a Weekend Warrior
from Bethlehem, PA, USA
Date Reviewed: June 25, 2011
Strengths: Overbuilt. Strong. Likes to jump.
Weaknesses: Newer models don't look as nice.
I'm a weekend warrior who also makes time at least once or twice a week to try and ride. My preference for riding would be lift/freeriding, but I mostly have time for all-mountain type riding.
Built this last November for lift riding, and this setup is great. Fits exactly the way I want it and does exactly what I'm thinking on downhills, drops, jumps.
The one big surprise is the way this thing CLIMBS. The one trail here I like to downhill on is not lift-assisted, so I have to pedal back up. I'm not big on depending on technology to make up for my lack of skill, but this vpp suspension is DEFINITELY different than others. My build is just shy of 41lbs, and I can't climb as well as this Uzzi on my singlespeed nor my all-mountain rigs. The vpp suspension just sticks and grabs. All I have to do is sit and spin, and stay balanced, and the suspension doesn't disappoint! Now I pedal it xc too! I'm not as fast as my buddies on sub-30lb bikes, but I'm having lots of fun.
As for the rear triangle flex people have mentioned, I can't get it to flex. 150mm rear hub. I'm 165lb, so maybe I'm not heavy enough to make it flex. But it hasn't felt squirmy on me at all, and I can't get anything to bend laterally on that rear triangle.
Best bike I've ever pedaled!
One chili off for value, as Intense is not the most affordable bike out there! Otherwise, a perfect rig!
Bike Setup: '09 888 RC3, 1x9 SRAM, Azonic Outlaw Hustlers, Maxxis High Rollers
a Weekend Warrior
from San Diego, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: March 29, 2010
Strengths: Everything you would expect. Excellent finishing, versatile, durable, attractive, reliable (so far), and fun. It's a well balanced bike that can take everything from huge drops to cross country in stride with the correct components and settings. Tire clearance is massive and the grease ports really work.
Weaknesses: The DHX air shock seems overpowered by the frame in the long travel setting with the longer wheelbase options. If you are heavier than 170lbs? then talk to Intense about this as the shock might not work for you.
The rear triangle is flexy, but it has never bothered me on the trail. The 12mm thru axle helps, but right now it's solid steel and heavy. Let's hope that Intense offers an aluminum one soon. Speaking of the rear interface, the G3 dropouts are boss, however, they have 2 drawbacks. Unless you grease the interfaces they squeak and they are way expensive, $150 each!
The fancy milled out bolt heads are fragile, don't over-tighten them or the socket bore will crack.
The BB is very low, particularly in the long travel mode you will sag quite low to the ground, making pedal strikes a common occurrence.
The rear tire clearance comes at a price. The rear triangle is so massive that with some crank and BB setups the crank arms actually hit the seatstays. This can be overcome with BB spacers, but it's unexpected and caused some paint damage before I figured it out.
In the short travel setting it's as firm as a 5" bike but can take much more abuse. Even though the long travel setting only adds 1/2" of travel, it changes the bike completely. The firmness disappears and is replaced by a the cushiness you want in a park bike. It doesn't pedal nearly as well, but since it's only one bolt, I've started changing this on the trail. Leave it short and dust your friends on the way up, then switch it to long for the rough stuff.
Propedal does help the pedaling considerably. I don't mind using it since it comes with the DHX air, but it's nice to have if you're using this as an all-arounder.
I'd recommend this bike for a small but aggressive rider who like the idea of having a bike that can take on everything on the mountain, from the climbing competition to the biggest stunts. It's direct competition is the Santa Cruz Nomad and the Titus El Guapo. No judgement of it compared to these because they are all good. If you are heavier go with the coil spring or inquire with Intense about whether or not an air shock is a good choice.
Bike Setup: Fox 36 FIT Talas (tapered)
SRAM Hammerschmidt/XO drivetrain
I9 Enduro Wheels, 12mm rear thru axle
Crank Brother's Joplin Seatpost
Crank Brother's Acid Pedals (Ti-Mg)
Weight with pedals, 33 lbs, size small.
Reasonable weight range (my guess)
30 lbs cross country build (Fox 32 fork, light wheels, no adjustable seatpost, air shock)
38 lbs full freeride setup, heavy tires and wheels, chain guide, triple crown fork, coil shock)
from leyte, waraywarayland, philippines
Date Reviewed: June 23, 2009
Strengths: can take a beating. had a couple of wallrides gone bad but the frame is still alright. had cased some landings and landed on flats. frames and wheelset build is still ok. and one thing, it's an intense. :)
Weaknesses: bearing maintenance at the pivots. but nothing horrible
probably my last bike. found my soulmate. im very happy with it. it's an intense. hehe
Bike Setup: Uzzi Vpx 2007 , Marzhocci 888 ATA WC ( 2008 ) , Sunline , E-thirteen , Hope M4 brakes , mavic 823 with hope hub and deemax with tubeless maxxis .
from Boulder, CO
Date Reviewed: August 2, 2007
Strengths: Beautiful, rugged, do everything machine that makes your friends drool and their girlfriends swoon as you ride by ;)
Weaknesses: Umm.. doesn't actually do the pedaling for me? Your wife may never see you again during daylight hours? Seriously.. zero, zip, nada, none.
