Intense Carbine All Mountain Full Suspension

4.7/5 (10 Reviews)
MSRP : $2799.00

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Product Description

Intense's first full carbon frame aimed to tame your epic singletrack rides and all-mountain excursions with ease. At just 5.5 lbs and adjustable rear travel from 5.5" to 6" this frame is a truly versaitile platform. You can build this frame up with a 140 mm or 150 mm fork for your all day epic trail rides or opt for a 160 mm fork to slay the most technical terrain with ease and get back up the hill quickly to do it again. Features: -Adjustable travel 5.5?-6? (140mm-152mm), easily set at the upper link -Wide range geometry settings for aggressive trail or fast XC riding -49mm lower head tube and 44mm upper headtube allow you to run a tapered steerer fork -G1 rear dropout mount system accepts 142x12 Shimano, SyntaceX12, or standard 135QR dropouts -Height adjustable seatpost routing -Direct mount front derailleur -"Flk-Grd" down tube and chain stay protector system -Angular contact bearings and collet axle system with replaceable zirk fittings World Cup, National, and World Championship winning VPP suspension platform

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Reviews 1 - 10 (10 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by

Date Reviewed: August 7, 2014

Strengths:    Ferrari like performance. Good up fun down. Way better than them old bikes we use to ride

Weaknesses:    Ferrari like Maintenance. The suspension bearings need to be greased every few rides. My frame cracked from a tiny bonk. Shimano brakes suck air just before the pads wear out and the bleed screw is hard to reach. Fox fork needs a bit of love every year. I hand an old heckler with a Z1 BAM. That thing needed half the work for 85% the performance. Way better IMO. Them old bikes were way better.

Bottom Line:   
Intense = intensive care.

Lots of performance but lots of maintenance!

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Skelldify a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: March 17, 2014

Strengths:    Good to great pedaling for a 6" bike
Great downhill
Great low-speed tech
Easy to disassemble linkage for maintenance
Great customer service

Weaknesses:    Very few: rear tire clearance could be a little better, but then the chainstays would have to be longer; hole where stealth seatpost tube enters frame is not sealed; needs some frame protection where seat stays connect to linkage; needs a special adapter from Intense for a 180mm rear rotor. Just nit-picking here, none of these are deal-breakers at all.

Bottom Line:   
I test rode about 15 bikes over 18 months, and decided on this one. It had the fewest (almost none!) compromises for my riding style. I love big back-country mountain rides, aggressive all-mountain, scary low-speed technical riding, and long climbs. I'd say I'm more on the XC side of all-mountain, rather than the DH side, but only because I'd rather do a scenic mountain ride than go to the park. The vast majority of my riding is aggressive trail riding with big drops and lots of rocks. I needed a bike that pedaled well, but could handle serious chunk too, and this was unquestionably the best.

This bike does it all very well. I have a CCDBA and Pike, and you can really adjust these to ride however you want. I haven't come close to finding this bike's limits yet. My mind is certainly the limiting factor. Whenever there's a feature that I question, and I've done it anyway, the bike has performed perfectly.

The only upgrade I've made so far is to put a 180mm rear rotor on it. I'm heavy and I was cooking the 160 on long (10 minute-plus) descents.

I bought the bike as a "lightly used" demo from Intense about 2 months after they built it.

Some concerns about Intense's customer service have been brought up, but I have found them to be amazing. I regularly email "Sam," and he usually replies within a few hours.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Otero Canyon Area, Albuquerque

Duration Product Used:   4 months

Price Paid:    $4600.00

Similar Products Used:   Test rode about 15 other bikes including: Ibis Mojo, Ibis Mojo HD 650b, Santa Cruz Bronson, Trek Slash, Trek Fuel, Intense Tracer, Spec Enduro 29, Yeti SB66, several others I can't think of.

Bike Setup:   275 wheels/frame; CCBDA; Pike; X01; Elixer 9 Trail

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Neil C.

Date Reviewed: October 15, 2013

Strengths:    VPP rear suspension great climber (no bob) & downhill confidence booster with great travel & action front & rear. With appropriate tire pressure, rear tire remains glued to ground on climbs. 27.5 gives better rollover & descending capabilities than 26, given superb frame geometry of Carbine. Great climber & fast in turns & on berms on descents. Previously rode Specialized Epic 26 with 3.25 travel (10 yrs. old), carbine outperforms on all accounts, without question.

Weaknesses:    Nothing yet noteworthy.

