The highlights of Intense Cycles' stand at the Interbike trade show were two bikes at very different ends of the riding spectrum: the 5.5in-travel, big-wheeled Tracer 29 and the M9 World Cup downhill rig.
The Tracer 29er was actually unveiled last year at Interbike, but was slow to market due to further development. The model went through four revisions after its first public appearance but has now been in shops for a couple of months.
“I’ve always ridden 29ers and thought they were quite lame,” said Craig Glaspell, marketing manager for Intense. “Once I started riding this bike I couldn’t tell my friends… they’d just laugh at me!”
Intense's Tracer 29 combines big wheels with 5.5in of suspension travel
When asked what sets the Tracer 29 apart from other big-wheelers, Glaspell said it speaks to the brand’s downhill heritage. One of the revisions since last year is an increase in travel from 5in to 5.5in, and the bike sports a relaxed 69.5° head angle.
Other changes include a straight 1.5in head tube that can be used with a tapered fork or 1.5in steerer fork as well as CaneCreek’s AngleSet. The bike’s asymmetric rear end accepts a 142x12mm through-axle via Intense’s G2 interchangeable dropout system.
The Tracer 29 takes a 142x12mm rear through-axle using Intense's G2 dropouts
“M9 wasn’t a rushed project and that’s why it’s so dialled,” Glaspell told us. The Chain Reaction Cycles team spent the season on prototypes of the new bike and, according to Glaspell, didn’t have one failed link or frame. Four of the team’s riders brought bikes they’d been riding since March to the World Championships in Canada. They looked beaten up, according to Glaspell, but were running great.
Intense's M9 F1 editions for Lotus and Renault
Features of the new bike include G3 dropouts, which fully capture the rear axle, and a pinch-bolt style head tube for easier adjustment of the Cane Creek AngleSet that ships with the bike. The M9 is in production now and will sell for just under US$3,000 with a Cane Creek Double Barrel rear shock.