File this under things we didn’t see coming – Brian Lopes is now on an Ellsworth. In 2014, the racing legend signed with Intense Cycles after seven years with Ibis Cycles. Now, Lopes has jumped aboard Ellsworth as the brand is back on the upswing after restructuring and introducing new models with updated aesthetics, shorter chainstays, and new frame tech. Lopes is said to be scheduled to race the new Rogue Sixty in at least 12 events in 2017 including the Sea Otter Classic, EWS Colorado and British Columbia, and Crankworx Whistler, but will be hopping on other bikes in the Ellsworth line up for daily adventures.

Check out the full announcement next…

From Ellsworth:

Poway, CA, January 7, 2017: Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles announced today that MTB legend Brian Lopes will join the Ellsworth Handcrafted sponsored rider roster as part of a multi-year contract.   Lopes will be riding in over 12 US and Canadian events, including Sea Otter Classic, EWS Colorado, Crankworx Whistler, and EWS British Columbia on Ellsworth’s newest enduro platform- the Rogue Sixty- built with Active Energy Efficient Suspension.  He will shred on Ellsworth’s entire MTB line for his racing and mountain bike adventures around the globe.

With over four decades of professional racing experience, Lopes “Flyin’ Brian” brings the legacy of Ellsworth’s proven suspension and MTB design back into the forefront of professional racing.  “I’ve had the opportunity to work with a handful of cool mountain bike companies over my 25-year career, but I’ve never been as excited as I am to start this new venture with Ellsworth.  I’ve been testing the new Rogue 60 – it’s amazing.  The suspension design is so active and supple, yet the bike pedals with what feels like virtually no energy loss.  And the rear end is one of the stiffest I’ve ever felt.  Ellsworth’s hex tapered axle & rocker locker, which replaces tradition shock eye hardware, are just a couple of unique and very effective design elements that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen on other bikes in the market.

The Rogue Sixty, a 160mm enduro machine, was launched in June and began shipping in September of 2016.   Designed with a 66 HTA, short 420mm chain stay, and a new stack and reach approach, the Rogue platform builds off Ellsworth’s ICT suspension design and was the first new introduction with Active Energy Efficient Suspension.   “We’ve seen unprecedented consumer response and demand for this new product which indicates we hit the right marks on our design goals,” said Jonathan Freeman, President of Ellsworth Handcrafted.

“It’s important for me to have trust and confidence in the people I’m going to work with and after meeting Jonathan and his team, I felt good about the company’s future.  He’s a super smart business man who I know I will learn a lot from and he values the knowledge and input I will bring to all aspects of the company.  He’s offered me a great opportunity to be an integral part of Ellsworth and I’m looking forward to helping them succeed,” Lopes said.

Lopes brings new perspective to Ellsworth’s product development approach.  “Gaining additional feedback on our designs, specs, and set-up will continue to improve the progress we have been making in the rebirth of Ellsworth’s product line”, said Freeman.  Lopes’ feedback on current and future products will be crucial to our goal of bringing exciting and high-performance products to the global MTB market. “I’m excited by the partnership and exposure Brian brings to Ellsworth; his track record with the resurgence of other major brands back into the mainstream will be invaluable to our ongoing success”, said Freeman.

Lopes will be play a hands-on role in helping build awareness around the unique elements of Ellsworth’s design.  He will be a brand ambassador and play an active role engaging our existing and future rider base at festivals, dealer events, and races.   Lopes’ social media engagement illustrates how he wants to give back to the sport and grow it through technical tips, cool content, and exposure to rad destinations.

About

Headquartered in Poway, California, Ellsworth Handcrafted Bicycles has been an American manufacturer of mountain bikes for over 25 years.  Ellsworth is the title sponsor for the Ellsworth O-Rock Epic Enduro, a EWS qualifying event and the first round of the IMBA national enduro series.  New bikes now feature Ellsworth’s Performance Satisfaction Guarantee (EPSG), our promise that owners will find our newest bikes the best they’ve ever ridden.    More information can be found at: www.ellsworthbikes.com 

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bearcol
bearcol
5 years ago

Not sure if signing an old schooler known to be a bit of jerk is the best thing to change the image of an old company known to have a jerk for an owner but what do I know?

