The History of M

Apr 7, 2015
by Intense Cycles  


1994
The first M-Series bike, the M-1 used a McPherson strut design and air shock, and boasted an impressive 5 inches of rear travel. At the time, there were no forks with travel that matched, so early M1’s had 3” of front travel. Later, a coil shock was employed, and fork manufacturers began producing higher travel forks.

Palmer with his M1 1996
The Legend Johnny T with his M1
The Very First M1


bigquotesAround 1995, we moved away from the McPherson strut and employed the four-bar linkage system. That was the M bike that Shaun Palmer rode to a silver medal at the 1996 world championships, and that was when things really got exciting for us around here.
- Jeff Steber

M1
M1
Sam Hill Jr DH World Champ.



Late 1990s
The M1 became the benchmark for DH bikes at the time, with many bike companies opting to purchase Intense M-1’s and re-badged them for their DH team riders. It was rare to see a weekend pass without an Intense-made bike on the world cup podium. Other top riders on Intense at the time: Mike King (Haro), Leigh Donovan (Mongoose), Gee & Dan Atherton (Muddy Fox), Andrew Shandro (Davinci), Scott Sharples (Trek), Greg Minaar (Haro) M1, Eric Carter (Mongoose), Mick Hannah, Derrin Stockton (Maxxis), John Kirkaldie (Maxxis).
History Of M - intensecyclesusa












From top left: Shaun Palmer, Johnny Tomac, Palmer again, Toby Henderson, Sam Hill, and Brian Lopes
Kovarik M3

2002
Chris Kovarik rode the Intense M1 demolishing the field at Fort William with an unprecedented lead of 14 seconds over 2nd place. That same year, a young Sam Hill won the Junior World Champs on an Intense M1.

Intense M1
Intense M1
Intense M1

2003
Intense partner with Santa Cruz to license the Virtual Pivot Point suspension system patent and launch the M3. This system improved pedalling efficiency dramatically as well as giving better small and large bump performance. The M3 was the first Intense bike to have 9.5 inches of rear travel.

Intense M3
Intense M3
It s all about the details.



bigquotesThe opportunity to utilize the VPP suspension platform was an exciting way to move into a high-performance 4th generation suspension design that was versatile and adaptable.
- Jeff Steber

 intensecyclesusa M6
2006
The M6 went into production in 2006. Intense was experimenting with lower leverage ratios and the M6 used a 3.5 x 10.5" Manitou Revox 6 way adjustable shock. It was raced first for a season with the MS Intense World cup program: Chris Kovarik, Sabrina Jonnier and later by Matti Lehikoinen. With 9.5" travel the bike was right at home in the rough and off cambers of the World Cup and stuck to the ground to well. The 3 x 9.5" damper was used again to develop the livelier feeling M6 EVO which was a team only bike.

Intense M6
Intense M6
Intense M6

bigquotesHaving a factory full of CNC machines has been a designers dream and working with some of the top DH racers in the world has enabled us to do something special over the years with the M bikes.
- Jeff Steber

Just hanging around in the shop
parts..
History Of M - intensecyclesusa
byproduct
Drop outs
History Of M - intensecyclesusa

2010
The M9 was developed using extensive world cup rider feedback, including MS-Intense and Chain Reaction-Intense teams. The M6 Evo, which was never produced, was thoroughly tested for over a year and evolved into the M9, which has been a staple of the Intense product line for years.

The Intense M9
The Intense M9
Intense M9
The Intense M9
Intense M9 FRO
proto m9 frame - 2010 intensecyclesusa
M9-F1 Lotus Tribute bike
M9-F1 Lotus Tribute bike
M9-F1 Renault Tribute bike
M9-F1 Renault Tribute bike


bigquotesIntense is back on the World Cup scene and we still have a few tricks up our sleeve - stay tuned!
- Jeff Steber

History Of M - intensecyclesusa
Intense Founder, Jeff Steber
History Of M - intensecyclesusa
The legend, Shaun Palmer
It s Coming 4.16.15
It s Coming... 4.16.15


MENTIONS: @intensecyclesusa




139 Comments

  • + 61
 Is that last blacked out image a new model?
  • + 23
 Ah the mighty Intense M1 a timeless classic, if that was released today the internet would explode!
  • - 79
flag TheDude88 (Apr 7, 2015 at 2:50) (Below Threshold)
 looks like a trek session
  • - 1
 I was thinking the same thing. I saw an add last night that said history of the M, but It just brought me to intense's home page. Does this count as a press release
  • + 9
 Intense probably should have went carbon with the M series around the same time Santa Cruz did with the V10.
  • + 2
 @joe-falconi: You'd be surprised to find the intense face expression of mine when I figured out you had the same idea with the photo. Too bad m9 didn't turn out as good as yours.
  • - 5
flag meldonlobo (Apr 7, 2015 at 7:31) (Below Threshold)
 Damn... that pivot looks awesome!

