Ellsworth Isis 2002 Full Suspension

4.88/5 (17 Reviews)


Product Description

  • International Standard disc brake mounts and replaceable derailleur hanger
  • 4" rear travel
  • Extruded aluminum one-piece BB/pivot unit
  • Shot-peened, anodized finish
  • Compatible with 80 to 100mm travel forks


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    Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Scott Scotty a Weekend Warrior from Manchester,England

    Date Reviewed: February 9, 2003

    Strengths:    Quality,original styling.Simplicity of rear suspension not too many around so it makes you feel special and attractive to female bikers

    Weaknesses:    Decals come off easily when washed and the final finish off the bike is not what i expected.The paint between the top tube and the down tube isnt finished correctly.Minor details but still annoying.

    Bottom Line:   
    I wanted a bike with more travel than my specialized but still wanted something quick and responsive.The Isis felt long at first but now feels extremely stable,it climbs efficiently and the rear suspension gets better the faster you go.The bike isnt set up as a super light X country machine but more for going down fast and attacking the famous UK single track rides.I, at first wished i had gone for the Anodised paint job but then i crashed it into a rock last week and scratched it so i'm not bothered now.Buy an Isis and spec it to whatever your riding style is,you wont be disappointed

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Glentreese,Scotland

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $2000.00

    Purchased At:   bikelane

    Similar Products Used:   Specialized stump jumper FSR

    Bike Setup:   Rock shox SID 100 forks.easton riser bars (2").fox vanilla rl rear shock.Hope c2 brakes and xt bits.Also Panaracer Megablaster tyres

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Chris a Weekend Warrior from Coconut Creek

    Date Reviewed: November 25, 2002

    Strengths:    Tight frame, point and shoot. Begs to go faster, faster, you can do it

    Weaknesses:    A little difficult to mount on a bike rack.

    Bottom Line:   
    This bike is tight. Feels even lighter than its 28 lbs. Fast over most obstacles. I'm 6'1" 225lbs and have the large frame so tight 180's are a little difficult, but they are for everyone. This bike was made for me. I launch it off of 5 foot drops with out hesitation...fun. the chain does slap the swingarm. I just can't bring my self to put a piece of tubing around the swing arm to stop it. You could build this bike lighter with some weight conscience parts. I went for durability and price. I recommend this bike for everyone its money well spent. Ellsworth called me personally to see how I liked the bike and if I had any questions. Wow! Its like going to my local bike shop.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Razorback

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $1653.00

    Similar Products Used:   Have a DBR X-2, Kona King Kikapu

    Bike Setup:   XT parts, Avid Mech Disc braks, rhyno lite rims, Monkey liteCT-2 bars, Raceface LP turbine cranks, Good+Evil grips, Romic Rear shock, Forx Vanilla 125RL, King headset, Time carbon pedals.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by tammy a Cross Country Rider from great white north

    Date Reviewed: November 17, 2002

    Strengths:    great single pivot design. great for small ppl with low stand over height, craftmanship

    Weaknesses:    makes you leave work early...... can't get anyting done at the office.

    Bottom Line:   
    if you are looking for an ultimate single pivot riding machine... look no further. the desing is very versityle, I have seen them bulit up at 23 lbs as well as 29+ lbs depending on your style of riding. it climbs better than a lot of 4link designs and is trully 100 % pedal efficient.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   all

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Price Paid:    $1800.00

    Purchased At:   local dealer

    Similar Products Used:   sc jullina

    Bike Setup:   med isis sl, cane creek ad12, full xtr, cross max wheels, ellsworth skewers.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Dave a Cross Country Rider from Denver, CO USA

    Date Reviewed: October 30, 2002

    Strengths:    The ride! Build construction and attention to detail.

    Weaknesses:    Chain slap noise

    Bottom Line:   
    When looking to finally get a full suspension rig, I test rode a Santa Cruz Superlight, Specialized FSR, Specialized Enduro, Gary Fisher Sugar 2, Yeti Kokopelli, Trek Fuel and Kona Mokomoko. I'm 6'/160 lbs, and for me, the Isis owned all these bikes. Here around Denver, almost all good trails have LOTS of climbing up very loose rocky conditions, and the Isis climbs like a mountain goat. My current setup weighs around 3 lbs more than my '96 Kona Lavadome, but on my first ride with the Isis I was able to ride up and over stuff I had never even come close to making.

