Ellsworth Truth 2003 Full Suspension

4.74/5 (66 Reviews)


Product Description

-International Standard disc brake mounts and replaceable derailleur hanger
-4" travel
-CNC machined swingarm linkage
-Shot-peened, anodized finish
-Compatible with 80 to 100mm travel forks


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Reviews 1 - 15 (66 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by m bn a Downhiller from hjh

Date Reviewed: October 21, 2006

Strengths:    I like the writing on it. Can take 12" drops to flat. my bottom ain't numb.

Weaknesses:    Can't fit my basket on the front, my dog cannot catch up. Doesn't have a stand. Got stopped by police, no bell. Tony should address these points.

Bottom Line:   
For the money I was expecting more userfriendly everyday items on the bike. cool, if you're over 45!!!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   promenade (any)

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Similar Products Used:   Real Cafe, a real good all rounder, can do jumps down my door steps.

Bike Setup:   2 wheels, seat, handlebars, pedals, no bell

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Phil a Cross Country Rider from Chichester

Date Reviewed: July 11, 2005

Strengths:    Great build quality, efficient suspension & sure footed handling.

Weaknesses:    Rear mud clearance, no hose guides

Bottom Line:   
Having wanted a Truth since I first saw one, my chance came in February when a Peugeout wrote my Airborne (and nearly me) off.
The bike rides beautifully, although I think my RC40's might be a little too long for the frame, even with the travel wound right down. A shorter fork would sharpen the steering a bit. Having said this, I'm not an XC racer. This bike is fantastic for just getting out and riding and having fun on. I can certainly ride further on this than my hardtail - just because it's more comfortable. I think it climbs technical terrain better than a hardtail, simply because the rear tyre stays planted better. The bike does have a tendancy to lift the front wheel when climbing steep stuff. This is probably down to a combination of setup and my having had a relatively long frame (Airborne) prior to the Truth.
In all, I intend to keep this bike for a long time and am very pleased with it's performance, possibly not the best value for money, but I don't begrudge it and you really do get what you pay for.

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   First full susser, tested an Epic and Turner

Bike Setup:   Pace, Hope, Mavic etc.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by gerry finnegan from brookline, ma

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2004

Strengths:    fast, light xc racing bike

Bottom Line:   
Broke the frame on this bike during a quick descent. My local bike shop sent back the rear triangle to Ellsworth, within a week they had shipped a new one, but with extra welding on the stay that snapped. These guys are thinking!
Great bike, great customer service. In all the best money you can spend on a full suspension xc rig.

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Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $4800.00

Purchased At:   Beyond bikes

Similar Products Used:   blur

Bike Setup:   xtr, hope minis, crossmax wheels, fox 125 talas

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by joe therider a Cross Country Rider from usa

Date Reviewed: May 27, 2004

Strengths:    fast performer,lite, good geometry

Weaknesses:    I have had quality issues with bearings twice(the ones closest to the rear axel, I have also broken a frame,Mine was origanally a 2000 but the front triangle is an 03, they also dent really easy, finish rubs off easily, and headbadges are stickers that alwayse seem to be placed on crooked and then they fall off

Bottom Line:   
I do many miles, in season 50 to 80 mi a week sometimes more i ride on rough trails and year round, rocks roots , u get the picture, eastcoast stuff.The performance of the bike has been excellent, no complaints about handling, geometry, or weight. I do have a problem with the longevety of some design factors with this frame, Ellsworth cant seem to give me a reason why the bearings crapped out,twice, and i know alot of people who have broken these frames on the seat tube right upbove the front der. I have had no issues with the 03 front triangle, yet, but im alwayse checking and rechecking the rear triangle, this lack of trust sucks, especially considering what i payed for the supposed "ultimate in mtbike performance", Well, i guess i finished my rant, By the way I weigh 170, and am not a freerider, i ride xc and like to climb.

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Favorite Trail:   yes

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Actionwheels

Similar Products Used:   lots of bikes, hardtail and full susp.

Bike Setup:   its set up to ride

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by john from LA CA USA

Date Reviewed: April 19, 2004

Strengths:    Looks, climbes well, no bobing, just a great bike all around. Great customer service.

Weaknesses:    No hydralic cable guides.

