Intense Launches 2023 Tracer 29

Oct 16, 2022 at 3:59
by Ed Spratt  
Following the launch of the Tracer 279 earlier this year Intense has announced a full 29" version.

The new Tracer 29 has been redesigned for 2022 and will be replacing the Carbine in Intense's Enduro bike range, sitting alongside the Tracer 279. The full 29 Tracer matches the Tracer 279's travel with 170mm front and rear. Also coming over from the 279 is the two-position flip chip for adjustable geometry and the CHAD in-frame storage system. The frame also has space for a water bottle.
Tracer 29 Details
• Wheel Size: 29"
• Travel: 170mm front and rear
• Reach from 455mm to 505mm
• CHAD downtube storage compartment
• Two-position flip-chip adjustment
• Head angle: 64.4º (High setting)
• Seat tube angle: 77.7º (Effective)
• Sizes: M, L, XL
• Price: $5,399 - 6,899 ($3,399 frame only)
intensecycles.com


Intense says the Tracer 29 uses technology from its M29 downhill bike with a bottom link driven rear shock and progressive rear suspension. Intense claims the suspension is designed to be active in its initial travel with good mid-stroke support before firming up towards the end. The Tracer 29 is available in just three sizes (M, L and XL), dropping the size small from the 279 model. The reach extends from 455mm up to 505mm with a 64.4º head angle in its highest setting and an effective seat angle of 77.7º.

Pro
Expert

At launch there will be two complete build options with the top-of-the-range Pro model running Fox suspension for $6,899 USD and the slightly less expensive DVO equipped Expert for $5,399. The Pro model is available to order now while the Expert will not be on sale until early 2023. If you are after just a frameset then it can be purchased with rear shock for $3,399. Frame-only options will be offered in two colours from December 15.






133 Comments

  • 168 11
 When can I get it at Costco? I'm planning on riding it for a while and returning it.
  • 49 3
 I think this bike would be a little too intense for most of Costco's customer base.
  • 142 1
 Shout out to the guy on r/mountainbiking yesterday who bought a 951 at Costco, took it out for the first ride with the fork on backwards, and proceeded to share it with the entire internet
  • 84 6
 I still do not understand the whole Costco bike elitism thing. You can purchase it at a big box store. Big freaking deal.
  • 6 3
 @jmhills: I mean I kinda understand it. To get a product to that market you have to cut cost somewhere in the manufacturing process. But that doesn't really mean the other products the company makes are worse for it, it just opens up the possibility of associating the brand with something that is potentially lesser quality.
  • 16 2
 Now comes with fork installed backwards.
  • 59 8
 @ct0413: What is lesser quality? That is the thing I do not understand. You can buy all manner of name brand, high quality goodness at Costco. There are Costco's everywhere. They are more available to your average consumer than a bike shop is. They have lower overhead so they can afford to keep stock, order what is needed, and deliver for, probably, less than your bike shop can. Also, as for price, these frames tend to be a model year or so behind, meaning you can sell them for less. They are still laid up in the same factories in China as all of the rest are. You just are not going to be paying the extra fees and margins a bike shop requires.

My neighbors kids all ride Costco brand hardtails. Shimano components and controls, decent wheelset and tires, decent looking welds on the frames. I, being the 'bike guy' in the court, have fixed some things that were assembled and adjusted incorrectly. One rode by and his cable routing was bonkers to the point where he could not get a full right turn. I called him over, put it on the stand and spent 10 minutes taking it apart and rerouted them. Then I also found that extra gear he did not have by hitting the barrel adjuster on the rear mech. Could the employee of Costco have done this? Maybe but this is not a Costco issue exclusively. I have seen this from bike shops.

Rather than being an elitist prick (not to say you are) about WHERE someone bought a bike, why not help them out if you see something is not assembled correctly?
  • 3 1
 @mtbthe603: Priceless..LMFAO!!!
  • 9 3
 @jmhills: I mean... I just said I could see the possibility of lessening a company's perceived quality. I personally don't think any less of Intense for selling in Costco, but I also can understand why some people would.

