Ellsworth Joker

In the late 90’s, two California mountain bike builders decided to collaborate on a new full suspension bike. They created a new company with a line of three single-pivot bikes. The collaborators were Ellsworth and Ventana, and the new company was Aeon.

Aeon didn’t last that long. I’m not sure why though, as I’m not finding any details about them, apart from this amazing page from 1997 that is somehow still on the Internet. Ellsworth must have wanted to try and make money from this arrangement, as they took over the Aeon bikes and rebadged them as Ellsworths.

They had the Isis with 100mm of travel, and the Joker with 150mm. You often saw the Joker with a pretty burly spec for DH and shuttle run activities.

I also recall them having a high incidence of failure, but, that’s just what I’ve seen. Everyone knows¬†that insert bike name here break all the time, but there are a much greater number of people that have never seen insert bike name here¬†bike break, so it doesn’t mean that much. If you know what I mean.



Which brings me to last Sunday, and an ad on Kijij for a Joker at the low low price of $200. How can you pass that up? Especially since it had a Marzocchi Jr. T on it. Well, a lot of people passed on it at $300, probably because the rear derailleur had been snapped off. And if that happened, who knows if the derailleur is still good? Not to mention, the rest of the damn bike.

That'll buff right out.

That’ll buff right out.



As you can see, not only is the bike pretty mashed up, it’s really dirty.

That’s the twisted and broken derailleur hanger there, and also notice a broken jockey wheel on the derailleur.

This is my favorite part. Look closely at the bottom bracket here. Do you see the problem?

The chain has somehow wrapped twice around the chainrings.

The Joker is an elevated chainstay bike, so the chain can be removed without taking it apart. I’m not entirely certain how this happens though. Maybe it snuck under the derailleur when it was in it’s lowest position?

I spent a few minutes trying to untangle it, then I discovered two horribly bent links in the chain, and that was it. That usually means replacing the entire drivetrain, which is expensive. But, if that’s all this bike needs, that’s not that bad.

It should be a pretty decent trail bike with a more manageable fork. But I’m not sure if I’ll go that route. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it. That sort of thing I really don’t worry about when buying a bike, I just buy them. That’s the important thing – just get more bikes.

4 thoughts on “Ellsworth Joker”

    1. eBay is the way to go.

      I found one from this seller, and all the hangers are identified by a type number; http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Derailleur-Hangers-gear-hangers-55-Types-Fuji-Kona-Giant-Trek-GT-etc-/171599486085?var=&hash=item27f4205c85

      It’s been a while, but I think I remember that the type number on my broken hanger didn’t match the type numbers on that listing, so I just matched the shape of it.

      Looking my purchase history, I bought type 17 from that listing.

      I hope that helps and thanks for the comment!

      1. Thanks! I already ordered one. Further investigations showed that I probably have to change the derailleur as well. Have to buy myself an early Christmas present.

        1. I had thought of making a trail bike out of it with some lighter wheels and single crown fork, but I had other things to do.

          I’ll just wait for something else to come along I guess.

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