Intense Factory Racing Officially Announces 2020 World Cup DH Team

Feb 7, 2020
by Sarah Moore  


PRESS RELEASE: Intense Factory Racing

Our 2020 UCI World Cup Downhill Series team is a three-man, North-American squad led by team owner and 5-time champion Aaron Gwin. The team will contest the entire 2020 UCI World Cup Downhill Series.

Neko Mullaly, Aaron Gwin, Seth Sherlock

2020 marks our second season of the Gwin-ownership era. Neko Mullaly returns for his second year on the team and Seth Sherlock will race under the factory banner as a first-time IFR squad member but has been competitively racing as a member of the INTENSE family for the last five years. You can read the press release that announces his signing here.

The IFR team just completed their weeklong Team Camp at INTENSE's Southern California headquarters where the three North-American based athletes came together to train together, finalize bike setups, take team photos and officially kick of the 2020 campaign.

Aaron Gwin with a painted version of the M29 prototype he teased earlier this year.

Seth Sherlock
Neko Mullaly

Seth Sherlock & Neko Mullaly's production bikes
Aaron Gwin's prototype.





bigquotesThe offseason was really successful for our team. We put a lot of work into bike development and testing and have all made good gains. Everyone is healthy and ready for the season to kickoff.Aaron Gwin



Intense Factory Racing 2020

For 2020 Gwin will pilot a full prototype M29 Downhill weapon, pushing the development of the next generation of racing rigs, while Mullaly and Sherlock will pilot modified 2020 M29 models.


180 Comments

  • 155 14
 Come on Gwin get back to your gwinning ways!
  • 35 3
 He needs some garlic and wolfsbane to ward off some evils. Luck hasn't been on his side. COME ON GWIN!!!! I miss yelling "how did he do it!!!?" at the TV
  • 23 1
 Is Gwin posing with a mullet bike?
  • 18 11
 Come on Gwin. You’re never going to win another race! Prove me wrong!
  • 11 0
 His bike handling looked Numb on that full 29er.
  • 4 0
 @endurocat: Yep and blond hair!
  • 10 0
 Riding an XL 29er was a massive mistake for him. I hope he is back on a proper size bike.
  • 5 10
flag RedBurn (Feb 8, 2020 at 0:53) (Below Threshold)
 This Season he'll Beat minnaar in overall wins
  • 3 0
 @blackbirdworks: I agree. He looked like he was trying to steer a semi truck down the hill.
  • 8 1
 @RedBurn: it will be difficult for him to increase his number of wins without getting any wins
  • 1 0
 @likeittacky: I read: "Aaron Gwin with as a painted version"
  • 115 14
 Excited to see Moir on Canyon Big Grin
  • 87 4
 I’m hoping he does a Martin Maes. Ride the EWS, breeze in to a WC DH round, “hold my beer”, win it, picks up beer, breeze out, goes for a surf. That’d be Intense. Yeah nah yeaaaah...
  • 2 4
 @aps62: Hahahaha ya ok.
  • 11 9
 Yeah Canyon bikes suddenly look a lot more appealing
  • 13 7
 Not really @IllestT:
  • 3 0
 @IllestT: I don’t think any bike could look appealing with 140mm of stem spacers
  • 5 0
 Stoke level definitely lower with Moir gone.
  • 4 3
 Are you really though? Canyon? Hard for me to get excited about Canyon anything. They do have a stacked roster though.
  • 96 17
 E13 Wheels and Kenda Tires looks like every run will bei a Suicide mission
  • 13 3
 I've been trying out the newer Kendas for the past year and I have to say, I love them. I have the AGC, AEC, and ATC casing Hellcats and ATC Nevegal2 and they haven't left me wanting. They're really good.
  • 8 6
 Dude, the Hellkats are the best tires out there. I've put them through the ringer, and they are freaking amazing!
  • 2 0
 @matthelm1: Are the front tires they're running prototypes as well? Haven't heard of the "Pinner" model.
  • 11 1
 Let me guess... the Kenda Pinner looks like a Minion!
  • 3 0
 @mtbgeartech: how would you briefly compare the AEC and ATC Hellkat? Going to try some this spring.
  • 3 5
 @sambobcat: and minions look like old Michelins
  • 5 0
 @mtbgeartech: Agree! My main tires last year were the ATC Hellkat and Nevegal2. Held up better than other tires I tested at that weight and the traction across various conditions was well above average. They're among the top choices as-is, and I think there's room to improve the compound, which could make them even better.
  • 3 0
 @R-M-R: Yeah man! My go to is ATC Hellkat/Nev2 now. I also have the AEC and it rolls so slow when pedaling, crazy amount of drag. Amazing DH though. A stickier compound would be good as long as it isn't the RSR compound of the AEC and AGC. I'm happy with the ATC rolling resistance and grip as is really.
  • 3 0
 @strangemeadowlark: AEC is super durable, heavy, has a good deal of rolling resistance, but grip for days. A great Enduro Race tire if the stages don't require much pedaling.

