Intense Carbine 29 - Review

Dec 23, 2013
by Mike Kazimer  
REVIEWED
Intense Carbine 29

WORDS Mike Kazimer
PHOTOS Colin Meagher

Intense originally released the Carbine, their first carbon fiber full suspension bike, at the tail end of 2011. This initial version rolled on 26” wheels, but it was soon followed up with conversion kits that allowed riders to switch to 27.5” wheels, and then a dedicated 27.5” wheeled model hit the market. Now, Intense has released the 29” version, sporting up to 5.5" of rear travel, a 160mm fork, and intended to take on just about any type of trail imaginable. Available in S, M, and L sizes, the Carbine 29 retails for $6599 USD.


Intense Carbine 29 Details

• Purpose: trail / all-mountain
• Rear-wheel travel: 5 or 5.5"
• Wheel size: 29"
• Full carbon frame, aluminum links
• 12 x 142mm rear axle
• ISCG 05 tabs
• Weight: 28.6 lbs (size M, without pedals)
• Sizes: S, M, L,
• MSRP: $6599 USD




Frame Details

The Carbine 29's front and rear triangle are constructed from carbon fiber, and are connected with two short aluminum links. While Intense's aluminum framed bicycles are still made in the United States, the company worked with SEED Engineering, a German firm, to design their line of carbon bikes, and the actual manufacturing of the Carbine's frame takes place in Asia. The amount of rear travel can be switched between 5 and 5.5” by changing where the rear shock is mounted on the upper link, an adjustment that doesn't affect the bike's geometry. The linkages rotate on angular contact bearings, and there are Zerk fitting on the lower link to allow old grease to be purged out and replaced with fresh, clean grease.

Intense Carbine 29 Review
  Internal cable routing keeps the bike looking neat and tidy, and a down tube protector helps ward off flying objects.

The majority of the housing on the Carbine is routed internally, and sealed nylon tubes are located inside the frame to make installation as easy as possible - no more fishing around with a bent spoke and a flashlight trying to coax out a stubborn length of housing. The frame is also equipped to accept a direct mount front derailleur, and ISCG 05 tabs are in place for riders who want to use a chain guide of some sort. Replaceable rear dropouts allow for different hub standards to be used, although we're not sure why anyone would choose go with an open dropout rather than a 12x142 thru axle.

Intense Carbine 29 Review
  Avid's Elixir 9 Trail brakes handle the stopping duties on the Carbine 29, and SRAM's X01 drivetrain does away with the front derailleur or any type of chainguide (although the frame does have ISCG 05 tabs).

VPP Suspension

The Carbine 29 utilizes a VPP suspension layout, a dual short link suspension design that relies on two counter-rotating links (the upper link moves counter-clockwise while the lower link moves clockwise). The position and design of these short links can be altered to allow this suspension design to be used on everything from cross-country bikes to downhill race machine. For a bike like the Carbine 29, the suspension curve is intended to provide a firm pedalling platform with a supple midstroke, and a slight ramp up at the end of the travel.


Specifications
Price $6599
Travel 140mm
Rear Shock Fox Float CTD
Fork RockShox Pike RCT3 29 160mm
Headset Cane Creek 40 Series
Cassette SRAM XG 1195 10/42
Crankarms SRAM X01 175mm
Bottom Bracket SRAM BB92
Rear Derailleur SRAM X01
Chain SRAM XX1
Shifter Pods SRAM X01 trigger
Handlebar FSA SLK Carbon 740mm
Stem Thomson Elite X4 70mm
Grips Intense lock-on
Brakes Avid Elixir 9 Trail
Wheelset Novatec Diablo 29
Tires Maxxis Highroller II
Seat Intense Velo Sacred Heart
Seatpost RockShox Reverb Stealth 125mm
Intense Carbine 29 Review




Riding the Carbine 29



bigquotesAs the saying goes, 'a quiet bike is a fast bike,' and this is where the Carbine delivers...There's no chain slap, no front derailleur noise, nothing except the howl of the wind as the speeds increase.

Climbing / Handling

Our review bike arrived the day before a local enduro race featuring 5000 feet of vertical spread over twenty mile of sinuous, root filled trails. We managed to sneak in a short, hour long loop once we assembled the bike to make sure everything was working correctly, but race day would be our first 'real' ride on the Carbine 29 – nothing like a little trial by fire to start figuring out a bike, right? It turned out we didn't have anything to worry about – the Carbine was well behaved, and during the race it felt as if we'd been riding it for weeks, not hours. That was the trend for the duration of our time aboard the bike - it has a blend of handling characteristics that make it feel predictable on nearly any type of terrain.

When it came time to climb, the Carbine proved to be adept at maintaining traction, even on trails with loose rocks over hardpack, and we found that the bike's relatively long wheel base (1168mm for a size M) allowed us to stay seated longer than usual in technical sections, since the bike was able to span the distance between obstacles that would typically halt a shorter, smaller wheeled bike. On the flip side, this length does mean that the Carbine's agility does suffer in extremely slow speed, technical sections, but the bike's fairly light weight goes a good ways towards counteracting this. The VPP suspension layout worked well at preventing any unwanted pedaling induced suspension movement, and the only time we flipped the lever on the Fox Float CTD rear shock was for long fire road grinds.

When we swapped out the Fox Float CTD to the Cane Creek DBAir (a swap we'll be explaining shortly), we typically activated the Climb Switch for nearly every climb, due to the greater difference between how the bike handled with the switch on or off. With the Climb Switch in the off position there was more rear suspension movement than we preferred, especially when standing out of the saddle. It's likely we could have added more low speed compression to counteract this, but we'd rather have the shock's full open position tuned for the downhills, and have the Climb Switch take care of the uphills.


Intense Carbine 29 Review
  The Carbine 29 wasn't afraid to get airborne, especially on straight ahead, higher speed jumps or drops.


Descending

As the saying goes, 'a quiet bike is a fast bike,' and this is where the Carbine delivers. With a 1x11 drivetrain, clutch derailleur, and an integrated chainstay protector, the only noise you'll hear when flying down a hillside is the freehub clicking. There's no chain slap, no front derailleur noise, nothing except the howl of the wind as the speeds increase.

