Field Test: 2022 Intense Tracer S - Energy & Speed

Aug 24, 2022 at 17:29
by Matt Beer  

PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

Intense Tracer S



Words by Matt Beer; photography by Dave Trumpore

Intense Cycles had been working on the Tracer for quite some time before launching the carbon mixed-wheeled enduro bike in April of 2022. In fact, last summer, we were able to lock down a First Ride on Chris Kovarik's personal bike, but during this Field Test we spent plenty of time getting acquainted with the Californian brand's latest carbon enduro bike.

Boasting 170mm of front and rear travel, along with all of the hot trends like downtube frame storage, an integrated fender, and a low-positioned coil sprung shock that articulates via a dual-link suspension system, the Tracer had a lot of hype around it while loyal Intense fans awaited its arrival to market.
Tracer Details

• Travel: 170 mm rear / 170 mm fork
• Carbon frame
• Wheel size: Mixed
• 64.0º - 64.5º head angle
• 77.4º-77.9º seat tube angle
• 437mm chainstays
• Sizes: S, M, L (tested), XL
• Weight: 16.2 kg / 35.7 lb
• Price: $7,199 USD as tested
Intensecycles.com

Glancing over the bike, there are a ton of reasons why the Tracer stands out from the crowd. First, is the flashy red paint that has been Intense's signature color for decades. The frame is only compatible with a 27.5 rear wheel and offers just one adjustment at the lower shock mount to alter the progression and geometry by half of a degree. Those angles weren't the most extreme with the head tube angle tipping to 64 degrees in the slackest setting, leaving the seat tube angle at a very acceptable 77.4-degrees.

Diving deeper into the frame details, a closer look reveals that the upper link is carbon and that there is some titanium pivot hardware on display too. Cable routing is managed by way of fully-guided internal tubes and below the shock is the Chad storage compartment. To access the cargo space, you'll need to flip the bike upside down, which is how most people change a flat tire anyways, and inside you'll find a neoprene bag to keep all of your tools from rattling around.




Another talking point is the parts package - it's not your typical RockShox/SRAM or Fox/Shimano grouping. Instead, you'll find an Öhlins 38 RXF fork and TTX22M coil shock, Magura MT7 brakes, E-thirteen wheels, dropper post, and a Renthal cockpit on the premium build kit that we tested, which retails online-only for $7,199 USD. Even though there's a more affordable carbon model, the aluminum frames were only built for the purposes of prototyping.

Further inspection reveals the mixed part selection continues. I would have expected to find a 34-tooth chainring paired with the 27.5" rear wheel, but there is tiny 30-tooth ring, which is actually steel. That's bolted to SRAM X1 alloy cranks which are matched to a 10-52-tooth GX cassette and a X01 Eagle derailleur. That all makes for ultra low-range gearing. Intense takes care of the grips, and saddle with their own logo or seal of approval on those components.

Visually, aside from the paint, it didn't look like much had changed from our First Ride on the prototype, but what did the trails around Bellingham tell us about the Tracer in comparison to the other bikes?




Climbing

So a full carbon bike must be light, right? Well, not exactly. The Tracer S weighs in at 16.2 kg / 35.7 lb and, without a climb switch you might expect the 170mm of rear wheel travel to be a burden too, but you'd be wrong again. We all agreed that the JS tuned suspension and seated position made this Intense one of the best climbers in our test. The coil shock actually stays high in the travel and remains active on small bumps, which makes the bike an effective climber, even without the cheater switch. You can firm up the suspension on the fly relatively easily with the three-position high-speed compression adjuster, mind you, that's not going to have much effect on where the bike sits in the travel at lower speeds.

To reach way down to that shock basement area of the frame, you'll need to move the saddle out of the way. The saddle does move well out of the way, given the 440mm seat tube, and the standover height is ample, but my issue was with accessing the controls. Combining the mounting of the brake and dropper/shift levers to one clamp per side is great in theory, but the stock clamps didn't allow me to angle the controls in a usable position. Since I prefer my brake levers perched in a flatter orientation, this pushed the dropper and shift levers farther under the handlebar and made them tough to reach. That didn't make or break the bike, since mounting separate band clamps is still possible, but it was something that bugged all of us.

Pointing the Tracer up the trail, it was clear that this 170mm bike wasn't as much of a handful as some of the other similarly equipped rigs on test. Both the front and rear wheels appeared slightly further underneath you compared to those of the praying mantis, the Commencal Meta SX, which is stretched nearly another 30mm between the axles. For the Tracer, that made tight switchbacks easier to coax the front wheel around and correct direction changes faster, should you stumble or get off line.

Although the Tracer doesn't shy away from technical climbing, the smaller diameter rear wheel undoubtedly hangs up easier than a 29er. However, that sacrifice can be highly rewarding on the descents, especially for shorter riders, and we've seen a substantial number of EWS racers revert to the smaller rear wheel for its sportiness.



Descending

When you jump hard on the pedals, the Tracer 279 wants to go forwards. For a 170mm travel bike, the Tracer feels like it has less than that, but in a positive sense. With that said, when you do hit large compressions, there is a ton of progression in reserve. Where it shines is pumping through features to gain momentum, unlike some of those high pivot machines that can seemingly suck speed away from you in flatter terrain. Adding to the energetic handling, the 64-degree head tube angle and smaller rear wheel allow you to throw direction changes with less effort than some of the lengthier bikes.

My very first laps on the Tracer were on some hectic trails that were steep, wet, rooty, and unfamiliar. Between those conditions and the familiarity of the Ohlins suspension and Magura brakes, I quickly felt confident in those demanding conditions. The rear shock promoted a more square, upright feel to the bike. A slacker head angle would have let me open up the limits further, however, the suspension worked brilliantly on all of the slippery, sniper roots.

It wasn't until later in testing that we arrived at a much different zone where the Tracer showed a different face. The ground was now hard-packed with plenty of flat berms that want to stand you up as you hit the apex.

Timed Testing


Our timed test track started off on a flatter grade with compressions to pump through and gain speed, but also some wet rocks and roots to keep you on your toes. Further down, the speed picked up with heavy, abrupt G-outs and high-speed, low-angle berms. Overall, this would be an excellent short, sprint-style enduro stage and would push the upper and lower limits of a long-travel race bike.

Putting some numbers on the board is one way to relate how fast you can comfortably ride with the same perceived effort.

Matt Beer: "The Tracer had no trouble gaining momentum and finding grip through the first half of the track. Where the time started to slip away was on the faster sections. Staying centered on the Tracer when anticipating how the suspension would handle those hits and the bike's pitch as it entered corners was less intuitive.

Landing in the middle of the pack with a 2:13:70, the Tracer was just 0.5 behind the vastly different Commencal Meta SX and 0.4 ahead of the Megatower. All of those ride qualities check out against how fast I was riding the Tracer in relation to its limits."
The higher-paced trails were also riddled with braking bumps and square edge compressions. Those really threw me for a loop when I tried to settle the bike into those awkward turns. It seemingly lurched front to back - like it couldn't decide if it was going to push or pull you through the turn.

