Esker Cycles debuted two years ago with a full-suspension bike, the 27.5-inch, 150mm Elkat. Today, they dropped their second full-suspension, also with Dave Weagle’s Orion suspension design, licensed solely to Esker. The Rowl is a 29er with 140mm of rear travel and is fully carbon. Up front, the Rowl gets a 150mm fork.
“We initially adopted the Orion platform because it has a great balance of extreme small bump sensitivity due to a flatter shock curve than other short-link systems, and Dave Weagle’s signature balance of anti-squat for the best pedaling efficiency. Now applied to our 29” wheel Rowl in a 140mm travel package, it makes the best case for an ‘entire mountain’ bike that we like to build here at Esker,” said Esker founder Tim Krueger.
The Rowl gets modern geometry, starting with a 65.16° head tube angle, a 76° seat tube angle, and 425mm chainstays. Reach is 420, 450, 470, and 490mm, for sizes S-XL. Wheelbases have been kept fairly conservative, at 1186mm in a size M, and the Rowl is using a reduced offset fork.
Frame touches include a threaded bottom bracket, chainstay protection, and room for a water bottle. Esker used internal routing for gear and dropper cables, however they stuck with external routing for brake cables for “easy maintenance.”
Esker has two build levels available for the Rowl, the R2 and R3 for $5,000 and $6,000 in limited quantities. There is an R1 build kit, with Shimano Deore components and Fox suspension for $4,000 but it isn’t available at the moment. Check out the Rowl on the Esker website for more info.