Ellsworth Flight Older Road Bike

Flight

Road Frame, 7005 Easton Aluminum tubing.

User Reviews (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7  
zzxcvv   Recreational Rider [Jul 25, 2003]
Strength:

weight, ride

Weakness:

integrated headset (weakness of many new frames)

A really nice frame. A no-nonsense road frame with good blend of low weight and nice ride. An all-around bike. One weakness- the headset is the integrated type, just not the best design (on -any- frame), it creaks. Check the Chris King site for good analysis against integrated designs. here To the earlier poster with copmlaints about finish, fit, etc.: I have not had any problems with frame straightness, and the finish is good--simple anodized aluminum looks great, wears well.

Similar Products Used: Rocky Mountain Turbo
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bill   Recreational Rider [Jan 04, 2002]
Strength:

Very lightweight; ride is firm but not harsh; responsive handling; anodized finish is very scratch resistant, durable, and low maintenance

Weakness:

More vulnerable to impact damage than carbon fiber

I have at least 7000 miles and 40 century rides on this frame and it still looks new (including the stickers). It is a joy to ride each and every time. Steering is quick, yet stable at high speeds. The ride is plenty comfortable for centuries, yet it is stiff in the bottom bracket and chain stays for maximum energy transfer. As setup, it weighs in at an honest 16.9 lbs including pedals, cages, odometer, and 23mm clinchers (16.5 lbs would be easily achieveable with lighter pedals, stem, seatpost, saddle, etc). I have often switched between the Flite and my similarly equipped ''99 Trek 5500 USPS. They are astonishingly similar in ride and handling characteristics... which seems amazing considering the difference in frame material. The Flite has a bit better road feel but transmits slightly more vibration than the Trek at higher speeds. The Trek weighs about 1 lb more (about half of which is due to the frame). I have yet to find any other frame in the same price range that beats the Flite''s combination of low mass with excellent ride and handling. Why anyone would pay nearly three times as much for a Colnago C40 frame that actually weighs more beats me. The Trek 5900 frame weighs a tiny bit less, but will cost you at least $1K more. The only thing I worry about is the remote possibility of denting or creasing the tubes of the main triangle at their midpoints where they are the thinnest, which is generally not a concern on carbon fiber frames.

Similar Products Used: Trek 5500
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Andy   Road Racer [Oct 09, 2001]
Strength:

Carves corners perfectly. Frame strength- Took a head-on 18mp/h crash-Unscathed.

Weakness:

Still carries aluminums achilles heel- tad rough.

Nice bike, as long as your not a perfectionist Italiano/Euro convert. Had the same prob. As Dave above; Rear triangle too tight too fit wheel. But I took the unorthodox approach of trimming down the chainstay bridge (which in my opinion is a vestigial structure any how) And all is well. Steers sharp. And having surpassed 54 mp/h on this baby, I can vouch for it''s stability.Vibration was seriously killing my feet and crotch till I switvhed the Era saddle to a WTB comfort zone, and the spd pedals to Be-bops and Carnac shoes. Alleviated the jarring. Be sure you can handle alu. before you buy. This bike will sprint and corner on rails, but avoid it if you need a cush-tush ride.

Similar Products Used: Litespeed Ultimate, Merlin, 753.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
David   Road Racer [Jul 18, 2001]
Strength:

Light weight

Weakness:

Stability, design, finish

I purchased this bike because of the excellent job Ellsworth does with their mtn bikes; however, they clearly are mtn bikers and their road bike should be considered a work-in-progress. The first frame I received had a rear triangle that was too tight to accept a wheel/tire when the tire was inflated; also, the frame was very unstable on fast descents. This frame was replaced by Ellsworth with one with a longer rear triangle; this generally rides very well except on fast descents where it also shakes-you must grab the top tube with your knees to keep it stable. The stability may be related to the internal headset that is required for this frame, as suggested by this quote from Bicycling Magazine..."The problem with internal headsets is that the frame's gotta be damn near perfect for the thing to work right. The top and bottom bearing races have to be perfectly parallel (meaning the head tube needs to be perfectly squared-up at both ends) or the bearings won't adjust properly--which can lead to a nice speed wobble, or they'll bind up at certain points or make a horrid clicking noise or just suck so bad that you won't even want to ride."

