Bike Check: Joe Breeden's Intense M279 HP1 Prototype DH bike

Aug 4, 2022
by Nick Bentley  

We caught up with Joe Breeden at the British Downhill National Championships. Joe has been out with injury since the Fort William round of the downhill World Cup, where he suffered a comminuted compound fracture to his elbow.

Joe was back to take on the rough track of Glencoe. It wasn't the most ideal place to make a comeback from this type of injury, with the Scottish track being brutal and rock filled along with the standard Scottish rain showing up in June to make a tough track even harder.

Joe's Intense M279 HP1 is a very public prototype and in the world of embargoes and cover-over bikes Intense have chosen to go the other way instead. They have been prototyping in plain sight and at the highest level of the sport.

Joe Breeden // Intense Factory Racing
Age: 23
Hometown: Llanfyllin
Height: 6ft 2in
Weight: 76Kg
Sponsors: Intense, Fox, Vee Tire, Renthal, TRP, Smanie, e*thirteen
Instagram: @joe_breeden17

Intense M279 HP1 Prototype
Frame:Prototype Intense M279 HP1; custom size
Shock:Fox DHX2 Coil 250x75mm, 198mm travel
Fork:Fox 40/203mm travel
Hub:e*thirteen LG1 Race
Rim:e*thirteen LG1 DH Race
Tyres:Prototype Vee Tire
Chainring:Prototype TRP
Cranks:Prototype TRP
Pedals:HT X3
Cassette:e*thirteen 7 Speed
Derailleur:Prototype TRP
Shifter:Prototype TRP
Brakes:TRP DH-R Evo
Rotors:TRP 223mm
Pads:TRP Resin
Handlebar:Renthal Fatbar 31.8mm,
Stem:Renthal Integra 11, 31.8mm,
Grips:ODI Longneck V2.1 Lock-on

bigquotesShe eats!Joe Breeden

The Intense M279 HP1 prototype is high pivot, Horst Link design. Joe is riding a custom size that would equate to a size large, with the linear rocker link.

Joe is running a Renthal cockpit with the aluminum version of their Fatbar mounted to Renthal's Integra direct mount stem. Joe's bars are cut to 790mm wide. Under Joe's stem there are 2x5mm spacers fitted. Joe has added his own motivational Dymo tape labels. Finished off with some ODI Longneck V2.1 lock-on grips.

It is no surprise to see the Fox Factory 40 on the front of Joe's bike. He is running 85psi with 4 tokens, and he is running the following clicks of rebound and compression: HSR 7, LSR 6, HSC 7, LSC 5 (Joe didn't tell me from what position the clicks are from, but I'm assuming they're from fully closed). There are still the mounting points for the suspension telemetry system that the Intense Factory Racing team use to gather data. I asked Joe if the telemetry kit is noticeable when he's riding with it fitted and he said he doesn't even notice it's there.

The same telemetry mounts can be seen on the Fox X2 Coil Shock which has a 550 lb/in spring fitted with the preload set to 5 clicks from no free play. As well as the following clicks of rebound and compression: HSR 3, LSR 10, HSC 6, LSC 9.

There is more prototype equipment for Joe's drivetrain. This is the full prototype TRP 7-speed DH drivetrain with a E-thirteen 7-speed DH cassette.

Joe runs HT's X3 clipless pedals.

TRP's DH-R Evo brakes are fitted with 223mm rotors and resin pads. Brakes are an area in which Joe is a little picky - he prefers a powerful and consistent brake setup with the bite point exactly where he wants it.

It's a set of e*thirteen wheels for Joe's Intense with the LG DH wheelset selected. Wrapped around these is a set of Vee Tire Co.'s newest prototypes. There is no Sharpieing of side walls here. There are no inserts fitted to Joe's wheels but they are tubeless and running 23psi in the front and 27psi in the rear. Joe currently has the bike running a mullet set up too.


