Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking Gear Reviews and Roundups





Aeon Isis SL Frameset

4.5/5 (8 Reviews)
Weight : 5.25 lbs MSRP : $1395.00

Product Description

Full suspension, XC, 4" rear wheel travel, shot peened and anodized finish, Ti hardware.

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Reviews 1 - 8 (8 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Technohippybiker a Cross Country Rider from Marquette, MI

Date Reviewed: December 26, 2004

Strengths:    Fantastically burly frame. Great CNC machining and welds. Very hard to destroy this frame. Anodized paint doesn't chip or scrath, you bascially have to take a chunk out of the frame to show wear.

Weaknesses:    Very dependant on the type of shock used. Front end lifts a bit on the uphill. Other than that a great bike!

Bottom Line:   
I did my research on rides before finding a great deal on this used Isis. It has served me well for all sorts of riding. I started off as a XC rider, going for 3 hour long rides and loving them. This bike is comfortable for the long haul and responsive enough to take away some of the pressure.

I then became more of a freerider, doing 4 foot drops and ladder bridges. Since I was new to this stuff I figured I would break the frame because of my poor form. But just looking at the welds you can tell it will take more than a punk like me to break it. It smooths out the bumps and my accidental landings.

What took me a while to learn was the front end likes to get up on the uphills. Replaced my stem with a longer one and seemed to fix the issue. I also had some learning to do with the shocks. Buy a good rear shock for this bike and you will be pleased. I did a lot of commuting on it and noticed considerable bob when standing up. Wish I had a platform shock. Still, a good ride, beautiful, tuff, and accepting of lots of styles. It's nearly the same frame as the beefier Joker, just on a smaller scale. Buy it and enjoy the ride and the comments from passers-by!

These days Ellsworth has changed the name to "The Distance" but seems to be mostly the same bike.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Purchased At:   1,500 used complete kit

Similar Products Used:   Klein Attitude, Santa Cruz Superlight

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi MX Comp, Mavic F219 rims, Avid Mech Discs, XT Drivetrain, Raceface Prodigy post/stem/bars, Truvative Firex cranks.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bill a Cross Country Rider from Richmond

Date Reviewed: June 13, 2004

Strengths:    Very little bob (Feels like my hardtail on the flats), climbs well, Descends GREAT, Well suited for cross country.

Weaknesses:    Strange rear swingarm doesn't fit in my $20 rear frame stand. (Oh well)

Bottom Line:   
Great frame (and built bike). I moved from a hardtail Schwinn Moab (before bankruptcy) to the Isis and immediately saw a dramatic improvement in my riding. The bike stays in contact with the ground climbing and descending which translates to more confidence and ability on the trail. I am easily riding much more technical single track and drops. The suspension lets my legs relax and work more efficiently. I just finished an Xterra triathalon where I continually passed others on the bike and (suprisingly) on the run. I initially thought of the Isis as a compromise against an Ellsworth Truth. I don't think I need a multi-linkage FS bike anymore. I love this frame/bike!

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Favorite Trail:   Buttermilk West

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Specialized FSR

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi MX Comp ETA (105mm), Cane Creek Cloud Nine, SRAM X-9 Rear D. and Shifters, Easton EC70 riser, Easton EC70 seatpost, Terry DragonFly seat, Hutchinson Python tires, CrossMax wheels

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jeff a Cross Country Rider from Downingtown

Date Reviewed: March 15, 2003

Strengths:    Super plush ride, no paint to chip, climbs very well.

Weaknesses:    none yet

Bottom Line:   
Super plush ride. Climbs very well for a FS. Tracks very well on rocky downhills. Bobs a little when pedalling, but no big deal. I'm replacing the Cane Creek AD-12 with a Romic twin tube coil-over cause I weigh around 210. Air shocks just aren't for me.(bobbing, bottom-out) Chain slap can be prevented with the carbon fiber swingarm protector, I've had this bike for 1.5 years and the protector still works great. Bike setup weighs around 27.5 pounds, a bit heavy, but for the fantastic ride on east coast rocks I'll take it. Bottom line-best single pivot bike on the market.

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Favorite Trail:   american standard

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1395.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   klein attitude hardtail

Bike Setup:   race face cranks, thomson, mavic crossmax, XT drivetrain.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by gonzostrike a Cross Country Rider from Missoula, MT

Date Reviewed: January 7, 2002

Strengths:    Design, climbing, descending, all-around riding

Weaknesses:    People who don't know how to ride and/or maintain their bike often blame the bike. People who don't know how to read advertising material often say it's a lie.

Bottom Line:   
Most rippin' value on the planet. Climbs deceptively well. Never a problem on any descent. Geometry strikes perfect balance of singletrack quickness and DH stability. Anyone who finds flaws in this bike should truly explain the flaw, not just make some lame abstract accusation. Also, the advertised weight clearly is explained as only an estimate, and that the more important feature is the built-up weight. I don't care whether I have a 30-lb Isis or one built with weight weenie parts to 25 lbs, what matters is how it rides. Any skilled rider knows this. As Sy Syms says about his clothing stores, "an educated consumer is our best customer." The same applies to Ellsworth products.