ATC is the perfect aggressive trail tire IMO. Comparatively light, more durable than EXO, rolls fast and has phenomenal and predictable grip. Its one of those tires that after railing a flat turn you get a big smile and laugh a little saying to yourself, man I love this tire!

The tread of the Hellkat is fairly versatile as well. I've ridden in greasy mud, loose over hardpack, loose, and hardpack soil conditions and it's been great. If I were only riding DH over greasy roots and slippery rocks I'd opt for the stickier AEC or AGC. Otherwise, the ATC is the best choice.

If you ride mostly hardpack / loose over hardpack and like a faster rolling and slightly looser handling rear tire give the Nevegal 2 a try on the back. I'm really loving the Hellkat front Nev2 rear combo, both ATC.
  • 3 0
 @mtbgeartech: Haven't tried the RSR. Without going to a triple compound - which would be ideal - maybe they could keep the hard centre compound and extend it to the side lugs as a base layer, then apply a half-depth layer of RSR over that. Or just develop some new compounds, since two of their three have been, as I understand it, unchanged for at least fifteen years!
  • 3 0
 @mtbgeartech: Thanks man, just what I was looking for. Sounds like ATC will be the way to go. Most of my trails are classic magic Mary- roots, rocks and not dry but not wet natural soil. From what i hear these will handle similarly but also squirm less and roll more when it turns hardpack/bikepark vs the Mary.
  • 3 0
 @strangemeadowlark: If it helps to compare to a Minion DHF, since that's familiar to most people:

• ATC casing seems to be tougher than EXO, maybe more like EXO+. Very flexible.
• Kenda's 2.6" width is slightly oversized. It's huge.
• Centre lugs are about the same height. Hellkat side lugs appear taller.
• Hellkat tread is very wrapped (extends considerably around the sides), making it suitable for wide rims.
• DTC Dual Compound is firmer than Maxxis 3C surface compounds on both the centre and sides; maybe similar to Maxxis Dual Compound. (NOTE: I found something from Kenda saying the current DTC is softer than the original DTC, so I take back my earlier comment that it hasn't changed in ages ... though it's still not the highlight of the ATC tires.)
  • 4 0
 I've been running Kenda hellkat AGC tires for 2 seasons. I'm on my third set. Absolutely love them. running tubeless and they have never punctured, torn or gave me any issues. I run them till they are completely bald and the sidewalls were cracking. The only downside is they they are extremely stiff. I've broken many tire levers getting them on.
  • 4 0
 I've heard great things about the new Kendas as well, and the E13 carbon wheels have always been super durable. Gwin won 2 titles on 'em already so I think that's proof enough.
  • 2 1
 @Drew-O: The Pinner has been in testing since at least last September. Unsurprisingly, it looks a lot like the Aquila Gwin designed for Onza (which looks a lot like a Specialized Butcher, which looks fairly similar to a Minion DHF).
  • 1 1
 @sambobcat: more like the Aquila
  • 69 2
 Gwin: “I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man!”
  • 61 0
 OMG! the biggest scandal is Gwin's blonde hair....

P"
  • 6 0
 Somebody said it! Smile
  • 4 0
 Orange and White is the new fox colours for 2020
  • 5 0
 Will the real Aaron Gwin please stand up
  • 1 0
 You mean gray hair? AG getting older and bolder Wink
  • 2 0
 '90's Supercross called, they want their hairstyle back
  • 46 0
 Draco Malfoy moves to Intense for 2020!
  • 2 0
 LOL!! Wink
  • 28 3
 Is there a more polarizing brand in the industry right now than Intense? It used to be the gold standard...it was the coolist brand with the best bikes. Now its so binary, people either hate it, or are still fanbois (holdover from the past perhaps)?

