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Joe Breeden & Dakotah Norton Join Intense Factory Racing

Jan 14, 2022
by James Smurthwaite  

Today it's Intense's turn to announce its 2022 downhill program and it has bolstered its team's ranks with Dakotah Norton and Joe Breeden.

Although Neko Mulally has moved on from the team to start creating his own bikes, Dakotah Norton ensures that the team's USDH presence remains strong. Dakotah is the reigning US Champion and a regular on the top step of the podium at the US ProGRT and Downhill South East series. He is also familiar with the World Cup top 10. In the 2021 season he raced his way to three top-ten finishes, narrowly missing out on a podium position in Snowshoe.

bigquotesIntense has been winning races before I learned how to ride, so to be joining the Intense family this season is really exciting for me. They’re a brand that’s not afraid to step out of the mold as a racing program to put performance first. The entire program and everyone surrounding it has such a winning history so I’m keen to put myself in a fresh environment and see what we can achieve together. I have immense respect for Aaron, and everything he’s told me prior to signing about the new plans they have for this year has me confident that I can perform at the highest level on an Intense.Dakotah Norton

Joe Breeden has ridden for Intense in the past on the Saddleback supported UK team and qualified first in Val di Sole on one of its frames. He makes the move over from the UR team where he picked up a 10th in Lousa 2020, another 10th in Les Gets 2021 and a win at the Psychosis downhill race.

bigquotesEver since I started riding for Intense Racing UK when I was 17 it has been my dream to one day ride for the Factory team. Five years later and here we are... and I couldn’t be more stoked. I’m super excited for the future working with everyone to see what we can all achieve together.Joe Breeden

bigquotesI'm really happy with how our program is shaping up for the future. We've got some awesome talent onboard and I'm looking forward to working together to accomplish all the goals we're hoping to achieve. The team and I have put in a lot of hard work this off-season and I believe we've been able to make the gains necessary to put ourselves in a winning position. I can't wait for the race season to get started.Aaron Gwin

Aaron Gwin still yet to find the speed and form to run at the front

The rest of the team remains unchanged with Aaron Gwin at the helm and Seth Sherlock continuing his partnership with Intense that he has had since he was 13. The team will continue to develop the M279 bike with "new changes and special tweaks" expected for 2022. Seth and Joe will also race at select EWS events on the Tracer.

bigquotesIt’s going to be a great year for the team. With the addition of Dakotah and Joe, as well as a new downhill bike, Lourdes World Cup can’t come soon enough. Both Dakotah and Joe have had some great results the past couple of years, and for Aaron and Seth, the new downhill bike will surely elevate their performances. Intense, and our supporting sponsors, have provided us with a level of support that will showcase us at our best.Todd Schumlick, IFR Team Manager

bigquotesIFR 2022, this is a dream team program that Aaron and Intense have assembled with focus on the podium and product development at the highest level. I am very excited to continue to work with Aaron and Seth and new opportunities with Dak and Joe. John Hall also assumes a new role as not only AG’s mechanic but also Product Technical Director to coordinate between Race team and product R&D. We now have not only an aggressive rider range but also a support program to help develop the next generation World Cup level DH bike.Jeff Steber, Intense Founder