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Favorite Trail:   secret creek

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   Titus Switchblade, Special Ed FSR Enduro

Bike Setup:   Extreme XC - emphasis on durability, not weight. 30 lbs total.

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Zipwheat a Cross Country Rider from Raleigh, N.C. USA

Date Reviewed: January 6, 2002

Strengths:    Shot peened, and anodized. Price

Weaknesses:    Lies, chain slip, lies, weight, lies, customer service.

Bottom Line:   
If all you want is to go downhill fast read no further. If However; you sometimes find yourself riding against gravity read on... Two problems plague this bike:
1-Chain Retention, When cranking up-hill or on fast straight sections, bumps that compress the suspension actually cause the distance between the cranks and cassette to shorten. Thus the chain loses contact with the teeth and your tired legs spin hopelessly waisting all important momenteum. I shortened the chain till it puked still noluv.
2-Weighty lies, When I bought my "super light" the published weight was 5.2 pounds. Mine was 6.7, the Ellsworth sight now claims 6.1.
When I called Tony et-all on this they denied, lied, pointed fingers, then claimed I was too hung-up on weight... No Tony I'm hung up on honesty. The Ellsworth web sight, its' customer service personel, and at no fault of their own this "MTBR" web sight, and "Mountain Bike Action" claimed the SL was around 5 pounds. Just click the back button on your mouse and look at that weight figure...... hmmmm I wonder where that came from? My guess is Tony Ellsworth.
In a weak attempt to satisfy my complaint Ellsworth sent an aluminum pin to replace the heavier titanium pin in my SL. Labor however, was at my expense and it only made an ounce of difference(literally). No one at Ellsworth ever admited to the false weight, still deny it, and never so much as appologized for it. Just goes to show you can't turn to Ellsworth for the truth.

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Favorite Trail:   Bunker Creek, Utah

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Airbomb

Similar Products Used:   Intense Tracer, Trek Fuel, Klein, K2, e.t.c

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi Atom 80, XTR on most everything, Thompson, Time, e.t.c. on the other things.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brad a Racer from Omaha, NE

Date Reviewed: March 31, 2001

Strengths:    Strength to Weight ration. Very little if any pedal induced bobbing.

Weaknesses:    Chain slap at the swingarm when in the big chain ring and the lower end on the cassette.

Bottom Line:   
Just got back from Moab, and this bike performed flawlessly. Long story short, last year I had a hardtail in Moab, this year, I had this beautiful Aeon, it was a blast. I think it climbed just as well if not better than my hardtail(C-dale F3000SL). Decending, oh boy. This bike took me to a new level of confidence and riding. I will be a big promoter of this bike, as you can't go wrong with it. At 24.7 lbs without any scary light parts, I'm anxious to see how this bike will perform at xc racing.

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Favorite Trail:   PORCUPINE RIM

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1140.00

Purchased At:   The Bike Way

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz SL, C-dale Raven, Ellsworth Truth(nice bike).

Bike Setup:   01 med silver anodized, 01 SID 100, Thompson stem and post, XTR frt and rr derailleaur, XTR Ti 8 spd cassette, Suntour thumb shifters(work great), Avid ultimate levers and mag brakes. Mavic Crossmax wheelset.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by THE WIZ a Cross Country Rider from South Burlington, VT

Date Reviewed: April 20, 2000

Strengths:    Lightweight, Ti hardware, Stratos AR1 shock, shotpeened anodized black finish, all the machining and welds, and, of course the headtube badge

Weaknesses:    not one

Bottom Line:   
Anyone looking for a light, efficient, sweet looking ride, dont even think twice about owning anything else. Dont even think once. Just get this bike, you wont be disappointed. This bike rocks

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   all of them

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz Superlite

Bike Setup:   race face, easton bars, all the gucci stuff

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Braun Ehman a Cross Country Rider from So. Cal.

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2000

Strengths:    Fellas,
This bike is the s#*t! I have been a big fan of single pivot bikes for years. Never before have I found a bike that was stiff and strong without weighing a ton. The Isis is quick on single track, silly fast on rocky sections and climbs like a billy goat on crack. I have owned lots of bikes and this is my favorite by far. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me. (

Weaknesses:    This bike makes my other dullys jealous and a hard tail unthinkable.

Bottom Line:   
The Dali Lhama found nirvana on this bike why shouldn't I?

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Favorite Trail:   Nobel Canyon

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Similar Products Used:   Intense Tracer
Santa Cruz Heckler

Bike Setup:   ESP 9.0 SL, Hope Disks, Race Face Stem, cranks, Cane Creek Wam SS, Man X-Vert Super.

Reviews 1 - 8 (8 Reviews Total)

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