It’s not every day a new mountain bike brand launches, and few dare to start with a high-end carbon fiber trail bike.
Esker Cycles is a rider-centered brand with a team that claims more than 100 years of collective bike industry experience. Judging by their first bike, the Elkat, it appears they are not messing around.
While full details are not available yet, the carbon-fiber Elkat is said to offer 150mm of travel and rolls on 27.5″ wheels. A frame with a Fox DPS shock, rear axle, headset, and seat collar will set buyers back $3,000. Complete builds start at $4,000 and go up from there depending on upgrades.
Esker says the company will be the first to use Dave Weagle’s Orion suspension design. Weagle is known for designing some of the most widely adopted and preferred suspension platforms in the industry, including his signature dw-link. Orion claims to offer “an efficient and stable pedaling response on both smooth terrain and in the rough, and without even a hint of pedal feedback. Optimized for single-chainring, big-range drivetrains, its two short links work in concert to provide controlled lateral stiffness and keep braking forces in check.”
Engineer Anders Broste says, “The Elkat project was about creating a high-quality bike that someone could ride hard for as long as they want, and know that it would stand up.”
Clearly design and aesthetics play an important role too. Designer Jason Ness says Esker wanted a bike that would “encourage someone to stop and ask what it is, opening up a conversation that ultimately leads to riding one. With Elkat, if you like how it looks, you’ll love how it rides.”
Esker Cycles plans to have demo bikes at consumer events this fall, with initial deliveries starting in December. The company is currently accepting pre-orders for the Elkat with a $500 deposit.