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  1. #1
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    Intense Carbine 275 review/thoughts

    Ok, Fresh off the first ride of my new 2013 Intense Carbine 275. I figure since I use the internet as a resource all the time maybe I should contribute for once and potentially help someone with what can be a difficult decision. Bikes are not getting cheaper these days and to drop this kind of coin on a toy is hard to justify. Luckily, I overpaid Uncle Sam last year by a hefty amount so what better way to spend the interest free loan I gave him and spend my tax return on a new bike with new technology.

    The Build:
    Frame: Intense carbine 275(black large)
    Fork: fox float 34 160mm
    Headset: Chris King
    Wheels: hadley/arch 142x12 black/black
    Cranks: xo 36-22
    Seatpost: RS Reverb Stealth
    Seat: wtb devo
    stem: thomson x4 0degree 50mm
    handlebar: Carbon Haven
    grips: Peaty Lock on
    shifter: Xo
    fr der: Xo
    rr der: xo type 2
    chain: kmc x10sl GOLD
    brakes: xt 180fr/160rr
    tires: Scwalbe Hans Dampf 2.35/ Maxxis Ardent
    cassette: xg 1080 11-36

    Total weight: 29lbs with tubes…I just put Yellow tape on the rims so I rode/weighed it with tubes. I hope to shave .5lb when I go tubeless tomorrow. Disappointing some as I thought I’d get this sub 28lbs but if it settles in around 28.5lbs, I’ll live with it until I thrash my wheelset and somehow justify Enve’s.

    Troubles I had: (I’m not a professional bike mechanic but my neighbor is and he assisted me quite a bit.) Mainly wheels…Tires are ridiculously hard to get on. I punctured tape, pinched tubes, bloodied knuckles but finally won (after multiple days) and got the tires on. The Schwalbe was much tougher than the Maxxis but using soapy water and having two people was the trick to get both on. Also baking the tires in the sun seemed to help. Drivetrain: I’m still not sure about my chain length…I can barely run big/big and little/little created frame rub. I know you’re not supposed to cross it up like that but on a 2x10 I thought big/big would be doable. Shoot, my buddy rides that way on his Stumpy 29’r. Internal dropper post cable routing: I was happy to find that my frame had this new feature(as well as ISCG tabs even though I’m not using them). It works great and makes the routing pretty but I was surprised that the routing just went in a hole in the frame leaving a gap where water and dirt could get in. I ended up running down to Ace Hardware and buying a grommet to seal it up…works awesome and was maybe 35cents? Other than that the setup went well…but again if anyone wants to listen to me complain about setting the tires on the rims, I’ve got plenty of material.
    My riding background: I’m a 6ft tall freerider wannabe. Have been riding for 15+years and prefer suspension with fat tires. I rode downhill for a short period but with a wife, kids, and full time job for the man it’s easier to jump on my bike and pedal from my house than to spend a half day shuttling. Currently coming off a 2010 Yeti ASR 7 and had a Turner 5spot before that.

    Ride impression: The 2lb lesser bike weight was noticeably different making the Intense a quicker accelerator over the Yeti. I decided to just hop on the bike and cruise to the trails across the street where I rode maybe 8 miles on some rocky terrain(Ute Valley in Colorado Springs). The 650b wheels along with the fat Schwalbe instilled confidence in descents especially over rocky terrains. It definitely rolled better over the obstacles. Cornering feels a little different, it’s not sluggish but it did feel like I had to throw more weight over the front tire to get it to bite. I need to play with this on different trails to give a better assessment. It wasn’t better or worse than my 26’r…just different. Climbing: felt easier and quicker than my Yeti but the weight advantage and firmer rear suspension gave me that expectation going into it. Drops: the biggest I rode off was a 5ft’r(ok fine 4ft’r)…again, the larger wheel along with the fat tire gave me confidence especially in the air. Felt easier on the 650b over the Yeti. I will say the Yeti has a plusher rear suspension but I think if I set my sag properly in the rear I won’t miss extra inch of travel on the Yeti. In all, I think I’m going to like this bike on the trails of Colorado and am pretty sure I’ll end each ride with perma grin. Headed to the western slope in a few weeks so will be very interested to see how it handles Free Lunch and other fun trials with rocky terrain and drops.