I don't really get why knocking a company for selling bikes in Costco has to equate to "not helping them out if you see something is not assembled correctly." Just because I personally wouldn't buy Intense's Costco bike doesn't mean I wouldn't help my buddy out who did buy it.
  • 11 0
 @yakimonti: Well, if the person pulls it out of the box (like all bike manufacturers send their bikes bought online) and they don't follow the assembly instructions, it's kind of on them for setting it up backwards.
  • 6 0
 @rowdyhonzo: Dude is taking a Grim Donut approach to short fork offsets. All great geniuses are under-appreciated in their own times.
  • 9 5
 @ct0413: That is the part I do not understand. I do not go into a Costco and assume that the bags of dog food I am about to buy are of less quality than the same bag I would have bought at Petsmart. I was trying to make sure that I was not insinuating that you would. Not at all.

My comment about the helping out is in reference to the backwards fork. Those bikes come pre assembled in a box. Guy in the back room at Costco just needs to put the last bits on. If you have no experience, easy to get things reversed. If I had seen that at the trail head, I absolutely would have pulled out the multitool and helped fix it. All these people making fun of Intense for putting their bikes in a store with an insane amount of foot traffic makes no sense to me. If Trek or Spec decided to put their product in Costco, would everyone still be laughing? I do not think so. And, personally, I would think it a solid business decision if they did. 118.9 million people have a Costco membership. There are 839 stores nationwide. That is a huge amount of people. Some of those people will definitely be interested in a bike.
  • 11 11
 @yakimonti: the forks weren’t on backwards, they’re Manitou.
  • 5 1
 @yakimonti: Maybe the guy thought it was a Manitou
  • 4 4
 @jmhills: Yeah I mean I agree for the most part. I do think that there are some industries/products that are niche and are designed for people who understand them and who will utilize them. And that is not to say that someone can't go buy it and learn to use it correctly, but more to say that for many people who are riding bikes off-road at any decent level of performance, they are going to be shopping for their bikes and parts at a niche bike store that sells and builds what the user needs to match their performance. I mean, I am a guitarist. If Gibson sold a line of guitars at Costco I wouldn't touch them. I would go to my local guitar store that employs an experienced tech who knows how to set that instrument up to match my needs as a player. Dog food? Groceries? T-Shirts? Storage bins? Yeah, cool, I'll buy that from Costco. To me the guy with the backwards fork is a perfect example of the problem I see with it. Either Costco attracted a customer who didn't know how to properly/safely use what they bought, or Intense is allowing Costco to improperly assemble a bike that is deserving of far better mechanics doing that work. If the bike was sold at a bike shop, either the customer was there because they knew what they were looking for and can use it correctly, or the shop would have informed the customer of how to properly use the product.
  • 1 0
 @rowdyhonzo: Came here for this reference.
  • 3 0
 @yakimonti: According to the OP, it was they who screwed up on that. Also just a really great reminder of why an LBS visit for your brand-new bike is a good idea if you're not super-familiar with bikes. Brake drag, torquing important bolts, derailleur adjustment, basic suspension tuning, and apparently not installing your fork backwards. Lol.
  • 2 1
 Fox finally adopts the reverse arch, exclusively at Costco...
  • 2 0
 @mtbthe603: made my day.
  • 1 1
 Probably user error. Kinda sounds like it from the post they they got it ready. Probably arrived half turn out for packaging and they turned it the wrong way.
  • 3 0
 @charmingbob: f*cking love that standup routine. I actually laughed out loud for the first time in ages from a stand-up routine
  • 1 0
 And I hope Costco gets the "size" EXPERT. Cause the "size" PRO looks really small...
  • 2 0
 @mtbthe603: reflectors are still on, makes sense, lol
  • 1 0
 @fabwizard: But that's still an issue. For instance a YT is headed to the customer with the intent that the person doing final assembly might not be a 'bike mechanic". But the tools are all there, the instructions are step by step adn well thought out, and what's left for the customer to complete is well within the grasp of an ordinary person.

