More than 2 years in the making, the M3 combines the future of mountain bike technology with years of experience at the two places where it matters most in the factory and on the mountain.
With it’s all-new monocoque design, lower stand-over height, patented VPP suspension, and Manitou shock system, the new M3 is poised to be the next benchmark in downhill racing.
Bike Setup: fox 40 rc2s, sram x-9, juicy carbon brakes
from Pécs, Hungary
Date Reviewed: October 27, 2009
Strengths: It's like a motocross bike without engine, a highly trustful frame even if the track conditions goes f.cked! When I'm riding with, I feels like a passenger on a train! I don't trust humans but I trust tha M3.
Weaknesses: Weakness.....hmmmm maybe the quality of the decals.
We talkin'about Intense now,so:
- Thanks and respect for the guyz who created it!
- I'm goin'to keep my M3 until the end of my life!
Bike Setup: 888 ,manitou 6 way-swinger,hayes nine ,e.thirteen cainguide ,ringle hubs .
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: October 10, 2007
Strengths: its light for a big frame can chuck it around very easy,ive had it off some biggish drops 15 to 20 foot and its know trouble for it, i had down the 4X track and it was wicked over the jumps for a dh bike and it looks the nuts in black. The best dh bike i've had and i've had alot of bikes.
Weaknesses: black is hard to keep looking clean, rear end has a bit of flex but its nothing major, not good for dirt jumping but not alot of dh bikes are.
i recommend this bike if you like your dh and big drops and if you see someone riding one just ask them.
Similar Products Used: specialized big hit morewood
Bike Setup: intense frame fox dhx shock 88 forks bombshell wheels deity bars and stem saint cranks nd 50/50 pedals
a Weekend Warrior
from Enfield, Ct. USA
Date Reviewed: May 19, 2007
Strengths: Best all around dh bike on the market, period!!. Besides being smoking hot looking, it's stiff, strong, corners like a slot car, jumps & drops with ease. Peddles very well. This bike is designed to put you where you should be over the bike, combined with it's low profile, you'll be hard pressed to find a bike that will make you faster.The only people that don't like an M3 are the ones who can't afford one. Sucks being you.
Weaknesses: Very low to the ground, smack my peddles all the time and broke two. Bring spears with you. Just takes a little time to adjust, if you can ride well it's not a problem. Noisy,that's it.
I'm 48, this bike made me faster then most of my 20 something friends I ride with. No joke, they don't like getting their asses handed to the by someone my age and they were slaying me before I got that bike. This bike will make you silly fast from the first ride. If you wan to ride though anything and corner like a pro, Though down on an M3 you won't be disappointed.
Strengths: Very plush 9.5in of travel. rides rough tracks sooo well. truely is the best looking bike period! handles so well. holds its line on any surface. very chuckable when pointing down. Super stiff rear end. Low BB (CofG) for truely great performance. Very well engineered VPP design, with attention to race geometry and weight placement. Simple Awesome as a race bike!
Weaknesses: Finding Cranks to fit, especially if tyou have the 73mm shell BB version. Adjusting the shock on the bike. No rear shock mud protection, like SC V10.
Very good bike, is easy to ride fast and the rear end feels more lively than the SC V10 which can feel planted but lacks rider feedback. The bike feels lighter to ride than an Iron Horse (easier to bash the pedals on the ground)
The bike does have some annoying design flaws (crank fitting etc.) but these can be solved by getting the correct products. After the first ride you will realise that the bike is worth every penny, simply the best 'privateer racer' entry again!
This is a follow-up post to my previous one which is 2 below after 4 months of tinkering.
After my last stack I was about to ebay the frame. However, I took one last stab at it and decided to try and raise the BB height by about 20mm to a more 'normal' height. So I rang round just about everybody who could help to see if: a) they knew about the problem b) to get ideas into raising the BB height via changes to suspension settings and options such as having new rear dropouts machined with a lower axel height.
Firstly, everyone in the industry I talked to knew about this issue. Every one had the same matching solutions.
Apparently the problem often occurs when pedalling hard on ground where there are shallow and low amplitude compressions. Apparently the M3 (and many VPP bikes) have a tendency to 'pack' into the faces of these compressions which can result in the pedal hitting the ground.
