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
Weight: 195 pounds w/riding gear—200 pounds w/gear and fishing rod
Frame Size: Large
Yet another branch of the mighty Mark Weir tree, Osborne quickly became a force to be reckoned with in his own right.
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.
With much speed, must come much braking power. Shimano Saints (203mm rotors up front and 180mm out back) provide the pucker power.
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.
Eschewing ultra-wide tires for 2.3 WTBs.
Rim width, not surprisingly, isn't exactly cavernous on Marco's ride. He's rocking WTB i25 rims.
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.
A 36-tooth ring...somebody has certainly been eating their Wheaties.
It's an XT/XTR drivetrain dance party for Osborne.
Who gets the award for stuffing the most stuff in the smallest space on their bike? Osborne is a contender.