Interbike Outdoor Demo: First look at Ellsworth’s new Dare with 160, 180 or 225mm of adjustable travel


There are big changes afoot for the storied SoCal brand, with a new owner and some new models on the way. Having been acquired by BST Nano Carbon, a San Diego-based composites manufacturer, Ellsworth is debuting the last of its Asian-made carbon fiber frames, as it will soon shift its carbon fiber production to the US alongside its aluminum bikes.


The new Dare is a direct descendent of the previous model, but it is also designed to take on new terrains, as it can be set up in three different travel settings: 225mm, 180mm, and 160mm. Each setting has its own shock mount location and uses a different shock length eye-to-eye measurement.


The classic four-bar Instant Center Tracking suspension layout remains, with a huge, machined aluminum rocker link with a carbon fiber bridge, paired to a carbon fiber seat stay.


Pictured here is an early prototype with a carbon fiber front triangle that was air-mailed from Asia and just arrived last night. With the full Shimano Saint downhill build pictured here it sports a 63 degree head tube angle, 17.5-inch chainstays and a 14-inch bottom bracket. The aluminum and carbon swing arm is built around a 142x12mm axle for versatility and is plenty strong enough for downhill use.


Because the same frame can be set up as an enduro/all-mountain bike, it also sports internal dropper post routing and a front derailleur mount, though on the final version it will be removable for a cleaner look. Speaking of look, any of the black you see here will instead be exposed carbon.


The Dare will retail for $3,695 for a frame and shock when it becomes available at the end of the year, and will be available in complete builds as well. All new Ellsworth bikes now come with a lifetime frame warranty too.


As part of the sale of the company, Ellsworth’s founder Tony Ellsworth will oversee the brand’s product design and work closely with BST Nano Carbon’s engineering and advanced materials team to create the next generation of Ellsworth bicycles. Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles’ offices and operations, previously based in Ramona, California, are now located in BST Nano Carbon’s state-of-the-art 65,000 sq. ft. R&D and manufacturing facility in San Diego.