IDK, but it would seem like Intense Costco bikes aren't sent out with that level of build competence "built in"...?
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: you tell me, these are the printed owners manual that come with the bikes: intense951.com/pages/bike-manuals
  • 1 0
 @ct0413: lol so punny
  • 2 2
 @spacedoutboy: how is this getting downvoted? This comment is gold!! And I have a Manitou
  • 2 1
 @rowdyhonzo: Probably saw pics of his homeless dad back in the day. Did he have bar ends pointing straight up, too?
  • 3 0
 @stiingya: given the number of used costco bikes for sale on Craigslist I have seen over the years with this exact issue. It is likely the customer base may have a few who will likely be excluded from the gene pool by their own mechanical ineptitude.
  • 1 0
 Hey, anything to get bikes sold. I've yet to see Intense at my socal costco
  • 2 0
 @creativefletch: That's what you get if you order a bike from Intense that's intended to be assembled by a customer. (and sure, obviously anyone can go to their website and look at the instructions) AND, I admit I forgot Intense does that too!! Smile

BUTTTTT...... is that what Intense is selling through Costco? Bikes that are MOSTLY "pre-assembled" WITH tools and WITH the parts set up in an easy step by step assembly order as you pull them out of the box. OR is costco just getting the same boxed bike that any dealer would get that's intended for someone who knows what they are doing to assemble it?

I'm assuming the later because the whole point is to be cheaper. But IDK...
  • 2 0
 @taskmgr: I agree, I never heard of him before, but thought the entire special was rock solid and one of the funniest I’ve seen in a long time!
  • 1 1
 @jmhills: I understand where you are coming from with big box sales, $ are $s. My only concern is customer support. Costco is good at tires/battery/ and so on in house labor. Is Costco going to have a in house bike repair shop? I guess I am all for it if they step up and provide a high level bike repair/tune shop to their major stores. This will only help the local shops step up their support and expertise, I think this is a plus but will take time and an open mind to see.
  • 2 0
 Ill wait for the Kirkland version to save a few buxs
  • 6 2
 I love Costco - They only have 12% gross margin compared to other retailers such as Target 28%, Walmart 24% and Amazon whooping 42%. Your local bike shop makes between 25-40% GP on bike sales and YT, Canyon and Commencial now all charge an arm and a leg. Costco please start selling bikes at 12% I’ll buy them from you, no returns I promise…
  • 1 0
 @mtbthe603: ‍♂️
  • 3 0
 @mtbthe603: You guys were not joking about the fork backwards. Priceless. Haha.

To be fair, Intense bike are still great bikes. Been riding Intense bikes for 15 years. I don't care if they sell them at Costco. I wouldn't even mind them having their entire lineup sold at Costco as long they had good builds for cheaper. Lol.
  • 5 0
 @ct0413: The bike is sold only online and not assembled by anyone in a store. The bikes come in a box with very detailed instructions, but I agree should be assembled by a shop. As a guitarist, you are probably familiar with Fender and the Squire, same concept. This article is about the Tracer 29, which is only available from a bike shop or online at Intense.
  • 1 1
 @scstrail: nah. Not the same at all. If I walk into a local guitar store and say “I’m learning and I need something really cheap” the knowledgeable staff can say “oh take a look a this Squire which we have set up to be at optimal performance for the money you’re paying.”
In this scenario, you’re just buying a high-end bike from a store that isn’t a high-end bike store.
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: Yes, they are mostly pre-assembled, with tools, torque wrench, shock pump in the box and video instructions (link). They are not assembled by the store. It really is very similar to most DTC bikes, but the difference is, as a generalization, most Canyon or YT customers probably have a bit more familiarity with bikes.
  • 3 0
 @ct0413: If that high end store can deliver a higher end product without the additional mark up and BS, I am there. Buying a bike from Costco is no different than buying from Devinci, YT, GG, etc... Once you take possession, you need to contact the customer service and a bike shop if you have any issues.
  • 2 0
 @jmhills: agreed. Honestly, I don’t really relate to or have experience with any of this. I always buy frames and build my bikes, so anything I say is purely speculation from someone who doesn’t ever deal with buying a complete bike from anywhere.
  • 2 0
 @jmhills: Haha and come to think of it, if Costco sold the carbon frame only at the respective cost, that would be incredible, although it wouldn’t speak to a very large amount of their audience.
  • 3 0
 @ct0413: I do not purchase bikes on a regular enough basis to buy frames. If Costco had a brand I liked and was interested in, and they could sell it at a minimal mark up (as stated above), I would go and purchase there. The Devinci I bought was a complete. I bought my bike over the internet and had it shipped to me for final assembly. A decade ago people thought that buying directly from the manufacturer was dumb and was going to kill the bike shop. It really has not. If anything, it was supposed to check the prices on the major brands. Unfortunately it seems the opposite has happened and DTC brands have been moving up to meet the majors.

