Marco Osborne's Cannondale Jekyll: EWS Bike Check - Crankworx Whistler 2017

Aug 10, 2017
by Vernon Felton  



There was a time, not so long ago, when Marco Osborne was just another one of the groms orbiting Mark Weir’s backyard pump track. Osborne was a friend of Ben Cruz—another Weir protégé—but you wouldn’t have picked him out of the line-up as one of America’s future enduro strongmen. Snowboarding had been his thing.

Within about a year of pedaling around, however, Osborne was called to Weir’s garage where the mustachio’d one gave Marco one of his own Jekyll team bikes. I remember Weir telling me at the time, “This kid is a natural. Just wait and see.”

Which is exactly how things panned out. Osborne, in short order, became a legitimate EWS threat in his own right. While the latest Jekyll is still fairly new to the market, he’s been campaigning on it for a good while. His Jekyll, as shown here, gets hit with the Whistler stick—more fork, a coil sprung rear end… Here’s what Marco had to say to photographer Matt Delorme.




Rider: Marco Osborne

Team: Cannondale
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 195 pounds w/riding gear—200 pounds w/gear and fishing rod
Hometown: Novato
Frame Size: Large
Marco Osborne tired and happy.
Yet another branch of the mighty Mark Weir tree, Osborne quickly became a force to be reckoned with in his own right.

marco osborne s cannondale jekyll
Whistler's the kind of place that drives you to slap on a coil...

You're on the new Jekyll, but you've got something different going on with the rear suspension...


Yeah, I normally run the Gemini rear shock that was designed for this bike, but I’m giving the coil a shot here in Whistler because the tracks are just so long and rough. I am going to test out another spring. I’ve been trying three or four different springs so far, just trying to find out what works. Will I race with the coil? I probably will run it. It just feels good on the rough stretches.

How about the front suspension?


I’m using a 180-travel fork up front for this course. It's at something like 90psi and I've got two tokens in there.

marco osborne s cannondale jekyll
marco osborne s cannondale jekyll
With much speed, must come much braking power. Shimano Saints (203mm rotors up front and 180mm out back) provide the pucker power.

marco osborne s cannondale jekyll
Keeping it Marin. Keeping it local. White Industries hubs are laced to WTB rims by Marin County wheel building legend, Steve "Gravy" Gravenites.


What are you running for tires?


I have a WTB Vigilante up front and a WTB Breakout in the back. Custom siping on the tires. The tires are 2.3-inch versions, front and rear. I might go to a 2.5 out here because it’s pretty gnarly, but 2.3 is kind of my go-to choice generally. As for pressures, it's 24psi up front, 30psi in the back.


marco osborne s cannondale jekyll
Eschewing ultra-wide tires for 2.3 WTBs.
marco osborne s cannondale jekyll
Rim width, not surprisingly, isn't exactly cavernous on Marco's ride. He's rocking WTB i25 rims.


marco osborne s cannondale jekyll
A nod to a fellow racer who gave his all...


What have you got going with the drivetrain?


It's a Shimano-based drivetrain. I’ve got the 46-tooth XT cassette in the back, an XTR rear derailleur, a Wolf Tooth Components 36-tooth chainring up front and Cannondale Si cranks.

marco osborne s cannondale jekyll
A 36-tooth ring...somebody has certainly been eating their Wheaties.
marco osborne s cannondale jekyll
It's an XT/XTR drivetrain dance party for Osborne.

marco osborne s cannondale jekyll
Who gets the award for stuffing the most stuff in the smallest space on their bike? Osborne is a contender.



MENTIONS: @Cannondale




64 Comments

  • + 47
 "Close gap" ........ Gap isn't closed.


The pros must know something us mortals don't.
  • + 24
 He goes so fast, his faceplate expands from friction against the air. So, much like the shingles on the space shuttle, Marco's stem must have a gap.
  • + 19
 @mecabeat: That's awesome. His stem can also be compared to the sr-71 blackbird. It leaks fuel while on the ground and needs a refuel after taking off because at speed, the friction of the air heats it up so much that the expanding metal closes the gaps tight.
  • + 4
 Could also mean "close" as in "too close", meaning the gap is supposed to be close, not closed.
  • + 3
 "The pros must know something us mortals don't"

