Ellsworth Isis £600

The Isis is the women's specific frame in Ellworth's closely related single pivot family.The diminutive front end is mostly extruded in one piece with the box section front splaying into D section top and down tubes like a long rooted tooth.

BikeRadar score 4.5/5

The Isis is the women's specific frame in Ellworth's closely related single pivot family.

The diminutive front end is mostly extruded in one piece with the box section front splaying into D section top and down tubes like a long rooted tooth. The head tube is then welded onto the front and the seat tube onto the back, with a CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled - computer controlled machine, then) keystone for the main pivot above the bottom bracket and a throat gusset at the neck end. Further gussets then carry the front end of the shock, and the ISIS is one of the smallest frames available that still offers a reasonable amount of travel. There's only room for a belly bottle cage mount though, which is an unpalatable prospect given how much the bottle could be coated in trail dung. The main bearings are also completely exposed to the elements.

However, the tough shot peened and anodised appearance is a real bonus for the price. Plus the rear end uses more deep extruded stay sections that all join a single CNC machined main pivot and front mast section. In fact, it's the same swingarm as on Ellworth's Distance and even its Joker freeride bike. This means strength shouldn't be a worry but at 2.7lb it adds a lot of weight to what could otherwise have been a light frame. As you'd expect from a small framed bike, top tube stretch is very short and so is overall wheelbase. Ellsworth has also changed the angles to match the different proportions of the female frame.

What Mountain Bike's then deputy editor Jane rode one for most of 2005 and loved the 'just get on and go' ride, with everything feeling just right from the start. She adored the super bling anodised gold paint job too. Finally, a Float shock is a great score and with all Ellsworth frames dramatically dropping in price you're getting serious quality for your quid.

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