a Cross Country Rider
from Phoenx AZ
Date Reviewed: December 24, 2006
Strengths: Ive spent so much time on a mono-link suspension that that the four bar seems like a wonderful dream that I have yet to wake from. With the frame design coupled with a stable platform shock, its hard to tell that Im not on a hard-tail... untill I hit a rock garden, that is.
Weaknesses: The frame is so light that I dont know if I can trust it yet.
This frame does somthing special for me. I used to surround my old frames with top end stuff to squeese every bit of performance out of them. This frame does the opposite of that. From what Ive read, I got a FANTASTIC deal on this frame. Im gonna ride it like the two grand machine it is though. Im pleased.
Bike Setup: Avid bb7 mech. disc, Mavic crossland wheels(weigh a lot but tough) XT cranks and XTR everything else. Manitou Minute 1:00 holds up the front and a fox rp23 holds up the rest.
a Cross Country Rider
from Oroville, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: October 26, 2002
Strengths: Light Weight Appearance Durability
This is my third post on this bike. I'm very pleased with my third summer on this bike. No durability issues so far. The pivots have been quite maintenance free, the usual bane of all full shush bikes. Silence is wonderful.
The Romic is a great upgrade. It is so much more responsive than the Float R. I'm not very sophisticated about dampening, just adjusted the dials middle of the road and left it. No objective data here, but I think I can carry more speed with more control.
I do kind of bristle at the recent proclamations from Ellsworth regarding what is and what is not covered by warranty. I happened to purchase the Romic just a couple months before Ellsworth came out with the statement that warranty will not be covered if the Truth rider weighs over 180lbs and uses an air shock. Seems like a pretty subjective declaration. The air shock has worked fine for every other bike company. Why not make your bike stand up to the industry standard set by Fox? A few extra ounces of frame support to keep this a 'safe light' bike would be no big deal.
This issue of incompatibility with industry standards carries over into the problem with the derailleur hanger. A Kmart bike can even get this part right. I am sick of hearing my derailleur pulley rub up against my 34 tooth climbing gear. Maybe flipping the B-tension screw backwards works, but that is so stop gap. The screw head sits so precariously on the edge of that hanger nubbin' that it does not take much to chip that nubbin right off. The derailleur then rotates forward as the screw pushes forward, putting that upper pulley right up against the 34 tooth again. I have replaced one hanger for this reason. I understand the company line is that Shimano is to blame for making a derailleur that won't work with the Ellsworth frame. What is that?
The recent Mountain Bike Action review of an Ellsworth ID ended with a query why this 'freeride' bike only came with a 32 tooth granny rather than 34. Good question. The ID would be an ideal bike for a 34 tooth. It will take a bit more power to push this big beauty up a grade than a Truth.
The obvious reason is because the current hanger and Shimano derailleur would not work with the 34 tooth. This does not strike me as an engineering conundrum. Why does Speedgoat have to take it upon themselves to machine a hanger that is 4mm longer? Why can't Ellsworth do this? I don't think you really need a longer hanger, all you need is a hanger with the b-tension stop located a few millimeters rearward.
The last thing is just a personal thing. I like the E-plate top swing front derailleurs. In general, I like the top swing a lot better than the old bottom swing derailleurs. This bike requires the bottom swing because of the rear shock lower frame mounts. The E-type bottom swing gives snappy shifting, a low profile, and eliminates the possibility of losing your chain into your bottom bracket. I would like to see Ellsworth put an E-plate bolt tab down there along the bottom bracket.
This may be a nonpoint considering the new XTR that is coming out. That XTR bottom bracket with the externally mounted bearings does not look too compatible with an E-bracket, and I'm guessing most people in the market for a Truth would plan on dressing it up in XTR.
A minor picky thing is the rear disc brake setup. To echo Mountain Bike action...why not set up that disc side seatstay with a cable housing stop? It has got to be a little cleaner looking than my little ziptie cobbleworks. I know there are cute little aftermarket cable mounts that I can strap, zip, glue on my frame, but why? For this kind of money, I'd like to see the manufacturer take care of all these things. Probably 1 in 2 people purchasing this frame are going to put hydraulic or mechanical discs on this bike.
I have seen almost all the generations of the Truth. Each production run, even within 4 to 6 months has a little something bored out, lightened up, or reinforced. Ellsworth is constantly improving an already excellent design. Disc cable stop and derailleur hanger are easy additions to this design.
Overall, I'm quite happy with the bike. It is an all day rider. Over 2 1/2 years it has held up very well.
I almost sold this bike to a friend a few months ago, but after I thought about it I decided I would just buy another Truth if I sold it. My friend will still get a Truth sometime. I'm happy I kept mine.