  • 118 3
 “ he prefers a powerful and consistent brake setup with the bite point exactly where he wants it.”
Isn’t that what everyone wants in a brake?
I can’t see anyone asking for a weak and inconsistent brake with a wandering bite point…
  • 101 8
 Enough people buy Sram and Shimano brakes to suggest that a weak and inconsistent brake with wandering bite point is exactly what they are looking for!
  • 8 2
 @Puddings: Boom, roasted.
  • 5 12
flag Muchogusto (Aug 4, 2022 at 7:27) (Below Threshold)
 @Puddings: mtx ceramic pads and suspension fluid in place of brake fluid fixed my shimano saint woes
  • 2 5
 Exactly @Puddings: @Viking-man is right, this should be what everyone is looking for, but it's contrary to everyone buying most of shimano's or Sram's current offerings. I've lost count of the number of people complaining about their weak and inconsistent SLX or Codes at the bike park where I work. Very few exceptions to this and having tried a few of them myself they are mostly utter dross.
  • 7 4
 I mean, if *better* brakes and their spare parts were more available than the big 2....

also, most people complaining about their brakes is due to inexperience, lack of maintenance knowledge, or bad maintenance. dragging your brakes down the entire blue trail at a bike park is a good way to ensure they heat up and work like shit the rest of the day.
  • 7 4
 @Muchogusto: How much travel do your brakes have now?
  • 6 5
 @Puddings: maybe learn how to bleed properly. It takes time but my codes are perfect once they're bled correctly. Had more wander with shimano. Couldn't get around it. Didn't matter what I did.
  • 6 4
 @solf: maybe if you learned how to bleed shimanos properly...
  • 3 3
 @Puddings: the only time I ever buy sram or shimano brakes are when they come spec’d on a bike though. Usually the first thing I swap to sell.
  • 1 0
 @thechunderdownunder: What's your brake of choice?
  • 1 0
 @k2theg: I do.
  • 1 0
 @Muchogusto: Magura and lately hates dominion
  • 57 4
 The suspension obviously works, but my brain can’t understand how upwards force on the rear wheel actually compresses the shock rather than buckling at the pivots. Same with the YT Tues
  • 25 3
 Thanks God, I'm not alone.
  • 8 22
flag WRCDH (Aug 4, 2022 at 0:44) (Below Threshold)
 Engineers will tell you it won’t buckle because the pivots are “double shear.” But to non-engineers, that engineer-speak just sounds like it’s twice as likely to buckle and shear off.
  • 4 3
 right? I'm looking at that rocker angle and comprehend that either.
  • 7 3
 Correct me, if I'm wrong, but the bending forces in those seat stays and the rocker must be quite significant. But if it works, it works!
  • 5 4
 this. 1000 times this.
  • 5 2
 The same thought I had when I first saw the YT Tues and now this. Glad that someone else have noticed that…
The upper bearings sure have to deal with great forces especially in the first part of travel.
  • 10 10
 I thought the exact same thing, but obviously the three Intense engineers who came up with this are on downvoting duty today Wink
  • 5 3
 I spent a lot of time doing finite element simulations for the rocker link on a bike I'm making and i do not understand how this thing is holding up. Mine is probably way too beefy...
  • 5 6
 Think about it this way: If the rider hits a jump and the suspension compresses on landing, the bottom bracket area gets pushed downwards through the weight of the rider as much as the rear wheel gets pushed upwards.
  • 3 3
 I think this can be a very progressive linkage design, I understand that upward force thing but here it means that the bike will not blow all the travel easy...
  • 2 4
 @Wamprat surely the key is in the position of the Horst link?
  • 5 3
 I have to admit it got me head scratching every single time I see it. Then I realized we always see static photos of the bike, without a rider. If you imagine it with ~35% sag you can picture the front end of the link pointing down, and the rear one higher than its central pivot.

