Bike of the Week- Intense Carbine

Intense Carbine 'Light Build'

Intense Carbine ‘Light Build’

The carbine is Intense Cycles flagship trail bike. Made from carbon and sporting 5.5 or 6″ of plush VPP suspension and G1 dropout system, the Carbine is a chameleon. It can be built into a light weight XC rocket or into an enduro slaying beast. This build is on the XC side of things, but nothing was done to save weight that would compromise it’s on-trail performance. It’s sporting some serious tires and an internally routed Rockshox Reverb post.

Why it’s cool- A 26 pound bike with 6″ of travel and 2.4 tires is pretty darn cool. There was no cheating going on with this build, no corners were cut to save weight in spots that don’t make sense, it’s built to be capable of riding any trail that Vermont can throw at it. Starting with Jeff Steber’s vision of the ultimate trail bike and adding the expertise in carbon design of SEED Engineering (a German design firm) the Carbine’s frame is a perfect starting point. Two shock mounting points allow for two different suspension travel and leverage rates. The G1 dropouts allow for remarkable flexibility also, they allow the use of 135x10mm rear wheel or 142x12mm thru axle rear wheel AND, most fun of all, the dropouts can be swapped to allow the use of 27.5 wheels. This frame will not become ‘obsolete’ due to a shift in wheel sizes for trail bikes.  Keeping this amazing frame light was important, so a Rockshox revelation fork is employed at the front. SRAM XX shifters and rear derailleur are a sensible place to shave grams without effecting trail worthiness. carbon cranks and handle bars from RaceFace add some subtle bling, the bright red anodized stem from Straightline isn’t subtle, but it looks pretty cool with the other red on the bike.  Shimano XT disc brakes slow things down when needed and the XT wheelset is fully UST tubless and light. Maxxis Ardent 2.4 tires are shop fav’s, they roll fast and really hook-up in VT dirt. A dropper post is a ‘must have’ item, Intense provides internal routing for a Stealth Reverb. Built for trail riding but XC-light… pretty sweet.

two positions for the rear shock

two positions for the rear shock

SRAM and Shimano teaming up and playing nice together

SRAM and Shimano teaming up and playing nice together

Lot's of carbon and a bit of Bling

Lot’s of carbon and a bit of Bling

Who it’s for- Who doesn’t want a trail bike that can conquer any trail yet weighs about the same as an XC race whip? The mind-blowing progression of the modern mountain bike doesn’t seem to be slowing down and this Intense Cycles Carbine is just a bit more proof. It’s hard to believe a bike this capable can be this light.

We’ll be showing a more ‘Enduro’ build of a Carbine soon, stay tuned.

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