Aeon Isis Full Suspension Bike

4.77/5 (86 Reviews)
Weight : 5.75 lb MSRP : $1095.00

Product Description

Full suspension XC bike, 4" rear wheel travel.

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Reviews 1 - 15 (86 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Joe Peters a Weekend Warrior from Philadelphia

Date Reviewed: March 22, 2003

Strengths:    Stiff, stong, crazy good climber for a single pivot bike.

Weaknesses:    On again, off again availability of 21" frame. Poor paint/powder coat quality (chips and flakes off easily). The anodized finish, I believe, is standard for 2003.

Bottom Line:   
I've previously rated this bike, but I thought I'd write about an experience I've had with Ellsworth's warranty/customer service. I sent my '01 Isis (large, 19") back to Ellsworth because the swingarm had become misaligned at some point. After three weeks and a couple phone calls back and forth, Ellsworth decided to replace my frame. I asked if it was possible to get a 21" frame, since the 19" is too small for me (I'm 6'3"). They said it would be, but only with an anodized finish. I gladly accepted, for a reasonable upcharge. Bottom line: Ellsworth stood behind their product; I will most definitely be a repeat customer.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   jim thorpe area

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   GT LTS-3

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi Z3 fork, Cane Creek AD-12, full XT

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Pete Cresswell a Cross Country Rider from Paoli PA

Date Reviewed: November 25, 2002

Strengths:    (this review posted in the frame section before I realized it belonged here)

Rides like it's on rails, very little biopacing per observation of other riders.

Looks good. This is the first piece of equipment I ever brough home where my wife said "Gee, that looks really nice...".

*Seemed* bullet proof until the shock bracket weld started peeling up in very-mild use.

Weaknesses:    A grudging, inconsistant, and expensive warranty policy.

I was in love with this bike until the welds at the rear shock absorber began peeling up and I started down Ellsworth's warranty path.

To me, a businesslike warranty process would be:

1) Customer calls, manufacturer decides it's a warranty.

2) Customer elects to have mfr ding his credit card and ship replacement immediately with a credit to be applied when the defective product is received by mfr.

3) Customer receives replacement, puts defective product in same box, turns the box around back to the manufacturer.

4) The customer pays shipping one way, the manufacturer pays shipping the other way.

To say the very least, my experience with Ellsworth has not gone that way. Bottom line: I'm out of pocket $160+, it's been over a month, and I still don't have the replacement frame. There's more, but you get the idea...and after poking around I conclude that my experience is not unique

Bottom Line:   
A sweet bike marred by a poor warranty process.

Downgraded to two for two reasons:

1) An un-businesslike warranty process

2) The fact that Ellsworth's penny pinching in the warranty process raises a suspicion that failures may be more than just occasional.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bridle trails in Valley Forge

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $3400.00

Purchased At:   SpeedGoat

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale FS700 Jekyll

Bike Setup:   Hope C-2s, Mavic 517's, Rohloff hub, WTB Mutano Raptors, Brooks B-17, Titec "HellBent" seatpost (I'm extremely tall), Haro BMX pedals, 'zocci X-Fly 100.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by nelson White a Weekend Warrior from Kamloops BC

Date Reviewed: September 19, 2002

Strengths:    Do everything bike, tough (takes hits and one dents)Fast and comfortable. I have the SL and the surface doesn't scratch

Weaknesses:    A buddy with the bike uses V brakes which flex the back end.

Bottom Line:   
Want a great all around? FOR SURE get disks (atleast on the rear)

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2800.00

Purchased At:   airbomb

Similar Products Used:   Heckler

Bike Setup:   Z1 Freeride, Avid Mechs, Truvativ Cranks

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Micah Wyszynski a Cross Country Rider from Phoenix, AZ

Date Reviewed: August 3, 2002

Strengths:    Bullit Proof, Powder coat finish, simlple but effective single pivot design. Does everything well, Descends, climbs.. Great craftmanship for the money.

Weaknesses:    A little heavy, Seatpost clamp should be QR.

