Bike Check: Seth Sherlock's Intense Tracer 279

Jun 23, 2022
by Matt Beer  


In case you missed it nearly ten years ago, Seth Sherlock's breakout video turned a few heads, featuring freeride riding lines around Squamish that would still make the cut for today's slab masters. To call him a grom would be unfair - he is a seasoned professional racer, even though he is still in the U21 Enduro World Series category. Seth has been riding under the guidance of Todd Schumlick and spent time chasing Chris Kovarik on B.C. Cup downhill tracks for years now. Doing double duty, he has stepped up to the elite field of World Cup downhill racing too, and is one of four team riders piloting Intense's prototype DH bike.

Heading into the third round of the EWS series aboard Intense's Tracer 279, Seth hasn't missed the podium, with a second at the Tweed Valley stop and a third-place finish last weekend in Petzen-Jamnica. We caught up with the talented, multi-discipline rider to get the scoop on how he's set up his enduro race bike and what he carries along to make it through the gruelling days.
Seth Sherlock
Hometown: Squamish, B.C.
Age: 19
Height / Weight: 180cm / 5'11", 75kg / 165lb
Team: Intense Factory Racing
Instagram: @sethsherlock

Intense Tracer 279 Spec
Frame: Intense Tracer 279, size LG, high flip-chip setting
Shock: Fox Float X2, 185 PSI, 1 volume spacers, HSR -4, LSR -7, HSC -8, LCS -12 (from closed)
Fork: Fox 38, 170mm, 92 PSI, 2 volume spacers, HSR -6, LSR -6, HSC -8, LCS -9 (from closed)
Wheels: E*Thirteen LG1r Carbon Enduro
Tires: Vee prototype, 21 F / 24 R PSI
Drivetrain: TRP prototype 12-speed w/O-Chain
Pedals: HT X3
Brakes: TRP DH-R EVO
Cockpit: Renthal Fatbar 760 wide bar, 40mm length stem
More info: intensecycles.com


Garnering the most attention is a roll of electrical tape that sits perfectly on the steer tube spacers. Bush mechanic repairs have gotten plenty of enduro racers across the finish line in the past.

Seth runs Renthal's smaller diameter 31.8mm Fat Bar with a 30mm rise trimmed to 760mm and a 40mm Apex stem.

Still prototyping - number P3.1
For grips, Seth chooses the popular ODI Elite Pros but trims the first two squares of the waffle pattern flush.

The TRP DH-R EVO brakes use 2.3mm thick, 203mm rotors on both wheels.

The Intense Factory Team bikes are grounded by Vee Tire Co. and look to be developing new treads with this prototype.

This tread pattern looks to have wider rectangular blocks than the current Snap model.

TRS Race Hubs from E*Thirteen are the Boost spacing offering for enduro bikes.


JS Tuned suspension by Jeff Steber. The lower link rotates around the BB shell and Seth has the flip-chip in the high setting to give a 64.5-degree head tube angle.

The storage compartment was named after Intense's late and great friend, Chad Peterson.

Inside the Chad compartment, Seth carries a multitool, tire levers, a CO2 canister, and a few zip ties.

The prototype crankarms from TRP are 165mm long with a 32-tooth chainring. Seth is another rider who jumped on the O-Chain train and uses the 6-degree float setting.

More prototype TRP drivetrain bits. The derailleur has a switch similar to their DH model with the "Hall lock" to keep the body from pivoting on the hanger bolt.

The largest two cogs are bolted on, hinting that there could be two range options to come.

To cancel out any noises, STFU offers a chain damper to fit wide range cassettes too.

HT X3 DH race pedals now have a guiding plate to facilitate clipping in smoother.



