Interview: 'You Have to Open Your Mind to Try New Things' Jeff Steber Shares the Process Behind the Next Intense DH Bike

Mar 22, 2022 at 4:05
by Ed Spratt  

After months of speculating we finally saw the latest Intense prototype break cover at the Tennessee National DH a few weeks ago, but with details thin on the ground we reached out to its creator Jeff Steber to find out more.



The new bike is really interesting, can you tell us how you got to the new bike's design?


We actually made a conscious decision probably mid World Cup season, last season 2021, that we wanted to shift direction on the bike that we were developing with the team. In true Intense style, the style that put us on the map in the first place, it's like 'hey we have really got to use this race program to develop new products and technologies at the highest level'. It's what we used to do and it's been a long journey in between there. In recent years I have kind of had to switch my focus to getting the business in order, now we have a solid foundation for that I'm able to turn my focus a little bit back onto racing and the future of Intense and everything that goes along with it.

So I was able to wipe the slate clean and take on a kind of 'learn it all' attitude versus a 'know it all' attitude, which I like to say these days. Part of this whole designing the next Intense downhill bike project has been a learning experience in so many ways.

So about midseason, we decided that we would do some benchmarking and at least get Aaron and Neko on the latest crop of World Cup calibre winning bikes, you can pretty easily in your mind decipher what those bikes were. In tune with how the tracks have changed,, and the new crop of young riders, how people attack racing these days, race craft, from the rider's perspective, taking all of those factors and just having a clean slate. So from that, and that started with a lot of overlap between racing where we started doing that and, I'm going to be honest, you really open up the riders' minds too. Trying different bikes out that had different characteristics, we had been kind of locked into this convention for years that we had as a brand stuck to this certain suspension platform and my philosophy had always been optimise not compromise when it comes to suspension.


Our current JS tune system works incredibly well on a shorter travel xc or trail bike but maybe a very segmented or specific bike that's designed for a World Cup caliber professional racing has very different needs. That was kind of one of the driving ideas that allowed us to expand and open our minds to 'hey let's try and experiment and do different things'.

At the same time we have never really in any focused effort brought in telemetry, for data acquisition. So that was a big part of the program now. We acquired several telemetry systems and part of the learning process was how to accurately learn to use that to analyse real-world analytical data along with the analogue approach. You really need to rely on the feedback from your riders but you need to have some real data and it has to be a balance of both. Again it's really steering us in different directions as we thought that this would condense into a much tighter timeline and it has been a much bigger project to do it right. Yeah, it is involving a lot of time and people's efforts but we are super excited about it.

That said, as part of the project we narrowed it down to two designs that we would produce and race this season. One is the first prototype that you have seen Aaron, Dak and some of the boys on, that is the simpler of the two and allowed us to really start from a function aspect where we really designed up the kinematic profile we were looking at would be ideal and then we morphed it into a prototype bike. So function probably before form even, but it's been a key part of that journey to learn. Obviously it's a high pivot idler design, it incorporates a Horst link, so right away in your mind you are saying well we are trying to optimise each of the key factors in the kinematic profile of the bike that are important for downhill racing. We're working on how you can optimise those without affecting any other of those key factors in a negative way. Mainly axle path, leverage ratio, anti rise and anti-squat, you know if you were to boil it down to key factors there are other ones but those are the ones people talk about the most, geometry and sizing and things like that aside.

bigquotesI'm super excited about it myself and I read a lot of negative comments and things about it but you know keep them coming it puts more fuel on the fire

So there is also another prototype and we had hoped to have had them be more parallel but just the timeline has been stretched out, that's a more complicated six-bar design. At some point during the season we will be doing side by side comparisons. We have a lot of test data now to compare and at some point one of those prototypes will be stronger and that is what we will move forward with. Granted that's not set in stone, we are open-minded enough that it could go in a different direction along the way. It's a bit of an adventure and at the same time we are learning a ton. Aaron has really opened his mind also and has kind of found new confidence in his riding style so I think we are going to see some good results with these bikes. Having Dakotah, Joe Breeden and of course Seth the riders are really responding positively to the new bike design and really getting along well with it.

Now we are on the right path but we have a ways to go.

How did you decide on the two final prototypes that you would move forward with? Does the second bike we haven't seen also run with the high pivot and idler or is it completely different?


