The magic sauce of each Intense mountain bike comes from their JS Tuned suspension. For years Intense used a licensed version of the VPP suspension that is synonymous with Santa Cruz. And while VPP suspension has a lot of benefits, JS Tuned suspension seeks to improve it. Primer uses their Enduro linkage design, geared to be more supple off the top (read: more active on small bumps) while still keeping the pedaling platform VPP is known for. This is paired to a high modulus carbon fiber frame and rear triangle, a carbon top link, and titanium hardware, all an ode to their racing heritage.
Intense also looks to make sure the Primer stays “True to the Trail”. This means it bucks (slightly) the longer, lower, slacker trend by pairing a slack 65.5-degree head angle with an average for the segment reach measurement. The fit might be a bit snugger than what people are accustomed to these days, but shorter reach helps keep weight over the front wheel through berms while making bikes maneuverable through technical terrain. A monster truck bike this is not.
What the Primer is, is a versatile trail bike that can be adapted to just about every circumstance. Pick the Primer 275 for its 27.5″ wheels and added nimbleness, or the Primer 29 for its ability to ride through chunder with tons of stability and confidence. And the Primer S? Well that bike, with a wide 27.5 x 2.6″ tire up front and a 27.5 x 2.8″ tire out back gives you the benefits of a fast, smooth-rolling 29er up front, with the agility and responsiveness of a 27.5in wheel at the back.
Value is the name of the game with the Intense Tracer. Each bike comes well spec’d the aforementioned titanium hardware, carbon top link, and hi-mod carbon frame. Other features include a molded bottom bracket cover, fully internal cable routing, ISCG05 mounts, and a chainstay guard to quiet chain slap. All Primers 29s share the same frame and rear swingarm.