Bottom Line:   
Standard component build out (revelation 150mm front, XT front & rear, crank bros stem, bars & cranks & Sun Ringlé wheels weighs 29.1lb with added 2nd generation KS Lev dropper post and ergonomic bar grips). INTENSE HAS GREAT AFTER SALES FOLLOW-UP, AS WELL AS SKIERSHOP IN STOWE VT., BOTH COMPANIES VERY RESPONSIVE, HONEST & FULLY SUPPORTIVE.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Paul

Date Reviewed: March 27, 2013

Strengths:    Light, climbs well, descends well - pretty much all you need in a bike

Weaknesses:    Not really found any

Bottom Line:   
I'm 6'4" and weigh 200lbs.
Having ridden XC exclusively for a deacade or more and then took up DH exclusively for about 5 years, I found myself with a DH bike and an Uzzi for all round trail riding for a couple of years. Having destroyed the Uzzi (literally) after 3 years of hard hitting abuse, I decided I had got bored with a 'heavy' trail bike - even though my Uzzi came in at about 34lbs.

I replaced the Uzzi with the Carbine and love it. Mine comes in at a little over 25lbs and is built strong enough that I raced the mega-avalanche on it with no problems last year.

Goes up well, goes down well. Ronseal (for those UK readers you know what I mean)

My build is
Large frame in black
RS Revelation RCT3
Mavic Crossmax SX
Raceface Deus XC cranks
Saint brakes (203mm)
XTR pedals
Easton CNT DH bars and Thomson stem
SDG Formula Ti saddle
Complete set of titanium bolts

Great bike and not many around in the UK - nuff said

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by hkenshin

Date Reviewed: March 5, 2013

Strengths:    This bike is a screamer up and down.
Climbs like a goat with very little pedal feedback even with propedal off in the middle ring.
Stiff rear end, low bb, let's you really lean the bike and throw it around.
Future proof dropout system that can be converted to 650b easily if you get bored with 26.
Extremely light, stiff frame for the travel that can be built up to a very light do it all bike (typically 25-27#)
One of the most visually appealing bikes on the market currently.
Water bottle mount inside the triangle.

Weaknesses:    The paint is very fragile, prone to flaking at the slightest impact.
Press fit BB limits BB choice, also cannot run BB mount chain device
No ISCG tabs so:
For 1x, forced to run very limited, expensive selection of direct mount chain guides
No chain device possible for 2x.
Very tight clearance of small ring with certain cranksets, requires modification to the ring or 3rd party rings (XTR 970).
Have to replace the whole dropout ($70) if you bend a derailleur hanger (haven't done it, but worth noting).
Intense website is very lacking.

Bottom Line:   
I first demo'ed this bike at a multi-brand demo day where I had the chance to sample several 6" carbon bikes (Yeti SB66c, Spec Stumpy EVO, Ibis Mojo HD, SC Blur LTc). This bike had the best combination of pedaling and descending ability. Some will say the Mojo HD is in another class because it has more travel, beefier frame, etc, but I have never been a fan of that bike and the suspension characteristics and felt that most of the time the Carbine made better use of it's travel than the Mojo did. I preferred the small bump compliance of the Carbine and felt it smoothed over trail chatter more than the HD. The HD felt marginally more stable coming down the same steep technical sections that I attribute to having wider bars and a fox float 36 versus a float 32 on the demo Carbine.

At the time I was riding an SC Blur LT2 Al, so I'm partial to the suspension characteristics of VPP bikes. The Carbine rides very similar to most Santa Cruz vpp bikes but the suspension tune seems to be a bit more linear near the end of it's stroke than the similarly targeted Blur LTc. I was so impressed with this bike that I had to come to my senses to not buy one immediately as there was nothing really "wrong" with my existing Blur. Almost a year later, I found a really good deal on a frame that I just couldn't pass up and upgraded to this bike.

After just two rides on trails I know very well, I was setting PRs up and down even with no granny gear for grinds. On tight flowing single track, I was able to string together corners with speeds I would not have been comfortable with on my Blur even with almost all the same kit. This bike loves to be leaned and stays planted when pushed. In many ways it reminds me of the original Santa Cruz Blur, which was a bike I fell in love with after literally two pedals. The Blur TRc is probably the only other bike that is this impressive in the 26" wheel trail bike segment.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Sawpit

Similar Products Used:   Santa Cruz Blur Classic, Blur LT2, Blur LTc, Blur TRc; Ibis Mojo HD; Yeti SB66c, Specialized Stumpjumper EVO

Bike Setup:   XT 1x10 drive train, XT brakes, Crest/Hope Hoops, Crank Brothers Kronolog, RS Revelation 150 RLT

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bryan a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: September 17, 2012

Strengths:    everything you throw at it

Weaknesses:    none so far

Bottom Line:   
i love my carbine. i have been riding it for a month and it climbs, single track, downhill, all around great bike.i would recommend this bike

Expand full review >>

Bike Setup:   carbine xt build, rock shock reverb. fox 34 talas ctd.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by scottsperf a All Mountain Rider

Date Reviewed: June 4, 2012

Strengths:    Stiff and fast on climbs, begs for more! Great all around bike.
Incredibly precise steering, not twitchy, just great!
Just plain Fun on decents, did I say it steers superbly! This is a winner.