    I have a friend who also owns this bike, who's more into freeriding/urban assult and wishes he had more travel. I'm more of a pure XC rider who likes to climb technical stuff as well as go downhill fast, and this is the perfect bike for me. I look forward to riding this bike for a very long time.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $2800.00

    Purchased At:   Singletrack Factory

    Bike Setup:   SL anodized frame, Marz MX Comp fork, Fox Float R rear shock, Sram XO shifters, Sram 9.0 rear derailer, LX front derailer, LX cranks, Deore hubs with Rhinolite rims, Ritchey stem, 1" riser bar and seatpost, Avid Mech disc brakes.

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by vt REVIEW for ISIS SL a Cross Country Rider from Texas

    Date Reviewed: October 8, 2002

    Strengths:    reasonably light, nice design, exceptionally well balanced, stiff in the rear, simple 1 pivot, very little bob even with a coil, good ionized powder finish

    Weaknesses:    sloppy welds

    Bottom Line:   
    the glaring problem occurred when i snapped the swingarm clean in half just by bobbing around the park one day. i am 150 and this happened in the first 500m...sigh. S**t happens, right? ellsworth stood behind it, got a new swingarm. everyone in their cs is pretty cool; they give alright technical too. so i got a new swingarm; they said they redesigned it. i think they're telling the truth-- almost all chain rub was eliminated and looks like they doubled up on the aluminum toothpaste around the infamous pivot weld.

    so aside from all those little hangups...i love this bike. it's just fun. i built a steel hardtail while it was being repaired and i dig the 23lbs, but this bike is so much more fun. i had it built to a 25lb bike at first, and that was all wrong. this is a trail bike, it needs the weight. i agree with most reviews here: it's performnace in every class is superb; overall, definitely a very, very well designed bike. save for the broken swingarm, may well have rated it perfect.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Cam Park

    Duration Product Used:   1 Year

    Purchased At:   LBS in Chicago

    Bike Setup:   marz 100mm, coil in rear, xt short cage makeshift 2x9 w/ ritchey wcs, bontrager valiants converted to tubeless (rock!), swept risers, xt/xtr mix, times

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by john a Cross Country Rider from east berlin

    Date Reviewed: September 27, 2002

    Strengths:    All around performance, build quality, frame design

    Weaknesses:    water can get into the frame while washing if not careful at the intersection of where the top and bottom tubes meet near the front of the frame. water then leaks out through the rear pivots. Removal of the seatpost and tipping the bike upside down gets rid of the water. Washing the bike right side up and avoiding hard spray to this area negates the problem.

    Bottom Line:   
    This bike is an awesome all around performer. The bike's extemely strong on singletrack and downhills. The bike is excellent uphill,though not a sprinter. The bike is just over 27 lbs. built w a fair amount of light expensive parts. It is ok for the occasional race, but a serious racer in expert class or above will opt for something lighter. I like the low standover height w the high bb. The bike is fun and confidence inspiring. The ellsworth isis sl is a high quality do it all bike. Set it up for your style of riding and you will not be dissapointed.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   west hartford

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $1250.00

    Purchased At:   berlin bicycle

    Similar Products Used:   klien mantra, cannondale super v

    Bike Setup:   set up light: monkeylite sl, lp post, kore elite stem, xtr v brakes and shifters, xtr rings with rf next cranks,time,rolf propels, fire xc's, duke sl 100, romic shock only consession to weight.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Shelley a Cross Country Rider from San Diego

    Date Reviewed: July 29, 2002

    Strengths:    I love everything about this bike. I am a small woman and I finally found a bike that fit and that was light enough for me to throw around. No bob, climbs incredible, and enough travel to let me catch the boys downhill.

    Weaknesses:    None!

    Bottom Line:   
    Killer bike, worth every penny. This will last me a long time, great investment.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   2 Years

    Similar Products Used:   Gary Fischer Sugar 4
    Canondale Jeckyl




    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by DB a Cross Country Rider from London, UK

    Date Reviewed: June 27, 2002

    Strengths:    Solid - Good looking frame, Low maintainence single pivot design, fanatastic for downhills & cornering, Good value.

    Weaknesses:    Chain rub on rear swingarm when using biggest (8 & 9) rear sprockets. Paint on swingarm flakes off.

    Bottom Line:   
    2 years on & I can't fault this bike. It still feels great to ride & as solid as ever which give you confidence to ride fast. It's also very good through corners - You just point & go basically.