The bike's slack (for a 29er) head angle allowed us to make short work of the steep sandstone rock rolls around Sedona, while the big wheels helped to take the edge off of moves that had less-than-smooth runouts. The Carbine does lose some of its playfulness when the going gets tight and twisty, and we found ourselves wondering if Intense's dedication to the VPP suspension platform may have forced them into a corner when it comes to frame geometry. Other manufacturers have been able to come out with long travel 29ers with short chainstays and low bottom bracket heights, but the positioning necessary for the two short links on a VPP suspension layout make this more radical geometry difficult to achieve. That's not to say that the Carbine is overly cumbersome; we were able to negotiate plenty of tight, rocky chutes and down steep switchbacks without trouble, but we did wonder if shorter chainstays and a lower bottom bracket would boost the Carbine 29's fun factor, making it easier to dive in and out of corners and to pop off little trail side bonus features.

Despite the subdued handling in slower speed terrain, when it comes to long straightaways this bike excels, taking off like it was shot out of a cannon. The same handling traits translate to its jumping ability as well – more technical jumps, a tight hip jump for instance, take extra effort to negotiate, but when it comes to jumps that can be approached head-on, the Carbine will go the distance, making it easy to land deep into the transition.

Shock Swap


Switching to the DBAir greatly improved the Carbine's
downhill performance.

Our test bike was delivered to us with a Fox Float CTD Adjust rear shock configured with a low velocity tune and a medium rebound tune, settings that Intense developed specifically for the Carbine's suspension design. Despite the custom tune, we weren't blown away by the bike's square edged bump performance, and found that on sections of trail with repeated impacts in a row, whether from a tangled mess of roots or a row of pointy ledges, the rear end felt like it wasn't going through enough of its travel, making for a rather harsh ride. We spoke with Intense about our findings, and they sent out Cane Creek's Double Barrel Air CS rear shock (a $350 upgrade) to see what we thought. We installed the DBAir and set it up with the recommended base tune, and hit the trails. This shock swap made a world of difference, creating a smoother, more controlled ride through the rough stuff. The switch to the DBAir made the bike's rear suspension feel better matched to the RockShox Pike up front, a supple, yet supportive platform perfect for taking on the most rugged of trails. We stayed fairly close to the initial base tune settings, with a slight decrease in the rebound damping the only tweak needed to make the bike feel like we wanted.

The CS switch on the DBAir came in handy for the countless punchy, technical climbs we encountered in Sedona. A flip of the lever alters both the low speed rebound and the low speed compression, creating a firmer feeling shock that wants to stay glued to the ground, ideal settings for climbing. There's a big difference between having the CS lever on and off, and despite our hesitance towards adding more levers to a bike's cockpit, we'd love to see the hinted-at remote lever for this shock come to fruition. Rather than blindly reaching down to find the little shock mounted lever, a small handlebar remote would add even more versatility, and would certainly be welcomed by riders whose local trails include multiple short climbs and short descents in a row.

Intense Carbine 29 Review

Component Check

• Maxxis Highroller II tires – Although not the fastest rolling option, we don't have any complaints about using the Highroller II as a rear tire. It has good braking traction and excellent grip in the corners, and worked well in both the trails of the Pacific Northwest and the Arizona desert. We would rather have something else in the front, though, especially in the wet, where the tire's square profile wanted to slip and slide on every wet root we ran across, even when running it tubeless with low pressure.

• RockShox Pike – The Pike ended up on our Best of 2013 short list for a reason – plush, stiff, and reasonably light, this fork sets the standard for what a modern suspension fork should feel like.

• SRAM X01 drivetrain – We didn't suffer any dropped chains during our time on the Carbine, even on a ride when the clutch on the X01 rear derailleur stopped functioning. Although the clutch isn't intended to be user serviceable, we were able to carefully pry off the plastic cap and add more tension, a fix that worked for the remainder of our testing. Still, while we were able to get the clutch working again, for a derailleur that retails for just shy of $300 we'd expect it to last longer without needing our attention, or at the very least have a design that allows for easier maintenance.

• Novatec Diablo wheels – There weren't any issues setting up the wheelset tubeless, a necessity for desert riding. We did manage to knock a couple of spokes loose on the rear wheel, but this was after a harsh landing onto solid rock, and despite the de-tensioned spokes, the rim managed to emerge unscathed. Some quality time on the truing stand was all it took to straighten things out, and the wheel held up for the rest of our time on it.



Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesThe Carbine would be well suited for a rider that wants a longer travel 29er but doesn't want to lose the handling characteristics of a trail bike. It has that extra bit of travel that can be the difference between surviving a botched line or ending up having an off-the-bike experience, but without conveying the feeling that it's too much bike for riding less rowdy terrain. We would highly recommend springing for the Cane Creek DBAir upgrade, especially for riders who place more of a priority on the downhill portion of their ride. The swap to the DBAir allowed us to unlock the bike's true potential and achieve the ride feel we were looking for on the descents. In the end, although it may not push the envelope as far as geometry numbers go, the Carbine 29 is still quite versatile, a bike that's capable of just about any type of riding imaginable, everything from leisurely trail rides to rocketing down steep and loose downhills. - Mike Kazimer

