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.
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
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.
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!
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.
Intense Carbine 275 review/thoughts
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.
Originally Posted by derby
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 08:32 AM.
Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.
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.
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.
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