I'm not even sure why this is listed in the "downhill" category, it truly is a "do anything" freeride machine. Mine spends time on the ski lifts one day, takes a 12 mile trail ride up and down the mountains the next and then finishes up with a day at the jump park. You will need to get your weight right up to the bars for serious, mountain goat style climbs, but this bike will do it while still breezing over 6 footers on the way back down. It takes a little bit to dial in the right sag with the VPP design but it pays to get it right. This thing makes you smile just thinking about the next ride.
Similar Products Used: Specialized, Ellsworth, Santa Cruz
Bike Setup: 07 Uzzi VPX (lrg, works finish), Fox DHX5, Totem Coil 1.5, Avid Code brakes, Hadley hubs (150mm rear w/12mm Ti bolt-on axle), Mavic EX721 rims, Shimano XT derailleurs/shifters, Shimano Hone cranks w/e13 DRS chainguide, FSA Orbit Extreme Pro 1.5 headset, Gravity Lite 1.5 60mm stem, Easton EA70 Monkey Bar, ODI lockons, Thomson Elite seatpost, WTB Pure V CroMo seat, Easton Flat Boy pedals, WTB Motoraptor 2.4 tires.
a Weekend Warrior
from Midlands - UK
Date Reviewed: April 18, 2007
Strengths: Where do i start, Frame finishing, welds, strength of head tube area and suspension feel. A serious bike that eats crazy stuff and pedals really well.
Weaknesses: None that are to put you off. Maybe cable routing to start nut i have fixed it now. If anyone buys a frame run the cables on the outside of the shock link.
If you want a bombproof ride thats goes down the hill so fast your brain can't keep up then buy it. The suspension is better than its advertised. Its my first vp bike and will never buy another system. Can't describe how pleased i am. The geometry is so stable and inspires you to go faster and bigger!
Similar Products Used: Other Dh and freeride bikes. Xc and jump bikes too.
Bike Setup: Uzzi 150mm hub, Fox 40rc2, 823's on burgtec disco camo hubs. Raceface diabolus 31.8 bars, stem and seat post xt finishing kit
from billings MT
Date Reviewed: March 9, 2007
Strengths: plush suspension, 150x12mm dropouts, beefy, pedals well
Weaknesses: cable routing, pivit bolts must constantly be checked,
This bike handles amaizing. It pedals extreemely well, soaks up everything, has a good turning radius, and is stable. The cable routing is not designed for a full length housing and kinks at the pivit. It also gets twitchy at high speeds over rough ground. I have been a bike mechanic for 3 years and it definately has the best overall ride with the confidence of a dh racer and the nimbleness of an all mountain bike. It does require a lot of routine maintainence since there are so many pivits.
Similar Products Used: santa cruz bullit, santa cruz v-10, vp-free, glory, canfield brothers, rm-7, kona stinky
Bike Setup: 888 rc, e-13 srs, atomlab aircorp rims, full X9, jucy 7, holzfeller cranks, cane creek headset, intense 909 2.5
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: March 7, 2007
Strengths: plush plush, plush - great cornering abilities - easy to climb up, it realy does its job in the mountains and has a solid focus on trailriding and adventures in the park!
Weaknesses: particulary bad workmanship - my Uzzi came with a 65mm BB shell - this is bad quality you Intense guys! pricing... paint quality - my steering tube was in realy bad condition due to bad machining - paint peeled off...
The Uzzi VPX is a versatile Hucker in any condition, a no nonsense bike with a lot of tricky know how inside but when it comes to quality a Ventana does a far better job! It's a bit pricy but once on the trail you will understand...!