www.intensecycles.com


220 Comments

  • + 97
 Does it come in 26...........
  • + 6
 26, what's that?
  • + 46
 Of course it does, it's been on the market since 2011:
www.pinkbike.com/news/Intense-Carbon-Carbine-First-Look-2011.html
  • - 67
flag jclnv (Dec 23, 2013 at 3:54) (Below Threshold)
 Why would you want kids wheels?
  • - 54
flag triggstar (Dec 23, 2013 at 4:45) (Below Threshold)
 Lol I wish pinkbike would shun this 29er stuff its boring now.
  • - 31
flag jeff444 (Dec 23, 2013 at 5:18) (Below Threshold)
 Wow fox must have pissed of pb cause they constantly get slammed here! I think fox should replace there engineers with pb employes and then hopefully they can build a good shock with there input! Or maybe it's just a certain rider doesn't like fox!!
  • + 62
 When was the last time we saw a review for a dh bike...Everything is now a review on the new "Enduro" fad and it's all getting a little boring, the end of the reviews all say the exact same thing: everything from leisurely trail rides to rocketing down steep and loose downhills.
  • + 17
 @jclnv I'm 6 ft tall and never had any problem with 26" wheels (yes, if I should buy a new bike today, it would be 27.5") but that doesn't mean that there's something wrong with 26", after all, people were happy to ride them for three decades.
  • + 13
 Its getting boring? To see the bike industry change and evolve is boring? Wake up kid, dh is not the golden boy anymore.
  • + 13
 Well Gingymp5, that might be because almost NOBODY submits DH bikes for reviews since its such a tiny market segment that represents so little profit to companies that they only participate at all for media exposure. 99.99% of mountain bikers will never actually buy a DH bike, let alone even ride someplace where they could put one to proper usage.
  • - 11
flag nouser (Dec 23, 2013 at 7:00) (Below Threshold)
 99%? everyone I know who rides owns a DH bike... and i have a lot of riding friends...
  • - 12
flag SwayyD43 (Dec 23, 2013 at 7:13) (Below Threshold)
 THIS^
  • + 57
 I ride a DH bike and a trail bike. i would NEVER give up my DH or ever switch to a larger wheel on it. But i do have a lot of friends who dont ride DH and for that i have a 26" wheeled 6" trail bike. I for one enjoy any bike review and if i decide to switch on my trail rig, it will be my decision and not because i was forced. Guys get so worked up over this 26/27.5/29 deal. Ride what you want and SHUT UP.
  • + 14
 Good for you, I know former pro/elite DH racers also and even they wouldn't still ride DH bikes if they didn't live near mountains that have chair lifts running in the summertime. Their enduro/AM bikes on the other hand, they can ride practically anywhere. Even if EVERY pinkbike member, which is nearly 700k now, owned a DH bike, that's still a drop in the bucket to the actual number of mountain bikes sold world wide that AREN'T DH bikes.
  • + 12
 I thought you weren't meant to "feel square edge bumps" on 29rs?
  • - 1
 You thought wrong then, rolling better over square edge bumps (smaller than bricks anyway) doesn't mean you don't feel them at all.
  • - 12
flag sdiz (Dec 23, 2013 at 8:23) (Below Threshold)
 Idiot. 99.99% is way exaggerated. You don't ride a dh bike cause you can't nor do you want to. So don't come on here saying it's such a small part of the market because those aren't even facts. So please, before you start telling other people this and that, know what you are talking about.
  • + 8
 I could if I wanted to as there is a summer operating chair lift equipped hill that hosts canada/quebec cup DH racing and has multiple courses only a forty minute drive away from where I live but you're right, I don't want to. Why would I want to spend thousands on a bike I'd use one night a week and perhaps on weekends, to ride a few runs and spend more time on the lift going up the hill, plus spend an hour behind the wheel driving to and fro, when I could take an AM/Enduro bike to the mountains near here and ride them all including going up hill under my own power.

But IT IS a small part of the market and that is a fact, and only folks like yourself who whine in these reviews of trail/AM/Enduro bikes don't seem willing to understand or accept that fact. Even if you combined dirt jumping, slopestyle, freeride and DH riding together, they still don't add up to more than 1% of the annual mountain bicycle sales except for the boutique brands that only produce those sorts of bikes/frames, and even all those boutique brands combined don't represent more than 1% of the sales that a company like Trek does on its own. There are more people buying sand/snow fat bikes now than are buying DH bikes. Its a ridiculously tiny segment that gets a disproportinate share of media coverage, but don't mistake tv/print/online coverage of races for actual sales. Yesterday a local shop announced a door crasher deal on the local facebook group for fat bikes, surly pugsleys and moonlanders for $500 off. The group has 118 members most of whom already own a fat bike. By the close of the day they'd sold all but one of the surlys. In this winter, the combined sales for fat bikes of the stores doing them will easily pass a hundred grand (retail). There's maybe half that sold in DH bikes in the same region and again as I pointed out, we have lift-accessed DH courses for the summer here.
  • + 19
 @ deeeight: even though DH bikes represent a small part of the market, they DO represent a LARGE part of the PB crowd. Yes, the numbers are skewed, but why wouldn't a bike company send PB a DH bike to review for their largely DH-oriented readers? Wouldn't it make sense to take advantage of the large percent of DH riders/readers in what's already a niche market? Sending a 29er trailbike to a DH crowd would be like sending a set of golf clubs for a fishing magazine to review. Ok maybe an exaggeration, but if you look at the little polls that come up on the side of the PB home page, like 80% of PB riders prefer 26" wheels and probably 65%-75% own DH bikes. Jus sayin.
  • - 1
 You are on point about dh not being golden lol, sold my dh last year an build a tracer275 best thing iv done, but i do have a 951. Evo build in the works for those shuttle days with the homies, but still ill end up riding my tracer 5 days a week and my 951 5 times a month ha
  • - 4
flag redbullrick (Dec 23, 2013 at 9:39) (Below Threshold)
  • - 15
flag jclnv (Dec 23, 2013 at 9:42) (Below Threshold)
 DH is dying.
  • + 31
 you people don't stop do you? Intense has THREE Carbine models available... a 26, a 27.5, and a 29. first off, this should be pretty common knowledge to most on here, and even if it isn't it's mentioned in the article. secondly, can PinkBike review ANY non-26 bike without receiving a shitload of backlash? If you're only gonna come on here to argue, then don't even do it, ride your bike instead. It says "Carbine 29" on the newsfeed, so it shouldn't be a surprise when you open the review that it's not a 26er.