Smaller quibbles I have include a lack of front derailleur braze-on and chain hanger; the anodized finish is much less aesthetic than a good paint; cheap stickers (on the silver frame they still use stickers, not laser) which have peeled...Bottom line is I am sure that Ellsworth will get things right but at this time they clearly focus on mtn bikes and need to make substantial changes to the road frame to get it to the level they've proven for mtn bikes. There are many better road frames for the money.


Similar Products Used: Many; tomassini, serrota, mercian
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
1
john liddil   Recreational Rider [Jul 30, 2001]
Strength:

manufacturing engineering strength performance handling all in one package

Weakness:

none. the bike came in silver with the stick on ellsworth decals. i was told this is the look for 2002?

for a casual rider this bike really performs. i live on rough streets and it handles all the bumps. i weigh over 220 and it shoots me down the road with speed and stability. i liked the service at dome they really educated me on the components. i liked selecting the components to fit my style and riding charcteristics. this bike makes riding a joy.

Similar Products Used: trek gt
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
FredK   Recreational Rider [Mar 31, 2000]
Strength:

Extremely lightweight. Compliant for an Al frame.

Weakness:

Toe overlap. It is not aided by the fact that I have a 4 cm rake on the fork and 175mm cranks, but I guess it is not too uncommon a problem especially in a small frame. Price is pretty steep.

The Ellsworth Flight is an excellent bike. There are several characteristics that make it a really good ride.

Handling
There are several factors which make a bike handle well, especially while cornering. I suppose weight distribution is key in this characteristic, which is affected by the frame, stem length, and saddle position. I have a short stem (90mm) and run the saddle in a neutral position. The bike allows me to take corners at speeds previously thought untenable. Very cool. Also going downhill is no problem. I've taken the bike to around 40, and there's no weird things cropping up that would make me nervous.

Stiffness
I have ridden over some pretty ugly roads. OK, one cannot say it floats over the rough stuff like a mountain bike. How smooth can 23mm tires pumped up to 110 psi make the ride? But, over rough asphalt (no, not asphalt with potholes every 10 feet, or expansion joints, or cracked up pavement), the bike does mute some of the roughness. By rough I mean worn pavement where its constitutional gravel can be seen. These roads are common here in the Northeast, especially in the boondocks where I live.

Weight
One of the greatest advantages of the Ellsworth is its weight. It's lack of heft makes it absolutely fly. It is so light that it just disappears underneath me when climbing. I don't feel its weight, and it is just between me and the hill (which usually ends up winning). Built with Ultegra and Speedplays, I estimate it weighs around 18 lb.

Who Should Consider This Bike?
Anyone who desires light weight without a totally bone-jarring ride should consider this bike. It probably doesn't have the longevity of Ti, but then again, it doesn't come with a shocking pricetag like Ti (especially when considering a high end frame such as Serotta, Seven, or Merlin).

Similar Products Used: 1980s British piece of steel junk road bike that weighs around 28 lbs. I guess it ain't too similar, but for all its weight it was faster than the mountain bikes I own.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Dave   Recreational Rider [Jul 21, 2000]
Strength:

Oh so sweet finish, feathery weight, all-around outstanding performer.

Weakness:

None

Spent approximately 6 months reading reviews, considering the pros/cons of all the popular frame materials, and test rode as many frames as possible. In the end, there was no need to narrow it down to a couple of choices, the Flight was just that good. Spending a good deal of time mountain biking, I was very familiar with Ellsworth’s reputation of providing superior products so I wasn’t surprised with the Flight’s excellent performance.
Haven’t had the opportunity to weigh it, but I would estimate it somewhere in the very low 17lbs range.
I just love jumping out of the saddle on this frame – energy transfer is incredible, especially considering my 210lbs frame. No flex in the BB area to speak of, yet remains an extremely comfortable ride.
“Balanced” is how I would best describe it. A little counter-steer and she drops predictably into corners never displaying an ounce of instability. Holds a line with ease, whether in the drops, on the hoods or just sitting up.
Customer service is flat out outstanding, always happy to talk shop and answer all my silly questions. Cathy hooked me up with some sweet Ellsworth swag. There is just nothing quite like purchasing from a small frame builder and the personal attention you receive.
Do yourself a favor, spend some time to seek out an Ellsworth dealer and take a Flight for a ride, you won’t be disappointed.

Similar Products Used: Everything from a Trek 5200 to Litespeed Tuscany.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-7 of 7  

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