I’m old enough to not care about brand image. Any carbon 4bar with this geo is going to ride great regardless of what people may think about the looks. So funny that people think the rocker looks old school while they ride their specialized whatever that has the same basic riding traits just with more “modern” looks.

AK_Ben
AK_Ben
5 years ago

“With over four decades of professional racing experience…” I had no idea Brian Lopes was racing pro by the age of 4. That’s even more impressive than being a pro since the age of 17, and having almost three decades of professional racing experience (which is what it should read).

craig
craig
5 years ago

The “quote” from Brian in this article was just a tad over-scripted. I know rider quotes are usually written by the marketing team but in this press release the quotes were so try-hard it came across both sounding desperate and a bit silly.

Mr. P
5 years ago
Reply to  craig

Agreed on the over-scripted. Yeow.

Mike D
5 years ago

It’s 2017…would it be overly rude if I said Brian who? I say that with plenty of respect for Brian’s career and what he has accomplished. I still dig the hell out of Tinker Juarez but how many bikes is he selling for Cannondale these days? Just seems like an odd pick to me, and I’ll third the notion that the rider quotes seem cheesily scripted.

Now the best thing about any of this? Those graphics on that X Fusion fork! Yowza! Finally a fork with some style! Good pick Ellsworth. Cool stuff.

WR1
WR1
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike D

Step aside Brian, and stop taking from the industry and call it a career bud. Time to foster new talent and stop relying on old guys who don’t race anymore nor provide any media content. Attaching an old name to a brand doesn’t sell product. Just think of the younger racers that could have each had a free bike and entry fees paid for, while providing media updates. This industry is changing and when I see ‘news’ like this it makes me cringe.

Dylan Sutton
Dylan Sutton
5 years ago
Reply to  WR1

@WR1, “Attaching an old name to a brand doesn’t sell product”? I can’t be the only guy in his 40s who no longer follows races but still attaches some cred to names like Lopes. And I can’t be the only one among that group who has 10x the income (and 100x the disposable income) that I had in my 20’s. I still won’t be rushing out to buy an Ellsworth, but Lopes signing for them does make me think they can’t suck quite as much as the cool kids say they do.

bearcol
bearcol
5 years ago
Reply to  WR1

I’m sure he will be fostering new talent. Everyone knows he’s not up to winning at the EWS, and WC level, but he has something most pro riders will never have, a long decorated career. My comment about him being known as a jerk has nothing to do with what he can still offer the sport. I personally think every company should have an old decorated pro on the roster.

Intense signed Palmer who couldn’t even qualify for a WC last time he tried. Nothing wrong with signing decorated riders that can’t compete with the young guns anymore.

WR1
WR1
5 years ago
Reply to  bearcol

The difference here is that Palmer wasn’t hired as a rider /racer, but as a developer of the race team. And look at what Shaun did, he hired a bunch of young racers to help develop their careers. Brilliant move by Intense, and one the industry should start looking at copying. Not even remotely the same as what Ellsworth is doing.

Sure, thanking an ex racer in the twilight of his/her career by providing them with equipment is a great move. Let’s not kid ourselves though, the value he provides is very little when compared to the alternative of hiring on a crew of younger rippers who can not only provide results, but also technical feedback and media content. Paying Lopes to be a rider and promoting it publicly is a huge fail in my opinion. They could achieve so much more with so much less.

Most brands pay younger riders/racers to use their product, that’s nothing new. It does not dissuade older recreational riders to want to ride that product. That argument that older riders will buy Ellsworth bikes because an older rider is riding for them is laughable. Come on guys, that’s not even remotely close to the truth. Name any young pro bike rider on the rise in his/her career and you’ll see a bump in bike sales.