i.imgur.com/zMIAy6m.jpg
  • + 11
 yep, so its basically an aluminum version of the Santa Cruz V10
  • - 1
 @cmkneeland Agreed. I don't see many choosing the M16 over the V10c, unless the price point of the M16 is significantly better. They have the same suspension design, same wheel size (I believe), and probably similar geometry. I wonder how similarly they ride.
  • + 2
 ridemonkey.com/attachments/dsc_9435-jpg.119289 can you spot the two prototypes in this picture? Prototype stans wheels Smile
  • - 6
flag peanutbuter (Apr 7, 2015 at 11:03) (Below Threshold)
  • + 10
 @peanutbuter Intense makes race bikes, not park bikes. 650b has consistently proven itself on the race track, and I would be very disappointed if the M16 was 26in.
  • - 1
 it hasn't proven itself correct me if im wrong but didn't troy win fortbill on a 26 inch wheel and when the rat won leogang there is no fucking difference
  • + 4
 There is a difference it just doesn't always mean you go faster. In the right hands though, it most likely helps.
  • + 8
 Ratboy was on 26" at Leogang but Troy won Fort Bill on 27.5

www.pinkbike.com/photo/12096500
  • + 3
 @peanutbuter The engineers at specialized, trek, santa cruz, lapierre, canfield, gt, scott, norco, giant, ns, pivot, and many more disagree with you. All (except for scott and norco) only make downhill race bikes in 27.5 now. I don't want to sound like a dick, but there's just too much evidence of 650b being the superior wheel size for racing. For riding bike parks, I believe 26 is better. Hell, my next frame (2014 demo) is going to be 26. But if I got more serious about racing I'd get a 27.5 bike no question.

@somismtb The only place I can think of where 27.5 wheels could cause you to lose time is in the corners. And that's only in really tight corners where you have to throw the bike around, something not too common on dh race tracks. The main advantage 26 wheels have is added maneuverability, which isn't that necessary when racing downhill.
  • + 4
 I am going to assume that the number designation for every M bike relates to the year it is released. Am I wrong?
  • + 1
 Troy was on 27.5 at ft bill
  • + 2
 26 is still a better choice for smaller size riders because of the lower stack, if anyone can make 27.5 with low stack height, I will buy
  • + 1
 @shuwukong I'm over 6ft2 and my dh is a 26 and i feel it's better. I'm open to wheel sizes, he'll, i even got a 29r this year for xc racing! But to me 650b just isn't worth it. No significant benefit, does have defficits, and I'd have to convert everything. Pretty pointless really, like samsq said, only real purpose outs for racing in not tight courses. And that's the only somewhat significant benefit ,period. 26 is the way to go for dh
  • + 4
 I hate to join into another wheel size debate, but I have to drop this in...

For context, I'm currently building up my 3rd aurum frame as a 26" build. I use it to race and ride everything from bikepark flow and jumps to super steep technical dh tracks. I also have a yt capra (650B) which at the moment I'm using for everything - trail centre trails, steep local dh woods, bike park and epic xc rides.

I'm not biased towards either. I have ridden a 29er remedy at a demo day but I didn't like that at all - not hating, I'm 5'10" and rarely ride xc which is where I can see it's main benefits so it's probably just too big for my height and riding style.

I think it's pretty evident that bigger wheels have major efficiency advantages but I disagree with the comment regarding it's cornering abilities. For one, it's easier to stick a gnarly line with bigger wheels I find, so if necessary, you can enter the corner wide, but I find that on steep tight corners which I ride a lot, where you naturally want to lean back, you can get away with doing so on 650B wheels. The tighter geo on my capra means I'm always weightin the front more than on my aurum anyway but either way I feel like I'm in a more comfortable position. On and equally technical but less steep trail I also find 650B better to corner with. I don't know completely how it works because you'd think that if you upsize anything (wheels, frame, travel) you'd make tight corners mre difficult. But in practise it proves wrong.