It's a bit different but probably a little more refined and actually offers another level in isolation of the key factors in optimisation. That being said, I'm excited about both of them, the first one was the biggest learning experience and even prior to that just to get a quick jump on the whole process I had actually produced what I call a frankenbike for the guys but it really was just the bike I pieced together out of pieces and parts from the past that I had here. iIt was a very quick kind of roughly made prototype just to get the guys up and running and really to decide if this was going to be a high pivot bike or low. Then we started gathering the telemetry information we needed to make those more rational decisions.

Granted, I wish that had happened even a little sooner but you know that aside from just running a company, being a CEO of a brand and also being the main hands-on guy we have quite a team of people working on this project behind us so it's kind of a sum of the parts makes the whole. Even team IFR and the riders who are willing to be part of a program were a big part of its testing and trying things and for them to be willing to be part of that and possibly risk race results and anything like that, hats off to them.


Once upon a time, people were very comfortable with, especially downhill programs, being based around a prototype and developing a bike. You were used to seeing raw bikes and things like that. Well, you are going to see a lot of that from this program. Like I said, we are exposing ourselves in a lot of ways but that's what we do and it was a pretty tough decision to say 'hey we have been working on this bike and while it works well it is not achieving what we need to' and that's taking a lot of feedback from riders that they feel like we could do better and being open-minded enough to compare to what is working these days and the demands of what a modern-day World Cup downhill bike is and putting our minds to that. It is kind of putting yourself out there. I'm super excited about it myself and I read a lot of negative comments and things about it but you know, keep them coming, it puts more fuel on the fire. We are fired up and we want to get it back. We know it's a journey and we are not there yet but we have been there and we want to get it back and we will work hard to do that.

You said this is your first time properly using telemetry data, is that what led you to the suspension design, or did you have a design in mind that the data backed up?


Yeah, I think it started with just test riding but then just really trying to understand what is really going on in some sort of analytical approach to it. As I said analogue digital is the way I work. I'm still pretty old school in the way I do stuff. We are fortunate enough to have a lot of our management team from motorsports building top race brands in the past and they have a pretty charted history of doing that and the process is down really well. It takes a while sometimes, it's not going to happen necessarily overnight so that track record is really helped a lot and it's actually the influence from that that helped a lot with striding in this new approach and direction.


Back to the high pivot and idler setup, what were your reason for choosing this as we are seeing a lot of brands at least trying this out?


The technology has been around for a while and hats off to the French for sticking with it and proving it and really optimising it in a racing aspect. You know you are seeing some enduro bikes and maybe even some trail bikes using the technology and you know there are a lot of pros and cons. Probably in some ways more cons when you take it out of the downhill aspect. For downhill, axle path and some of these factors are so critical when racing as it is all about maintaining momentum and having a really well-balanced bike in all conditions. You can take the high pivot idler bike too far in one direction and it makes it unsettled and not actually a balanced bike. The axle path is a big part of it but it's not the only part, you know isolating brake forces and things like that are super important in downhill. There are a lot of other factors that really I think the idler then solves another issue with pedal efficiency and anti-squat and being able to have the best of all of those and optimise those.

bigquotesIn the end there had to be a point where you have to open your mind to try new things.

If you look at the prototype the initial HP1 prototype that we are running, it's a pretty simple four-bar design but there is a lot of adjustability on it where the idler attachment point is there is a bracket that allows you to change the position and run different size idler wheels and alter shock progression so it is a true testbed of being able to play around with the parameters a bit.

Is the adjustability something that you have played around with a lot already?


We have baseline settings that the guys are getting started on and you know if I could do anything to the team it would be to apologise that we are a little late getting them the actual prototype race bikes. I would have loved for them to have six months on that instead of six weeks before the first World Cup. That said we are starting with baseline numbers that we feel are pretty much dialed.

Now when we have a little more time Aaron and Dak for example have been in Portugal before Lourdes and we are trying lots of things. John Hall ,who has been Aaron Gwin's long time mechanic, has also stepped up to an internal position at Intense and he is like the liaison tech director of the program and kind of communicating between IFR and our engineering/product development team at Intense. We also hired an engineer, long time industry guy, that worked as a shop designer at a lot of the top suspension brands as a ride dynamics specialist and he is working very closely with the team using telemetry, gathering information and again the goal of this is a lot of trickle-down effects too.

