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  1. #1
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    An Intense Tracer 275 build

    I thought I’d post this in case anyone else is thinking about a Tracer 275 as a (relatively) lightweight trail bike build. Or just for other bike geeks...

    Seems like all of our local rides, from in-town stuff to big high country rides, follow the same recipe – starting from the trailhead, climb. Then climb some more. When you become hypoxic and are about to forsake mountain biking, you reverse course, and descend.

    We’ve got absolutely great riding, but you want a bike that can go uphill and down.

    So anyway, I’m replacing this (note the custom chainstay protector - a beer can label destined for a Silverton Ice Pick Ale, with a piece of thick 3M protectant carefully slapped over it. It actually works great. ):
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails An Intense Tracer 275 build-turner-2.jpg  

    Last edited by JChasse; 09-13-2012 at 10:49 PM.

  2. #2
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    I rode and loved a Ventana for 11 yrs, and finally updated to a 2010 Turner 5.Spot. It’s a great bike. But for whatever reason, I never connected with it (or something). When I got the 5.Spot, I also really thought a lot about the 650b Ventana El Bastardo, but wanted to try a more “modern” suspension, so went for the DW Link Spot.

    Like I said, for whatever reason, the Turner's never really clicked for me. I rode a 26 inch Carbine, and liked it more than the Turner, so I’m working with a great local shop (Pedal the Peaks) to build up a Tracer 275. (I would have done a 27.5 Carbine, but really want to try a bike that's been designed from the ground up for 650b...)

    The frame was ordered a few weeks ago, and parts are starting to trickle in. I’m pretty psyched about it…here’s what we’ve got so far.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails An Intense Tracer 275 build-wheels-fork.jpg  

    An Intense Tracer 275 build-stem-clamp.jpg  

    Last edited by JChasse; 09-13-2012 at 11:31 PM.

  3. #3
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    I’m a little obsessed with bike stuff (hard to beleive around here!), so I’m weighing parts just for the hell of it. My hope is that I can build the Tracer to come in at or under the weight of the 5.Spot (26.85lbs as pictured, with cage, pedals etc), but without any stupid lite parts. I doubt it’ll be possible (the fork's kind of a heifer, but I like having travel adjust)...wish me luck.

    Here’s the build spec so far:

    Enve 650b XC wheels, laced to DT Swiss 240 hubs with DT Aerolite bladed spokes (Not sure bladed spokes are necessary on a mountain bike, particularly as slow as I'm going. I had to go with these hubs – you’ll understand why later). Weights with Gorilla tape “rim strips” and tubeless valves (no skewers, brake hardware etc):
    Front – 690g
    Rear – 770g

    Fox 34 Talas 650b fork (uncut steerer) - 4.64 lbs

    Thomson 100mm stem: 160g

    Tune QR seatpost collar: too light to register on my bike scale…seriously.

    Stay tuned - more to come.
    Last edited by JChasse; 09-13-2012 at 11:13 PM.

  4. #4
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    Wow, should be nice can't wait to see where you end up. My 650b is around 30 pounds and after 3 years It does not seem heavy at all. I think people get to hung up on weight sometimes. Then again if my bike was 27 pounds I would be a very happy camper!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jchasse View Post
    enve 650b xc wheels, with dt swiss 240 hubs (i had to go with these hubs – you’ll understand why later).
    sram xx1?

  6. #6
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    You must be good with the ladies...or...your wife/girlfriend/SO must really like your slow buildup.......

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by lixxfe View Post
    sram xx1?
    Ed Zachary.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morpheous View Post
    You must be good with the ladies...or...your wife/girlfriend/SO must really like your slow buildup.......
    I may have posted () prematurely, but they aren't even shipping the rest of the stuff yet.

  9. #9
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    LOL JK, this should be a great build...

  10. #10
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    Nice start,

    but you are really putting the pressure on the husbands of other Spot owners ... me.
    It would make my life much easier if you traded in your Spot for a $1000 hard tail SS, then convinced the Mrs. to do the same. I've just saved money and have less maintenance to do before each ride.
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

  11. #11
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    Just don't let her read this thread. I'm telling my Spot-owner wife it's only about the wheel size. (and 26 inch wheels are perfect for girls their size, right?)

  12. #12
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    When do the Tracer frames start shipping?

    It'll be interesting to see how close you get to the goal weight. I think 2 Carbines have been built now on the Forum with one at 28 and change and the other at 30. The one at 30 even had the Enve rims.

    What didn't gel for you on the Spot? How was the climbing in real techie stuff?
    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidad View Post
    When do the Tracer frames start shipping?

    It'll be interesting to see how close you get to the goal weight. I think 2 Carbines have been built now on the Forum with one at 28 and change and the other at 30. The one at 30 even had the Enve rims.

    What didn't gel for you on the Spot? How was the climbing in real techie stuff?
    They're saying around Oct 1.

    I honestly doubt I'll get to the Turner's built weight. The build kit will be lighter on the new bike, but I assume the frame may be a bit heavier than the Turner (6.8 lbs for the medium Turner frame with shock - not sure what the Tracer will weigh), and the fork is considerably heavier (~ 3/4 of a lb). Not a big deal, but it would be great if it's not noticeably heaver than what I'm riding now.

    Aside from subjectively just not being excited by the Turner, I've noticed 2 things I don't like, particularly after spending a little time on the Carbine 26inch VPP bike for comparison. First, the Turner suspension is a LOT stiffer / less compliant than the Intense. So while it seems to climb a litle better, the suspension seems a lot less effective at absorbing the small stuff - it makes for a really jarring ride IMHO. And I've played with the suspension settings a bunch...it's just a stiff platform. I've heard rumors about some Turners with bad/sticky pivot bushings, so I suspect I may be part of my issue.

