Ellsworth Specialist review£508.00

The Specialist is Ellsworth's hardcore hardtail. It's a great jump frame, but it's much lighter than most pure jump frames and comes in a choice of top tube lengths - the 23.5in top tube reach of the long one makes it a great hardcore cross country bike.

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The Specialist is Ellsworth's hardcore hardtail. It's a great jump frame, but it's much lighter than most pure jump frames and comes in a choice of top tube lengths - the 23.5in top tube reach of the long one makes it a great hardcore cross country bike.

Like most Ellsworth frames, the main triangle is very compact so you'll need a long, strong seat post. But it's that long post, and a suitably big tyre, that takes the hard edges off bumps and makes the Specialist a thoroughly enjoyable ride on the sort of terrain that would be an enormous challenge for traditional XC lightweights.

The geometry is perfect for a 130mm travel fork; there's a single set of bottle cage bosses and you can run it with either rim or disc brakes. It costs exactly the same as the new Enlightenment - the race-ready model that's nearly a pound lighter. We reckon that the Specialist is more relevant now than when it was launched, simply because a lot of riders are looking for new boundaries on cross country bikes these days.

The US build quality is superb. We particularly like the one-piece looped seat and chain stays, and the machined yokes bridging the stays into the seat tube and bottom bracket.

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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