164 Comments

  • 266 10
 So in 2023 Dak will be designing and welding his own frame
  • 17 25
flag jmhills (Jan 14, 2022 at 6:30) (Below Threshold)
 Comment of the year
  • 26 2
 Dak and Neko will be designing their own frames as team with Frank doing the welding.
  • 7 2
 @pisgahgnar: THAT would have been sweet. I think going indie is probably going to produce better results for Neko this year.
  • 17 4
 They'll probably be straighter than an Intense prototype
  • 3 0
 designing & welding, or repairing via welding?
  • 8 0
 Frank the welder reading this news and cancelling his fishing trips for the foreseeable future
  • 9 1
 And running Maxxis tyres
  • 106 13
 Good luck to them, seems that everyone who goes on Intense gets slower!!!! Might just be an observation though.
  • 50 1
 Neko basically said as much.
  • 25 57
flag jaame (Jan 14, 2022 at 6:19) (Below Threshold)
 Now we have the best chance to see what the bike can do under a young and determined rider since big Jack Moir left. Gwin and Neko were never going to do anything up at the limit. They were both too old and had nothing left to prove when they joined, plus focus on other things. I reckon Dakota can win on this bike.
  • 47 0
 except when it had Dean Lucas and Jacky Moi Moi - that team punched above their weight!
  • 73 4
 Kenda seems that way, doesn’t it?
  • 21 4
 All this focus on a frame consisting of a few alloy tubes and bearings is ridiculous. Moir was doing really good on a different frame but from intense. It's the rider, not the frame. What matters tho are tires and suspension.
  • 16 1
 @jeremy3220: Yeah, Neko has said a lot. I'm a big fan of Neko. I think his custom bike series is awesome and I hope he does really well this season, but he may regret throwing shade if his results don't show marked improvement this season on his new ride. I mean the custom bike series would have generated just as much interest and views without him talking shit about intense.
  • 19 2
 Kenda tyres.
  • 11 0
 @kcy4130: It always seems most riders shade their previous ride, especially if they are not turning the results they had in the past (human nature). He likely has valid points about a few things as it seems his confidence dropped a bit (as did Jack's). Once a rider's confidence is gone, they have lost before they even left the gate. If Neko's new project gives him more confidence, then it seems to be a win even if the bike isn't technically faster.
  • 11 0
 @jaame: ​Dakota is older than Neko.
  • 10 3
 I think a lot of the complaints were not about the frames but rather Gwin-mandated component changes (Kenda, TRP, Fox etc.) Hopefully Dak has some carve-outs in his contract, like how Loic and Loris run blacked-out Maxxis despite racing for brands that make tires.
  • 3 0
 @adamdigby: oh you get out here with those facts.
  • 6 0
 @Drew-O: Neko is running Fox suspension and TRP brakes again this year. Different wheels and tires are the most noticeable changes aside from the frame.
  • 9 1
 There would have been other options other than Intense out there for Dakotah. If Neko really thought that poorly of the bike, I doubt that Dakotah would have joined the team and chosen to essentially ruin or pause his career for three years. Maybe it will happen and he’ll go crush it in the EWS after this
  • 26 2
 The obvious problem for Aaron, and Neko was the frame having a chain...
  • 1 2
 @wheelsmith: Yeah, that was a missed opportunity.
  • 17 3
 @CantClimb: I like that everybody is talking down Kenda tyres. Now they are for sale at a big discount and I am really enjoying them :-)
  • 8 0
 @kcy4130: What did he say? I watched it and dont remember the trash talk...but I was also high AF so maybe I missed it
  • 43 0
 -Neko didn't 'throw shade'. He had a reasonable conversation and was open that he didn't get along with the frame kinematics and tires.
-The tires are huge. Kenda is without a doubt behind Maxxis and most other brands. Gwin has said it himself in various podcasts. He's been pushing them the entire time to improve the tires.
-Dak likely didn't have much of a choice as it sounds like the YT team folded after most contracts (or all?) were done for 2022 season. He wanted to continue racing world cups and this was an option. I highly doubt it was #1 on his list.
-Kenda should have some of the new tires ready for this season and the new Intense frame may finally be out. Gwin also mentioned his disappointment with how slow it's been to get new frames/designs in the Vital podcast.
-Jack did well on an intense frame, not when they switched to the Kenda tires and other components. He also noted in podcasts that he struggled with the component package.
-Not knocking Kenda tires for 99.9% of the population. But at this level, these guys are fighting for seconds and need the absolute best/full confidence in their tires and a multiple tread variation options.
  • 6 1
 @DHhack: Listen to the Downtime podcast with Neko on it, whilst he was happy with the brakes sounds like the TRP drivechain is not up to it either (he has switched to SRAM for this). It was also pretty clear that there were other underwhelming parts (reading between the lines as politely not explicitly mentioned, wheels and tyres).
  • 1 1