I experimented with altering the sag and low-speed compression at both ends to try and settle the bike down, but that had an overbearing effect on the harshness, rather than controlling the weight shifts that were giving me grief. That problem was compounded on high-speed hits because I only felt like I was using 75% of the travel and I can't recall ever reaching the end of the travel. I just wanted the rear end of the Tracer to sit deeper and calm down.

So, the Tracer 279 isn't the longest, slackest, most stable bike out there, however, it is still a burly bike that rides more on its toes than expected. That could make it an enduro bike that appeals to riders who want a reactive ride without getting bogged down by overly aggressive geometry or tons of sag. Lighter tires and components could drop the weight further and turn the Tracer into a long-travel, multi-purpose bike - one that won't shy away from snapping through turns quickly or soaking up big freeride hits.



Pros

+ Climbs very well despite frame weight and 170mm of travel
+ Quick handling nature keeps the bike alive in tight, techy trails
+ Excellent small bump sensitivity

Cons

- High amount of progression made me wonder if I ever used full travel
- Requires a lot of rider weight shifts to manage braking characteristics
- Linkage hardware requires monitoring, and the Chad box isn't in the most convenient location.






The 2022 Enduro Bike Field Test is presented by Rapha, POC, and Continental. Thanks for keeping us dressed, safe, and rolling rubber side down.





289 Comments

  • 239 19
 When I upgraded from my 27.5 to my 29er, I had leftover 27.5 tubes. People said you could easily use those in 29 wheels, they just stretch. I'm sure others have no problem and maybe my tire levers are garbage (or probably it's me), but after two 27.5 tubes essentially pinchflatted when I tried them on my 29 rims, I was over it. The mullet thing originally sounded cool to me in theory, but I have no interest in carrying two different sized tubes with me. My wife says I'm too practical. But my girlfriend says my wife is too critical. Whatever.
  • 52 2
 You can use a 29er tube. To fit it into 27.5, take a small length of tube, and push it back inside itself until you reach the rim size. It is not ideal for a long term solution, but it's what I use when guiding to ensure I always have a solution for guests who flat.
  • 47 2
 @Chippps, 27.5" tubes should fit, and like @ratedgg13 mentioned 29" tubes can work too. Do you carry tire plugs? These days it's rare that I get a flat that can't be plugged instead of installing a tube.
  • 6 1
 @mikekazimer: yes to plugs, but tube was going in when I had a small sidewall tear that wouldn't plug. @ratedgg13: good call, I wouldn't have thought to do that, but I'd definitely be more open to mullets if that does work. Sounds like you're a great guide, so keep it up!!
  • 39 0
 I read this with a huge dose of sarcastic wit but looks like it was just me
  • 23 20
 I haven’t used a tube since around 2012. What in the world are you using tubes for? Get yourself a different wheelset and better casing tires if you are flatting that much.
  • 8 3
 @dualsuspensiondave: you do know that tubes can be used to inflate tubeless tires when sealant won't seal a puncture, right?? I've always run tubeless but got one sidewall puncture in 6 years... definitely not worth a whole new wheelset or switching to heavy DH casing
  • 27 1
 Just to confirm, you ride with tubes in the tire? I just keep mine on my frame as decoration and then bacon strips in my bag to fix the occassional issue. They work quite well.
  • 4 0
 @chippps when you say pinchflatted, are you talking about on/ during install or after riding for a bit? Cause I've found one of the key things when using a 27.5 tube for a 29 is to pre inflate it a bit before you put it in.
  • 20 0
 Just make sure you don't mix and match your girlfriend's and your wife's tubes. You really need to keep them separate, regardless if the wheel sizes are the same. Also, you didn't confirm to rule #1 of pb comments... pick a wheel size and be a dick about it. That is, unless your wife or girlfriend are being the dick about it, then I guess you just get to be switzerland.
  • 1 0
 @NorCalNomad: was talking about during installation. tried one 27.5 tube slightly inflated, the other not. same results for both. not a problem I have anymore, though, since I got 29er tubes
  • 2 0
 @minimusprime: hahaha! all fair points. I will maybe try to be better in the future.
  • 2 2
 Even 26" tubes work just fine on 29ers.


Mostly I carry a tube to give it away to others on group rides.
Except when I ran Speci Grid Trail and Blck Dmnd casings which are super easy to slice.
  • 2 9
flag IntoTheEverflow (Aug 25, 2022 at 13:25) (Below Threshold)
 Why use levers when mounting a tire?
  • 4 0
 @mikekazimer: I'd have said the same. Then last week way out in the middle of nowhere a buddy managed to slash the sidewall of a DD tire with full cushcore so badly that it just blasted out all its sealant, despite multiple plug attempts. The Tubolito he'd been carrying in his bag for years didn't work (bad valve) so we were damn glad someone had an old fashioned tube. Riding home with a Cushcore over your shoulder is dumb but beats walking!
  • 4 6
 You’re still running tubes? Dude…
  • 1 0
 I have used super light 26 inch tubes as spares for my 29 inch wheeled Tubeless Bike for years. I have never owned a larger tube and have never had a flat tire as a result. Technique.
  • 2 1
 @Chippps: FWIW, I think DH casing makes a big difference in ride quality, in a good way
  • 1 0
 @IntoTheEverflow: I see, you only ride 650g tires meant for glorified cyclocross riding (I don't blame you, I live in the Netherlands as well...). Try a Schwalbe Magic Mary Super Gravity without levers and report back.
  • 2 0
 You need a second girlfriend ASAP dude!
  • 1 1
 @Chippps: No shit. If you got one sidewall puncture in 6 years, carrying a tube around is certainly not worth it. A better wheelset is the best upgrade on a bike for sure. No need to run DH casing either.
  • 2 3
 I love how you say you "upgraded" from 27.5 to 29 lmao that's not an upgrade!!
  • 141 14
 I’ll probably get downvoted for this, but
  • 151 1
 There are two types of people in this world. Those that can extrapolate information from incomplete data
  • 60 3
 @mildsauce91: and those that paid for Beta and are holding the bag
  • 9 52
flag damagemydirt (Aug 25, 2022 at 9:26) (Below Threshold)
 @Gristle: if you spent money on a Magazine business model in 2020+ you earned that financial loss... Can't fix stupid. 2010+ really... Boomers will be upset and ruffle their newspapers and fix their readers...
  • 10 1
 @damagemydirt: Aint no Boomer, but Readers are life! Amazon value pack of 20, put them in every jacket pocket, room, and glove box. (and SWAT box)
  • 4 2
 @Chuckolicious: a hearty thanks from slave labor
  • 2 1
 @ceecee: Oh jeez...
  • 4 0
 @Gristle: Don't worry, we were assured on a podcast a few months ago that Outside's and Pinkbike's management were working diligently on a solution to make us whole.

