Intense Cycles

Striking Mountain Bikes Since 1993

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Intense Cycles started in the late '80s and early ’90s as a response to lackluster mountain bike suspension design that pervaded the MTB world at the time. They quickly hopped into racing, with riders like Shaun Palmer and others finding success under the flamboyant and loud Intense Factory Team. This carries on to today, as racing is solidly embedded into the brand’s DNA, and is something they show off at every chance they get.

For all intents and purposes there is one name that is synonymous with Intense: Jeff Stebler. Stebler saw a way to improve mountain bikes, and continues to do that today. His continuous push toward success at the race level pushes the brand forward and into the future.

The all-new 2020 Intense Sniper Trail & XC

Designed for Lightweight Endurance

It’s the little things that excite us, and the Intense Sniper has those details ironed out with the best of them. Magnesium lower links that cut weight are expertly machined and a wonderful analog to the carbon upper link in the rear suspension. Two bottle cages for sizes large and extra-large. Either way, the 2020 Intense Sniper takes all of those well-done little things and forms them into one lightweight bike ready for your next cross country race or trail ride alike.

As you’d expect, JS Tuned Suspension is the name of the game with every Intense. Think of JS Tuned suspension as an evolution of VPP kinematics we’ve loved for years on Santa Cruz bikes; as Santa Cruz has evolved, so too has Intense. Using their Trail tune with an upper mount shock, the Sniper provides their best pedaling platform while maintaining the active small bump sensitivity and grip Intense bikes are known for. This is a holistic approach that includes geometry, suspension tune, frame design, and parts spec to make for the best XC bike Intense can make.

The Sniper XC is a unique bike for its progressive geometry. 100 mm suspension isn’t much, but combined with a 468 mm reach in a size large, 50 mm stem, and 67-degree headtube mean that riders who love riding up climbs can save energy on descents. Its a stable rider with a ton of grip on climbs, allowing riders to comfortably sit and pedal away with efficiency and pace without being mucked up by roots and rocks. Add in the Sniper Trail with 120 mm suspension and a Fox 34 suspension, and you have a bike that feels that bit more confidence-inspiring through your favorite trail’s tech features.

Each Sniper XC features a quality carbon frame and rear triangle with a carbon top link and alloy or magnesium lower link depending on build. Complete bikes can weigh in at as low as 22.7 lbs for the Sniper XC in a size medium.

Intense Primer

Pick Your Wheelsize, or Mix and Match

The Intense Primer is the brand’s modern-day trail bike. Like other Intense bikes, it uses their JS Tuned suspension, impeccable quality, and standout build kits to make exemplary trail bikes in their class. Take your pick between three wheel sizes: 29“, 27.5“, and an in-between Primer S 279 model. Choose the wheelsize that best fits your needs, and each bike invites the rider to pedal with enthusiasm at every trail feature.

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.

Intense Tazer E-MTB

Ride Farther

With roots in downhill racing and doing so flamboyantly, Intense has a habit of going full-bore on everything they do. Their XC mountain bike, the Sniper is more aggressive and capable than any other bike in it’s class, while their M29 downhill bike pioneered 29er wheels in a world where 26” wheels still reigned. The Intense Tazer e-MTB aims to do the same thing do the electric assist MTB world.

An Intense wouldn’t be an Intense without a JS Tuned suspension and makes use of a modified Trail linkage. Think of JS Tuned suspension as an evolution of VPP kinematics we’ve loved for years on Santa Cruz bikes; as Santa Cruz has evolved, so too has Intense. Using their Trail tune with an upper mount shock, the Sniper provides their best pedaling platform while maintaining the active small bump sensitivity and grip Intense bikes are known for. This is a holistic approach that includes geometry, suspension tune, frame design, and parts spec to make for the best trail bike Intense can make.

The Tazer features 155 mm, which paired to a 160 mm fork and just-right geometry makes for a maneuverable bike that can go down just as fast as the pedal-assist helps it get up. His goal was to make an E-bike that didn’t feel cumbersome, had a seamless pedal-to-power transition and delivered a true mountain bike experience. Intense uses an external Shimano battery, which is completely integrated into the carbon frame and accessible via a flap. Other features include a molded downtube cover, rear-wheel fender to protect the drive unit and linkage from grime, internal cable routing, and cable routing specific to Shimano STEPS.

Intense Cycles History

A Heritage of Racing

Intense was born in the heyday of American mountain bike racing, in the mid- 90’s when the NORBA circuit was a summer-long traveling circus as important and well-attended as World Cups, and when legends were created. Personalities like Shaun Palmer, Leigh Donovan, and Michael Ronning were superstars of the sport and helped launch the M1 downhill bike into the limelight.

Later, Chris Kovarik joined Intense and began a new chapter of racing history when he dominated World Cup podiums and set the record for the biggest gap between gold and silver that still stands today, fifteen years later. Intense continued to push the envelope of bike design with the M3, M6, and M9.

Today’s version of Intense Cycles might be broad in its appeal, but it is still uniquely focused on all-out speed. You can see it in each head badge; the flames in the background signify the company’s passion for mountain biking excellence, and the race flags in the foreground are how the brand

All it takes is one ride

Come talk to one of our Intense Cycles experts today

At Contender Bicycles, our best tools for selling bikes are the people who ride them. Everyone at Contender Bicycles has extensive experience riding bikes across many brands. If you have any questions regarding an Intense mountain bike or want to discuss build options, email us at info@contenderbicycles.com or by phone at Contact Us.

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