Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking Gear Reviews and Roundups





Aeon Joker Frameset

4.5/5 (22 Reviews)
MSRP : $1395.00

Product Description

Full Suspension Freeride, 6" rear wheel travel, extruded aluminum front and rear triangles.

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Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by James a Downhiller from Eleele HI

Date Reviewed: June 29, 2003

Strengths:    none

Weaknesses:    it freakin' breaks

Bottom Line:   
I've gone through 3 swingarms in 2 years. This is totally unacceptable. I've also posted many reviews to this point and they have all mysteriously been deleted. I pound the snot out of my Turner taking it off multiple 10-15 footers on a bi-weekly basis for almost 2 years and not one problem with that frame. My joker is my trailbike never seeing more than 5 footers and it still breaks. The guys at Ellsworth know it's a problem and they just don't care. Their answer to me on how to keep it from happening was to pay $835 and get the newest model. Nice answer after I just paid $1300 to get the stupid thing 2 years ago. After I told them that they told me to just sell it on E-Bay if I didn't like it. They suck and so does the Joker. I've got a friend who goes off on his 4 year old Iron Horse G-Spot and hasn't broken it. Many friends have Bullits with no failures. Don't believe the hype, Ellsworth just buys a bunch of add space which is why they get all the good press. Those who ride do know - buy something else.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Similar Products Used:   Turner RFX

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Robert Baird a Weekend Warrior from Austin,TX

Date Reviewed: April 14, 2003

Strengths:    Cool looks, rides great uphill for a 6 inch travel bike

Weaknesses:    First, MTBR has taken down my other 3 posts?!? Anyway this is the third Ellsworth I have broken and the 2nd Joker I have broken in 6 months. First time, you may remember from my post, the rear swing arm snapped completly off! This time the frame craked right under the bottom braquet.

Bottom Line:   
The same wheelset has been on all 3 Ellsworths that haven broken. When the last Joker broke, Andrew wrote me this email:

Hey Robert-
Well, I am truly sorry that you have had bad experiences with us. We are a
new group of people here... George, Jodi and Greg are all gone.
It is me, Jim and Adam. I was here in the transition and can tell you that
things are much better here now. Jim and I worked together in the past at
RockShox and share the same views on Customer Service.
I am glad you still like the bikes, and hope we can regain your confidence
as a company.
I may have a way to do that.... We have completely redesigned the Joker for
late '03 or early '04. We will have rideable samples very soon and we were
going to handpick 10 current Joker owners to swap a new frame to. We would
want feedback as to ride quality vs. the old Joker, strength, etc. It will
be 7" instead of 6".
Let's communicate and see if you want to be a beta tester for us.

Andrew Siminoff
Sales Manager
Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles, Inc.
p 760-788-7500 x206
f 760-788-6212

When I call to get an RA#, Andrew is no longer there and they want $725.00 to upgrade to the new redesigned JokerSL. So my choices are get anther frame that I paid full price for that has yet to last more than 6 months or spend $725+ on a frame they said they where going to give to me anyway. Any suggestions on how to handle this?

I am a 33year old accountant. I weight 190lbs and the bike has never been more than 5 feet in the air. If I sent you a picture of the frame, you would think the bike had never been ridden, except for the large craks.

The jury is still out on this one. I will repost after Ellsworth gets my bike and gets back in touch with me.

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Favorite Trail:   The Slide

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Beyond Bikes

Bike Setup:   king/Mavic wheelset, raceface cranks, 02 JrT

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark Johnson a Downhiller from Jackson, CA USA

Date Reviewed: February 12, 2003

Strengths:    Look, durability, finish, awesome ride

Weaknesses:    none so far

Bottom Line:   
I mainly freeride (northshore style and drops) and dirt jump. This bike rocks! It takes drops (8-10') no problem and I've ridden away from many botched landings because the suspension eats up the mistake. The bike climbs well and the frame is very light for its catagory. I took it on a shuttle day last weekend and it descended beautifully. It floats over rock gardens and steers precisely when you need to pick your line through the gnarly stuff. You can't beat this bike for a freerider that needs to take abuse yet still needs to be pedaled up hill. 5 flaming chili's!

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Favorite Trail:   Murder

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Similar Products Used:   Rocky Mountain Pipeline, SC Bullit

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi Super T, WTB dual duty wheels, XT discs, Fox vanilla RC rear shock, TruVativ Hussefelt cranks

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John Favreau a Weekend Warrior from Vegas

Date Reviewed: November 13, 2002

Strengths:    Light. This seems to be Ellsworths mantra, and this bike is no different. Superlight for a freeride bike. Lighter than a Bullit or an SLX, and those frames are LIGHT. The straight seat tube is a very nice feature too. I also like the geometry, with shortish stays and a long top tube. Very nice for manuals and wheelie drops. The icing on the cake is the life time warranty.

