Jackal 09 – PT / DJ bike initial impressions

The Santa Cruz Jackal 09 has arrived and I must say that after test riding it for a couple of days I’m most impressed. The bike seems to have gone back to its grass roots and simplified the concept of a pump track / jump bike. It has gone away from hydroform tubes to a simpler tube set, which makes for a cleaner looking bike.

It’s also significantly lighter – about 2 pound lighter. The bike moves a lot more cleanly and has more acceleration through the corners because of the shorter back chainstays, and with the lower standover height it feels like riding a BMX, except you have a big 26″ wheelset. All of this means that the bike is like a rocketship on trail. At the moment I’m learning how to handle the bike, and control and pin it through the corners.

The integrated rear dropout/derailleur hanger to adjust the chain tension is fantastic – you don’t have to use any guides which is great for simplicity – and the chain has no tight spots. So the pedalling experience is a lot smoother and more direct.

As for manualling, the bike is a demon in this area. You just have to have half a thought about manualling, and you pull back and rock back on your legs and the bike hits the sweet spot. I’m no king in this area but the bike feels a lot more solid than the previous model, and when hitting rollovers on the pump track it feels smoother and a lot more secure.

The quality of the bike’s construction is amazing, and because of its cleaner simpler tube set the bike feels less bulky.

So those are my first impressions of the Jackel 09 and after I ride it for a month or so I’ll do some follow-up posts.

Big thanks to Santa Cruz Bicycles, Hyperformance Hardware and KRD imports Cheers Damian


1 Response to “Jackal 09 – PT / DJ bike initial impressions”

  1. 1 brent hartshorne
    May 6, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Very sweet looking D, Can’t wait to throw a leg over it!

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