Very complicated business, figuring this out. I'm sure it's coming any day now.
  • 37 9
 I wish more bikes came factory with Magura brakes. Having XT brakes on one bike, having used old Guides, and newer Codes...the Maguras are soooo much better. Plus, they're very easy to deal with when dealing with warranty stuff.
  • 12 3
 Mate I could not agree more. Recently went off Guide RSC's to Magura MT5's and they are just nuts. Gobs of power, and excellent modulation. Also the lever feel is just really sound. Very confidence inspiring.
  • 13 1
 Agreed! However, I've had lots of issues at the lever and caliper with Magura MT5s. Not impressed with the durability. Since switched to XT's and I'm happy with the durability, though less than impressed with the lack of modulation.
  • 13 2
 What's insane to me is that you can get the MT7s for $130/ea from bike24. The MT7s are cheaper than Guide Rs; you can buy a full set of MT7s with rotors for cheaper than a single Code RSC... lol
  • 3 1
 @cgreaseman: The only problem I've had with durability on my MT7s was the little limiters breaking off, which is unfortunate but not a deal-breaker for me. What durability issues have you had?
  • 16 2
 @nickfranko: Quite a few... Admittedly, most are of my own doing, but Shimano and SRAM have seemed to engineer out most human error. Magura's are the most annoying to bleed and, compared to other brands, are the most prone to being done incorrectly. They also have the least margin of error when bleeding.

1. Minor impact broke a lever seal and introduced air to the system, rendering the levers useless.
2. A piston popped out while bleeding, introducing a lot of air to the system. Very difficult to get out and eventually ruined the caliper.
3. Hyper soft aluminum male hose mounting screw had a very small bend in one of the threads, and ended up stripping two different levers. The large thread gap doesn't help, and the plastic female side of the lever is inexcusable, imo.
4. Magura's proprietary brake housing is $75, vs. $25 for Shimano which also includes the barb & olive.
5. The bleed process is quite annoying when compared to Shimano, almost impossible not to lose oil or introduce air to the system while bleeding.
6. The pads are amazing but incredibly soft and expensive to replace.
  • 2 0
 @cgreaseman: have you tried ceramic pads on the XT?
  • 8 0
 @cgreaseman: I just can't stand the lever feel of Magura. Something about the swing path and the lever shape just don't jive with my fingers in the way that Sram and Shimano do. I've got buddies who swear byu them, but every time I've ridden a bike with them I want to punt them into the sun.
  • 11 0
 I'm genuinely curious what you prefer about Magura's over the current Code RSC's?

I set up my current rig with Code RSC's, 200mm front rotor, and 220 mm rear, and I feel as if they are a nearly perfect brake. Very adjustable, plenty of power, fantastic modulation. Personally, mine have been very durable. No bleeding or service in the first 3 years on this bike.

Aside from the occasional noise (mostly when they are wet or the brakes are very, very hot) they just seem to work.
  • 10 2
 Except all the maguras ive had leaked at the lever.

shimano modulation, inconsistent bite and having to pull the lever hard to get any real stopping power other than that initial grab is a pain. - ill always argue shimano brakes only have 1 Pro to them and thats the bleed proccess but its still not flash as air remains in the upper lever and calliper at times.(ive ridden a friends XT's that were vacuum bled and they were excellent)

to everyone using Magura, Try TRP. knock ya socks off.
  • 10 0
 @HeatedRotor: Can confirm TRP brakes are amazing and easy to bleed. And you don't have to worry about the bleed port wearing out and bricking the entire lever body because of that.
  • 5 0
 @NorCalNomad: Another +1 for TRP, and I'm a pretty hardcore Shimano XT fan! Would happily ride TRP for life.
  • 7 0
 While I really like the levers, power and feel of the Maguras, I can understand why they aren't for everyone. The master cylinder assembly is a bit fragile and they don't deal well with ham-fistedness in mounting, bleeding or changing of pads.
  • 4 1
 @cgreaseman: I have been on all the brakes since the Hayes 9 days. That being said, I thought the 2012-2017 Codes were going to be my end all brake, until I ran Magura. Love the feel.

1. I have broken multiple levers and had 1 MC leak on me. They have a 5 year warranty on leaking MC's/calipers, so it was replaced under warranty. That being said, I'm not stoked on the plastic of them. Levers were replaced too. The MT7 levers are garbage and the bite point does nothing. The MT5's feel better all around than my MT7s
2. Not sure how a piston popped out, did you not have bleed blocks in during the bleed?
3. Have not experienced an issue with their compression nuts
4. I agree that the housing price sucks (likely because it comes with a compression banjo installed) compared to just a DIY fitting on each end
5. This is a big one for most people. I researched a LOT before I ended up bleeding these for the first time. That being said, following the procedures I found, I've never had a bad bleed and I've found it's the easiest out of all the brakes I've done. My first attempt was up in the Whistler parkinglot in a massive downpour and was able to get a solid bleed. Technique is key here.
6. I've run a lot of aftermarket pads. They stop, you stop, but I guess I'm not much of a pad guru.

The one thing I can say is I got sick of the plastic levers and MC's after one of mine started leaking. Yes they will warranty. But if you have to buy ANY parts for Magura after the fact, the cost is insane. Almost as much as a new complete brake. I love the feel of the brake though. So I started looking into the Shigura setups. I'm now running XT levers with my MT7 (and MT5 on the trail bike) calipers. I can honestly say it's everything I want as far as feel goes. It's got modulation, feels better than the Magura levers on multiple levels, and a big one for me is quick engagement. I don't like a lot of dead space in my MC before the pads hit. The feel is great and the have performed well so far. I now have about 4 Magura levers in my parts bin for emergencies if I need a quick change on a trip or something to keep me going.
  • 2 0
 I haven't ridden maguras for a while, but are they good enough to abandon my TRP evos? A decent brake will outperform an amazing brake if it has a better bleed. TRPs are so dang durable and so easy to bleed. Easiest brakes to live with hands down, even if they aren't the most powerful.
  • 8 0
 I loved the power of the Magura's but I too have moved on. My primary issue was they ahve very little rollback (pad clearance) so they were always rubbing. Enough to bother me - when they slow and stop the wheel in the stand, that matters. Sure you could clean the pistons and get good behavior for a few rides but here in the PNW they'd go right back to dragging very shortly.

I ran shimano levers so I didn't have this problem but my friend has broken 3 levers in 2 months, yes mostly due to crashing but they are fragile as has been noted many times. Also the M/C, lever mounting is plastic and strips/breaks etc.

I ran through the pads (padlets) extremely quickly. this adds up fast at $40 a set. This seemed to be especially accelerated by wet/mud riding, but that is the case 10 months of the year here.

Running Dominions now, I miss the ultimate power of the MT7, but the Doms are also plenty powerful and I have had no problems with pad clearance and with the caliper stub screws they are easy to setup, and modulation is better.
  • 3 0
 @krashDH85: Second the Shigura setup! After being frustrated with MT7 lever, put Saint levers on MT7 calipers and it's the best of both worlds. I find them way easier to bleed than the full Magura MT7 setup too. Sticking with Shigura from now on.
  • 3 0
 @cgreaseman: mate, if you don't know how to bleed them dont blame the brakes, they're as easy as any shimano brake, i don't get what's hard
  • 5 1
 @NicolaZesty314: It's not that they're hard to bleed, it's that they're very prone to human error, something that competing brakes, for the most part, have been able to engineer away from.
  • 4 16
flag eugenux (Aug 25, 2022 at 14:26) (Below Threshold)
 @KJP1230: everyone should prefer any brakes to code rscs... they simply don't have enough braking power for real sized adults.
  • 5 2
 @eugenux: I'm by no means overly loyal to Sram or Codes, but your statement feels hyperbolic. I am 6'2", 190 lbs, and I've never had issue with power in Codes. I ride with a number of guys who are straight up fast, and they all ride with Codes as well, as these are the brakes that came spec'd to the bike.