But hey, its not my company. If it works for them, then great. I hope it does. However this style of marketing is a joke in this industry and its time we changed it. Don’t believe me? Then read the amount of negative comments and tell me I’m wrong.

Dylan
Dylan
5 years ago
Reply to  WR1

Where your argument re ‘media content’ falls down is that most riders (let alone those over 40) probably _couldn’t_ “name any young pro bike rider on the rise in his/her career”. Brands are picking up new riders all the time, when do you ever see it on BR/Pinkbike etc that brand X just picked up someone who managed a few good results in under 18s? Most riders never pick up results that make the first paragraph of an article, and many are only ever named in size 8 italics in the “full result list” at the bottom. Lopes is also going to do way better than some fresh faced kid when it comes to interbike or general shmoozing of dealers. Technical feedback is something riders are generally either good or bad at, but i’d take feedback from a 45 year old with years at the top in their past over feedback from a 20 year old with potential in their future.

I like what Intense doing, but the same approach can’t work for everyone, especially with the baggage Ellsworth are carrying from the last 15 years. They don’t have the time to play the long game that Intense are, what Ellsworth need is a turn-around. Unless Lopes is desperate for money to feed a crack or gambling habit, the fact that he’s willing to shill for a particular brand of bike probably means they’re not garbage. “Look at us, we’re not garbage” may not be the #1 marketing strategy in the world, but it’s pretty much where I see the brand, and I’d be willing to demo one on that basis.

Wendigo
Wendigo
5 years ago

The Rouge series bikes look great! I would sport one for sure

Maus Haus
Maus Haus
5 years ago

No mention of Tony Ellsworth. Hey Zach – Is Tony still involved in any way? If so, what does he do w/ the company? Just curious, thanks.

Tim
Tim
5 years ago

A lotof the comments here are pure ageism- brutal and selfish. I’ll translate some of the comments here into clearspeak: “Hey Brian! You spent your youth, the time of your life when you could most easily get skills that would allow you a standard job with higher security, entertaining us. Now that you’ve done that- get out of our sight. You’re stealing from us by continuing to try to do your job. Oh! And I like the red stickers on that fork. Give me more of that.”
I for one don’t think that way. Here’s what I think- Congratulations on the new sponsor, Brian, and keep up the good work in racing and adventuring!

Mike D
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Someone has an opinion other than yours? Let’s slap a label on it, preferably ending in some sort of “-ism”, and belittle it. Hahaha..haaa.. ugh. Shall we put geriatrics in all the iphone ads from now on for fear of calls of “ageism!”? Call it what you will, I call it a poor marketing decision.

I simply questioned, while still noting respect for Brian’s career, the addition of him as the ‘face of the brand’. Yes, good for him, congrats on still getting paid to do what you love, Mr. Lopes. However, his involvement with the company does nothing what-so-ever to make me consider making my next bike an Ellsworth–and this coming from a 40 year old in the market for a new bike.

Tim
Tim
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike D

I wasn’t referring to you. I was referring to WR1, I should have posted higher up. Read what he said, it does pretty much boil down to him saying Lopes should get out of sight a) because he’s old (“stop taking from the industry and call it a career”) and b) because he doesn’t provide enough FB or Instagram or whatever content. a) is nuts and b) is, well, Ellsworth’s decision. If Ellsworth thought Lopes was a sponge on the industry, they wouldn’t hire him. I’ve also seen this attitude dsplayed towards at least one older rider (Hans Rey). People came out of the woodwork to insult Rey, who was a star, a promoter of the sport, and actually from what I hear a pretty nice guy, because he was old. I don’t think I’m imagining things. You also turned around and did the same thing you accused me of doing- mocking someone else’s opinion (“Hahaha..haaa.. ugh”).
Your old people in i-Phone ads analogy has a grain of truth in it (mountain biking and i-Phone use are both activities largely for younger people), but is also misguided (promoting cycling through racing and media is a career, not a photo shoot session that lasts thirty or so minutes; Lopes is 45, not one of the geriatrics you mentioned- you distorted my position.)
I don’t mind you or anyone else having a different opinion than me, and am not one who goes around calling everyone ageist, sexist, whatever-ist. In fact, this is like the second time literally I have ever done that.

