A Visit With Ellsworth At Sea Otter

26er Sea Otter Classic

Tony Ellsworth With The Enlightenment Carbon Fiber 29er Hardtail

I stopped by the Ellsworth booth at Sea Otter a couple of weeks ago to say hi and see what was new. Specifically, I wanted to take a look at the new Dare downhill bike. I’ve owned a few Ellsworths over the years, including a Dare, and I wanted to see what they’d done to update it. Below you’ll find a few photos I took of the new Dare. It’s got up to 9 inches of travel, a slacker 64-degree headtube angle that’s adjustable via angleset with the new tapered headtube, and a 30.9mm seattube means it’s compatible with dropper posts. And of course, it’s got Ellsworth’s ICT four-bar suspension, one of my favorites linkage designs because it’s super active and still pedals well. I loved my old Dare!

New 2012 Ellsworth Dare Downhill Bike

British racer Jack Reading is racing the new Dare on the World Cup DH circuit this season. Here’s a teaser video of him railing his bike on a really sloppy, rooty trail:

That video makes me wish I still had a Dare – and a trail like that to ride! Although I wouldn’t ride it quite as well as Mr. Reading does.

Ellsworth makes more than just the Dare so I took pictures of some of their other current rides, including the Momentum slopestyle bike, Roots cyclocross bike and the Enlightenment carbon 29er. I talked to Tony Ellsworth a bit about carbon fiber, too. Tony told me that Ellsworth was slow to jump on the carbon fiber bandwagon because he wasn’t happy with the process control in carbon fiber manufacturing. He wanted, and these are his words, “aerospace grade” carbon fiber before they started building with it. Apparently they found what they were looking for because the Enlightenment 29er hardtail, pictured with Tony at the top of the page, is an all carbon frame, made from Ellsworth’s “Rare Earth Carbon.” According to Ellsworth, their carbon manufacturing delivers “over 200% increased compaction throughout the frame and the lower voids resulting in a beautiful and strong frame.”

Ellsworth was also showing off new carbon fiber shock stays at Sea Otter. The new carbon stays knock 100 grams off the weight of the bikes and will be available in May (this month) as an upgrade for the Epiphany, Moment, Evolve and Evolution. No price has been announced for the carbon fiber stays yet but rumor has it they’ll cost about $200. The price for the carbon fiber stay upgrade will cost $250. No price has been set yet for aftermarket carbon fiber stay replacements but they will be available at some point and they should be compatible with all “whale tail” linkage bikes.

Rare Earth Carbon Linkage On The Ellsworth Epiphany

For more information on Ellsworth bikes and technology, please visit the Ellsworth Web site or the Ellsworth forum here on Mtbr.

About the author: John Shafer

John Shafer, a.k.a. Photo-John, is a respected photography expert and adventure photographer. He’s been an Mtbr forum member and contributor since 1999 and you can find his writing and photography across the Web, in mountain bike magazines and on his own Web site, Photo-John.net. John loves big mountains, rocky singletrack, low-visibility powder days, 6-inch trail bikes, coffee and tacos. Look for him pushing his bike uphill, carrying an inappropriate amount of camera gear in an overloaded backpack.

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