Are you going to see idlers on other intense models? Not necessarily, but we are learning a lot because right now it applies really well to the downhill bike but maybe not in the other segments.


It sounds like it is a good option for downhill bikes then, do you think we will see most of the other teams switch to a high pivot with an idler?


I will tell you I think there is the 'everyone's jumping on the bandwagon' kind of mentality but you can't ignore the data sometimes, especially in something where you are chasing fractions of a second. In racing as we know the pilot itself plays such a key part and then also there are some downhill bikes with some real warts or an Achilles heel so to speak but the riders do a really good job of riding it for its strength and optimising on that and that's always the mentality you have to have on that.

Obviously, we are trying to eliminate as many of those as we can in the design but there is a lot to be said for racecraft and how a racer approaches and how they gain and pick up those little seconds here and there and Aaron has a very distinct style and I will be honest with you it took a little while to really translate how can we optimise on his riding style and in a design that will really work well with that. That's part of the big equation to and bringing bike forces and kinetic energy and how that applies to forward momentum, maintaining momentum is a big factor. Historically, Aaron has always done really well on certain types of bikes and we analysed that and looked at why those designs over others, and I think it applies to a lot of downhill riders the racing style. Again what makes a race bike fast, if it pumps well you can gain seconds on the downside of every jumps or through that turn that goes into forward momentum. A bike that handles the rough sections better and pedals well enough so that if there is a long stretch I mean we are talking of gathering those thousands of seconds add up along the way across the overall downhill course.

The past few years you have had quite a few different prototypes and the current bike is quite a big change. Would you say the past designs have been a failure or is it just a continual development?


No, they were all part of the learning process, we are trying to push the limits of what a particular platform could do within a segment or travel range and I think we have had bikes that work really well, I mean Kovarik absolutely shreds on the M279 and loves that bike. Chris isn't racing World Cup caliber downhills anymore either so it's a little bit different in wants and needs. The styles and tracks have evolved there is a new crop of young racers being really aggressive and taking chances. People are training differently, yeah there are a lot of factors involved.

Honestly in the end we had to really listen to the racers and involve them. For example, Aaron and Neko over the past years have been really forthright and really some of those riders who are really good at translating that information so we were really trying hard and in the end there had to be a point where you have to open your mind to try new things and the benchmarking really helped in that respect.

Is there then a difference then between designing a bike for the average rider and for racing at the highest level?


I think there is, where a weekend warrior you know sport level downhill rider they may never achieve the limits of a World Cup caliber bike. It may be more bike than they need but that is not going to be a detriment in any way. Obviously if they tune the suspension and things to their liking and the setup that may be very different to how a World Cup racer would set theirs up. That said if it's the other way around and you design a bike that works really well for the sport level racing and maybe like you would call a really good park bike it's not necessarily going to work for the elite level World Cup racer these days. When it comes to qualifying day and they step it up that extra ten or fifteen percent that's where it really makes a huge difference.


What is the next step for the project and how do you move forward from here?


Well, basically it is just kind of managing time in between World Cups and who's going to be on what as testing continues to go on. A certain amount of that is happening behind the scenes we have a pretty good team here now and I still build all those initial race bikes. I hand build all of those here at Intense, we have a pretty good prototype shop so I can be very prolific and I can turn bikes around very quickly and make changes. We have set these up so we are able to do them in a mini production style. It's a lot of weekends, working through weekends and evenings and the dedicated team behind us and there's even people behind the scenes.

We endorse the I-Track system with Hugh, a lot of the brands out there use the linkage software to design bikes and if they are designing a high pivot bike then that I-Track watermark is going to pop up because of the collaboration there. So props out to I-Track and you know because we could have worked around that but in our investigation of it it's something that we didn't want to compromise with and you will see on the race bikes a little I-Track sticker. We are taking the high road approach with that, Hugh took a lot of time putting his time and energy into developing his patents and the technology behind them and it's a very exciting time for him and some of the work he has done over the years and we are going to acknowledge that. So there's a lot to this and we want to try and do it right and we are not going to please everyone.

Anything else you would like to add?


