Intense Cycles Reviewed: Our Top Picks for 2021

Looking for an Intense mountain bike, but you are not aware of the type that suits your riding needs? I have tested many bikes, including Intense models and here’s my lowdown on the best models for you in 2021.

You’ll never regret getting an Intense bike. However, they don’t have a hardtail currently. Sorry for the news.

More in detail about Intense Cycles below.

Best Intense Cycles MTBs for 2021

1. Intense Hard Eddie Carbon

Intense Hard Eddie Carbon
Image: Pinterest

Specs:

  • Fork: 120 mm travel
  • Wheel Size: 29”
  • Frame Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • MTB Type: Hardtail XC/Trail Bike

Intense Hard Eddie was discontinued for reasons only known to the company, but you can still get a piece if you know your way around the internet.

It was one of the most enjoyable hardtails I ever tried, though I don’t admire the design of the frame.

The curving of the top tube was unnecessary. Hard Eddie is harder than the real Eddie. Did you ever watch Ed, Edd, and Eddy on Cartoon Network?

Yes, the bike reminds me much of that, but I must admit riding the bike is not funny but fun.

It hit the trails well and climbed the hills like no one’s business when I was riding it. The bike is very capable and tough.

Its carbon frame is light and stiff, and it does the most work of absorbing the vibrations.

However, the bike is not as forgiving on descents, and you may want to be careful not to lose balance and kiss the earth.

However, after you buy the bike, you may want to upgrade from the 2×10 drivetrain to a 1×12 which may be costly.

This is the bike for you if you are looking for an Intense specific hardtail bike and don’t want to think of other options.

Suppose you want a hardtail with a slacker geometry, then Hard Eddie is good for you. If the top tube turns you on, that’s a plus. It wasn’t for me.

2. Intense Sniper XC

Intense Sniper XC

Specs:

  • Fork: 100 mm travel
  • Shock: 100 mm travel
  • Wheel Size: 29”
  • Frame Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension XC Bike

Cross country racing and riding can be fun, especially if Intense Sniper XC is your weapon of choice for the day.

The bike’s geometry rivals most enduro and trail bikes. The Sniper XC is the bike to ride with your boys and call for a duel.

It comes with 100 mm of travel rear and front, which is more than kind. The carbon fiber top link is connected to the magnesium lower link by titanium hardware, so we are not talking of carbon only.

No wonder the bike is one of the lightest full-Sussers, weighing just 24lbs.

Other features of the bike are 29er wheels to allow you to run over obstacles like a pro. Besides the attractive paint job, you also get Fox Factory forks, Fox Performance or Fox Performance Elite, and Shimano SLX or XT, depending on the XC model your money can buy.

There’s the XC version, XC Expert, and XC Pro.

The Sniper XC is the perfect rig for you if you are looking for a two-wheeler to hit the trails on the weekends.

The bike makes the rider confident to ride fast without worrying about what’s standing in the corner.

You never have to be afraid as you run over the roots, jump rocks, cut through the woods, and do ride through a river.

3. Intense Sniper T

Intense Sniper T

Specs:

  • Fork: 120 mm travel
  • Shock: 120 mm travel
  • Wheel Size: 29”
  • Frame Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension XC/Trail Bike

Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to have two bikes, one XC and the other trail, while you can hit the two birds with one stone.

Unless you have money to spend on two bikes, the Intense Sniper-T will cater to both your trail and XC needs. Besides, you can do more with a 120 mm travel front and rear on cross-country.

It means your bike can absorb hard falls better and run over obstacles efficiently without causing any discomfort.

The Sniper T literally flies on the descents. All you would hear is the wind going against your ears, and the bike got your back when the trails are tough.

The bike is also stiff, thanks to its asymmetric rear triangle. The XC champions have nothing on you when you attend the race with the Sniper T.

As long as you are confident about crossing the finish line first and standing on the podium, you can achieve it. You already have the winning bike.

This is a proper bike for those looking to hit the trails and cross country riding, depending on their mood.

The bike also has space for two bottles on the bottom tube so that you can hydrate as much as you want while on the trail.

There are three models available, including the stock Sniper T and the Sniper T Pro, which fetches more.

The bike weighs just 25lbs, so this is the full-suspension bike to get if you prefer a light bike. Sniper T comes with Fox suspensions and SRAM groupset.