Bottom Line:   
I'm the same guy who gave one chilies right below this review. I called Ellsworth bike to ask some questions on the bike. I happen to talk to Tony Ellsworth and he was curtious and very friendly. We talked about the cable guide issue and he told me their working on it. He also advised on how to make it cable work. After talking with Tony, I realize I used the wrong tools to make the cable guides work. I could've fixed the problem in 15 minutes, but because the wrong tool it took 2-3 hours. That's the reason why gave one chilies. I wish I can take the review back. I didn't do the company justice.
Well as far as the bike, I'm very pleased. Rides very smooth with no bobing. This bike also cimbes very well. Overall I'm glad I chose Truth over Blur.
I just wish I didn't write this review out of frustration. This bike gets Five chilies Customer Service and Five Chilies for Tony Ellsworth. He took the time to answer my questions. That says alot about this company.

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Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   123bikes

Similar Products Used:   Heckler, Bianchi Tycoon

Bike Setup:   04 Truth Full XTR

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by john a Cross Country Rider from Los Angeles, Ca. usa

Date Reviewed: April 18, 2004

Strengths:    I'll post it later I only had the bike for two days.

Weaknesses:    This frame is a joke. $2000 frame and no hydralic guides. What are the people at Ellsworth thinking that all of us are going to use v brakes. Can you imagin mickey mousing a cable line on a $2000 frame? Second the head badge is a sticker. My sticker headbadge came off on the first wash.

Bottom Line:   
Dissapointed so far. Hopefully it will make up for it on the trail. I'm not happy so far by having to mickey mousing a cable line and it looks ugly. I've seen $220 bike with better guides.

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Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   123 bikes

Similar Products Used:   Bianchi Tycoon, Santa Cruz Heckler

Bike Setup:   2004 truth full xtr

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bill a Cross Country Rider from San Diego

Date Reviewed: March 12, 2004

Strengths:    Active travel, little-no bob, light, beautiful

Weaknesses:    chain stays

Bottom Line:   
I've had my Truth for two years and I have been very happy with this bike. It works like all the reveiws say. I'm only posting because, as I was cleaning my bike yesterday after a ride, I noticed stress fractures in my drive-side chainstay up near the pivot point. Contacted Ellsworth and this is covered. I'm not sure how I see this. There is always a tradeoff between weight and strength, and clearly the Truth is a light-weight design. That's part of the reason I got it. However, for the chainstays to crack where they did concerns me. Ellsworth said that the new piece is beefier. Seems others have been having similar problems. Just wanted to let people know so they can be on the lookout for this too.

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Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   Universal

Bike Setup:   Fox Vanilla 100, Romic Dual Piston, CK Hubs on Mavic Disc Rims, Avid Mech and levers, Easton seatpost and handlebars, Thompson Stem, XTR/XT, RF Isis BB, Truvativ Cranks, Candy SL pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Bob Furneaux a Cross Country Rider from Phoenix

Date Reviewed: March 2, 2004

Strengths:    The Ride. The Name.

Weaknesses:    None yet.


Bottom Line:   
So far I've only put a few hundred miles on it, but it is truly the dream bike I expected. When I moved to Arizona (from the Chicago area), I didn't know how rocky it was out here. I had just purchased an Ibis Mojo (i.e hardtail) prior to the move, and it was my dream bike at the time. Boy was I in for a surprise. This place beats the heck out of a person on a hardtail. The Ellsworth allows me to climb and ride sections not possible before. Is it fair to cheat by utilizing full suspension? I don't care. The bike is awesome. Noticeably heavier than my hardtail, but that was expected. I'm still messing with the set-up on the suspension, but even in its present state it rocks. I'd definately recommend it to anyone looking to purchase a high end bike. Although there are probably better deals with the bigger and mass producing companies, you can't beat having a ride that was built by American hands in America. Until something unforseen occurs, 5 chilis overall. I only gave it 4 chilis for value because there are probably better values in the mass produced market. You definately get what you pay for in the Truth, and I don't mind paying for an American made product. Are they better quality? I like to think so. But then again, I see a lot of happy people on mass produced bikes. It comes down to choice and budget. Bottom line: I love my Ellsworth.

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Favorite Trail:   Too many to pick one...

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Diamondback V-8

Bike Setup:   I won't bore you with the setup, but It's nicely spec'd.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mudhen a Cross Country Rider from Louisville, KY

Date Reviewed: February 15, 2004

Strengths:    Lightweight, nimble, responsive, fluid, and steadfast.

