Intense 2001 Tracer Frameset

4.59/5 (41 Reviews)
MSRP : $1875.00


Product Description

Lightweight Efficient XC Design
3 or 4 Inches of Rear Travel
Fox Vanilla Float RC Shock
Cantilever or Disc Brake Ready
Replaceable Derailluer Hanger


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Reviews 1 - 15 (41 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tim cokayne a Cross Country Rider from brighton

Date Reviewed: September 14, 2004

Strengths:    **update from the review below** plush & sturdy. confidence builder when it comes to aggressive XC/jumping over things. decent length top tube means you can run a 90/80mm stem.

Weaknesses:    bob in the 4" and 4.5" settings, but a stable platform shock should sort this. high stand-over height - I have short legs. don't make em any more - gits. A manual for setup should have come with the frame. Intense and their importers are bit tight on handing them out. Samways told me intense products don't have them.

Bottom Line:   
Tasty bike. bob in the 4' and 4.5' settings is a pain at times- makes the bike feel heavier than it is. Sometimes the bob is distracting enough to put you off your pedal stroke, you see the horizon line going up & down in front of you! I've tried every possible adjustment on the fox rl and it doesn't seem to stop it. I've increased the rebound but it just makes the back end wallow. If anyone has any advice, feel free to email me. The 3.5 setting is heaven- bob is minimal and the bike climbs like a rocket. I might look into sticking a Romic on it as I want more travel at the back for landings.

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Favorite Trail:   anywhere on the south downs

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   samways

Similar Products Used:   santa cruz superlight, specialized epic

Bike Setup:   fox rl rear shock, rock shox duke race, hope xc hubs with mavic 317s, shimano XT drive chain, hope mini brakes 90mm thomson stem, WTB saddle, egg beaters

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tim.cokayne@ntlworld.com a Cross Country Rider from brighton, united kingdom

Date Reviewed: May 12, 2004

Strengths:    sturdy cross country bike. very stiff. fantastic handling. will tempt you to do silly things.

Weaknesses:    heavy compared to my last bike, but this isn't really an issue as it's light enough. they don't make them any more.

Bottom Line:   
i'd wanted a tracer for some time so when i saw a frame for 400 quid off the listed price i went for it. i've been riding this bike for 3 days now and have probably done about 100 miles, so take this review as a first impression. if anything goes hidiously wrong, i will let you know.

my local terrain is quite varied, steep flint downhills to soggy grassland climbs, and i favour the 'one bike does everything' school of mtbing. i wanted a more versatile bike than my superlight and had considered the heckler but weight and single pivot brake lock were issues. you can brake very late on the tracer. there's more bob on the tracer than there is on the superlight and a smooth pedaling technique is essential. don't stand up on the tracer as this will get you nowhere- hills are best climbed seated.
i'd always thought that the vague steering on my superlight was due to the flexy sid 100's on the front. i put the sids on the tracer, with a view to replacing them soon as i get the dosh, but they now feel like a completely different fork. i can now feel exactly where the front wheel is. it appears that a flexy front end isn't always down to the fork- good frame design plays a very important role in this.
the adjustable rear end is a nice feature. it's not there to give you travel options, you only use it to tune the rear end to match your chosen fork. this means you can use an 80mm, 4 or 5 incher on it without effecting the bike's geometry.
if you're a cross country rider looking to up your techinical riding without loosing too much ground on the uphills, i recommend the tracer. it's done exactly what i wanted it to do.

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Favorite Trail:   anywhere on the south downs

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   samway's

Similar Products Used:   santa cruz superlight

Bike Setup:   red medium frame, shimano xt, hope mini brakes, 90mm stem with layback seat post, rockshox sid 100 [please read comments below], hope xc hubs with mavic 317 rims.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by TC a Weekend Warrior from DALLAS TX

Date Reviewed: April 14, 2004

Strengths:    Beautiful work of art machine. Handles like a dream.