Weaknesses:    Light. It's so light in fact that if you are a very aggresive genuine big hit rider I'd say you are bound to break one eventually. Mind you from what I've seen this makes up about .005 percent of the riders out there, so everyone else should rest easy. In a fleeting moment of insanity recently, I did a big scary drop and snapped mine. I called up Ellsworth and told them I was out abusing my Joker and did a big dumb drop and it broke, and they in response sent me a new frame out as soon as I got my broken one to them. Inside the box was a note "to keep going big". Only other weakness is the cable routing is stupid. Go look at a Bullit and run your cables exactly like they have them.

Bottom Line:   
If the top tube on the Bullit is too short for you, this is the bike for you. It's superlight, pedals really well for a single pivot, and has the most stable geometry of any bike I've ever ridden. Buy the Romic shock with your frame, it'll make you twice as fast on the downhills.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   A-Line

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2800.00

Purchased At:   On Top Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   SLX, Bullit, Patriot, Stinky, RM-7, RFX.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Christian Berg a Downhiller from Seattle

Date Reviewed: October 7, 2002

Strengths:    -Very light (6.5 Lbs.)
-Very good for big hits and alright for jumping
-Good on Skinnies
-High Bottom bracket
-Stiff and responsive
-Good lifetime Crash Warrenty

Weaknesses:    -Weak compared to other frames
-Have broken swing arm twice in same place
but have been replace free of charge
Not to good for DH

Bottom Line:   
Great frame, not too pricey for DH/FR.
If you want a light all around bike that can take the big hits and massive gaps then grap this frame. You'll have it for you life if you want

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Favorite Trail:   Shlayer Line

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Dreamride

Similar Products Used:   SC Bullit
RM 7

Bike Setup:   O2 Joker, Jr t's, gazzolodies, mammoths, Romic dual

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Keith Scott a Weekend Warrior from Glasgow / Scotland

Date Reviewed: May 15, 2002

Strengths:    It's stuff, plush, inspires insane riding, and looks great!
It's also quiet light and can ride well uphill, if thats your thing, and downhill it rips!

Weaknesses:    nothing big, only thing is that the bolt through the lower shock eye pivot, loosens off a fair bit, and has bent slightly, but still works fine! Slightly pricey

Bottom Line:   
this bike is amazing!
It will give you confindence to push your limits and the faster it goes the more stable it feels!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:

Similar Products Used:   erm... not really in same catogry... but...
99' Specialised enduro comp

Bike Setup:   2001 boxxers D321's on hope big'uns, hope enduro 4 discs, 2 peice cromo cranks and a veriety of other lovlies.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Karri Koskitanner a Cross Country Rider from Tampere, Finland

Date Reviewed: April 29, 2002

Strengths:    Climb very well, looks nice, good for long expeditions.

Weaknesses:    WEAK!

Bottom Line:   
Very good frame so long until frame broke. Rear swing arm broke after 1 year use. So I think that frame is weak because I weight only 65kg. Lifetime warranty is very good thing.

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Orange Patriot, SC Bullit etc...

Bike Setup:   Boxxer 151, Hope Enduros, Mavic 321, Fox Vanilla RC

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Geoff from Santa Barbara

Date Reviewed: April 14, 2002

Strengths:    Light for 6" travel. Climbs well. Solid.

Weaknesses:    Probably not at your LBS, to test ride.

Bottom Line:   
The Joker is a great freeride bike. I can give XC riders a run for their money on long climbs, and bomb the trails you can't ride up, with my DH buddies. If your a freerider that can only afford one quality bike, this is probably the frame for you.

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Favorite Trail:   Santa Barbara frontside trails

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Bike Setup:   Jr. T, soon to be Super T Pro, Hope Mini's, King hubs and headset, XTR, Mavic 321's, Easton Cully's... etc.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Grant a Downhiller from Danville CA

Date Reviewed: March 30, 2002

Strengths:    STRONG, FAST, PLUSH, Black Annodized! doesn't scratch no creaking at all and fits 8 inch rear, unlike silly bullit, buy a new rear triangle, u gotta be kidding me.

Weaknesses:    didn't put the right spring rate on my bike bottomed out a lot until i got it swaped at fox.

