Intense Tracer VP All Mountain Full Suspension

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Intense Tracer VP XT Fox 32 Talas RLC Complete: Once again, Intense bridges the gap between high performance all-mountain travel and lightweight with the 2009 Intense Tracer VP. With adjustable travel and geometry...

User Reviews (36)

Showing 1-10 of 36  
Chris   [Aug 04, 2012]
Strength:

Great traction on technical climbs, platform shock with bottomless suspension feel, overbuilt frame to take on downhill abuse, good overall value.

Weakness:

Chainline and tire selection. I have tried two different manufacturers cranksets with internal and external bb's and have yet to get the perfect chainline out of the bike stand. Once the suspension sags the 36/34 and 36/32 combo rubs the front derailleur in the 6in. travel setting. I would also like the option of running tires larger than 2.35 when in the 6in. travel mode but they will rub on high speed pounding decents.

3rd season of riding on this frame and it has never shown any signs of failure or overall performance issues. If you are careful with tire selection and run a single chainring there are no weakness. My build is a bit on the heavier burly side with a FOX 36 so climbing is a chore but no fault of the Intense frame. I could run lighter parts but this bike shreds on the technical DH built as is and that is where the fun is.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
KT   [May 27, 2012]
Strength:

Pretty much everything. Climbing is really impressive and is very flickable. Weight is good. Adjustable travel. Fantastic bike, you can custom build to whatever your riding that day. Welds are pretty amazing and made in US is rare these days.

Weakness:

When the bike is sitting I can push on the rear wheel (sideways) and I see some flex so I guess that is one, but I never really notice when I am riding and it is not a dh bike so who cares.

This bike is a fantastic all rounder. I have taken it on extended climbs, jump parks, drops, you name it. It handles everything very well. I have rocket ron 2.4s for climb days and maxxis minion 2.5s for jump days and this bike kills it with both. I have had a lot of bikes and nothing compares to the tracer. Climbs better than my nomad. Get one it is well worth the money.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
scott   Racer [May 05, 2012]
Strength:

climbs, technical sections, descents, plus its unique and made in the USA

Weakness:

I had a bolt in the lower linkage work loose but a little lock-tite and it hasn't happened again. The stickers were poor quality but I peeled them off and love the sleeper look

Bikes like this are the future of the 26inch wheel, light, fast, capable and fun. I'm just as happy to take my tracer on all day epic rides as sprinty climb fests, or even occasional lift serve terrain. I've done everything from bikepacking to freeriding and never wished for another bike. I've had probably close to 20 mountain bikes and this is far and away my favorite.

Similar Products Used: most similar yeti 575, moots cinco, gary fisher cake, maverick durance, but I've also had bikes from surly, specialized, scott, santa cruz, trek, cannondale
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
j   Downhiller [Feb 23, 2012]
Strength:

- rides like a mini dh bike, great cornering, rips when your out of the saddle

Weakness:

- not the best climber

- If your more of a freerider this bike is for you. If your out to pound hills no way

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
dropadrop   Weekend Warrior [Jan 19, 2012]
Strength:

Looks nice, made in the US, people at Intense are very friendly when you happen to reach them

Weakness:

Geo was way off the claims on the web site, warranty replacement took 6 months

I was really stoked to get the Tracer frame and start building up a new "dream bike". Originally I built it with a 140mm fork but it felt really sketchy compared to anything else I had ridden. I got a Fox Van 36 RC2 which helped, but it somehow still felt like a burly XC bike. I had the angles measured and the head angle (with the Fox 36 and 0-stack headset) was over 69 degree.

I contacted support but never got a response. Got a direct address to somebody who had helped someone else and got the ball rolling. Intense told me that the web site had wrong information (it was never fixed though) and that the HA for the size L Tracer VP really is over a degree steeper then what they claim on their site and other material. They promised to replace my frame with another model, and after 6 months I had it.