 @jaame: do some research before posting
  • 1 0
 @btjenki: any idea what the leverage curve was on the bike? it seems like the industry is converging on a single leverage curve - with slight variations.
  • 2 3
 @btjenki: How hard is it for Kenda to take a Maxxis (I'm assuming they're the top dogs) and just copy it? I may be simplifying things a bit but you're just dealing with rubber compounds and some pretty basic manufacturing techniques right? It just seems crazy that everyone knows their tires (supposedly) suck, there are plenty of good tires on the market they can reverse engineer, and yet they still can't make a competent tire?
  • 2 0
 @kcy4130: When did he talk shit about Intense? I thought I had watched all his new videos... was it somewhere else?
  • 2 0
 @btjenki: Well said.
  • 2 0
 @OCSunDevil: yeah tire manufacturers have (should anyway) instruments to analyze rubber compounds like gas chromatography. The actual execution is not as easy as you might think though, especially for mass production. I'd think they could at least supply the race team with grippy prototypes.
  • 3 1
 @mybaben: In the podcast he did with vital he talks about never really getting along with the bike and components. In the episode of his ftw series he mentions that the ftw frame was easy to assemble cause everything was straight and true and that the "prototype frames" he'd build up in the prior couple years were difficult to assemble because they weren't so well made. I forget the exact wording but that was the gist. I mean to be fair, ftw is well know for making quality frames, it's not exactly surprising that whoever fabbed those intense proto frames isn't up to his level. But Neko made them sound pretty slap dash.
  • 8 0
 @shredddr: I'm not sure on the leverage curve or anti-rise. It's hard to find any info on it, but I assume it's similar to other Intense frames. I believe it has a high anti-rise and Neko said he likes a very low anti-rise. The YT has a low anti-rise. Short link bikes like the Intense DH frame can have quick changes in the leverage curve--which Neko also said he didn't like. He likes smooth curves so he knows where he is in the travel. Both of these things are rider specific. So Gwin may like that higher anti-rise (it works well for the Commmencal riders!) and the curve. That said, I know he's been pushing them to develop a new frame and it's still yet to be seen thus far. I think Neko just didn't get along with the leverage curve and the anti-rise. But probably a bigger issue, or equal was the tire problem.
@OCSunDevil : Kenda has to sell these tires it develops so they don't want to make exact copies. They (like any brand) want to save face and come up with their own stuff. That said, the issue seems to be more with casings and compounds. There is a video of Gwin testing compounds and casings to try to get the tires to perform better. I don't think he had them on his bike last season until the end and he was recovering from injury, etc. Casings and compounds are very hard to develop and take a lot of R&D. Copying tread patterns is the easy part. Also, regarding tread patterns... Kenda is definitely off the back there. For most of the first season they were just running Hellkats which aren't full on DHR/DHF style tires. Then they got the Pinner, which was/is a good tire, but has a hard compound (60 durometer) so not good in the wet, etc. They are currently still developing the Assegai copy (there are photos of it). Gwin has been on it since last summer. It's really a mess, but they are kicking in a lot of money for the team and Gwin likely also gets royalties for the sale of the Pinner. So I understand his motivation to keep the relationship going as it's making him a solid paycheck. And I'm not hating on that. Got to make money while you can. I just think it's sad because it's definitely had some level of effect on his performance the past few seasons.
  • 5 1
 Dakotah is a savage on a bike. If there is speed, he will find it.
  • 2 0
 @btjenki: I wonder at what point this starts backfiring for Kenda. I don't know what the general population thinks but online Kenda is starting to get a reputation as the thing holding back WC racers.
  • 4 0
 @OCSunDevil: I think it has to do more with rubber compound formulation than tread/casing design. You cant really reverse engineer that and is probably where some industry secrets lie. Same reason nobody has been able to replicate 5.10 rubber for shoes.
  • 1 0
 @razor: even I can tell those e13 carbon dh wheels are harsh. I’ve never even seen the trp drivetrain in person, but it’s hard to hold a candle to X01 or Saint. Maxxis is the gold standard, I wouldn’t pick anything else other than maybe Schwalbe.
  • 19 0
 @OCSunDevil: I once worked for a heavy equipment tire manufacturer. We made of our own design and product, but also pressed Michelin made rubber they outsourced to us. Their product was noticeably better and we unsuccessfully tried to reverse engineer their product for years. We had various engineers and chemists with full access to Michelin’s raw product prove ineffective at reproducing it.
  • 1 0
 @Drew-O: that’s no different to any team dictating what kit/components they have to use though.

