Ellsworth Bikes owner, Tony Ellsworth, has been building custom bikes for a long time. His passion for taking proven suspension designs to the next level is evidenced in the evolution of their ICT rocker-arm design utilizing the Specialized-owned Horst Link. But, Ellsworth wasn’t just satisfied with relying wholly on the positive aspects of the Horst alone. They have taken the rocker-arm suspension design to new heights of efficiency by slapping their own Instant Center Tracking (ICT) patent on top of the Horst Link.
The result? Well, you need to ride an Ellsworth to see for yourself, but let me tell you, this bike is awesome.The Moment offers 6 inches of rear wheel travel. The wheelpath is what makes the ICT/Horst combination different. Dave Wisenteiner from Ellsworth explained that the actual pivot point on the Moment frame is several feet out in front of the bike. Thus, the wheel path is about as vertical as can be and provides smooth bump absorption throughout the travel while remaining active under hard pedaling and braking.
Back in 2001, I rode the Ellsworth ID and felt mixed on its performance. It felt a bit too XC for a long-travel trailbike. It was twitchy on steep, technical stuff and didn’t inspire confidence when the trails got hairy. So, when I saddled up the Moment, I was quickly blown away by how refined, stable and comfortable the Moment felt right out of the gate.
Sometimes you get on a bike and it just feels like you’ve ridden that bike for years. That’s the way the Moment felt. And that’s how you know it’s a great design. Nobody likes feeling like you’ve got to do a ton of tweaking just to get the bike to feel “right.” A little time making sure the Fox DHX Air shock was dialed in and I was good to go.
The medium Moment bike I rode was decked out with a great all-mountain parts mix including SRAM X.9 drivetrain, Fox 36 fork, Kenda Nevegal 2.35’s and other worthy all-mountain parts.
On the Trail: Ellsworth Moment Review
When I got to the Ellsworth booth and found a Moment available, I was anxious to swipe it up. After a few minutes tinkering with the exact shock pressure, I was off and didn’t have it back to them for over an hour. Taking the Moment on the same trails as the other bikes I rode, I was able to establish a solid baseline comparison between models. To be quite honest, the Moment was the best overall bike I rode at the Interbike Dirt Demo.
As mentioned above, the Moment simply felt comfortable right out of the box. As opposed to other bikes tested, the Moment stood out in my mind because it immediately felt like a bike I’d ridden for months already.
The Fox DHX Air shock provides smooth and plush travel through the rough stuff. One particular rock garden trail section has a rough corner, followed by a slight rise across nothing but “Bootleg Special” rocks followed by a tough section that ends in a 3 foot drop. The approach is a bit sketchy for some and it was pretty common to find people walking through this section. I was able to ride through the roughest terrain and keep it pointed confidently through the fall-line without blinking an eye. The Moment hooked up like a magnet to the curvy desert singletrack, then set me up confidently through the rocks and into the diving board drop. I felt the suspension absorb everything in sight without a hint of lateral flex–what an awesome feeling!
Climbing and mixed trail riding was solid on the Moment. In fact, the ICT suspension design provided some of the most solid climbing skills of any 6″ trailbike I’ve ridden. I honestly felt the increased efficiency that the ICT design provides. Every pedal stroke went directly to propelling me forward and upward without any noticeable loss in efficiency. Some VPP designs tend to feel a bit numb on the climbs, while the Moment felt active and efficient.
One note on the particular Moment I rode is that it was actually a 2007/2008 prototype with a manipulated tubeset. The current model is practically identical, says Dave Wisenteiner from Ellsworth. He also mentioned that the Moment frame has never had a single warranty claim in the three plus years of production!
The Bottom Line on the Ellsworth Moment
I was completely impressed with the Ellsworth Moment right out of the box. The Medium size frameset fit perfectly with a comfortable, upright position. Get the Moment, slap on a Fox 36 or RockShox Lyrik and smile uphill, then flat-out laugh going down. This is one of the most versatile and capable long-travel trail bikes on the market. It does come at a price ($2495 MSRP frame-only), but if you’ve got the means, I’d highly recommend it as one of the most versatile trailbikes on the market.