Weaknesses:    None.

Bottom Line:   
I've been riding this bike for almost a year (got it in early spring 2003), so this is a follow up to the review I posted in late April last year.

I love this bike more every time I take it out. My 2003 Truth is lightweight, incredibly responsive, and very strong. The suspension design works very well. I'm able to clear steep, rooty sections that used to give me trouble on other bikes.

When researching my purchase I called the company and the two staffers I talked to on two different occasions went out of their way to ensure all my questions were answered. They were particularly helpful in providing feedback regarding which spring I should select for the rear Romic shock. I'm a heavy rider (190 pounds), and the 1.5 x 700 they recommended has worked perfectly. I was impressed when I received a personal phone call four or five weeks after my purchase, too. The purpose of the call? Ellsworth staff were ensuring I was completely satisfied with my purchase and checking to ensure the Truth was performing up to expectations.

I've never been happier with a bike. One year later and I wouldn't change a thing. If you're looking for a first-rate lightweight cross-country bike with a perfected suspension that elimates pedal bob, you owe yourself a test ride on a Truth.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   WT

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $3600.00

Purchased At:   Colorado Cyclist

Similar Products Used:   I've been riding mountain bikes since 1985, so there are too many to mention.

Bike Setup:   Avid mechanical discs, Thomson post and stem, Race Face crank, bars, and rings, Chris King hubs and headset, Mavic rims, Crank Brothers pedals, and XT drivetrain. Manitou Super Air Black shock up front; Romic coil over air for the back.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Doug a Cross Country Rider from Fairfax Station, VA.

Date Reviewed: February 5, 2004

Strengths:    Light, beautiful, strong and functional

Weaknesses:    None.

Bottom Line:   
I have so much fun on this bike! My other bikes are steel hardtails that are known to excel in the woods...this bike beats them all hands down. I never thought that full suspension could actually increase the power that you have available to push the pedals. The Truth really does this by not letting the trail beat you up and transferring all of your push to moving forward on the trail. That is what Ellsworth says...and believe me, that is what they deliver. If you like being able to ride all kinds of trails for as long as you darn well please, then try it for yourself, you will not be disapointed. Plus, the company really stands behind their customers and their product.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Fountainhead

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   Sunset Cycles (frame) Bill Larson (Parts)

Similar Products Used:   GT LTS (squeaky), kona hot, gunnar rockhound, ibis mojo

Bike Setup:   Race Face Next LPs, SRAM gears, Thomson post and stem, AVID disk brakes, Time pedals

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by william okura from sjc ca usa

Date Reviewed: January 25, 2004

Strengths:    relatively light, efficient. fun/plush on the downhills.

Weaknesses:    very fragile. not as plush as ellsworth owners would like to think. someone didn't like my review i posted about my broken frt triangle fix and removed it... so i'm posting it again!

i do feel small ~ large bumps. so it does get slowed down just as easily as hardtails on crucial uphill sections of trail. ellsworth speaks of ear tickling theory, but in reality, make sure you demo any bike on a trail you're acquainted with before you make an impulsive purchase.


Bottom Line:   
if you want an expensive efficient [xc only] frame, treat it like a pampered baby, ride trails with fear of your frame cracking, buy it.

if you want a reliable beast that will never break, buy something else with more metal mass. yes, more weight! possibly the id or moment.

ironically, in my previous post[a few reviews below], i stated that this frame is 'tuff'. a day after, it cracked. no hair-line crack but a big one extending over half the circumference of the downtube! my friend and i fixed it with j-b weld and then reinforced it with galvanized steel tubing. looks interesting but quite the work of art. best part about it is that it HOLDS and that it saves me $1200 of ellsworth-RIPOFF-crash-replacement expenses. i'll keep ya'll updated on the home fix endurance - so far, it's been fine through a few rides!
long live the non consumer mentality!

this gray, 2001 truth frame's been good to me for three years except for this fatigue failure in the downtube and a recent chainstay failure. the chainstay was warrantied but not the downtube.

warranty downtime's a total drag! and for a bike/frame of this pricerange and supposed caliber, these problems should have been solved in ellsworth's so called aerospace-cad-design process.

buyer beware!

