Final Review: Ellsworth Absolute Truth 27.5

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One of my favorite things about having the Absolute Truth 27.5″ in for review is the reactions when I show up to a ride on it. I imagine it must be a similar feeling to show up somewhere in a Lamborghini Aventador. Some people like the looks, and will tell you so. Some people don’t, and will tell you so. Whatever their opinion on the bike, people are dying to talk about it.

Hate all you want, haters. I’m here to ride. Not skillfully, mind you, but still: ride.

Yes, if you read my On Review article about this bike, you know that it generates a lot of jibber jabber. But I can tell you this right now: I freakin’ love it.

People who hate on the Absolute Truth tend to do so because of the design of the rear triangle, which is actually more of a trapezoid, or maybe even a rhomboid, depending how you look at it.

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This design is called ICT (Instant Center [of rotation] Tracking), and its purpose is to maximize pedaling efficiency while providing a rear wheel that can absorb bumps. In other words, Ellsworth says the exact same things about it that other manufacturers say about their designs. Ellsworth has a whole section of their web site that deals with the physics behind their design, complete with video. Warning, the site uses Shockwave Flash animation, so don’t click if you’re not ready to go back in time about ten years.

If you look around the internet, you can also find a bunch of armchair mechanical engineers picking apart Ellsworth’s design. These people have the time to do that sort of thing because their schedule isn’t encumbered by any form of romantic entanglement.

Said it before, and I’ll say it again: arguing about a bike’s specifics is just waving your crank around.

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What really matters is whether laying down the chunk of change that a manufacturer is asking for a bike is worth it. In this bike’s case, as-spec’ed (or close), that would be $7,626.41. That’s a lot of dough. But if I close my eyes and imagine I have that kind of money for a bike, what do I want?

Well, first and foremost, I want a bike that looks not only amazing, but unique. I want people to know that I bought something that is not only mechanically adept, but aesthetically remarkable. Absolute Truth: check and check.

I believe I am unique in the world of bike reviewers in that I refuse to tell you what it would be like for you to ride a bike. I think it’s impossible to do that, and, frankly, I think that people who try are a little bit silly. All I can hope to do is tell you what it’s like for me to ride a bike.

In this case, it’s freakin’ sweet.

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I love the Absolute Truth’s aesthetic. I love how every little piece has a detail on it to show the rider that, yes, even that piece has been thought about. I heard next year’s models are going to have a Thompson cockpit, and while I love the Loaded gear on my test bike, I’m a big Thompson fan. Where the suspension is concerned, I love that Ellsworth came up with a design, patented it, and stuck with it. I can think of another company who came up with a design and more or less stuck with it: Porsche and their 911.

I know that’s two car comparisons in one review, but what can I say? I like cars and bikes. Deal with it.

Speaking of which, remember when Porsche made a mountain bike? Weird, right?

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Okay, I’m getting off topic. Back to the Ellsworth. Here I am getting at least 3″ off the ground, or as I call it, “maximum air.”

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The Absolute Truth 27.5″ suits me to a tee. In fact, I’m kind of in hot water with my editor Greg because I have kept the Ellsworth way too long. They’re ready to get their bike back.

Sorry, guys. I can’t help myself. Fact is, I just like riding it too much. And that’s the Absolute Truth.

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