Either actually read the god damn review, or go ride your bike instead of wasting everyone's time.
  • + 65
 One of the reasons you haven't seen a DH bike review recently is that the lifts are closed, and there's snow on the ground on many of the DH tracks - not ideal test conditions. Rest assured, we have a number of downhill bikes in the pipeline scheduled for review. In the meantime, enjoy the reviews of bikes that can be ridden without a shuttle or a chairlift.
  • + 4
 Amen.
  • + 2
 Lmao at the good old wheel size debate....always going to argue its not going to end....each to there own is the expression. I won't lie I hate 29ers but so what I don't have to buy one.....and I hardly ride DH but il still always ride 26....why fix something when it's not broke is the way I look at it but there's more reason than that for the different wheel sizes.
  • + 8
 You clueless kids don't realise that a 29" trail bike feels more like a 26" DH bike than any 26" trail bike.

Look at the WB, BB drop etc.
  • - 17
flag triggstar (Dec 23, 2013 at 10:27) (Below Threshold)
 Hahaha clueless kids lol we know enough to realise what size wheel we are comfortable with and we know when to tell old timers like you to keep your pro 29ers for yourself because when the BIG WHEEL hype dies down you will all be back on the original old school tried and tested 26ers again.
  • + 3
 I saw someone mentioning 26"wheels, then no DH bike review and biblical amounts of words by deeeight, and Im so angry right now, that I don't even want to comment!
  • + 0
 You could always take your anger out on a 29er?ha
  • - 7
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 23, 2013 at 11:00) (Below Threshold)
 You should be all ashamed of yourselves, it's Christmas tomorrow! Now... What size is Baby Jesus' aureola?
  • + 0
 @Deeeight...what I'm saying is to stop copy pasting the same review onto different all mountain bikes. Not saying that only dh bikes be reviewed but Pinkbike is primarily DH riders so try to appeal to the audience a bit.
  • + 1
 Who negpropped a comment with Baby Jesus in it?! You're going to hell!
  • + 0
 Deeeight's posts remind me of Protour from a few years ago.
  • + 7
 You can't even service your shi**y SRAM Clutch when it breaks?!!?? ...........Is what I took from this.
  • + 1
 Last sentance says it all...wheel size debate is over!
  • - 4
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 23, 2013 at 15:03) (Below Threshold)
 No it isn't:
waki-leaks.blogspot.se/2013/12/waki-christmas-special.html

I dedicate this drawing to deeeight for our long fights over 650B size...
  • - 7
flag wakaba (Dec 23, 2013 at 15:09) (Below Threshold)
 No, wheelsize is not ideology, its physics. The alu 26 Intense from yesteryear was a more capable machine than the carbon contraption showcased.
  • + 2
 ARGUING.
  • + 3
 Which wheels would you like? I'll take the round ones please
  • + 5
 Oh, YOU Ride a DH bike? Shoot, Better call up all the big multimillion dollar cycling companies and tell them. Northeasterndh and friends need more dh reviews, stop sending in the stuff that sells to the vast majority of the market and focus on the needs of these guys.
  • - 2
 Perhaps a decade ago the majority of PB users WERE almost exclusively DH/Freerider folks but that's no longer the case and you can see that in what bikes get reviewed (manufacturers wouldn't submit them here if they didn't think the target audience would see it) or for that matter, even what you find in the buy/sell section (where XC bikes are now listed in greater numbers than DH bikes, which tends to suggest what sort of riders come to this place). The only way you'd beat the XC percentage of users is by combining all the other riders together.