Unfortunately the new model has a crooked rear end, my dealer is no longer an Intense dealer, their customer support has not responded to me in almost 3 months and none of the people I emailed with last time work for the company any more. Quite a disaster for a company that claims to take pride in their products.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Available At:
skibum   Weekend Warrior [May 31, 2011]
Strength:

Great build quality - the paint finish is fantastic works blue is just awesome. Handling is fantastic climbs well and bombs down anything. Spookey wood is even better on my Tracer than it was on my Meta 5.5 and that was pretty damn good.

Weakness:

Paint finish is quite soft so needs to be heli taped but this is not a problem.

I just love this bike. I can't get out on it enough. I ride reds and blacks all year round at Glentress Laggan and Golspie and my Tracer does it all. Have even done Strathpuffer 24 hr in January - no problems! Expensive to buy but you can get good deals if you hunt around. I haven't paid full price for any of the parts and so consider I have got a top bike for reasonable money. Have had loads of people asking about it when out and about. Its a real pity Intense are now making their frames in Tiawan probably just as good but I like the idea that mine was built by hand.

Similar Products Used: Have only ridden my Meta and an Orange 5 the Tracer is way better than both in my view.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Darkstar   Weekend Warrior [Oct 17, 2010]
Strength:

Soutly built. Very efficient riding up and down. Sweet looking. Grease fittings. Made in the US.

Weakness:

Cable Routing, 2-year warranty, Don't drop your chain with the MRP guides - It will jam in there bad. No bottle cage inside front triangle.

I have a couple hundred miles on the bike and have finally got comfortable enough with it to post a review. I love the bike but I did have a long period to get accustomed. Mine is set up in the 5.5 travel position. I want to try the 6 position but have not gotten to it. I put it in 5.5 because I only have the 150 fork. I am an aggressive trail rider but not a hucker lift rider. I ride to the top and love to downhill.

This bike is noticeably a better climber than the 5.5. In slow speed technical climbing you get less pedal feedback. I also feel like I am way more over the front of the bike.

The geometry for whatever reason was a long adjustment. I figured the bike would be similar to the 5.5. At first I thought the medium I got (same as my 5.5) was too small. I had to put a ton of spacers on it and my seatpost is way far out there but now I think it is perfect if not as aesthetically pleasing as I would like. As I said I feel way more over the front so (so far) I am slower through really technical downhill stuff. Now I know I do have to put my weight back further and use more body English descending than I was on the 5.5. OF course I have to use less climbing. I changed from a 90 stem to a 70 to help with that over the front feeling also. I had this fork on the 5.5 which was meant for a 140 and this tracer would probably be better with a 160 so maybe that plays in. I don’t really know. IT would seem an inch is not a huge factor in angles but I am just not scientific enough to know. I cannot get the front end up as easily as I could the 5.5. The 5.5 would manual easily. This bike takes effort to get up there. I was annoyed at first but now I like the bike everywhere else enough I will just have to get better pulling up on the front end. This would probably not be an issue for people with better wheelie skills. The bike is better cornering for sure than the 5.5. Lean it over and it sticks well. I had to get use to quicker steering everywhere.

My rear end seems plenty stiff. I was dropping my chain which I worried was due to flex but my drivetrain just needed to be replaced. I did find out that you better have bolts in the chain guide mounts or you will get you chain jammed bad when it drops. MY chain line is perfect but if the chain drops it get sucked in there fast and solid. Put bolts in the guide and it is no issue. I have droped my chain once since the new drivechain and the bold made it no problem.

I am not a fan of the cable routing. As I ride the rear shifter cable gets pulled up to the bars. So at the end of longer rides the loop at the derailleur is too tight and shifting suffers. I have fixed this by replacing two of the frame clips with tight cable ties.

I also think the trend of no bottle mounts inside the front triangle is a bummer. I like having a bottle on longer rides in addition to my pack. There are mounts under the down tube but I think a cage there would last a single ride and it’s just ugly down there. There is enough room in this frame for a cage and a small bottle and I really miss it. Most of the trail frames I would look at have gone this way also (Enduro , MOJO). Bummer.

