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Intense Cycles Brand Overview

Intense Cycles was founded in the 1990s, during the heyday of American mountain bike racing. Jeff Steber, the owner and founder of Intense bikes was the visionary behind the first-ever full-suspension downhill (DH) mountain bike. Before Steber became involved in the DH scene, DH was being performed on hardtails with very little travel.

After cross-country (XC) racers dismissed the bike, he took it to the Interbike trade show in 1993 and caught the eye of Mike Metzger, a BMX and motocross legend, and Shaun Palmer, a pro snowboarder. Together they won the 1996 US Nationals on their prototype M1, and put Intense mountain bikes on the map. In fact, the Intense full-suspension frames were so popular that other teams would buy M1 frames and re-badge them as their own. Intense’s full-suspension bikes continue to be hand-welded in their American base in Temecula, California where Jeff Steber owns his own lab for building and tinkering with bikes.

intense cycles brand logo

Intensecycles.com


The Intense Cycles 2020 Factory team lineup

Image source: https://www.pinkbike.com/photo/18255955/

 

Sponsored riders and Factory Team

Since the 1990s, Intense has continued to support a Factory team of riders who continue to help improve the bikes and play a pivotal role in Intense R&D. For the 2020 race season the Factory team was made up of Aaron Gwin, Neko Mulally, and Seth Sherlock. They all rode the M29 DH bike for their season.

Alongside the Factory team, Intense Cycles also have a programme of ambassadors. In 2021 they currently sponsor 12 riders from all backgrounds. They are

  • Petra Bernhard, an Austrian DH, Enduro and E-Bike rider
  • Billy Pugh, a British DH, Freeride and Enduro rider
  • Andrew Titley, another British DH & Enduro rider
  • Spaniard Bernat Guardia who is a DH, Enduro and E-Bike rider
  • Francesco Colombo, an Italian DH, Enduro and E-Bike rider.
  • Back in Britain, there is Jordan Booker, and E-Bike and MX rider
  • From Germany, there is Julian Steiner
  • A DH rider, Kylian Breliere, a French freerider
  • Luca Leonardi from Spain, who is an Enduro and E-Bike rider
  • Another Spaniard, Mariano Mari, who rides Enduro and E-Bike’
  • Oscar Härnström from Sweden, who rides DH and Freeride
  • And finally, Tom Knight, a Brit who rides XC.

Bike range and other products

  1. DownhillM29
  2. E-PerformanceThe Tazer 279
  3. EnduroTracer, Carbine
  4. TrailPrimer 275, Primer 29, Primer S
  5. Cross CountrySniper XC, Sniper T, Sniper FRO

After beginning their careers building DH mountain bikes, Intense Cycles have come a long way and expanded their bike range to a whole host of another style of mountain bikes. They now house Enduro, Trail, XC and E-bikes to their name. For each bike, they offer different levels of specifications to suit different budgets. One great thing about Intense Cycles is that they also manufacturer and sell replacement parts for their mountain bikes. Everyone knows that bikes need maintenance, and with suspension parts especially, their bearings need replacing and looking after. Intense Cycles offer replacement parts for all their current bikes so you can be sure you’ll be able to look after your bike long after you purchase it.

In addition to bikes and parts, Intense also sell kit both on and off the bike. Some merchandise is actually other brands of clothing and kit but with their logo on for example bottle cages, but if you’re a fan you can share the love by wearing some of their merchandise.

Order Intense Cycles Online

JensonUSA.com


 

 

 

1. Intense Downhill Bikes


Intense Cycles began by manufacturing DH bikes so this is their bread and butter. From 1994 to now they have honed and perfected their DH offerings, leading to multiple wins on the World Cup circuit. They currently only have the M29 DH bike for sale, but this latest incarnation is the result of a long period of research and development with input from industry leads and Factory team riders. DH bikes typically have a large amount of suspension travel and are built to withstand the typical harsh realities of DH mountain biking.

 

M29

intense m29 mountain bike

The M29 might sound like the name of a motorway, but it’s Intense’s flagship bike.