But it does seem Kenda aren’t great.
  • 1 0
 @CustardCountry: Correct, but the point is that the mandated components with Intense Factory racing are sub-par. But really the issue is just with tires and possibly drivetrain. Suspension is obviously up to par, as are the brakes.
  • 3 2
 @Drew-O: this always annoys the f*ck out of me. They’ll happily take the money for endorsing a product/brand but use something else. I understand their reasons but to me it always seems to show a lack of integrity.
  • 13 13
 @Saucycheese: oh I’ve done my research my lad.
Gwin will never do anything again. He is too old, he’s got married and he’s lost the hunger.
Neko’s best years were on Scott. That was when he arrived on the world stage and was a consistent podium threat. Again, his best years are behind him. He’s got other priorities like running bike parks and making bikes. He’s a smart guy, diversifying.
In order to win, one needs to be savage on a bike. One also needs a razor sharp focus on winning and winning alone. No distractions, no jobs on the side and no high maintenance lady friend.
Dakota has the best chance to kick some ass on that bike if anyone since big boy Jack.
Head in the game, body in the game. Tyres make more difference than the frame. Gears and wheels literally do not make any difference at all.
I reckon Dakota will win a World Cup race this year.
  • 2 0
 @jaame: Joe seems to put in the work and has past experience with this bike, so I hope his progression continues. I expect Seth to improve as well. Uncertain about Gwin as he hasn't seemed to be able to stay healthy enough to get in any sort of flow over the last 2 years (which has been a disappointment).
  • 2 0
 @jeremy3220: starting? my buddy raced WC 10-15 years ago and they were known to be pretty crappy. I'd hoped they'd improved but judging by this, doesn't seem like it.
  • 2 0
 @CustardCountry: I think it's more to do with the teams than the riders. Trek and Spesh both make tires, so neither brand wants their factory team to feature/advertise Maxxis. I'd guess Loic or Loris would be more than happy to have Maxxis as a team sponsor (and Maxxis would pay for the privilege), but not gonna fly with the factory teams.
  • 6 0
 @jaame: So because Gwinn's 34/35 he's not capable of pulling a win like Minaar? Their ability on a bike is still world-class. I wouldn't rule him out
  • 5 0
 @OCSunDevil: As some others have alluded to, rubber compounding is insanely complex chemistry. Tires have multiple different compounds throughout, each with close to 30 individual components. The properties of the rubber can be drastically different with 0.001% changes in some of these components... not to mention slight variations in the manufacturing procedures ie: the timing and temperature of vulcanization including the control of said heating/cooling. Now couple this with the fact that the rubber has to work WITH the casing and tread, meaning a good compound with one tire/size could be basically useless with another. So when you say "basic manufacturing techniques" it's so far from reality as to be laughable.
  • 2 0
 @BigballmcCall: Good stuff, thanks for the insight man. Always crazy when you find out how much tech/knowledge goes into something that most people hardly ever think about, like tires.