    Available to answer any questions but don’t frequent the forums that much so bear with me if I take time to respond.

    Many thanks to my neighbor, owner of Thin Air Frameworks. Without him I wouldn’t have gotten out on the trail today. Check out his gorgeous bikes at Thin Air Frameworks

    And thanks to the fellas at http://www.go-ride.com/ for helping me select the build and getting the parts together so quickly.

    Allright, I better go figure out how to pay for a new SUV for my wife so she’ll let me sleep in the bed again.

    Intense Carbine 275 review/thoughts-photo-2-1-.jpgIntense Carbine 275 review/thoughts-photo-1-1-.jpgIntense Carbine 275 review/thoughts-photo-3-1-.jpgIntense Carbine 275 review/thoughts-photo-4.jpg

  2. #2
    74 & 29 pilot
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    Nice work! I've been riding mine since October and it's my favorite all around'r I've owned yet. My large is also 29 lbs and a few ounces depending on tires. I'm currently running the same tires. I love the high volume of the Ardent and the HD is the HIGHEST volume 27.5 tire I've ever used; It reminds me of a 26" Specialized Purgatory 2.4. I'm about 210 lbs with riding gear and I'm running the HD down around 22-24 psi, and in the last year I never ran the Nevegal less than 28 psi. I only have about 50 miles on the HD this week, but I'm pretty impressed with it.

    Enjoy, it's worth whatever spent!
    MTBP
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  3. #3
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    Congratulations! More XC than your ASR 7 for sure, big gains in climbing, some loss in big jump landings for sure.

    I read in a recent post in the Wheels forum that Stan's rims have oversize BSD than spec, apparently to help keep tubeless converted tires from burping and blowing off the rim. But that could make tires more difficult to mount if the rim center channel is shallow and for sure much more difficult to set the bead. Just a rumor, I haven't tried Stan's rims to compare.

    Be sure the chain is plenty long. It must fit big-big + two links slack with suspension compressed to bottom of useable travel (deflate the shock enough to test this), because the effective CS length increases during compression travel. Otherwise, if any shorter, sooner or later the derailleur will suck into the wheel destroying the der, and wheel, potentially a bad wreck too. (Don't ask how I know ). We should never use the small-small gears, so if the chain is slack with a safe minimum length for the big-big combo it is OK as long as the der cage length is recommended for the gear set.

  4. #4
    dwt
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    Intense Carbine 275 review/thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by derby View Post


    I read in a recent post in the Wheels forum that Stan's rims have oversize BSD than spec, apparently to help keep tubeless converted tires from burping and blowing off the rim. But that could make tires more difficult to mount if the rim center channel is shallow and for sure much more difficult to set the bead. Just a rumor, I haven't tried Stan's rims to compare.
    I can attest from experience the difficulty mounting tires - particularly stiff UST bead tires -to ZTR rims, with shallow channel and larger ERD. The trade off is that a difficult to mount tire fits tight on the rim, and therefore seats much faster than an easy to mount one; floor pump will do it. The easy mount tires sometimes are so loose on the rim that seating requires compressor plus voodoo to accomplish- an even bigger PIA.

    Let me see if I can describe my sure cure one man tight tire mounting method. Good levers essential, I like Topeak Shuttle 1.2. Also lubricant such as soapy water. The tire should be mountable by hand 2/3 or 3/4 around the rim, starting with where the valve is (Opposite of usual method. I start at valve because I want to insure that the bead fits on either side of it securely so the tire will hold air when you inflate) Easier to do when tire is loose on the rim). The last section is the trick as the bead gets tight. As you pop the tight part over the rim with levers, the opposite end of the tire will fall off the rim if you don't secure it in some fashion. I lay the wheel on the floor in front of me, and use my left foot or left knee to do this (I'm right handed, I mount the tire in a clockwise, right to left, direction on the rim). You can also lock a lever there. One you secure the tire on the left side, muscle the bead over the rim right to left with levers until the last bit snaps over. I've snapped the end off of levers doing this but got the sucker mounted.

