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  1. #1
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    Is my 2002 Jekyll 500 the right size for me?

    Hey guys,

    I'm new to the forum here and looking for some advice. I have a 2002 Jekyll 500 size XL that was handed down to me from my brother since he upgraded to a 29er Specialized Epic Comp.

    Anyway, I am 6'2 and weigh 165lbs. I'm tall and thin. The bike with its older geometry seems to have a steep head angle and I don't know if the top tupe on this model is exceptionally long or short. The bike came with a stem of 140mm and flat 580mm bars which I have since upgraded to an 80mm stem with low rise monkey bars which has been a tremendous improvement in handling.

    So, I know that the bike is designed for XC which is what I definitely ride, but I'm just wondering if you all think that the bike frame is too big. I have nothing to compare it to since I live here in Ecuador and have not yet found a group of people to ride with. Since I changed to a shorter stem and low rise bars which are about 680mm, I feel a lot more comfortable especially when on technical downhills, but I still just wonder if perhaps I'm still a little stretched out and if it has to do with the XL frame or its old style geometry of a steep head angle. What should be the angle of my body position with an optimum bike fit for a XC ride?

    Any thoughts?

    I really don't have money to afford a new bike so that is just out of the question. If I could, I'd get a 29er Cannondale Scalpel, but that's just dreaming. I am upgrading as much as possible. Got a new set of Mavic XC717's coming and some Avid BB7 disc brakes. The big upgrade next year is to replace the 80mm fatty headshok with a 100mm Rockshok Reba. Maybe that will also slacken the head angle some, I don't know.

    So, for those of you who know about the older Jekyll frames, what are your thoughts?

    Thanks so much for the advice.

  2. #2
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    To be useful, I'd need to know what top tube length you were riding before.

    If you're new to MTB, and this is your first "decent" trail worthy ride, I'd say the bike is fine, and you're just not used to a full length TT.

    Recreational level MTB's have shorter TT's, and I hear this a fair bit from folks moving to their first trail worthy MTB after riding for a while on a more upright bike.

    At 6' 2", an XL should be just fine. I'm 6', and rode a large, with a 120 stem for several years and felt fine. Unless you're all legs, I'd think an XL with an 80 stem might eve be a tad upright, but easily within what *should* be considered proper fit.

    The Jekylls had "modern" length TT's. The Super V's were old school with shorter TT's and wicked long stems. I'd ride an XL Super V to feel like I was on a modern large.

    End of the day, personal preference reigns supreme, there is no truly right answer. You might consider some bars with more sweep, like a Salsa Bend 2, as shorter than an 80 mm stem might be tough to dig up....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  3. #3
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    The top tube length is 25.5 ". I am definitely not too upright that's for sure. Before when I had the 140mm stem I felt like I was vertical, which is great for road riding but was not good for any kind of technical downhill. But with the new 80mm stem, I feel like I have more control. I was just wondering if with the specs of my bike and my size if it was still considered too big.

    I do feel pretty good on the bike now with the 80mm stem and low rise monkey bars, although sometimes I feel that my seat gets in the way when I have to get behind it on a steep descent, but if I lower the seat, then I am not getting maximum pedal performance. Any thoughts on that as well? Am I too high up or something? My seat post is such that the post bends at the end so the seat sits a little further back. I just don't want to be top heavy on the bike which makes me more prone to go over the bars on the downhills.

    Also, if I change out the fatty head shok to a traditional fork like a Rock Shok Reba, do you think that will have any adverse effect on the bike fit? I was hoping that it mike change the geometry for the better and give me a little more slack head angle. Any advice from the Cannondale guru that I see that you are?

    Thanks for the help.

  4. #4
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    FYI the swap of the Jekyll's main frame triangle is not all that much work. I bought a Jekyll basket case the seller said was a Large it turned out to be a Med after I'd assembled and drove it finding it hopelessly to small. I bought a used XL frame triangle and sold my Med and swapped it out. Biggest pain was making up longer cables for the shifters and rear brake.

  5. #5
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    Well....the fact that my resources are limited to none, I don't think I will be able to swap out anything for now. I really just want to get the Jekyll to be the perfect fit for me and am open to suggestions for how to do so. I'm glad to hear that the XL frame doesn't sound too big for someone like me who is 6'2". That gives me hope that I can dial the rest in little by little.

  6. #6
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    It's a Jekyll, part of the design is being able to move the ret shock in the trunnion, and affect HTA.

    Sure, putting a longer fork on will slack out the HTA, but it won't improve fit at all. It will also require spending a fair bit of extra $ on top of the fork itself as you'd need new headset and stem too.

    Are you trying to change fit, or geometry, now I'm getting confused
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  7. #7
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    Yeah, they already set the rear shock so that the head angle is more slacker. I was just asking being the fact that the bike was given to me and so I did not really have a choice on getting the perfect fit or style, therefore I'm just trying to figure out all that can be done on the bike to give me the best fit. After reading quite a bit about the older school geometry and learning that the head angles back then were much more steep compared to newer geometry today, I'm just just trying to figure out if I have the possibility of totaling dialing this bike in to fit me great or is it never going to happen.

    Don't get me wrong...I'm definitely a cross country rider and so I am not looking to change the geometry to more of a downhill ride or anything like that. I want to replace the headshok anyway just to get a little more travel as well as a better suspension that has lockout. I know that it will cost a lot because of having to get a new stem and headset. I've been looking into what is needed and I'm aware of the headset adaptors from Cannondale and what else would be required. So, at this point I'm not trying to change the geometry so much as I am the fit.

    Thanks for all the help. I'm learning quite a bit as I go.

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