Weaknesses:    Frame broke after 4 years

Bottom Line:   
I have had my Tracer for four years now and I broke it this weekend. The frame cracked where the seat mast meets the seat tube right below the seat post collar. Bummer. I ride in the Dallas TX area. I am not bombing downhill or doing anything but trail riding in the flat lands. I use but dont abuse though i do weigh 210 lbs. The frame is a size large.
This has been the greatest bike of all time but four years seems like a short life span for a $1600.00 frame. Intense tells me the warranty for all of their frames is 2 years. So here is the deal. for $330.00 they will give me a new front main frame and refurbish the rear end. Now I'm at $1950.00 for this frame. I guess you could say $487.50 a year. Is this a good deal? I would like to hear from other owners to see what they think. tcmedlock@aol.com
My original rating was 5 chilis all the way. The value doesnt seem quite so good right now.

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Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   SUPERGO

Similar Products Used:   Nothing is similar

Bike Setup:   Full XT. Avid mech discs. Fox AVA shock. Marzocchi Z1.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Carlos a Cross Country Rider from Phoenix, AZ, USA

Date Reviewed: February 16, 2004

Strengths:    Proven FSR design, articulated with sealed bearings. Lightweight yet strong.

Weaknesses:    Rear derailleur slaps frame.

Bottom Line:   
I resolved the rear derailleur problem by padding the contact area with some rubber -- so am not taking off any points for that.

I have experienced better climbing ability with the Intense Tracer than with my trusty old hardtail. The Tracer semms very forgiving, and gives me a feeling of control, even in the most technical climbs. Going downhill is where the big advantage becomes clear -- the Tracer can negotiate a lot of stuff -- and it makes it look easy. The bike is quiet and lets me focus on the important stuff.

What separates the Tracer from other full suspension bikes is the execution of a proven design. The sealed bearing and super strong costruction execute the FSR design flawlessly. Add the best components, and you will end up with a serious XC machine that will impress you with its performance for many years.

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Favorite Trail:   All

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $875.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   CAAD2 hardtail.

Bike Setup:   XTR long cage reaar derailleur. F100X and Fox Float.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rassie van Aswegen a Weekend Warrior from Mechanicsburg, PA

Date Reviewed: October 29, 2003

Strengths:    Build Quality, versatility, balance and overall handling.

Weaknesses:    Difficult to set up right with an AIR shock in the rear. Decals are crap and have started to bubble.

Bottom Line:   
At first I hated this bike for 2 reasons which I contribute to a lack of knowledge about the setup of the bike. First I bought it with the Uzzi SL link and set it at the 5 inch travel setting which made it handle really badly with the weight bias way towards the front and the ride hight way to high. This was the first mistake. I will not recommend this to anyone, stick with the standard 3 to 4 inch link. If you want more travel by a different bike. Set up for 5 inches in the back this bike does not work period even with the 5 inch travel fork up front. Second I bought it with a supposedly upgraded rear shock which was a Rockshox SID Air. I could not get this shock set up to work with this bike period. I even had the pressure (+ and -) in the shock way up over 200psi at one point even while I am only about 175 pounds. I eventually went for a Fox Vanilla R coil shock which has made all the difference. The bike now handles like a dream and I keep it in the 4 inch setting in the rear. This setup balances nicely with the 5 inch Marzocchi Z1 front fork. I now love this bike after almost selling it due to incorrect setup in the beginning. With a stable platform Rear Shock this bike will be the ultimate trail riding machine.

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $930.00

Purchased At:   Classifieds

Similar Products Used:   GT LTS, Santa Cruz Bullit

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi Bomber Z1, LX shifters, crank and disk brakes. Bontrager Race Light wheels. Fox Vanilla R rear Shock.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Blake Roberts a Downhiller from Houston,tx

Date Reviewed: August 30, 2003

Strengths:    light the one i rode weighed 20 lbs

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
awesome i used it for a dh race becouse my dh bike brakes failed. i came in first and still had the energy to carry it back up its so light get one i rode about a mile of trails on it it is awesome.

