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  1. #1
    El Malo
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    New at Ellsworth...

    Just getting around to catch up on '06 stuff and thought I'd spew here, so bare with me for a minute...

    I got to chatting with a couple of bike shop owners, then visited some virtual booths and saw some interesting stuff from the Ellsworth camp.
    I try to keep up with the R&D at Ellsworth every now and then.
    As you can see...

    http://content.mtbr.com/TRD_12_212crx.aspx

    ...they are ditching the Id and offering the Epiphany. Ok, whatever...
    Then the Distance... why bother, when you have a Truth, an Epiphany AND a Moment, jeeeez !
    Why? how? the Distance seems to be a waste of time.
    Then, there's the fresh looking Chaos (I'd love to test it out) replacing the Joker so as to compete directly with the Heckler. That's a tough order, as Santa Cruz put a platform coil shock on the frame and hit money shot with this bike, period ! Now, for a so-called stepped-up version of the Heckler there's the Nomad... I'd like to get a leg over one of those and confirm/dispel the hype.
    Back to Ellsworth...
    The Rogue, keep an eye out on this model, which is basically a revamped version of the 2000 / 2001 Dare. Basically, a simple and solid all-mountain rig that you can pedal.
    I speculate that Ellsworth is trying to hold sales by throwing together a traditional style frame until they put the finishing touches on the new Dare. So, although this is a "less expensive looking" version of the trivoid extruded anodized and laser etched triangle that made the Dare so sexy, I can't call it any less capable, just not as pretty, and that's a pity.
    It is unfortunate that they've been cutting costs on the Dare frame already into production of the '04s, now reducing it into the butted Rogue frame, but ultimately failing to pass on the savings to their customers. Rogue frame set cost $2,400 ? what's up with that ???
    Maybe this effort is a supplemental lifeline supporting the R&D effort which has brought on a completely redesigned Dare that is a drastic departure from the traditional look and that is now offering a flashy single pivot design featuring an internal transmission..
    Apparently, tho' not confirmed, I heard that they've signed a partnership with the transmission designer/vendor and will make it a proprietary feature.

    I dunno, aside from the new Dare experiment, it seems like they're making a full circle and at this point they are half way around it before realizing that they may be spreading themselves thin (ie, the Distance) rather than focusing on their bread and butter core products using the ICT linkage which has proved to be successful over the years... but what do I know, I'm not the one feeling pressure from Santa Cruz nor Specialized and I'm merely expressing a personal opinion here.

    BTW: I own a 2002 Dare and have been extremely happy with it so far.

    I would be interested in commentary from any of you, especially from any who attended InterBike '05 and had a chance to spend time at the Ellsworth booth and schmooze with others in general.
    "... the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - "

  2. #2
    my girl rides also
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    I was kind of wondering what happened to the Dare. Seemed like a pretty solid ride, being the bike that Weir rocked in D-Ville a couple of years ago.

    I don't own an Elle or even plan to, but the company interests me for some reason. Mostly because I can't see how they justify the prices of their frames. (Not trying to troll or flame here, just personal opinion.) Yes, they're nice, but a new one costs about a G more (give or take) than something comprable. I just don't get it.

    My riding buddy rides a moment and he loves it. I have yet to ride it...seems pretty solid.
    Moving to Montana soon, gonna be a dental floss tycoon.

  3. #3
    Trail rider and racer
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    Good thread.

    I am not too sure what to say really.

    One thing:The Dare prototype is interesting, but I am not too sure what they are trying to achieve here. I suspect its more of a marketing thing. Get a few racers on it and turn some heads out at the events in the US - Brings more attention to the Brand and after alll DH/FR gets more attention than XC I think (redbull et al).
    Trev!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor!
    One thing:The Dare prototype is interesting, but I am not too sure what they are trying to achieve here. I suspect its more of a marketing thing.
    I was talking with Ryan at Ells last week. I asked about the Dare and he said that the IB display was just a "concept". It has no connection with reality on upcoming designs. Also, the design of the new Dare which "should" be re-introlduced '07, is completely up-in-the-air.

  5. #5
    Jii
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arm@ndo
    Then the Distance... why bother, when you have a Truth, an Epiphany AND a Moment, jeeeez !
    Why? how? the Distance seems to be a waste of time.
    Different prize category, proven pedal friendly single pivot. I personally like the Atlas design, simple and functional. However, one might think that I'm biased.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arm@ndo
    Then, there's the fresh looking Chaos (I'd love to test it out) replacing the Joker so as to compete directly with the Heckler.
    I'm sorry, but I couldn't disagree more with your comparison. Even the Joker was'nt in direct comparison with the Heckler, more Bullit-like, but of course lighter. The new Chaos, judging by appearance, is even more like the Bullit. Imho, the Heckler is more of an epic all-mountain ride, even XC-ish but still freeride-capable. The Heckler is one of my all-time favourites, so I'm definitely not mashing it. Just not comparable to the Joker/Chaos. If you need to compare an Ells with a Heckler, I'd say definitely the Distance. Personally, I think the Chaos looks like crap, but that's just my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arm@ndo
    The Rogue, keep an eye out on this model, which is basically a revamped version of the 2000 / 2001 Dare. Basically, a simple and solid all-mountain rig that you can pedal.
    Something that I really liked about the Rogue, is the fact that I thought it would be just that, a pedalable HC Trailbike that bombs downhills with all that buttery travel. Somehow I still suspect that weight will be an issue. Have'nt heard any specific frame weights yet, so I'm keeping my hopes up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arm@ndo
    I dunno, aside from the new Dare experiment, it seems like they're making a full circle and at this point they are half way around it before realizing that they may be spreading themselves thin (ie, the Distance) rather than focusing on their bread and butter core products using the ICT linkage which has proved to be successful over the years... but what do I know, I'm not the one feeling pressure from Santa Cruz nor Specialized and I'm merely expressing a personal opinion here.
    I, on the other hand, think that the Ells Atlas frames are a core part of their line-up, they're affordable (but still Ellsworths), the suspension design rocks and thus open up boutique frames for a bigger public. I've tried ICT:s and love them too, don't get me wrong, but I definitely think that Ells should keep their single pivot-line. Santa Cruz is keeping their Heckler and Bullit too, even though they have their sweet VPP frames.

