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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm almost set on getting an Intense SS, but the only thing holding me back would be its DH performance. I mainly ride at Diablo FR Park in NJ. I don't know if this should deter me from buying it. How does it do in (rocky, rooty, gnarly) DH sections??
I'm gonna want to do some races, so would buying an SS be a mistake? (It would be my only bike besides my bmx)

I weigh 135-140 pounds geared and am about 5'9"- 5'10" tall

Do you think I should buy something with a bit more travel, say a socom or a corsair maelstrom?

Help!?:confused:

P.S. I know I posted it at the DH/FR forum, but I didn't really see anyone with experience on the SS. Shoulda posted here first, but whatever.
 

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I do a lot of downhill on mine, fitted with a marz 66, I weigh about 150-155.
It turns very well, I love it BUT I bash the pedals regularly even with 165mm cranks fitted, theres no getting away from it sometimes, people will say its just bad technique, but ill bet they have either never ridden one outside a groomed trail or they are glosssing over this point, Ive had it 6 months now and allthough Ive adapted, it still happens when I am aggressive
Overall, its a brilliant bike
 

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DH only

I only ride DH on it...most of what I ride is natural paths and walkers trails in Scotland which means a push up and riding down through natural rock gardens, tight switchbacks, rooty forests which its loves....I also ride alot at Innerliethen which has the fast Man-Made DH tracks but also loads of natural techical and tight DH......the only place I have really had to pick my lines on and felt out my depth (not the bikes) is at speed at Fort William, but that beats everyone up no matter what bike you are on :)

Great bike for downhill, tough as nails, flickable (like a BMX) and I never feel that I need more travel...except maybe on the front (Van 36 RC2)...and an upgrade to Totems would solve the problem....although I like the balance of the bike at 160...as above I have gone through a number of pedals and gone for 170 mm cranks...although I have adapted as I'm used to riding with a low BB as I have a SC 4X as my trail bike which is lower than the SS.
 

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I've been ripping around Whistler on mine in the past few weeks and it's a super fun bike to DH one. You can place it where you want and it's nimble through the tight singletrack. On a tight twisty trail list Angry Pirate with it's bermed swtichbacks, this bike shines. Karate Monkey is another super nice trail to rip on this bike, again super flickable, placing the bike where you want on the trail. The low BB and slack HA means that it's stable at speed and corners really nicely. On A-line and Dirt Merchant (faster jump trails) this bike again works really well with an easy balanced feel off of the jumps.

As for suspension... I think it's really good. I have the DHX fitted on my machine with fairly linear action, the rear end feels supple on the rock gardens and such like and ramps up nicely to the end to soak up the drops. Only occasionaly did I hit something with a square edge that felt a touch harsh.

So yes, it's a good mini-DH bike. All-in I'm really impressed.
 

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So to add to this I finally took this bike to the north shore for a ride (I've been riding my XC bike a lot recently).

I did two loops on Fromme and warmed up with a fast flowy trail with some nice switchbacks in and not much woodwork. I have to say that the shorter wheelbase was very noticeable over my old frame. The tighter corners were much easier to flick around and I was even nose wheelying into turns to flick the back end around quicker. The weight difference is noteable too as I was picking the bike up over root sections and using the trail to float over the rough stuff. The back end just feels so placeable that you can seemingly pick it up and place it down just where you need it.

The lower trail that I did had fast open sections with some good fast drops and also tight sections with some woodwork to navigate. The bike really loves going fast and the back end seems very adept at soaking up the chunder and doesn't get caught up on any square edges. I can place the bike easily and doing the skinny woodwork was easy as I could place the rear wheel accurately and the wheelbase is tight.

My second loop was slower and techier and again, I just had a blast revelling in the tight handling.

I have the Totem up front and I think it's a good match for the frame and suits the riding that I do. It also rasises the BB enough to mean that I'm not catching my pedals all the time. I as having so much fun at the end of my ride that I managed to do a small drop into a manual into the next drop... it felt good and I wish I'd been riding with someone with a camera to catch me doing it.

As you can tell I'm having a blast riding this bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
jon_boy, my SS should be here in less than a week and I can't wait. But I'm glad you love your bike and are having a blast on it. I went with the Fox 36 and I'm thinking I should've got the Totem since I'm mostly going to ride rough dh/fr terrain on the east coast, but the geo was designed around a 160mm fork so I went with the 36. I only weigh about 135lbs(also depends what I'm wearing when I ride) so I think the 36 should be good. If I have problems or I don't like it I'll just change to a Totem. Also when I was buying my SS, the sales rep I was talking to said the 36 feels like its made for the bike. I also could've gotten the totem and put a lot of sag on it to make the geo nice and soak up the bumps better, but I;m hoping the 36 will do fine. I'll see.

Do you have the Solo Air or the Coil??? You have it at 180mm right?? Do you run a lot of sag??
 

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I love my SS down the DH, stuff. DId a day of Uplift last wk end, and the SS was awesome.
Ultra-flickable, nimble, and really great fun, popping about in and out of the rooty stuff.

In the Big rocky sections (Loose boulders) the 6.5" was noticablely less than the big rigs, but just meant picking better lines, and using your head a bit more.

My ONLY gripe is with the BB height, a have smacked the pedals a few times, and am now very aware, when hitting rutted/rocky sections, and keep my pedals level/high if near a lump. I run 170mm and wouldn't want to go smaller as a 6'2" man, but this is also a bonus on smoother stuff, and 4X. Its still the best bike i've had, and i think it rips the DH, as did the guys i ride with, who are pining after something lighter, more flickable and not such a lump. They ride M3's, Stinkee's, Sundays etc.

I run Totem Solo Air's at 180mm, and Hone 170mm. Awesome set-up and well balanced.
 

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I run the coil fork and it has the stock spring in it and I'm about 190lbs, so yes it does have a decent amount of sag, but it's probably about 30% of the travel when I'm in the 'attack' position, which I think is about right. I'm sure the 36 will be a great fork and suits the frame well, there's a lot of people on here running that fork with this frame. It's about a pound lighter too so will make the bike even easier to throw around. I'd guess that my bike is around the 36lb range with the current build, which for the riding I'm doing is just fine. My wheels are pretty heavy and they need to be to put up with the abuse.
 

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My SS is 36lbs with Totem Solo Airs, CK/729 Wheels, DHX Coil, Thomson + Easton.
Think the sag on the Totems, is around 30% too.
I know people who ride with the Fox and love it, but the Totem is more suited to DH / FR, and the Fox to FR/Trails. Either way, killer bike!
 
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