The solutions to this were as follows: 1) Used a super drop crown on the Fox 40s to enable me to raise the lower crown by about 16mm (the manual says not to do this but I have been assured that it is safe for this amount) 2) Adjusted the Fox 40s based upon settings provided by Mojo Suspension to increase the average ride height (as opposed to just the sag as they are different) 3) Wound on as much preload as I could to the Manitou Swinger 6 way rear shock 4) Increased the air volume 5) Adjusted the low speed compression damping to make this firmer 6) Speeded up the rebound 7) Adjusted the high speed compression damping to make this firmer
Having done all of this and adjusted this up to my liking: - I have NOT hit my pedals on the ground since - I have raised the BB height when riding by about 18mm - Greatly improved the stability of the bike at high or low speeds - Got a harsher ride (but not one that causes problems
I have now decided to keep the M3 and my confidence is back on the bike and I am starting to enjoy it again. I think I’m now riding much faster than I was before – which is good.
Lastly many thanks to Tim Flooks of TF Tuned Shocks, Rowan Sorrell at Mojo Suspension and Andy Kyfin at North West Mountain Bikes for their advice that resulted in the above changes and me keeping the M3
The first day I rode this bike I noticed that the BB height was low so I adjusted the sag, rebound etc so that I would not pack the shock too much when peddaling etc and corrected my riding style to keep the pedals level a bit more.
The second day I smacked a root real hard with the crank at 45 degrees - I went over the bars at full speed into a tree. It kept me off the bike for a month and a year later I still have the scar on my right thigh from the liquifying haematoma I collected from that accident
I had a look at the bike, took advice from friends and then rang Tim Flooks - for those of you who know him he's about the best suspension tuner in the world. In talking to Tim, we agreed that the spring rate and sag specified by Intense are incorrect for a large rider on a large frame - it seems to be about 100lbs light. I therefore went for an upgraded spring (550lb) and tried again.
This changed the sag to about 30% and of course changed the rebound charecteristics which meant I had to spend a few more rides dialling ths shock in again.
Since then I have been plagued with the nightmare of having to run a spring rate and shock settings that cannot deliver the ride that is attainable for a lighter rider using this bike. I either have to run to high a rebound or face the nightmare of packing and not knowing when this can cause things to go wrong.
I have ended up having to be so careful where I pedal on a run for fear of clipping something that it has actually slowed me down even though the bike is without any doubt a faster than anything I have ever ridden (provided that you don't come off)
Following two more serious stacks (one involving fractured ribs) I have decided that, on the basis of three strikes and your out, to sell the frame and go for something with a higher BB height - the intense seems to be about 0.6" lower than just about anything else.
The bottom line. If you are a light and small rider then this bike will be truly awesome. It is not designed to cope with a big rider - this I feel is a design flaw. Sorry
Bike Setup: Large M3, Fox 40s, race face diabolos, hadley hubs, saint brakes, dura ace rear mech and cassette etc etc - full on racer build
from Santiago Chile
Date Reviewed: April 29, 2006
Strengths: All. Every thing wih this bike is 100% much better than other Bikes. This Jump very well, cornering is out of the world. his bike Will increase your confidence and DH capacities. I just use it for a race, and I won it.
Weaknesses: No one
This is a amaizing bike, when you ride it, you feel like downhill over street. This bike is a must for the real DH
Similar Products Used: Intense M1, Intense Uzzi DH
Bike Setup: Shiver Fork, Manitou inger 6way Shock, race face BB, Protaper Handlebar, Selle Italy Seat, hayes Brakes Sun Rims
from Sammamish, WA, USA
Date Reviewed: April 4, 2006
Strengths: This is a truely amazing bike. I have ridden it for 3 months now and i am pushing myself to go faster and harder every day. This bike makes it easier to push yourself harder because it is perfectly balanced and handles like none other, compare an F-1 car's handling to a civic's handling, this is the M-3 compared to every other bike. The pedalling is unbelievable, the suspension design does not allow for pedalling forces to affect the suspension, but once you hit a bump, jump, any obstacle the suspension becomes alive and eats that crap up! Who ever says you can't jump or freeride this bike doesn't know any better. I have done some fairly massive jumps on this bike with no problems, it jumps beautifully, perfectly balanced in the air. Basically this bike has no flaws............at all!!!
Weaknesses: are you kidding?
This is the best downhill bike on the planet, you can not get any better than this. No BS, No jive, just the best... PEROID!