a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: November 5, 2003
Strengths: i'm not sure anymore
Weaknesses: warranty program-dealing w/ co. personel, especially ellsworth himself-frame breakage
regret ever buying an ellsworth frame. like any custom frame & most quality brands, as long as they hold up, there really isn't much to be unhappy about. if you've done the research, you know pretty much know what to expect w/ the ride characteristics. single pivot brake jacking for example. but when a custom frame breaks, made by one of the most advertized builders in the business, you don't expect to be treated like some fly- by -night co. hoping to sell as many bikes as possible before the word gets out that the frames flat out don't hold up to the advertized ride style they are supposedly designed to take. the absolute lies & deceit that i heard from ellsworth & co. were shocking & dissapointing to say the least. i could write at least a Reader's Digest length story about the whole mess but i suppose it's enough to say that i would only buy another if they were THE only bike builder out there. actually, i'd get another sport. if you want to fix a broken aluminum frame, contact Pyrobike or Pyrotek in Abbortsford,B.C. nothing but praise for their sevice & work.
Bike Setup: xt & equivalent parts throughout. romic & marz.
a Cross Country Rider
from Paoli PA
Date Reviewed: November 24, 2002
Strengths: 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.
A decent bike marred by a poor warranty process.
Downgraded to two because of same plus the fact that Ellsworth's penny pinching in the warranty process raises a suspicion that failures may be more than just occasional.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: September 11, 2002
Strengths: laterally stiff, active, not much bob, I've done ZERO maintenance on the frame in over a year of serious riding (there is zero stiction in the rear end -sealed bearings!), it climbs!
Weaknesses: Cable routing isn't so good, needs a brake arch w/V brakes, isn't exactly a pretty bike
This is an amazing trail bike. It is great at climbing rocky/rooty technical terrain. It decends very well. The suspension is WAY more active than my old Pro-Flex BUT, it feels a whole lot quicker. A great bike for technical terrain. As built the bike weighs about 28-29 lbs. It is no racer but, neither am I. I did win a hill climb on it. The Vanilla R seems perfectly matched to my 4" X-vert.
Similar Products Used: Pro-Flex 957, Santa Cruz Bullit, Superlite, Loco-Moto (not quite right size for me) pretty much everyting (single pivot wise)
Bike Setup: Fox Vanilla R -coil over, Manitou X-vert, mostly XT 8 speed stuff, XTR V brakes, Rhyno Lites, Kore seat post, Easton riser bars
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: January 13, 2002
Strengths: Basically, the bike is spot on. Rides really well, looks right and well made. Lightweight and well balanced. PRICE
Purchased this bike without having previously riden one. Used product reviews on this site as a base guide-line and believe me everything previously mentioned is TRUE. The bike is spot on. Chuck what ever you like at it and it continues to amaze you. Very rigid and loves long, steep, uneven decents, any obsticals on the way down like drops, loose rocks forget them this bike glides over them at a speed you didn't think possible. Climbs well, i can't fault it. Do yourself a big favour, buy one!
a Weekend Warrior
from Montreal, QC Canada
Date Reviewed: July 11, 2001
Strengths: Great new look fot 2001 model, very high qualty of work and finish on this frame
Weaknesses: Limited color choices is all I can think of
Just got the 2001 red 17" frame and it looks awsome, some of the minor complaints that other respondants here had statetd have been addressed. The cheessey looking Aeon Decal is gone and replaced by nice looking "white with silver trim" Ellsworth decal logo on both sides of the down tube. The small white oval Isis decal on the top tube is still there. A checkered "grey and white" plastic chain gaurd has been added to the lower suspension arm to reduce chain slap and protest the paint chipping in this area. Overall the build quality is great and all Ellsworth. I will report back a little later on when I am finished building up the bike to tell you how it rides, by for now.
Bike Setup: Going to set up with full Shimano XT drive train,Bontrager Mustang Wheelset and Manitou X-vert Super front shock
a Cross Country Rider
from Philadelphia, PA USA
Date Reviewed: December 14, 2000
Strengths: 4" of travel. Stiff. No slop in the pivot. Pretty active. Good looking.
