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Intense Cycles
M9 Gravity Complete Mountain Bike - 2014

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The definition of thoroughbred.

Intense didn't invent the downhill bike, but its iconic M1 was, for all intents and purposes, the first downhill bike that actually mattered. There's a reason that during the '90s, anyone who was serious about Downhill racing was on an M1, which resulted in a lot of them being ridden by the world's best, hidden beneath other brands' paint jobs. And while the days of a single bike dominating mountain biking's F1 equivalent have long since passed, there's no denying that the Intense M9 Gravity Complete Mountain Bike is in every way a deserving heir to the M-series throne. If your entire life revolves around the pursuit of the top step of the podium, the M9 is a worthy partner in your quest for glory.

There's occasionally some confusion as to where the M9 fits in, with Intense's shorter travel, larger wheeled 951 getting so much attention, so let us clear this up for you. The M9 is built as a World Cup race bike, plain and simple. It's not built to be nimble at slow speeds, nor will it be particularly well suited to recreational bike-park warriors. Its aggressive geometry and longer travel is aimed squarely at keeping you in control when you're trying to shave fractions of seconds on the steepest, roughest race tracks on the planet.

Part of the secret to the M9's ability to flatten terrain lies in its VPP suspension design. VPP employs two aluminum counter-rotating links, which allows it to eat square-edged impacts at wide open speeds, without sacrificing pedaling efficiency when you need to get on the gas. The upper link provides most of the rotation as the bike compresses into the sag point. This yields a vertical wheel path, which you'll notice in the form of a firm feel during acceleration. As the bike compresses deeper into the suspension, the lower link activates, moving the axle path rearward. The rearward axle path is key to letting the rear wheel travel out of the way of square-edged impacts. And the suspension is highly adjustable, giving you the option of 8.5, 9, or 9.5 inches of travel to suit both your tastes, and the weekend's race course.

Like the suspension travel, the M9's geometry is also highly adjustable. Starting at the front of the bike, you'll find a 1.5in head tube with an upper pinch bolt, which makes fitment and swapping of offset headset cups a breeze. That gives you up to 1.5 degrees of adjustment off of the stock 64 degree head tube angle. The bottom bracket height is adjustable from 13.7 to 14.2in, to maximize the planted feel in turns, or give you a bit of extra clearance in rocky sections. While the bottom bracket height is fairly ordinary for a World Cup race bike, when you consider the extra travel offered by the M9, you'll begin to see that it positions you close to the ground for astounding cornering grip. As you'd expect, Intense's G3 dropout system allows for a half an inch of adjustment in chainstay length, from a neutral handling 17.25, up to 17.75in for warp-speed stability.

When you're experimenting with the razor's edge of control, the last thing you need to worry about is your bike, and the M9's burly aluminum construction instills the supreme confidence needed to ride at the highest levels. The use of a formed, seamless down tube ensures correct alignment, and the lack of seams makes it the strongest option for a section of the front triangle that is under tension when riding. What's more, the tube forming enhances its resistance to denting, be it from wayward rocks, or unpadded chairlift hooks. But by using a monocoque top tube, Intense is able to increase the weld area at the head tube far beyond what would be possible with tubular construction. That increased weld surface means a stiffer, stronger head tube junction, and accordingly, the steering precision required to hold your line through rock gardens and greasy off-camber sections. The rear triangle is similarly burly, ensuring that the rear wheel stays in plane with the front wheel when you're smashing turns, instead of standing up under load, as can happen on a lesser machine. And the use of artfully machined shock mounts, pivots, and links, ensures perfect alignment, so your suspension cycles smoothly even under high loads, minimizing rider fatigue.

Intense knows that the M9 is going to find its way into the hands of highly motivated privateers, and accordingly, the build kit forgoes unnecessary flash, opting instead for all-season reliability and pro-level suspension. The Factory Series FOX 40 FLOAT fork and DHX RC4 shock have helped some of the sport's fastest racers earn the top spot at World Cup rounds, and this year's World Championships. In other words, they are more than capable of carrying you to victory at any race you enter. Shimano's Zee build kit gets the nod for brakes and drivetrain, borrowing technology from its top-tier Saint groupset, while making it cost-effective to replace components as the season inevitably takes its toll on your ride. The four piston Zee brakeset uses the same caliper as the astoundingly powerful, yet controllable, Saint stoppers, mated to a simplified lever. The Zee drivetrain is similarly capable, with a short cage rear derailleur, and 165mm cranks. Chain retention is handled by E.Thirteen's venerable LG1+ chainguide, which carries an impressive pedigree. The cockpit is equally capable, with a Thomson Elite seatpost, crowned with an Intense DH saddle, and an FSA Gravity Light direct mount stem holding 800mm wide Gravity Light carbon fiber handlebars. The M9 rolls on a Novatec Demon wheelset, which is amply stiff, yet light enough to provide a spritely ride. They're wrapped in Maxxis's excellent Minion DHF tires, in the requisite dual ply, Super Tacky variety. In other words, you can pull the M9 out of the box, fine-tune your suspension, and charge your way to victory without swapping a single component.

The Intense M9 Gravity Complete Mountain Bike is available in three sizes, from Small to Large, and in the colors Flat Black, Works Raw, Flo Orange, and Intense Red.

Frame Material
Rear Shock
FOX DHX RC4 Kashima
Rear Travel
8.5, 9, 9.5 in adjustable
FOX 40 RC2 FIT Float
Front Travel
203 mm
Cane Creek 40
Shimano M640 Zee 10 Speed
Front Derailleur
E. Thirteen LG1+
Rear Derailleur
Shimano M640 Zee 10-Speed
Shimano M645 Zee
Bottom Bracket
Crank Arm Length
165 mm
Shimano 105 CS-5700
Shimano HG75
FSA Gravity Light Carbon
Handlebar Rise
15 mm
Handlebar Width
800 mm
ODI Intense
FSA Gravity Light direct mount
Stem Length
45 mm
Thomson Elite
Novatec Demon
Maxxis Minion DHF Super Tacky
Tire Size
26 x 2.5 in
not included
Recommended Use
Manufacturer Warranty

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