116 Comments

  • 83 1
 Nice looking bike.
  • 43 3
 Could use a black fork
  • 40 41
 @wburnes: the fox orange is super cringy. Black lowers look sooo much better
  • 70 4
 @artistformlyknowasdan: haha this sounds like something said by Sex and the City gals sitting at a cafe being catty about the color of the waitress' shoes
  • 12 1
 @jakalwil: She’s not wrong though. Beyoncé couldn’t pull off orange and gold.
  • 15 0
 @thenotoriousmic: What if you pair the orange and gold fork with a frame that's a different shade of gold / sand and red? And a handlebar that's a third shade of gold? And brake levers that are copper, which is kinda like gold crossed with orange ... right? Maybe the rider can tie it all together with his ... burgundy ... never mind.

But seriously, I'd ride the ugliest gear in the world if it worked better, cost less, or - as in this case - if that's what someone was paying me to ride, and all these brands are achieving better product recognition with conspicuous colours. It's still a hideous mash-up, but at least there's a reasonable explanation for how it came to be.
  • 4 0
 @R-M-R: i'm pretty convinced that the main reason for fox to buy the whole marzo stuff was to obtain that orange of the original z1 bomber.
  • 12 0
 @moferenc: At least they didn't try to make the Fox arch into the shape of an F.
  • 1 1
 @artistformlyknowasdan: orange bimbos...
  • 11 2
 @artistformlyknowasdan: Look, Fox have got a very big pot of orange paint and it's still half full, so quit yer whining.
  • 2 5
 @artistformlyknowasdan: Helps to hide the ultra cringy kashima coated stanchions
  • 1 1
 @R-M-R: You just made me throw up in my full face.
  • 2 0
 @moferenc: an insightful comment. That orange color is a marketing tool, and there's a reason most FOX sponsored teams run that color, cause that's what they want them to run and that's what they give them.
  • 1 2
 @jaytdubs: Why though? Don’t they have eyes?
  • 4 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I guess they feel people need to be hit over the head with marketing, perhaps because we're constantly being bombarded? At the end of the day, I don't know shit about shit...just spouting humble opinions.
  • 1 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: If anyone offered wraps for forks I'd be all over it. Obviously bike/fork performance is first priority, but man off colours drive me bonkers.
  • 1 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: Agreeeed!
Hopefully the new marketing person retires the fugly orange fork thang.
  • 4 0
 @artistformlyknowasdan: it might just be me, but I feel like the orange lowers are like the yellow Maxxis logo (as opposed to white), it doesn’t necessarily look great on everything, but because of what it is, it works
  • 1 0
 @wburnes: Or red
  • 1 0
 Hahahah@jakalwil:
  • 25 2
 Pay no attention to the pro running a 31.8 bar don't buy what they ride buy only new pointless industry standards that are way too stiff and overbuilt #enduro
  • 1 0
 aluminum bar; makes perfect sense.
  • 1 1
 Still proudly running 31.8 on both my bikes! Smile
  • 19 0
 Awesome to see this young ripper (and good looking Intense rig)getting some spotlight. He is a sick rider and super nice!! Got to talk to him for a bit in person at Snowshoe WC last year.

Not to mention he's killing it in EWS
  • 18 2
 This Bike Looks Incredible!
  • 19 4
 No sh1t sherlock ; )
  • 11 2
 My STFU thing was getting sucked into my spokes every 50m. It sucked. I zip tied it to my seatstay like in the photo, but ended up sawing grooves in my frame over a season. So I don't suggest that. I just use the front piece and put it as far back as I can without the chain rubbing, which seems to work.
  • 5 1
 Had same issue with getting sucked into the spokes, both front and rear (on round chainstays). Ditched then and just wrapped the chainstay.
  • 4 1
 @alanbonk: yeah I categorize the stfu as junk overseas plastic and if it works for you, great...but I can see it not working at all for most people. Like immediate failure first ride. Needs an overhaul and redesign.
  • 2 1
 tried just using the front piece, somehow got pinched/torn off on a steep section, sucked through my chain ring and put me over the bars. went VHS which ended up being more quiet anyways
  • 6 0
 Sorry to hear you've had issues, the first generation dampers didn't include the profiled end caps that give the units much better support on stays with a rounded profile, Anyone who has had issues, shoot us an email with your order number at info(a)stfubike.com and we will sort out a replacement for you.