If Costco distributed more than one major brand and bought a few banners here on PB letting everyone know, people would bitch and make fun but paying at least 15% less (based on margin quotes above) than at a bike bike shop would make it irresistible.
  • 1 3
 @spacedoutboy: did you look at the pic? Have you ever seen a brake caliper on the front of the fork with the offset pointing backwards?
  • 3 1
 @RadBartTaylor: I think you missed the joke
  • 1 0
 The bikes come mostly assembled but you have to install the handlebars, wheels and derailleur. Looks to me like someone just spun the fork around when they mounted the handlebar. Loosen the bar and spin the fork around ffs.
  • 1 0
 @stiingya: all of the bikes from INTENSE (Bike shop, costco, online) come the same way 90% assembled – this is a fact, not an assumption – and have detailed instructions along with links to videos for help. I just put one together last night and it took about 45 minutes, 20 of those minutes was setting it up tubeless.
  • 1 0
 @sunanddirt: online only, although I did see the XC version on display at the Murrieta location when it opened last month.
  • 1 3
 @fabwizard: are you sure he was joking?
  • 2 0
 @jmhills: We operate on emotion on far too many things. Many of our emotional conclusions are a result of us being far stupider than we can admit to.
  • 2 0
 @jmhills: everyone's a Gwinner
  • 2 0
 @ct0413: @jmhills: Just reiterating that the 951s in nearly every case are purchased online at the Costco website and come partially (I would say mostly) assembled, no differently than if you had purchased directly from Intense. You have the option of completing assembly yourself with the provided tools or bring to your LBS as with any DTC bike. I put mine together myself and after a few rides got an expert fitting at my LBS, which is a good idea for most bikes.

There is no option for Costco to complete assembly, and employees do not handle these bikes except for moving the sealed boxes in fulfillment centers. I bought my 951 (trail version) in June 2021 for $3200, when it was nearly impossible to find bikes of any type where I live in the Bay Area and it has been a great performer on a wide variety of local trails here, down in the Santa Cruz/Monterey area, and in SoCal.

