The Tracer has been a staple in the stable (neat, huh?) at Intense since 1999. It’s gone through a few variations but it’s always been an all-mountain quiver-killer trail bike. Until now, that is. The Intense Tracer 27.5 has been redesigned and re-purposed as a gravity-hungry enduro machine. The bike is longer and slacker with more travel (165mm rear/160mm front) and the new JS Tuned enduro suspension trades the old Tracer’s all-around versatility for downhill prowess. The new Tracer loves to send it. Richard Cunningham said it well, in his Intense Tracer pinkbike review: “the Tracer doesn’t care about the work required to get to the top. All it wants is another crack at that short, sweet dive to the bottom.” That’s not to say it doesn’t climb. The SRAM Eagle 12-speed drivetrain plus the climb switch on the rear shock will get you up anything. You probably won’t set any uphill speed records, though.
Intense Tracer Carbon Fiber Frame
Intense builds two levels of carbon frames, a lighter SL carbon frame and a less expensive UD carbon frame. The “Expert Build” Tracers in our demo-rental fleet have the slightly heavier and considerably more affordable UD carbon frame. Performance and reliability are the same with both frames and the Expert bikes are still surprisingly light at just over 30 pounds (13.7kg). The SL carbon frame, spec’d on the Pro, Elite and Factory Build Tracers, is made of lighter carbon, uses titanium fasteners and weighs about half a pound (260g) less than the UD carbon frame. Both frames have integrated downtube protection and molded foam-wrapped internal cable routing that makes installation easy and keeps your cables from rattling when you’re on the trail. The metal head badge is a nice detail, too. Intense bikes have always had tons of style as well as performance and the new Tracer definitely continues that tradition.
An important part of the Tracer’s new gravity-focused design is longer, slacker geometry. The wheelbase is about an inch and a half longer, the reach has been increased by almost an inch and the head angle has been raked out to a very slack 65.5˚. Those changes, combined with the increased travel and plusher suspension, make the Tracer very comfortable on steep downhills. It’s not all about the downhill, though. The seat tube angle has been adjusted to a very steep 75˚. That’s going to make climbing pretty comfortable, even if the bike doesn’t set any speed records on the uphill.
Intense Tracer JS Tuned Suspension
For quite a few years Intense licensed the VPP suspension system from Santa Cruz. Their current bikes are still basically a VPP design but when the patent expired they rebranded their suspension as JS Tuned (the JS is for Jeff Steber, Intense’s founder and head designer). It’s not just a new name, though. They’ve also done a lot of work to refine their suspension and now have three distinct JS Tuned platforms for downhill, trail/XC and enduro.
The Tracer uses Intense’s new JS Enduro suspension platform. It’s more linear and plush with less pedal platform than the previous Tracer’s suspension. It’s clearly tuned more for descending than pedal efficiency so the new Tracer isn’t quite the same versatile do-it-all trail bike it used to be. But enduro racers, bike park addicts and big mountain riders who want a reasonably light bike that can handle serious downhill terrain will appreciate the compromise. On steeper, gnarlier terrain, the Tracer really comes alive and encourages you to get stupid. And it does pedal – you just have to use the climb switch to stiffen it up before you head uphill.
Learn more about the Intense JS Tuned suspension system, here.
Intense Tracer – The Bottom Line
On the sliding scale between XC and downhill, the Intense Tracer is definitely closer to a full-on downhill rig than it is to a featherweight, efficient XC race bike. Mountain bikers who spend a lot of time in the bike park, love steep technical descending and don’t mind putting in some extra effort on the uphill will be rewarded with smooth confident handling through rock gardens and steep, loose bits as well as mandatory airs and the inevitable bad landing.
Intense Tracer – Where it Fits
In our fleet, the Intense Tracer is most comparable to the Knolly Warden Carbon, another 27.5 enduro bike with 155mm of rear travel and somewhat more conservative, all-mountain geometry. A more gravity-oriented option is the Knolly Delirium, a super-slack 170mm rear-travel 27.5 super-enduro/freeride bike. We also have two 29er enduro bikes: the 155mm rear-travel Intense Carbine, which has the same JS Enduro suspension as the Tracer; and the 150mm rear-travel BMC Trailfox.