This seemed to be the case before Gwin ever got on board.
  • 17 2
 @MikeyMT I think their quality issues still hang over them, deserved or not. I demo'd a tracer several years ago and liked it but was a bit concerned with all the reports I read about frame issues. Also, their geometry is out of date by about 3 years. Honestly, I'm not sure how they stay in business.
  • 12 7
 the mere fact that you simply bringing up the topic of Intense being polarising attracting downvotes from fanbois proves that this brand is in fact polarising. godam fanbois are so predictable.
  • 11 1
 @cuban-b: hahaha. Pretty much.

Good point on the quality issues. It just seems diluted...10K for a build with Enve wheels brand new...then you see it online for 4500 bucks. Something just does not add up for me with them. Its like they have tried to confuse the consumer.
  • 6 3
 @MikeyMT: thumbsdown only proves my point. fanbois or incels? i cant tell the difference anymore lol.
  • 1 0
 I bought one a few months back, that's why it's uncool now. Still have to ride it so can't really tell if I like it or not. I think it looks beautiful though. As for the outdated geometry I upsized and put an angleset, I just hope I didn't mess it up
  • 6 0
 The Sniper definitely doesn't have dated geometry, I've had a lot of fun on mine. New Primer seems solid. I'm sure a carbon enduro bike is coming given Isebeau was on a proto last year. I had some annoying issues with my Sniper, but I have to say Intense's customer service has been exceptional. I hope they continue to improve, they look great and have fantastic history.
  • 6 5
 Maybe its the model names. Sniper, Primer, Tracer...they are so late 90s / early 2000s it hurts. lol.
  • 1 0
 @Drew-O: People have generally been very positive about the new Primer, but personally I think they blew it on the seat angle! To be fair though, I live in the PNW and our trails have gnar. 74-75 seat angles don't cut it out here, at least on L & XLs.
  • 5 3
 @MikeyMT: their model names are pretty cringe-worthy, especially the ammo-centric names of the 90's/oughts that still haven't been fully phased out. it's obvious there was a compromise between the new management and old guard to keep the cringey names but incorporate a new naming convention
  • 6 1
 @cuban-b: They need more X's in the names. Intense X-TREME Primer - maybe even a Mountain Dew logo inspired paint scheme...
  • 3 3
 @MikeyMT: they're saving that for their line of e bikes, with an equally cringey marketing campaign: "X-TREME POWER!!! X GONNA GIVE IT TO YA!" all caps of course.
  • 2 2
 Also don’t forget that the seem to perennially crank out some of the loudest and ugliest color and graphics setups around. Sometimes they nail it but usually their bikes are hideous. IMO Jen (and Jeff) could tone things down and a lot of the bikes would look really good.
  • 19 0
 Interesting that they're all running aluminum handlebars instead of carbon.
  • 7 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT : I think he's over running carbon parts after his ankle incident.
  • 9 0
 Dude, re-start your blog. We need you!
  • 1 0
 #fullmoto
  • 22 3
 Gwins got a good looking new v10 prototype! Wait...
  • 4 0
 Why is no one talking about this ??
  • 16 2
 the bike that cesar rojo built for intense is so damn nice looking. not surprised they want to change that as soon as possible. classic intense.
  • 10 0
 alloy mule was the prettiest in the circuit back then, production model just ok IMO
  • 14 1
 On Vitalmtb you can see the full proto of Gwin
  • 10 1
 Gwin's proto bike is running 27.5 in the rear. everything looks to be slung a little lower...upper link, standover, seat and chainstays. i like it.!

P"
  • 18 3
 For 2020 Gwin will be riding a good bike while everyone else on a modified piece of crap.
  • 11 0
 Gwin dyed his hair blonde?
  • 4 0
 i don't think that's his natural hair color.. he went full platinum. like Pam Anderson. haha..