It has been a journey over the years and intense does have that rich racing heritage that goes way back I mean I guess you have to be a little bit older to have lived through that and a lot of the younger crop of core riders have no idea of that. We are kind of constantly reinventing ourselves a little bit and this is part of that.





162 Comments

  • 355 10
 Looks good. Now please don't let the paint/decal department know it exists.
  • 17 1
 I always fancied a raw alu Intense.
They don't make any production bikes in metal now though, do they?
  • 40 0
 @chakaping: Remenber Raw Uzzi about a decade ago? Very lovely.
  • 2 4
 @chakaping: unfortunately I don't think so
  • 22 5
 DANG... but it's SO true. Blind person doing their graphics for a long time now...
  • 8 0
 I had an early 2000’s Horst-link Tracer when you could easily take off the decals. Gloss black with just an Intense head badge and a seat stay logo left on it. It was one of the best looking bikes I’ve ever had. I’d love it if they return to simple options. Raw aluminum is always sexy.
  • 3 13
flag shredddr (Mar 22, 2022 at 11:24) (Below Threshold)
 you tried all the WC DH race winning bikes you say? did you buy a V10?
  • 7 1
 I’d love to see it polished...Intense made some gorgeous polished aluminum bikes from 94-04 or so (before switching from polished to raw). Ancillotti has also historically, and recently, made similarly beautiful polished mountain bikes with limited but bright decals. I think Gwin’s bike would look great polished with a gen 1.0 INTENSE logo in chrome vinyl (like Palmer ran) with either a black vinyl outline base, or possibly black base outline, orange accent layer to match the fork, then chrome INTENSE. Likewise, Intense historically used angled yellow/black “warning tape” decals on their seatstays and other places on many of their team bikes. That “warning tape” motif might look great in black/orange to accent Gwin’s bike and match the orange fork...a nod to Intense’s racing heritage (albeit used sparingly, not like the prototype Intense camouflage motifs of recent years).
  • 1 0
 Ya, send the fork to paint dept asap.
  • 4 0
 @jrocksdh: Yeah, black or chrome fork paint with polished frame to match...and a black Renthal bar (the hard ano bar color clashes with the Kashima, IMO).
  • 4 0
 Intense prototype alloy dh bikes are hands down some of the best looking bikes ever but then they release a generic looking carbon Far East catalog bike. I have no idea why intense aren’t just polishing these beauties or spraying them red. Can anyone actually remember why you’d ever need a carbon downhill bike?
  • 3 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Considering the low volume of DH bike sales and high costs of carbon moulds, it'd probably be cheaper for Jeff to weld them all himself anyway.
  • 3 0
 @tadabing: That was exactly the bike I was thinking of. The Slopestyle was also pretty sweet.
  • 1 0
 @WRCDH: You’re on the ball ma man! I had an uzzi sl back in ‘97, ball burnished. I got a roll of that warning tape and carefully cut it into the machined recesses in the seat & chain stays. I really was very pleased with myself! They really do need to start making some alloy bikes again.
  • 1 0
 @chakaping: Agreed this needs to be black, or chrome or a combination of both with a made in USA sticker. And maybe a big eagle somewhere. 90’s intense was legendary.
  • 60 4
 "You have to open your mind to new things, look across to the Cannondale pits while they were prototyping...

...then close and open your eyes until they only had the lower shock installed, voila!"




I'm just kidding, though, I love Jeff's work and seeing cool stuff like this happening on the DH circuit. It's a nice reminder of twenty years ago when all the top brands were pushing their development hard.
  • 8 4
 Jeff Steber had been closely watching the Kavenz 'we develope a bike' videos...
  • 32 0
 Kudos to Jeff for being open minded and taking a hard look at his current design. Takes some maturity to swallow your pride.
  • 6 1
 @hamncheez: Completely agree.

But it does sound like some other brands have years, if not a decade, of development head start.
  • 5 1
 @HankDamage: The original M29 was a freaking good bike. Just didn't match Aaron's style
  • 6 1
 @hamncheez:

Freakin' good bike, one of my favourite DH bikes ever!