Mike D
5 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Iphones are for young people and mountain biking is for young people? That, sir, is ageist.
All joking aside, I hope I didn’t leave you with the impression that I thought iphones and mountain biking are only for young folks. At 40, I ride with people in their early 20s and early 60s, and they all probably have iphones 🙂

I see where WR1’s comments took it a step further than what I said, and how one might take issue with that. On the other hand, I can see where he’s coming from as well. Ultimately, a marketing decision was made, a decision that left some of us scratching our heads. Hey, I hope Brian works wonders for Ellsworth and the partnership is fruitful for both of them. And to clarify, I never meant to draw any correlation between Lopes, at 45, and geriatrics. Rather, I was remarking to the notion of “ageism” as it pertains to marketing. In that regard, he’s not a rider that would have me, personally, further investigating the brand, due in part that we aren’t very likely to see him atop the podium aboard his Ellsworth (were he still racing and dominating, he might have a different impact, age aside). Marketing is not an exact science–I guess we’ll have to see which direction they take this new partnership.

At any rate, I meant no harm with my comment, Tim. It’s been rainy and icy here all week and I have nothing better to do than comment on things that don’t matter so much in the bigger picture. Happy trails man!

WR1
WR1
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike D

I’m the same age as Mr. Lopes. I get it. I would love to get free bikes and a salary as a rider, but I would much MUCH rather see that money go to an 18 year old kid who is on the podium at any given race. My ultimate point is that if I were in charge of making decisions about branding and sponsorship, I would fostering newer talent. There is no conspiracy about ageism, its about the development of your brand and the sport in general. Kudos to anyone who can milk it for so long without providing any content nor any results.

Tim
Tim
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike D

@WR1- Saying he does a crummy job is one thing. Firing someone for doing a crummy job is OK, imv. I guess it’s hard to prove a negative, but what would you like to see Lopes accomplish? Personally, I don’t follow race results much less individual racers’/ riders’ careers and then compare who’s best, so I am out of my depth on this question. I guess if I feel like he were “milking it”, no one would give him a job.
On the other hand, the idea of firing a 45 year old and replacing him with an 18 year old is it seems to me, whacked. Lopes doesn’t get “free bikes”, he gets bikes because he does work for the company that makes those bikes; it’s Lopes’s job to ride and earn his keep, i.e., salary and the tools to do his job.

Mechanic
Mechanic
5 years ago

He’s a jerk huh? Only because people propagate mindless gossip. I’ve met the guy a few times. Came to Moab and was respectful. Most winners come off as jerks, mainly to losers.

Ol Shel
Ol Shel
5 years ago

Maybe these ‘seasoned’ riders are chosen as brand ambassadors because young guys who are overdosing on their own testosterone aren’t as well-spoken, respectful, and calm as one would need to be to represent a brand. Maybe.

I don’t know Lopes, but will assume he’s cool to be around at expos and group rides… unless Tony is still there doing the hiring choices. I can’t imagine that guy surrounding himself with good people.

NotMyRacer
NotMyRacer
5 years ago

I cant imagine ever sponsoring this guy. https://twitter.com/brianlopes/status/66642238112935937 . I don’t know him personally and if he makes comments like that publicly then I don’t need to know him.

Hatenotjudgenot
Hatenotjudgenot
5 years ago
Reply to  NotMyRacer

Amen brother. Who cares how old he is or what he’s accomplished. For him to think that’s an ok thing to send out into the world or that anyone is going to get a kick out of it is insane. Not the kind of person I would want my brand to be associated with.