Monday, July 25, 2011

Intense Cycles-Carbon Debut @ Dealer Camp

Intense Cycles has been carrying the torch for race driven, USA designed and built products for two decades from their home in So Cal. You may remember them from the Shaun Palmer days or, perhaps, their more recent collaboration with Chain Reaction Cycles and sponsorship of  Kovarik.  Intense was amongst the first companies to embrace hydroforming, now ubiqutous in high end aluminum bikes, and, seen here on this pretty M9:

Marzocchi Ti Spring on a Manitou shock, I'm not afraid to mix gin and tequila, either:

How about a good all arounder like the Tracer:

Marzochi 55, are these forks to be trusted again?  I sure hope so, cause nickle plated stanchions are cool:

New XT: ice rotors, cooling fins and much more blackness, coming soon:

 Jeff Steber, craftsman and owner of Intense, and I had a long discussion about the arc of production in the global economy.  For the first time, Intense will be building their frames (or frame components) in Asia.  Jeff sees this both as an opportunity to focus on what the company does best (incorporating race feedback into design) as well as the opportunity to grow as a craftsman and engineer (he welds every week).  Here is the fruit of that effort, the Carbine:

5.5-6.0 inches (140-160mm) of VPP directed travel 5.5 lbs in a medium and, stiff.  I took the bike out of the stand and stood a foot on the swingarm, inducing lateral force (this is always a tricky thing to try and pull off, the Intense folks obliged, graciously).  It seemed to have the same stiffness as the Tracer (which is no 5.5).  Svelte braces:

USA machined and installed hardware:

They also come in black:

Look for Intense to keep pushing the envelope as the develop their own carbon prototyping and engineering facility.

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