And I'd never use the PB polls to prove anything... there's 700k registered users and yet less than 11k even answered the are you male or female poll.... hell in the rear axle poll, more people picked 135mm quick release than any of the bolt on/thru-axle options, and you don't tend to find those on anything DH/FR oriented anymore or even in the past four or five years. There's one poll where the question asks what sort of bikes you own, and while DH/FR led the scoring at 6426 when I just added my own answers, AM Dual suspension which the above Intense could fit into the category of was 3943, Enduro DS was nearly 1871, Road bikes were nearly 2496, AM Hardtail was 1207, XC/Trail DS was 1587, XC/Trail HT 2144, XC Racing HT 756, XC Racing DS 273, and so on and they break down gate racing, slopestyle, dirt jump/freestyle, bmx, trails, hell the only seperate categories they didn't list were tandems, fat bikes and cyclocross so I assume folks with those listed them as "other". In other words, all the NON-DH bike owners outnumbered the DH owners.
  • + 2
 Deeeight, what's the average annual rainfall in the amazon basin?
  • - 1
 26" 4eva,
  • - 3
 Because your Mum still buys your bikes?
  • + 1
 LOUD VOICES!!
  • - 4
flag zenis (Dec 24, 2013 at 13:55) (Below Threshold)
 @jclnv
I buy and build my bikes by myself and to be honest I had Specialized stumpjumper 29 carbon 2013 Large and sold it after 3.5 months, sorry to say this but 29" bikes are ugly Razz
  • + 2
 So you sold it because it was ugly?
  • + 2
 89.987963738% of statistics are made up.
  • + 3
 So, lots of reaction. Nice bike, but some don't want to hear of it. Pop Sci has a solution, tho drastic: www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-09/why-were-shutting-our-comments
I'd hate to see comments go, but when people diss something based on personal feelings & emotions while ignoring we're all different in what and how we do things, they diminish our ability to learn from others. Or as the Pop Sci Mag experienced, they skew what others can get from the review discussion. My take: people should learn to separate personal feelings from what can actually work for others not exactly like them. Lots of different places to ride these days, and no one bike doesn't do it all. Yet. I.E. Your knobby BC mud tires just might not be the cats meow for me in dry & dusty AZ. Hey, and Merry Christmas! Remember the reason for the season.
  • + 2
 why all the trail bike reviews? Cos thats where the money is. Deeeeeeihght you got it in one. Not that thats a good thing. I cant wait till MTB drops off the fashion radar again and all the true riders can get back to riding proper bikes that cost proper money, rather than buying some sort of flashy enduro ego extension that probably gets most use commuting to work and back.
  • + 2
 Why more trail bike reviews than downhill rig reviews? Because for every downhill bike out there for sale, there are 10 AM/XC/TRAIL bikes for sale. I raced downhill for 14 years and "retired" from racing and got a 6" trail bike... and ride more now than I ever did training, riding and racing downhill, EASILY. Anyone who thinks downhill is the most important aspect of mountain bike culture is missing the point. And I used to firmly fit into that group.
  • - 1
 Who cares.
  • - 1
 I dont
  • + 0
 @jclnv
yes I sold it coz it was ugly, today I was at specialized concept store in London and I went to mtb section, guess what!? there was just specialized status with 26" wheels, the rest 29", like stumpjumper, epic, enduro, etc etc ... they had some nice frames with 26", try lee design stumpjumper, enduro s-works and s-works epic.
Guys I'm not against anyone or any wheel size, just 29" and 27.5 are not for me
  • + 1
 this is old, but, its funny how long it took for the statement of 'no lifts' 'snow' 'offseason' ... to come out of anyone else but mikekazimer all in all lahhdie dah
  • + 31
 I love how every time PB do a review on a 29er all the same old same old 29 v 26 shit begins. Its so disappointing cause its a bloody nice lookin bike and as usual a good review by Mike Kazimer........ Well done PB for not listening to anyone that posts these comments and keep bringing us great reviews of fun looking bikes of all wheel sizes
  • + 27
 I'd like to see the comments section divided into "Comments about the bike/article" and "Comments not really about the bike/article".
  • + 8
 or "the inevitable debate" and "actual comments"
  • + 1
 Pb. They just want to mix it up. Shit disturbers!!!
  • + 19
 Largest bike website in the world and they still can't make the articles compatible with an iphone.
  • + 4
 Try using the reader function. It looks much better that way.
  • - 21
flag deeeight (Dec 23, 2013 at 6:53) (Below Threshold)
 Why make it compatible with a second place operating system?
  • + 6
 Not wrong. I really like Intense as a brand and I think many of their bikes look incredible.......... but the bloke doing the web page needs to lift his game
  • + 2
 iTard users deserve a shit online experience.
  • + 2
 Zziplex, you mad?
  • + 1
 How about a dedicated mobile site? Or just build it in Twitter's Bootstrap? It is rather frustrating
  • - 1
 it blows. Every time I go to pinkbike on my phone or tablet I have to scroll to the bottom and hit "full site"
  • + 1
 Typical iCrap android all the way never had an issue with anything on pb yet
  • + 19
 Stop trying to distract the wheel size argument!
  • + 3
 I am an avid android user and the issues are the same on both. The biggest problem are images. Most the images aren't actual >img> tags; they are css background images with not background size specified, so they remain in their native size, so on a smaller viewport the image is clipped. They do this because they want text (such as a header) to overlay the image. They should just use an >img> tag with the text having a display: absolute property to get the layering. When they do use images, half the time they have no responsive properties; the width is defined in pixels instead of percentages. They could also use a media query to get the device viewport and adjust the css accordingly.
  • + 1
 ...and default to regular website, or put the mobile link on top of the page.
  • + 17
 I need this bike to win at sea otter.
  • + 21
 No you need a Fatbike to win at sea otter
  • - 9
flag lefty29er (Dec 23, 2013 at 12:49) (Below Threshold)
 2013 Intense Tracer 29 Frame for sale, Floresent Orange, size L. I love this bike and now with a slacker HT, the 160 pike and carbon looks like I will be upgrading!
m.pinkbike.com/buysell/1478655
  • + 11
 Who cares about the wheel size, its looks badass, and has the performance to boot. Half the people complaining that it's a 29er have probably never ridden one to even make that judgement call, let alone afford to actually buy it, they just keep on the hate bandwagon, whilst crying in their pillows at night that they will never have nice stuff. grow up - it's getting old.
  • + 0
 While 27.5" Carbine (or Tracer) is one of the bikes I'd buy today, I still can't get used to 29ers, every time I look at one all I'm able to see are two huge wheels and some components squeezed between them.
  • + 6
 My 26ers been collecting dust ever since my 29er arrived..
  • + 6
 If you're buying bikes based on looks you're lost.
  • - 3
 @jclnv I don't race so I can afford it, I ride my bike to feel good and how it looks like contributes to that feeling. For example I can't imagine having a differnet front and rear tire or gloves not matching the color of my bike. Haters gonna hate... Smile
  • + 6
 I say this often, for every person who writes a complaint posting, there are 89 who actually enjoy the article and simply have better things to do with their lives than enter a comment (the other ten of us are the ones who end up having to respond to the idiots because we're bored waiting for the coffee to brew).
  • + 0
 If l were to build up a new bike it would totally be a short travel 29er xc thing like an Epic. Minus the roadie lowness. That would be sweet!
  • + 8
 89% of statistics are made up on the spot
  • + 0
 60% of the time it works every time!
  • + 5
 deeeight - by complaining about complainers, you are no better. Regardless of the complaints, these are members who visit PB and keep the site alive. You should consider this before calling these people idiots and condescendingly implying you're smarter. Haven't you learned anything following the Ellsworth article? I noticed that you're no longer a moderator. thank goodness.
  • + 11
 Fox has ceased to shine. They are pretty, but that is it. My RP23 switches never worked longer than a month. My fox forks were never as plush or reliable as my RS forks. PB has had nothing good to say about them in a long time, and now top end specs always include a Pike on the trail rigs, and the DH market is suddenly wide open with a couple inverted beasts and suntour rux storming onto the scene. Fox better innovate in a way we like soon or they will the next Marzocchi, while Marz comes back from near death to sell some great stuff!
  • + 3
 I'm not a suspension wizard but from my observations, my gripe with the fox air forks is that if you set their recommended sag (20-25%), you don't go anywhere close to using full travel so whats the point of riding a 160mm if it only lets you use 135mm? If you tune it to use full travel (30-33% sag) on the biggest impacts, you do get an ultra plush ride but platform becomes so mushy and prone to brake jack that you have to add lots of LSC to compensate and that pretty much kills the small bump sensitivity/plushness. Same could be said for rear shocks. If you tune it to use full travel, you blow through it too easy but if you set it to their recommendations, you don't go anywhere close to full travel and traction suffers.

