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The brand is just too toxic.

Toxic history that will never go away. No respect or trust from within the industry at all.

Plus they can never seem to find a decent graphic designer.... Graphics and paintwork are always terrible....
 

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Leadership

Ultimately Tony set the personality and tone for the company. Things like arguing and lying to customers, missing market trends etc all start at the top.
 

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Got rocks?
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I have had a couple Ellsworth's and really like the bikes. But mine were from mid 2000's and the geometry now seems about the same. I am shopping for a new bike and although the new 27.5 epiphany looks good nothing makes it stand out for me to buy it.


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kind of doubt it. That's a solid "me too" bike from a brand with the above mentioned problems that costs as much or more than its competition. If they lowered the price by $2k I'd have a look; at around $4k it would be a fair, not great, but fair deal. At $6.5, there are a lot of better bikes from better brands out there.
 

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Two words...Tony Ellsworth. I'd honestly be embarrassed to ride one, given his character and history with the brand. It's pretty dead now, it seems. If only the investors had ben smart enough to check MTBR before getting conned into buying Ellsworth....
 

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Feel the love. It was pretty entertaining back then, I'm just glad I never bought one. Good luck to the new owners.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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There are things that TE did that simply doomed the company and name. I could totally see someone buying out their assets, machinery and tooling, but these days all that stuff is farmed out, which was what TE was doing in the later years, so I can't imagine they'd be buying anything but the name, which is the one part you wouldn't want.

Dave Turner, Horst Leitner and a few others (Nicolai supposedly cleaned the shop?) worked to come up with the Amp rear suspension. Horst eventually patented it and while they ultimately sold the rights to Specialized, Horst made an arrangement with Dave Turner that he could use the Horst link for as long as he wanted(not sure if Nicolai was included in this, seeing as their stuff was only distributed in Europe for so long, but now that the patent is expired, doesn't really matter anymore). The Tony Ellsworth did a work-around years later by describing the FSR/Horst-link patent in a different way and got a unique patent which he called "ICT". Then he threatened to sue Dave Turner if Dave did not pay Tony E for each frame that Dave sold, even though DT was doing what he'd been doing all along. Just such an ultimately dip**** move that anyone on the outside can see. How would anyone think that wouldn't come back to bite you in the *** later? Dave ultimately changed the design to a non-horst link, which has arguably better characteristics anyways, rather than fight TE in court. Dave's take was that while he thought he could win, it would take so much time, effort and money as to not be worth it for the relatively small volume that he sold. Ultimately, the one laughing is Dave Turner, as it should be, as TEs practices as a human being ultimately did the company in. This is only one small facet in the entire TE show, but it's just par for the course. TE pulled so many douchebag moves like this and what would you know, it all caught up with the company.
 
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Another d-bag (though not in TE's league) was that Alan Kang guy of CHUMBA. TE is certainly in a league of his own, and people like him eventually tarnish the industry. Guys like Noel Buckley, Dave Turner, Sherwood Gibson, Chris Cocalis...they make the industry what it is and make our experience so positive. Too bad it can often be harder to make good money for these smaller guys, when competing with big companies and dealing with d-bags at the same time.
 

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The haters had long memories and passed their hate on to others.
Most of the haters didn't actually have any bad experience themselves they just listened to others or didn't like the business practices of the past and so hated and hated and hated .

Despite the continuous accolades in the magazines and Internet reviews, the hate stuck .

But the real reason for their demise is they didn't move with the times.
When everyone else leapt forward with Carbon and modern geometry , Ells kept trying the " made in America " usp, unfortunately they realised too late that few people cared about that and it was actually putting some people off .

They didn't update their geometry, instead relying on offset bushings and headsets to correct it and they never managed to print the correct geometry in their brochures or website, so you never really knew what the geometry would be and still needed offset bushings and angle sets to adjust it to modern standards .
This is all a shame because the reason they got all those good reviews is because they were genuinely good bikes in their day . The suspension system really worked well.

They still aren't moving with the times, this rogue for example . Just when the big players are producing radical geometry 29ers for enduro, they've bought out a 650b . They haven't even got the geometry right either !

It's a real shame but the best thing they could do now is drop the Ellsworth name . Perhaps reserect the Aeon name ? And produce bikes that are cutting edge, ahead of the competition !
 

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Most of the haters didn't actually have any bad experience themselves they just listened to others or didn't like the business practices of the past and so hate
Except many if us remember specific instances where Tony called people on this board liars, like when he had taken magazine reviews and then changed what they said, making them seem like they said something completely different than what he indicated, and when called on it, he went to his website, changed it around again, came back here, and called us all liars. He's a pathological liar. It's not about hate when he lies and calls everyone else liars. It's simply something is wrong with the guy.
 