This is the bike that Factory team riders use to race on so you can guarantee it’s a top of the line machine. It comes with 29” wheels as standard, 203mm front travel and 208mm rear travel making this one beast of a bike. A fully kitted out medium-sized bike weighs 37lbs 7oz / 16.98kg.

Prices start from $3,299 for the frame and shock but increase to $7,699 for the Elite model with Fox Factory forks and an SRAM mixed groupset. The bike is available in a striking black and red colourway.

Intense M29 Size Guide

Small – 5’0” – 5’6” / 154 – 166cm
Medium – 5’4” – 5’10” / 164 – 177cm
Large – 5’8” – 6’2” / 175 – 187cm
XL – 6’0” – 6’6” / 185 – 197cm


 

 

 

2. E-Performance


E-bikes are all about accessibility. They make trails you couldn’t dream of handling accessible, and they make cycling, in general, accessible for those who for whatever reason can’t use a non-assisted bicycle. Intense Cycles have one e-bike in their ‘E-Performance’ line-up: the Tazer 279. They claim it will have you grinning from ear to ear’, with its playfulness and ability to let you ride without limitations. Batteries and motors have come a long way since their first inception, and you can really notice the benefits to an e-bike whether you need one or just want one for the fun.

 

The Tazer 279

intense tazer mtb

The Tazer 279 is a mullet bike with a 29” front wheel and a 27.5” rear wheel.

This means it can tackle the big obstacles with the front wheel but keep its agility thanks to the smaller rear wheel. The Taxer 279 is a full-suspension bike with 160mm front and 155mm rear suspension, making it an extremely diverse bike capable of riding any trail you throw at it. Intense Cycles use Shimano’s STEPS motor and battery system for a complete experience. It’s available in grey and black colourway or red and white.

Prices start from $5,999 for the expert build which features Fox Performance forks and Shimano mix groupset and rises to $7,499 for the pro model which includes Fox Factory forks and a Shimano SLX groupset.

Intense Tazer 279 Size Guide:

Small – 5’0” – 5’6” / 154 – 166cm
Medium – 5’5” – 5’10” / 165 – 177cm
Large – 5’8” – 6’1” / 175 – 185cm
XL – 5’11” – 6’6” / 180 – 197cm


 

 

 

3. Enduro Bikes


Enduro bikes are built to hit the big stuff but they’re not so focused on the descent that they make you want to push the bike uphill. Unless you really don’t like climbing, that is. Intense Cycles live by this ethos and have two race-ready machines, the Tracer and the Carbine. One is a 27.5” wheel bike and one is a 29” wheel focused bike. These bikes both come with capable amounts of suspension so they are just as at home at the bike park, trail centre, or off-piste in the mountains.

 

Tracer

intense tracer

The Tracer is Intense Cycle’s 27.5” wheel enduro bike.

It comes with 170/165mm of front and rear suspension, and is described as a ‘hard-hitting long-travel enduro machine’. The 27.5” wheels encourage agile riding and it’s relatively lightweight for an enduro bike, as a fully equipped size medium bike weighs 33lbs 4oz / 15kg. It’s available in a striking red, white and black colourway.

Prices start from $2,999 for the frame only. The Expert model which includes DVO Diamond D2 forks and a mixed Shimano groupset costs $3,999. The Pro model which includes Fox Performance Elite forks and a mix of Shimano SLX and XT 12 speed groupsets costs $5,899.

Intense Tracer Size Guide

Small – 5’0” – 5’6” / 154 – 166cm
Medium – 5’4” – 5’10” / 164 – 177cm
Large – 5’8” – 6’2” / 175 – 187cm
XL – 6’0” – 6’6” / 185 – 197cm


 

Carbine

intense carbine

The Carbine is Intense Cycle’s 29” wheel enduro bike.

It comes with 160mm of front travel and 155mm of rear suspension travel making it a well-balanced bike. It’s a long and slack enduro bike as modern geometries often are, making it ideal for Enduro racing as well as messing about at the bike park and trail centre. Fully equipped and built up a size Medium weighs in at 33lbs 13oz / 15.3kg. It’s only available in white, but with black and red accents and decals making it a striking bike to own

Prices start from $2,999 for the frame and shock. The Expert build costs $3,999 and includes DVO Diamond D3 forks and a mixed Shimano groupset. The Pro build costs $5,899 and includes Fox Performance Elite Float forks and a mix of Shimano SLX and XT groupsets.