Bottom Line:   
OK here it is have ridden both the bullit and the Joker on the same trails. Both have Super T forks and 8 inch xt brakes. North shore cranks..... Well they ride the same as far as i can tell. The joker does pedal better uphill because of the location of the chainline. I use this bike from Dh to XC, it works wonders

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sycamore Park

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Danville Bike

Similar Products Used:   Bullit (extensive riding on it), Haro MX3 broke after 2 months =( what a POS

Bike Setup:   2001 Super T (soon to be monster), North Shore splined, 8inch XT, Mammoth Dh Intense 2.7, Maxxis high roller 2.5, XTr rear.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by S. Trailshredder from Dago

Date Reviewed: March 25, 2002

Strengths:    strong, pretty light, chicks dig it, needs zero maintenance.

Weaknesses:    The paint peeling off my swingarm. Useless in a bar fight. That, and B. Hind Bikes where I purchased it. Not the friendliest bunch once they have your $$ in their paws.

Bottom Line:   
After 6mo.s and 1300 miles the only maintenence this frame needed was to replace the eyelet bushings on the Fox shock, which really is a shock thing, not a frame one. As a trailbike this is ideal for me.Strong, plenty of Bounce, not too heavy, and climbs very well. I found that any questions I had about the bike i could get answered by the friendly folks at Ellsworth with no prob, which totally compensated for the lack of interest the humanoids who sold me the frame showed.

Speaking of customer service, I don't have any gripes w/ Ellsworth whatsoever. When I developed a bit of play in the rear shock eyelet they sent me a set of replacement bushings for the Fox and framebolts for free, and fast, too. Fox SOLD them to me, and took a few more days to get them here as well. As far as I'm concerned Ellsworth Customer Service is as solid as their product.

If I ever do break the Joker jumping it off a 3 story rooftop and Ellsworth is dumb enuf to warrantee it, the whole company should be forced to migrate and re-register in Florida to vote!

Bottom line, buy a Joker if you want a strong plush long travel frame that climbs well and needs no maintenance.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   PCT

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1395.00

Purchased At:   B.Hind Dykes.Com

Similar Products Used:   Titus, Turner, Norco, R.M., Kona---- tried most all of them.

Bike Setup:   01 Joker w/ Fox RC, MCR, Thompson, Easton, Bullbuster Elektrik Cattle Prod™ attached to Bottle cage (for unruly Sierra Clubbers & equestrians), etc... setup as a trailbike- total weight under 30lb.s w/ BIG tires.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by James Wilson a Weekend Warrior from Kapaa HI

Date Reviewed: March 16, 2002

Strengths:    Laterally stiff, good climber, descends well

Weaknesses:    came with a weak swingarm that broke, sold by Beyond Bikes, not a Turner

Bottom Line:   
Look, I'm spoiled and I know it. My other bike is a Turner RFX with a Super T and every freeride goody you can think off and only next to that set up does the Joker look cheap. Of course not everyone can or will shell out the cash needed to upgrade a Turner and if you are one of these people then the Joker is the best of the rest in my opinion. Of course, I'm letting the catastrophic swingarm failure go based on Ellsworth's word they fixed the problem but still be careful and check your welds for crack often otherwise you might get a nasty wake-up call one day on the trail.
BTW, Beyond Bikes is the worst company to buy a bike through. They will tell you what you want to hear to get your business and then jerk you around for weeks while they try to make up for the fact that they are cash poor and can't keep items instock and can't get items not included on their pre-made build sheets in a timely manner.

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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Beyond Bikes - never again

Similar Products Used:   Turner RX (the ultimate freeride frame), Kona Stinky

Bike Setup:   Z1 QR20 fork, race face cranks, 8 speed XTR drivetrain, Kujo tires, Avid 25 V-brakes (and I still rock this thing off 10 footers)

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by I eat crayons from Seattle, WA

Date Reviewed: February 26, 2002

Strengths:    Frame is bomb proof and so is the finish
Execellent climbing.

Weaknesses:    Ellsworth wasn't very helpful.I cart wheeled my ride down Crack addict at whistler and bent the rear rotor. I asked ellsworth a few questions and the guy was short with me. He kept telling me everything the warranty didnt cover instead of being genuinely helpful with my problem.But it was the end of the day and I'll assume he was tired. THey've been pretty cool in the past with my Truth.

Bottom Line:   
First of all, do not buy from Beyond BIkes or Seattle's Downhill Zone. Second of all, do not buy from Beyond bikes or Seattle's Downhill Zone.