Favorite Trail: South Fork of the Walla Walla River
Duration Product Used: More than 3 years
Purchased At: The Broken Spoke
Bike Setup: Medium Truth 2000, Z1 with the old arch, xt/xtr, thompson raceface, with new Romic rear shock, dialed for my 185 lb weight, replacing the Float R.
a Cross Country Rider
from Lebanon, NJ
Date Reviewed: September 15, 2002
Strengths: light weight quick, snappy handling great traction on climbs Ellsworth's customer service long top tubes for a given size
Weaknesses: not stable at speed, descents, or through rough stuff short head tube
I spent a year on the older Truth ('99) and almost 2 yrs on the newer Truth (2000½ SE). I will focus my review on the newer Truth for the most part.
The rear suspension on the Truth is great. It really sticks to the terrain, especially when climbing, and bobs very little. The Float R rear shock had reliability problems, and it would blow through its mid-travel. The Romic was a super upgrade, regardless of the weight penalty. Although I added the plushness of coil, each pedal stroke would spit me forward instead of causing the bike to wallow in its travel.
The Truth has nice quick handling, which is good if you're riding slow, tight, twisty, technical terrain. Once speed picked up, or the trail pointed down, the Truth would find itself out of its element. It also didn't instill confidence while riding through rock gardens since it tended to get bounced around. I eventually resorted to running a 130mm travel Z1 MCR to calm it down, although this made certain climbs more of a chore (as well as voided the warranty if I kept it that way).
With a short head tube, I had to run several spacers to give me a more comfortable "trail riding" position as opposed to a low, race-like setup.
When I noticed a cracked chainstay on my Truth, Ellsworth warranted it no problem, and fast. Kudos to Ellsworth's customer service!
In order to have a light frame, the tubing is thin. I dented the top tube on my first Truth when one of the brake levers swung around on a crash and clipped the tt. I had a dent on my new Truth on the down tube, which must have been caused by a rock kicking up.
The Truth is a fine bike, but now that I've been on a Turner XCE (which has all of the positives of the Truth, albeit in a little heavier package, but none of the drawbacks), I can say that the Truth wasn't appropriate for my riding style/terrain.
a Cross Country Rider
from Arlington, MA
Date Reviewed: September 4, 2002
Strengths: Smooth ride, no bounce on climbs, will go over most of the roots and rocks we have in Massachusetts, beautiful bike. Creates envy in the hearts of other riders.
Weaknesses: I snapped the top tube immediately behind the weld to the head tube, but it was a 2 year old bike
This bike is great, and even though it is expensive compared to many other FS bikes, it is worth it if you can afford it. There are a ton of reviews expressing similar thoughts, but I want to defend Ellsworth customer service because I know some reviewers have complained.
I was the second owner and had the bike for 5 months when the top tube snapped while riding a moderate singletrack at Pedrosfest. I called Ellsworth and sent it to them. Andrew in customer service helped me the whole time, and he was great. I had a new frame with the old rear triangle in a week. In my choice of colors. All I can do is praise their customer service, and I have no idea what others are talking about. It may have helped that I was nice but persistent with them. Who knows?
One last point: I think that some people buying Truths believe that it can be a freeride bike as well, and at least in New England, that may be a bad idea. Get an Id or Joker if you want to huck big stuff. But for XC riding here, it's an awesome bike.
Similar Products Used: Turner, Santa Cruz Superlight
Bike Setup: XTR, Hayes hydraulics, Rolf Dolomite wheels, Thomson stem and seatpost, Race Face air alloy lite riser bar and headset
a Cross Country Rider
from Huntsville AL
Date Reviewed: July 13, 2002
Strengths: Looks great, rides like a hard tail under power, solid as hell on roots, rocks, and anything else you can think off.
Weaknesses: Fram broke above front D. This is not a down hill bike. I never did any big drops. 1footers at the most. Hard to get set up on shifting perfect for more than 4 rides. New stuff. Also broken lower rear end.
All I can say, Is the best bike I have ever ridden. But all that doses not count if I have to send it off evey year for replacement. I ride 3 to 4 times a week 6 to 10 miles a ride. Teck single track (no big jumps). I spent big money so I would not have this problem. Never broken frame before this one. Have been riding for 7 years. I weigh 210. All I can say to ellsworth build an extra few pounds into the fram to make it last. 2 weeks out on new frame, not bad. Not much value if you have to send it back,2 chilis. Proformance Untouchable,5 chilis
Similar Products Used: 856 proflex,animal proflex, (rode both for 4 years no breaky), back-up bike a rocket 88
Bike Setup: all xt, still 30 pounds
a Cross Country Rider
from San Diego
Date Reviewed: June 7, 2002
Strengths: Handles like a dream, great technical climber and descender. Looks great in Green. Good customer service and warranty. See Below.