Has anyone commenting actually seen this bike in person?
  • 1 0
 @Drew-O: No doubt. Crazy trail values for going 80mph
  • 32 0
 I’m just surprised that when everyone comments how expensive bikes are these days that no one has mentioned that the top end build is only $6.9k. It may not have the highest end parts, but kudos for keep build prices respectable.
  • 6 1
 You're surprised by that? You must be new to Pinkbike... Welcome! Now, choose any bike article, except for the one you own, and be a dick about it.
  • 21 0
 It's a Santa Cruz, priced at what Santa Cruz should actually be priced at
  • 1 0
 im only reading this comment because the price caught my eye and i wondered what people are saying about it.
with that said the "frame-only" option is still very high on this one.
  • 3 0
 Yeah, then you look at Atherton and what they offer and wonder why they aren't the $12k bike, yet Santa Cruz who was once the average Joe champion, now is the doctors only brand.
  • 1 0
 I bought my 2018 Intense Primer Foundation build (NX Eagle) for $3400 in 2019...and it came with an EXTRA e13 carbon wheelset. f*ck man, take me back to those prices.
  • 32 0
 this is one of those rare frames where I can't decide if it looks elegant or ugly
  • 9 0
 yes
  • 13 1
 ...it's called "ugligant"
a total Shrek.
  • 10 1
 I am pretty sure of my point of view about that. In other words, I am fascinated by how they managed to create a city-bike look with that bent top and downtube, on a 170mm 29er weapon of a bike...
  • 2 0
 That tan/black color combo makes me question the possibility of needing 170/170 for trail riding.
  • 2 1
 @andrewfrauenglass: I think 'eligugly' sounds worse a little better.
  • 4 0
 I saw one of these in person last weekend and it was gorgeous, seriously, a head turner. Then I see it here in pictures and I’m like you, can’t decide… but I know it actually looks cool! Just not photogenic I suppose.
  • 2 1
 Brokeback Mountain bike
  • 1 0
 I just don't like the lines. Sorry, not sorry... It still just looks slightly smushed.....
  • 17 0
 I have this bike in the 279 and it is amazing. Pedals way better than a 170 bike should and rips the steep decents. I find it funny that when the 279 was released many of you said "if it was full 29 I would be interested". Now there is a full 29 and all you guys want to do is bash. I really don't understand the hate? If you don't like the way a bike looks, fine, move on. If you don't the sales channels a brand uses, fine, move on. The bike rides great, end of story. Is it for everyone? Probably not, just like everything else. It is a super fun bike made by a brand that has been around for 30 years.
  • 10 0
 I have the 279 in black as well, and it not only is a stunning bike in person, but like you say it pedals and descends phenomenally. People on PB love to shit on Intense and while some of that may be justified, a lot of it is just haters hating. I have their Primer and the new 279 and my experience with the brand so far has been stellar.
  • 1 0
 I wish there were comprehensive consumer reports for bikes, instead, we rely mostly on hearsay. I've heard from far too many people about the unreliability of Intense bikes, both old and new. Brands like YT, Intense, Cannondale, etc. have absolutely squandered their reputations with bikes that are rife with manufacturing defects and unavoidable fragility.
  • 1 0
 Can someone explain the relationship between Intense and Santa Cruz? Like intense just seems to follow every move but a season later?
  • 1 0
 I have the 279 and kinda wish it was full 29. Rear wheel gets hung up on things the front just plows through. Still super fun and very capable going up and down
  • 2 0
 @maxlombardy: sorry for late reply, came back to read a comment that had been posted on my thread. Anyhow, Santa Cruz and Intense partnered up to buy the VPP patent from Outland in the early aughts. They traded a lot of info back and forth from testing. Not sure what the current relationship is since the patent expired, but it seems to have continued. They were both scrappy little companies back in the day. SC has gotten huge though and Intense stopped building their AL frames in house when they went full carbon.
  • 11 0
 Wish there was an aluminium version. The original aluminium Intense's were a thing of beauty.
  • 9 4
 ….that all snapped, cracked or where misaligned….

Yep I speak from much experience
  • 4 0
 @ilovedust: Looked great though Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @ilovedust: my tracer 2 snapped halfway down the seat tube after 18 months. Had a long fight to get it warrantied, when I got the new one there was a gusset where the old one broke!
  • 1 0
 This, the aluminium welding is pure art on those frames
  • 1 0
 @loneranger3: So the gusset proves that they were aware that your warranty claim was legit - but still they tried not to honor it!

