Sea Otter: Intense Cycles unveils new all-mountain machine

By James Huang, technical editor | Friday, April 18, 2008 6.00am

Mountain bike manufacturer Intense Cycles chose this year’s Sea Otter Classic to launch an all-mountain/trail bike frame that’s so new that it doesn’t even have a name yet. 

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The new bike's revamped VPP suspension system can be easily switched from approximately 140mm to 152mm (5.5in to 6in) of travel and the light-yet-strong 2.8kg (6.25lb) chassis can be built as either a reasonably lightweight trail bike or a burly all-mountain rig.

According to Intense founder Jeff Steber, the next-generation Virtual Pivot Point linkage design reduces chain growth by about 15-20 percent, thus lessening the pedal feedback of the original geometry. Steber also said that the tweaked linkage positions delivers more usable travel through the range and pedaling performance has improved as well.

Frame features include a curvaceous hydroformed top tube and an internal-style 1.5in-compatible head tube which will also work with the new crop of 1 1/8in-to-1 1/2in headsets and forks. The new lower link will be fitted with angular contact bearings that are better able to handle side load as well as built-in grease fittings and one-way seals for easy maintenance. Intense will also offer grease port retrofit kits for older models.

The frame’s release date is still to be determined but potential buyers should expect prices similar to those of the current 5.5 model.

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