June 24, 2016

The last time we caught up with Tony Ellsworth, it was just announced that the company had been purchased by Jonathan Freeman. Moving on from their relationship with BST, Ellsworth was preparing to start a new chapter with Freeman’s help and a new line of bikes.

Six months later at Summer Press camp, Ellsworth unveiled the latest result of the new partnership with a ground-up redesign of the Rogue. In no uncertain terms, Tony made it clear that the three main sources of criticism for Ellsworth bikes – rocker length, chain stay length, and head tube angle, had all been addressed. Starting from scratch, the new Rogue Sixty looks like it could be the catalyst Ellsworth needed for a comeback…

While Ellsworth’s ICT suspension system seemed to work as advertised, inevitably, the length of their rocker links would be called out in the comment sections due to their dated appearance. Acknowledging the issue, Ellsworth has equipped the Rogue with their new AEES (Active Energy Efficient Suspension) system with 160mm of travel front and rear. Still utilizing the ICT (Instant Center Tracking) philosophy, AEES adds a shorter machined rocker link with Rocker Locker pivot pins which use simple hex key hardware and easily found Enduro bearings to make maintenance as easy as possible. The three highest builds will ship with a custom tuned Float X Factory shock, while the entry level SLX build  uses a Performance Series DPS shock.

Another important talking point of the Rogue is the shortened chain stays at 420mm (16.55″). By Boosting the rear end to 148×12 and removing the front derailleur mount, the frame picked up not only shorter chain stays, but a wider, symmetrical pivot just behind the bottom bracket for increased stiffness. That stiffness was an important talking point for Tony, who made sure to point out their new Hex Taper axle which uses hexagon fittings in the carbon and a quick release lever on the drive side of the frame.

Cable routing for the Rouge Sixty is internal, but uses full tunnels for housing so you can run the cables blind folded and they’ll pop out the other end.

Frame features such as a threaded 73mm bottom bracket, ISCG 05 mounts, and dual water bottle cage mounts should leave most riders happy.In addition to stealth dropper and mechanical drive train routing, the Rogue also includes full Di2 integration with an “Electronics Den” which stashes a Di2 battery inside the down tube and is placed over the downtube carbon protector. Shown as 3D printed prototypes, the production parts will look the part.

Finally, the geometry has been modernized to reflect the current trends of trail and enduro bikes with slack angles, and longer reaches meant for shorter stems. Built with a 66° HTA, and 74º STA, the Rogue offers 432-490mm reach (M-XL) with those numbers derived from their studies of stack and reach biokinetics. Ellsworth wanted to offer a frame size range that provided a linear progression of stack and reach. At the time of launch, the Rogue Sixty will be available in M-XL, though a small frame is on the way.

Riders will have their choice of Foxy Orange, Back in Black, or the Captain America color schemes with any build available in any color. The carbon frame is said to weigh 5.5lbs with a complete build weight of 29.4lbs for a medium. Ellsworth will begin pre-orders in July and August with early shipping starting in August and full delivery by Interbike. Prices start at $6500 for a Shimano XT 1x build with Fox Factory suspension, XT brakes, DT Swiss M1700 27.5″ wheels with MAxxis HRII 2.3″ tires, MRP chain guide, and RaceFace Turbine Dropper.

Rogue Sixty Highlights

  • Carbon Frame 4K weave, 3rd Generation
  • New 25th Anniversary color schemes- Back in Black, Foxy Orange, and Captain America R&B
  • Next Gen ACTIVE (AEES) suspension with custom tuned Fox Float X shock
  • NEW longer reach and stack geometry designed around body proportions for more exact fit on today’s aggressive riding styles
  • Steep seat angle allows for more control during ascents while still allowing rowdiness on the descents
  • Short (420mm) Chain Stay for ultimate corner handling
  • Internal Cable Routing for Dropper, Di2, and Rear Derailleur with easy route cabling for ultra-slick lines/routing- clean minimalistic cockpit
  • Serviceability- minimal pivot hardware. Light weight with maximum stiffness- 8 common milspec dual row angular contact sealed cartridge bearings common across all pivot points.
  • Wider symmetric lower pivot enabled by 1x drive train and Boost 148
  • Next Gen ACTIVE suspension design for added stiffness and service ability
    • Shock removal for maintenance without complete rear tri disassembly
    • Hex Keyed Rocker locker Gen 2
    • Free-ride 8mm flush mount shock hardware
  • Dual bottle cage mounts
  • English Thread 73mm BB for improved serviceability and squeak-less-ness
  • 5 spec: Boost 12x148mm DT Swiss M1700 (XT) or M1900 (SLX) wheels and Maxxis Highroller2 2.3 tires
  • Frame weight: 5.5-pounds (size medium with rear shock)
  • Complete 27.5 weight: 29.4 pounds (size medium)

Read the entire interview on bikerumor.com