Also, what really shows where the forces are concentrated are the extra sheets of aluminum reinforcing the rear end of the seatstays and the front of the chainstays. Having an all metal prototype reveals a lot more than a plastic one.
  • 1 4
 Makes me wonder what level of strain is on shock bushings/bearings/seals. Or if someone at specialized drew that on a napkin and got laughed at. Only so many Horst links possible
  • 2 3
 @usedbikestuff: The forces are substantial! at 65mm compression the spring force of a 650lb spring is 7.4kN (1660 lbf). In addition to that you have some force from the damper (even tho at bottom out the shaft speed should be 0 so the damper force 0 as well), and then a hard bottom out will result in much higher load again.
  • 2 4
 It looks very close to over centering
  • 2 4
 Draw a line from the axle trough the first bearing the seat stays have. It'll go upwards from the main rotating bearing of the frame, forcing he bearing at the shock to go down. If that first line was to go under the main bearing of the rocker link, the rocker would extend the shock.
  • 2 3
 @Notmeatall: from the chainstay pivot actually, not the rear axle.
  • 5 3
 I had the same thought when I bought my first YT Tues. For this intense and the YT's, in the no sag position, the spring rate is very very low compared the stiffness of the seat stays, and so the spring will compress much easier than bending the seat stays, etc. As the suspension cycles further into the travel, the angles change quite a bit where the seat stay and rocker are at steeper angles.,13628/Intense-Prototype,149999/sspomer,2,11686/YT-TUES-Bottom-Out,121432/sspomer,2
  • 1 3
 Struggling with the linkage as well. Especially with what is presumably a rearward axle path (I assume the high pivot is there to get rid of pedal kickback from a rearward axle path).
  • 2 3
 it doesn't buckle because there's less resistance in the bearings than tendency to fold.
  • 3 0
 "buckling" at pivots is not buckling, it's articulation. Try to imagine the path of least resistance: it's way easier to articulate the suspension to compress the shock than it is to bend something the wrong way. Also helps to remember that the seat stay is moving A LOT upwards, maybe more than it moves forward, so what looks like a straight line from dropout to forward shock mount quickly becomes a triangle as soon as the wheel gets into the travel. So the whole rear moves mostly _up_, including the rear rocker pivot, and that pushes down and back (maybe helps to think of that as "in") on the front mount and compresses the shock.
  • 2 1
 It’ll work but I reckon the loads in the rocker pivots will be way bigger than with a more conventional rocker angle and generate a load more friction. Spend all that time on the axle path and then pile in friction with the geometry ‍♂️
  • 2 0
 @tempmeister: in the end friction is damping. As long as the bearings are designed accordingly it shouldn't matter. Certainly not the lightest option, but wasn't the goal
  • 1 0
 @SleepingAwake: it dissipates energy but it’s not the same as viscous damping and is destructive for small bump sensitivity and suspension control - that’s why fork manufacturers put so much effort into trying to get rid of it
  • 19 3
 Looks like it’s been in an accident
  • 9 3
 Yeah it has a crushed drinks can look about it. No doubt it's a capable bike but you'd get tired of scooping the mud out of the fucker.
  • 12 3
 "Joe is a little picky - he prefers a powerful and consistent brake setup with the bite point exactly where he wants it."
How so picky...
  • 11 3
 well I'm picky too, it's just that I prefer a weak and inconsistent brake setup with the bite point wandering all over the place.
  • 18 3
 Joe is so picky, he likes both his wheels consistently round
  • 2 0
 @johnny2shoes: I’m so picky I like having, get this, TWO wheels on my bike.
  • 10 3
 no sharpie - easy if you actually produce the other compnies tire.
  • 1 0
 Wouldn't that be Cheng Shin Tyre? They make Maxxis. Or do they make Vee as well?
  • 1 0
 @bananowy: No its kinda the other way round, Vee makes e13 tires and those tires look exactly like the e13 LG1.
  • 1 0
 @optimumnotmaximum: ah, right, didn't think about that. Thought you were talking about the usual sharpied maxxis. Not sure any racer ever sharpied e13 tyres in the history of racing haha Wink
  • 10 7
 NO inserts? Amazing! Sadly for folks like me who can't afford a new set of wheels every year, I gotta have them.
  • 9 8
 No inserts and 27psi in the back is blowing my mind right now how does he even make it through a single weekend with the same hoops on?
  • 28 3
 @ryanandrewrogers: He's good at riding bikes
  • 6 17
flag ryanandrewrogers (Aug 4, 2022 at 0:48) (Below Threshold)
 @gabriel-mission9: The better you get the faster you go the more stuff you break
  • 7 5
 @ryanandrewrogers: He can pick lines?
  • 6 8
 @excavator666: thanks, I thought world cup racers closed their eyes while riding. Facepalm
  • 11 6
 @ryanandrewrogers: I got the impression that logic was a foreign concept to you, so thought I'd better explain.
  • 2 12
flag ryanandrewrogers (Aug 4, 2022 at 3:19) (Below Threshold)
 @excavator666: I got the impression that you're a bit of an a*shole for no reason. Are you pissed?
  • 5 3
 Gwin used to run inserts but after trying Vee tire's he felt the inserts we're unnecessary and hindered ride quality because of how stiff and damped the casings are.
  • 4 10
flag ryanandrewrogers (Aug 4, 2022 at 3:25) (Below Threshold)
 @c-radicallis: Thank you for a good answer, unsure as to why people are pissed at me for asking, perhaps the Irish are just internally angry that the lack of a certain spud defeated their nation. That casing must be thick! I've run Maxxis DD and DH casings I've still found inserts to be the only way to get enough support at the pressure I want to run
  • 4 3
 @ryanandrewrogers: against all believes on PB, maybe e13 rims aren't that bad afterall, I certainly have no issues with mine so far with light spokes, 150mm travel and shit loads of Bikepark time. Considering he has 200mm of travel and isn't planning on keeping those a full season I can certainly believe this.
  • 2 4
 @Balgaroth: Which set? I've managed to crack an e13 aluminum rim, and my tire was still (barely) holding air! I swore them off that day but maybe the new high end stuff is decent
  • 3 3
 @ryanandrewrogers: being running LG1 DH on my Force29 without any issues. With thin casings at home on forgiving grounds for Enduro, with DH casings for Bikepark during the summer season all over the alps. No complaints but I run 1.4bar at the front and 1.9/2.0 bars at the back. Some noises sometime but no dings or flats. Built the wheels myselfs as always and so far they hold up as well as the best alloy rims I've had.
  • 2 0
 Height: retard measurement
Weight: kilos...
Pinkbike make up your mind. Either one, or the other, or maybe both?
  • 3 6
 Raw aluminium, aggressively shaped tubes, large welds... I kinda like it!