I was eager to try fox products for the first time when my AM bike came with an RP23 and a fox36 and so far I can't say I was anywhere near impressed by the performance. If suspension products wouldn't be so damn expensive, I would have tried to replace them with something else long ago.
  • + 2
 How much sag do you like?
  • + 1
 I usually run around 30%. I know they recommend 20-25% but at that range I have a lot of travel that is left unused up front and I get poor traction from the rear. So now I guess I have to deal with massive break dive and blowing through the rear's travel too easily as a tradeoff.
  • + 0
 I run about 30% up front with a lyrik, but I run less, like 15-20% in the back. I know that sounds odd, but then I keep most of my weight over the back most of the time, so my front is plush and my back responsive. It is best when going down hill, believe it or not. That was with 6" of travel on my Mission. I currently am on a 4" xc bike and it is about 25% across the board.
  • + 8
 Looks like a great bike, and I'd love to try one. I currently have a Tallboy LTc, and have been really intrigued by the idea of swapping the rear shock for a CCDBairCS. This review is bringing me a whole lot closer to wanting to make that investment.
How many of you have tried using different width tires for different conditions? Thats sort of how I view this whole wheel size debate. Its akin to tire width. Each size has its place in the toolbox, and I think each are a hell of a lot of fun to ride and provide certain advantages in various conditions. Not any one rules them all.
29ers have not been a mainstay for long enough to tell their full potential, not only because of the current tech limitations, and frame builders dialing in geometry, but because we as riders are still learning how to ride them. They are unfamiliar for many, and people generally prefer what feels familiar. 29ers need more time to reach their full competitive potential for that reason alone. You know those vids of groms shredding the hell out of terrain that would pucker up 90% of the MTB population? I promise 26" wheels feel a lot larger to them than a 29" would feel to an adult, but they have no baseline to compare as far as what feels normal, so they just learn how to ride it, and learn how to rip it. If you've tried a 29'er and didnt like it, thats fine and was probably for a very good and valid reason. But you'd be surprised to find how much your opinion may change with the more time you spend riding them.
I'm not trying to change anyones opinion, just lend a new perspective.
  • + 7
 Avid Elixir 9 brakes on a $6600 bike? Am I alone on this one? How about some XOs or better yet some XTs? Aside from that the component spec is pretty solid and the bike looks rad. I'd rather have the Fuel EX 9.8 XO1 though and it's over a grand cheaper and has XT brakes. Oh and Trek makes an XL and XXL. Come on Intense, only a L?