    It's not the lightest full susser but after riding lighter full suspension bike (Specialized FSR) I think that the extra weight adds to the stabilty & improves the ride which means although it might be a little bit harder to get up hills it's a lot more fun coming back down - Whatever the terrain this bike ploughs through without trouble & leaves you feeling like you could have ridden harder & faster than you did. It's a f**king blast to ride :-)

    When I got this bike the SL model wasn't available but if it had of been I would have got that because the paint job is a bit crap. The colour (Grey with black swingarm) is cool but the paint on the swingarm has flaked badly around the droputs & the rest of the bike is chipped & scratched up a bit now. The chain rub has made a real mess of the swingarm but I think the new Isis/Jokers come with Carbon patches to stop this (Need to get one of those for my bike).

    At the end of the day I don't think you can go far wrong with one of these. It's great for heavy XC riding but it's equally good for Downhill & freeride depending on what spec you go for.

    A top ride & well worth the money

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Dartmoor, Leith hill, etc...

    Duration Product Used:   2 Years

    Purchased At:   Freeborn

    Similar Products Used:   Specialized - FSR, Marin - B17

    Bike Setup:   Marzocchi (80mm) forks, Fox Vanilla rear shock, Mavic F219 wheels, Hope M4 disc brakes, Deore/LX groupset.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Jmoh a Cross Country Rider from Knoxville, IA

    Date Reviewed: June 11, 2002

    Strengths:    Laterally stiff as hell, minimal bob, simple design, lifetime warranty, THE RIDE, THE RIDE, THE RIDE!!!

    Weaknesses:    I couldn't afford the annodized finish (my weakness, not the bike's)

    Bottom Line:   
    I had only seen one of these bikes in the midwest. I bought this bike solely based on reviews posted on this website. I am 6'0 and about 215 lbs and wanted to buy a bike that stand up to my weight and my inability to choose the smoothest line. I was considering a Superlight and was steered toward the Isis because of my size. I bought the Ellsworth based on recommendations that it would offer more lateral stifness and the fact the I could get a Romic rear shock (coil). I had a Pro-Flex 957 that was reasonably light and offered decent performance, but I wanted a little more travel and stiffness. I like the simplicity and low maintenance of the single-pivot design. Weight is of little concern as compared to durability. I didn't know if I needed 4" of travel here in the midwest but I have come to the conclusion that I can put it to good use. I like coil/oil suspension so I went with the Fox Vanilla 100 RL and the Romic rear. The suspension seems to be perfectly balanced with this pairing. The Romic has awesome damping which minimizes pedal induced suspension action yet still offers plush rear travel. The Isis is supposed to have 71/73 angles. The Ellsworth website shows 68 degree headtube and 72 degree seat tube and doesn't even list a 19" frame. I don't know what is up with that because I have a 19" frame. When I look at the bike from the side, it looks like the angles are a bit slack. The front end seems to have a little more "flop" than my hardtail which has a 71 degree headtube. I was concerned with this as I wanted a bike that feels quick in the single track. I can't explain how or why this bike works so well, but it rides much better than I could ever imagine. Feels quick in the single track, handles drops better than anything I've ever ridden, and climbs like a goat(the more technical, the better). I agree with other reviewers in that there is something about this bike that "just feels right."

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Porccupine Rim, Amasa Back, here in Iowa-- Sugar Bottom

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $1750.00

    Purchased At:   beyondbikes.com

    Similar Products Used:   Sugar 3+, Pro-Flex 957 if you consider it to be similar

    Bike Setup:   Fox Forx Vanilla RL 100, Romic rear shock, King Headset, Thomson post and stem, XT/Sram 8 speed (didn't have enough money to make the purchase without using the drivetrain off my old bike)

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Brent a Weekend Warrior from Charlotte,NC

    Date Reviewed: June 5, 2002

    Strengths:    Nice finish,light very strong rides great!

    Weaknesses:    None so far

    Bottom Line:   
    Just getting back in to Mtn biking had a Litespeed Hardtail a few years back.I looked for months trying to decide on new full suspension bike.I am nothing but pleased with my decision.I wanted a frame that would last for years and I would just need to replace or upgrade components if I wanted.I just wonder if i should have opted for the joker with a little more travel.If you are thinking about getting an Isis or any Ellsworth for that matter I highly recommend it.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $1375.00

    Similar Products Used:   Litespeed Tanasi

    Bike Setup:   Isis SL,Marzocchi Z1, Shimano M575 Disc Wheelset,Hayes Hydraulic, Azonic bars, stem & seat,Time ATAC Carbon,Panaracer Fire XC Pro Kevlar,Panaracer Greenlite Latex Tube,Titec carbon post,King Headset,RaceFace ISIS Turbine LP Crankset,ODI Intense Lock-on Grips, Shimano XTR shifters,cassette,& derailers.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Brian "Big T" a Weekend Warrior from Ventura Ca. USA

    Date Reviewed: May 21, 2002

    Strengths:    I have been looking for a new steed for several years. My wife is tight with my toy $$ so I had to choose wisely! I'm a big guy (6'5" 250 lbs) so I need bulletproof equipment and the Ellsworth Isis seems to be as bulletproof as it gets! Only time will tell but I'm certain this is the Frame!