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ming Lee a Weekend Warrior from Central

Date Reviewed: January 13, 2004

Strengths:    Very strong frame (knock on wood)
Great customer service feedback
Relatively light weight for a 20" frame


Weaknesses:    - Not that plush with the Romic Spring set up for the rear shock. I suspect I have a spring that's a little too heavy for my weight or the pedaling/anti-bob threshold is a bit high. Or... it could simply be the rear geometry is a trade-off for climbing efficiency and all mtn prowress.


Bottom Line:   
After riding the truth for a year I really wanted to post an honest opionion / review of the "Truth". Do I have any regrets, not really except.. . do wish it was a little more plush in the rear end but I guess the frame is set up for fast single track or Semi-all mountain riding. I've got the bike set up as an all mountain rig, Romic rear spring (heavy) and Fox Float 100RL frt fork. Low rise easton carbon bar left un-cut which gives me a lot of control. I love taking 1-2 foot drops and plowing head on into stairs at fast clips. I put my bike through hell and you know what, it's held up. Recently took a Giant VT2 out for a ride in New Zealand (less than half the price of truth) and noticed that it also rides very well. To be blunt if you want the exclusivity, "kudos" and snob appeal then spend the money. I would point out that there are some darn nice bikes out there which can basically do the same job if spec'd out correctly. As for my initial investment... yea, wouldn't have changed a thing.

Safe riding..

Mg

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   TMS

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1923.00

Purchased At:   Flying Ball

Similar Products Used:   Cannodale F4000SL hardtail

Bike Setup:   usual high end snobbish parts

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Jay a Cross Country Rider from South Jersey

Date Reviewed: January 13, 2004

Strengths:    Balanced bike with a very plush ride.

Weaknesses:    Well, I have been riding the Truth for three years (2000 frame). A hairline crack appeared a month ago on the chain stay just behind the cranks. This was discovered after seeing the same crack on another Truth frame. Yesterday, while on a very mild climb, the seat tube snapped just below the support structure for the front shock. So, the bike frame now reveals that there is considerable stress on the chain stay and fatale stress on the seat tube produced by a combination (I would imagine) of the torque of the suspension, the weight and impact of the rider on the seat and other factors. (I only weigh around 170)

I am taking the bike back to the shop to send back to Ellsworth. I hope they will honor the warranty. We will see how long and difficult this transaction will take.


Bottom Line:   
I rode hundreds of miles on the Truth. I ride all year long in hot weather and in freezing temps. Most of it on the East Coast, but it made a few trips to Tahoe, Utah and Fruita. I took fairly good care of the bike.

Be wary of the frame. Although it makes for a nice ride, its durability is a huge issue. Make sure you check the frame for any evidence of stress. Once aluminum is stressed...its pretty much done.

If Ellsworth does honor the warranty and replaces the frame, I will have a big decision whether to ride the new Truth frame or go out and try to find a more durable substitute. Maybe a Moots Smoothie Blend or maybe what everyone is riding today...a Santa Cruz Blur?

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $3800.00

Purchased At:   Local shop

Similar Products Used:   Klein Mantra...(really no comparison to the ride of the Truth...although the frame is still intact for what it is worth)

Bike Setup:   2001 Marzzochi front air fork suspension, Cane Creek air rear suspension, XTR brake levers, Avid mechanical brakes, 2002 XTR index shifters, 2003 XTR bottom bracket and crank set, XTR rear derailuer, Mavix disc wheels with Hugi hubs, Thompson seat post and stem, Easton monkey bars

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by william okura a Weekend Warrior from sjc, ca, usa

Date Reviewed: January 13, 2004

Strengths:    everything the company boasts of.

Weaknesses:    too many owners who write up unintelligent reviews of this bikes abilities. STOP reiterating what the past 100 reviews have said! submit reviews which intelligently compare and contrast the truth's strengths and weaknesses with other bikes YOU have experienced. doing so will make your review effectively stand out from the rest, not making you look like a brainwashed ellsworth label sell-out, not making you look like a crazed fool who dropped a fortune to purchase the truth based on hype alone, but by you giving SPECIFIC REASONS AND COMPARISONs on why the truth is the best friggin bike available for our type of riding!

if you own a truth, be clear in you description why it is the best! that's how you, your bike, and your bike manufacturer gain TRUE respect...THAT'S THE TRUTH.