Weaknesses: "Top tube" length is a bit short for me on the Large frame (I'm 6'4"). Chain-slap on the swingarm when in the big ring is pretty annoying. Clashes with my handlebar streamers. Head tube sticker is lame.
After riding hard-tail for over 8 years, this sure feels good to my aging spine. The suspension is not as active as an URT design (Klein, Trek, etc), but is much more active than I expected. Have not noticed any real pedal induced bob, but I am a roadie and know how to pedal in circles. Your milage may vary. Really shines on the downhills - I feel like a new (younger) man. Maybe a bit on the hefty side, but that is one of the reasons I bought it. I'll sacrifice the pound for the added strength.
Similar Products Used: None for any extended period of time.
Bike Setup: Gray w/ Black swingarm frame, LX kit, RS Sid 100 fork, Time ATAC pedals.
a Cross Country Rider
from Lakewood, CO
Date Reviewed: October 6, 2000
Strengths: very nice welds, beefy construction all around, looks good, rides SMOOOOOOTH!
Weaknesses: limited front derailleur placement, cable routing kinda funky but not really a weakness, head tube sticker comes off easily
Ordered it through Dreamride in Moab, and they were really cool about fit concerns and even asked my weight to get the rear spring rate correct. right outta the box, the head tube sticker was folding over and coming off. It's just aesthetics, I know, but on a really nice looking frame it was kind of a sore spot.
the 17" size I ordered is pretty short, considering my old frame was 18" c-c. It fits the same, though a 120x15deg stem was needed to offset the shorter head tube, and my 400mm seatpost is up pretty high- your body may vary.
Once built, I do notice the extra pound of weight on climbs, but to the frame's credit, you can just sit and hammer over everything in your path. The suspension bobs more than I'm used to (i.e. active as all get out), but the single pivot is surprisingly smooth and I don't feel any kick in the pedals. This thing REALLY shines when pointed down, though! 4" of travel isn't a huge amount, but it still gives a great ride!
The two complaints I have with the frame are minimal, but made me swear a bit. First, I'm still running 8spd, and wanted to go with a Grip Shift ESP front der. Because of the der setup, the cable would have rubbed the swingarm. a 9spd XT front was too narrow for my chain, and an old bottom swing XT didn't fit because of the small space between the crank and swingarm, so I had to scrounge an old STX 8spd to make it workable until I can afford to go 9spd.
The second is that the chain smacks the swingarm a lot, and I've got a few paint chips off of it already. The way the swingarm is put together, I can't put a normal Lizard Skins swingarm guard on it, and duct tape would just look tacky.
For $1040, it's a great, handmade, simple all-around frame for those who just like to ride. XC racers and weight weenies should look elsewhere (like a hardtail, man). For value, it gets 5 chilies, but due to the hiccups I had in setup and the unprotectable swingarm, I have to give it 4 chilies overall.
Bike Setup: Isis, Manitou SX Ti, White/517 wheels, Avid brakes/levers, GripShift ESP, all else RaceFace
a Weekend Warrior
from Concord, Ca, USA
Date Reviewed: July 22, 2000
Strengths: Geometry, plushness, lateral stiffness and perfect welds.
Weaknesses: Cheesy looking stickers (although they come off easy enough)
This is a follow up report on my first review. I still feel confident that this bike is the best bike in the world for under 2,000. I have never had a bike that fit me so well, and it does just about everything perfectly. I'm no engineer, so I dont understand the details behind A.T.L.A.S. technology and all of that, but I do know what works for me. And the Aeon works for me like a prostitute during a convention of congressmen. Without the slop.
I've always liked to jump, but with the Aeon, I can fly. It is so well balanced that I can launch and just float without worrying about dropping the front or keeping it up. The pivot is placed just perfectly to give you the ultimate flex on liftoff, then it sucks up the landing so you keep your speed up on landing.
Technical trialsy type riding is wonderful as well on the Aeon. The balance, short length and curved toptube (with low standover height) make this bike perfect for log hopping, steep drops and quick sharp turns.
Climbing on the Aeon is a dream. I have riser bars on my Aeon and can fly up hills without feeling hunched over or popping wheelies. I enjoy clmbing for the first time in my life.
Downhill, do I even have to menion it? Ok, I guess I do. Its like a freaking Cadillac. Even with my low end fork, it handles the bumps like a charm.