P"
  • 24 0
 Minnaar is fast. Minnaar gets people talking about his good looking hair. So good looking hair goes fast. Gwin needs good looking hair too. This is the first prototype. By the end of the season they've got this dialed.
  • 11 0
 Blond hair , ginger stubble mmmmmmm
  • 5 0
 @vinay: a mullet perhaps? get it?

i'll grab my coat
  • 4 0
 So-Cal
  • 2 0
 Aaron Gwin with a painted version of something alright.
  • 6 0
 Gwin on an Aluminium mullet bike and full Cali blonde hair style, pit crew gonna be full of blondes in bikinis?
Nice proto fox shock too
  • 7 0
 Go Seth! Keep your eye on this kid, he is going places.
  • 7 0
 Make intense Santa Cruz again
  • 6 0
 Gwin on a proto mullet, and back to a coil!
  • 4 0
 Their alloy mules look beautiful. Just sell em to the market, would be a big hit. They released the M29 when everyone wanted Moirs Mule of Fort William.. wake up
  • 5 0
 I'm not quite sure where the team is from, or where it's based?
  • 12 0
 Albania I think
  • 2 0
 @CrispyNuggs: Northern Albania?
  • 5 0
 Good luck Neko. Thanks for your contributions to U.S. racing.
  • 8 7
 I feel like I know more about the scene than most, but who's Sherlock? Where's he from? Is he a junior or elite? What's his first name? Not a very detail-intensive press release.
  • 6 1
 It's assuming you read the previous release: www.pinkbike.com/news/seth-sherlock-joins-intense-factory-racing.html I've added a link to the article.
  • 6 0
 @NoahColorado Seth sherlock, he is from BC, in cananda. I belive he is also the canadian national jr camp. He also won a world cup this past season, or was in the top 3 for sure a few times
  • 7 0
 He is a junior, I remember the press release awhile ago. But yeah, it is usually customary to actually list the riders names when announcing the team. Someone dropped the ball there!
  • 3 1
 Ya, seems very rushed... I'm assuming just to get some good press quickly after the Jack Moir interview a couple days ago. I'm guessing they don't employ or contract anyone with a PR specialty.
  • 6 0
 He's been in Kovarik's team for the past few seasons and racing in BC
  • 3 0
 @islandforlife: Well, VitalMTB seemed to list the full names, so who knows where the editing happened....
  • 4 0
 Seth is a Squamish dude that ripped harder at 10 years old than just about anyone else in town. Last I saw he's improved on that.
  • 2 0
 I like Gwin’s prototype bike. Never liked the M29 last year. Hope they will have a good year and the rest of the team get the new bike as well.
  • 4 0
 Stoked for Seth. Hope he has a good season!
  • 4 0
 Gwin went for a Rutger Hauer tribute or something?
  • 5 1
 Intenshee Legem29
  • 2 1
 Or VM1029
  • 3 0
 Is there a pivot on the top tube to seat stay??
  • 3 0
 Looks like it is Wink
  • 4 0
 Check out the Vital MTB story, they have some close up pics... looks like the moved the pivot from within the seat tube to ahead of it.
  • 6 0
 same as Santra Cruz's configuration now
  • 6 5
 @ismasan: Intense is smart. They let SC do all the R&D then just rip it off.
  • 3 0
 @MikeyMT: Intense licensed vpp from SC, who bought the desing from someone else. So no one ripped off really. Now patent is expired.
  • 2 1
 @ismasan: outland vpp
  • 1 0
 @cuban-b: I remember Outland and the Mongoose too.
  • 6 3
 Sherlock Holmes? How does this article exist with no full names?
  • 2 3
 Typical Intense attention to detail.
  • 2 0
 @skelldify: Or typical Pinkbike (e.g., stating ALN instead of Andréane Lanthier Nadeau). Funny thing is, VitalMTB had the full names....wonder how that happened.
  • 3 0
 changes nickname to DH-Pastor
  • 4 2
 I wonder why Gwin is the only one holding the prototype DH bike in the picture. Interesting.
  • 3 0
 That bottom bracket area makes me want to have waffles.
  • 4 0
 Whats up with his hair?
  • 3 0
 Vanilla ice called... He wants his haircut back.
  • 5 2
 Moir got robbed
  • 16 8
 Nah he's better off that shitshow of a team.
  • 2 0
 Two Mullaly's on one team (one as Seth's mechanic)
  • 1 1