Side note: Thankfully there are XXL 29ers for 6'6" riders like myself. Giants look like clowns on 26" bikes and they simply don't work well for us.
  • + 2
 The 4 pot Elixir 9's are good, as far as Avid goes. Not much at all between them and the X0s performance wise. XT's are marginally better, unless you're talking about setup and maintenance - the Shimanos smoke the Avids there. You have to get a perfect bleed for the Avids to work right, but when you do, they're just fine, and it comes down to whether you like the Shimano lever feel or the Avid lever feel. I find the Shimanos a little touchy and the Avids a little spongy, but with time on either, you learn to cope.
  • + 0
 If you're 6'6", it will take more than a 29" wheeled bike to stop you looking ridiculous. May I suggest a chainsaw?
  • + 1
 Lame comment bro. Why so mad? Can't get any little man?
  • + 1
 Fair enough man. I see your point. At least you didn't resort to pulling out the insults.
  • + 7
 Can PinkBike find a way to screen out all the mind-numbing whining about different wheel sizes. I am interested in what the public thinks about the bike, but couldn't give a crap about your self-indulgent whimpering over wheel preferences.
  • + 12
 The problem is that the vast majority of wheel size complainers have never ridden anything other than a 26" wheeled bike. And it's extremely hard to argue with someone who believes so strongly in their side of the argument, yet has no personal experience to back it up.
  • + 1
 Well said.
  • + 4
 Thank you for the review. I appreciate the insights on the rear shock. I like learning about the benefits and differences of each of the different wheel sizes - so am not going to offer an emotional response to that discussion, although my experience is with 26". This bike sounds like the monster truck of choice on slightly less twisty and technical trails. Any comments on stiffness of frame, especially in the area of the linkages? Thanks.
  • + 4
 We didn't have any issue with frame stiffness - the rear swing arm is well braced on the non-drive side to mitigate any potential pedaling induced flex, and there wasn't any noticeable flex from the two short aluminum links.
  • + 1
 Thx for that review Mike. Have you guys tried the Intense Spider comp 29? I thought about the Carbine to replace my 2 season old Transition Bandit 29 enduro bike, but I was worried about the longer chainstays after I rode a Tallboy LTc which I found VERY dull (steep headangle and 18inch chainstay combo?). That is a well reviewed and popular bike but if that is many folks exposure to 29'ers, its no wonder 26" riders don't like 'em). Then I took a short ride on the Spider comp which felt great (130mm rear, 67.5 deg HA w/ 140mm fork and 17.5" CS). Thoughts?
  • + 2
 Solid bike. Almost picked one up from a friend but then decided to dump the coin into my Tallboy c.
  • + 2
 @ warhourse...... I was lucky enough to test both the Carbine 29 and Spider Comp 29 back to back on the same track last week. Both are pretty amazing bikes but it depends on what you ride and what you want. For me the Spider handled a little quicker (slightly shorter stays) and had a bit more of a lively feel. However when it came to the rough stuff it gave me no where near the confidence of the Carbine, this thing was pretty impressive at chewing up the rocks, took me a while to realise that I had to brake earlier as I was going so much faster! I had no problems flicking it around the bends, I think it helps if you are a 'bigger' rider though, which I am. For 70% of the time the Spider would have been great, however for me, I like to get a little fruity now and then and the Carbine gave me that extra bit to push harder. I have just laid down the coin on a Carbine 29 so that probably tells you which I prefer!
  • + 2
 I have blasted my Tallboy c on some pretty chunky stuff and so far it has been good to me. I like the fact that I can have a strong bike in a large that weighs 25.5lbs with a dropper post and less in a race format. Not a spandex type but I do try to hang with a few of them during the summer months so having a light strong rig is a plus.
  • + 3
 To complain on a very high level - Manufacturers should get some better ideas for more flexible cable routings in days of 1x11 and 1x10 vs. 2x10 plus Reverb Stealth or not. I would really hate that open cable hole on the TT and the not-used direct mount socket when I spend over 6k for a new ride with this spec! But very nice bike though!
  • + 1
 Sorry dude but I disagree... Its not a Space Shuttle its a Push Bike... This looks amazing !
  • + 2
 Totally agree regarding the top tube dropper routing hole. Same on he SJ Evo, nasty.
  • + 2
 That's why Baby Jesus invented a small square of electrical tape.
  • + 7
 Well it looks like 29ers are starting to look quite intriguing.
  • - 7
flag shredjekyll (Dec 23, 2013 at 0:33) (Below Threshold)
 Really?
  • - 5
flag jclnv (Dec 23, 2013 at 3:59) (Below Threshold)
 Starting? They've been the way to go for 2 years.
  • + 4
 intriguing till your ride one. I have one (StumpJumper) but the 26ers get most miles. Way more fun.
  • + 3
 I like riding fast, technical, terrain with big air opportunities... the 26" bikes are nonexistent to me now. 29" stumpy evo for the most fun.
  • - 2
 @dualsuspensiondave - The guys at Rampage also like "fast, technical terrain with big air opportunities..." I didn't see a 29er in the pack.
  • + 2
 We're talking about trail bikes moron.
  • + 4
 Kolps don't even bother lol....
  • + 3
 A side by side comparison with the old Tracer 29er would be nice... i had that bike but sold it after 2 weeks. the thing was such a pig... So tall, so long, so slow in the handling... But, it was a custom XL sized frame, maybe a Large would've felt "snappier", to use the parlance of our times...
  • + 2
 Rode this bike two weeks ago on some twisty rooty rocky 2:30ish tracks in Shropshire (UK). In comparison to my normal 26er trail bike that I race every now and again in enduro, it was on average about 6 seconds quicker, also tried a carbon cube stereo 29er 140mm and a Tallboy ltc with similar results. The intense felt right straight away and has totally converted me to 29ers and I'll definately be making the change in wheel size when I'm ready for my next bike!
  • + 4
 It's a bike/hang glider when you carry it up the hill on your back. Christopher Columbus could have found the new world in half the time with those 29" sails.
  • + 3
 @deeeight: Do you even get out and ride much? I mean you're full of all of these little fun facts but from reading your posts (those that aren't short novel length) I call bs.
  • + 2
 At last a review that confirms my belief that Fox's air shocks are garbage! And as for any ride review for a 29r, you could just write: "Rolls well and carries speed over small bumps and feels well planted to the ground, but handles like a barge and requires extra gym time to be able to jump and manual... be prepared to be overtaken by people with smaller wheels if the terrain points down, has corners or anything else remotely technical". (based from my experience riding 29r's)
  • + 3
 I agree with you about the Fox shocks. I've swapped them out on all of my last few bikes either for RS Monarchs or CCDBs. Always improves the bike tremendously. About 29ers, you should go give a bike like the Spec Enduro 29 a test ride. You'll be very surprised, it isn't anywhere close to a barge.
  • + 1
 Thx, I'd be keen to give one a try, no Specialized dealer near me though :-/
  • + 1
 This bike makes a lot of sense for really tall people and people that have problems in the rough stuff.

The internal cable routing guides seem to be very clever.

The price is a little steep, but the upgrade cost for the cane creek is a big discount( $350 vs. $600 aftermarket).