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Favorite Trail:   steep and fast

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   full old stronger xtr

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Darin Chester a Weekend Warrior from W. Sacramento

Date Reviewed: July 14, 2003

Strengths:    Plush, responsive, climbs excellent, design, warranty, adjustment friendly.

Weaknesses:    Derailleur slaps frame and is noisy, not portage friendly, decals are ugly, makes it tough to mount on hitch rack due to top tube design.

Bottom Line:   
The weaknesses are moot, after researching every other frame in it's category/price range, this was the obvious choice. Intense created a standard of how XC full suspension frames will be made (Blur, Spider). They have been designing frames for other makers for a while, which tells you that the industry standard will be built around them.

The Tracer is light, nimble, and is an excellent climber. With the lock out on the Fox RC Float climbing becomes even easier. Depending on your rider compartment setup, you can adjust the geometry to best fit you. I haven't messed with it but it is there if you need it.

The magazines even said the Tracer is the best XC frame. Now that the Blur and Spyder are out, it makes the Tracer stand out as the one that started the new era of frame design. C'dale wasn't innovative, they just dabbled too much and never got it right. Intense got it right the first time.

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Favorite Trail:   Clementine Loop

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1499.00

Purchased At:   River Rat

Similar Products Used:   Super V

Bike Setup:   Marz '03 MX Pro w/eta, XT disc brakes/levers, Sun/XT wheels, Race Face BB, cranks, post, stem, risers, XT fr/rr der., frame is red w/ all black/silver parts.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jon Nelson a Cross Country Rider from Crested Butte CO

Date Reviewed: May 5, 2003

Strengths:    BB clearance, stiffness, geometry options, lowered top tube is good for those steep dismounts *#%!

Weaknesses:    Dented with light rock compression(my fault), paint, stickers, der slap, rear der cable routing?

Bottom Line:   
This bike sends shivers down my spine. I've never felt so comfortable in the saddle for so long. (over thirty miles) It corners well, it climbs great, it takes the drops and sucks em right up. It even does well enough on the road approaches and exits. Sure it's no XC racer but neither am I. If you're looking to charge it and want to go for the all around dream bike, give the Tracer a good look.

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Favorite Trail:   Doctors, Two Elk, Teo Ridge

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $3500.00

Purchased At:   123 bikes

Similar Products Used:   Ellsworth Truth, Kona Bear, FSR, Racer X, Superlight

Bike Setup:   2002 tracer, Fox RLC 100, Hope Minis, king headset, Race face cranks, thomson post, stem, Mavic x3.1,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Kit a Cross Country Rider from Plano, TX

Date Reviewed: March 27, 2003

Strengths:    Stiffness, Geometry, adjustability

Weaknesses:    Rear Derailer hanger seems a bit week but other than that nothing.

Bottom Line:   
After finally getting my Talas fork and spending some time with it I feel its time to submit a review of this bike. Overall the bike is SWEET. It may not be the best choice for a gram counting racer but if you're looking for a great all around trail bike then you don't need to look any further.
The suspension is very responsive with minimal pedal bob and the frame is extremely stiff. I picked up a few pounds coming from a 21 pound hardtail but I hardly even notice them (bike tips the scales at about 28 lbs but could easily be built in the 25-26 pound range). The bike handles and tracks amazing. It is a very efficient climber and is a hell of a lot faster on the downhills than my old sled. I'm glad that Mike (at Lonestar) talked me into trying the SRAM X.0 (I was skeptical of switching to gripshift). It shifts flawlessly and solves the problem of the derailer slapping against the frame (this is a common problem of most 4-bar bikes).
The only problem I have had was a snapped derailer hanger. The hanger itself seems fairly brittle and a replacement runs about $25 which seems a bit high but I have had any further issues with it so I can't really complain.
I had thought about waiting for the spider to come out but for my type of riding I'm glad I didn't and if I had it to do over again I'd do it all the same.
Its definitely not the cheapest sled out there but to me it was worth every penny.