Its super important you follow the installation instructions, in particular making sure to check for clearance in the stand and also under sag. A soft or uneven mounting surface can also result in the modules moving around and ending up in the spokes. Cable ties can stretch and bed in after the first few rides too so its important to retighten after a few rides. They should be good after that.

The modules are designed to absorb chain impact forces only, if the chain is rubbing they will fail, every time. We have some of the world's fastest racers and best freeriders running these without problems, if you're setting them up correctly and still having issues, send your resume over for a testing sponsorship Wink
  • 12 2
 I would seriously consider an Intense for my next bike. They are still reasonable priced compared to some of the other rigs of a similar caliber spec.
  • 5 21
flag dualsuspensiondave (Jun 24, 2022 at 2:45) (Below Threshold)
 They are garbage though. Break when you look at them sideways, customer service is almost non-existent.
  • 6 0
 Are the rotors some kind of custom? They look rusty
  • 1 0
 Looks like the hitch rack in winter mod
  • 4 0
 "Drivetrain: TRP prototype 12-speed w/O-Chain" - so without a chain? ballsy move, trying to pull a Leogang Gwinn on us, here on the enduro circuit!
  • 4 0
 The o-chain looks interesting. Would be cool to see a performance comparison vs reg cranks
  • 1 0
 I'd love to try it as I believe it would help me to get more active suspension under braking, but still cannot justify the cost
  • 1 0
 Just get a chain set from Rocky Mountain e bike same thing but cheaper?

ebike-mtb.com/en/rocky-mountain-altitude-powerplay-c70-2022-first-ride-review
  • 6 0
 I bought an o-chain and especially on a bike with a lot of kickback its very noticeable. Similar to going from an airshock to a coilschock, you can feel the suspension working a bit better especially under hard braking when your freehub cant cancel out the kickback.

Having said that, it is not like going from xc to dh tires, it does not transform the bike. After riding it for a half a year i opened it and switched to the 9 degree mode i was very surprised that i discovered zero wear. Everyone complaining about the price of that thing should look inside of one, its very well made and everything is lasermarked - pretty cool, like a very robust high quality watch.

Bottom line: Its a nerd / pro product, does what it claims and it is very well made. I would not say that it is a gamechanger but it does a lot more for you than carbon wheels, carbon frames, kashima, or even a shock with 2 compression and 2 rebound adjusters.
  • 1 0
 @optimumnotmaximum: Thanks for your opinion. Yeah I didn´t mean it is overpriced, just a bit too expensive in my eyes so I´d definitely would love to try before buy. I can imagine it would help me with hard braking on rough sections. What frame you´ve put it on?
  • 2 0
 @bok-CZ: I can see your point, i hesitated too, but i love to tinker with bikes, so it was my birthdaypresent for myself. I put it on a 2021 MDE Damper (which has lots of antisquat and a good amount of kickback).

On that frame the 6 degree mode is not enough to get rid of "braking kickback" -in the 9 degree mode its pretty cool.
  • 1 0
 @optimumnotmaximum: I just built new bike not so far ago and need some time to spend another cash on it, otherwise I like to do this as well. I think this is one of the best upgrades I could do considering cost vs function.
(or maybe I will just try the ghetto version with a spacer instead one of rear cogs, to see if its worthy)

How is the engagement working when you get back to pedalling? Can you feel much difference between 9 and 6 degrees settings in terms of engagement? Any oddities?

Got a discount code? Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @bok-CZ: The delay is not a problem unless you are trying trailmoves - i could see a problem if you do that austrian "vertbiking" - hopping down vertical trails with a lot of crankratcheting. Other than that you get used to it within 2 or 3 rides. 6 degrees does not pedal that differently to 9 degrees in my opinion. Make sure to use their screws for mounting it to the crank, the sram ones wont fit (if you buy the sram version ofc). No oddities.

