The Tracer 29 gives all the benefits of big wheels and VPP with the benefit of long travel, adjustable from 5-5.5" . Based on the 26" Tracer frame design this frame will tame any rough trail and leave a huge grin on your face. Features -1.5? Head Tube -G1 rear dropout mount system accepts 142x12 Shimano, SyntaceX12, or standard 135QR dropouts -73mm BB Width -ISCG-05 Chain Guide Tabs -Adjustable Travel From 5"-5.5" -Fox Float RP23 Rear Shock 7.875? x 2.25? -Next Generation VPP Linkages For Even Better Pedaling Efficiency -Angular Contact Bearings And Zerk Fittings On Lower Link -Fox RP23 shock stock, Cane Creek Double Barrel upgrade shock option available -Custom Color paint Options also available
Strengths: Relatively stiff, pedals well and descends great at high speeds, good at lower speeds
Weaknesses: Not exactly plush
Gravel gets in the linkage
linkage bearings wear easily
This was a big step up from my previous ride. XL is 32lbs ready to roll, but climbs nearly as well as my 28lb 26er. The big wheels and slack angles are great on chutes and steep descents. No quality issues on the frame whatsoever. Welds are super clean and machining looks very nice.
Bike Setup: Marz 44 upfront, RP23 in the back
Mostly XT components
Haven Aluminum wheels
a All Mountain Rider
Date Reviewed: November 29, 2012
Strengths: Performance is through the roof especially when climbing; feels like it's 5 pounds lighter. USA made quality. Looks sweeeeeet.
Weaknesses: PRICE!!! I don't know where MTBR got their MSRP from but it's more like $2600. The WB is little on the long side but I have not noticed it being a problem at all. I weigh 225 in full garb and the rear end is as stiff and any other bike that I have owned.
Where do start? This was my first 29er FS and I have to admit the kool-aid is goooood. Bombs downhill, eats terrain on the flats and climbs better than any FS I have ever owned. I ride 30 to 60 miles a week and have yet to have a problem that a little loctite did not fix.
Similar Products Used: 26er in a range of flavors from MC SA, Jamis XAM, Trek Liquid, Trek Remedy
Bike Setup: Size large with Marz 44 Micro Ti, XT 785 all around, Thomson, I9s Enduros. Weighs in at 30.8 pounds.
a Cross Country Rider
from Philadelphia pa, USA
Date Reviewed: February 27, 2012
Strengths: Made in USA . Frame very stiff. No peddle bob at all. No peddle kick back that I could feel. Climbs like a goat. Absolutely great on the rocky root filled trails of the north east.
Weaknesses: This bike is a little loud. The frame transfers sound well. Rap the chain stay and all is well.
This was my first ground up build. Took me a long time to get all the parts I wanted. I did a lot of research on frame and components that I wanted. This was my first 29er and what a great bike it turned out to be. This bike climbs great and goes down even better. We have a lot of tight and twisty single track it handles the tight turns very well. I never hit this bikes limit in the turns. Never had to use the propedle lever on the shock. Zero flex in the rocks and roots. This bike is heavier then my hifi but I can't feel it on the trail it just rolls over everything in its path. In a nutshell I love this bike.
Similar Products Used: First 29er. Gary fisher hifi carbon pro,Gary fisher Kia Tia 26er and Gary fisher big sur.
Bike Setup: Fox talas teralogic 29 120, Thomson 90mm 10 deg rise, truvativ t30 flat bar noir, xx brakes, Xtr shifters and derailers, xt crank Thomson seat post, c29ssmax rims, wtb Bronson 2.2 tires(great by the way) run tubeless, wtb rocket v slt sadle(best there is),
a All Mountain Rider
from Pitt Meadows B.C.
Date Reviewed: February 11, 2012
Strengths: VPP suspension,
Weaknesses: the rear triangle
This bike looks good from far but it's far from good. The amount of flex in the rear triangle of this bike is unacceptable for a cheap frame let alone for a frame that retails for $2500. I can't see how a bike builder could have not known this and yet still produced such an inferior product.
Anybody thinking of buying one, do your homework and physically check and see if your going to be happy with it first. I am not sure if the rear flexes so much to cover up some other problem that a stiffer rear end might expose. Don't be fooled by the removal of the G2 dropouts for 2012 either, every part of the rear flexes excessively.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2011
Strengths: Handles and climbs very well, much better than anticipated.