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Favorite Trail:   Bar H Ranch

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   Lonestar Bikes (www.lonestarbikes.com)

Similar Products Used:   This is my first dual suspension though I have spent a little time on a Superlight, Racer X, and FSR

Bike Setup:   Frame: 2002 Intense Tracer with Fox Float RLC shock
Fork: Fox Talas
Derailers: Sram X.0 rear derailer, Shimano XT Front
Shifters: Sram X.0
Brakes: Avid Mechanical Disc
Brake Levers: Avid Ti
Cranks: Truvativ Stylo Team
Wheels: Shimano WM-959

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by tobi taplin a Weekend Warrior from aust gold coast

Date Reviewed: March 24, 2003

Strengths:    handling,bb clearance,headangle 69 deg,stiff,

Weaknesses:    paint,main pivot bolts were made faulty,seat tube

Bottom Line:   
69 deg head angle great for dh steep stuff but climbing
not so good ,bike was a wepon untill the seat tube sheered away from the seat mast ,
but the main reason for this reveiw is to inform all owners of tracers if your rear gears are going nuts,youved tried everithing ,i know the problemo..
if your rear mec slapps,ride downhill in big ring 2nd or 3rd gear ,=less slapping ,for gear problem email me at
tobitaplin@iprimus.com.au,am getting a blur..vpp yea baby ....will put the fsr out of bussiness read the reveiws ,and check sc website reviews.....vpp for me he he he would get spider but easton tubing will always fail after 12 months or so ,if your a sponsored xc racer spider best bike and fastest bike in existance,but in reality 97% of us just wanna have fun .in the sun .so live by the words ...i breath single track ....and do your research..

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Favorite Trail:   mt allen hiking trail

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   bike addiction

Similar Products Used:   jeykal,fsr,

Bike Setup:   all xtr,manatu 110m tpc,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Thomas DeLaney a Cross Country Rider from Fredericksburg, VA USA

Date Reviewed: February 25, 2003

Strengths:    Awesome bike.

Weaknesses:    Stickers.
Der hanger.
And that there aren't enough hours in the day to ride it!


Bottom Line:   
This is update to my previous. I noticed a lot of people complaining about the rear derailleur smackin' the chainstay. Some opted for padding to remedy this. I too had the same problem. My solution (which, by the way has worked fine) was to go with a medium cage XTR derailleur and shorten the chain. I haven't had any slap since in ANY gear ratio. Most people are experiencing this knocking because they have their drivetrains setup incorrectly. More than likely, their chains are too long. My bike is setup with the chainstay bolted in the shorter of the two settings (makes the bike climb like a goat), and I'm running my rear shock in the setting that affords the greatest travel (which also creates a steeper head angle and higher BB clearance), but with a Marzocchi Z1 fork, that lessens the head angle back to an XC setup. As a result, I have a bike with XC racing geometry, but that has a whopping 14" BB clearance and nearly a full FIVE inches of travel. Granted, this puts your center of gravity higher, but you just need to learn to hunker down in the corners to alleviate it. The bike cuts corners like a knife, AND it can handle the roughest of terrain and obstacles. No more clanking derailleur hanger either. And no problem with rear derailleur cable housing hitting my calves, and I've got monstrous calved (I used to be a bodybuilder/powerlifter). Bottom line is that this bike RULES *** IF *** you know how to set it up, and most people do NOT know how to set it up properly. I learned from a Professional mechanic who's been selling Intense frames and turning wrenches on 'em for as long as Jeff Steber has been in the business. See FilzBuilt.com

GREAT BIKE, BUT LEARN HOW TO SET IT UP BEFORE YOU RIDE IT.

