Jeff Steber, the man behind Intense, is never one to sit still. With a world-class range of bikes under the Intense banner, Jeff continues to innovate on his previous successes. The Uzzi can easily be built to sit either side of the ‘all-mountain’ label.
Ride & handling: Versatile, with buttery smooth suspension – build it light or build it lairy
As soon as your feet hit the pedals you notice straight away how plush the Uzzi's rear end is. The second generation VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) design creates a supple rear end, soaking up all the smaller bumps and undulations, giving awesome traction.
Out of the saddle, the Uzzi doesn’t feel the sprightliest of bikes, with noticeable pedal bob. This can be tamed with the ProPedal platform damping adjuster on the rear shock but this sacriﬁces some of that magic small bump sensitivity. So, will the Uzzi go uphill? Yes, but you need the small chainring and the patience to grind it out.
The burly, freeride-friendly spec of our sample is more than comfortable descending. Thanks to the effective rear end and brilliant Fox 36 fork, grip was never an issue.
The fork is stiff, buttery smooth, has plenty of external adjustments and won’t shy away from the big hits. Roots and rocks were eaten up and there was never a point that made us turn in fear that the bike might not cope with the terrain.
Through the big hits and compressions, the linkage produces a progressive feel. Slight deadening of the suspension in the latter part of the stroke means the bike doesn’t ﬁre out of downhill landings, and doesn’t carry speed all that efﬁciently.
The Uzzi jumps well and goes well through the tight and twisty technical stuff, but the plush travel can make it a struggle to get airborne without a root to lip off.
Frame: Seamless blend of industrial looks and fluid lines, with adjustable travel and geometry
The Uzzi is a real do-it-all machine. The travel can be adjusted on the swing link from 177.8-190.5mm (7-7.5in). Further adjustment can be found at the G3 dropouts, where you can tweak the wheelbase and geometry.
The frame has a 1.5in head tube and some serious gusseting and beautiful welds throughout, making it more than capable of being abused. Intense have now included Hammerschmidt-compatible ISCG 05 chain guide mounts.
The VPP rear end is suspended by the ever dependable Fox DHX 4.0 shock. The rear end is well crafted and stiff in all the right directions, and now features grease ports to keep everything running like new.
Our aggressively specced test bike bike was almost verging on a freeride bike, with Fox suspension front and rear, and heavy Maxxis Minion DH dual-ply tyres. It weighed in at 16.3kg (36lb).
With the potential to lighten things up, it would be a great hard-hitting all-mountain bike. Alternatively, single ring it with a shorter stem and you’ve got a great downhill bike for tighter, more technical UK-style courses.