    Weaknesses:    I can raise children for less than the cost of the bike!

    Bottom Line:   
    After reading the Ellsworth testimonials and reveiwing ALL the specs on this bike I could find, I called the bike shop and asked about a million questions! The owner I talked to owns this bike and a Joker (must be nice to own a shop)? He answered all my questions with enthusiasm and so I bought it! Further reveiws to follow in a few months!

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Tunnel One

    Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

    Price Paid:    $2000.00

    Purchased At:   beyond bikes.com

    Similar Products Used:   Cannondale super v and tested everything else on the market!

    Bike Setup:   XTR all the way! Avid cable Disk brakes. Thompson seat post, King headset, even sprung for the Ellsworth Ti skewers....at this point whats another 70 clams??

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by MechMike a Cross Country Rider from Jersey, UK

    Date Reviewed: May 21, 2002

    Strengths:    Build quality, handling, looks fantastic

    Weaknesses:    Having to tell other riders about it all the time! :-)
    Disc brake hose guides


    Bottom Line:   
    This bike is the dogs wotsits.

    I ride cliff edge single track & need a full-sus bike because of the rocks & stairs on my local trails. This bike gives me the confidence to catch up when other riders are slowing or walking - That makes it sound like a downhiller, but this thing climbs far better then my old full-sus Marin, with less bob & more kick in or out of the saddle.

    For me it was the design that sold it first(and the reviews!), things like a forwrd facing seat tube slot, full length seattube, low standover, shock out of the way of dirt & high swingarm (no problems with chainsuck) are all things I was looking for and this bike fits it all into a well designed, beautifully made frame.

    Ellsworth's customer service deserves a mention as whenever I have had a question, they have replied real quick - before and after I brought the bike.

    I was concerned about buying my Isis as I couldn't ride one 1st - I'm sooo pleased I did because it is as good as people say...

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Prison run

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Purchased At:   Freeborn (UK)

    Similar Products Used:   Marin, Sintesi

    Bike Setup:   Easton bars & Post, Marzocchi MXC ECC, Fox air shock, Hope hubs & X517s, Deore trans.

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by AL HISCOCK a Cross Country Rider from ENGLAND

    Date Reviewed: April 9, 2002

    Strengths:    STURDY, WELL MADE FRAME THAT LOOKS AS CAPABLE AS IT ACTUALLY IS. WEIGHT ISN'T A PROBLEM AS IT ISN'T HEAVY.

    Weaknesses:    I GOT THE "L" AND WISH I'D SPENT THE EXTRA FEW QUID AND GOT THE SHOT PEENED "SL". THE BIKE STILL LOOKS GREAT EVEN AFTER NEARLY 6 MONTHS OF HARDCORE RIDING, BUT PAINT IS SPOILT IN AREAS AND THE SHOT PEENED, I THINK, WOULD COPE BETTER AND REDUCES BIKE WEIGHT A BIT.

    Bottom Line:   
    THE BIKE IS SET UP WITH 240PSI IN FOX FLOAT R AND 40-45 PSI IN FORKS. I AM 6'2", 90Kgs AND HAVE FOUND THIS SET UP BEST FOR ME.
    VERY REASSURING RIDE AS SOON AS YOU GET ON IT. EVERY ONE WHO HAS TRIED IT SAYS "IT FEELS RIGHT". THE BIKE IS RIGHT, I WOULD LIKE TO FAULT IT, BUT FOR THE RIDE, I CANT. IT DOES EVERYTHING YOU WANT, GOES WHERE YOU WANT. CLIMBS FINE, BOBS A BIT BUT NOTHING TO GET CONCERNED ABOUT. DOWNHILL IT IS VERY FAST AND HANDLES ANYTHING IN THE WAY. XC IS A TOTAL PLEASURE. FITTING THE HOPE MINIS MADE MY GRIN EVEN WIDER, THE BIKE DOES THE JOB VERY WELL IN ALL ASPECTS.
    IF YOU ARE BUYING ONE, A GOOD CHOICE BUT GET THE SHOT PEENED ONE.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   NORTH YORK MOORS