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Favorite Trail:   Snakebite Canyon in Cuba

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1450.00

Purchased At:   CBO

Similar Products Used:   FSR, MC CXS

Bike Setup:   Same as my previous review, except now, I'm running a Z1 MCR fork vice a crappy Psylo SL.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Steve H a Cross Country Rider from Northeast PA

Date Reviewed: January 29, 2003

Strengths:    Excellent Ride and Feel.. Climbs great and is a blast to ride.. A great all around do it all bike from Epic rides to XC Racing.

Weaknesses:    Well, my frame cracked after 1.5 years under the top shock mount, (anyone else have this happen?) however Intense replced no questions asked. Other than that nothing really except maybe the stickers are pretty weak..

Bottom Line:   
I totally love the bike and must say I was dissapointed when the frame cracked. I am an aggressive rider but wasn't doing any crazy jumps or big free riding.. Shawn at Beans Bikes totally hooked me up and had the new frame back from Intense in 2-3 weeks and ready to go. So let's hope this one holds up! Other than that it's a fantastic do-it-all bike and I'd highly reccomend it.

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Favorite Trail:   All of them...

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Beans Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Specialized FSR, Voodoo Canzo Ti, Turner FXR

Bike Setup:   Bomber Z1 up front, Chris King Hubs w/317 Disc wheels, King Headset, Shimano XT Disc Brakes, Race Face Cranks, XTR Der, Grip Shift Attack, Thompson Post and Stem, Sella Italia Gel Saddle, Shimano 949 pedals..

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Tom Allen a Cross Country Rider from Fayetteville, NC

Date Reviewed: January 11, 2003

Strengths:    Efficient climber, almost NO pedal-induced bob, sweet on the bumpy stuff

Weaknesses:    Rear derailleur cable housing sticks out and rubs my leg.

Bottom Line:   
This is one heck of a groovy frame for someone who wants to get at some good, hilly cross country and go down trails just short of crazy DH. On my setup, I made the mistake of putting that PSYLO on there. For the frame, it's just too much travel (5 in) and too heavy. But, compared to my last frame, which I loved 'till I busted it, this frame it the best thing going! If you think you might be interested in it and have the cash, GET IT!

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Favorite Trail:   Black Mountain Loop, Pisgah

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1600.00

Purchased At:   Supergo

Similar Products Used:   Mountain Cycle Moho Full suspension

Bike Setup:   ESP 9.0, Raceface Turbine LP crankset, PSYLO XC fork

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Antonio Martinez a Cross Country Rider from Bilbao(Spain)

Date Reviewed: November 27, 2002

Strengths:    Strong and ligthweigth. good climbing and better downhiller

Weaknesses:    Stcker very bad quality for this frame and rear derailleur very close to the frame and touch it in small cogs

Bottom Line:   
This frame is one of the better bikes for all use MTB, resistant, ligthweigth and beautiful frame and it is the most resistant XC frame to do freeride.
It is a litle expensive but if you ride more than 100 days at year it is nothing.
You don`t have to take care of it( only to clean).

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Favorite Trail:   Coast

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Local shop

Similar Products Used:   FRS xc

Bike Setup:   XTR, Hope brakes, X317+Hope wheels

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Paul DeCamp a Weekend Warrior from Silver Spring, MD, USA

Date Reviewed: November 12, 2002

Strengths:    Adjustability

Weaknesses:    Weak rear derailer hanger, swingarm pivot (next to bottom braket) bolt wear (yes the bolt) even though bearing is OK hmmmm a litle too much stress perhaps?

Bottom Line:   
This is my second frame - the first was welded together incorrectly - the frame was misaligned (some may remember my last review here). They replaced it no questions. This one is slightly misaligned but within reasonable limits. I have grown to like this bike a lot. I set it up with a steep head angle and short wheelbase. I have not had any shifting problems others have complained about with this setup. In summary - I recommend you take a look at this one.

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Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Filtz Built

Similar Products Used:   lots of different bikes

Bike Setup:   Usual good stuff

Reviews 1 - 15 (41 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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