Did you work at BKT??? LOL, I only ask because my kids are obsessed with monster trucks and I never heard of them until we started watching it.
  • 3 1
 @jaame: good comment no reason to downvote that
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: Yeah, I just meant how long until sponsoring racers starts to lose them money.
  • 2 0
 @Drew-O: Nothing wrong with TRP and Fox
  • 1 0
 @razor: I listened to that whole podcast. He didn't say that he preferred a non-TRP drivetrain, from my understanding TRP didn't have the funds to sponsor his drive train and brakes, so he kept the brakes which are more important in DH. And besides this is the chainless guy anyway.
  • 2 0
 @jimmythehat: Don't disagree but Jack was understandably nonplussed that when Gwin joined Intense he had to change tires, brakes and suspension to match Gwin's sponsors. At that time both TRP and Kenda were not well know at all, they signed with Gwin to get expertise for product development. Seems to have worked for TRP, less so for Kenda. Odd since Gwin did the same trick with Onza previously and had great success on their tires.
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: I really am curious if anyone hating on Kenda here has ran them in the last 10 years?
Having confidence in the product you are running is a big part of the mental game when racing for fractions of seconds. Even if you have perceived idea of the tires not being as good as they could, it will wreck your mental game. I would imagine Dak will put the tires are gear through the wringer and hopefully gain and maintenance confidence in his gear.
If not 6 packs of sharpies are pretty cheap.
  • 2 0
 @sunringlerider: I have and I can say a roached maxxis dhr heavily outperformed my brand new kendas. The rubber on kenda tires is too hard and because of that the tires only work in hero dirt and loam.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Minnaar would like a word with you.
In his interview with Levy he talked about having too many side gigs besides racing.
  • 1 4
 @vectorforces: minnaar is still obviously hungry to win races. Gwin still has the skills but he doesn’t have the desire. He’s proved himself, now he’s in to other priorities. If he were to get divorced and decide he wants to win again more than anything else in the world, he could. Given racing is 90% mental, and his head is not 100% in racing (evidently) he will not win again. He could but he won’t.
  • 3 0
 @OCSunDevil: It's more complicated then just reverse engineering and just copying. Think of it as baking, one small tweak in temperature, humidity, pressure and/or timing could completely change your result. Then you still have the actual formula/recipe to "copy" which can have various qualities and quantities of ingredients that will completely change the final product. It's really not that easy.
  • 11 1
 @jaame: Kinda ridiculous you keep suggesting that you know what Gwin is "thinking or feeling"... are you his wife by chance? Sure sounds like it the way you keep nagging on about his lack of desire. Don't worry you'll make someone a great wife one day to, just keep being a nagging c*nt and you'll find your a nice cuck to control one day. Good luck.
  • 1 5
flag jaame (Jan 15, 2022 at 7:27) (Below Threshold)
 @MikeGruhler:
1. Americans don’t say c*nt, c*nt.
2. If he was going to win again he would have done it by now. Speaking from experience of being married to an actual woman, I know all too well how they drain time and energy. I presume from your answer that you are not married. I love being married. Absolutely love it about 20% of the time. I wish my sheila would let me train more and stop nagging at me about driving too fast and shit. That’s what women do. It slows you down. Fact.
  • 2 0
 @jaame: sounds like your wife is a life draining c*nt
  • 2 2
 @onlyDH: yeah just to wind it back a bit. If you want to win a World Cup race you need to commit to it with 100% focus. No woman is going to accept playing second fiddle to, well, anything. If you’re not giving a woman the attention she wants she will leave. Therefore, winning World Cup downhill races is a job for unmarried men… and probably single even.
Gwin is perhaps the best to ever do it. He obviously has the skills and the physiology needed. What he doesn’t have is something mental that he used to have. Could he get it back? Probably. Will he get it back? Probably not. You could put him on the commencal and he still won’t win. It’s not about the bike.
  • 3 1
 @jaame: Well said, you gotta have a bit of a deathwish to win.
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130: Thanks. I'll give it a listen.
  • 3 1
 @jaame: Got a wife and 3 kids. A good woman knows to let a man handle his business. Maybe you need a new lady, ya sound pretty f*cking miserable there guy../s
Gwin very well may never win another race but I highly doubt it has anything to do mentally. Riders get older and loose pace, basic biological facts. Minnar's just a freak, and an exception to the rule.
  • 5 1
 @jaame: dude. If you are only happy 20%, I truly am sorry for you.
A wife doesn’t have to slow you down. My wife rides more than I do. On an xc bike she can give many guys a run for their money. We are doing our best to pass our cycling addiction on to our kid. So far seems to be working.
But using a mrs as an excuse is not a good one. I believe peaty was married and had a few kids for a good bit of his dh career. I have a photo somewhere of Mik Hannah on the podium with his kids, and this was in 2008 or 09.
  • 2 0
 @OCSunDevil: it was for a small local place that’s now defunct. Mainly did tires for rock quarry trucks and wheeled excavators. The process for making rubber compounds and correctly pressing it is insanely complex. The secret is in the compounding of all the materials that go into the rubber.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Jesus Christ you sad to listen to
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Dakotah is actually older than Neko.
  • 1 1
 @PAmtbiker: Maybe older in life, but not as far through the lifecycle of a racer
  • 59 5
 Is anyone else semi-concerned that this will hinder Dak's rocketing upward trajectory?
It seems like almost nobody gets along well with this bike, this is the millionth time we've heard about "new changes and special tweaks", and further still the frame is still vaporware after nearly 3 years of "changes and tweaks".
I wish him the best of luck and hope he takes this bike to the podium, because he's pretty much the only one who can.
  • 11 2
 Well Jack Moir was ripping in this bike..
  • 4 0
 @Theysayivebeentheone: the prototype M29 Moir was fast on was set up significantly different than the last intense he rode. I think Moir said in his interview on Downtime he was something like 5 seconds quicker on a local trail on the older setup.
  • 16 0
 @Theysayivebeentheone: Jack was ripping on the M29. I don't think he ever rode the prototype, and when IFR starting running Kenda tires he did not do well. From the recent AMA:

Q: The world is ending in 20 min and you have only two options to travel to see your significant other. Either your current race bike with Kenda tires down the gnarliest downhill or one of those reverse steering bikes down a crowded road. Which would you choose?

Jacks answer: Bruh both of these dangerous AF haha
  • 1 0
 @Theysayivebeentheone: Read that Q&A he did a couple of days back
  • 1 0
 @pisgahgnar: him and Dean Lucas raced the prototype in like 2017
  • 5 1
 On the flip side, you can kinda understand why Gwin's partnership with Kenda would be forcing these products on other riders. If Kenda is putting big money into Gwin's team, it wants to see not just results, but it also wants to get a lot of feedback on what's working and what isn't. Maybe part of the problem is that the turn around time for prototype tires has been longer than intended, and Neko just wasn't digging it. Gwin has won championships on a bunch of different tires brands, so I'm sure he's confident that he can get Kenda's stuff on the podium, it's just a matter of how long everyone else on the team is willing to wait.
  • 3 2
 That was my first thought as well. Hope it’s wrong, but the intense program just doesn’t seem very good. Even this press release feels pretty half assed. Like here’s one grainy black and white profile pic of our new riders. Can’t even bother to get a nice pic of the new guys in their new set-ups. Dak is a constant podium threat last year. Hope this doesn’t hinder him.
  • 3 0
 @Longroadtonowhere: Jeff is probably still welding so they can't get footage yet.
  • 1 1
 buyer beware... anyone who signs with this team has seen the last few years of results... just hope the cheques cash!
  • 36 2
 Not going to lie. Kenda disappointed for Dak.
  • 22 0
 Dak will raise Gwin's game.
  • 7 0
 Yeah! From outside it looks like the could be great for each other.
  • 16 3
 Gwin needs to ride more than just those 3 and half SoCal trails all off season.
  • 2 0
 @JulioValeinte: That's what I keep saying!! He needs to get to Europe and stay there for a while to train.
  • 6 0
 @JulioValeinte: he moved to Tennessee and is riding Windrock on the reg. Perfect place to lay down some WC DH training
  • 2 0
 @JulioValeinte: Hey now, whatever your feelings about Gwin no need to knock SoCal riding lol. There's a huge amount of kickass riding down here, and I say that as a NorCal native who started off pretty skeptical...
  • 2 0
 @JulioValeinte: he was being persecuted in California so he moved to Tennessee and Montana I believe, so his training should be better than ever.
  • 1 0
 @shredddr: the Tennessee move will be beneficial. Windrock is great training, but more importantly it is where fast dudes ride. On any given day he might only be the 4th or 5th fastest guy there. He’ll get plenty of motivation to go faster if that what’s he’s after.
  • 15 0
 A lot riding on Intense this year. If Dak and Joe falter, it will only cement what some in this forum already believe about the bike. While some of the issues seen over the last few years may be components-based, Intense (being the title sponsor) owns some responsibility in allowing problem components to continue being allowed (if that is the case). I am an IFR fanboy and I think Dak and Joe are awesome additions, so I really hope the team finally gets a good year under their belt.
  • 17 1
 "Intense has been winning races before I learned how to ride". I think what he meant to say was "Intense used to win races before I learned how to ride" .
  • 17 0
 f grey portraits in thumbnails
  • 14 1
 Why so much hate for a brand that pushed the world of DH racing from the very beginning? Every brand has stumbling blocks to overcome. There was a time when Michelin ruled and Maxxis was the crap tire, now Maxxis is considered THE tire brand. There was a time when other bike manufactures were considered sub par, and they rose (some fell again). At least INTENSE is still in the game working with top riders to hopefully make a great DH race bike!! The brand still has the passion after all these years! Seems quite a few others are not even in the DH game anymore?? I am willing to bet that if the team does well, you will be looking for an INTENSE DH bike for your season..
  • 11 1
 Part of the hate/frustration is that their regular bikes for us mere mortals are literally years out of date! And the promised redesigns to make them current with modern MTB design are taking literally forever to materialize.
  • 2 0
 @mybaben: My tracer rips so well, but I’m not as picky as most riders and I strive for a fun fun bike not looks so that definitely effects my opinion of it.
  • 1 0
 @BikesNRussets: Agreed. Not really into intense but the latest gen tracer (2017+) with the longer lower link is a really nice riding bike. The geo is plenty updated too. Long,slack.
But the 2015-16 frame with the counter-rotating lower link not so much. It’s more of a long-legged xc bike because that’s what the tracer was until updated in 2017-2018.
  • 2 2
 @mybaben: Oh statements like this are nonsense. I ride a very “modern” frame and friends that ride Primers who absolute rip. We swap bikes and besides personal cockpit preferences, there isn't anything on a modern Intense that would hold you back.
  • 1 1
 @SvenNorske: I'm simply saying their geo is way behind the rest of the industry. I'm talking about their enduro class bikes. The current Primer is at least in the ballpark for a trail bike. But notice how a Primer is longer and slacker than a Tracer.
  • 1 1
 @BikesNRussets: Geo isn't about looks. I hear what you're saying. I didn't criticize their performance. The geo is simply behind the industry. If it works for you, then you're all good!
  • 3 0
 @mybaben: I greatly appreciate your take on it, geo is about riding style. The mtb community thinks that only one kind of geo is good and hates on other geo even if it’s for a different riding style (say Freeride or jibing). The bmx community has had that right for years, the backward mindset on geo that people have is ruining what mtb is about, fun. Hopefully our community will mature and understand that not everyone rides the same.
  • 14 1
 I was worried ab Dak after YT announcement, but I’m happy that he found support n the brand he’s gonna be raising for!! f*ck YT they’re always doing their athletes dirty!! Never buying their garbage!!
  • 5 0
 YT would rather pay A-list actors to do shitty commercials than support their own riders
  • 12 0
 Dak will make it work, dude has never had it easy and he always finds a way to make it happen even when its difficult. So glad to see he got the factory support he deserves, he and Gwin will push each other to the limit. This is a good thing.
  • 11 1
 Dak, Joe, and Aaron will make a strong team. Hoping these guys return Intense to its winning ways from days past. I like the fact that the team DH bikes are hand built in Cali by a master builder whose been in the biz since the beginning.
  • 6 0
 Let’s hope he can build something these guys can actually win on. Neko mentioned on the Blister podcast how unhappy he and Aaron were with the current bike. Seems like it’s going to take more than “special tweaks.”