This bike is awesome. The Aeon is the first bike that I have truly loved. To compare it to a couple of other bikes and suspension types: ---Santa Cruz: The suspension design is similar, however the rear triangle on the S.C. is thinner and taller, making the S.C. less stiff laterally than the Aeon. On the S.C., in sharp turns or jumps it felt like I was washing out. The Aeon is nothing but total control. ---Cannondale: They always felt incredibly tall for me. Even a small Cannondale was tall. And you cant deny the goofy factor. ---Four bar linkage design: The Aeon is a single pivot design which makes it a little less active than four bar linkage bikes. However, with the exception of foreign made mass produced bikes, they are a lot more expensive. And in a year of riding, I have no slop in my bushings, pivots or anywhere. As a matter of fact, I havent even heard a squeak from my bike.
So to make a long story just a tad shorter, buy this bike. You will not regret it. And if the folks at Aeon are reading this: Thank you for making a bike that I can afford that performs up to my expectations. I was tired of riding and destroying crappy bikes(see Proflex reviews) that I could afford and admiring my friends' $3000 machines). Not only does this bike perform like a dream, it is virtually indestructable. Believe me, I've tried.
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Heckler, Ventana Marble Peak, Cannondale V something or other, Proflex 857
Bike Setup: Manitou sx-r, riser bars xt component mix
a Weekend Warrior
from Richlandtown, PA, USA
Date Reviewed: July 20, 2000
Strengths: Where do I begin? Standover Hieght, it's stiff right where it counts, geometry, weight, aggressive looks, high b.b., tire clearance(2.4")!!!
Weaknesses: don't worry about the price trust me!
This is the bike that makes you feel like a kid again!! The only thing that will stop it is testicular fortitude. My confidence has increased 10 fold when I'm on this steed. The riding here in S.E. PA is pretty technical and this bike is suited perfectly for it. The high b.b., wheelbase,amount of travel. This bike can do it all(at least what my skill level will permit). I.m not exactly a X-country guru. I just want to ride, and this bike lets me do just that with more enthusiasm than I've had for quite some time. Tony I owe you a beer or two! I LOVE THIS BIKE. Does any one want to buy a lightweight carbonfiber hardtail?
Similar Products Used: Iron Horse G-Spot, I-Drive, C-Dale Raven, and that new one from Giant
Bike Setup: Manitou X-Vert Super, Nuke Proof wheelset, Race Face cranks&b.b., IRC MUDMAD 2.35",D.W.I. scrapplebutter& brake booster every thing else is mix matched
a Cross Country Rider
from New York
Date Reviewed: July 16, 2000
Strengths: Looks, suspension design and simplicity, weight, lack of bobbing, replaceable der. hanger.
Weaknesses: Cable routing is fine contrary some reviews I've read. A little pricey.
Very nimble and quick handling. Excellent climber with no suspension bobbing. Fox air shock on Isis L feels like a coil and works well. Top tube lenghts are appropriate to frame size, unlike my GT which is short for it's size. A fairly light bike that is raceable unless you are a pro which can only have the lightest and best available without regard to $. Bike is excellent on the downhills too and instills confidence. Plenty of suspension travel and handles moderate drop-offs very well. Can't think of a negative. Bike is a true Ellsworth with all the performance and pride of ownership of one.
Weaknesses: understated weight (my 19" was 7.4 lbs) sharply-angled cable route for rear v-brakes/levers short cockpit
Tuff. Perfect for brutal XC or light DH. 30.5 lbs. as is; a great all-arounder and as DH-oriented as possible on a 3-ring ride. Climbs powerfully, descends assuredly, & definitely super-sizes your sac. Built to last and ready to blast. I can't imagine any bike being more fun to RIDE! My words cannot describe the confidence this bike instills. I ride faster and more aggressively than ever before. Former hike-a-bike sections are now cleared with a surly laugh. If you like root fields, rock gardens, drop-offs, jumps, logpiles, and other vestiges of technical MTB trails, this bike is for you. It took a hell of a bike to coax this skeptic off his Z2 BAM hardtail. Once my heart adapts to the additional 4 lbs. of heft, I will even climb better- I no longer lose traction on loose rock ascents. This bike will take you wherever your fitness and skill level permit and get you home in one piece with a smile on your face. Quite a bargain considering the American craftsmanship, guarantee, and customer service of the Ellsworth family. An incredible deal was available to me on one of several top-of-the-line cookie-cutter 4-bar frames/bikes, but I swallowed hard, saved my beer $$, and took a gamble on a new bike I couldn't test ride. If you leave your bat on your shoulder, you'll never hit a home run. Aeon/Ellsworth tore the cover off the ball and deposited it in the upper deck.