Bottom Line:   
with almost three years on the beast, i've never had problems with the bearing pivots. dented the bottom of downtube/still no porblems.

yup it's strange that i set this up for light/efficient/freeride/xc but it welcomes anything i throw at it. i don't know if it helps that i'm only 170~185lbs, but the light-weight frame has stood up to the company boasts of being brick-house-tuff.

comparisons:

fsr elite by the nature of it's suspension-geometry seems to be noticably plusher. it really is hard to say. if they made anymore i'd consider selling my truth for one. if anyone has more experience with this comparison, i'd love to know! unfortunately, specialized only make epic/enduro/stumpjumpers anymore...

sc heckler is plush but it bob's too much. i'd question the single pivot stiffness too.

turner with the 4 inches of rear felt very similar to the truth but after a whole day of downhilling/xc demo'ing i missed the plush/efficient nirvana that i'm used to on my truth. subtle but significant. that's life, right?
i'm not sure if this is the same reason why, but i also thought that the ride on the turner lacked the feel of resilience i'm used to on my truth. almost like the difference between a dead feel of an aluminum hardtail vs the resilient ride of a steel hardtail.

i'd love to hear an in depth comparo with a blur and truth.

the id feels too tall, not good when climbing up STEEP hills or braking down them.

imo, the truth is the best all-arounder sporting a strong frame[even light weight], 4inches of plush effiecient rear. that's all i need for all my epic-rides/lite-trials/lite-hucking!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   noble cyn/san juan/401crest.bt.

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $3200.00

Purchased At:   bikecompany

Similar Products Used:   specialized fsr elite/ sc heckler/ turner w/4inch rear/ id.

Bike Setup:   qr 20, xt drive/disc, romic rear, thomson stem/post, panaracer xc, chriskind head, rhynolite. it's a welter-weight tank.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Shane Little a Cross Country Rider from Carlsbad, CA

Date Reviewed: January 11, 2004

Strengths:    Fantastic suspension and overall superior handling. The frame is a work of art. Pure pride of ownership. This rig will appeal to the cross country rider/racer who likes to put in an epic ride from time to time. Set up is simple with the fox Float shock. Suspension fully active under breaking.

Weaknesses:    Pricey but worth it. Requires lots of concessions to spouse to justify purchase.

Bottom Line:   
Call me crazy, but I converted my rig into a single speed. It's a bit quixotic, I know, but it suits my needs. The four-bar link suspension coupled with a single rear cog provides what I consider to be a unique balance between contemporary design and traditional simplicity. The Truth reaches a Zen-like state by shedding the other 26 gears.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   T9

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2800.00

Purchased At:   Colorado Cyclist

Similar Products Used:   Schwinn Moab, Santa Cruz Blur

Bike Setup:   XT, Manitou Black, single speed

Reviews 1 - 15 (66 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


1st gen Nomad bearings-the truth

well i'm seeking the truth and some objective opinions. On my quest to buy a nice used AM bike the Nomad is on my short list, a 2007 to be exact. All I hear is that I will need to replace the bearings 1-2 times a year. While I know this probably isn't true, how often can I expect to realistically ... Read More »

Worth it to upgrade '04 Truth ?

Still saving my nickels for a new Ti hardtail ; a Potts, Kish, Moots or Ericksen. In the meantime I wanted to get some feedback on upgrading (or if it's worth it) my 18" Medium '04 Truth. A tad of background about me, my bike and riding habits. First off, I just turned 60 (yikes !). My weight ... Read More »

Ellsworth Truth - differences between year models

Hi, I am considering purchasing either a 2006 or 2008 Truth and would greatly appreciate any feedback or information about differences between the two models. I can see that that the 2008 has an asymmetrical chain stay as compared to the 2006 model. However, I'm particularly interested if anyone ... Read More »

Typo or Truth about new 780mm RDO Carbon Bar ?

So, I'm looking at the latest emailed newsletter... talking about all of the new releases/goodies... One of the things that I've been waiting for from Niner is a truly wide carbon bar. Prayers answered! BUT!!! Is it true??? In the newsletter - the advertised price of this new 780mm - RDO Bar ... Read More »

Help! 2000 era Truth rocker arm cracked

Is there any way to find a replacement rocker arm for this? Old school 2001 (1999-2004, not sure) Ellsworth Truth. I snapped the bolt that attached through the rear shock. The stress of that caused a decent crack in the rocker arm. I don't want to retire this beast yet. She's still a weekly rider. S ... Read More »

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