I don't prefer either wheel size and I wouldn't use 26 only for dh or 650b only for trails. I like using both for the fun factor of changing it up

Try it if you haven't.
  • + 0
 @Quesadilla34 you've just hit the nail on the head couldn't have said it better myself
  • + 1
 From what I have heard it sounds like they will make a carbon version of this along eight the aluminium one.
  • + 39
 I remember when the M3 came out, it looked like nothing else,so iconic and so sexy, you could spot it on the race practice for miles. At the same time not everything looked like a Session back then Great looking stuff Intense, you created an amazing legacy!
  • + 6
 I thought the same thing, I was still riding a 100$ bike a the time, and this bike truly was my dream! I now have the chance to ride one of his big brother... And what a machine... !
  • + 1
 The only thing bad about the M3 was the long 1 1/8 headtube.
I'd ridden mine until is was Dust if it had a compact 1.5 headtube....
  • + 3
 Still my favorite frame of all time, appearance-wise. I just wish they'd been more reliable, or that Intense would still provide parts: lots of unrideable M3s out there, due to broken lower links that can't be replaced anymore, so sad.
  • + 2
 M3 was ahead of time, still riding it Razz
C'mon who else?
  • + 3
 @groghunter Speak to James at The Fix (Whistler) he will CNC up anything you want. Even has a kit for Iron Horse Sunday owners who refuse to give up their frames. If you really want your M3 to continue for some years to come I am sure he can help you out.
  • + 1
 Oh I don't have one... but that's good info, maybe I'll look for one. heck, I'd be happy with a visual copy: I'd be happy just having one hanging on the wall.
  • + 27
 The SWAG sticker in the 5th photo got me , for real
  • + 25
 Found a pic of the new m16 fotos.mtb-news.de/p/682715
  • + 1
 Hahaha...Bender signature series!
  • + 12
 Jeff Steber looks an awful lot like Barry Manilow, just sayin
theteamrobot.blogspot.com/2015/01/breaking-news-from-intense-cycles.html
  • + 13
 Give Shaun a new cap!
  • + 2
 and a rasor
  • + 1
 What's a rasor?
  • + 11
 The m9 is such a beautiful frame. That m16 is amazing too
  • + 6
 Every time i see that palmer guy I imagine he will grab a president's mask anytime go commit bank robery and get away practicing some sort of ''extreme rad'' sport. Come on man we are in 2015.
  • + 3
 We are. pretty sure the 90s never ended for Shaun. Does he live in Portland? Wink
  • + 1
 @groghunter You mean PDX right? bwahaha
  • + 4
 being an owner of an M9 (which i love) there are only two things that bike needed to improve on. weight, which looks like they gave it a diet, and carbon...which looks like they chose to pass on in favor of 27.5 wheels. Sadly i think they had to go 27.5 to keep up with the tire/wheel manufacturers. hopefully a carbon version is not far off.
  • - 2
 exactly, m9 is actually 1-2lbs heavier than m3
  • + 6
 How about how the M9 has been relevant for over half a decade! Not many bikes these days stay relevant for more than 5 minutes!
  • + 6
 NOOOOOO! they missed one out should have been the m14 !!! n for high spec should have been m14 EBR :-(
  • + 5
 Intense m16, many pics floating arround still alloy, will we see a carbon m16 soon?
  • + 5
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/12094079 I found this on a intense facebook racing page.
  • + 5
 Man, 80's music right into 90's mtb... that's 20 years of hilarious. Intense may have finally dialed it in folks.
  • + 1
 I will not deny the beautiful CNC work, craftsmanship, and details on the M9 but the top tube/front triangle doesn't do it for me aesthetically. Probably functions great but if I'm going to spend the money, I have to be in love with it, both form and function wise.
  • + 4
 i still got an m1 at home and its still handling 7m gaps
  • + 4
 I remember lusting over those big ass AMP chainring guides
  • + 3
 I would love a raw alu m9 with a good transparent protective layer, as a piece of art.
  • + 4
 Turn your brightness all the way up
  • + 4
 Never knew Sam Hill rode for Intense
  • + 1
 I believe it was during a time when Iron Horse and Intense has some business connections. You can see evidence in the picture of Toby Henderson. I could be wrong. Anyone want to chime in and correct/corroborate?
  • + 2
 It's all there in the article guys, second paragraph. Many pros rode restickered Intense frames.
  • + 3
 Intense loves to talk about the M1, thought they overrated it, looks like they didnt
  • + 4
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/12093840