I have no business connection to O-chain so no discount code -sorry.
  • 1 0
 @optimumnotmaximum: Thanks again for sharing the details!
  • 2 0
 @optimumnotmaximum @bok-CZ

Another happy Ochain customer here, can confirm whatever @optimumnotmaximum said.

I've been running mine for 9 months now with zero issues. Like him, I opened it up just recently and apart from re-applying some grease, no other works were necessary.

Ochains claims the elastomers to last 50k vertical meters. Mine showed almost no wear after about that amount of riding, which I found surprising seeing that there was quite a bit of racing/sprinting in those months (which should presumably be harder on the elastomers than just riding, as the mechanism pushes against them).

Agree with the sentiment re pedal feel. You get used to it pretty quickly (I mostly ran 6°). Guess the 12° could get pretty annoying in techy stuff where you'd want to put in a few crank turns in between moves.

Overall, a very well made package. Also noting that they support approximately a billion different direct mounts, from the main SRAM/Shimano ones to the more esoteric, like Ingrid.

Mine is installed on a Horst-link/4-bar bike with significant kick back. What you feel first and the most is the lack of feedback in your feet over small chatter, especially on flats. In the bigger hits, traction is improved marginally in the grand scheme of things, but noticable, espeically under braking. Depending on the bike, would def put one on again, certainly before I would consider any other "fashion" upgrades.
  • 3 2
 I wonder why Gwin struggled so much on the VPP dh bikes. His first result on Intense was a 6th, which isn't bad, so I wonder if it was other things (like getting married, all those injuries, etc) that explains his struggles lately.
  • 4 0
 Birthdays man. Not everybody can race into there 40's like Minnaar.
  • 7 0
 its tyres that have held him back more than anything not the bikes.
  • 2 0
 @peaotterthegreat: Very likely. He was dialed on those Onza tires. I rode the Pinnr's for a season, and while they had good grip and support, they wore very quickly and even with the DH casing they punctured really easily. Not confidence inspiring when charging.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez - spoken like a true married man, listing marriage first before injuries, etc. as a reason for decline. Got a good laugh out of that!
  • 3 0
 @Chippps: no comment haha.
  • 3 0
 Electrical tape is the answer for everything, always have one in my bag. You can use it even if you get wounded, at least I hope you can, because I do.
  • 2 0
 My bro in law doesn't like to wear knee pads and gashed his knee open (2.5" long to the tendon) in a rock garden. I used everything I had available in my small hiking first aid kit on my pack to keep that thing from bleeding. Sure wish I had a roll of tape...
  • 4 1
 @Jordanh604: cause knee pads are for the pussies and the smart people, and he's not either, right?
  • 1 0
 @Jordanh604: I’ve been ditching mine the past few rides because who knows. I will be wearing them this weekend. Started wearing them cause my buddy did the exact same thing.
  • 2 0
 @Jordanh604: I remember the time I crashed in about 2007 and saw my kneecap. Worn pads on most rides since then.
  • 1 0
 My biggest gripe is they sold out to MEC... slightly better than Walmart, who sold out to MECompany who now push less than mediocre overpriced garbage! But also huge Intense thanks for supporting local riders! Seth is top shredder, I remember his first WC juniors win not to long ago, just a humble pro athlete.
  • 2 0
 @mattbeer, autocorrect gotcha
Vire Tire Co.
"The Intense Factory Team bikes are grounded by Vire Tire Co. and look to be developing new treads with this prototype."
  • 3 2
 Introducing the all-new new Vee Minion DHR II
  • 3 0
 That rear looks a lot like E13 AT tread, and even the subtle weave on the sidewall. Knowing Vee manufactures E13’s tires I wonder if these are just rebadged E13 tires?
  • 1 0
 @chacou: came here to say that ! Not a bad thing, those e13 work pretty well especially in MoPo compound. Now maybe the casing and rubber are different but it looks like they are using the same molds than to do the e13. Considering e13's have been out of stock for a while and they introduced a new thread maybe the lost the right to use that pattern because Vee claimed it back ?
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: Could be the pros just asked for a different tread pattern and Vee borrowed this one from E13 (if it is the same) to keep them sponsor correct.
  • 1 0
 @chacou: Looks exactly like my LG 1 MoPo with another sticker.
  • 2 0
 The suspension setup looks very similar to Santa Cruz's VPP. Does anyone with a more keen/technical eye have any intel here?
  • 4 0
 It differs in that the lower pivot rotates around the bottom bracket shell
  • 2 0
 My understanding is: They co-developed the system and shared the patient for a long time. Now it’s expired I believe that they have diverged somewhat.
  • 2 0
 so, is this where we are at? Excellent super fast engaging hubs, very low degree of engagement, paired with a crank add-on with 6 degree or more engagement?
  • 1 0
 Right? Like I'm going to pay a ton of money for my rad Hydras and then slow them down.... DOH!
  • 3 0
 Nice find on the grip modification Mr. Beer.
  • 1 0
 Yeah this was super interesting. Isn’t that just where the middle finger would grip? Wish we had more details on why…
  • 3 0
 Sick whip! Go Seth!! Such a great guy.
  • 3 1
 Do these ride like SC bikes? Paint jobs at intense always t trick. Me like
  • 1 0
 Yeah I'd like to know the answer to this question.
  • 2 0
 Similar but Different IMO.