Weaknesses:    None really. Small front ring is close to the frame but does not create a problem.
I have no chain rub or frame scuffing as mentioned in some other posts.
Shadow plus derailuer stops any chain slap and shifts clean as can be.
Real weight ready to ride 27.2 lbs with XTR pedals, and XT build kit. Feels like 25 when you ride it.

Bottom Line:   
Strongest attribute is the precision steering. It just plain goes wherever you want it to. Choose a line inside or outside and you're there. Climbs really well, locks out solid, transfers all your energy where you want it. Pedal standing and it's awesome. A great combination of all mtn prowness, long travel-yet climbs like a hard tail.Takes a little bit for the suspension to break in so be patient. Feels stiff at first, but with a few rides and dialing in the settings, it feels firm, but very predictable and soaks up everything. The geometry is ideal for all mountain riding. An all-around great bike for any skill level. You'll come back with a smile after every ride.

Expand full review >>

Similar Products Used:   3x10 2012 XT build kit with XTR shadow plus rear derailuer.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by zorg

Date Reviewed: May 9, 2012

Strengths:    Stiff, light, plush

Weaknesses:    Pricey. The area around the bottom bracket is huge and only has a couple mm of clearance with the small ring tabs on 3x9 crankset. Be advised that Race Face Deus small rings don't clear due to the mounting tabs being too long.

Bottom Line:   
This is an early review and I'll expand on it later. I haven't had enough rides to make a complete review but here are my initial impressions:
- it's plush (on par with a Mojo)
- it pedals really well. Maybe it's the weight, my improved cardio or the suspension. I don't know, but all I know is that the bike begs you to pedal harder uphill.
- it's light: mid 27# with some chichi parts (XT, X.9, carbon bars), a Revelation 150 fork, tubeless wheels and a Gravity Dropper. Could easily drop to 26 if getting rid of the adjustable seatpost and going all out on the light parts.
- it downhills really well: the low BB and great geo makes the bike a complete blast to downhill. Almost too much fun.

Too bad that carbon is so expensive.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by fredjjjj a All Mountain Rider from North Vancouver,bc,Canada

Date Reviewed: March 3, 2012

Strengths:    Stable climbing, stable descent, light weight, inspires confidence! Looks great. Shock needed below recommended air pressure, but now superb.

Weaknesses:    Not enough chainline protection. Grinds chainstay paint off immediately with 22 front ring. Lower linkage carbon mountings makes contact with rocks/logs even though I have a large bash guard. I had to rig my own
plastic and rubber protective shields that work fine. Sent pics to Intense, no response, not good!
IBIS include touch up paint with their frames - hey, it's carbon!

Bottom Line:   
Impressive rear stiffness even with 135 rear and light wheels - better than my Enduro, much better than the Mojo SL. Excels in rugged, rough, tight terrain, not so much for flat XC sprints! A true up and down mountain bike at 27.5 lbs with pedals and decent tires. Subtracting one Chili for having to do my own paint shields.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The Original North Shore

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $2579.00

Purchased At:   Fanatik Bike, Bellin

Similar Products Used:   Lots of carbon: IBIS Mojo SL, Specialized S-works Stumpjumper, Enduro, EPIC, Cannondale Moto. Heckler, Trek Session.

Bike Setup:   Large red frame, Specialized E-160 fork (great, light AM fork!), XTR drivetrain, Specialized Roval Traverse wheels, X0 brakes, Reverb seat post.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by lucianoas a Weekend Warrior from berkley, ca, usa

Date Reviewed: January 27, 2012

Strengths:    handling (it's no mass-product), lightness, stiffness, low center of gravity, good on technical climbs, good downhill behavior, finish & quality

Weaknesses:    pedal efficiency on flat, fragile paiting

Bottom Line:   
Comparing w/ it's old "metal version" (2010 Tracer VP), the Carbine brings stiffer rear, less weight and a nice paintjob (on the red version).

There very few 6" travel all-mtn bikes w/ such riding quality that weighs only 24lbs.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   rattle snake

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   wrench science

Similar Products Used:   Intense Tracer VP (2010), Ibis Mojo HD, Yeti ASR-7, Ventana El Saltamontes (w/ 6" rocker)

Bike Setup:   32 Float 150, Haven Carbon wheels, XTR transmission, Sixc cranks, Blackspire rings, XX cassete and chain, Acid 3 pedals, Reverb, Silverado Team, MT8 brakes, Thomson stem, King headset, Havoc Carbon bar

Reviews 1 - 10 (10 Reviews Total)

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