Ellsworth Joker Freeride Full Suspension

  • Rear Travel: 7 in. / 5 in.
  • Shock Options: Coil: Fox Vanilla RC, Romic D
  • Fork Travel: Recommended 125-150mm

  • User Reviews (22)

    Showing 1-10 of 22  
    Ray Raton   [Jun 11, 2013]
    Strength:

    Long travel, light-ish weight, durability.

    Weakness:

    Does being a dinosaur count?

    This is a review UPDATE.

    I've been riding my 2004 Ellsworth Joker I dunno how many years now..9, I think. I got my first Joker frame in 2001, a M., cracked it, and Tony came through in spectacular fashion and replaced it under warranty, straight across, with a L. frame, that fit me much better. Ellsworth even included a custom CNC'ed piece so I could continue riding my new frame at 6" of travel, at zero cost to me. How cool is that?

    So in terms of trail-miles, which is all I ever ride the Joker on, I've put in THOUSANDS of miles on this frame, and it's still creak-free and stiff as it was when I got it. I replaced the pivot bearing once in 9 years.

    Mike at North of the Border bikes in San Diego (AWESOME shop....he and Doug are without peer), set me up about three or four years back with a Manitou 3-Way rear shock, which gives me the full 7" of rear wheel travel. The Manitou Air 3-Way also seems to like this single pivot frame...it's worked extremely well for me over the years.

    For many years now I've had a 'Zoke AM1 in black for the fork, which I measured at an honest 154mm of travel, more than it was specc'ed for. It was from a batch of AM 1's that were distributed only in Europe, but that does not explain the increased travel. It has served me extremely well, but I've always wanted to match up the front end with the rear wheel travel, and just now, at the bikes' tender age of 9, Mike at NOTB (did I mention they are AWESOME?) put on a RS Lyrik with 170 mm of front wheel travel.

    Now it is accomplished. I have have in my possession the Ultimate Joker, a serious beast of a trail bike. With 7" of all around travel, and a weight of around 28-28.5 lb.s (with an Ardent 2.4 EXO up front and a 2.2 Crossmark in the back), this is about as good as an old man's 26" trailbike can get, IMO.

    The Manitou Air 3-Way also seems to like this single pivot frame...it's worked extremely well for me over the years.

    It's too bad Ellsworth does not make a single pivot frame anymore. Tony and Co. really had the single pivot location nailed down to as close to perfect as you can get.

    Now, all I need to round out the quiver is an efficient, smoothly suspended 29er................

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Rich   Cross Country Rider [Jan 30, 2004]
    Strength:

    This bike has to be one of the nicest rigs i have ever ridden...the sheer fact that it is a 7" (or 5") frame was what caught my attention...the big seller is the fact that it is only 7.8 pounds for the 19"...this is going to allow almost any rider to build a very nimble and light weight ride...the romic D rear shock takes away any bob with the simple turn on the preload and all of a sudden it feels like a hardtail on the sprints...the frame is super stiff with the single pivot swingarm being mostly responsible for that.

    Weakness:

    The biggest problem i am having is deciding on my fork...at the moment i have a manitou on it and it is nice and light but doesnt have th travel that i want...because the frame is so light i am going ot have to spend a bit more money to get a fork that balances the overall weight of the bike...now if you can say that is a weakness then i guess it is..but all in all this is an amazing fast ride.

    This bike is an amazing ride for any of those hard core cross country riders that want a little more excitement in their life. The lifetime warrenty on the frame and the amazing paint job are just little bonuses you get when riding an ellsworth. All in all you will love this ride and think you are in heaven everytime your cheeks hit that saddle.

    Similar Products Used: coiler Dee lux, stinky.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    K-man   Weekend Warrior [Apr 21, 2004]
    Strength:

    7" travel romic, strong yet under 8lbs 19" frame, good specs for price

    Weakness:

    Just a note not necessary a weakness. 1.125 Headset, and 6" Hayes, Z1 without 20mm but for $2200 it was my choice instead of the $3500 FR version.

