Ellsworth Isis 2003 Full Suspension

4.58/5 (12 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 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Greg H. a Cross Country Rider from Minnesota

Date Reviewed: July 2, 2005

Strengths:    Ellsworth quality,anodized finish looks good and is very durable. It's just a well built frame!!

Weaknesses:    The only problem i've been able to find is the permanent ear to ear grin you will have when riding this frame. It causes you to get alot of dirt and bugs stuck between your teeth. :~)

Bottom Line:   
With my set up the bike weighs about 32lbs, and it handles like a dream. It eats up tight single track, it goes up hills just as easy as it goes down.
I've found that my confidence level is so much higher with this bike compared to when I was riding my hardtail.

I can honestly say in the 2yrs that i've been riding this bike, I have not found one thing, I do not like about it!

So, IF your thinking about buying one, I say do it! You won't regret it!!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lebanon Hills

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   One on One Bike Studio

Similar Products Used:   Not sure. This is my first and only f/s i've ever ridden.

Bike Setup:   '05 Fox Vanilla forx,RomicD r/shock,CK headset,Hayes-9 disc brakes,Thomson stem&seatpost,RaceFace bars&cranks,Ethirteen bash guard,Crank Brothers MalletC clipless pedals,Mavic Crossland Wheelset:~(,Oury lock on grips,WTB laser saddle and WTB 2.1 Weirwolf tires.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Phil a Weekend Warrior from Lafayette, LA

Date Reviewed: April 19, 2004

Strengths:    Simple effective design. Bombproof. Plush. Dependable. Predictable. Can do just about everything well. Is a way better bike than I am a rider. Climbs. Decends. Single track. Jumps. You name it.

Weaknesses:    Heavy! Chain slap kills the painton the swing arm. Cable rub scratches it everywhere else. Did I mention Heavy?

Bottom Line:   
I was the last of my riding buddies to go FS. I'm also the biggest (210lbs.) Most of them went 4-bar and eventually broke something or another. So I was concerned about dependability. NO trouble here. ISIS is da bomb. And really only feels heavy when you pick it up. On the trail, the weight dissapears. I just put on new rubbers... Conti Survival Pro 2.3's (I hated the Panaracer XC Fires I had before). Man this thing just eats up the trail... and can do it all. I just converted my old C'Dale to SS, so the weight thing is on my mind, but really not too noticable.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   This is my first FS. Others have been HT.

Bike Setup:   XTR cranks, BB & hubs. Mavic 517 rims. XT brakes, cassette & r. der. LX f. der. & shifters. Answer carbon xc riser. Azonic stem. Salsa post. Ritchey pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Chris a Cross Country Rider from Phoenix, AZ

Date Reviewed: February 22, 2004

Strengths:    durable finish, snob appeal, comfort

Weaknesses:    poor tolerances, questionable customer service

Bottom Line:   
Rides better than my Truth for sure. Much more responsive to the little bumps, and the rear suspension just moves more smoothly than the 4-bar setup.

The steering is really slow. I kept running off the trail when I first got the bike. It takes some serious body english to manuever this thing through tight singletrack. The plus side of the slow steering is that it is nearly impossible to lose control on a downhill. With the Marzocchi, this bike just plows over anything - it is so plush. The only racing I do is 24hr, and this bike is choice for endurance racing.

My complaint: Ellsworths are not cheap. The finish quality on their bikes is poor, especially considering the price. My Truth had a powdercoat finish with the decals applied on top with no clearcoat. Some people may like this, but i didn't. After a couple rides, all of the decals were peeling off. Additionally, I got a small dent in the top tube of my truth and the paint started to bubble up.

The Isis anodization is nice, but the machining tolerances are poor. The shock/swingarm connection kept coming loose every ride. I contacted Ellsworth and they said this was because the space on the swingarm where the shock attaches was machined to wide. There sollution was to put some washers in between the shock and the swingarm, which did solve the problem. However, they told me all of the swingarms were like this. I find this unacceptable on a supposedly high-end, hand made frame.

Would I buy another one? Sure. The bike rides really well, it is made in the states, and it is certainly made better than one of those junkers from taiwan or china.

Oh yea, this bike is not for the weight conscious. I weigh about 200 pounds and ride lots of rough, rocky stuff, so the bike is great. However, it is about 4 pounds heavier than the Truth I had. Both Bikes were simillarly equipped, with the exception of the wheels and tires. My Isis is just a tick over 30 pounds. The plus side - my bike never breaks.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Phoenix Mountain Preserve

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Similar Products Used:   Ellsworth Truth SE, Cannondale Jekyll 2000SL,
Cannondale Raven 800SL

Bike Setup:   Sram XO shifters and rear derailleur, Truvativ Stylo Team crankset, Truvativ Isis BB, Speedplay Frogs, King headset, Thomson stem and seatpost, Flite saddle, Magura Julie disk brakes, XT hubs with Sun DS-1 rims, Geax Sedona 2.25 tires, and Marzocchi MX Comp ETA, and Fox Float R

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chaz from Georgia

Date Reviewed: January 29, 2004

Strengths:    Ellsworth design, customer service, low maintenance and the warranty. For the money you can't buy a better bike.