In my experience softer mid stroke with more progression and anti squat than SC in general. I THINK a bit more rear axle path based on link location but haven’t seen any charts. Better for techy chunky crap IMO.
  • 1 0
 Cool thanks @Jdorph:
  • 2 0
 The way those stfu chain dampners are attached to the stay kick my ocd into hyper drive.
  • 2 1
 Intense might be falling behind with the bikes themselves but this article proves their PR game is still on point. Heavy Mountain Bike Action vibes.
  • 2 0
 "How many rolls of electrical tape does your bike carry?"

I only counted one here so I'm a little disappointed Pinkbike...
  • 1 0
 Some nice aspects, but that front triangle still looks squished to me. Can't get into it...
  • 2 0
 Fast, strong looking bike. I like the lines on this one.
  • 2 1
 i wonder if someone has an opinion on wether we should care what the pro's run or nah.
  • 2 0
 Serious question: why so much hate for Intense over other brands?
  • 2 0
 From what I gather, it seems to be either related to the fact that they moved from Alloy bikes made in Temecula to Carbon bikes imported from overseas (though most other companies do this too) or the paint/design scheme on the bikes. Or Both. Admittedly, I can see how some of the designs could be polarizing but I do like how they push the envelope a bit and are not the same old same old.
  • 2 0
 @RCederholm: True the designs can be pretty terrible, but the complaints about dated geo, components, etc. seems so over the top.
  • 1 0
 @mattbeer - Works components headset cap on Cane Creek headset - care to elaborate? Just for the sparkie tape?
  • 2 1
 How heavy is this 38lb bike?
  • 8 10
 Ah yes, $35 for overpriced "silencers" that don't even have a creative way of attaching to reflect the price, they have to use zipties. I'll stick to used tires if I'm using zip-ties to attach anything, and it'll still STFU.
  • 1 0
 The stfu guides work incredibly well. Also calms the bike over rough terrain
  • 1 0
 is that rust on the brake rotors?!
  • 1 0
 Probably. Sign of someone with a shuttle pad on a truck normally.
  • 2 0
 I believe that is called 'patina'.
  • 3 0
 bit of WD40 would sort that out Wink
  • 1 0
 Still no news on the 29er version?
  • 1 0
 What rear fender is that?
  • 1 1
 at least not using motor.
  • 1 0
 E13 and an X2? Yikes.
  • 1 2
 Surprised the cassette isn’t e13…
  • 1 1
 Great coverage!
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