It will be very interesting to see what the industry does with this size of wheel in light of Giant trying to phase out the 29er and Specialized diving in with both feet.
  • + 1
 Testing the 26 and a 27.5 was the same but testing the 29er it was f@ckin faster here on my track so i think UCI will let them race pronto in the down hill what do you bros think ?
________o^o________ or ______________0^0_______
  • + 1
 The answer to why the frame offers different dropouts for different axles is because a lot of Intense customers don't order complete bikes but just frames and swap over their existing parts from another bike. Most 29er owners don't ride bikes with 12x142 rear axle setups but have perfectly good wheels they want to keep using and if they were forced to upgrade that part also they might otherwise go shopping for another brand of bike instead. My girlfriend has inquired about replacing her 29er hardtail (niner air 9) with a full suspension but her hubs aren't compatible with thru-axles, so that limits us on which way we could go in both forks and frames. Niner has a very beautiful looking Jet 9 RDO for example she fondled in a shop a few weeks ago, but the frame is only compatible with a 12x142 axle setup.
  • + 1
 Get the Jet 9 Carbon, it's the original Jet 9 RDO but in 135 qr.
  • + 5
 All I want for Christmas is a Kona Process 153 review.
  • + 5
 29"/160mm XC/AM wtf ? It's more like a mini-DH
  • + 1
 It's not 160. It's 130 or 140 5& 5.5 wich is normal for a mid travel bike.
  • + 2
 Fork RockShox Pike RCT3 29 160mm that's all
  • + 4
 Can somebody explain to me why they would make it so you can adjust travel from 5" to 5.5"? Why the extra .5" of travel?
  • - 5
flag deeeight (Dec 23, 2013 at 6:57) (Below Threshold)
 Geometry change comes with the travel change.
  • + 6
 Deeight you spew absolute garabge half the time you post. Mustve missed the line stating travel changes have no effect on geometry
  • + 3
 Yeah, it's mostly a geometry thing. It changes the suspension dynamics a tiny bit as well, as you get less travel with the same shock stroke. To be honest, it probably doesn't make much difference, it's just that a high end frame is expected to have some sort of geo adjustment now.
  • - 6
flag deeeight (Dec 23, 2013 at 7:27) (Below Threshold)
 @SeaJay you do understand there's a difference between physical geometry of a frame and suspension geometry don't you? Oh wait, that's right, you don't.
  • + 1
 Having said there would not be a change in geometry would mean that the travel adjustment would just change the progressiveness in the suspension. In my opinion, I don't think 29ers have enough travel. I would love to see a 180mm plus travel 29er produced.
  • + 4
 Except at any time other than NO RIDER on the bike, you can't change the travel without affecting the geometry also for the very simple fact that for a given position of the shock stroke (which includes when you take sag into account), at a different travel setting/leverage ratio the effective HA/SA numbers will end up different. If you don't re-adjust the shock pressure when you change the travel setting, the bike will end up riding higher or lower (depending on which travel setting it was in when you set the initial sag) and so it will steer differently also, albeit slightly it can definitely be picked up on a 29er as they're really sensitive to getting the geometry right unless you want it to steer like a cow.
  • + 4
 @Jaaaaaaaames I have a 2012 Intense Slopestyle which has the same 0.5" adjustment (6 or 6.5"). Like other Intense bikes, the adjustment does not change the static unloaded geometry but the leverage ratio (shock stroke to suspension travel) does change. But, the change in ride feel is significant. Even when the spring rate is increased to match the change in leverage ratio, 6.5" feels WAY more plush than 6" on fast/rough stuff (e.g. bike park brake bumps or rock gardens). At the same time, pedaling efficiency is noticeably reduced (so pick your priority).
  • + 2
 Nice! Looks like the perfect XC bike to put in miles and getin spicy. Somtimes its nice to have a fast bike that can haul ass on the ups and flats but one thats still beefy enough to let the nuts drop on the downs
  • + 3
 Awesome looking bike. So many great bikes out there now whatever their wheel size. Just with there were demo's available for all of them to make the choice a little easier.
  • + 4
 I'd buy it cause it's enduro approved!
  • + 2
 I really like the look of the frame, but I wonder if you can get a 160mm Pike 29er fork aftermarket, all I see is 140-150mm? Is this oem only?
  • + 3
 I like the matching orange chain, how much was that upgrade?!?
  • + 4
 That comes free after a few hours of pedalling around in the sandy desert soil.
  • + 3
 Beasty...looks like a bike I'd consider.
  • + 3
 A very beautiful bike. Nothing else...
  • + 3
 Bring on the Mach6 review already!
  • + 1
 Looks kinda like the Scott Genius. But i like it, cant wait to give it a try
  • - 1
 They wouldn't change the stem and bars on the Covert they tested (and even defended the decision in the comments), but it's ok to swap shocks for this test? How does that work?
  • + 2
 The CCDB is an option strait from Intense and they shipped it to PB
  • + 0
 Nice 29er! The only issue is it looks just like the Intense Spyder Comp with a different paint scheme. Is Intense trying to pull a fast one on us?
  • + 2
 Such a nice frame, paint jobs screams up to date!
  • + 2
 Looks like a fun bike, Still would like some pedals for 6gs
  • + 1
 We need a Stig for Pinkbike. Like some BC woods hooligan (tippie?) in a wookie costume.
  • + 1
 I thought Amanda Batty was pinkbike's stig:

She has the full face helmet, full body suit and will destroy most us on our home turf.
  • + 0
 I'm going to be out of the 29er game until I see one with more travel. I would love to see 29ers reach the 180mm travel area.
  • - 1
 2013 Intense Tracer 29 Frame for sale, Floresent Orange, size L. I love this bike and now with a slacker HT, the 160 pike and carbon looks like I will be upgrading!
m.pinkbike.com/buysell/1478655
  • + 1
 cost less, much better components

Good Job intense

$7050 gt carbon pro is such a joke compare with this beast
  • - 2
 So Pinkbike has claimed that they evaluate bikes as delivered by the manufacturer, yet they swapped shocks on this one? Why the special treatment?

They should have run a DBair on all the bikes they tested if they wanted a fair comparison.

Give the Dixon another chance with a piggy back shock!
  • + 5
 The CCDBA is offered as an upgrade by the manufacturer for this frame. That is why. Not all bike companies offer this upgrade with the purchase of a frame/complete build. If it wasn't offered it wouldn't have been tested (This is just an assumption)
  • + 9
 Exactly. Intense sent the DBAir out to us so that we could evaluate the difference between the two shocks, which we did.
  • + 0
 So what weaknesses in the suspension design remained unchanged when you swapped the shock?
  • + 3
 Good enduro bike..!!!
  • + 1
 For 6.5k, it's NOT ACCEPTABLE, for the millionth time, to have components that aren't "blowing away", such as the shock.
  • + 2
 This is the only 29er that looks cool enough to ride!
  • + 0
 Yes you are rigth, because you did not see yet the Tofane 29 by Alutech... Amazing
  • + 2
 Cool looking bike...but the Carbine 29 is much better.
  • + 2
 I liked that comment, "good at hitting straight-ahead drops"
  • + 1
 A slap in the face for Fox
  • + 2
 Especially if this is a 2014 shock which they claim is a lot better than the older ones.
  • + 1
 Cane creek DBAir CS is the best rear shock ever!!
  • + 1
 Statistics show that 50% of all opinions are below average
  • + 1
 can you raise the price a bit more please !!!
  • + 1
 @zziplex: Well that's a nice comment. You must have short mans syndrome.
  • + 1
 Now it's time for an updated Tracer29. Aluminium of course.
  • + 2
 Nice truck !
  • + 2
 WANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 0
 "the actual manufacturing of the Carbine's frame takes place in Asia" maybe they wanted to say TAIWAN
  • + 0
 They started with a fox rear shock, then switched to Cane Creek, brilliant!
  • + 0
 @deeeight dude just shut up and ride your 90's hardtail
  • + 0
 orange is for pumpkins and this thing looks like a jack-o-lantern
  • + 5
 I love it. -Orange Enthusiast.
  • + 1
 "Wish there were demo's"
  • - 1
 wow. well it was urmmm comprehensive?
  • - 2
 Would you look at that, its a bike!
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.139586
Mobile Version of Website