Intense Carbine Size Guide

Small – 5’0” – 5’6” / 154 – 166cm
Medium – 5’5” – 5’10” / 165 – 177cm
Large – 5’9” – 6’1” / 175 – 185cm
XL – 5’11” – 6’6” / 180 – 197cm


 

 

 

4. Trail Bikes


Trail bikes are the perfect bike for people who want a ‘do-it-all bike. They can rip like the best of them in the bike parks and jumps, yet are capable and enjoyable to ride all day on the trails and forests. Intense Cycles have three trail bikes in their line-up, all iterations of the Primer bike. They have the Primer 275, Primer 29 and Primer S. Intense pride themselves on catering for different types of rider, and those who choose to use 27.5” wheels versus 29” wheels hence the Primer 175 and 29 models. Their trail bikes are inherently nimble and comfortable enough to be ridden all day.

 

Primer 275

intense Primer 275

The Primer 275 is Intense Cycles’ 27.5” trail bike offering.

It comes with 150mm of front suspension and 140mm of rear suspension creating a nice balance without an overwhelming amount of travel. This keeps the bike lightweight and more enjoyable to ride on climbs. A fully equipped size medium weighs 30lbs 12oz / 13.9kg. It’s available in two paint schemes; warm grey/black, and midnight grey/white.

Prices start from $2,999 for the frame and shock, with the Expert build costing $3,999 – equipped with Fox Performance forks and an SRAM NX Eagle groupset. The Pro version costs $5,699 and is equipped with Fox Performance Elite forks and a Shimano XT groupset.

Intense Primer 275 Size Guide

Small – 5’0” – 5’6” / 154 – 166cm
Medium – 5’5” – 5’10” / 165 – 177cm
Large – 5’9” – 6’1” / 175 – 185cm


 

Primer 29

intense Primer 29

Superfast 29” wheels personify the Intense Primer 29. Designed as a trail bike, it’s capable of the trickiest descents as well as being a dream to ride uphill.

The 29er wheels make no obstacle impassable and can boost your speed downhill. It comes with 150mm of front travel and 140mm of rear travel and is available in two paint schemes: midnight grey/white, and warm grey/black.

Prices start from $2,999 for the frame and shock and rise to $5,699 for the Pro model. The Pro model comes with Fox Performance Elite Float forks and a Shimano XT groupset so you know you’re getting a lot for your money.

Intense Primer 29 Size Guide

Small – 5’0” – 5’6” / 154 – 166cm
Medium – 5’5” – 5’10” / 165 – 177cm
Large – 5’9” – 6’1” / 175 – 185cm
XL – 5’11” – 6’6” / 180 – 197cm


 

Primer S

intense Primer S

The Intense Primer S is the premium Primer bike in their trail range.

They teamed up with suspension experts Öhlins to create their highest specced bike in the range. Öhlins have provided Intense with 140mm rear and 150mm front travel using their TTX22M coil shock and RFX 36 M.2 air fork. Essentially the ‘S’ is the same as the Primer 29er just with a few adjustments to the componentry as well as a striking red paint scheme.

A fully equipped size medium weighs 31lbs 11oz / 14.4kg and prices start from $3,299 for the factory frame and shock. A fully equipped ‘S Build’ costs $5,999 and comes with the aforementioned Öhlins suspension components and a Shimano XT 12 speed groupset.

Intense Primre S Size Guide

Small – 5’0” – 5’6” / 154 – 166cm
Medium – 5’5” – 5’10” / 165 – 177cm
Large -: 5’9” – 6’1” / 175 – 185cm
XL – 5’11” – 6’6” / 180 – 197cm


 

 

5. Cross Country


Cross Country bikes are known for their lycra wearing riders and less gnarly trails that focus on fitness rather than gnarly descents. But more recently, cross country bikes are being built to challenge these preconceptions. The bikes have more travel, carbon frames, and are built to handle more than the occasional XC loop. Intense Cycles have three bikes in their CX line-up, the Sniper XC, the Sniper T, and the Sniper FRO. They are all built with progressive geometry and are the perfect partners for those who want more out of a short travel bike.