Weaknesses: Poor mechanical design leaves you susceptible to fatigue failure.
My LBS gave me the bike to try, mostly because they had a Tracer frame hanging in the shop needing a home. My first choice is the Tallboy which is tough to get, but I tried the Tracer on some nice trails. I was really getting to like this bike, it felt confident, climbed well, no complaints. About 10K into it accelerating up a hill I heard a crack and the rear wheel was rubbing the frame. The swing link had completely failed at the rear triangle. Long walk back, on the bright side I was not on a BC float trip. If you examine the design you will see it is very poor in that the mounts are cantilevered from the body of the link, they are relatively thin with sharp edges, transitioning sharply to the thick section and the bolts do not add to the strength by nature of the arrangement. It's almost bush league engineering, you would not think Intense would do that with experience they have, maybe the bikes are designed overseas and built in the US! It was fatigue failure and most of these babies will fail the same way eventually. Too bad for an otherwise great bike. The Tallboy link is nicely engineered BTW. Value has to be low given frame price vs obvious poor engineering that can leave you stranded. Overall I would love to to give a nice rating but if you can't trust it then it isn't worth much. Years ago I owned an Uzzi and found it had a lot of poor machining, a surprise given the way the magazines spout about beautiful Intense craftsmanship. I suppose that I will continue to steer clear of this shoddy company.
Similar Products Used: Rode Pivot 429, SC Tallboy, Ellsworths and Niners before choosing Intense. Many 26ers including RacerX used prior.
Bike Setup: Mostly XT with Elixr Carbon brakes, RockShox Reba 140mm, Stan's Arch tubeless with Maxis Ardent & Ignitor, XFusion HiLo seatpost with PureV seat and Easton bars. See it here: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-LK5_j4oaAM8/ThnCXWzFT0I/AAAAAAAAASk/cdIV4zJVbnw/s1024/T29.jpg
a Weekend Warrior
from Reno, Nevada
Date Reviewed: April 11, 2011
Strengths: High quality bicycle - well designed and thought out.
This is an awesome bike! The best 29er I've ridden for the technical trails that I like to ride the most. ie Moab, Tahoe, Sierra, etc Check out our full review with photos and video at http://dhreno.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/intense-tracer-29er-review/
a Cross Country Rider
from Grand Junction, CO, USA
Date Reviewed: February 9, 2011
Strengths: Craftsmanship, durability, geometry, adaptability, new grease zerks, new bearings, clearance. I waited for mine for 10 months. Jeff Steber called me directly to apologize for the inconvenience with their delay. I don't know if you would get that kind of customer service from other manufacturers who build out of the country
Weaknesses: None for the frame.
Who should buy this bike? Well, if you have the MONEY and you are a taller individual who has problems fitting on 26er frames. If you enjoy CLIMBING buy this bike, the 29 wheels roll over everything and the VVP suspension really takes the pedal bob out and makes your rear wheel stick when you really need it. If you like changing you're bikes geometry to match the type of trail, the ability to change your rear suspension travel is awesome. It makes the bike feel like 2 completely different frames. If you like the idea that your frame was made, welded, engineered in the U.S.A. this is for you too.
Who shouldn't buy this bike? If you're hoping it will be as nimble as a 26er. I've taken this bike more places than any other bike I've ridden, but getting through tight turns is a bit more difficult with the larger tires. If you're hoping it will be a downhill bike. It soaks up the drops but the 32 TALAS make me nervous. They haven't bottomed out but I'm not taking them off 8 ft drops. I'd like a front fork with an inch to an inch and a half more travel with larger stanchion tubes. The extra travel would also match with the highest setting for the rear.
Because Intense has made their head tubes and dropouts, and bottom brackets, etc. able to adapt to the future if you buy this bike you will have no problem changing gear in the when you want.
I have enjoyed this bike since day one its everything I hoped it to be; light, sturdy, responsive, and really for a frame made here by hand in USA, it's pretty damn reasonable.
Similar Products Used: None that were this expensive or good. Rode Marin for over 10 years but I finally had the money and I needed something that was going to fit me and take the punishment of a rider becoming better and taking bigger hits.
Bike Setup: Shimano XT (new shimano 3X10) for damn near everything except... crankbrothers wheel set, 32 Talas 29 Terralogic front fork, FOX float RP23 rear shock,