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Though the aesthetics of the frame are radically different (Old English script, we hardly knew ye), Ellsworth left the suspension and geometry virtually unchanged on the 2016 Epiphany 27.5 XT 1x Complete Mountain Bike. The Ellsworth dedicated will be happy to hear this, as the California-based brand perfected its ideal suspension clear back in 1991, and it's been resting on its Instant Center Tracking (ICT) laurels ever since.
Ellsworth claims that the Epiphany's ICT suspension is the most advanced suspension platform in the world. As it moves through travel, ICT keeps the instant center (or virtual pivot created by ICT's four bar suspension) as close to the chain force line as possible. In on-trail terms, this maintains a steady pedaling platform so your power is always transferring into forward motion instead of lost to those two suspension gremlins, forward Jack and vertical Bob.
Furthermore, ICT doesn't require a lock-out, so you can always keep the FOX Float DPS shock's travel fully active, even while climbing. The addition of chain torque doesn't constrain the system's travel, the Achilles heel of so many otherwise efficient suspension designs, so pedaling and bump compliance aren't working against each other. The end result of ICT is a plush, less-fatiguing ride with greater control and responsiveness over all terrain.
Previous models of the Epiphany were available as XC or enduro models, with the difference being a few degrees of head tube angle. The current generation's 27.5in carbon model splits the difference at 69.5 degrees, which primes it for reckless abandon across moderately rocky trail terrain without sacrificing nimble agility on climbs and while dicing lines across gnarlier stuff. The Carbon Torsion Arch connecting the CNC machined aluminum rockers and chainstays complements the Boost rear axle for an even stiffer rear triangle, and the single 12 millimeter bolt needed for each pivot assemblage makes for a lighter, less complicated system.
The build kit lives up to the frame's potential, too, with a full complement of Shimano's reworked XT M8000 one-by groupset. This includes the crank and brakes, possibly our two favorite pieces of the new XT and usually the pieces that get omitted from manufacturer spec'd builds in favor of cheaper, inferior kit. The bike is finished with a full Thomson cockpit and a pair of mid-travel-specific Stan's NoTubes Arch wheels, both of which we'd expect on a custom build but are pleasantly surprised to see surface on Ellsworth's spec sheet.
- Item #ELS000J
- Q & A
If you need help with sizing please hit me up direct. The geometry chart should be up on the site soon.
We can also order any Ellsworth complete bike or frame so hit me up for pricing.
Wes Branham-Account Manager