Weaknesses: seattubes tend to break, dents easily.
As you can tell first I'm not a weight weenie. I'm about 230 lbs (6'4"+) I'm big not FAT, so I built my Truth to be a Trail Bike. I'm not a wanna be North Shore drop king, just a guy who puts 150-200 miles (Road, MTB and Cyclocross) in a week. I'd consider myself a Trail Rider not a racer or freerider. So here's the skinny, first I love this Bike but I've broken 2 in less than 2 years. The second one in about 500 miles. The 2001 seat tube has a design flaw that distributes too much stress to the area just below the Gusset and just above the front derailleur. So somewhere in the middle of a ride "POP" goes the seat tube. I have now logged a total of 15 miles of hiking out of the boondocks with a broken bicycle and the second one broke on a climb, tipping me over and down into a ravine. Yes I have broken 2 in the same place. I'm now on my 3rd a 2002 which supposedly addresses the problem. I'll post a review if it happens again. Like I said I LOVE this bike it handles like no other, I just wanna be able to finish rides pedaling. Ellsworth has been great replacing them and I've had none of the customer service issues most complain about.
Similar Products Used: Intense Tracer, Uzzi, Specialized FSR
Bike Setup: XTR Derailleurs, XT Pods 8 Speed still rules. Avid Arch Supreme w/ Speed Dial Mag levers. Syncros Revolution Crankset, Time Pedals, Stratos Helix Expert, Marzocchi Z-2 Bam, White Industry Hubs, Sun Rhyno Lite Wheels and Thompson Post.
a Weekend Warrior
from St. Louis
Date Reviewed: February 25, 2002
Strengths: Very Light, strong, plush, great looking frame.
I use to ride a Voodoo Hardtail and loved it, but I was getting tired of always having a sore ass. It was time for a new bike and had only heard of this frame. I read the reviews and found a used frame to buy.
It has lived up to everything everyone said about this frame. I constantly feel like it has a motor on the back when I'm climbing. My confidence level has sky rocketed. Perfect fit for me. It handles anything and everything nicely. Back wheel digs in with no slips on climbs. No wheelies, graceful down hill, - my love for the sport has really grown since I got this frame. I'm always wanting to ride now, whereas before it was only one of the other sports I enjoyed.
Everyone complains about the stickers falling off. I wish mine would b/c then it would keep other riders from oggling my frame and make me stop worrying so much that someone is going to steal it. I don't care what the label says or how my frame looks, just that it's a blast to ride.
Similar Products Used: First Full-suspension bike. Test rode several others.
from CASTRO VALLEY
Date Reviewed: January 31, 2002
Strengths: KILLER DESIGN, LOVE THE OLD ENGLISH WRITING, VERY PLUSH, LIGHT.
Weaknesses: PRICE--HAD 2 TAKE A PARTIAL WITHDRAWL FROM MY INSURANCE POLICY 2 BUY THIS SUCKER!! DONT LIKE THERE CREST ON THE FRONT
TURNED MY GOLF BALLS INTO BASEBALLS AFTER 1 RIDE. IT MAKES THE TRAILS SEEM LIKE BUTTER. IF YOU SEE SOMETHING AHEAD THAT LOOKS SKETCHY JUST GO FOR IT, THIS BIKE WILL SOAK IT UP! i HAVE HAD THIS BIKE 4 A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, SO FAR IT SEEMS BULLETPROOF. ONLY TIME WILL TELL. SAVE YOUR PENNIES BROTHER AND GO BUY AN ELLSWORTH!
Similar Products Used: HAD A FISHER HARD TAIL, THIS WAS ANYTHING BUT SIMILAR
Bike Setup: 2002 TRUTH, 80X-FLY, AD-12, PAUL BRAKES, XTR,RACEFACE NEXT,KRIS KING HEAD SET AND HUBS,THOMSON STEM,EASTON CARBON BARS AND POST,WTB 250 STEALTH,MAVIC 517
a Cross Country Rider
from chula vista,ca
Date Reviewed: January 14, 2002
Strengths: light weight, good suspension travel, quick nimble handling, no real bobbing to speak of. excellent downhiller, killer climber, excels in difficult situations whether it's slick rock in Sedona or shale an' steps in Pasadena, the Truth does it all well. i did a 24 hour race in Idyllwild last year, i used my Trek STP an my Truth. i rode thru Ellsworth 20 hours straight, aboot 115 miles. it flew flawlessly down the wore out trail hour after hour saving me from certain pain an' agony that was awaiting in every corner, ditch an downhill of an endurance race. sad to say, after hour 21 the front Dolomite snapped a spoke sidelining it. if that spoke hadn't broke i woulda rode it the whole race. i've drug/carried it to immeasurable trails in search of fun, downhilled into mysterious places in Mexico with never thinking about the reliability of the bike.