    The second thing is more about the geometry (I think)...Even on the first ride, the Intense was more confidence inspiring than my Turner (even though i had been on the intense for 3 hrs vs 2 seasons on the Turner). That was an eye opener. I've been professionally fitted twice, and am pretty particular about position on the bike and contact points etc, so I don't think that was a contributor.
    Last edited by JChasse; 09-14-2012 at 10:21 AM.

  14. #14
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    What color frame did you decide to go with?

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by savechief View Post
    What color frame did you decide to go with?
    Black Chrome. Keeping it low key in a gray/silver/black kinda way. Well, as low key as it can be with the carbon Enve stuff hanging on it.

  17. #17
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    Still waiting for stuff...

    My frame is scheduled to be in the first batch shipped. Hoping to see it in the next 2-3 weeks.

    SRAM XX1 stuff was pre-ordered, so I should have that as soon as it starts shipping, too. Heard today that they are now saying late October.

    Bars, grips, and some other small parts should be trickling in soon.

  18. #18
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    If it is anything like the Tracer 2/26 it is going to be significantly heavier than the Turner. If I am not mistaken the Tracer is around 8.5-9 lbs for the frame only. With the amount of money you are dropping on this build you may want to check out the Carbine again. BB is about .4" higher, but not a huge difference and you already like the 26" version. Everyone riding the 27.5 Carbine is raving about it. Either way it is going to be a fun bike.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JChasse View Post
    Still waiting for stuff...

    My frame is scheduled to be in the first batch shipped. Hoping to see it in the next 2-3 weeks.

    SRAM XX1 stuff was pre-ordered, so I should have that as soon as it starts shipping, too. Heard today that they are now saying late October.

    Bars, grips, and some other small parts should be trickling in soon.
    I am stoked for the XX1. My plan is an Altitude 790 frame with XX1. Not sure yet on which wheels I'm gonna go with.

  20. #20
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    I await your Build sir!

    What is the max wheel size can the rear accommodate on the 27.5? I don't want to be limited to a 2.35.
    I guess one of the reason why I am not even considering the Carbine is because since it is wasn't intentionally designed for 650b it will limit the tire size. As for the weight 30lbs is nothing, light enough for me. Just get rid of the unnecessary load on your backpack. My current rig is 30lbs + 15lbs pack. Have fun on your build.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirthugger View Post
    I await your Build sir!

    What is the max wheel size can the rear accommodate on the 27.5? I don't want to be limited to a 2.35.
    I guess one of the reason why I am not even considering the Carbine is because since it is wasn't intentionally designed for 650b it will limit the tire size. As for the weight 30lbs is nothing, light enough for me. Just get rid of the unnecessary load on your backpack. My current rig is 30lbs + 15lbs pack. Have fun on your build.

    I'm running 2.35 Kenda nevagals unfortunately on my carbine 275. There is still plenty of room for a larger tire.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirthugger View Post
    I await your Build sir!

    What is the max wheel size can the rear accommodate on the 27.5? I don't want to be limited to a 2.35.
    I guess one of the reason why I am not even considering the Carbine is because since it is wasn't intentionally designed for 650b it will limit the tire size.
    Is this a fact or are you just verbalizing your assumptions? The 27.5 drop-outs make the Carbine a true 27.5 bike.

    Here is my new carbine frame that I held up to the Specialized Butcher 2.5 DH(true to size) on the front of my Session. Plenty of room to run a 2.7.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails An Intense Tracer 275 build-img_1723.jpg  

    An Intense Tracer 275 build-img_1726.jpg  

    An Intense Tracer 275 build-img_1741.jpg  

    An Intense Tracer 275 build-img_1742.jpg  

    Last edited by MTB Pilot; 10-03-2012 at 03:35 PM.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    If it is anything like the Tracer 2/26 it is going to be significantly heavier than the Turner. If I am not mistaken the Tracer is around 8.5-9 lbs for the frame only. With the amount of money you are dropping on this build you may want to check out the Carbine again. BB is about .4" higher, but not a huge difference and you already like the 26" version. Everyone riding the 27.5 Carbine is raving about it. Either way it is going to be a fun bike.
    You may be right. Although, the actual weights I've seen for the Tracer 2 frames are ~ 7.6lbs (with shock, dropouts) for a medium. My Turner's actual weight is 6.8lbs. So I'm really not sure. I think it may be close when fully built...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTB Pilot View Post
    Is this a fact or are you just verbalizing your assumptions? The 27.5 drop-outs make the Carbine a true 27.5 bike.

    Here is my new carbine frame that I held up to the Specialized Butcher 2.5 DH(true to size) on the front of my Session. Plenty of room to run a 2.7.
    I made that assumption based on the description they have on their site describing the Carbine 275 "When we decided to venture forth into 650B territory, Steber quickly figured out that a simple dropout change could morph the incredibly popular Carbine into a carbon fiber 650B (or 27.5) frame.This is possible because of the” G1″ replaceable dropout system on all our frames , offers future compatibility and different axle choices."

    Thanks for posting your images which answers my concern regarding the Carbine 275. How much was your frameset OTD if you don't mind me asking?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirthugger View Post
    I made that assumption based on the description they have on their site describing the Carbine 275 "When we decided to venture forth into 650B territory, Steber quickly figured out that a simple dropout change could morph the incredibly popular Carbine into a carbon fiber 650B (or 27.5) frame.This is possible because of the” G1″ replaceable dropout system on all our frames , offers future compatibility and different axle choices."

    Thanks for posting your images which answers my concern regarding the Carbine 275. How much was your frameset OTD if you don't mind me asking?
    PM sent
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