The first set of Ellis dropouts.
First, let me say that in my 14 years or so of building frames at Serotta, Waterford, and now Ellis, I've seen my share of broken dropouts. I'd say that 75% of those were the result of just one thing; folks flexing their frame open to fit a wider spaced wheel. I know what you think; it's just a few mm's, what's the difference? When the stays get flexed open, two things happen, firstly, there's a built in "tension" that the rear end parts are constantly under, and the dropout faces are no longer parallel with each other. Then you clamp your wheel in and the dropouts flex just slightly back to parallel now that they are under the tension of the quick release, all is well, right? Well, not really, now as you're out riding, the frame has this built in tension that it's trying to relieve. You hit a pothole, ride over some nasty chip seal, and all the while it's slowly working on a way to relieve this stress. What eventually happens is this, either the chain stay breaks just in front of the drive side dropout, or the dropout tab breaks, and the tension is relieved!
The finished product, elegant and strong!
I'll post more soon about why Ellis dropouts are shaped this way, and some other cool features I've designed into them.