To see how the Intense Tracer fits in with our entire bike lineup, check out our Mountain Bike Guide.
|Drivetrain:||SRAM EAGLE GX 12-speed with TruVativ Descendant aluminum crankset, 32t chainring and 11-50 EAGLE cassette|
|Wheels:||27.5-inch DT Swiss M1900 Spline Boost with 28 spokes|
|Tires:||Maxxis High Roller II 60 TPI 2.3|
|Sizes:||SM, MD, LG, XL|
|Sizes in our fleet:||All sizes|
|Finish:||Green with yellow accents / black on black|
|Weight (actual):||30 lbs. 3 oz. / 13.7kg (medium w/o pedals)|
|Frame:||Carbon frame: UD monocoque carbon fiber with alloy top link, internal cable routing, integrated protection and Boost spacing|
|Fork:||160mm RockShox Lyrik RC Solo Air Boost|
|Rear Suspension Travel:||165mm / 6.5″|
|Shock:||RockShox Monarch Plus RC3|
|Shifters:||SRAM Eagle GX 12-speed|
|Brakes:||Shimano XT hydraulic disk brakes with 180mm rotors|
|Rear Derailleur:||SRAM Eagle GX 12-speed|
|Stem:||Intense Recon Elite 40mm|
|Handlebar:||780mm Renthal Fatbar Lite DH aluminum|
|Seatpost:||150mm Fox Transfer dropper post|
|Saddle:||WTB Silverado Race w/ Cr-Mo rails|
|Headset:||Cane Creek 40 Series|
|Your Height||Recommended Frame Size||Frame Seat-Tube|
Sizing recommendations are approximate and a fitting session is recommended for best fit.
|Size||SM (15.5″/ 396mm)||MD (17″/ 434mm)||LG (18″/ 459mm)||XL (19″/ 485mm)|
|Virtual TT||22.5 in. / 571mm||23.5 in. / 597mm||24.5 in. / 622mm||25.5 in. / 649mm|
|Seat Tube Length||15.6 in. / 396mm||17 in. / 434mm||18 in. / 459mm||19 in. / 485mm|
|Head Tube Length||4 in. / 102mm||4.5 in. / 115mm||4.7 in. / 119mm||5.1 in. / 130mm|
|Bottom-Bracket Height||13.5 in. / 343mm||13.5 in. / 343mm||13.5 in. / 343mm||13.5 in. / 343mm|
|Chainstay Length (Rear Center)||17 in. / 432mm||17 in. / 432mm||17 in. / 432mm||17 in. / 432mm|
|Stack Height||23.2 in. / 589mm||23.6 in. / 600mm||23.8 in. / 604mm||24.2 in. / 614mm|
|Reach Length||16.3 in. / 414mm||17.2 in. / 436mm||18.1 in. / 460mm||19 in. / 483mm|
|Standover Height||31.3 in. / 795mm||31.6 in. / 801mm||31.7 in. / 805mm||32 in. / 813mm|
|Wheelbase||45.4 in. / 1154mm||46.5 in. / 1181mm||47.5 in. / 1207mm||48.6 in. / 1235mm|
All specifications subject to change.
We stock the Intense Carbine Pro Build for our demo-rental bike fleet.
|Intense Carbine Factory Build||SRAM Eagle XX1/X01 12-speed||Fox Factory Float 36 HSC, LSC, FIT||Fox Factory Float X2||ENVE M70 HV carbon 32 hole, w. DT Swiss 240 hubs||$7,999|
|Intense Carbine Elite Build||SRAM Eagle X01/GX 12-speed||Fox Factory Float 36 HSC, LSC, FIT||Fox Performance Float X2||E13 TRS race carbon 28-spoke||$5,999|
|Intense Carbine Pro Build||SRAM Eagle X01/GX 12-speed||Fox Performance Float 36 w. 3 Pos-Adj, FIT4||Fox Performance Float X2||E13 TRS plus aluminum 28-spoke||$4,999|
|Intense Carbine Expert Build||SRAM Eagle GX 12-speed||RockShox Lryik RC Solo Air||Rock Shox Monarch+ RC3||DT Swiss M1900 Spline aluminum||$4,299|
|Intense Carbine Foundation Build||SRAM GX/NX 1×11||RockShox Yari RC Solo Air||RockShox Monarch+ R||Intense Foundation aluminum||$3,299|
Full Day Rental