I am sure there are some great options out there. The new Hopes seem interesting, TRP DHR-EVO, and Trickstuff. But Codes are perfectly good brakes that regularly work for the world's top professionals.
  • 4 0
 @eugenux: Code RSC's have more than enough power.... If youve bled them right. im 210 lbs and they have never let me down on any trail or ride.

I remember changing from XT back to RSC and if i pulled the rsc as hard as i had to for shimanos "deep power" it would want to send me OTB.
  • 1 0
 @preston67: exact same issues with my shigura setup where the pistons won’t roll back enough and come out at different speeds. The power of maguras is great but spending hours getting them running perfect in the work stand to have out of whack after only a few rides is beyond frustrating.
Ordered some of the new hope because of good review but also cause their pistons have been re-designed not to stick.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: "abandon my TRP evos" god no.
  • 2 2
 @HeatedRotor: Which TRP’s are knocking the socks off? I’ve got a set of g-spec Quadiems that I can’t stand…not enough power; I have to death grip them so hard, I get arm pump. These brakes are 3 years old, are the new ones any better?
  • 5 0
 @grizwald: the new completely redesigned DH-R EVO's theres a reason they are on so many DH bikes... even people not sponsored by them.
  • 1 0
 @cgreaseman:

I love the MT5 but agree with a lot of your concerns esp pad wear. Riding 6x a week I wear through code pads in 6 mo. I go through a set of gold magura pads every month. 107 CAD with tax at whistler! Crazy
  • 2 0
 @grizwald: gotta get a good bleed & use metallic pads
  • 3 0
 @grizwald: Bleed them better. Did your rotors have a different compound pad on them before? My Quandiems are amazing, easily as much power as Codes. 3 season of use 2-4 rides per week (1.5-2.5k vert with a number of park and 10k descent days in those seasons) metallic pads and the only reason I had to bleed them last summer was because they swapped bikes.
  • 1 0
 @NorCalNomad: ya you gotta use the thicker, trp brand rotors
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: I’m running metallic Saint pads.
  • 1 0
 @HeatedRotor: good to know…know anyone who wants to buy mine ;P
  • 4 0
 @KJP1230: I see so much hate for sram brakes but honestly my codes have been great. Modulation is insane, power and heat tolerance on long, steep runs was okay until I went to 220mm rotors and now its pretty dang good. I never liked the on/off feel of saints, I have some cheaper TRP's on my trail bike that are meh and I'd love to try maguras, hayes, or nicer TRPs, but I have very few complaints with my current sram brakes
  • 2 5
 @KJP1230:

I tried in two occasions code rscs on different bikes and almost crashed every time. They simply don't stop. Yes, they have a lot of modulation but when I want to serious drop the anchor, almost nothing happen.

I've had Saints for many-many years and now I'm using the Shigura set-up with sram hs2's rotors. Less modulation, of course, but the power is there when you need it.
  • 5 0
 @eugenux: user bleed error 100%... whether its you or the store.
My two LBS cant bleed Sram brakes at all they SUUCK...

Ride the Code RSC's i have on my new Mega... youll be sold on them.
  • 2 4
 @HeatedRotor: no very sure. the guys which own those bikes seem to be ok with how the brakes work.
Funny fact, the second time I tried rscs, which was 2 months ago in the bikepark, I got a PR on that section as the damn bike wouldn't stop properly and forced me to go faster everywhere down that trail. The thing is, I simply don't feel under control with them. I like to be overbraked so that, in my mind, I know that I have more braking power than I need. The RSC felt like barely had the power to not kill me down the trail.
Maybe it was the set-up, maybe it was user preference but, for sure I'll not put any sram brakes on my bike soon. I am curious about those TRPs though..
  • 6 0
 @eugenux: Well, all those DH world cup winners on RSC's over the last few years must be struggling for braking performance.

Sram Brakes have always been about the quality of the bleeding - they also require more oil changes.

Id be happy to Run them and would chose them over XT 4 pots. XT's require such a hard pull to get any power after its initial "hit" - i recently built a friends Transition spire with XT's and was lucky enough to ride it after he rode it for a bit, pads were good etc but man i had such hand fatigue from having to squeeze so hard to slow my 210lb frame down. - i believe this comes from when the calipers/oil gets hot. so cool XC/trail brakes lol.
  • 2 0
 @grizwald: 2nd this, had a set of quadiems on an evil i picked up on here that royally sucked on power, everything else seemed good
  • 2 2
 @KJP1230: that's the thing : fast guys don't brake as much as slow guys. The pros used to ride Avid Juicy WC. Those can hardly be called brakes at all...
  • 4 0
 @Mac1987: People simply used what was available at the time.

The fact remains, probably 40-50% of mountain bikers are currently on Codes/Guides/G2 because these are the brakes that come spec'd on many bikes. Outside of individuals on pinkbike forums, most people seem to get along with Sram brakes just fine. Hell, I was just at Whistler for a few days, and most bikes were running Codes, XT or Saints. Based on the pinkbike comments section you'd presuppose that these (very fast, very serious) riders all had a death wish - it's just patently absurd.

Enduro-mtb did a write up in 2018 on MTB brake shootout. They directly tested/compared 21 brakes from Sram, Shimano, Trickstuff, Hope, Formula, Magura, TRP. The Code RSCs came out as "best in test" because they offered middle-of-the-road power, but good practical deceleration and excellent modulation. The simple fact of the matter is that Code RSCs (like a lot of other brakes on the market) work.
  • 3 5
 @HeatedRotor: I've demo'd a few bikes with codes, and have always found them so lacking in power that they're a little scary. Maybe the shop didn't bleed them correctly, but I have no intention of purchasing a pair to test that theory.
  • 4 0
 @avgas: I've got a pair of Code RS's on my Stumpy Evo. Definitely had to bleed them and bed them in before they became really awesome, but after I did that they could stop a truck. No wander, nice supple modulation, and absolute bangers when you clamp down.
  • 3 1
 @avgas: I've also demo'd bike park bikes with Code's and they were horrendous. but I could jump back on my bike at the time with the same brakes and they've be completely different.