a Weekend Warrior
from Los Angeles
Date Reviewed: February 6, 2007
Strengths: Don't know where to start. Hairy Chested, Silver Back Gorilla bike. Pedals like my Nobad, no bob, suspension just tracks over rocks, roots, street curbs, little animals, you name it. Gotta dual chain ring with e13 guide for the rough stuff. The suspension feels like it has no bottom, set it up so that you get that sweet sag spot (about 25%) of the travel both front and rear. Make sure your high speed compression is set to prevent bottom-out, low speed to track the small stuff and your golden.. Rebound is a personal thang, I like mine a bit on the fast side but that can toss the faint of heart. The bike can be scary fast when you point it down and let off the brakes, the ridiculous thing is that it will track like a F1 car on the knarliest of trails. It inspires confidence on the scariest of stuff. My first ride was a shuttle run down JPL in the Angeles Forest area and I was picking the sickest lines becasue the bike didn't care, its was sick, and i was scared shtless. It'll climb but the slack head angle will have your chest up on the bars to clear the steep stuff, for for steady climbs, just click in your gears, raise your seat and peddle over anything you see. the xc guys will be pissed that they can't drop you.. Now this ain't no 25lb xc racer, so your quads will look serious after a sesson of pushing this gorilla.
Weaknesses: Not enough time to enjoy... Price is worth every penny. Didn't get the Works version
What else could you want? Ask yourself if the fun factor is worth it, the bike is dope...Period.
Similar Products Used: Roucky Mountain Switch (own), Santa Cruz Nomab (own). RM7 (demo'd).. V10 (owned)
Bike Setup: 66 RC2 up Front, Fox dhx 5.0 rear, sag (25% of travel), platforms, handle bar- adjustable seat (SWEET), 2.5 tire up front, 2.35 rear, Race Face Diablous Bar & Stem.
from S.F. California
Date Reviewed: November 22, 2006
Strengths: the welds, the 1.5 inch headtube, the slack top tube for jumping, the versatility of the rear dropouts, the way it looks all badass, etc. etc. etc.
Weaknesses: some loosening of one of the pivot bolts, but only after some serious Whistler abuse.
There is no better all-around bike that i have ever thrown a leg over. Ever. I ride as much as i possibly can and this thing makes you want to quit your job and just drive back and forth between Santa Cruz and Whistler, hitting everything you can find. when (or if) i ever have problems with it, you can be sure i'm gonna go right out and get another one. no question about it. pedal up (almost) anything and bomb down (literally)anything. Do 4 footers. Do 40 footers. This frame could be set up as a 35 pound all-mountain machine or as a 46 lb downhill beast. Either way it makes you feel like you get better every time you ride it. And isn't that what we all want?
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Bullit, Karpiel Disco Volante, Ellsworth Id
Bike Setup: Marzocchi 66 (7 in. version), Atomlab wheels, Holzfeller cranks, DHX 5.0 rear
from Bay Area, Cali
Date Reviewed: November 21, 2006
Strengths: Where to start...The plush vpp suspension makes the 7.75" of travel seem endless. Pedals uphills like a savage. Soaks up 10 footers seemlessly. 1.5" steer tube. 150mm dropout option...
Weaknesses: I wish intense made this bike with a 83mm bb. Running a dual chainring and a 150mm rear gave me a wicked chainline. After switching to diabolous cranks and 128mm spindles the problem was solved. Other then that the bike is amazing!!!!
I started seriously riding mountain bikes about a year ago. i went from XC type rides to DH trails. I sold my prophet and bought a uzzi vpx. This bike is "the one" I ride up to ride down. This bike pedals so well it is almost uncanny. I hit my first 12 foot last week and the bike felt amazing (yes I stuck it.) I am truly in love with this bike (I keep it in my bedroom.) I am not a fan of plugging company's products but I must say intense really developed an amazing machine that is worth every penny@@
Bike Setup: Sram XO, Dt swiss fr2350,fox 40rc2, fox dhx 5.0 w/ti coil, thompson post/stem, magura carbon louise FR, race face diablous cranks, e-thirteen DRS chainguide, protaper bars...
from Woodhaven, NY
Date Reviewed: November 4, 2006
Strengths: Downhill bike that can be pushed into use as "the one" bike with the right parts. Pedals nice for 7.75" of travel. Nimble for a downhill bike, compact and quite manuverable even for trail use. Full length seat tube, 150mm or 135mm hub spacing with replacable dropouts, 1.5" headtube, Max type bearings throughout.
Weaknesses: Fit issues with shocks and forks, though this may be frame size dependant (mine is a small). Cable routing kinda sucks. Depending on setup, your riding style and where you ride, it can be a handful at speeds.
To me, this is the best all around downhill/freeride bike since built up with the right parts it can be respectabley light and pedalable but still strong enough for stunts. Previously I was riding a GT DHi, which even in a small frame was just a tad large for me, not to mention heavy. I had to set that bike up super soft and just plow through everything because I couldn't maneuver it very well. With my Uzzi, I can actually make it go where I want it to go, I'm riding the bike as opposed to just holding on. At speed it can feel a bit twitchy and the bottom bracket caused me to bash my cranks and chainguide a lot initially but once you adjust your style it feels super agile and corners like it's on rails. The small size frame fits me well, and with my preference for smaller cockpits I'm able to handle this bike better when jumping as well. The VPP action was surprising at first, it sprints really well but feels super supple and responsive to rough terrain. Full length seat tube is a plus when you gotta sit down and slowly climb your way back up (if you have the gearing).