 Damn proto is a bit of a let down, I was hoping for a cool jeff proto frame like the old days but seeing the pic on vital... bummed
  • 1 0
 ???
  • 1 0
 @mybaben: chexk pic on vital
  • 1 0
 @christiaan: I've seen them here and on Vital. What do you mean "jeff proto" frame? That is a jeff proto frame. It's got all the ugly ass black and red striped stickers all over it, so they don't mix up parts and pull a Pole move!
  • 1 0
 @mybaben: older frames were way better looking m6 eve etc even the m29 first proto, this seattube area just looks off too high steep etc
  • 2 0
 Factory colors for the Win. Gwin's bike looks horrible.
  • 2 1
 LOL. Dude, it's just a proto. It's got all the black and red stripe tape on it, so they don't mix up parts and frames and pull a "POLE" move... (assuming you know that story.)
  • 1 0
 With Lousa being March 21 guessing Gwin will skip his warm up at Bootleg March 15.
  • 4 0
 Just noticed Gwin is preregistered for next week's Mob n Mojave race at Bootleg. Nice.
  • 2 0
 Hell yes on the Prototype shots!
  • 1 0
 “I want what Jack had” luckily Jack’s contract expired, all mules are yours
  • 1 0
 Danm, Gwinna lookin like he gonna be a winna with that bomb as hairdo. Got Damn
  • 2 0
 Gwin looks like Scooter's vocalist
  • 2 0
 Can we talk about Gwin's manga haircut ?
  • 2 0
 Top comment not about Gwins new haircut? What happened to Pinkbike...
  • 1 0
 Good post, sweet close-ups on the proto. I love aluminum, the manipulation of alloys
  • 2 0
 Gwinning hair-do: stop, collaborate, and listen
  • 1 0
 All kinds of awesome. Kill it guys!
  • 1 0
 Back to the old tried and true suspension layout.
  • 1 0
 Gwin owns the team, that explains a lot.
  • 1 0
 Moto style bike, finally!!!! No brainer bros!
  • 1 0
 I do say my good Watson, what do we have here?
-English accent of course-
  • 1 0
 What are those black things on the swing-arms?
  • 3 0
 Chris Kovarik has a small company called STFU BIKE. Designed to cut down on chain slap and quiet things down out back.
  • 1 0
 Gwins bike looks to be shorter AND steeper. Pure blasphemy!
  • 1 0
 Is that a prototype fox shock on gwin's bike?
  • 1 0
 Gwin need come back motocross)
  • 1 0
 Congrats seth! Squampton represent!
  • 2 1
 God can lick my hairy taint.
  • 1 1
 Aluminum looks cool. Carbon fiber frames look like plastic toys. Very fast plastic mind you.
  • 1 0
 Anybody wanna go camping . . . . . . . Intense
  • 2 2
 Looks like a trek session 10 from like 2007
  • 2 3
 Something feels off.... FIrst Moir’s interview then the next day a fluff piece with only the star on the new bike?
  • 1 1
 If you Gwinnt just right it looks like a Trek
  • 1 0
 Aluminum cranks...
  • 1 0
 them bikes are dope
  • 1 1
 ThAt'S a LoViLeE v10
  • 1 3
 Looks like.... looks like.... Gwin should’ve stayed on a winning team...
  • 7 10
 Should have let the M29 name die with that frame.
  • 2 4
 Ugly as fuck
  • 20 23
 Intense is a disaster
  • 12 7
 Care to elaborate or are you just standing on hyperbole or maybe you distaste for the bikes? Gwin is well...Gwin. Neko has done more for domestic racing scene than most over the last several years and the new kid is a smoking fast Canadian Jr. and even won a World Cup last year
  • 12 10
 intense is a good USA brand. And the company has great technical support.
  • 2 2
 @DH-Angel: p.s. dont mess with texas
  • 5 15
flag DH-Angel (Feb 7, 2020 at 10:27) (Below Threshold)
 @cuban-b: I love Texas because the people believe in God!
  • 3 0
 Ever ridden or owned one to back that up?
  • 10 4
 @DH-Angel: Great American bike brand (made in Taiwan still priced like it was built in the US)
  • 7 1
 @coyotecycleworks: Like every single carbon bike out there with exception of a few direct to consumer brands. Only only ones made in the US that isn't price insanely is GG
  • 2 1
 @coyotecycleworks: people are so sensitive to light jabbing when it comes to gwin and intense. lighten up everyone. land of the brave - lets show em how its done. prove we aint little wimps
  • 1 0
 Yep been saying this for years.@coyotecycleworks:
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