Bottom Line:   
I had a 2002 modle which i rode for two years ( 6'4" 220lbs)
Recently I was cleaning the frame when I noticed a crack in one of the welds at the shock mount. I call Ellsworth Customer Ser. explained the problem I was giving a RA # they received the the frame on a Thursday and sent the 2004 replacement out the next day. It took a total of two weeks from start to finish. You can't ask for any better service. I would like to THANK Tony Ellsworth and all his staff for a job well done. The Isis is a great bike with a GREAT warranty.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jerry Everetts a Weekend Warrior from Port Orange, FL

Date Reviewed: January 13, 2004

Strengths:    Handling is very forgiving. Anodized finish is very durable. Weight is on par with what you would expect. Ellsworth has that 'small company' feel, and treats you like family.

Weaknesses:    If anything, it would be the price, although it is priced about the same as other manufactures similar offerings.

Bottom Line:   
This is my first full suspension mountain bike, and I am finding myself doing more and more freeride type of stuff, I am over 200lbs, and have been riding it hard for 3 months, it is still like new with no creaks or squeaks. The bike seemed pretty expensive to me and was a strech to afford it, but I am glad I did. Everytime I get the guts to do a bigger drop or a bigger jump, I am suprised at how easy the bike makes it seem. I have to think it is taking very good care of me.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Santos Fl

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   Bobs Bike Shop, Port Orange FL

Similar Products Used:   This is my first full suspension bike. I have owned several Trek hardtails, and a Santa Cruz Chameleon hardtail.

Bike Setup:   Cane Creek AD12 shock. Psylo XC fork. LX crankset, lx shifter combos, XTR V-brakes, XTR deraileurs, XT cassette, LX hubs, Rhynolite rims.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eran from Israel

Date Reviewed: December 25, 2003

Strengths:    Ellsworth quality , light but tough, excellent anodized finish , perfect geometry , razor-blade handling , very good mud clearance.

Weaknesses:    price maybe, although you get what you pay for.

Bottom Line:   
Best trail bike I've ever ridden. This bike does exactly what you want it to do, and goes directly where you point it. It gives lots of confidence and actually makes you feel like you are a better rider.
Other bikes I've tried (including the latest greatest multi linkage anti bob models) did not handle nearly as good as this - their rear end flexed , they bobed , they were heavy and they didn't look half as good. This bike can be built to be a light yet agressive trail bike that can be used for anything, and be ridden anywhere. The frame geometry is right on, and you have many sizes to choose from. Although this bike does not contain any latest technology, I can still count on one hand the number of trailbikes that could , just maybe, mach the Isis's performance. Do not overlook this bike !!!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Purchased At:   Slalom

Similar Products Used:   Lots.

Bike Setup:   Psylo forks, XT drivetrain , Magura marta disc brakes , Cane creek cloud 9 shock, mavic 223 rims .

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:1
Submitted by norman a Weekend Warrior from fife wa usa

Date Reviewed: November 11, 2003

Strengths:    aluminum can be fixed

Weaknesses:    can't be ridden as advertized-phony warranty-dealing w/ ellsworth & crew

Bottom Line:   
regret supporting an individual like ellsworth. if you're left holding a worthless frame you can get it fixed for real for as little as $150.00 dealing w/ Pyrotek in Abbortsford, B.C.
see review in 2002 & older

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   dreamride

Similar Products Used:   titus switchblade-cannondale jekyll-azonic saber

Bike Setup:   xt-marz4 coil-romic- avid on an '01 painted

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bob Hallowell a Weekend Warrior from Dubios, Pa

Date Reviewed: November 7, 2003

Strengths:    low maintence looks great I have the black anodised sl. ride is great.

Weaknesses:    a bit heavy

Bottom Line:   
this bike rides as good or better than my dakar 4-bar horst link bike. very plush great ride. mine is heavy I don't know where these other guys are wieghing theirs but mine goes about 31lbs thats with a carbon bar and alien post. but the wieght is well worth it.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   any

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   NRS, Dakar, lots of hardtails

Bike Setup:   xt, Avid mech., marathon s

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gordon J a Cross Country Rider from Georgia

Date Reviewed: August 27, 2003

Strengths:    suspension works and it pedals. what a concept.