I've only been disappointed with a few issues with my frame. When it comes to shock fitting, I couldn't mount my DHX 5.0 in the orientation Intense has on their site because the Propedal knob and external resevior body would touch the down tube at full extention and actually bend the resevior under compression. Even funnier is my Marzocchi 66 RC2X... with a Crane Creek Xc headset there is under a millimeter of clearance from the side of the crown to the downtube if you turn the fork 90 degrees. Granted you're not likely to ever turn it that far normally, but when doing barspins/X-ups or in a crash, having the fork crown clear the downtube is a good thing. I had a Fox 36 fitted previously and the clearance was better, but still tight. Forget running a flush headset cup unless you're running a dual crown fork and even then you should check to make sure. The cable routing sucks to be honest, the front derailleur routing is ok, but the rear derailleiur cable and brake housing was getting pinched by the top swink link under compression and the cables themselves end up bowing and rub the seat tube. They should have had the cable stops they way did the M3 or Socom. Double check all suspension bolts, they should have lock tite applied and the lower link has set screws to lock the bolts down (these came loose on mine after the first few rides). The newer models have a C-clip at the ends of those bolts so it's harder for the bolt to come out completely, but still something that should be inspected.
Overall I think I found the perfect downhill/big hit/freeride bike for me.
I’ve always ridden a single pivot suspension bike, the same one for the last six years, and I loved it. So, moving onto a VP suspension design was always going to be different.
As soon as I got on the Uzzi I could feel the difference straight away; the whole bike seemed to sink down, as one. The suspension felt too soft; it was way more active than I was used to and it didn’t feel right. First ride and I threw the bike into its first berm and the whole bike just sunk down into the corner, this unnerved me a bit and consequently I made a hash of it. Time to try again, and remember if a bike sinks down into a corner it probably giving you more grip. So, I hit the same berm again, no hesitation, and the bike railed it, I was gobsmacked. I put my foot down and pedalled like git out of the corner, the pedalling response was like a hardtail, but it totally soaked up the lumps and bumps of the following rooty section. I continued on and attacked the rest of the course, jumps, drops, roots, rocks and all. Ok, so my run wasn’t perfect but after it I knew that given time I would dial this bike and be riding better than ever.
A few months later and having ridden in snow, wind and rain I can say that I am riding better than ever. I carry so much more speed over the ground and can attack things with much more confidence, knowing that the bike will soak up what I throw at it. Tight technical terrain is great too. The bike with my 7” boxxers is well balanced and manoeuvres great; the instantaneous pedal response gives much more direct control, especially at slower speeds.
What about the too soft suspension? Turns out that the suspension wasn’t soft enough, I ended up having to get a softer spring. As this is a totally different beast to my single pivot bike I would have been stupid trying to get it to ride the same. I’ve got used to the plushness, adapted to the bike and changed my riding style to suit it.
The result? I’ve got myself a bike that makes me grin from ear to ear and I’m sure that it will be another six years before I think of replacing this one.
Weaknesses: I wish the titanium grey color was just a tiny bit darker. Just a little pedal feedback when riding in certain small gears.
The VPX is the perfect bike for me! 7.75" in the rear, but it pedals incredibly efficiently. With correct sag and just a touch of propedal, the rear basically doesn't move when you pedal. On this bike, I can go trail riding with my buddies, but pause to hit drops mid-ride. I love having a full-length seat tube for easy seat height adjustments.
I've always been a huge fan of Horst-link bikes. I've owned 6 or 7 of them over the years. I've also owned some older single-pivot bikes back when I was racing, and hated them! I was concerned about switching to a VPP design, but was interested in the pedaling characteristics and the full-length seat tube. After spending a few hours on a buddies' VP Free, I was sold!
I do get a small amount of pedal feedback. It happens in one or two gears during climbing, when you hit a bump. It's almost unnoticeable, and I quickly got used to it. There might be a tiny bit of brake jack, but not enough to worry about.
The bike is heavy, about 37 pounds, but it doesn't pedal like a bike that heavy. It feels very quick under power.
As soon as you point it down, the bike just comes alive! It loves to jump. It loves to take the roughest lines. The cockpit is nice and centered. With the seat lowered, you feel like you're in the bike, and it just rails corners. It's got a lower BB, a shorter wheelbase, and shorter chainstays than the VP Free.