4. Intense Sniper FRO

Intense Sniper FRO

Specs:

  • Fork: 100 mm travel
  • Shock: 100 mm travel
  • Wheel Size: 29”
  • Frame Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension XC Bike

The Intense Sniper FRO is the most capable XC racing bike from Intense. In fact, “FRO” means For Racing Only, and it’s the lightest bike the bike maker has, weighing 21lbs. It also has a slack head angle which completes its progressive geometry.

However, the bike goes against the norm of other Sniper models with the suspension. Instead of Fox, the bike comes with a RockShox Sid SL Ultimate fork and a Sid Luxe Ultimate shock in the rear.

The bike also features an SRAM AXS XXI drivetrain, and with that combination, you expect the price to be near ten thousand.

Despite the 100 mm travel, the Sniper FRO has the same descending spirit as a downhill bike. It climbs well and descends like a fired bullet.

With a longer top tube, wider bars, and a lower bottom bracket, you get the sense of control and confidence required to ride faster and aim for the medals.

The geometry of the FRO is only seen on enduro and DH bikes, which means it’s what you need to ride whenever, wherever.

The Intense Sniper FRO is a combination of performance, endurance, and an approved working system. If you want an XC bike with crisp handling and responsive pedaling, then the Sniper FRO is the bike for you.

The bike is a great performer on all terrain and forgiving on descends. It’s worth it and the ultimate ticket to the topmost section on the podium.

5. Intense Primer 275

Intense Primer 275

Specs:

  • Fork: 150 mm
  • Shock: 140 mm
  • Wheel Size: 27.5”
  • Frame Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension Trail Bike

Intense Primer 27.5 is the manufacturer’s quiver killer. It features 150 mm of travel on the front, and 140 mm of travel goes to the rear.

With all that travel, the bike will run over obstacles and cruise on the trail at top speed.

However, when climbing, you’ll have to lock both suspensions to save on your power input. Regardless, the bike is lightweight and enjoyable to ride on any terrain, and you should try it yourself.

The bike weighs 30lbs maximum which is quite decent for a trail bike. You also use the flip chip to adjust the geometry of the bike from low to lower.

The monocoque carbon construction technology and the dual strut rear triangle plus the lower aluminum part are some of the details of the Primer frame.

The Intense Primer 275 comes in two versions, namely the Pro and the Expert. The difference between the two versions is in the components, such as the drivetrain and the suspension options.

The Expert features Fox Performance forks and SRAM NX Eagle groupset. The Pro version features Fox Performance Elite and Shimano XT groupset. Either model is the perfect trail bike for you if you fancy a 27.5-inch trail bike.

6. Intense Primer 29

Intense Primer 29

Specs:

  • Fork: 150 mm Travel
  • Shock: 140 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 29”
  • Frame Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension Trail Bike

The intense Primer 29 is the big sister to the Primer 275, and the main difference is the wheel diameter.

The Primer 29 comes with larger wheels which are best for running over obstacles. In the process, the large wheels will boost your speed downhill as you won’t need to brake to run over the obstacles.

The Primer 275 has one advantage over the 29” version – it negotiates corners better. The iconic Primer 29 comes with a carbon fiber frame which is tough enough to handle the most brutal crashes.

Under the bike’s headtube, you get a 150 mm Fox 36 Performance. And, the rear, your weight is held on the bike with a Fox DPX2 shock.

Other features such as the SRAM NX groupset and brakeset make the Primer 29 one of the best bikes for trail riding. An addition is the soft WTB Silverado saddle which is very gentle on your bum.

There are two versions of the Prime 29, including the Primer itself and the Primer Pro. The bike is fast climbing and on the descents.

If you dare, you can also take Primer 29 to the enduro race. It’s competent. This is the trail bike that will bring all the excitement to your life.

7. Intense Carbine

Intense Carbine

Specs:

  • Fork: 160 mm Travel
  • Shock: 155 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 29”
  • Frame Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension Enduro Bike

The Intense Carbine is the highest-rated Intense enduro bike, and it’s for good reasons. This enduro bike is fully capable and an excellent climber.

With a 160 mm front travel and155mm travel on the back, it’s the most well-balanced bike that you can grab in your next enduro race. The 29er wheels are an advantage.