I think there's a big difference between a very good bike and a bike that is good enough for Gwin's requirements specifically on WC DH race tracks. The speed of those guys on race run plus the way those tracks progress and cut-up isn't replicated anywhere else
  • 3 3
 @astonmtb: Whats your thoughts on turning it into a super enduro with a wireless dropper and wide range cassette? The seat tube seems to be at an appropriately steep angle and its a light frame. I don't doubt that the VPP/JS pedals really well.
  • 1 0
 @tofhami: turns out jeff has more taste...
  • 48 1
 The look is growing on me. Hope to see Gwin and Norton crushing it on this thing.
  • 28 0
 I hope this is the recipe Gwin needed
  • 19 4
 I used to hate Gwin because he won too much and made it boring. Now I kind of miss him. Without doubt one of the best ever. I would LOVE IT if he got back on the top box. I never thought I would say this and mean it... Come on Gwinner son!
  • 5 0
 @jaame: Same. Everybody loves an underdog, nobody likes a race season that has the overall 1st place locked halfway through the season.
  • 4 0
 This bike got a lot of ridicule for its looks but I quite like it personally. A huge improvement over some of their past designs of trail/enduro bikes. Keep it raw alu.
  • 33 1
 I wish I could see the suspension cycling. It looks fairly odd in how I perceive its motion.
  • 18 1
 I'm trying wrap my head around the leverage ratio that shock/rocker layout is going to create.
  • 1 0
 @Glenngineer: As for rough geo estimates. 440 chainstay as pictured. 63 degree HA. This frame seems to have a shorter reach potentially. Not sure who it was for.
  • 3 10
flag davidrobinsonphoto (Mar 22, 2022 at 11:19) (Below Threshold)
 Float X2 is literally the last shock I'd put on that bike. Looks like it's gonna try to bend it like a banana.
  • 2 0
 It looks to me as if rear wheel travel will press the shock right onto the downtube. Obviously, that's not happening, but it sure doesn't look right to me from here.
  • 3 0
 Vital has a video (22.03.) on youtube at 11:30mins you get a slowmo..
  • 19 0
 That was a very open and honest interview. It’s nice to see you hear that you’ve chosen to get off your coloured laurels and objectively improve. Well done, Jeff.
  • 17 0
 Intense made their name questioning the status quo. Glad to see Steber has built a team to do that again. Hope they turn their approach to enduro and trail platforms as well!!
  • 2 0
 Who’s status quo tho? Everyone else has a high pivot idler bike now. Basically just waiting for the new epic to follow suit now.
  • 1 1
 @gadabout-garth: brain+high pivot = banna splivot
  • 14 0
 Sure looks like a lot of aluminum.
  • 13 0
 I dare Intense to actually release a bike!
  • 4 10
flag learningcycles (Mar 22, 2022 at 8:33) (Below Threshold)
 OH they are. Just recycling frames from 2017.
  • 8 6
 @learningcycles: no no that is the 951 brand. totally different bike company.
  • 9 9
 Let's see, 2020 they released the new Primer platform, 2019 was the new Sniper platform, 2021 was an update to the Sniper T, and there is a new Enduro bike coming this year..... but no, INTENSE never releases anything new.
  • 2 5
 Lmao I doubt it. That new endruo bike shoulda came out I. 2019 @scstrail:
  • 5 8
 @scstrail: worse paint doesn’t count as a redesign
  • 5 4
 @scstrail:
new primer was 2 years ago!
Update to the Sniper T? You having a laugh?

The tracer is now 5 years old, it still uses a metric shock!
  • 5 1
 Literally every bike uses a metric shock lmao. What are you talking about @rich-2000:
  • 4 3
 @freeridejerk888:
Sorry, as you probably guessed I meant an imperial shock.
  • 1 1
 They havnt used one since 2015 on the tracer. They were like the 1st ones to get rid of imperial @rich-2000:
  • 1 0
 @freeridejerk888:
Current tracer takes a 8.5”x2.5” shock...
Thats the old imperial size....
  • 1 2
 Lol what. The 2015-16 took 200x57 and the current takes 216x63. @rich-2000:
  • 3 0
 @freeridejerk888:
Lol, you might want to research imperial sizes and metric sized.