The trick with Sram brakes is: learn to bleed them yourself properly(and change the oil) and they will perform how they are ment to.. The pure arrogance of many has pushed Sram to make Mineral oil brakes for the incapable.
  • 1 1
 @KJP1230: o I agree that Codes are fine. Just pointing out that simply because the pros use something doesn't make it the best for us amateur keyboard warriors.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: I don’t think the 2.3mm rotors fit in my brakes. They are designed around 1.8mm rotors. I’ve tried TRP and Shimano rotors. TRP metal and resin pads, Shimano Saint metal and resin, and MTX red pads; they all work ok, but not great
  • 2 0
 @grizwald: galfer 2.0 mm e bike rotors should work. They work great with my saints.
  • 25 2
 East coast enduro bike for sure. Sounds like a fun bike but I can’t get on with that paint job. The red and yellow with the gold ano on the shock is too McDonald’s for me.
  • 53 0
 I'm Luv'n It! Big Grin
  • 4 1
 Well lucky they make black spray paint for people who are afraid of loud colors Razz
  • 2 0
 Unless you just must have that build there are other color options.
  • 32 8
 This better place higher than the Megatower. Basically same bike at a much much lower price point.
  • 11 1
 Sounds like it rides vastly different with the required front to back movements and lack of predictability.
  • 58 1
 @dualsuspensiondave: And yet, it beat the Santa Cruz in timed testing. There is something so satisfying about the Intense Tracer S at $7k beating out the $12k VPP bike.

Hell, even if you want the Megatower, you could buy the Intense Tracer S AND a Megatower frame-only, and still come out $1,000 ahead from Santa Cruz's full-build pricing.

For the record, I have nothing against Santa Cruz. Their bikes are perfectly 'ok'; a big ol' bowl of vanilla ice cream. But their pricing and full-build pricing are absolutely absurd, especially when compared myriad options on the market.
  • 14 1
 @KJP1230: or you could buy 3 Commencals ! With a bit of luck you'd even manage to have a frame to ride while the other cracked frames are in warranty !
  • 17 2
 @KJP1230: while i appreciate that theyre trying to include an objective element to their testing, separations of half a second on a 2+ minute course tell us nothing. i could ride the same track on the same bike 5 times and have variances of 5 seconds? 10 seconds maybe? just depends on if i hit a couple lines differently and has nothing to do with the bike.
  • 7 0
 @sooner518: In most cases I agree, entirely. In the hands of a skilled racer (like Matt Beer), times are more likely to be consistent and therefore indicative of differences in the bike. That said, the Intense and Santa Cruz were separated by 0.4 seconds, which is almost negligible.

Regardless, my point is that the Santa Cruz costs $12k, while this bike with similar (aside from the wheelset) overall spec quality costs $7k - and they are apparently identical in terms of their timed performance.
  • 2 0
 @KJP1230: A whole lotta races were won by 0.4 seconds...
  • 2 0
 @IsaacWislon82: Oh, I agree! But for the average rider, I also agree that there can be variation from day-to-day, ride-to-ride of 5+ seconds on a 2-minute track. My point is only that 0.4 seconds difference in a Field Test is somewhat negligible when we are determining if one bike is better than another.

Heck, even the reviewers themselves keep telling us to take timed testing with a grain of salt.
  • 1 0
 @KJP1230: Yeah... I dont think anyone is making buy/no buy decisions on the "Timed" portion of these reviews. Its probably the least useful information presented.

As stated in some of the PB reviews as well as the comments section. Geo for all of these bikes is so similar, and the components are all so similar, that you can expect the timings to be really close and the opinions to be overlapping as well. You would have to have bikes from different segments (i.e. Downcounty v. Enduro) to see and express significant differences.

The differentiating factors for individuals (buy/no buy), will come down to personal preferences... looks, and costs are probably the top two, then things like weight, reach, adjustability, utility, warranty will come into play.
  • 1 1
 @IsaacWislon82: of course they were, but unless you are taking a large sample (unrealistic in these scenarios), that 0.4 seconds can be explained by random variance. there is no statistical significance to a variance that small.
  • 1 0
 @sooner518: establishing what is statistically significant and levels of accepted error is a quantitative process, you can't just say "oh 0.4s that sounds like its within accepted error", that is just as arbitrary and unscientific as assuming it is significant
  • 22 0
 "Linkage hardware requires monitoring" its a no from me, this should not be an issue in 2022 and should not be confined to the last "Con". More should be said in the article about this.
  • 15 0
 Agree, nothing should be brought up in a conclusion that isnt discussed in the article
  • 3 1
 Rode all day at Sun Peaks and nothing loosened up.
  • 21 0
 I have a 2020 Primer. My hardware loosened after the first couple of rides. Retorqued everything and have not had another issue. If you buy a new bike and don't check everything after you ride it the first few times you are doing it wrong.
  • 11 2
 @Dogl0rd The article is aimed at giving a quick overview of the bike specs and the ride impressions. We discuss the linkage issue around the 12:00 minute mark in the video.
  • 3 0
 @mattbeer: got it, I was thinking the written portion stood on its own as a review
  • 19 0
 Oof that sound mistake when Matt is trying to talk. Also, I never thought I'd wish I had an Intense. Seems like a great East Coast bike.
  • 18 1
 I wonder what impact the new Rockshox suspension would have on the ride quality. Also, Intense not selling a US made aluminum version is such a huge miss for them.
  • 7 0
 I remember back around 2013 or so when Intense said they were to stop making alloy bikes. They said the market wanted carbon and that they weren't selling many bikes because of that. Back then that was true l suppose. But also the frames were hella expensive and the quality was questionable. Now look at us, a decade later. We want metal, American metal. The lust worthyness of Intense isn't there and will no longer be there until brought home to SoCal.
  • 13 1
 If the linkages need constant monitoring, then its a no for me. I don't want to strip my bike down after every few rides, to torque all the linkage bolts to spec. First and foremost, a bike should stay together.
  • 2 8
flag NBainas (Aug 25, 2022 at 11:09) (Below Threshold)
 as a SB165 owner, having a bike with linkage maintenance isn't that bad. Its like 15-20 minutes a week of commitment, and gives me a chance to inspect bearings and make sure everything still torqued to spec.
  • 1 2
 @NBainas: as a Sb150 owner I gotta say it was way more simple on SB6.
But yeah, still easy job
  • 4 2
 @bok-CZ: totally, why does that one port on the switch infinity have to be trapped behind the rear triangle!
  • 1 1
 @NBainas: it could have one port on top and one at bottom just between those stanchions
  • 4 0
 @NBainas: I hope this is sarcasm
  • 1 3
 @phalley: umm no? It was a chore at first, but now its a ritual.
  • 12 0
 Rear end looks really wobbly at 7:08
  • 7 0
 Does it ever! That is a pretty big drop but that rear tires moves side to side a lot.
  • 2 0
 @powderhoundbrr: Not big enough to make the whole thing flex like that.
  • 4 0
 They did say that the hardware had a habit of backing off. This could have been the reason why.
  • 1 0
 @enduroelite: that could explain it. I watched for it to happen again in the video and didn't notice it as much as on this drop.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a lot of play: low tire pressure makes the back end shift, plus the rim looks like it flexed. To me it looks like a combo of the tire pressure and wheel being "compliant." I'd hope it's not the rear triangle moving that much. Or it does all the time on our own bikes, but we just don't have slow motion video to see it.
  • 4 0
 @Evo6: just watched it again and it definitely looks like it's the frame moving to me, not the wheel or tire. It did make me wonder if my bike is doing this all the time without me knowing it.
  • 4 0
 @dfinn: I've had, and still have a few, Intense. The hardware is indeed a bit on the finnicky side and requires a verification after ( or even during ) the first ride. After that, it stays tight till your next service. Loctite and anti-seize is your best friend with these frames.
  • 11 1
 1:18 mike says it has an NX drivetrain, is that a mistake? Quickly made up for with the sweet tree hop.
  • 24 0
 Yep, that was a mistake - the Tracer S has a GX / XO1 drivetrain, not an NX drivetrain as stated.
  • 5 1
 @mikekazimer: When I heard 7200 and NX I thought it had to be a mistake. Glad to hear that it was.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Mike do you know the progression % for this bike? Rare a bike feels bottomless with a coil fitted. My Giga is having the opposite problem in the + setting at 29% progression. Only bike I've felt is bottomless with a coil is a 2018 Capra at over 40% progression.
  • 7 0
 I so love the comments, all about 27.5 tubes and nothing about the test LOL, I always come prepared with coffee and pastries for this party. Thanks PB community for keeping this stuff interesting. I swear, they can post a picture of a hot dog and say something about its pros and cons, and we'll have 100 comments within 4 hours LOL
  • 6 0
 Is the really good climbing performance because the tiny 30T chainring leads to lots of anti squat? Which would perhaps lead to pedal kickback on spikier trails not using full travel etc? Just a thought if it would have behaved differently with a 32 or 34?
  • 5 0
 Chain ring size definitely impacts antisquat, but it's not usually by huge numbers. I'd expect going from 30 to 32 teeth would be less than a 10 percentage point change - eg. 130% to like 125%. Not enough to drastically change the overall perception of the pedaling platform I think.
  • 3 0
 Just put a 32 on mine!!! Will test it at Silver Star this weekend. The 30 would not be enough to charge larger jumps for me.
  • 9 1
 If it was available as a 29er, I'd be interested.
  • 1 0
 @Muscovir: supposedly prototypes have been seen around the intense HQ and they’re planning on making them. Got that info in the comment section, just beware lol
  • 1 0
 @drjohn: I'd also be interested, I assume you can dm me preorder link.
  • 2 0
 This is happening.
  • 7 0
 Sound mixing at the end of the video (who the bike is for portion) went awry, need better QA.
  • 3 2
 Production quality has gone down massively lately. Not sure what's up. Maybe outside thinks we won't notice.....
  • 1 0
 @Hardnacks: They are pumping out a ton of content. In addition to the field tests they had the podcast, and all kinds of other projects. Still a great video even if they fudged 2 seconds of editing.
  • 1 0
 @dmackyaheard: We define great differently I suppose. The message is decent but it's not just a couple of seconds here or there. Plus, this isn't something that's happened in the past. Field tests usually have a really high production value.
  • 4 0
 This bike looks pretty rad to me. I know people on PB like to dump on Intense for the most part, but I have a 2020 Primer and it's been a fantastic bike so I have nothing negative to say about the brand so far (other than their weird back axle).

