Intense Cycles on Competitive Cyclist
We wonder about it all of the time, but we struggle to find answers: What is it about Intense Cycles that causes their bikes to be so irresistibly mouthwatering? How did they so visibly come to represent all that's appealing about mountain biking's high-end? Like the straight-A student who runs with the wrong crowd, their brilliance is unmistakable. They have a devious side, though, something about their blood red paint or their flaming logo or the inevitable proximity to their trailer at every NORBA race of an ad hoc squad of ladies-seemingly-looking-for-trouble that gives them the aura of a company whose commitment to innovation is matched only by their ability to look bad-ass while doing it. Throw a leg over a M6 downhill bike and try to make us believe that concerns of family and job and whether your life insurance is paid up all Don't vaporize in a hyper-adrenalized fantasy of plummeting Chris Kovarik-like down an angry mountain. Rip through a piece of singletrack on a Spider FRO and ask yourself why you feel such a sense of newfound grace as you float up climbs and stick your lines through slippery, eroded, worn out stretches of trail like never before. Test ride an Intense and you'll sit squarely at the crossroads of industry-defining technology and flat-out sex appeal. Ride it just once and the end result will be inevitable: you'll want one badly, and you'll want it right now. Intense was founded in 1991 by Jeff Steber with the introduction of the Spyder FS full suspension XC frame. Steber refined the design by incorporating sealed bearing pivots and extensive CNC work and Intense soon gained legendary status for their two-fisted approach to framebuilding that continues to today: On the one hand their frames radiate with industrial artistry. You Don't need the least bit of experience in CNC machining to tell that each Intense appears to be built with the eyes and hands of a sculptor. And beyond this beauty, Intense has long been synonymous with cutting-edge suspension technology. By the mid-90's the Intense Cycles Factory Team and development staff included legendary downhill racers Shaun Palmer and Randy Lawrence. The Intense M1 scorched the World Cup circuit and by 1997 corporate industry giants with bottomless R&D budgets like Mongoose and Giant rebadged M1's with their own decals in order to stay competitive. In recent years Intense has moved to a state-of-the-art 12,000 sq. ft. facility and collaborated with Santa Cruz to develop and fine tune VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) technology, which in the minds of many mountain bike connoisseurs is the ultimate suspension design money can buy. What is VPP? Take a look at the swingarm of an Intense and note the dual pivot coupling at its main pivot point. This coupling allows the two adjoining pivots to rotate around each other as the suspension compresses, which causes the rear axle to follow an S-path distinctly dissimilar to the vertical path taken by a traditional 4-bar linkage. This helps give a VPP bike the same level of "activeness" as a 4-bar, but it does so while causing pedaling forces to drive the rear wheel downward rather than up. On most full suspension designs pedaling forces result in unwanted suspension compression. The VPP's link configuration and axle path counteract this tendency towards compression without limiting or deterring bump absorption. Provided that you take the time to calibrate your sag, a VPP bike provides truly active suspension, meaning the suspension compresses and extends with rises and dips in the trail. you'll ride in a suspended "pocket" with ample positive and negative travel available to maintain traction and momentum in all trail conditions, even while pedaling. Intense has a complete commitment to VPP. The Spider 2 and the Tracer VP provide XC and all-mountain options, the mountain cross Tazer VP, and assault-just-about-anything Uzzi VP and Slopestyle broaden the use of VPP technology beyond its XC-specific roots. For the ultimate downhill race bike, look no further than the 951. Intense painstakingly CNC's the "socket" for each bearing in the swingarm and linkages. The resulting super-precise fit of the bearings gives an Intense frame awesome lateral rigidity and longevity. When you're ready to commit to an Intense, you can rest assured that your frame is built to deliver over the long term.