    The only real lame thing was the 620mm Richtey Rizer Bars. Why have a CC width 31.8 Bar????? No reflection on Joker Frame of course

    Good specs for the price. I shopped for about two months trying to find a bike to suit me, 6'1" well over 200lbs and smooth as sandpaper riding style (aka menace on a bike and break everything). Looked at Foes, Heckler, Bullit Yeti ASX etc. But could not pull the trigger on a $3500 rig. This is really a heavy duty trial bike for with the triple ring, 5" fork and 7" Romic. Go for the 1.5 Joker with 6" Sherman Breakout, 8" Disk, bash guard, etc if you want to go more freeride or jump.

    Have had the bike one week and have ridden every day. Very solid feel to the frame and suspention. It is just broken in and the romic and Z1 work well together for fast sigletrack and bomber fire roads. This thing makes you go faster downhill and I realized I needed better braking, so I ordered 8" rotors. The 7" rear is nice on rolling stuff and downhills, but a little tough on steep grindy climbs. I have learned to sit and spin smooooth circles and use the small ring more. Stand up on steeps and you will be toast. Take your time up and bomb the downhills and it is all good dawg. Takes big hits well but soakes up the smallstuff. This will give you confidence on downhills so I am looking into light duty body amour that I can ride 2+ hours with. Can not wait for the 28" RF Diablous bars and 8" rotors for the weekend!!! Add a 20mm thru hub Manatou firefly or Z1 or even a 150Z1 and this bike would bomb even better.

    This frame and spec is a smoken deal for an Ellsworth!! If you are lighter you can probibly use this as a light FR. If you are heavy this spec is a nice trail bike but it is a little to light duty for true FR. This is a fun goof around bike that seems like it will be bullet proof, but it is too early to tell. I will give it a couple more months and follow up with details. Looks like the Joker bridges the gap between a trail bike and a light FR pretty well. Stick a 5" fox shock and lighter components if you want more of a cc bike.

    5 red hots for value at $2200 4 overall red hots, maybe a five in 6 months if it holds up well and handles as well as it does now.

    Similar Products Used: Giant AC Air, Specialized Enduros, Heckler, bunch of others
    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Johnny B. Good   Weekend Warrior [Nov 18, 2006]
    Strength:

    smooth, like I would expect from a 1pivot; Romics tunneability; very light! for the tipe of bike; climbs very well; attention to details; exclusive

    Weakness:

    the frame design was never my favourite, aestheticaly...; I'm 80kg, droping and landing "not so perfect" it bottoms out (maybe another coil...); 2.5" rear rubs on the frame!!

    Feels great, used to have a 130mm sherman, and I could do dirt jumps, now with 170mm marzo, it's kinda dificult... can climb well, don't feel pedal bob, if the seat is up..
    Bottomline, great bike, maybe not the best for this or that, but it can do anything if you have the right setup;

    Similar Products Used: stinky, chaparral, asx, big hit06
    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    mel forgues   Weekend Warrior [Mar 09, 2004]
    Strength:

    Its an ellsworth! easy pedalling. Versatility...up or down, hucking, dirtjumping, crosscountry. Set it up for what you want and go.

    Weakness:

    On my rig I have wtb 2.4s I will upgrade for sure. The joker is bulletproof there is no weaknesses since the 03 frame upgrade.

    For the price and parts spec no other bikes I looked at in Calgary came close to this ride in price or performance. This was a demo bike and the boys at Calgary Cycle took care of me. Similar specs for a heckler top five grand easy. This bike rides nice and is super plush. It is a true do it all bike. There is no category for a joker because it does everything. My bike is set up on the free ride side of things and I will do a follow up review after more ride time. I am only giving 4 Chilis for value even though I got a good deal because a bike should not be worth more than my truck.

