Mark Weir is the Godfather of American Enduro. Today, he no longer races professionally, but remains a big ambassador for the sport. His bike of choice is the Cannondale Jekyll, a 27.5 full suspension rig with 165mm of rear travel.
Because his local terrain is steep, he chose it based on head angle. For Mark, the slacker geometry allows him more time to react. It also enables him to brake behind the bike, rather than on top of it. To give himself a little extra breathing room, he’s even swapped out the stock 170mm fork for a 180mm unit. He claims that if he lived somewhere flatter, he would probably gravitate to the shorter travel Trigger.
For years, Mark was on a Lefty fork. While he loved the stiffness and platform, serviceability could sometimes be problematic. Now that Cannondale no longer offers long travel Lefty forks, he’s back on Fox.
While you’d expect a rider of his caliber to be running a Factory level FIT4 equipped fork , Mark was actually riding the newly introduced GRIP damper. He wouldn’t say much about the setup, but we did learn Fox had performed some internal wizardry.
At 5’10, Mark is usually between a size medium and large. In the past, he’s always chosen to size up due to reach trends. Now that “longer/lower/slacker” has caught on, he’s on a size medium. To keep the reach numbers the same, he’s paired his medium frame with a 35mm long stem.
Most of Mark’s local riding areas are densely wooded, so he prefers to run a 760mm wide bar. He’s also riding Saint brakes, which he claims are the best in the business. That’s saying something, considering he’s no longer sponsored by Shimano.
The WTB High Tail saddle has a rear cutout, which helps with clearance when the saddle is slammed and the bike is at full compression.
For grips, Mark is running WTB Thinlines with Padlock technology. Essentially, the grips have extra material built into the edges (where the gray nubbin sits). To make room for the extra cushion, the bars receive a small cut. This prevents the grips from slipping and helps reduce the chatter you feel in your hands.
Compared to the previous Dyad suspension, the new Gemini shock is much easier to tune. Within the two different riding modes, there are three different compression settings. Mark loves how tunable the shock is, but tends to run his shock close to wide open.
Mark doesn’t care about going fast uphill, he wants grip. Since his local trails are either muddy or loose, his tire of choice is the WTB Warden. He claims these 1200g monsters allow you to ride a different way and we’re inclined to believe him.
In terms of tire pressure, he runs between 19-21 PSI in the front and 23-26 out back. When pressed about his rim width preference, Mark stated he doesn’t like going wider than a 29mm internal. With the current crop of tires, he finds going wider result in a tire profile that is too square.
Mark has been running a 1x drivetrain since before it was cool. His first single ring setup was on an Outland bike in 1994. He won his first Downieville downhill in 1996 on a Karpiel with the same setup.
This bike was sporting WTB branded hubs front and rear. Mark wouldn’t slip any details, but he did mention they’re prototypes. Is WTB gearing up to get back into the wheelset game? We’ll have to wait to find out.
Now that Mark is no longer beholden to sponsors, he’s free to choose whatever parts he wants. His Jekyll is a reflection of his favorite blend of components on the market. Do you agree with his setup, or is there something you’d change?