    Duration Product Used:   6 months

    Price Paid:    $2600.00

    Purchased At:   FREEBORN (UK)

    Similar Products Used:   LOOKED AT MARINS, SANTA CRUZ - NO REGRETS WITH THE DECISION I MADE - THE BIKE IS VERY, VERY GOOD

    Bike Setup:   LARGE FRAME WITH XT GROUPSET, HOPE MINI DISCS(SUPERB), MARZOCCHI MXC FORKS, MAVIC 321 DISK RIMS

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Atle Kleiven from KR Sand

    Date Reviewed: April 9, 2002

    Strengths:    Simple design, no bob, nice finish, easy maintainance, long wheelbase, good customerservice, +++

    Weaknesses:    none so far

    Bottom Line:   
    4" travel in the front and 4" is perfect for the agressive XC racer who likes riding in the woods. The Isis SL frame has a very nice finish, and there is no siginificant bob when pedaling (actually nothing more than on my old GIANT XIC Team). Frame looks strong and is fairly light, and it is really plush when riding over roots and rocks. I will use this bike for a lot of years if its's possible.. The long wheelbase on the 17" size, makse the bike ride safe on downhills, and the bike is also good when the trail gets twisty. All in all; the best XC/light freeride bike I have had (and I have had a lot:lokk at http://www.terrengsykkel.com/MEG_SELV.HTM

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Voie Freeride løype

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Price Paid:    $3500.00

    Purchased At:   www.Cyklon.no

    Similar Products Used:   KHS ST Pro, K2 razorback RS, Giant XTC Team

    Bike Setup:   Cane Creek AD12 rear shock, XTR, Race Face, Duke SL fork, Magura Louise, USE seatpost, Magura Pro hubs, Controltech, weight 25,5lbs (11,7kg)

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Sean a Weekend Warrior from Minneapolis, MN

    Date Reviewed: March 28, 2002

    Strengths:    Stiffness, ride, simplicity, weight (yes, weight), ridiculous mud clearance.

    Weaknesses:    Price. Then again, nobody made me buy it. Ellsworth's inability to produce an XL Joker.

    Bottom Line:   
    Great bike for the big guy (and anyone else). Me? 6'3", 230-240# depending on season. Far more stout than my prior bikes. Can't be coil/oil if you're a large rider...even for XC-only. Complete deal still only 28# with coil shock/fork, disc brakes, XL frame, 2.3 tires and not-so-light other parts. After a couple small miscues with my suspension (Romic and Fox remedied immediately), this has been a great bike so far. Will write more as the miles rack up.

    Note to Ellsworth: Build an XL Joker and see your sales and profitability rise.

    5 for value as its the best, burly FS bike with a 25" TT that I could find. 5 overall because it's that good.

    Finally, thanks to the folks at Speedgoat for their help and ongoing service.

    Expand full review >>

    Favorite Trail:   Fastest Route to your Girlfriend's House

    Duration Product Used:   3 months

    Purchased At:   Speedgoat

    Similar Products Used:   FSR XC, FSR Enduro, GT i-drive, Norco, Heckler, Superlight, etc.

    Bike Setup:   XL Isis SL, Romic rear shock, Fox Forx Vanilla RLC (100mm mode), Race Face goodies, CK hubs/Mavic F519 rims, Avid mechs, etc.

    Reviews 1 - 15 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


    best Isis bottom bracket

    looking to replace worn out Isis BB on my surly 1x1 any suggestions on a good one for single speed use? maybe one with two bearings on drive side or not necessary? its an old race face turbine cranksetRead More »

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    I found one in my box 'o parts. It's 68mm flavored platinum series BB with plenty of life in it. Free to a good home...pay it forward stylie.Read More »

    Surly Mr Whirly vs ISIS drive cranks (truvativ holzfeller)?

    Is there really any advantage over the surlys which cost over £100 more? Would love to hear peoples take on this :)Read More »

    ISIS bottom bracket upgrade to external type?

    Bike is 2006 Marin Rift Zone mountain bike. It came with ISIS bottom bracket (68mm and 113 spindle) and FireX Truvative crankset (3x). The bottom bracket is creaking and moaning so will replace soon. Question is do I replace with same type, such a Truvativ Gigapipe, or could I upgrade to external t ... Read More »

    Isis BB's. Can they ever be awesome?

    Hoping someone in the group can share experience with this. I have an Isis BB with bearings that feel great. Problem is as soon as I fit cups and install there is a noticeable increase in friction. Is this drag from the cups and collar interface? Is it inherent to the design? Modifications tip ... Read More »

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