Pedaling: While the VPP Generation 2 suspension
does exhibit some anti-squat characteristics, we still found
ourselves reaching for the compression damper when on
the pedals. Plan to use the compression damper with this
bike, as the plush and active feel needs a little help to stay
TRICKS, UPGRADES OR TIPS?
The made-to-look-like-carbon chainstay protector started
to peel off after a few weeks of testing. It’s a nice idea to
have a specially made protector here, but we’d probably
just opt to peel it entirely and replace it with some 3M
2228 electrical sealing tape.
We experienced creaks with this bike after just a
few short rides, prompting us to inject grease into the
frame’s integrated Zerk fittings to remedy the problem.
Unfortunately, it had little effect. We then pulled the linkage and pivots to clean and grease them. After this little
surgery, the bike exhibited no further problems.
If the Tracer Carbon were a car, it would certainly be
closer to a Ferrari rather than a Jeep. This isn’t the kind
of bike you can run into the ground time and time again
without some due maintenance.
The true strength of this bike is in its well-rounded
nature. The incredible suspension performance, dialed
geometry, precisely machined aluminum bits and perfect
attention to detail in the build kit make it a perfect choice
for a number of trail riders. While this particular test bike
falls in the “superbike” category, the Tracer Carbon can
be had for much less with one of Intense’s other build kits.
Since we still can’t wipe the grins off our faces thinking
about shredding turns on this thing, we can’t help but
recommend it for a huge cross section of trail riders. ❏
Give me the works: The
sleek looks and ultra-high-end
Factory build kit make this
Intense look like a work of
art. The build kit is perfectly
matched to the rider’s needs.
The Rockshox suspension,
SRAM XX1 drivetrain and
Shimano XTR brakes are what
dreams are made of.
Sharp manners: Intense improved on the already-stellar geometry
of the Tracer with the carbon offering. The slacked-out head angle
and relatively low bottom bracket are both confidence-inspiring
and stable when the trail gets fast, steep and loose, and still lively
enough for low-speed cornering.
Top tube length
Head tube angle
Seat tube angle
27. 8 pounds
13. 5” (high)
6. 3” (front)
6. 3” (rear)
RockShox Pike RCT3
RockShox Monarch RC3
ENVE AM Carbon ( 27. 5”)
DT Swiss 240
Maxxis High Roller 2 ( 2. 3”)
Intense Sacred Heart
RockShox Reverb Stealth
Renthal Fatbar Lite Carbon ( 29.1”)
SRAM XX1 (32T)
SRAM 11-cog (10-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32-36-42)
23 feet (per crank rotation)
5. 5 feet (per crank rotation)
None (weighed with Shimano XTR trail)
INTENSE TRACER CARBON 27. 5