I’d hate to see Dak’s momentum from last season stopped in its tracks due to sub par equipment.
  • 8 0
 Surprising news, but it's a really strong team now - and I'm quietly impressed that Gwin's agreed to a situation where it's reasonably likely he'll be the third-placed Intense rider on the results sheet. Respect him for that.
  • 12 1
 Hmm. Not sure about this one.
  • 6 0
 A factory ride is better than nothing, but yeah.. A little bummed
  • 3 0
 Right! A whole team and only one guy gets a razor!
  • 7 0
 They are all pros and you gotta go get paid and put yourself into a position to succeed but as far as all of the local East Coast boys go I think Luca is in the best position with Canyon. I think Canyon has proved that any world class rider can move to that program and be successful. I respect Neko 100% and, as a fan am pumped for that whole program, but it's going to be a process. Dak IMO is an absolute slayer and I have to agree Intense has not been at the sharp end lately. We can say one thing for sure - Dak is a world class racer right at his peak so if his results fall it will not look good for Intense no matter how many of us love Gwin (we always will love Gwin).

That being said - Gwin really has his teeth sunk into the program and out of respect I think all of us fans need to give it another year or two.
  • 12 5
 Man so many haters. Maybe a little respect for these guys and their ability to make a decision about what bike they want to ride and how they get a paycheck? Is there one armchair quarterback on here who would refuse a free bike and a paycheck from Intense, or any brand, if it meant you could quit your job ride bikes for a living?

No question it’s been a bit ugly for Intense but I for one just hope we can see the bikes and the riders get fully back the game. Add some more spice to the circuit!
  • 2 0
 You said it perfectly, I would ride on a 15 year old bike if I was able to ride for a living. People just don’t get it hahahah. They would make the exact same choices in that situation.
  • 8 1
 Racing is 80% rider, 10% equipment, and 10% luck.

While we cannot be sure Intense is the best option for DAK, On the flip side DAK was a great choice for Intense.

