from Vancouver B.C Canada
Date Reviewed: November 15, 2009
Strengths: Great frame. Really lightweight. Will handle just about anything you throw at it.
Weaknesses: None really had a few minor problems with brakes and a derailer, but that's mostly do to abuse (i'm a lazy rider and often land with a thud.) other than that none.
An amazing bike for anyone that likes to do te hard stuff and isn't afraid to go off the of the big jumps. Cam handle just about anything and won't brake if you take a fall. Really reliable and wouldn't want any other bike.
Bike Setup: Got the super t's up front. Marzochi bomber 2001 fox float rear shock. Hayes disk brakes and a bunch of other custom stuff from my uncle.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 23, 2008
Strengths: Frame is strong as hell as well as light.
Love the single pivot. Low maintenance.
Anodizing helps keep the frame looking nice.
Weaknesses: 4in of travel not really a weakness because with a new 7.875 x 2.0 rear shock I have increased the travel to 5.6 in
to match my Pike Air. (have to drill two holes though)
I have ridden this bike four four years and have had no problems with it at all(I have the later generation swingarm). I have gone through some tires and components but one thing stays true, this Joker frame. I will be honest I was skeptical about drilling holes in my frame, but I can always go back and run a 6.5 X 1.5 shock and get my 4 inches back. After careful shock selection( have a small frame so I do not have a lot of clearance) I mounted the shock to the swingarm. With the spacers in place I marked the holes and drilled. To my surprise it worked perfectly. If you have this frame and are looking to upgrade (especially if you have good mechanical know how)you may want to try this option. Bottom line this bike rocks.I cannot believe that Tony Ellsworth quit making this frame. I will ride until I break it. Thanks Tony
Bike Setup: Joker XC modified with a 7.875 X 2.0 fox float r to get 143mm of travel.Pike Team Air. 08' xt drivetrain, 08'stylos triple, Avid juicy 7's, bombshell fatboy wheels, nevegals, wtb seat, thomson/easton goodies. 30lbs
J. Jeffrey Lees
a Cross Country Rider
from Tervuren, Belgium
Weaknesses: Typical single pivot "brake chatter" in severe cases. Otherwise zero weaknesses.
I love my Joker XC and have built it from the frame up. The frame, crankset and rings, handlebar, stem and seatpost, the saddle and Big Earl grips are all black. As are the two piece Hope disc brakes and levers. It is very "stealth" looking and rides even better than it looks. I've been fortunate to live in Belgium the last three years and have put almost 2,000 miles a year on it. We've been to Wales, France, Germany, Nederlands, and England, as well as Moab, Fruita, Vail and Keystone. BUT, the two trips I am most looking forward to this summer of 2007 are Verbier, Crans-Montana, and Zermatt in June, followed by some North shore riding in Vancouver B.C for a week in July. Needless to say, I like to ride a bit of everything, from long Epic XC rides to some hair-raising-adrenaline-pumping freestyle-downhilling, and at 26lbs 12 oz's it has handled everything I've thrown at it so far, including the Mavic SL's!
Favorite Trail: Slickrock, Porcupine, Horsethief, Les Gets, Karrimor, etc,etc
Duration Product Used: More than 3 years
Purchased At: Beyond Bikes
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Heckler, Marin Rift Zone or Wolf Ridge, Orange 5
Bike Setup: Fizik Alliante Ti saddle, Thomson stem and seatpost, Easton Monkey lite bar, XT shifters & frt & rr derailleurs, Crank Bros Candy SL pedals, Race Face Turbine LP Crank, Fox Float R fork, Fox DHX 5 Air shock, Maxxis UST Ignitor's on Mavic Crossmax SL's, all stopped by Hope Mono-mini's.
a Cross Country Rider
from Longmont CO
Date Reviewed: October 25, 2006
Strengths: Strong frame, lightweight, great climbing
Weaknesses: Very few once you get it dialed in
This is a great bike at a great price. The bike is VERY forgiving of rider mistakes. It climbs great if you sewt up the rear shock correctly - this takes all the bob away. This bike rails on downhills, and is nearly indestructable. I am lusting after an Ephiphany though.
Similar Products Used: Titus Racer X, Rocky Element, Trek Y5
Bike Setup: Easton EC70 risers XT shifters XRT crank Hays FX Disk brakes, Mantou QV rr shock & Black fork
a Weekend Warrior
from San Jose CA Santa Clara
Date Reviewed: May 19, 2006
Strengths: Love the crank height on this bike. Frame is nicely constructed. Have used it for cross-country, downhills, slight drop offs. This bike takes it all. I'm a real short guy but the bike fits me real nice. Climbs well, decents even faster. Corners real well. Reminds me of a big boys BMX type bike, one you can throw around and just beat on pretty hard.