Also, if you are looking for a bike to grace the bike park and trail riding when nothing else seems to matter, Intense Carbine will be more than helpful.

The bike is available in white color with black and red decals. The Pro version comes with Fox Performance forks and rear suspension.

If you want a large wheel roller enduro bike, Carbine is the next bike you should own.

8. Intense Tracer

Intense Tracer

Specs:

  • Fork: 170 mm Travel
  • Shock: 165 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 27.5”
  • Frame Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension Enduro Bike

The only 27.5” wheel enduro bike Intense has is the Tracer. The greatest feature of this bike is its superb suspension and its epic handling.

The well-planted suspension will hold you all the way. The bike is gifted and designed to be hard-hitting.

The Tracer is also great uphill, and you can also upgrade to a 180 mm travel fork if you want to. The bike is expensive, though, and you should buy it if you need it so badly and have the cash to spend.

The bike features a Fox Float RC2 fork and Float X2 shock. Tracer also comes with SRAM XX1 Eagle and XTR brakes.

The most popular models in this line include the Foundation, Expert, Pro, Elite, and Factory in that ascending order.

This is the model to buy if you want an Intense bike that is Enduro specific and with 27.5 wheels, and you have the money to spend.

9. Intense M29

Intense M29

Specs:

  • Fork: 203 mm Travel
  • Shock: 208 mm Travel
  • Wheel Size: 29”
  • Frame Size: S, M, L, XL
  • Frame Material: Carbon
  • MTB Type: Full Suspension Downhill Bike

Intense revolutionized the downhill bikes and made them a popular sport when no one else saw their meaning.

The M29 is the current best downhill rig, and it’s what the Factory team races with, and you are guaranteed that it’s a nice bike.

The bike is fully packed with a 203 mm front and 208 mm rear to offer you the smoothest ride downhill. The beast of a bike only weighs 37lbs which is light and unimaginable of such a bike.

The downhill ride is no different from Ferrari in looks and speed. The bike comes with a mixture of a coil and air suspension on the rear for best performance.

You also get a RockShox BoXXer fork in the front, just what you need to hit those downhill tracks like never before.

TM29 also features a set of DT Swiss wheels, and to stop you on track, the XT brakes are just on stand-by.

This is one of the best downhill bikes I’ve ever ridden. Gift yourself with an M29 and attend the next race with your head held high.  

Intense Cycles Warranty

Intense Cycles recently revised its warranty policy and from April 6, 2021. Carbon frames, except for the downhill frames, get five years limited warranty from the date of purchase. XC and trail aluminum frames and downhill frames get a 3-year limited warranty.

Aluminum downhill and free-ride frames get two years limited warranty. They also offer a 1-year limited warranty on certified pre-owned bikes and frames.

The warranty is only applicable to the first owner. You must make a warranty claim according to Intense Cycle’s conditions.

The bike owner must register the bike on the official Intense Cycles website within 90 days from purchase.

The frame must be handed to the authorized Intense dealer or distributor or the main Intense manufacturer together with the proof of purchase.

After-Sale Service

You can contact Intense cycles through the numbers provided on their website any day, including on the weekends.

The customer representatives will be ready to take any queries you may have with your bike. You can also send customer care a message for a faster response.

Intense Cycles History

The mountain biking culture in the US blossomed in the 90s and was characterized by a high demand for bikes.

Intense Cycles dipped its toe in the pool of bicycle manufacturers in that era. Jeff Steber, the founder of Intense Cycles, contributed a lot to producing the first full-suspension downhill bike.

Before the critical inventions, downhill races were performed with hardtails. It must have been challenging for the racers!

The cross-country racers dismissed the bike. Jeff partnered with Mike Metzger and Shaun Palmer to build an Intense full suspension bike in the company’s main factory at Temecula, California.

Intense Cycles pioneered the full suspension frame designs, and we can say that the rest is history. The company has been supporting and sponsoring a couple of athletes.

Wrapping Up

Intense mountain bikes are great, especially Tracer, which I still own. The rest of the bikes I only got to test, but I can assure you they are better than you think. If you have any questions, engage us.

From riding to school since the age of 13, attending BMX races and events with his dad to himself conquering 10+ trails across the globe, for Rob, his Giant Stance 29 2 2020 is the friend that makes everything better. He is also a proud member of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

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