Kudos to Intense for picking up the Ripper, good luck DAK
  • 8 0
 Dak will win his 1st world cup out of many to come on Intense! mark my words.
  • 5 0
 Insert usual comment about riding an Intense bike makes you slower etc. etc. ..... Best of luck to the team honestly, I hope they kill it! I'm super stoked to see what Dak does this year, and I'm always rootin for Gwin.
  • 4 0
 From Martin Whiteleys Instagram post: "It wasn't ideal looking for a new deal so late in the year, but we had 4 teams step up with offers, and Dak narrowed it down to 2 for further evaluation. After looking at all their respective plans and co-sponsors for 2022, and the opportunity to ride with @aarongwin1 well, I think he made an awesome choice. Not long now until the racing kicks off!"
  • 5 0
 Well I hoped that 2022 may be full of positivity, but looking at these comments I’m not so sure!
Well done to joe and dak and for ifr strengthening it’s team. Good luck for the season…
  • 4 1
 This is going to be fascinating. I was hoping the article would finish off by stating Martin will take over team director role so Aaron can concentrate on riding fir next 2 seasons with Dak becoming number 1 rider over those 2 seasons..... AND the re-imagination of the M1 downhill bike, using... an all new 4 bar suspension system that insert everything Neko outlined” that will allow racers to focus on fitness, race craft and day of racing ... and not thinking about “is this bike right” mid season.
  • 7 0
 They can always run blacked out Maxxis like everyone else.
  • 1 1
 Think you mean to say... they can always continue to run blacked out Maxxis...
  • 5 0
 Joe has already won quali on this bike so I’m excited to see what he can do with factory support.
  • 4 1
 Jeff Steber- "IFR 2022, this is a dream team program that Aaron and Intense have assembled with focus on the podium and product development at the highest level."
Uzzi tryin' to kid?
  • 4 0
 I am pretty surprised Dak went in that direction. Would love to have heard the conversations between Dak and Neko over the last month.
  • 1 0
 He likely didn't have much of a choice, the YT folded after most teams had set their rosters for 2022.
  • 2 0
 Psyched dak found a solid new team so quickly. I was optimistic spesh, giant and commencal would want him as I think he will be the next American to win a world cup. But this is good news and looking forward to seeing him have another great year.
  • 6 1
 Hopefully this will be a good solid home for Dak for a good while.
  • 2 1
 At the 2019 Snowshoe world cup Joe Breeden's M29 got delivered to our condo by an airport contractor delivering missing luggage. I'm really glad he'll now have at least reliable delivery of his bikes to the venue...unless someone leaves the van unlocked.
  • 1 0
 Maybe it's naff all to do with intense or the products maybe its neko and gwinn are past it the level at wc is ridiculous even to qualify is crazy so let's see how things work out I can see dak smashing gwin I have my reservations I hope iam wrong but he hit his peak q good 5 years back
  • 1 0
 Murica DH is back!! These two have a chance to bring home some WC wins! Luca is in the mix also! I love the East coast representation here! Really, I hope these fellas bring it home no matter the team or sponsors. Let’s get the wins and let chips fall where they may with sponsors. Train hard and cross the line in the green. This is gearing up to be an exciting summer!! Oh yeah and more beer helmets please!! I don’t drink energy drinks. They are bad for you!
  • 1 0
 Neko posted a story on his Instagram and panned over to Gwin. Looks like another Intense proto with the shock section covered up. The chainstay on the backend looks a bit higher possibly pointing to a high pivot bike. Hmmmm......

photos.app.goo.gl/3mru9UfqmG4aQPVU9
  • 6 1
 Noooo!
  • 3 0
 Awesome too see … can we please have those bikes released you keep talking about …?
  • 2 0
 Can't wait to see the new black-red Proto sticker kit on the (samish) raw frame.

Good luck to Dak tho, he's such a cool and fast rider!
  • 4 0
 Gonna be interesting to see if these comments age well
  • 3 1
 Honestly surprised Dakotah couldn't come up with a better offer after YT dropping out. Maybe he just really likes intense??
  • 3 1
 Jolanda Neff and Emily Batty are moving to Temecula in 2023 to race DH and make Intense great again in 2024.
  • 5 0
 How's the Trance X2 Carlos? Everything you hoped it would be?
  • 1 0
 @Hill-Seeker: It was everything I wanted it to be while I had it. I gave it to a family member who is new to the sport and he's loving it.
  • 1 2
 Instead of using blacked out tires, Intense should run rebranded Commencal Supremes like some teams (Mongoose/Giant) did in the 1990's and 2000's with the original M1. I would love to see the brand return to glory but I wouldn't buy their current VVP products....
  • 3 0
 I have a new intense and an old one, they are the same “vvp” setup but the difference is insane between them. People think that they aren’t evolving but if they were able to ride one for a bit they would think different. But intense, a high pivot aluminum mullet would be the best!
  • 2 0
 Intense was the only brand that had any DH bikes in stock. Can't blame Dak?
  • 3 0
 All the best!!
  • 2 0
 Ha I called it! Hope it works out...
  • 2 1
 Damn that bike still isn't finished? :/
Gonna be on 36" wheels by the time it is..
  • 2 0
 Time for Kenda bottleneck
  • 1 0
 2007 Nevegals all around!
  • 1 0
 cracking team...excited for the new season....i've never actually rode a DH bike my enduro bike seems to do it all for me
  • 2 0
 Cant wait to see what Dak does this year!
  • 2 0
 Don't think I saw this coming lol
  • 2 0
 More like "Intense [only won] races before I learned how to ride"
  • 2 0
 Yes Dak!!
  • 2 1
 Interesting to say the least…
  • 2 1
 Now watch there results tumble
  • 1 0
 Are intense breedin a dakgwin?
  • 1 0
 Same sponsors?
  • 2 2
 Well, that sucks. I was hoping to see one of them on the box in 2022
  • 2 1
 Poor guys.
  • 16 17
 Intense - The retirement team
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