can I do to make the Jekyll a precise XC bike? I don't need a freeride rig. Also, the pro-pedal/Swinger may help with pedaling efficiency-definitely something to consider, as last year's Jekyll was noticeably soft. I feel that if I can get the handling of the Scalpel into the Jekyll, with the extra travel, I will be able to ride much faster through technical terrain and on downhills, and not get beat up as much. Exactly what I am looking for!

    ....

    A Jeckyll is not a Scalpel and won't ride like one. They are meant for different different kinds of riding. If your type of riding demands the handling attributes of the Scalpel, keep it. Keep the bike that workd the best for you on the trails you ride most often. However, it often takes a few rides to get use to and enjoy the handling characteristics a new bike has to offer.

    A great way to modify your xc rig for tougher terrain is to simply slap on some big ol' tires and run lower air pressures. I'd take that over an inch or so of extra travel any day. I'm not sure how easy this would be with the Lefty but changing out the stem to a shorter, high rise stem would help the Scalpel tackle tougher trails.

    Mike

  13. #13
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    I agree there 2 entirely different bikes, but things like the stem length and angle can be changed on a jekyll to make the handling of the new models sharper. But about those putting talas forks on a jekyll, why, the reason i love my lefty is that while i see people sending theres away and haveing seal replacements and having to air up before rides, i've added air once to mine in 2 years, and had it checked last year, and the bike shop sent it back with out even doing anything to it, they said it was perfect. The lefty forks are great because there bomb proof and stiff!!!
    Last edited by jm03; 04-01-2004 at 07:27 AM.

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