27.5 intense m9 I think?
  • + 2
 Called M16 afaik
  • + 3
 Maybe they did not make a carbon version because that would mean moving production overseas… Intense is one of the last bastions of the "Made in USA" frames and I can imagine that they hold to this trademark for marketing (and maybe ethical) reasons.
  • + 1
 They have other carbon bikes in their lineup
  • + 1
 @gouty: yes, you're right. Forgot about that. Anyway, if I check their more DH/Park oriented production, they have never made any carbon bike, AFAIK. We should ask Jeff Steber why…
  • + 2
 Late 2015 M16 in alloy then in 2016 carbon m16. Every bike co does it.. Some even do a front triangle in carbon(Norco this year) then full carbon a year later. It's all about sales.
  • + 4
 The yellow/blue frameset shot looks way to erotic.
  • + 2
 I wanted this one, to go with my flag....
  • + 3
 No more pinch bolt head tubes......YES!
  • + 3
 Im still loving my M9, greatest DH Bike I ever had hands down......
  • + 2
 if you're gonna name it m16, you might as well go all out and name it the intense grenade launcher or something like that
  • + 2
 If you look on buysell section, You will see more people than Usual selling their m9's and 951's.
  • + 3
 Well this falls into the NSFW category with all the bike porn.
  • + 4
 Love my M9
  • + 2
 They forgot the best looking version of the M series. This one: p1.pinkbike.com/photo/2329/pbpic2329609.jpg
  • + 1
 I hope you're joking.
  • + 2
 I love that all intense models are named after some sort of explosive device!
  • + 3
 951 is named for an area code. True, a lot of meth labs blow up in the 951, but not as many as in the 909!
  • + 1
 Berreta 951 (aka 1951)
  • + 1
 Does any other bike company still stick their logo on a Intense? I think they all make their own bikes now right?
  • + 1
 Tenho uma M3 e amo a bike, fico imaginando ter um M9 deve ser maravilhoso, INTENSE é a bike!!!!
  • + 2
 Old news.. It's the intense M16, guys
  • + 1
 I have been running 27.5 rims on my 2014 m9 and it's amazing. Free frame upgrade.
  • + 2
 Soo sexy....2002 M1 is still one of the best looking bikes ever made !!
  • + 1
 I still have a M1 for sale, for those who like the smaller wheels.

www.pinkbike.com/photo/5261691
  • + 2
 I hope they get it right this time!!!
  • + 2
 I enjoyed reading this article
  • + 1
 intense are so intense))
but, let me guess ... carbon front and alu rear? and app 11k for the whole bike?
  • + 2
 That raw M9 is the sexiest M9 I have ever seen!
  • + 2
 Its good to see Intense "align" itself with history
  • - 1
 I really like intense bikes but I know what I wanna to see a carbon machine, or some new design, innovation that's what should come in mind when remember intense not just put a 27 inch wheel and sell it...
  • + 3
 Funnily enough, not everyone wants a carbon bike.
  • + 1
 Great ! ! I love Intenseeeeeeee ! !
  • + 1
 i remember seeing the M16 prototype at a local race
  • + 1
 Quizz: Name the fork on Toby Henderson's rig
  • + 1
 ?? With v-brakes?? There was a lot of weird stuff back then.
Why doesn't Mr. Toby Henderson have a fender? This must be a old Pic.
  • + 1
 They look like XTR v-brakes to me.
  • + 1
 Found it. Prototype X-Vert blended with a Dorado or something along those lines. So sick!
fcdn.mtbr.com/attachments/shocks-suspension/23027d1090126814-older-prototype-manitou-fork-dirtfork1-2-.jpg
  • + 1
 Manitou "King" was arround as a name, but not officially. The guy who made them doesn't recollect that name. Only 10 or 20 were made. I have a friend who dug about this fork up until he found the the full story from the actual source.
  • + 1
 M16 is last year everyone has known yep gonna be a carbon version
  • + 1
 Wait, does Intense have a downhill WC team?
  • + 1
 As I ride an M9, I CAN'T WAIT to put my hands on this M16.
  • + 1
 Anyone else notice the hand in the back seat of Palmer's car?
  • + 2
 She must be ugly.
  • + 1
 ...actually she's not...
  • + 1
 article? or advertisement?
  • + 4
 In the bike industry, as well as others, pretty much every article is an opportunity for advertisement.
  • + 4
 At the top of the page, on the left, notice the term: "sponsored."

It's a modern form of advertising. Doesn't everyone know this?
  • + 1
 Can I get one without sans paint?
  • + 7
 I think you did it wrong
  • + 2
 For future reference, sans=without.
  • + 1
 Maybe he was trying to go double negative on us
  • + 3
 I didn't not think that was a possibility too. lol
  • + 1
 Release the intense m6 evo!
  • + 1
 They should sell the raw frames, with no paint.
  • - 1
 Let's hope 90s and early model bikes are gonna go the way of classic cars? Because you can pick some older models of intense cannon dale etc for super cheap
  • + 1
 M12 is coming......
  • + 1
 Filete
  • + 1
 I like the M6
  • - 1
 Just a fun question but we always hear this is the bike that Palmer won silver on, who won gold and what bike was he on
  • + 1
 nico won
  • + 7
 ...everything.
  • + 1
 MOM,,
  • - 1
 I like the M bike in the top right photo with the GIANT logo on it
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