The Carbine 29 raises the bar on performance, technology and beauty, offering aggressive geometry, patented VPP suspension, all the design benefits of Intense 2nd generation carbon fiber, and a look only possible from Intense. Designed to allow riders to descend the roughest enduro tracks with confidence, the bike boasts 5.5 inches (140mm) of rear wheel travel, 160mm of travel up front, and a 67 degree head tube angle.
Strengths: Versatile for anytHing from XC to AM. Long travel trail crusher that climbs and peddles well. Stable w long wheel base but handles close to XC.
Planned to get this bike as an All MOuntain slayer. The bike is so efficient and plush I ended up on it every ride. Put lighter wheels and used it on my last XC Endurance race. Liked it so much I sold my carbon race 29er. Easy to move from XC/Trail to light Bike Park just by adjusting suspension and tires. The TALAS helps with that too. Feels very balanced with the Fox 36 and DB air CS, better than when I had a Pike up front.
Medium size worked well for me at 71". Not much I would change at this point, currently my Quiver off One.
Shout out to Cliff at PTP for swapping parts out to get the perfect build.
Bike Setup: Medium frame, 70mm Thompson stem, CC DB air CS, 2015 Fox 36 TALAS, Derby's, 2.3Butcher front/2.2Maintain King rear, 2 x10 Race Face Next SL with 22/36 WickWerks, XT shifters DR and brakes, Cassette 11/40 10 sp with WT, KS Lev Integra, 740 Renthal FB Lite, Ergon biocork grips, XTR trail pedals, Intense saddle.
Strengths: Light, not a bad value at street pricing and factory build
Weaknesses: suspension a bit unbalanced front to back, Fox shock can be overwhelmed at high speed, I sense flex in the rear not sure if from wheelset or frame, not offered in a cheaper 2x10 package
There is close to an 1" difference in front to back travel and for me it makes the bike feel a bit unbalanced, the pike is sooo smooth compared to what the rear is doing. Going through high speed stutter bumps the rear end just bounces, i suspect the boost valve in the Fox shock is main culprit, I am planning on getting a Cane Creek DB on this bike. I hate avid brakes but these elixir trails are very nice, more modulation than shimano with just a bit less power, could be due to the organic pads. XO1 just plain works, ultra smooth, no chain slap but its limited gear range is not for everyone. There is no granny bailout gear and there is no street race hammer gear. The g2 geo works awesome in slow speed maneuvers the bike can turn sharp and steep roll ins are nothing on this bike . But with the bike leaned over and the front end drifting i can feel the wheel want to flop over. Its easy to control with the wide bars. I wonder if a 46mm offset fork would dissipate this or if its just a function of the big wheels. The long wheelbase have not cause too many problem for me yet but you definitely feel it on tight low speed turns. This bike is definitely more a trail/am bike than a Tallboy LTc but I think it needs about 10mm more travel to balance out with the 160mm Pike up front and move it closer to just AM. Frame alone this bike is priced up there, not bmc Trailfox territory but more than most frames. I give it 4 chilli in value because the packaged price is not bad for what you get and at street pricing I think its an excellent deal.
Strengths: Light, fast, nimble, stiff, confidence inspiring, stable and indestructible.
I have almost 300 miles on it now and the strengths i listed say it all. My last bike was Intense's very capable 5.5 EVP, and the Carbne 29 has helped me crush all my previous Strava records for climbs and descents. Since having it for 1 month, I have earned 9 downhill KOMs here in the San Francisco Bay Area on it if that tells you anything. At first I was skeptical about VPP2 being better than the original, but it is and the cherry on top? There are grease ports for the pivot bearings!