Not cool Intense!
  • 7 0
 I have the 279 Tracer and it's a killer bike. I'm interested to know what the difference is besides the 29er rear and frame marking? Did they just stick a 29 on the back and call it a day, or is the frame or linkage different? No info here or on Intense press release.
  • 1 0
 FYI I emailed Intense and got this reply: "The Tracer 279 and the Tracer 29 use two different rear triangles but the same front triangle. Unfortunately, this means a 29'er rear wheel will not fit on the Tracer 279. Please let us know if you have any other questions."
  • 6 0
 Looks like the Expert build option is 33% larger.
  • 6 0
 It's because the pro riders are all downsizing their frames
  • 6 0
 We’ll done Intense. The $5399 DVO version looks killer.
  • 3 0
 Nothing wrong with enjoying a great return policy..similar to REI, one year to return items in new or used condition. Cant beat it.
  • 1 0
 I don't like how far below the bottom brakcet hangs. I know it will move up as susp travels, but it will be down at times, subject to rock strikes flying up. Reminds me of the first gen modern linkage KTM's that needed a skid plate for the linkage.
  • 4 0
 This bike looks like it's always squished
  • 1 0
 Agreed, that's why I just can't get into it...
  • 5 1
 would take it over a Pona Cruz
  • 5 1
 Going for the e-bike without a motor look...
  • 2 0
 Good job, Intense. On paper everything looks dialed. Except that all sizes could maybe use 10 mm more Reach. Really looking forward to a full review though.
  • 2 0
 Gaps in the seat tube braces are not attractive imo. The design equivalent of a bandaid.
  • 3 0
 No over 12000$ bike??? What???

Is a wallmart bike???
  • 4 3
 I'm a little befuddled by the $5399 version being "slightly less expensive" than the $6899 version. In my world slightly less expensive is maybe $100, not $1500.
  • 1 0
 It's wild how they think someone as short as 5'4" will consider one of these
  • 1 0
 Shame about the one size only chainstays that seem to have been optimized for the XL.
  • 1 0
 Those folks are severely underrated. Currently on a 951 but saving up for a Primer 29. Their customer service is great!
  • 1 0
 Santa Cruz copy!!! I know they use the same VPP but common intense, you could have done better!!!
  • 1 0
 Not at all a Santa Cruz copy!! The lower linkage is completely different, the leverage curve is completely different, AND this bike was being tested long before the Santa Cruz lower shock mounted bikes came out.
  • 1 0
 Cool bike but i just wish the downtube connected to the seat stay earlier. Looks a bit better.
  • 2 1
 Really liking the brown frame-only colorway
  • 2 0
 Where's the Yeti?
  • 1 0
 Was expecting this to be an e-bike
  • 4 2
 looks like Spesh Enduro
  • 1 0
 Further proof minnaar is joining intense and racing ews next year.
  • 2 1
 Looks like an E-Bike... I hate it
  • 1 0
 Is this not just a new Carbine?
Or is the Carbine no more.
  • 2 0
 New Uzzi, when?
  • 1 0
 Big wheels, big travel. Looks like a decent enduro race bike to me.
  • 1 0
 I giggle every time I see the CHAD system referenced. Perfect fit
  • 1 0
 weight?
  • 2 1
 looks like a Scor 4060
  • 2 2
 This bike reminds me of hanging boobs
  • 2 0
 Swing low sweet chariots!
  • 1 1
 Move along please, nothing "new" to see here.
  • 1 0
 That's an Enduro bro.
  • 3 4
 Too much like a Santa cruz
  • 27 0
 except the price
  • 6 0
 @souknaysh: Man, I got into it with a Santa Cruz fan boy (i have and currently own(ed) 3) and couldn't get over the fact their pricing is so far out to lunch. It's ridiculous. The equivalent top of the line 297 with ohlins is at 7200, SC is over 11. SC makes great bikes, but a heavy 170mm enduro with as good, if not arguably better components from Intense makes them look ridiculous.
  • 5 0
 @pistol2ne: but FreE bEArinGs!
  • 5 8
 Proportions of that Mega Tower look a little... wait, that's not a Mega Tower?
  • 2 0
 soon nobody will remember
  • 10 0
 This is the first time in 10 years I've been somewhat interested by an intense, and that's only because the frame only version is nearly $1k less than a santa cruz on what should be a similar suspension platform.
  • 2 0
 @hatton: I know right!
If this was more like 2500usd I think i'd just have it in my cart and I'd be clicking buy, but its already a good bit better than SC for a similar frame. Cant wait for tests.
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