Weaknesses:    A little bit of paint flaking around the shock mount bolts.
However I am not the type to care, besides you can't see it for the mud.

Bottom Line:   
Just a little follow up to my last review:
I emailed Ellsworth about the decals and a day later I got a reply. My new decals are on the way to me. Thanks to Cathy in customer service. Nicely asking worked.

It is great that Tony Ellsworth wrote a review on a Joker. You can tell he cares about what he puts out. Not just numbers or profit margins.
Thanks Ellsworth

The bottom line is:
Isis is right in the middle of a f/s race bike and a freeriding machine.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Airbomb

Similar Products Used:   schwinn rocket, schwinn moab 1, trek fuel 100, klein polmanio race. The Isis fits my riding best

Bike Setup:   all-mountain: tough and somewhat light 27.5 lbs. I am going back over the bike changing parts to lighten it up a bit.
Most my riding friends race. I like to keep up if not lead. However I am not giving up avid disk brakes or sun ryhno rims with straight pull spokes. I still do some light free riding.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chad Guyer a Weekend Warrior from Greeley, CO

Date Reviewed: August 6, 2003

Strengths:    Annodizing is totally scratch resistant; looks great, not many out there; light; smooth suspension action. Ellsworth.

Weaknesses:    pivot bearings come loose every few rides; have to get used to single pivot brake tendancies - locks up really easily.

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike! It does everything well. It's stiff, yet light. It's very balanced despite having more travel than my old bike. It doesn't wander on climbs, is smooth on the downhills, and rails on singletrack. I would recommend it to anyone. The sizes run big, but I like the extra inch of wheelbase.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Devil's Backbone, Horsetooth Mt. Park trails(Wathan, Mill Creek, Sawmill, etc.) Hall Ranch

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   beyondbikes.com

Similar Products Used:   schwinn rocket 88; mongoose pro nx7.1

Bike Setup:   Fox coil over shock; hayes discs; Marz Atom 100; thomson stuff;XT drivetrain; mavic rims; MX-6 carbon bars.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by J Gordon a Weekend Warrior from Georgia

Date Reviewed: May 1, 2003

Strengths:    Simple, time tested, single pivot design very strong, well made. 4 inches of true travel. low maintance so far.

Weaknesses:    My frame came without the Ellsworth decals on the downtube.
Sent email to Ellsworth said they dont have any decals right now. I hope I can get better help than that if I have a big problem. Cable routing. Chain slap bad but fixable by black electrical tape like 8 layers.

Bottom Line:   
I didnt want multi-(keep your eye on it)pivot.
I didnt want to keep a maintance record for the bike.
I didnt want three different bikes in the garage.
The Isis is perfect for me.
Perfect for all around riding. Light free- riding, downhill, xc racing, and 24hr endro. I have done it all and it does great. No problems. A little on the heavy side 28 lbs. But after I upgrade the seat and seat post and stem it should be closer to 27. Not bad for a bike that does it all.
I if needed to get it under 25 lbs. My other wheelset and rim brakes will get it there easy. Never tried it. I like disc brakes and bomb proof wheels too much.


:Even though no one know what I ride anyways b/c I have no Ellsworth decals. Just the silly old front badge.

Hey Ellsworth hook me up!!!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   anything with more down than up

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   airbomb.com (frame/shock only)

Similar Products Used:   Schwinn rocket 88 (junk), Schwinn moab 1 (shop bought rocket back and gave me this).

Bike Setup:   marzocchi mxc 100mm fork. answer carbon riser bar. yeti grips. sun rhino lite rims. hope xc hubs. avid mech disc brakes. wtb epicwolf tires. time alum pedals.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Al a Cross Country Rider from NORTH YORKSHIRE, U.K.

Date Reviewed: February 7, 2003



Bottom Line:   
A very good bike that seems to get you out of any trouble. It will always out perform your riding ability and leave you with a big grin. Did lots of riding on this last year, mainly XC but a lot of rides included technical sections, fast, rough decents, steep climbs - EVERYTHING that England, Wales, Colorado and Moab could offer. Casual riding to 100km endurance racing - the bike is a good un. It does bob, but nothing to get too concerned about. Buy the shot peened frame. The paint comes of otherwise!
Still smiling after every ride, except when splattered in dog sh*t.

Expand full review >>


Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   FREEBORN, UK

Bike Setup:   ISIS L FRAME, XT group set, Hope Mini brakes, Hope XC hubs n Mavic 317's, Fox Forx 125RLC's, Thomson seat post, Azonic stem, Azonic Risers, Specilized BG Pro saddle, M545 peddals

Reviews 1 - 12 (12 Reviews Total)

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 »

up for grabs, FSA Ti Isis drive

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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