I'd like to give this Tracer a ride personally.
  • 2 0
 Check out the new axle on this bike. I have a Sniper with a similar style axle and it's way better and easier to use than the old axles with the expander cones.
  • 3 0
 I had a 2012 Tracer 2 and that was awesome!
  • 6 1
 "...and we've seen a substantial number of EWS racers revert to the smaller rear wheel for its sportiness."

You heard it here first - 27.5 rear wheels are the SpOrTiEsT ones.
  • 3 0
 Sooo... I had a Tracer 2 back in like 2011 or 2012. Cane Creek DBair. It never would get to full travel until I got the mega volume can, which, this being a coil shock, I figured would be more like the mega can DBair. But that one DID have that problem. It also had the problem of suspension linkage bolts coming loose over time and having to check them once a month. Was a super fun poppy bike to ride, I enjoyed having it, but nice to see that things haven't changed in a decade.
  • 5 0
 I still have that same 2011 Tracer 2. Started out as. 26. Then converted to 27.5 I now have it as mixed 29 front and 27.5 rear. Yes the pivot bolts do come a bit loose a few times over the years but I do full service myself every now and then it’s never been a problem. Still rides amazing.
The only downside is. I crack one of the pivot bolts. I contacted Intense recently about replacement parts and they flat out said they don’t make it anymore and gave me no alternative to remedy the issue. After purchasing 5 intense bikes. It was a bit of a pill to swallow to get no help from intense
  • 3 0
 @orcello: Hey, same here! Still love it, basically a mini-DH bike. A few years ago they sent me one of their last conversion dropouts for free, with the warning that when they're gone, they're gone. You could ask for bolts for a Tracer 275? There was a decent chunk of time where it used the same hardware as the old Tracer 2.
  • 2 0
 @orcello: yea man, bike was sweet. I had a 170 Lyrik DH on mine with the DBair. Also Formula The Ones brakes which are still some of my most favorite brakes ever haha. And somehow managed to keep it just under like 31lbs. I also broke a few pivot bolts. Luckily I had a couple sets of black and gold cause of my whole color scheme going on, but they were the softest aluminum I've ever seen haha. I woulda taken the weight penalty of a SS bolt in that application for sure. I went to sell my frame on here, but the guy actually found a few hairline cracks in it, so I gave him his money back and now its just hanging up on my wall. Its weird that Intense still has pivot hardware probs and full travel progression problems given the time that's gone by. Hopefully not bad for most people, I always liked their stuff. Maybe give somebody from McMaster a call and see if you can get something in the same thread/pitch with maybe just the right sized washer and a tapered or round style bolt head.
  • 1 0
 @delta5: thanks I appreciate the direction
  • 2 0
 @Sweatypants: thank you. I will check them out! That Tracer still runs like it’s new! Cheers
  • 6 0
 Is it just me thinking this or have all bikes so far come "middle of the pack" in the timed runs?
  • 6 0
 I think Alicia mentioned in the first video that she had one slow bike and one faster bike and everything else was clumped in the middle
  • 1 1
 Not just you. My money is on the Deviate being the fastest, just 'cos I noticed Alicia commented glowingly about it in another review.
  • 3 0
 I am often disappointed in these reviews when they do not try the flip chip. I live somewhere where the bikes are often un-rideable in the slack setting due to the number of pedal strikes. Bikes are often in the neutral or steep setting, anything to get that pedal clearance.

It is less egregious in an Enduro bike shootout, but they do this same methodology on Trail bikes, which really grinds me gears. It is even a complete review if you don’t fully explore the built in options the bike has for you?
  • 5 1
 Would a different shock tune or just a different shock change the attitude of the rear? Maybe calm down that mid/end stroke rebound behavior?
  • 2 0
 @mattbeer Any feedback to this question?
  • 8 0
 @ZSchnei @Zalgorithm: Shock tune wasn't the problem here since none of the adjusters were maxed out and there was no harshness where I ended up in the clickers. The issue for me was more about the frame progression. Adding an air shock might just compound that problem.

When I first rode the Tracer 279, I rode a Fox DHX2 and tried multiple springs, but settled on the #450 (and #457 for the Ohlins) to achieve 28-30% sag. I've noticed that altering the spring rate on some counter-rotating dual-link bikes can have less of an effect on sag and alters the progression much more.