This bike was a crash replacement for a 5.5 that broke at the 2 places everyone's broke at. I loved my 5.5 (even with it’s many issues). I had it 6-7 years. IT had a 2 year warranty which brings me to one of the *possible weaknesses. Many Many (maybe all?) of the 5.5s broke at the seat tube BB junction in back or on the drive side chain stay. Does that seem like a defect? I knew it had only a 2 year warranty and so I was not expecting much but Intense through my bike shop offered me a crash replacement which is 15% off. I got lucky and the shop did not mark that up so my Tracer was cheap. If it had been $1800 I do not know if I would be riding it today. I am glad to have a bike hand made in the USA right here in So Cal but funds were tight and I probably would have gone for a Specialized or something with a lifetime warranty. Made in Taiwan though which sucks. (I hear that Specialized is doing away with their LT warranties too). As long as this one does not break or at least for 6-7 years I am happy with it. Warranty duration is a factor in bikes of this price range.

I think my 5.5 was full of QC issues. The rear end was a nightmare to line up after taking the links apart for cleaning which I had to do every few rides. I also needed bearings at least once a year sometimes twice or the rear end would stop being plush. I think that frame was out of alignment. The seatpost also slipped. I tried everything and eventually loc tited my seat post in. So far this Tracer has none of those issues and the grease ports are awesome. Flip it over push the gun in – pump till grease comes out the sides – wipe away excess – done. I love that. I assume it will line up better when I do need to replace those bearings. The rear end is definitely plusher than the 5.5.

So bottom line I like the bike aside from some pretty minor issues. I cannot call it a good value because 2250 for a 2 year warranty is just not value but the bike rocks and it is made by Americans in the good ole US which is nice and increasingly rare. All around trail riding I think it is hard to beat this bike.

Similar Products Used: 5.5,
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Available At:
joseph   Racer [Sep 27, 2010]
Strength:

easy service great climbing will outclimb any of my friends bikes by a long shot very efficient pedaling

Weakness:

customer service very hard to contact them ive sent them emails and they never responded. there is a small hole on the back of the seat stay that alows dirt and other things to get in however i put a little sticker over it and problem solved.

very fun bike however this is not the bike for the rider who goes out once a month and plays around this bike is for a serious trail rider or racer, but if you have the money and just want a really nice bike than go for it.

Similar Products Used: jamis dakar xam and intense 6.6 and specialized enduro
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Patrick   Weekend Warrior [Sep 05, 2010]

This is an update on a previous review for the 5.5 EVP, but more importantly it is a review of Intense Cycles. My experience with customer service (or customer no-service) at Intense has been mixed during the almost 2 years I have owned the 5.5. 3 weeks ago I noticed a hairline crack at the bottom of the seat tube, contacted Reality Bikes in Cumming, GA and they sent the frame back to Intense. I did not have very high expectations for how Intense would handle the repair. When I picked up my frame I was told Intense had repaired the crack and added a gusset to prevent any further issues. Much to my surprise, Intense had also completely refurbished the frame with updated components replacing the original links and bearings with the 2010 version of the VPP linkages and had also replace the linkage bearings with angular contact bearings and they also had added the grease ports to the frame as well as refurbishing the ‘raw’ finish and had replaced the old worn and faded decals with all new ones.

I had not asked for any of the upgraded components, just to have my frame repaired or replaced as necessary. Intense Cycles has gone way above what would be considered normal customer service and have created a huge proponent of their products and their outstanding customer service.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Rubelnaldo   Weekend Warrior [Aug 03, 2010]
Strength:

The Tracer VP is one of the best All Mountain Bikes around, if not the best. If used it for 3 months now and works really well in all circumstances, you can use it for long tours with slim ityres and a longer stem. I also frequently take it to the bike park with thick tyres and short stem, it works very well on the descents, very responsive back and well balanced. It may not climb as well as some other CC Fullys, but the all round capabilities are great!

Weakness:

Some minor noises from the VPP; bolts on VPP may come loose every once in a while

Not a cheap bur definitely a very good all mountain bike. If you are willing to spend that extra $, go for it, you won't be disappointed.

Similar Products Used: Specialized Enduro; Bergamont Big Air Team
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 36  
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