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I never really "got" the Ellsworth thing, but this Rogue Sixty does look nice.

The geometry seems pretty spot on for me anyway. 420 mm chainstays, 462 mm reach, 66 degree HA, and 74 degree SA for a Large seems pretty modern and like my perfect bike.

I agree that the price is steep though. I'll stick with my Knollys.
 

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I've noticed that a number of the smaller niche brands have pretty dead/slow sub-fourms on MTBR. Pivot and Knolly to name two I check out frequently. Neither brand is in trouble from a sales perspective [AFAIK], but the number of posts per week are not as high as I would have expected.

I don't have access to MTBR site traffic stats. It could just be this site doesn't draw as many people as it used to. I think MTBR pimping e-bikes might be driving non-motorized riders away! ;)
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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I've noticed that a number of the smaller niche brands have pretty dead/slow sub-fourms on MTBR. Pivot and Knolly to name two I check out frequently. Neither brand is in trouble from a sales perspective [AFAIK], but the number of posts per week are not as high as I would have expected.

I don't have access to MTBR site traffic stats. It could just be this site doesn't draw as many people as it used to. I think MTBR pimping e-bikes might be driving non-motorized riders away! ;)
I think Pivot and Knolly traffic is not bad, in fact, I think they are part of the "fairly successful" boutique brands, including Evil, Turner, Ibis, SC (hard to say this is still a boutique brand though), Yeti, and maybe Intense. After that it starts to drop off real quick IMO, more like the E forum than any of the others. What most of these brands have in common is they keep turning out competitive bikes for the most part. They offer decent quality, support and features that people want. A lot of times, giving the option of building your own bike from a frame or from a source you trust due to previous interaction and business.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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Niner, pivot, ibis and santa cruz happened.
To some extent, yes.

The original Truth, from WAY back when, used a setup similar to the Giant NRS, where the shock was intended to be ran with zero sag and pedaling inputs would attempt to extend the shock, so you could say it was "100% efficient", although it did a horrible job of suspending like this. This changed fairly early on and was long gone by the days of the Ellsworth Id, but that 2nd generation Truth and everything after had very low pedaling efficiency. Even Specialized, which also uses a horst link, uses significantly more AS than Ellsworth. These are "old" bikes and they'll ride much more "soggy" and lethargic uphill, you'll feel like you are putting a ton of energy into it, but not getting much acceleration out of that. Tony Ellsworth even claimed at one point that his bikes were "up to 100% efficient" and that they did not need a lockout. Guess what the bikes came with in short order? Lockout switches! (on the shocks). Some of the geometry back in the day was just downright wacky compared to their contemporaries and super long linkage rockers are not conductive to stiff frames, as seen on some of these bikes. Most of the redesigns and enhancements have been in the geometry area, the suspension does not seem to have seen any improvements, at least compared to what most frame designers have figured out (somewhere near 100% anti-squat near the sag point and hopefully a little way through the travel). Just as Dave Turner found out, there really wasn't any benefit to doing this with a horst-link, at least when most everyone is using a 1x drivetrain where the pivot point relative to the chain is a fixed distance (instead of movable when we used multiple rings up front). This simplification makes it far easier to build good single-pivot bikes and about the only possible benifit for the FSR is possibly more active braking, but this can and did go too far on some FSR frames, with stink-bug effects (actual JACK instead of "squat") and many feel that slight amount of squat dialed in helps offset the inherent forward weight shift caused during braking. FSRs can be done better, and to an extent Specialized is doing this on at least some of the bikes, like the 2016 stumpjumper 27.5 at almost 100% AS at 50% of it's travel, much better adapted for 1x drivetrains, etc.

I guess you can look at it all two ways, first, Tony really killed the brand with his toxic customer service and comments at customers, but they also did little to innovate after a point, more of a "they kind of got lucky at one point". They did a lot of re-designs and geometry tweaks, but much of it wasn't very substantial IMO.
 
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The Knolly sub-forum was a lot more active back in 2013/14 when I first started reading the posts there. That one has definitely slowed down.
Possibly a bit, I still check it and there are interesting things there every once and a while. I also notice the bikes in places. I've done some Pac NW trips to WA and seen some, so that's another way you can see it's not "dead". Lots of Evils BTW out there, that was impressive on my trip last month. I see Ibis, Yeti, etc. all on the trail. Ellsworth? Occasionally an old one and that's it. I admit that Knolly is more rare to see, I think they are more popular in places that have more "freeride" type terrain though.
 
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