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i know both companies utilize basically the same technology, but from what i've read there are some slight differences. I just wondered if anyone knew of any other differeneces that may exist. apparently intense's bearings are press fit into a cnc machined cut linkage plate. they use diff. tubing which is apparent, but i was concerned more wiht just the vpp. do they use the same bearings, are the axle paths exaclty identical, is either one stiffer than the other, questions like that. i'm wondering if intense may start incorporating some of the hydroformed tubing as well into its frames. thanks for input.
 

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Lord of the Chainrings
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SoCal vs. NorCal? Hmmmmmm?

Exact same bike.
Santa Cruz VPP technology is licensed to Intense.
The Intense is slightly heavier and costs more.
 

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I know the leverage ratio's vary somewhat from model to model. For example a 6.6 is a higher ratio due to a shorter stroke/i2i damper. Where a Nomad is a lower ratio for the opposite reason's of course. I'm not sure about the rest of the models, comparably. Might be a decision maker, if your a clyde. Or just picky about ones suspension.
 

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I think one deciding factor in choosing between those frames is geometry. The Free is higher in the BB (15.4 vs. 14.1) --although riding the free you do sag a lot so when you're riding it is not as noticable as you'd think looking at the numbers. The Free is also at least a degree or two slacker in the head angle. I'd say riding DH the Free is a little better at just running over stuff, while the VPX is more lively and rewards finese a bit more. Both are very capable freeriders, although I'd give the nod to the VPX if I were to be doing a lot of dirt jumping. I'd say the VPX is a little more suited to being used as a trailbike, although both bikes pedal well. I think the VPX is a hair stiffer in the rear end.

Overall, I don't think they are radically different, and I have enjoyed riding both of them quite a bit (I own a Free and love it, good buddy has a VPX and we switch periodically) but think about your priorities in terms of riding and let that guide you. If you're going really big, or riding a lot of truly hairy, steep DH, I'd look at the Free, if you want more of an uber-trailbike that you can freeride and ride DH on, think about the VPX.
 
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