155mm carbon fibre enduro race bike.

Product Overview

Intense Carbine 29C

Pros:

  • Monster truck high-speed capability and stability with good ground clearance. Beautiful frame finishing quality.

Cons:

  • Suspension and handling not as intuitive as some bikes to set up and adapt too. Unyielding Enve M70 wheels won’t be for everyone.

Product:

New Intense Carbine 29C Factory first ride

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£9,000.00

The all new Intense Carbine 29C is a 155mm travel enduro weapon rolling on 29-er wheels. We had a thrash of the top-end Factory model.

>>> The new Intense Tracer

intense carbine

Intense Carbine 29C served on the rocks

Intense Carbine 29C need to know

  • 155mm travel enduro weapon rolling on 29-er wheels.
  • Latest Metric shock fitment brings the highly-rated RockShox Super Deluxe to Intense’s game.
  • Flashy, high modulus SL frame uses carbon rocker link, titanium pivot hardware and internal carbon cable sleeves.
  • In-the-know spec choices include wide bar/short stem and Maxxis DHR II WT rear tyres at both ends.
  • Five models with two finish choices.
  • Integrated Boost 148×12 dropouts.
  • JS Tuned suspension with 155mm metric shock and 160mm front travel.
  • Integrated chainstay protectors.
  • Super low stand over.
Intense Carbine 29C

Intense Carbine 29C in its £9,000 Factory guise

Big wheels and big travel

Intense are one of the earliest adopters of big wheels with big travel. They’re one of the few teams to be currently running 29ers on the World Cup Downhill circuit under the likes of Jack Moir.

The new Intense Carbine joins a select but ever-growing number of 150-160mm travel 29ers that are pushing the limits of what can be done with fast trail and enduro race bikes.

Intense are making some pretty bold claims about the new Carbine; “perfects the 29er geometry conundrum to deliver the playful, nimble handling usually associated with smaller wheels and the big-wheel benefits of increased grip, improved float over rough ground and ultimately, speed.”

Intense Carbine

Intense Carbine 29C integrated chainstay protection

You can skip down a few paragraphs if you want to read what we thought about it after our first play out on it. But first, let’s geek out on the tech stuff.

As is usual with new Intense models, the Carbine is available in two different sorts of carbon. Much like Santa Cruz and their C and CC carbons, Intense have standard carbon (for the Expert and Foundation bikes) and ultra-light SL carbon (for the Factory, Elite and Pro bikes).

The ultra-light SL carbon models sport titanium hardware. There’s a carbon upper rocker on the top-spec builds too. Swish.

Intense Carbine

Intense Carbine 29C sets its sights on the EWS podium

JS Tuned suspension

Jeff Steber tuned suspension is a VPP-style short, counter-rotating twin link design. Intense uses three platforms with varying link lengths and pivot locations dependant on travel and usage, with the Carbine utilising the medium ‘Enduro’ link layout.

Travel is increased by 15mm over the older model and the leverage rate is increased too, with the curve initially linear, but then much more progressive towards full travel. This configuration should help the suspension move more freely at the start of the stroke, and be harder to squash (and therefore bottom out) deeper in the travel. The lower aluminium link uses a greaseport design for ease of maintenance too.

Intense Carbine

Intense Carbine 29C sports a 65.5° head angle

First ride impressions

Riding on the rough and rocky Mediterranean tracks of Punta Ala, home to the first-ever EWS race, the Carbine’s high-modulus chassis immediately feels solid, responsive and stiff.

With a 65.5-degree head angle and 1.2 metre wheelbase, progressing to faster, rougher trails revealed a lust for raw, straight-line pace where the Carbine felt better optimised.

Across blown-out rock gulleys and very chunky ground the chassis locks into every line choice without deflecting, and doesn’t ride so low you need to overly stress about crunching pedals on rocks, which is pretty reassuring going fast.

Intense Carbine

Intense Carbine 29C uses the enduro version of the JS Tuned suspension design

The Intense needed some initial fettling to find the rider balance and suspension sweet spot though, and feels less intuitive than something like the Evil Wreckoning.

Quickly reducing the shock’s air can volume saw the rear end deliver more terrain feedback and improved the bike’s ability to change direction quickly and more accurately.

In part, the super-rigid Enve wheels accelerate this razor sharp, race-ready vibe, and it’s something that might be less evident on the more affordable build options.

Price and availability

CARBINE 29C Factory – £9,000.00
CARBINE 29C Elite – £7,200.00
CARBINE 29C Pro – £6,200.00
CARBINE 29C Expert – £4,800.00
CARBINE 29C Foundation – £3,900.00

CARBINE 29C SL Frameset – £3,100.00

The new Intense Carbines are expected at Saddleback (the UK distributor) at the end of the first week of July. Expect stock to be limited.

Intense Carbine 29C

Intense Carbine 29C in repose at the seaside

Verdict

The new Carbine is beautifully finished, rapid and ready to rumble, with arguably maximum appeal for clock-watching serious speed freaks, rather than flicky, jumpy, berm-slashing types.

Details

Frame:Monocoque high modulus carbon w/ titanium pivot hardware. 155mm travel
Shock:RockShox Super Deluxe RC3. 230 x 60mm stroke
Fork:RockShox Lyrik RCT3 Solo Air 160mm. Boost 110 x 15mm
Wheels:Enve M70/30 HV 32 hole w/ DT Swiss 240S Centerlock hubs. Boost 148mm rear. Maxxis Minion DHR II WT tyres 29 x 2.4in F & R
Drivetrain:SRAM XX1 Eagle 12-speed 34T chainset, shifter, chain and cassette. SRAM XO1 Eagle rear mech
Brakes:Shimano XTR M9020 180mm front and rear rotors
Components:Fox Transfer 150mm dropper, Enve carbon DH 800mm bar, Enve 40mm stem, Fabric Scoop Radius Pro w/carbon rails
Sizes:S, M, L, XL
Weight:13.65kg (30.1lb)
Size ridden:L
Head angle:65.5°
Seat angle:74°
BB:348mm
Chain stays:445mm
Front centre:788mm
Wheelbase:1,233mm
Down tube:713mm
Top tube:655mm
Reach:455mm