Ellsworth had two all-new 120mm travel full suspension mountain bikes on display, the Evolution 29er and Momentum slopestyle rig, both of which exhibited some major design changes that carry over to virtually all of their other mountain bikes.
The Evolution, above, takes the basic design of the Evolve 29er and adds 20mm of travel front and rear to create a more all-mountain capable big wheeler.
Jump past the break for more photos, specs and other fun things…
The Evolution 29er drops in winter for $4,095 with X9 up to $6,395 for full XTR. All of Ellsworth’s 2011 mountain bikes are shipping with 10-speed drivetrains, but only bikes built with their XX option will be 2×10.
Like all of Ellsworth’s bikes (excluding the Glimpse), the Evolution is handmade in the USA. It’ll be available in the three standard colors – blue, silver and black – or any of Ellsworth’s custom color options for an additional charge.
Here’s the first big change you’ll see on all US-made bikes except for the Dare: A new, heavily shaped tapered head tube. It not only looks really good with the extreme hourglass shape, it gives the down tube a larger weld/contact area to stiffen things up a bit.
Ellsworth showed off their swaged, shaped and butted tubes on the 2010 models, but even those shaped tubes get some minor tweaks for 2011.
Ellsworth’s new Momentum is the companyâ€™s first Slope Style bike for the park or 4X. Here’s what they have to say about it:
“With the pedal efficiency of Ellsworth’s patented ICT suspension, the bike is fast like a hard tail, yet takes the edge off the hits with 120 mm of firm, speed tuned rear travel allowing the bike to carry more speed and stay connected. It’s the perfect ICT embodiment in a full suspension Park style bike. The Momentum will be customizable, offered with several build options, and will feature a custom configured Fox 831 fork and Ellsworth’s custom built All-Mountain wheels.”
Another first for Ellsworth that this bike brings to the table is the raw aluminum finish, and it’s the only bike in the lineup that gets this non-color option.
It gets some nice, color matched Loaded components.
Both bikes start shipping in December, and both frames are shown as production models, but a few of the bits and pieces aren’t quite final. The blue tape on the shock above said “Prototype” as they’re still working with Fox to get the tune where they want it.
The Momentum will come in the new raw finish or any of their other stock / custom colors, too. MSRP will be $4,395 for X9, $4,895 for XT, and frame/shock/hardware is $2,395 with Fox RP23.
Here’s the silver color with their new color-matched head badges and tapered head tube on the Momentum.
Another new feature for 2011 that’ll be found across the range is their new integrated seat tube that’s 50g lighter, but comes out about 15% to 20% stronger in fatigue tests.
Another viewpoint of the new seat tubes.
Not shown is their new version of the carbon Enlightenment. It’s a crossover bike that’s built up for more of a commuter and light duty trail (read: path) bicycle. From Ellsworth: “Crafted from Ellsworth’s Rare Earth Carbon, the Enlightenment 26 crossover bike features force directional carbon shaping and lay patterns topped off with internal cable routing to protect the shifting from the elements. The DMS (Dual Mono Stay) firmtail frame design features an element of absorption, without mechanical articulation, that produces an amazing ride whether it’s a quick daily commute or an off-road trek on a favorite trail. The Enlightenment’s unique dropout design accommodates the NuVinci N360’s drive with a belt or a chain. The NuVinci CVP is a significant “shift” in drivetrain technology, transmitting mechanical power with spheres instead of gears. With an unlimited number of ratios available within its nominal 360% ratio range, the N360 enhances the Enlightenment’s performance with seamless, continuous shifting (even under high pedal torque), without power interruptions, missed gears or dropped chains.”
And here’s the press-release blurb about the frame changes for 2011:
“Ellsworth’s XC, Trail and All Mountain mainstays (Truth, Evolve, Epiphany and Moment) will feature the next generation of the company’s SST tubing (sst.2), which is hand-shaped after swaging and tapering, which gives precise control of wall thickness, over bulk hydro-forming. The shaping allows Ellsworth to create the precise characteristics of life and rigidity in each frame. In addition to new frame graphics and head badges, each frame will feature a new semi-integrated tapered head tube that provides superlative strength for razor sharp handling and increased front-end stiffness, improved overall stack height and allows for an increased bearing surface. In addition, Ellsworth is incorporating a new Pivot Integrated Seat Tube for each model. New super-formed seat tubes are lighter and stronger than ever.”
“Our 20th anniversary lineup continues the handcrafted, quality and technological “Made in America” tradition of excellence that our customers have known and loved for two decades,” said Tony Ellsworth. “This is perhaps the most exciting model year lineup we have ever produced. Our mountain bikes maintain our tried and true ICT suspension design that provides greater efficiency – for climbing, speed and acceleration, ride quality and incredible handling, traction and control, and reduced rider fatigue for sustained physical performance. Whether on or off road, our customers riding experience remains paramount to this company. That’s why we’d like to thank our customers for the great ride over the past 20 years with a model lineup that pays homage to the past but propels us to the future.”
Just one of the custom frame color options available, shown with one of the custom anodization color schemes available, too.