Bottom Line:   
This is my first full suspension bike, and I have come to love this bike. I ride the national trail 3 times a week and never have a worry about the technial rocky sections with this frame. At 220 6'2" I wanted a bike that would last, and this bike has yet to fail a test in any way. Spring for the powder coat finish, it's more than worth it. I purchased this bike from the guys at They are fantastic, especially the owner David. If you are looking to purchase an Ellsworth, give them a call and they will work with you...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   National Phoenix, Porcupine Moab

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1700.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   Cannondale Jekyll, Santa Cruz Heckler, assortment of other production bikes, Giant, Specialized, ect..

Bike Setup:   Large Frame, Fox Vanilla Coil over with mountain speed custom coil, Psylo SL with heavy spring and U-turn upgrade. The upgade to the U-Turn keeps impressing me with what this bike can do when the geometery is changed with fork travel changes. I would highly recommend this option if you are going to bee riding different type trails. XT drive train, Ryno-lite rims, Thompson Seat post and Stem, Avid Arch Rival Brakes. ODI lock on Grips, Ritchey Rizer Bar, SDG Saddle, Time pedals, IRC Kujo 2.35 DH tires (got tired of changing flats) 50 rides no flats, makes for a better workout also..

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by norman a Weekend Warrior from tacoma wa usa

Date Reviewed: June 24, 2002

Strengths:    maintenance free-solid-it works

Weaknesses:    side mounted cable guides{hit your knees}.doesn't seem as active locking up rear brake w/discs. occassional pedal kick

Bottom Line:   
been riding it since nov. here in puget sound so it went through the mud test & stood up great.bearing is as smooth as far as the ride goes it is
everthing i wanted it to be.agile & responsive for tight tech. rock & root stuff ,strong & solid for mid 20's mph far as climbing goes, it surprised the hell out
of me.i've read mag. reviews giving it 4 out of's a 5
in my book. it rides as well as i want it to in every way w/
the possible exception of braking the w/discs.i had xt rim

brakes before the avids & there definately is a differ-
ent feel,less active w/ them.but not enough to ruin the ride
something i didn't anticipate in the feel is how well bal-
anced it feels.riding trials type trails is just easier.when
you get up to speed it seems to become more solid like it's
morphing into a single unit.all around riding, it is a great
bike, i gotta believe.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1095.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   none enough to compare

Bike Setup:   xt,sun O degree xc rims,2.35 kenda's, marz 4 100, avid mech.
fox vanilla r

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jay a Cross Country Rider from Vancouver, WA

Date Reviewed: May 22, 2002

Strengths:    Very simple design with great workmanship. I really like the sloped top tube with the solid feel of the ride. The single pivot is very cool as I ride in muddy gunk a lot here in the NW. The bike feels centered between the wheels with great rigidity in the rear end. Descends like a house of fire with the perfect amount of cross county travel: 4". I love this bike

Weaknesses:    The bike has some pedal induced bobbing when you stand up and crank in the big ring. It doesn't really bother me, but it is indicitve of a single pivot design. However, I have my coil shock set up pretty soft.

Bottom Line:   
I got a great deal on a bike with a lifetime warranty. I really could not be happier! I smile when I ride this bike. Is is perfect? For me, yes. For you, I don't know? Ride it. It does everything I would want it to do. I wish it was polished, but a guy can't have everything.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Ape Canyon

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $799.00

Purchased At:   Universal Cycles

Similar Products Used:   Many four bar bikes: Jamis, Intense, etc. I like single pivot simplicity.

Bike Setup:   XTR, XT, Fox Vanilla R, King wheelset and headset, XTR brakes, Thomson, etc. All the goodies except I want disc wheels eventually, but that will have to wait until I can shake the money tree at home.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Duncan McLennan a Weekend Warrior from Sydney, Australia

Date Reviewed: March 21, 2002

Strengths:    easy to pedal. great fun.

Weaknesses:    Rear swingarm

Bottom Line:   
I was looking for a good frame..I am a 200lb that would last me a very long time because I won't be able to afford another one. That is why I spent the bit extra. Absolutely devistated when the rear swing arm disintergrated. I am no hero on the dropoffs and the bike has not had any great workout...mostly XC. The famous welds appear to be very badly done on the swingarm. I am still waiting to see what will happen re the warranty. Very dissapionted. Rating would have been 5 flaming Chilis but for that swingarm!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Loftus

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Sydney

Similar Products Used:   Avanti hardtail/Specialised XC

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Frank from Tucson, AZ, USA

Date Reviewed: March 11, 2002

Strengths:    Durability
Quality of construction (flawless welds, etc.)