If I were to spend more time on the Tracer 279, I would like to try either of those coil shocks with a #450 spring in the high BB setting because it's less progressive. To compensate for the steeper geometry, I'd add a -1.0 headset to even out the change.
  • 1 0
 @mattbeer: Very interesting, thanks for the added context!
  • 5 1
 Not bad kit! Ohlins front and rear, Maguras, X01 drivetrain. Everything except those swiss cheese E13 rims looks really solid.
  • 7 0
 This bike is sick.
  • 5 0
 I love how the bike looks, always had a soft spot for Intense. You know, fast bikes are red.
  • 2 0
 "The coil shock actually stays high in the travel and remains active on small bumps, which makes the bike an effective climber, even without the cheater switch. You can firm up the suspension on the fly relatively easily with the three-position high-speed compression adjuster, mind you, that's not going to have much effect on where the bike sits in the travel at lower speeds."

Actually, position 3 on the Ohlins TTX shock HSC adjuster IS a climb switch. Positions 1 & 2 affect HSC only; position 3 essentially feels like it cranks up LSC a ton. It is specifically meant for climbing; it's not a full lockout and is still somewhat active, but is VERY obviously firmer when pedaling. Mostly useful for fire road type climbing. I'm surprised so many people miss this; then again, making it part of the HSC lever is not necessarily intuitive (same thing with the RXF fork).
  • 6 1
 the downtube looks like it could survive a fairly intense impact...
  • 7 2
 full carbon...37.5lbs...dang.
  • 8 1
 Heavier than an aluminum Transition Spire
  • 6 1
 This whole segment went full CHONK. Still can't reconcile that.
  • 5 0
 I guess the storage compartment is the only hollow section of that frame.
  • 3 1
 @Chuckolicious: IMO it's worth it if we get bikes that are reliable. Yeah you can spec EXO tires and light rims, but how long is that bike going to last?
  • 2 0
 @4thflowkage: I can only base that on my own experience, both with my own bikes and my friends bikes. None of us are pros, but we put them through a good thrashing. Nobody breaking rims or cracking frames after all these years. And ironically, the hardest charger is a really big guy who still thinks he's a teen on a BMX, and he's riding an S-Works Stumpy with all the light bits.
  • 2 0
 article says 35.7, not 37.5
  • 2 0
 a full KG lighter than my 2020 Enduro lol
  • 1 0
 35.7. Lighter wheels, air spring, and some
Carbon cranks and you’re at 33 pretty quick…
  • 6 1
 Take a shot every time they say Energy
  • 4 1
 @Garantson Take a shot of Monster Energy everytime we say "energy"!
  • 2 0
 Would be really nice if the complete timed testing list for each rider was posted alongside the round table discussion. Thrown in a quick preferred ride style/handling for each tester? **chef's kiss** Perfect.
  • 1 0
 Sooo you all said ‘energy’ a bunch of times but the bikes ‘nimbility’ wasn’t mentioned once! This new metric I didn’t even know about till you made it up previously is all I judge my potential future ex-bikes on now. Please, don’t take that away from me!
  • 8 4
 Needs a cascade link for moar progressions.
  • 4 0
 Did they ever actually say how progressive it was?Maybe we'll get what I have to imagine is the first cascade link to reduce progression
  • 7 1
 @emarquar: They did not give a number. It's a very hard thing to attribute to a bike unless you've tried it with linkages that are both more and less progressive. A cursory glance at kinematics for this bike suggests progression is not what is causing it to feel the way it is. I believe it's pretty similar to the MT2 actually. I've got accurate numbers for that, but the Tracer 279 is an educated guess. Having ridden these same trails with the same fork and shock as well as many others, I would say the most likely thing is an imbalance between the fork and shock. The fork needs a lot of damping and a lot of pressure in the ramp chamber to not dive like crazy. Meanwhile, unless you are on a high leverage frame like the Enduro, the shock doesn't need much compression damping added. I would bet that if you swapped the fork and shock for the exact same ones off the MT2 the odd feeling they were describing would go away. Another possibility is anti-squat, though. It appears anti-squat doesn't really drop off much as this bike goes through travel in comparison to other VPP bikes.
  • 1 0
 @CascadeComponents: is there any way to reduce progression after having removed all volume spacers? Adding grease to the negative chamber for air shocks?
  • 1 0
 @ashmtb85: That's a hard one to do. But yes if you add grease to the negative chamber it would do that at the expense of it feeling stiffer right off the top. Best bet would be to move to a more linear shock.
  • 3 9
flag justanotherusername (Aug 25, 2022 at 13:30) (Below Threshold)
 You guys crack me up…
  • 6 0
 @justanotherusername: sweet thanks for that insight.
  • 3 10
flag justanotherusername (Aug 25, 2022 at 14:12) (Below Threshold)
 @CascadeComponents: You are welcome, I am amazed you guys took a tongue in cheek comment and made something serious out of it.... ;-)
  • 7 0
 @justanotherusername: I was actually replying to the other guy. Seemed like a legitimate point/question.
  • 2 0
 @CascadeComponents: that's what I figured. If the fork doesn't ramp up the way the shock does its definitely going to feel weird under braking and on bigger hits.
  • 3 0
 "Your MOTHER is a tracer!"

I'll show myself out.
m.youtube.com/watch?v=epHCMiCtt3M
  • 1 0
 show yourself back in
  • 3 0
 Audio is so bad on this series... what's going on? All he other pb content is way better produced
  • 2 0
 Re: the rear suspension been too progressive, did you try running more sag? Some of these bikes work better at closer to 40% than the typical 30.
  • 3 1
 Very bizarre to me that Kazimer repeatedly says that this feels like a race bike... despite this being the second slowest bike under him
  • 1 0
 Does less traction from the rear wheel in turns on a mullet result in needing less CS length to maintain balanced traction in the turns?
Anyone???
  • 2 1
 I think the jury's still out on that one TBH mate. And I'd be suspicious of anyone claiming they knew for sure at this point.
  • 4 0
 ENERGY
  • 1 1
 I'm light so I'd be willing to bet it's oversprung for me.
I know with motocross bikes I almost always had to change spring rates.
Could the high progression/ not using all the travel be from a spring rate that's too high?
  • 1 1
 Sounds like the leverage ratio is still jacked up just like the previous generation of the tracer. It's like hitting a wall of progression at half travel. Horrible design unless you only ride smooth bike park trails.
  • 2 0
 tuned for the Gwinner, but not your average rider?
  • 4 1
 Lots of energy? Is this an E-bike? What’s that even supposed to mean?
  • 1 0
 Lack of rebound damping or over sprung.
  • 1 0
 It shouldn't be that bad, Isabeau Cordurier made her letters of nobility when she was racing for Intense on this prototype and had her best season I think!!!!
  • 1 0
 If anyone has actually ridden/have this bike can they say how it rides from a consumer perspective. a lot of mixed reviews, need to be straight up about it
  • 3 1
 I wonder how this compares against the recent Nomad mullet release.
  • 3 0
 Got that real big energy
  • 3 1
 My Cove Shocker was only 1lb heavier than this
  • 4 1
 Looks like an e-bike
  • 2 0
 What’s a “flat berm?”
  • 2 0
 that's what we call an oxymoron.
  • 2 0
 Wait for the uphill drop
  • 2 0
 A lower spring rate on the coil would have been an easy fix.....
  • 1 0
 It sounds to me like you guys really like this bike, especially as an FRO bike. Mike, you seem to dig this bike a lot!
  • 1 1
 Bring back the Uzzi FR. Chuck a 190mm Zeb or leave the DCs, dropper (adjust seat tube angle) and wide range cassette on the M275 or Mulleted M16 platforms....
  • 2 1
 I'm disappointed they didn't bring the Specialized Enduro back for the 3rd year in a row
  • 1 0
 Finally intense made a bike with a seat tube that's not as high as the handlebars.
  • 1 0
 Is “Wheel size: Mixed” does that mean that I can use 27 front and back and opt out the 29” wheel?
  • 2 0
 Energy
  • 3 0
 Pure Energy
  • 1 0
 lmao
  • 1 0
 "so I hear you don't like the big wheel bikes, eh?"
  • 2 5
 @dresendsit: Facts kid facts! Fads a fad. Problem is most people don't realise its a fad until it becomes one. In time you will hear people say.... "Remember those hideous Mullet Bikes everyone raved about. What a stinking Fad that was!!" tick tock tick tick!
  • 9 1
 @MattP76, what happened to your vendetta against carbon? That was good for at least 5 years of comments from you.
  • 5 3
 @mikekazimer: It's not dead yet I assure you. Once this fad goes I will resume my undivided attention back onto the glorified plastic. Plenty of work left to do!
  • 2 1
 Ps. I really like this frameset.
  • 4 7
 Race bike? No.Play bike, sure. The mullet might work better for shorter folks, but pretty sure for taller riders a matched 29er would be more settled and stable.

