The lovechild of Jeff Steber and Cesar Rojo

The second generation carbon Intense Tracer sees longer geometry, 165mm travel and a revised suspension curve.

Copyright 2016 Carmen Herrero

Need to know

  • 165mm front / 165mm rear
  • Potential for 170-180mm fork
  • 27.5” wheels
  • Boost 148 x 12
  • Internal cable routing inc. dropper posts
  • Monocoque front triangle
  • Downtube and chainstay flack guard protection
  • Pressfit BB
  • ISCG mounts

It looks like Intense aren’t having much of a rest after a particularly busy new-bike-launching 2016 that saw them release brand new models (Intense Recluse, Primer 29, ACV) and revisions of some established models (Intense Spider).

Price tags

Much like those bikes, the new Intense Tracer comes with a lofty price tag.

Intense Tracer SL frameset from £3,100. Complete builds starting from £4,200 and topping out at £9,999. Yep, ten grand.

Jeff Steber and Cesar Rojo. Copyright 2016 Carmen Herrero

Cesar and the two carbons

Designed by Intense with a little bit of help from Cesar Rojo (above pic, on the right) – yep, that guy credited with coming up with Mondraker’s Forward Geometry who is now also behind the boutique Unno bike marque.

The Tracer Mk2 has been a relatively long time coming, “three years in the making” apparently.

Despite the bike coming about after numerous aluminium prototypes (built by Intense boss Jess Steber no less) the Intense Tracer will only be available in carbon. Albeit two sort of carbon: Standard and SL (Super Light).

The SL carbon is high modulus carbon. Which basically means you can use less of it to achieve the same stiffness and strength as the Standard black stuff.

The SL frames also come with titanium bolts and hardware which claims to save a not inconsiderable 200g.

Speaking of stiffness, both Tracer frames use Boost 148 at the back as well as a not-QR bolt-thru axle design at the rear (requires a 5mm and 6mm Allen key). It’s also staying true to the Pressfit BB standard – cue groans. Still, stiff innit.

Intense Tracer geometry

This new geometry then, let’s have a shufty…

A degree slacker head angle at 65.5° – so nothing hugely outlandish but certainly very promising sounding.

A degree steeper seat angle at 75° – arguably more significant than the head angle tweak, this is a steep seat angle intended to help with climbing.

The wheelbase is about an inch longer on all sizes.

The reach on a Medium is 436mm. On a Large it’s 460mm. Again, nothing eyebrow-raisingly outlandish, just sound modern geometry.

The JS Tuned Enduro link

As with the Intense models launched last year, the Tracer is not called a VPP bike anymore. The suspension system still uses dual linkages and a counter-rotating aspect but it’s been reworked enough that it warranted a new name. So they named it after Jeff Steber’s initials: ‘JS Tuned’.

The JS Tuned system on the Tracer are different again to those on the aforementioned models launched last year. It’s now been given the monicker ‘Enduro link”.

The JS Tuned Enduro links are a bit longer, the upper is now made of carbon (the lower link is alloy with a grease port), and the whole system gives out a different leverage curve and axle path.

It actually sounds like a much simple curve/path. No rising-falling-rising stuff. Just a sensibly progressive curve throughout the travel for supple initial travel, decent mid-stroke support and resistance to bottoming out to finish.

The Tracer is now single-ring specific and sports anti-squat figures that should result in less pedal induced interference and kickback.

Oh and it’s very pretty

Copyright 2016 Carmen Herrero

Tracer Foundation, £4,200.00

FOUNDATION BUILD // Carbon Front & Rear Triangle / JS-Enduro link pivot system / Alloy upper link / RockSox Lyric RC 160mm fork / RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 rear shock / Shimano XT, 11-speed / WTB Saddle / Shimano XT Brakes

Tracer Expert, £5,300

EXPERT BUILD // Carbon Front & Rear Triangle / JS-Enduro link pivot system / Alloy Upper Link / Shimano XT, 11 Speed / WTB Saddle / RockShox Reverb Dropper Post / Shimano XT Brakes

Tracer Pro, £6,200

PRO BUILD // Carbon Front & Rear Triangle / JS-Enduro link pivot system / Carbon upper link / Sram X1, 11-speed / Fabric Saddle, RockShox Reverb Stealth Dropper Post / Sram Guide Brakes

Tracer Elite, £7,000

ELITE BUILD //  Carbon Front & Rear Triangle / JS-Enduro link pivot system / Carbon upper link / Sram X01 Eagle / Fabric Saddle / RoxkShox Reverb Stealth Seatpost / Sram Guide Brakes

Tracer Factory, £9,999

FACTORY BUILD // Carbon Front & Rear Triangle / JS-Enduro link pivot system / Carbon upper link / Enve M70HV Rims / DT Swiss hubs/ SRAM XX1 Eagle / Fabric Saddle / Rock Shox Reverb Stealth Seatpost