Weaknesses:    NONE

Bottom Line:   
Here's an update on my Isis after 2 years and 4,000 miles of abuse. Incredibly, it is still going strong, rides like new, and I have never even touched the pivot! I ride extremely aggressive, and have gone through 3 fork rebuilds, one set of wheels (not to mention about 8 sets of front and rear tires), two saddles, one handle bar, 2 sets of peddles, etc. In fact about the only thing I can truly trust on my bike, besides my Kris King headset, is the frame. It still rides like a dream with a plush ride with no flex or bobbing, and tackles the most technical trails with precision and aplomb. I am now only getting to the point where I am considering taking apart the frame to see what shape the pivot and Fox Vanilla R shock is in. In short, I am extremely satisfied and proud of my Isis. I might add, to mollify the likes of some cynical reviewers like the Big Huckster below, that I have no affiliation whatsoever with Ellsworth. Perhaps the reason why a small boutique builder such as Ellsworth gets such rave review is that they really deserve them. A truly great and unbelievable bike!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Too many to list

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   the now defunct Lone Cactus Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Rocky Mt., Kona, Specialized, Trek

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi Z3 long travel fork, Chris King headset, XT drive train, Easton Monkey Lite handle bar, Easton EA 70 stem

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Big Hucker a Downhiller from West Vancouver, BC

Date Reviewed: January 9, 2002

Strengths:    Good overall package - does many things well but nothing great

Weaknesses:    Odd looking frame
Big decals

Bottom Line:   
Big Hucker has been shuttling his SC Super 8 for a couple of years now. Big Hucker’s wife was complaining about his weight gain and his developing beer gut. To appease his wife, Big Hucker bought a used Isis for spinning with the objective of reclaiming the svelte form he had when he was in his teens. Big Hucker thought he needed an FS bike because of a back problem he sustained following a huge huck gone wrong. Luckily, Big Hucker’s Super 8 was OK although he did have to take the following 3-months off work.

Big Hucker rides his Isis about once a week now, and the nausea from the physical exertion has become less of an issue (Big Hucker is getting into shape). Big Hucker hasn’t had any problems with the bike, although Big Hucker has to reluctantly ride around the big drops. For spinning, Big Hucker gives this bike a thumbs up.

Big Hucker is concerned about this site. As the heading says “Mountain Bike Reviews Written by Mountain Bikers.” However, it appears that this site may have become a marketing tool by manufacturers and their hired agencies. The number of reviews for Aeon’s three products totals 150 –for a boutique type manufacturer like Ellsworth? Come on, Big Hucker didn’t come down the Fraser on a canoe yesterday. Furthermore, Big Hucker has heard about these frames breaking on the occasion, yet hardly a word about it in these reviews. And when it was mentioned in a review, the review was quickly criticised by someone who seems very intimate with both Ellsworth and warranty claims (this person also has an “SL” – why is the post under this category except to object to the findings of a previous reviewer).

Mountain Biking is Big Hucker’s life, and this site has in the past contributed to his purchase decisions.

Big Hucker would like the people to keep it real. Go Big.

Big Hucker

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bogeyman (Currently)

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   Used

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz Super 8 (not similar though it is a bike)
Rocky Mountain Thin Air

Bike Setup:   Mostly Lx with Race Face cranks and rings

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Kung Fool a Downhiller from Where ever hypocrisy lurks, North Shore, Canada

Date Reviewed: January 5, 2002

Strengths:    Its made of metal

Weaknesses:    quality control on welds

Bottom Line:   
This bike has some appealing features - like "Dangerous Dan" rides it. Ellsworth sponsors him -so it must be a cool bike. Dan is also a Canuck. Check out his pictures hucking huuuge drops at his on an aeon isis. unfortunately, i know the guy two reviews down and if his experience is anything to learn from, the back ends on these bikes must be breaking like matchsticks with any sort of hucking. mine works ok for now, since I treat it well - but i don't like the tone of the last reviewer. is there some sort of secret aeon brotherhood going on that prohibits someone from speaking about their true experiences and being branded a bad actor? breaks of any kind don't inspire confidence and kung fool does not consider it good of a manufacturer to send new back ends - its the stinking warranty obligation not goodness that causes this behavior! As for going down anything - you US riders weaned on "dangerous" fireroads should come experience what "anything" really looks like by heading north. We'll see how your playthings stand up to actual riding. This bike is smooth and comfortable, but having seen actual breaks results in a lack of confidence. As a signal to the manufacturer not to get too haughty, I'll condescend to give 3 chillis.
kung fool has spoken.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any canadian trail