    Hope this helps.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by dwt; 03-18-2013 at 07:32 AM.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  5. #5
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    I appreciate the instructions. It's pretty close to what I did to find success. The whole time I was wrestling it I felt like was trying to put a tire on my dirtbike...just not supposed to be that tough.

    Anyways, I'm now running tubeless and got out on the bike again yesterday. Short ride...about 8 miles on similar terrain. I can tell the bike naturally throws more of my weight on the front than my Yeti. While I initially was concerned about this because i didn't want a too x country specific bike, I find it enjoyable and I still feel very confident riding over rocky terrain along with drops. Also I think it helps with my balance....I rode a 30ft long tight stunt with ease compared to my Yeti. The rear suspension isn't as plush as my Yeti but at 6" vs 7" I kinda expected that. It feels more like a Tallboy but with more travel which seems perfect for riding around here. I'm really starting to dig this thing....is it the end all be all? heck no and I don't believe there ever will be but it is earning a spot in my garage and I know I'm going to have a lot of fun on it.

  6. #6
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    Nice Job!

  7. #7
    Keep on Rockin...
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    Thanks for the report.

    The Carbine is on my short list. However, it seems to have a relatively high BB on paper and I think that impacts cornering ability a lot. The non-threaded BB also is something I'm still trying to stay away from as is a direct mount FD. Little things I know, but they've added up enough to stall me and wait on SC to see what they might come up with, or just go with a TBLTc.

    Repost after a few more miles with another report.

  8. #8
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    To get that grommet in the seatpost hole did you have to disconnect/pull the entire line, or did you just slice the grommet and slip it over the line?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skelldify View Post
    To get that grommet in the seatpost hole did you have to disconnect/pull the entire line, or did you just slice the grommet and slip it over the line?
    Disconnected the dropper post line and fed through. I'd think if you sliced grommet it would fall off.

  10. #10
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    Wow, thanks for the fast reply. Still trying to learn about the Reverb Stealth. Do you have to bleed it after disconnecting the line?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skelldify View Post
    Wow, thanks for the fast reply. Still trying to learn about the Reverb Stealth. Do you have to bleed it after disconnecting the line?
    Surprisingly no. And it's lasted until now without need to bleed

  12. #12
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    You can disconnect the stealth a couple of times without worrying about bleeding. That's straight from the manual. If it's slow coming up or if the button has play, you can bleed the remote only, which I'd recommend doing after trimmimg the hose. A remote bleed takes 5mins and is super easy.

  13. #13
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    Update: I replaced the fox with a RS Pike 160mm, swapped wheels out for I9/carbons, went 1x10, went Renthal carbon bars(wider).

    The bike now weighs 26.5lbs and with the carbon wheels feels more solid than ever. RS Pike feels great. It is the same travel as the Fox but for some reason feels like its a 8" fork. I'm guess the Fox blew through travel quicker. The RS instills confidence. Carbon wheels: I dig them. I find no vibrations when hitting rocks and due to the stiffness can pedal through rock gardens. They definitely send the 'hit' through the suspension more than my body...pretty fun. 1x10: yeah, 1x11 might be nicer but so far I've made 1x10 work all around Colorado. My typical rides are 20-25miles with about 2500ft of climbing. I've had no issues with 1x10 and prefer the simpler drivetrain. I rarely search for one more gear and when I do I just tell myself to suck it up and crank harder. Bars: I like the wider bars, they make me more comfortable at higher speeds however there was a learning curve on my local trails...started hitting trees/rocks more.

    Overall, I now have well over 2000miles on this bike and have no regrets. Ok, time to get out there and ride.

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