Beyond BIkes are a bunch of dishonest @#*&^%'s. They told me that BIke Co. is not a licensed Ellsworth dealer and I wouldn't get the lifetime warranty with the frame(total lie). Also the told me they had everything I ordered in stock just to get the sale. They didn't. Oh well, here is some free advertising for ya!
Downhill Zone- we bought parts from this place. We asked one of their mech's were a particular trail was(exit 38). This mudflap from Indiana(or somewhere flat like that)told us that he and the downhill zone built the trail and didnt want anyone else riding it. Anyways, we hooked up with the real builders of it and they substantiated our thoughts of the DHZ.
If you want to climb and then bomb down hill, this is for you.
The Frame- stong as hell(c'mon, dangerous Dan rides it). the six inches hasn't bottomed yet. No squeeking or creaking. Single pivot/swing arm is simple and laterally stiff. CLimbs great even with a DC fork. If you have a good pedal stroke, then you have minimal bob. Decends like a missile.
I thought it was slightly more solid on the down and a little better climber compared to the bullit. I like the bullit as well. The difference was small but worth the extra snaps. You will never have a second thought after you ride it.You'll really never want another ride, maybe a dare. But then you'll need more change and grow a third testicle to be worthy. BUy it from ON Top BIke shop in Vancouver! The owner lets you ride his!

I reserved 5 flam'n stools for the dare

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Beyond Bikes(never again!)

Similar Products Used:   Bullit

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Terence a Weekend Warrior from Calgary, Canada

Date Reviewed: August 21, 2001

Strengths:    Quality, versatility, appearance (sweet, anodized black finish, weight, stiffness. Tony, you were right!

Weaknesses:    Bolt attaching shock to swingarm continually loosens.

Bottom Line:   
This bike was built with the intention of bombing down everything which it has and then some. It's helped elevate my riding to a new level albeit one with a decidedly downhill bias. As great a bike as the Bullit is, I think the Joker improves on it especially with respect to bottom bracket and swing arm stiffness. I can deflect both on my room mate's Bullit with dramatically less effort that I can on my Joker. You can really feel the difference when you've ridden the two bikes back to back on a trail with lots of hard, aggressive turns. It's also a remarkably efficient bike to pedal. In the rapidly developing world of FS mountain bikes, one where a frame is lucky to see 3 seasons before it's obsolete, my Joker is a keeper! I may one day change the mission of the bike but the frame is here to stay.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Calgary Cycle

Similar Products Used:   Bullit, FSR's, Heckler

Bike Setup:   `00 Boxxer, Raceface everything, Singlewides, Onyx hubs, Gazz. 2.6 front, Intense 2.35 rear, Hayes hydraulics (8" fr., 6" rear)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Brian a Weekend Warrior from Orange, CA

Date Reviewed: June 26, 2001

Strengths:    Lifetime warranty, Frame Geometry, Single Pivot and Customer service (they actually called me!?!?!)

Weaknesses:    Frame color - Dark Green looks Black.

Bottom Line:   
First of all, I weigh 300lb. I destroy bikes. I break or bend stuff all the time. Two broken bike frames this year. I wanted a bike frame that can hold up to the abuse I dish out.
With that said, THE JOKER KICKS ASS! The frame geometry allows for better climbing (chain tension reduces rear suspension bob)while having great control on the descents. This bike/frame is a blast to ride!
Will the frame last? Only time will tell. I will keep you posted.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Any in Chino Hills

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1350.00

Purchased At:   The Bike Company - Lake Forest (They know their SH*T)

Similar Products Used:   None similar - Last Bike Jamis Dakar Pro (ouch!)

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi 01' MCR, Rynolite wheels, XTR Brakes and XT Drive.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Glen a Weekend Warrior from B.C. Canada

Date Reviewed: November 5, 2000

Strengths:    This is no doubt my favourite bike yet.Nice looking frame the colour options are ok.Bottom line is does the job.The single pivot and frame design was my selling point.I find it easier to climb with than my old Giant 980ATX which was a full suspension cross-country bike.

Weaknesses:    I broke my swing arm,there is apparently a recall on it but my bike store never informed me about it.The rear shock(Stratos Pro DH) is not in my best books.Aeon is changing to Fox RC in 2001 to my knowledge.I would wait for it.

Bottom Line:   
Overall I`m pretty happy with the bike.My friends want one.It turns heads on the trails and I get asked alot of questions about it since its not a very common bike yet.It tracks well and the 6" of rear travel soaks those big drops nicely.If anyone is considering the Joker I would recommend it,but wait for the 2001 to come out.They should have the swingarm problem taken care off and have the Fox RC shock instead of the Stratos Pro DH.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz Bullit

Bike Setup:   Rhyni Lite wheels,IRC tires,Tioga DH stem.

Reviews 1 - 15 (22 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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