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   on top

Similar Products Used:   RM 6, Kona Stinky, Cove G-Spot, Tambochi Molotov Cocktail

Bike Setup:   Fox Vanilla, Marzocchi Z1

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sean O'Neil a Cross Country Rider from Missoula, MT, USA

Date Reviewed: December 10, 2001

Strengths:    Price, engineering/design, execution of design, weld quality, finish, climbing super-tech stuff, and descending ANYTHING at high speed.

Weaknesses:    Weird monocoque main frame triangle is sort of ugly -- but who cares? A major weakness is found not in this frame itself, but the people who blame the frame instead of themselves when it breaks; people who expect frames to stand up to any abuse and not weaken. A few folks have broken Isis and Joker frames at the yoke weld. Many lie or understate what kind of abuse they put them through. For this reason, Ellsworth is concerned about JRA claims -- and rightly so. All frames can break. If the frame break is because of a bad weld/design, Ells has been good about sending new swingarms.

Bottom Line:   
Amazing bike. 31 lbs as built, feels like 25. I weigh 165 and ride hard and fast x-country and freeride. My terrain is rutty, rocky, rooty Northern Rockies singletrack. This bike handles all terrain, all conditions, all speeds with agility and stability. If you break it, fully explain to Ellsworth EVERYTHING you've put it through -- from what I've heard, those whose parts have failed because of defect have received full & fair warranty treatment. Don't let the stories from bad actors ruin your choice.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   secret creek

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   Titus Switchblade, Specialized FSR Enduro Pro

Bike Setup:   SL Medium frame, Fox Vanilla R, Marzocchi Z3QR20 and QR20 disc hub, Avid Mech Discs, Avid Speed Dial Mag levers, SRAM Attack Shifters, Shimano XT derailleurs, Truvativ Sealex DH ISIS bb, Truvativ Stylo Team ISIS crank, SRAM 9.0 cassette, Shimano XT disc rear hub, Wheelsmith 14 ga spokes, Sun Rhyno Lite rims, WTB Moto Raptor 2.4 tires, RaceFace XY seatpost, Azonic ORS stem, Azonic PDW riser bar, ODI Lock-On grips, Sun Ringle ZuZu's Pedals, various saddles.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Mike Stulken a Weekend Warrior from North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

Date Reviewed: December 7, 2001

Strengths:    The ride

Weaknesses:    Poor design - Manky Stickers - Color choices

Bottom Line:   
Sorry to end the love-fest.
I posted a glowing review May 2000. A recent event causes me to re-think my purchase. Net conclusion - stay away from this bike unless you only intend to hop curbs on the way to the corner store. Either the execution or design of this bike is faulty, plus the much vaunted Ellsworth customer service sucks.
I was happily riding three weeks ago, going uphill on a cross-country trail - after clearing an 8" diameter log, the bike buckled under me. The rear-swing arm broke about an inch above the pivot yolk sending me sprawling. This is much the same problem described by an earlier writer. Evidently this problem was suppossed to have been fixed with my vintage of bike. I have generally kept this bike to Cross-country type trails, despite living on the North Shore. I only weigh 165lbs and I keep my shocks at a decent pressure. I have never maxed the shock out. After getting in touch with Ellsworth customer service, they sought to suggest that I was somehow to blame for this break by not keeping enough air in the rear shock. This is hogwash. I was going uphill! After discerning that it was only the rear swing-arm that was broken, they indicated that this is what they would replace - despite the frame's seat tube having the paint gouged. In sum, they agreed to replace what was broken - sticking to the letter of their warranty. No thought is given to paying for the shipping or trying to salvage a tarnished reputation by going the extra mile and replacing the whole frame. Meanwhile I have to endure having to spend time dismantling the frame and re-building. I am extremely disappointed and would not buy an Ellsworth product again. Stick to a well-known brand that has local dealer support. There are a lot more choices for this sort of bike than 2 years ago - shop around carefully!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Severed Dick