    Similar Products Used: Heckler,jeckyls,Rocky mtn etsx series, Slayer,Jamis xlts. Many others.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    Gene Bray   Weekend Warrior [Apr 20, 2004]
    Strength:

    This is an awesome bike. Rides like a DREAM. Quiet due to elevated chain stay. Romic makes the best shox out there, SMOOTH. All around Quality from ellsworth and Richards Bicycles.

    Weakness:

    None

    You cant go wrong with the bike. Unless you are a downhiller you havent ridden anything as nice. Soaks up everything. 37 lbs as built makes it a tougher climb but worth it when you get to the top. I would recommend to all.

    Similar Products Used: Foes fly, Yeti as-x, Ellsworth Id
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Patrick B   Downhiller [Aug 09, 2005]
    Strength:

    One of the lightest freeride frames.
    Climbs very well for a 7in bike even while standing and hammering away

    Weakness:

    The front derailleur cable guide on the back of the seat tube rubs my 2.5 kenda nevegal on full compression
    The cable routing for the rear brake line makes no sense
    Rear is not all that stiff laterally, though better than gemini/bullit.
    A DHX would be nice

    Overrated. Missing attention to detail you should expect from a high end frame. There is no way a "freeride" frame should rub a 2.5 tire. And I shouldn't have to nearly kink my rear brakehose to route it to the brake.

    Similar Products Used: Kona Stinky
    Giant Faith
    OVERALL
    RATING
    3
    VALUE
    RATING
    2
    Brice   Weekend Warrior [Jun 15, 2005]
    Strength:

    Great handling, great suspention,beefy frame, can handle anything. Looks BAD!

    Weakness:

    Baught it used for a guy in Oregon, it's about 4 years old. The swing arm broke on the 3rd trail ride after a race. Frame a little big, had to move seat forward, not a big deal.

    I broke the swingarm. That is not supposed to happen. I looked up a Ellsworth dealer on their website. Found one in IL called himm up and he talked Ellsworth into letting me get a new swingarm. I sent my old one off and got a new one back tryed to put it on and were the rear shock mounts up to the swingarm, it was to wide. No one made a bolt the length I needed with treads all the way to the head of the bolt so I called the IL dealer and he had Ellsworth send me some bolts. They were not threaded to the head, so I threaded one my self and it worked well for 2 days. I took it out today to look at it and found it to be bent. So I threaded a harder bolt I found at the hardware store. I have no doubts that this will fix it. If this does not work I know Ellsworth will work with me to get this figured out. Buy an ELLSWORTH! You will not be disapointed.

    Similar Products Used: Kona Dawg, only other full suspention I've used.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Sean Tobin   Weekend Warrior [Jun 03, 2005]
    Strength:

    Stiff (1.5),Great Climber, Very Versatile,Romic Tuneability.

    Weakness:

    None

    As with my previous Joker,high quality, very stiff. 7" version climbs better than previous 6" version. Love the ride, and ability to flow at high speeds. Jumps and lands effortlessly. Beautiful anodized blue finish. Single pivot simplicity w/o the bob. I absolutely recommend the 1.5 headtube. Very stable.

    Similar Products Used: Previous 6" Joker owner.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Robert Barress   Weekend Warrior [Apr 30, 2005]
    Strength:

    Geometry, Simplicity, Craftsmanship

    Weakness:

    Some of the bolts rust...stainless would be better...just a minor detail. Can't think of any significant weaknesses.

    7" of extremely versatile travel. Is most comfortable at middle (freeridish) speeds; I did a day of downhill on the joker and it felt a little sketchy at times. Front end can be hard to get off of the ground, but not excessively so. Absolutely great jumper, in spite of all of that travel. Climbs amazingly well for a 34 lb bike. I can't see any reason to switch to any other frame for what I ride (short extreme xc, much freeride with jumping etc) at the moment. Beautiful bike, as well.

    Similar Products Used: none
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Showing 1-10 of 22  

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