Those are imperial shocks quoted in mm lol
  • 1 0
 @Hayek: Primer redesign in 2020, different linkage, different geo! Paint is opinion, frame changes are fact!
  • 1 0
 @rich-2000: Yeah, 2020 is 2 years ago!! I see some can count!
  • 8 0
 Awesome to see them try something new. I had the pleasure of working for the Intense CRC team in ‘07 / ‘08, Jeff is at his best when prototyping new frames. (I still have an M6 evo) I think it looks amazing, but the machinist in me thinks the rocker link needs some more metal in the mid portion, purely for looks if nothing else. Can’t wait to see it in action.
  • 10 1
 "You Have to Open Your Mind to Try New Things"

Pretty sure I've tried this line myself. Along with

"Just relax, you'll enjoy it".
  • 2 2
 Great interview. Definitely was an equipment issue. We'll know more once WC starts...
  • 5 1
 well that was a good read and insight into a person who now sees the creative end of product development as a more collabrative effort. this can often be hard for an artisan like Steber. being an older rider, ex racer, I have respect for this company, how they did what they did, how it was presented to the industry and to race fans. this dude has alot on his mind and moving with the transitions and timelines can be stressful. i just hope Jeff puts aside a little time to bang out some riffs once in a while to relax…for beyond his fabrication skills this person is a most excellent blues guitar player as well!
  • 4 0
 The angle between the shock and the link (and between this link and the seatstay) sounds so strange to me. How can they have reactive suspension with that angle ? And the shock bushings are going to wear very fast ! Aren't they ?
  • 2 0
 I too am a bit confused by those angles. Doesn't look like it would even work!
  • 7 0
 Good luck to Intense and Aaron and Dak this year
  • 6 3
 Wasn't there a UCI rule that stated any bike raced in a WC had to be going into production that same year? Wonder how Intense got out of that? It seems like they've been prototyping for 2 years now.
  • 2 1
 yeah i always wonder about this. i feel like this was not really enforced in downhill so far but at some point somebody will be disqualified for something ridiculous. Or maybe i completely misunderstood something.
But then i also just found a rule that says that mtbers are not allowed to be clipped in (4.6.003)...
  • 4 2
 @SleepingAwake: that's just for pump track
  • 5 3
 @SleepingAwake: Technically, they are not clipped in. They are all using clipless pedals.
  • 1 0
 @jefe: yes you are right
  • 1 0
 I recall hearing somewhere that there had to be the intention to release a product to the market.
  • 1 0
 I asked Neko M. about that and he said that you have more time than that, and some flexibility. He didn't mention if there was a drop dead date though.
  • 4 2
 How about this part of the ruling in the current climate?

"Upon expiry of the authorized period of use of a prototype (equipment not yet available for
sale), any item of equipment must be commercially available in order to be used in cycling
events. The requirement of commercial availability shall be understood as equipment having
to be available through a publicly available order system (whether with manufacturer,
distributor or retailer). Upon an order being placed, the order shall be confirmed within 30
days and the relevant equipment shall be made available for delivery within a further 90-day
deadline. In addition, the retail price of the equipment shall be publicly advertised, shall not
render the equipment de facto unavailable to the general public and shall not unreasonably
exceed the market value for equipment of a similar standard."

Good luck enforcing that right now.
  • 6 1
 POV: You ran to the comments section
  • 1 0
 Pretty amazing to read, and also to read they are working on a 6 bar. Clear that they've looked at Commencal, in their own words. Then Commencal drops their virtual high pivot 6 bar design, with Intense also says they are working on.

www.pinkbike.com/news/commencals-new-supreme-dh-v5.html

Development in action right there.
  • 1 0
 Can anyone shed light on how that lower shock housing chunk of aluminum is made? I've been trying to figure it out since I first saw it but, especially for a prototyped part, I'm at a total loss.
  • 1 0
 The general shape has me thinking a stamping, but that thick rib on top seems more along the lines of a casting. As well, the inside doesn't seem particularly machined, so it seems that the majority of faces (internal and external) on the part are processed via the forming mechanism and not material removal.
  • 2 1
 Its either cast or made using additive manufacturing (3d printed) in either case looks like they put it in a tumbler for a uniform surface finish as far as I can tell.