I guess this way companies will sell some of these, then some 29ers in a couple of years when they're redesigned........
  • 5 1
 I'm 6 foot and 215 lbs and have a XL. I like having a little less flex and a wheel that will hold up to jumps a little bit better. The bike is definitely fast and handles everything I have thrown at it so far.
  • 8 2
 Have you ridden one, or just talking out your ass?
  • 4 2
 @Will762: He's probably talking out his ass (history of that) and hasn't noticed all the mullets wins in DH.
  • 1 2
 @NorCalNomad: …and the fastest Enduro racers have all switched back to a full 29er setup. Are Jesse Melamed, Jack Moir and Richie Rude also talking out their ass according to you?

Besides, it’s not all mullet all the time even in DH. Amaury Pierron won 2 world cups on a full 29er setup this season.
  • 2 0
 So you mean, race bike only for shorter people? I'm 5'8" and get along pretty well on mixed wheel bikes. Confidence of a 29" bike with a lower standover, and quicker reacting rear wheel/end. If you can keep your speed into turns and technical areas a 29" will be faster. That being said, they require more energy to get back up to speed and maneuver than a 27.5" (rotating mass).
  • 1 1
 @creativefletch: it’s a trade off for sure. So yeah, a smaller wheel is stronger. And yeah, WC races have been won on mullets (and 27.5 even when 29ers were becoming commonplace.

But-apples to apples for a race bike big wheels are faster for most riders. That doesn’t mean that mullet or 27.5 or even 26 inch wheels might not work best in certain situations.

Enduro races are won on the down, but a more efficient climbing bike can make a difference. And just plain rolling faster will make a difference.

And I’ve ridden every size etc. Prefer 29ers with “trail” geometry and travel (160 up front/140-160 out back, 65 hta, 76 or so STA) and a shorter reach than the PB editors.

I think this bike would be really fun at a park like Trestle, a handful and not as fast on natural chunk.
  • 2 0
 Well this bike is being raced in the EWS. And pretty successful too from what I remember. Talking outta my ass as well, but bikes these days are so good (in general) that you could probably win on any of them if set up well…
  • 1 1
 @Will762: I have a white 279 Tracer!!! Will upload some photos now.
  • 1 0
 @MOLDTRUTH: how do you like it so far?
  • 1 0
 That was a nice bunny hop.
  • 2 2
 How is intense still in business I haven't seen one on a trail in a very long time
  • 1 0
 You obviously don’t hang out with a bunch of aggro old guys who shred but are obnoxious about it
  • 3 0
 I see them everywhere here in Arkansas and have one myself.
  • 1 0
 I guess being near their HQ helps, but they are everywhere here. Several friends have various models (Uzzi and Tracer come to mind), including myself (Sniper).
  • 2 1
 Stopped when I heard I get Magura brakes and NX drivetrain for $7,200.
  • 4 0
 It's actually a GX drivetrain, but yeah... Though the Maguras are a plus for me.
  • 5 4
 I went camping with one of these bikes last week. It was in tents.
  • 1 0
 How did the RXF 38 compare with 38/Zeb on the rest of the bikes?
  • 1 0
 Is this just a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday thing?
  • 1 1
 How much progression is in the frame design?
  • 7 1
 Enough progression to make AOC look like an amateur.
  • 4 5
 @ticoslayer: That's not hard to do....
  • 2 0
 @mybaben: Right.... I guess that's relative, kinda like does McConnell represent "Strong American Patriotism" or traditional right conservative.
  • 7 0
 @ticoslayer: That's a big conversation opener I'm not sure I have time for. Wink
I'll just say they both represent the same thing, Northrup Grumman.
  • 2 0
 @mybaben: True true.
  • 2 0
 @mybaben: hey don't forget BlackRock and Raytheon!
  • 1 0
 @trialsracer: LOL. There are many. Wink
  • 6 8
 Mullet bikes should have their own field test without mixing in full 29’s. And then they (mullets) should die a quick death and be left for pros racing bikes only.
  • 7 2
 I'm just trying to pick a wheel size and be a dick about it...am I doing this right?
  • 3 0
 @Whataboutism: Wow, impressed. Yes, well done. Wink
  • 1 0
 @Whataboutism: Picking 2 wheel sizes and being a dick about it.
  • 1 0
 double post
  • 6 7
 With Intense, the "want to have" factor is zero for me.
  • 2 0
 I get your sentiments but this one is better than many of the past. The sniper is an OG of the progressive XC bike. Intense has a few winners left
  • 1 0
 The cool thing is…you don’t have to buy one. There are so many great bikes available now.
  • 8 11
 Is this not just a Megatower in a costume?
  • 9 13
flag alexsin (Aug 25, 2022 at 9:11) (Below Threshold)
 A much less good costume.
  • 26 3
 No, it's a Nomad Wink But apparently it rides great and is much cheaper, so maybe SC is just an overpriced Intense?
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: Oops didn't see the mixed wheels, Nomad it is.
  • 1 0
 But it's mullet
  • 3 2
 Didnt realize the Megatower was a 27.5 rear... Id take this over that BroBrah bike any day.
  • 7 9
 Hey Santa Cruz, can I copy your homework?
Yeah just change it a bit so it doesn't look obvious.
  • 8 0
 @mitt: It used to be the other way around.
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