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   Airbomb

Similar Products Used:   Rocky Mountain; Kona

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi Z1 X-fly;Cane Creek AD10

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Karl from Montreal, QC canada

Date Reviewed: November 6, 2001

Strengths:    Quick and nimble yet solid and sure footed while descending,
good climber and reasonablly light weight. Ver stiff frame lifetime warranty , low maintenance rear suspension, high BB for clearence over obstacles, low stand over height.

Weaknesses:    No real color choices, frame sizes are alittle on the small size but can be rectified by adjusting seat post type and stem legnth etc.

Bottom Line:   
I have been riding this bike for about 4 months now and it is great, especially for someone who wants an xc/freeride all around performer, there are bikes that better in in some areas but none that I am aware of at this price that are as versitile. Insipres confidence.
Very nice ride, quick and nimble , good climber and great at speed going downhill. 26 to 28 lbs in weight depending on which tire/wheelset I use.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bromont

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Airbomb

Similar Products Used:   Trek 7000, 6500, Specialised and others

Bike Setup:   2001 Isis, Avid Mag V brakes , Shimano Hollow tech cranks and BB, Bonty Mustang Wheels, Conti Vertical pro 2.3 tires or Hutchinson 2.1. Kore elite seatpost and handle bars, XT shifters and Derailleurs, Manitou X-vert Super fork and cane Creek AD-10 rear shock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by eelpie a Weekend Warrior from virginia

Date Reviewed: November 1, 2001

Strengths:    Everything--super strong, very stiff, excellent on the downs and the ups, great handling.

Weaknesses:    Still the cheesy head tube sticker badge.

Bottom Line:   
This is a re-visit. The bike is everything I said before and more. My speed and general riding skills have improved dramatically in a short time, especially on long twisty downhills, where the frame really excels. When I switched from an 80mm fork to a 100mm fork, the frame really came alive--best upgrade yet.

Ya just gotta try this'll be hooked! If you can spring for the extra $$, get the anodized version...very sweet and uncommon.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   avalon/patapsco

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   GT XCR-1000, GT i-Drive 1.0

Bike Setup:   Large red, Marz Z4 Air, Fox Float R, Azonic WF Riser, King headset, RaceFace Turbine cranks and Taporlock BB, Avid SD7 levers and brakes, SI Max Flite Turbo saddle, Thompson stem and post, TIME pedals, Panaracer FireXC tires, XTR hubs laced to Mustang (rear) and Valiant (front), XTR RD, XT FD, XT shifters, WTB grips

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by AARON a Weekend Warrior from UK

Date Reviewed: September 17, 2001



Bottom Line:   

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1200.00


Similar Products Used:   CANNONDALE


Reviews 1 - 15 (86 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

best Isis bottom bracket

looking to replace worn out Isis BB on my surly 1x1 any suggestions on a good one for single speed use? maybe one with two bearings on drive side or not necessary? its an old race face turbine cranksetRead More »

up for grabs, FSA Ti Isis drive

I found one in my box 'o parts. It's 68mm flavored platinum series BB with plenty of life in it. Free to a good it forward stylie.Read More »

Surly Mr Whirly vs ISIS drive cranks (truvativ holzfeller)?

Is there really any advantage over the surlys which cost over £100 more? Would love to hear peoples take on this :)Read More »

ISIS bottom bracket upgrade to external type?

Bike is 2006 Marin Rift Zone mountain bike. It came with ISIS bottom bracket (68mm and 113 spindle) and FireX Truvative crankset (3x). The bottom bracket is creaking and moaning so will replace soon. Question is do I replace with same type, such a Truvativ Gigapipe, or could I upgrade to external t ... Read More »

Isis BB's. Can they ever be awesome?

Hoping someone in the group can share experience with this. I have an Isis BB with bearings that feel great. Problem is as soon as I fit cups and install there is a noticeable increase in friction. Is this drag from the cups and collar interface? Is it inherent to the design? Modifications tip ... Read More »

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