 

Sniper XC

intense Sniper XC

The Sniper XC is one of three Intense CX bikes. It’s a 29” wheel full-suspension carbon bike with 100mm of front and 100mm of rear travel.

The 29” wheels allow you to glide over larger obstacles that would slow you down on 27.5” wheels. The Sniper XC is lightweight and a fully equipped size medium that weighs 24lbs 5oz / 11kg.

It’s available only in a striking silver paint scheme, and prices start from $2,999 for the factory frame and shock. The Expert build costs $3,999 and comes with Fox Performance Float forks and a Shimano SLX groupset. The Pro build costs $5,699 and comes equipped with Fox Performance Elite Float forks and a Shimano XT groupset.

Intense Sniper XC Size Guide

Small – 5’0” – 5’6” / 154 – 166cm
Medium – 5’4” – 5’10” / 164 – 177cm
Large – 5’8” – 6’2” / 175 – 187cm
XL – 6’0” – 6’6” / 185 – 197cm


 

Sniper T

intense Sniper T

The Sniper T is like the Sniper XC’s big brother.

It has the same lightweight carbon frame but comes with a little bit more suspension for a slightly plusher ride. It comes with 120mm of front and 120mm of rear suspension, 20mm more than the Sniper XC. It’s still lightweight and only weighs 25lbs / 11.3kg fully equipped in a size medium.

The Sniper T is available in two striking colourways: black/grey or blue-grey and prices start from $2,999 for the frame and shock. The Pro build costs $4,899 and it comes with Fox Performance Elite Float forks and mixed SRAM Eagle groupset.

Intense Sniper T Size Guide

Small – 5’0” – 5’6” / 154 – 166cm
Medium – 5’4” – 5’10” / 164 – 177cm
Large – 5’8” – 6’2” / 175 – 187cm
XL – 6’0” – 6’6” / 185 – 197cm


 

Sniper FRO

intense sniper fro

The Sniper FRO is Intense Cycle’s racing XC bike. It literally stands for ‘For Racing Only’ and it’s their lightest XC bike that they manufacture.

Weighing in at 21lbs 5oz / 9.7kg, this race calibre bike is among the modern-day longer and slacker XC bikes that can handle more of the rough stuff than previous iterations of this class of bikes. Available only in a striking grey colour, and with 100mm of rear suspension and 100mm of the front suspension.

Prices start from $7,099 for the only model available which comes equipped with RockShox SID SL Ultimate forks and an SRAM XX1 groupset.

Intense Sniper FRO Size Guide

Small – 5’0” – 5’6” / 154 – 166cm
Medium – 5’4” – 5’10” / 164 – 177cm
Large – 5’8” – 6’2” / 175 – 187cm
XL – 6’0” – 6’6” / 185 – 197cm


Intense Cycles >

JensonUSA

 

Conclusions

Intense Cycles have a wide selection of well-made mountain bikes. Their bikes have been successful in racing, particularly in the DH world cup scene with their Factory Racing team. They have a great community of riders they sponsor as well as devoted fans. Their prices are reasonable considering the bike builds they have on offer, and they offer frame only builds with most bikes for those who want to build their own bike. If you’re in the market for a new mountain bike, Intense Cycles are definitely worth a look.


 

FAQ

Where are their bikes made?
Their aluminium bikes used to be made in America, however, their carbon bikes are most likely made in Asia and shipped across the world.

Are Intense bikes good?
Intense bikes are constantly given good reviews across a number of reputable sites. Their DH bikes in particular are proven in the racing world by a number of their Factory Team racers so you can be sure you’re buying quality.

What types of bike to Intense make?
They specialise in mountain bikes. They have bikes across all ranges including Trail, XC, DH, Enduro and E-bikes.

Where to find Intense mountain bikes for sale online?

JensonUSA

Aventuron


 

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