Intense's M1 was one of the most successful downhill bikes of all time, piloted to countless victories by the likes of Shaun Palmer – and the latest generation 'M9' looks set to continue that winning tradition.
Developed from last year's M6 Evo, the 9in-travel M9 is longer and lower slung, with a more horizontal shock placement and a redesigned down tube to give a lower centre of gravity. The bottom bracket is actually slightly higher than on the M6, at 14.5in – presumably to avoid pedal strikes.
The new bike has been designed to thrive on this year's more aggressive World Cup tracks, with supple suspension courtesy of the VPP (Virtual Pivot Point) rear end, and geometry that can be adjusted to suit individual courses – you can change the head angle (via rotating cups), wheelbase (by changing the dropout position) and shock rate (there's a choice of three mounting positions for the Marzocchi Roco WC shock).
The ChainReactionCycles.com-Intense team have had plenty of input, and are racing it on the World Cup circuit this year – in fact, the bike seen here is the one Claire Buchar used at Fort William. Team bikes are kitted out with Marzocchi 888 RC3 Evo Titanium forks, Easton Havoc DH bars and seatposts, Shimano Saint drivetrains, Hope brakes, Tioga saddles, Mavic DeeMax Ultimate wheels and Maxxis tyres.
Weight depends on the build, but CRC-Intense reckon they've got it as low as 37.5lb. Details of pricing and availability haven't yet been released, but the bike is said to be "pretty much finished". A question mark remains over the name because Solid's Mission 9 already carries an M9 logo on its down tube.
For more on the M9, check out the August issue of Mountain Biking UK magazine (MBUK254, due out on 28 July) where Claire's team-mate Chris Kovarik's race rig will be the featured Super Bike.
New Tracer trail bike and Tazer hardtail
In other Intense news, there are plans for an adjustable geometry Tracer with a range of dropout and shock mount options – the idea being that it makes a great trail bike in the standard setting but can be adapted into a big-hit machine for trips to bike parks or the Alps – with rumours of a carbon frame in the pipeline.
A new Tazer hardtail is also on its way to complement the Tazer VP FRO full-suspension rig. It's likely to be made in Taiwan – a first for Intense, in order to keep costs down and free up the company's welders to work on the more complex full-suspension bikes. Projected price is just £550-£600.