Like how to properly torque bolts without a manufacturer provided crutch to keep them from cracking the faceplate?
  • + 12
 @seraph: I up-proped you, old friend. I get it. It could also be an observation, not an instruction, like "Check out this close-ass gap. Shits hella close, yo."
  • + 3
 When on earth have you seen a cracked top cap on a stem? What the hell was used to put it on, an impact gun? @ninjatarian: I mean just about every manufacturer has a torque spec (or instructions to close the gap) laser etched into the finish. How hard is it to do properly?
  • + 1
 @seraph: Or just an observation that the gap is a close one, rather than saying it needs to be close...
  • + 6
 It's for motivation u idiots. Like having pin it on your top tube. You see the guy in front "close gap"!!!!
  • + 1
 Or he's just like 9/10 of the people I've seen running these style stems & he just didn't pay attention. About the only one of these I've seen with the top gap gone is mine. He's also running the seatrail backcountry research strap, instead of the "Muthaload" one that's longer & actually designed for frame, too.
  • + 26
 'I usually run the Gemini shock designed for this bike, but it's a stupid design, lets be honest'
  • + 0
 I run tokens in my fox too.
  • + 9
 Marco is a beast but Cannondales just don't do it for me.
  • + 9
 Too bad for you
  • + 6
 Good for your wallet
  • + 2
 I like the fact , that his bike looks kind of beaten up. Usually bikes of the pro racers look like fresh out of the box, they probably go through several bikes a year. Marcos bike looks like something my bike can relate to Smile
  • + 10
 GO GET EM RANDY
  • + 6
 Such a sold guy Marco is. Chill, friendly, always polite. I want to see this guy get a Top 5. He's had some crappy luck.
  • + 1
 Totally agree with that. I met him during practice at Tasmania EWS, really nice guy and had plenty of time to chat. I didn't know who he was before that, but after meeting him I wish him luck!
  • + 7
 That paint job is fire
  • + 1
 A lot of that paint job is not actually paint but frame protection wrap from "do you even drift". You'll see the same thing on Keegan Wright's bike.
  • + 4
 ANOTHER 36 CHAIN RING. looks like records are going to be broken this race.
  • + 0
 Second time I've seen a coil on the new Jekyll. I'm curious to how it performs. From my experience riding this bike, it is pretty linear and I had to run about 300 psi to get the sag right with the Float X. I'm only 185, too lol
  • + 4
 Is that drink bottle taking piss?
  • + 17
 No, it's for water, not urine.
  • + 2
 very nice bike.
first time I see a cutted upper chainguide from E13. looks like the rear bolt is gone. maybe for a quiet bike? lighter?
  • + 1
 Looks like those White Industries hubs are labeled with a WTB label or are they actually WTB?
I talked to Mark Weir this weekend and he runs Vigilante front and Riddler rear.
  • + 2
 I wonder why Marco runs the vigilante vs the new Convict considering WTB Is calling the Convict their burliest tire yet.
  • + 4
 I'm guessing that's the 2.5 he's talking about since there are no 2.5 Vigilantes.
  • + 1
 @Deartist7: good catch, could be.
  • + 4
 He'd rather be associated as being a good guy vs a bad guy. What else does WTB have that is related to crime? Is there a WTB Warden? WTB Parole Officer? WTB Bailiff.
  • + 2
 @Ron-C: There is a Wtb Warden.
  • + 2
 Genuine down to earth dude, focused racer but also up for a brew... Or six.
  • - 1
 Well, I guess technically it can hold a full sized water bottle. Good luck getting it out of the frame without stopping though.

I really don't get the aversion to using a hydro-pack. Keeps bike weight down, which is good for handling, and holds way more water, if you want, than a plastic bottle. Seems that outside of sweet online race/advertising pics and videos, everyone I see uses a pack. Lets be honest, who goes on a medium to long ride without a spare tube, spoons, multi-tool, a snack, and hand pump? "Yeah, I'll carry all of that, but the water bottle has to go on the frame, man!"
  • + 1
 I normally keep my spoons at home in a drawer.
  • + 1
 I hate riding with shit on my back
  • - 1
 A 36 tooth ring with a cassette that big isnt going to be hard to ride up hill, if his largest cassette sprocket was a 36tooth I would understand saying its fairly hardwork bit it looks like he is running an 11-46, so even with the 36 tooth ring...still easy. Also is it me or are those rims too wide for those tires
  • + 1
 Just you, thise rims are too narrow for those tires.
  • + 1
 @daugherd: was tired when I wrote it
  • + 3
 Having done the climbs that these guys will do for stages 2, 3 and 4, I strongly disagree with you. You need to be fit AF to run a 36 tooth ring and a 46 tooth cassette in that kind of race. Perhaps you are fit enough to manage that combo, but to call it easy is a far stretch
  • + 3
 @santiagomo87: my appologies didn't realise how hard the stages were
  • + 2
 What stem and bar is he running?
  • + 2
 Where does the fishing pole mount??
  • + 0
 Anybody else think that seat looks odd in the first two pictures? Really forward angle in the first and front looks somewhat bent down in the second.
  • + 2
 Looks normal to me. Maybe just the graphics design of the seat is messing with it?
  • + 1
 Just a trick, running a seat nose down like that does imply the seat tube angle is a little on the shallow side tho...
  • + 2
 'gets hit with the Whistler stick'— Vernon, you literary genius.
  • + 2
 Not a huge fan of cannondale but this this looks sick!!
  • + 1
 How long is that stem it looks really short??
  • + 1
 Where can i get the 'Will Olson Stem Cap'?
  • + 2
 RIP Will
  • + 1
 Is the seat where he sits?
  • + 1
 Go get em kid!
  • + 1
 Is his seat angled down?
  • + 1
 All people who sit down on their bikes and have testicles or crash into their seats and have testicles do this. If you have a long inseam and angle down to hold the bars from your high perch you do this too. People who don't sit down, have short legs, high bars or physically small balls wouldn't understand.
  • - 2
 Kraken fail can of snail
  • - 3
 Nice to see a coil on that bike and not that worthless dyad
  • + 0
 ya but what weight of spring???
  • - 1
 @mxben13: titanium
  • + 2
 @properp: I meant the # rating, 350,400,450,500,550, 10,000 ??????

Im 195 on a sb6 with a 300# coil. Sag is set at 30% and it works good on all but the bigger hits, wondering if 50lb increments are big enough to test, maybe I need to go up to a 400#. ..........
  • - 1
 @mxben13: it's like being at Baskin Robbins. Everyone wants a different flavor. With steel Springs I run 350 lb with a titanium spring I run 400 lb. I am also under 150 lb with gear.
  • - 1
 @mxben13: also I run a stiffer coil on a fox shock versus my Cane Creek double barrel. Everyone always has a different opinion about coils and no one will ever agree. Just roll the dice and do what works best for you.
  • - 1
 @mxben13: something else I forgot is those numbers on the sides of the coil are usually b*******. The only true way to find out what you have is to put a scale underneath your spring and smash it in a press.Some companies ratings are way more accurate than others.

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