edit based on the "seat tube" it has to be printed, that part is hollow and has the pivot locations built in
  • 4 2
 And...the winner for longest answer to a single question asked by PinkBike in its 24 year history goes to...Jeff "You Gotta Open Up Your Mind...Man" Steber. Congratulations!
  • 5 1
 Steber and Mually are in a frame building competition.
  • 2 2
 I'm very surprised that someone like Gwinn, who is a very methodical rider, has only recently started using telemetry on his bike. I would have imagined him to be one of the first to insist on exploiting any kind of optimization method he could get his hands on.
  • 1 0
 I was thinking the same. Perhaps he did during the Specialized/Trek days? Not sure, but sounds like one of the first times Jeff /Intense have been into it.
  • 2 0
 Looks like my 2010 INTENSE SLOPE STYLE 2 still a beautiful work of art. www.sicklines.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/928
  • 1 0
 Congratulations, you have a good looking bicycle.
  • 1 0
 Would love Pinkbike or another outlet to ask Gwin/Intense why Niko left and what were the areas of misalignment. Seems like even with this year’s project he didn’t agree with the direction Intense was going.
  • 1 0
 Just my impression, but it seems to me he wanted more control over what components he was going to ride because he didn't believe in what he was riding as part of IFR (e.g., tires). Neko strikes me as someone who likes to build things and this was his opportunity to do it his way instead of Gwin's way. This isn't to say Gwin's way is bad and it sure looks like the new Intense bike might rip as well. We will see what impact this all has on results starting this weekend....
  • 1 0
 HEY Jeff Steber like what been done to the bike, but feel that shock should push forward rather than back?
REALLY do not know if will be better, but have a gut feeling it will !
  • 2 3
 So reading the fine print I'm learning that there is potentially an even uglier bike being hatched. Smile

Seriously though. While I don't ride Intense anymore it is a local brand (for me ) with a significant racing heritage and for that, I respect them and always hope for good results.
  • 2 0
 I appreciate the candidness of the interview and enjoyed hearing dude's take on the plan/program,

but holy run-on, batman!
  • 2 3
 Super glad Jeff took an open mind with these bikes, and started from scratch. Seems like it was definitely an equipment issue. Aaron sounds a lot more positive in the Vital video that's up. Neko got his new bike and is doing way better. Jack Moir is on a new bike and is No. 1 in EWS... That's all bad news for Intense, but good news, like Aaron said, is now hopefully they found the answer.
  • 1 0
 Remains to be seen how Neko and the Intense team will do with their new bikes. Aside from a couple of Costa Rica DH races and the shortened Winrock race, there is not much to go on. This weekend will be interesting to see how things shake out. That said, being 6 seconds faster than the #2 rider, one could say the new Intense bike didn't slow Dak down at all. We will get a good read on the Intense bike 4x over from Aaron, Dak, Joe, and Seth. Just one review on Neko's side.
Excited for this weekend.
  • 3 0
 @RCederholm: Yep, we'll see how it goes. I hope they found the answer! Would love to see Aaron on the podium again.
  • 1 0
 @RCederholm: Are you following Neko's YT channel? Really good vid today on his proto #3.
  • 2 0
 @mybaben: I have been following it but haven't watched the new vid. I will say, if he put in all this work and comes out with similar results, that will say a lot. My guess is he will improve some due to a better ride and more confidence with the bike he has underneath him.
  • 1 0
 @RCederholm: The new one was good. He seems really happy with how the bike is riding. It will be a very interesting season...
  • 1 0
 Sheepy isn't it hmmmm I know I'll design it around a high pivot idler. Chachiiiiing! Please bring back alloy frames in wicked colours
  • 1 0
 I was at the finish line at Mt St Anne in 2017. This guy is just different. If this bike works half as well as the other high pivots, look out!
  • 2 1
 "Honestly in the end we had to really listen to the racers and involve them. " Dudes, seriously? That should be like first thing you should do.. Maybe Jeff is the problem.
  • 2 0
 Most riders don’t know shit about leverage ratios, kinematics, or much of anything about bike design except geometry.
  • 2 1
 @Reno233: That may or may not be true but Intense has Gwin who seems know a thing or two about what he wants in a biked. Also Neko who had to go literally develop his own bikes because Intense has failed the riders so much. It seems to me that Jeffs ego has gotten in the way and outsourced his trust Cero vs the skill and knowledge of his own riders. Plus, Jeff is an artist with an old school point of view not a modern day racing guru.
Commencal seems only do rider developed bikes and they're the most successful team out there right now with a beautiful and well performing bikes.
  • 2 0
 @Thirty3: That's a good point. Those guys seem to know what they want, but they’ve also been doing this for a while. I’d guess that many younger pros don’t have that experience, while Jeff has been doing this since the early 90’s. His knowledge is valuable, but sometimes it’s good to get different perspectives, which it seems he has done.
  • 2 0
 Looks fugly! Is this the birth child after a Trek and GT had a one night stand????
  • 3 0
 It's cool that the frame includes a bucket for mud and dirty water..
  • 1 0
 Will the other bikes (I.e., Tracer, Primer) have the same linkage design with less travel? Similar to what Santa Cruz did with there bikes?
  • 13 11
 Finally a death to the VPP!
  • 34 0
 works ok for that greg feller
  • 5 1
 Intense trying to use the BB as a pivot point was a big detractor compared to a V 10. Notice how long the links are on a Santa Cruz...
  • 2 0
 @Krispy-at-Go-Ride: technically, it is still a vpp, as there is one pivot point on the chainstay. The wheel is attached to the bar that has a virtual pivot point
  • 4 0
 @philippec555: VPP as used by Santa Cruz and Intense features short, counter-rotating links. Although this design features a virtual pivot, it's not "VPP" as the patent describes it, but a 4-bar/horst link.
  • 2 2
 We've run out of garish paint, how are we going to make ugly bikes now?
Hoping its quick though. Gwin and Norton out of the darkness and back to the podiums this year?
  • 3 1
 I think you are on to somethere here Jeff, keep up the good work!
  • 5 4
 "You Have to Open Your Mind to Try New Things"