Hopefully they'll make the production version capable of running 29" wheels as well as 27.5". Mullet-only isn't cool. That choice should be left to the rider.
  • 1 3
 Riding a custom size that would equate to a size large with the linear rocker link ,
which is also Incredibly Large
and doubles as a boomerang weapon in any survival situation Smile
  • 1 0
 Is that a mud bucket in the downtube or is it open on the bottom?
  • 3 4
 Unno "we have the lowest top tube since the Raleigh Step through!", Intense "hold my beer"
  • 1 3
 with the shock's reservoir hidden deep into the frame i wonder how easy is to access the knob settings. FFS keep it simple....
  • 4 3
 It's a race bike. He's probably not stopping half-way down a track to adjust his rebound settings.
  • 4 3
 @Puddings: Henry mentioned in the latest video that they've added holes in the downtube to reach the shock settings. Before that, they had to take the shock out to change compression/rebound.
  • 2 1
 looks like an old Kona
  • 1 0
 Welcome back Joe!!
  • 3 4
 That's the most beautiful potbelly pig I've ever seen Drool
  • 3 5
 Can't believe we're still using cassettes on bikes. We should have moved on to at least flash drives. Razz
  • 2 3
 Call me picky too. I want my brakes the same way...
  • 2 4
 Hasn’t bought into the 35mm dia bars which is interesting as they are pretty much standard now
  • 6 3
 Try going back, your hands will thank u.
  • 5 3
 @jrocksdh: dont know why you got downvoted, but for sure, people on 35mm buy oneups and say it's way better than normal 35mm bars. oneup designed those to feel like 31.8 bars, and you could just save your money and buy regular 31.8 bars in the first place
  • 3 0
 @averagerug: feels like there is a lot of negativity in this article lol
  • 1 0
 @enduroNZ: for sure and probably because some people on their yetis refuse to disregard what the industry is marketing right now lmao
  • 2 3
 Orange fork though...when will it end?
  • 2 4
 Nice hammer formed bath tub around the coil shock, does it come with a plug and chain ?
  • 1 3
 I must be the only person who thinks this looks good. I'd go one step further and make it out of galvanised steel.
  • 1 0
 Despite my comment about super flat rocker angle and friction I do actually quite like the look of it, raw aluminium reminds me of the Intense SOCOM I wanted back in 2008
  • 2 3
 Intense should change their name to "prototype"
  • 2 4
 strong intense 90`s vibes
  • 1 3
 We need to see this hucked to flat in slow-mo!
  • 1 3
 Llanfyllin. That's near Oswestry in North Wales right @Rob Warner, right??
  • 1 3
 Those chainstays look looong
  • 1 4
 I bet it's fun trying to scoop all the mud out of the downtube.
  • 1 4
 looks like it will be fun trying to adjust the rear shock dials
  • 2 5
 The frame looks dinged and bend already?!
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