Weaknesses: None so far.
I have nothing bad to say about this bike/ frame. For a first starter/ entry level bike for me is perfect. Looking forward to upgrading to a Truth frame sometine in the future, but for now. I LOVE IT!!
Bike Setup: all XT components, Mavic Crosslands wheel, Manitou Black Elite Fork, Fox Float RC shock, Avid BB7 disc brake, Thomson stem and seat post
a Weekend Warrior
from Marin county, California
Date Reviewed: April 8, 2005
Strengths: Beautiful frame: strong and well-made with attention to detail.
Weaknesses: None that I can tell.
For me this is the perfect trailbike. It is light enough to climb well, and hooks-up great on loose and rocky terrain. Great on the downhills. I like the higher bottom bracket. Frame so far appears bomb-proof. I like the single-pivot design. If you want a nice all-purpose trailbike for rough terrain you should check this out or the new Distance. I think it is pretty much the same design.
I saw an CBO add few months ago and ordered frame right away, at the time I had already tested 2003 Joker SL 6" version and liked the frame geometry vey much. I built mine for aggressive xc-trail use in mind and the scale goes around 14kg (~31lb).
Now after one month of intensive use I can tell that the bike handles really well in all kinds of riding. The rear susp works also really well and seems incredible active and plush for 4" single pivot bike. Only thing that bothers me is the Manitou QR shock, perhaps have to update for newer SPV-shock for better for overall pedaling effeciency. Now little too mush bob is always present when riding hard.
Anyway, I really like this bike and enjoy how it rides. It is a great value and a really good option for a big sized rider looking for a bombproof frameset for aggressive xc-trail riding. For the price I paid perhaps the best ever?
Similar Products Used: Specialized Epic, Rocky Mountain Edge + ETSX-50, Kona Stinky
Bike Setup: Marzocchi MX Comp ETA, Avid Single Digit 7 brakes, Race Face Evolve cranks, Race Face isis BB, Race Face bar, stem, seat post, WTB seat.(Put together by Jake's Bike Shop in Manchester, NH)
a Weekend Warrior
from Springville, UT, USA
Date Reviewed: March 23, 2004
Strengths: Great bike for the price. No, great bike…period. They didn't skimp on the small stuff (Thompson Elite!). Not a bad weight (29 lbs). Anodized. I prefer the single pivot design. Yeah, I’ve heard, 4-bars blah blah blah. I know my kinematics quite well. A well designed single-pivot can count for a lot. I think Ellsworth got it right.
I actually got a call from the company (when they received my registration card) thanking me for the purchase and welcoming into the "family". Weird. I just might never buy a different brand because of that. Small stuff counts.
Weaknesses: None yet. It has only been on one "real" ride, but that was some ride! I don't anticipate any problems. It seems very solid.
I love this bike. I previously owned a hardtail that was light as all get-out. I haven't missed it one bit. My Joker comes in at 29 lbs with everything on. That's pretty good for such a solid bike.
If I had the $$$, I would have probably gone with the regular Joker and set it up with 5" rear travel, just for the option of going 7" if needed. But I didn’t.
On the trail, I was far more aggressive than I have ever been, and it was the best time I have ever had on a bike. It is a perfect bike for any rider that likes doing it all. I noticed a bit of bob while riding the bike around the block when I first got it, but then I set the rear shock up to the right static sag, and it went away. PAY ATTENTION TO THAT…it will save you.
The real bottom line: If somebody offered you a new Ferrari for 30K, wouldn't you buy it?
After a long hiatus off my Joker XC. I decided to get her up and running again. I love this bike but notice it's single pivot design has been dropped by Ellsworth for some time now. Do anyone still use this bike?Read More »
I've been using my joker xc for a couple of years as an AM bike but lately after seeing more and more ppl do 4x on similar bikes I'm thinking about using it on the track.
What do you think about it? My main concern is durability.
ps. I'm a novice 4x rider. I do dh mostly.Read More »
I have a 2005 15" Joker XC that has a Marathon (2004) with 120mm of travel. It seems to me that handling would be much better with a shorter travel fork, but I don't know anyone else that has this frame. What travel are the people here running on their JXC's, and why?
ThanksRead More »
I finally pulled my Joker XC frame out of the box to build.
Those who ride a Joker XC, are you still happy with it?
Being that I don't have climbs to deal with would there be any advantage with an
Iron Horse MKIII (DW-Link suspension) or a Giant Trance over the Joker XC single pivot?
Thanks.Read More »