Similar Products Used: you name it, I've tried it or talked with someone who has
Bike Setup: Zoke Z1 CR 4", Vanilla R coil-over, Azonic Shorty/WF riser bars, King headset, 9.0 SL shift/der., Precision Billet brakes/levers, RaceFace cranks/rings, PC91, Time ATACs, 36 hole Hugi hubs, Rhynolite rims, 14 ga. 3X spokes w/brass nips, Thomson post, Body Geometry Comp seat, Salsa QRs
Mike the bike guy...
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 17, 2000
Strengths: Very plush on the DH and single track... nice and stiff on the climbing... NO POGO at all / pivot point is perfect. Light, super job on the welds, smart cable routing, killer paint job, great design, nice beefy sealed brearing pivot...no chance of mud shelf here...
Weaknesses: NOT ONE... and the stickers are fine.
I like the added details: disk ready, it even has braze-ons for the disk set up. I haven't had this bike very long but, it didn't take long to figure out this bike is a bike I'll be keeping for a very long time. I'm really impressed with how this thing rides. Everything about the design makes any XC ride a blast. I've had serveral frames in the past few years, nothing handles like this one does. Thanks Tony for making my life better than ever.
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Heckler, Hardland FS 1000
Bike Setup: Cane Creek AD10, mixed bag of Avid, XT, XTR, Bontrager, Titec, Profile, Thompson, Race Face
a Weekend Warrior
from LAS VEGAS NV USA
Date Reviewed: February 13, 2000
Strengths: LIGHT, PRICE, STIFF
HAD TO SEND TO ELLSWORTH FOR PIVOT BAERING LOSENING UP IN THE PIVOT. SO FAR THE CORRECTION IS FINE. CUSTOMER SERVICE MAN MIKE MOULDER WAS EXCELLENT TO DEAL WITH. THIS IS THE ONLY BIKE I HAVE EVER RODE THAT CLIMBS & ACCELLIRATES LIKE A HARDTALE YET IS COMPLETELY PLUSH ON THE DOWNHILL.
Strengths: Fits like a glove. Very compact bike, almost BMX like. Soaks up the bumps well. Low cost,low maintenance, no lateral flex
Weaknesses: Cheesy stickers, but easily removed.
This bike rocks. I was a little leary of the single linkage, and was inclined to buy a 4-bar linkage bike. But the cost and lack of maintenance led me to the Aeon. I have ridden this bike hard, jumped high and do things I could only dream of before. Never a squeak or creak and no lateral flex. I would recommend this bike to anyone wanting a new f/s without spending $2000.
I've got an 07 Gary Fisher X-Caliber with an ISIS BB and Bontrager Select crankset. I got the used bike a few months ago and now, after a wet and muddy year, the BB is grinding and getting loose. I've searched my brains out for a decent replacement BB and as you all know, the Isis design in weak. ... Read More »
I've got an ISIS spline set of Middleburn RS7s running on a 113x73mm BB, and I am having a hell of a time getting the chainline anything close to the middle of the cassette without needing 7mm worth of spacers (calculated chainline to the middle of the cassette is ~43.5mm as per the calculations on ... Read More »
For those of you with the 2013 Salsa Mukluks 3, how do you like the Salsa Snow Isis crankset? Are there any issues with chain rub, and what is the largest tire you're riding? I know I've been checking out the Muk 2 and Fatback, but aside from saving weight (and I'm not racing) why shouldn't I also ... Read More »
Anyone use an isis type bottom bracket that lasts on a SS? The last FSA bb that I bought is only 6 months old and already the bearings are not very smooth-although the FSA I used before this one has lasted a long time. Maybe just some variances in the FSA bottom brackets. Any advice?Read More »