    One thing that keeps me on my toes is that Ells is basically changing their whole line-up at the same time as they set up a new factory (of course related to each other). I sure hope they won't experience the downsides of both (new product flaws and quality issues) at the same time.

  6. #6
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    Having owned both a Joker and a Heckler, I would have to say these bikes are in a different category.
    The original 6" Joker could be more readily compared to the Heckler, but the 7" version as already mentioned, is comparable to the Bullit, Gemini, and ASX.

    The 7" Joker is still a capable trail bike and the Heckler will always remain close to the top of my favorite "do anything" list of bikes.

    The Distance offers the consumer a cheaper option for a trail bike. The Moment is the big gun right now and Ells has hit a homer with this one IMO.

  7. #7
    Time is not a road.
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    Having owned an Isis, I'd have to say that this bike, as well as the Distance, is a good option for the consumer looking to break into the "boutique" market. The bikes perform very well and with the advent of platform shocks, even more so. The finish has always been top quality with Ellsworth frames.

    While others have dropped their single pivot bikes, like the Titus Loco Moto and the Ventana El Chamuco and Pantera, I think there is still a market out there for the simple, well designed single pivot bike. Santa Cruz still sells Superlights and Juliannas despite the wild success of VPP. The pricepoint for these bikes can hardly be beat (except by Big Box manufacturers).

    Vive le Atlas!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jii
    Something that I really liked about the Rogue, is the fact that I thought it would be just that, a pedalable HC Trailbike that bombs downhills with all that buttery travel. Somehow I still suspect that weight will be an issue. Have'nt heard any specific frame weights yet, so I'm keeping my hopes up.
    Someone that is testing the Rogue for Ellsworth tells me that the frame is only about 1/2 pound more than the Moment. He loves it and is getting one.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=139558

  9. #9
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    I haved owned a Distance since the spring and absolutly love it. My primo riding buddy has a Santa Cruz Heckler. These two bikes are a direct comparison. The ATLAS design IMO pretty much dominates the single pivot market. My distance weights more and I can still climb better (he climbs faster on the Distance to) I have ridden alot of single pivots and nothing seems to climb better. If the ATLAS design were to cost more, I bet opinions would change on it.

    I totally agree that due to its cost, it allows riders more of a choice than just corporate offerings.

  10. #10
    Why aren't you riding????
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    My Dare is EASILY the best climbing DH frame I've been on. No front wheel hop, no spinning tire and locked out rearend. I Effin love this frame. It has better all mountain characteristics then all the "all mountain" frames I've ridden. The numbers , i.e. geo. say one thing but riding is believing and I am starting to believe this is a do it all frame. Well since I can't afford another bike I guess it will have to be

  11. #11
    Trail rider and racer
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    Quote Originally Posted by vibiker
    I was talking with Ryan at Ells last week. I asked about the Dare and he said that the IB display was just a "concept". It has no connection with reality on upcoming designs. Also, the design of the new Dare which "should" be re-introlduced '07, is completely up-in-the-air.
    I thought it might just be merely a concept frame..
    Trev!

  12. #12
    El Malo
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    Good comments.
    I forget that eventhough the FR/DH market has taken the industry by storm within the last 5-8yrs, XC is on strong and there is always a market for ppl in search for entry level boutique bikes such as the Superlight and Distance.
    I would love nothing more than to be a repeat customer for all my needs and to be able to feel confident in riding a Distance at the Whistler Bike Park the way I have on my Heckler but it really isn't inspiring when every time I hear about a similar design (Joker), there is usually some sort of partial or complete replacement story behind it. Whereas, on the other hand, all I hear are praises that I can personally confirm about the Heckler.
    I am unsure where E is going with the Dare. Apparently, they must have realized that it would be a very costly effort, otherwise, why waste time and $$$ with the R&D.

    No question, they hit it huge with the Moment. That design IS their bread and butter.
    Will the Rogue replace the Dare ? who knows, but I spoke to some industry ppl who attended the E booth at IB and said that the Rogue looks and feels superb. Although, there was no mention of it's multiple travel settings (by means of different shock lenghts?)
    That's got me feeling tentative about that bike. How is the geometry going to work out in each setting ?
    Maybe someone can shed some light into this since this seems to be a mystery and a rumour more than reality.
    "... the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - "

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