"That's why we waited to do a high-pivot until everyone else was doing it."
  • 2 0
 They threw out the baby and the bath water, NO VPP!
  • 1 0
 Jeff! Such a legend, artist, nicest guy. Stoked to follow to team and the development of this new bike this year!
  • 1 0
 Jeff! Such a legend, artist, nicest guy. Stoked to follow the team and the development of this bike this year!
  • 1 0
 Is this similar to the late 90’s early 00’s yeti downhill? As in the shock position and compression direction?
  • 1 0
 It is clear that this motorcycle presented is not this: youtu.be/RSF5ysIuG-E
  • 1 0
 *bike
  • 2 0
 We want a slow motion squish test!
  • 1 0
 nice welding there, beautiful material, just the dirt bowl under shock could perhaps fill with mud
  • 2 1
 What cranks/ chainring is that?
  • 1 0
 When Last time intense bike hit podium?
  • 6 2
 Lousa 2020
  • 2 1
 It is the scooped bagel of bikes.
  • 1 0
 Can I buy this bike? No... hence I do not care Big Grin
  • 1 0
 My Lord! The bending moment on those seat stays
  • 1 0
 Adjusting the shock is done through the bottom of the downtube?
  • 1 0
 Please make 100 of these.
  • 1 0
 my how the tables have tuesd
  • 2 2
 No chance this thing wins a world cup... And believe me it hurts to say that.
  • 2 1
 You Have to Open Your Mind to looks like a session
  • 1 0
 How's the new DJ coming along?
  • 1 0
 Anyone know which cranks those are? Thanks
  • 1 0
 Anti rise low low for a hp!
  • 2 0
 So many words!
  • 1 0
 Looks like a broken Kona Stinky
  • 1 0
 MAKE INTENSE GREAT AGAIN.
  • 1 0
 Wow It’s a single pivot! Too bad
  • 2 1
 picks up some popcorn...
  • 1 2
 Intense back on FSR suspension? But Hi Pivot. Wonder if Aaron and Neko has the same thoughts on 4 bar horst link suspension.
  • 1 2
 I give the six bar design 14% chance of seeing the light of day. 8% chance of actually being raced.
  • 1 1
 See the new commencal supreme V5
  • 1 0
 @TheLongMan: If I had meant 6 bar in general, I would have said “I give a six bar...” rather than “I give THE six bar...”
  • 1 0
 Legend.
  • 1 1
 Looks like a... I'll leave now, sorry.
  • 1 1
 is it just me or does looking at this frame burn your eyes?
  • 3 3
 Just fugly
  • 2 1
 Whatever, it's a proto!
  • 1 1
 Looks like a Nico
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