Weaknesses: i have Truth SE #33, they don't make SE's any more. the sticker's came off in aboot 6 months, but that gave me an excuse to do some customizing with some local shop stickers. hum, that's the only weakness i can come up with.
the bottom line for me is a bike that i can take anywhere to have fun on. isn't that what were doing this for? Fun. Yeah, sometimes we race, but the whole thing is aboot fun. whether your flying down fire roads of picking your way through a rock strewn single track, this is the bike of choice for me. it's had a few teething problem but what bike hasn't. a few of the people have some harsh words for Tony an his crew, but i don't. they're good people an' they've been square with me when ever i speak with 'em, on the phone or at an event.
Similar Products Used: Trek VRX 500, Sugar 1, too many Trek Y's to count
Bike Setup: Manitou black 100-120 air, carbon monkey bars, Chris King headset, XT/XTR derailleur, XTR brakes an' shifters, hollow tech crank arms and rings, 34-22 cassette, coda hubs/bontragger hoops, Terri Ti seat, Easton seat post, Fox Vanilla Rc, 858's, panaracers firepro r-1.8/f-2.1, an slime light. flats suck.
a Weekend Warrior
from boynton bch,fla
Date Reviewed: January 5, 2002
Strengths: reliability, comfort,looks,the fact that not every other rider on the trail is on one.
Weaknesses: none so far.
I thought I would do a one year update to let everyone know how it is holdin' up. The Ellsworth is well worth the high price tag. I went to Costa Rica for the La Ruta da los Conquistadores race. 300 miles across the country in three days 104 degrees day one, 45 degrees day two, 24,00 feet of vertical climbing, blah blah blah, it was feally stinkin' hard.I did not have to do one bit of maintinence (other than new brake pads) to my bike. The Truth was excellent. It is light (for all the climbing), 4 inches of travel on the downhills was soooooooooo nice, and the 12 miles of railroad tracks on day three was worth the $3,500 alone, I can't begin to tell you how pleased I am with this bike. I did meet two other riders on Truths, and they felt the same way I did....HAPPY!!!! I would recomend this frame highly,the riders who are unhappy with their Truths dont know what thier talkin'about.You can't be huckin' it off 8 foot drops and expect it to stay together,its for cross country riding and it doesnt get any better than this!!!!!!! RIDE ON
Similar Products Used: 4 banger,tried several other before the purchase
Bike Setup: xtr and race face goodies,Sid sl.....
from Ontario, Canada
Date Reviewed: December 4, 2001
Strengths: great craftsmanship, good climber w/little bob, great descender, lifetime warranty
Weaknesses: none so far
You can't beat the Truth for lightweight and still 4" travel....doesn't climb as nice as the Sugar 1, but it's definately faster on the descents and alot more fun to ride.....it's an incredibly smooth bike to ride. If you are looking for the ultimate XC bike and can afford it, look no further.
Weaknesses: Under the top tube cable routing, price
This is a great bike. As a recent convert from hardtails, I was apprehensive about peddle feedback. The bobbing on this frame is neglible, and I only notice it if I'm looking down at the shock. When I do want to spin and accelerate on climbs, this bike responds quickly. On flats and downhills, this bike is much faster than hardtails because you never have to stop peddling. Having this efficiency with 4 inches of travel is awesome. If you can afford it, I would highly recommend this frame.
Similar Products Used: Dean Scout, Cannondale hardtail, Cannondale Jeckyl
Bike Setup: XTR, Thompson, Synchros, Easton, Sid 100
a Cross Country Rider
from San Diego
Date Reviewed: November 3, 2001
Strengths: Extremely well built, suspension is phenomenal.
I'm still dazed that I spent $4000 on this bike, yikes; what was I thinking? The good news is that this sucker is really well built (incredible design, laser etched decals, etc...) easily the BMW of XC bikes. I've ridden several full-sus bikes but have only owned hardtails. Aside from bombing down hills like you might expect, this bike really climbs well. It's not light and stiff like a hardtail, but the suspension really keeps the rear tire hooked up and for some reason the bike actually makes it easier to balance and "pop" over lumps that kill your momentum on a serious uphill. By far the best bike I've ever ridden, if the store offered my money back I wouldn't take it; highly recommended. Life is too short to suck, get a Truth!