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  1. #1
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    All Mountain Use – Tracer or 6.6 (Replaces A Heckler)

    I weight 205lbs and ride aggressive AM, I expect a bike, wrongly I know, to be able to cope with everything I throw at it from steep technical climbs to fast sweeping descents to 6’ drops.

    I am looking at replacing my Heckler which has coped well but it now very battered with an Intense but am torn between the Tracer (Always set to 6” travel) or a 6.6.

    Would the 6.6 be overkill for single track and be difficult to climb on? How is the geometry?

    How much punishment will a Tracer take, I wont be dropping it 6 foot continuously but when called upon I would expect it to cope, and would it live with the occasional DH days? How sturdy is it compared to a Heckler?

    Also, how is Intense’s customer service should you break a frame?

    All comments and help hugely appreciated

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I'm currently on a 6.6 and it's a very good do-everything bike. That said, I'd go with the new Tracer. I run a Lyrik on my 6.6 and even with a flush headset it has a 66* headangle. While not horrible the bike would climb better if it was steeper.

    Also it sounds like the Tracer has a stiffer rear end than the 6.6 (I've never had any flex problems with mine).

  3. #3
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    I rode a 6.6 as an all arounder for a year and now I'm on a Tracer VP. The 6.6 was a great bike when the trails were rocky and tough. For tamer trails, it was definitely overkill. Without a doubt, the 6.6 is up to do what you're asking. I had a 6" fork on mine and it was a great climber.

    The Tracer VP seems super stout so far. I'd agree that the Tracer rear end may be a tad stiffer than the 6.6. A 6' drop here and there should be ok if you've got a good transition or are a smooth rider. I'd say this Tracer is as stout as a Hecker for sure. Great climbing bike, too. I really like the VPP 2nd gen better than the original as well. It's a much more nuetral system. If you like a slacker bike, you could set it up with an external cup headset and a 160mm fork. I think that would be a great build for what you're talking about.
    Redstone Cyclery
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies, keep them coming!!

    I currently run my Heckler with a 160mm Fork but due to travel adjustment (Talas) I can get the head angleto around 70 degrees for climbing, which is good.

    Thanks for the info on the 6.6 being 66 degrees, I think that would be to slack and kill me on the tight tech climbs (front end lift)

    I would want to run the Tracer with a 160mm fork so it should have a similar head angle to the Heckler, but my concern is that it is not as sturdy!

    Or can anyone tell me different?

    In a perfect world I would like an Intense 6.3!!

    Turners new DW link RFX is just this, but I find Turners pig ugly!!

  5. #5
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    Another really nice looking 6" bike is the Pivot Firebird.

  6. #6
    Dude, got any schwag?
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    If memory serves, Mr Intense once stated that the Tracer VP is every bit as strong as the 6.6. Which is to say that it is likely stronger than a Heckler. The Tracer IMHO is the better AM bike.
    Billy

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  7. #7
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    6 ft drops, over 200lb...you should be looking at the new Uzzi, not a Tracer. I don't think they make the 6.6 anymore but you could always find a used one I suppose.

    Coil rear shock in either case.
    Romani ite domum

  8. #8
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    personally, i'd find out if there will be a second generation VP Slopestyle...as that would be your perferct bike - just ask Nigel Page who helped develop it...

    maybe Mr. Intense will let you know if one is imminent?

  9. #9
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    better...

    The new Tracer is as stout and able to handle as much as the Heckler does/did. The new tracer is what the 6.6 "should" have been, but I think there was an attempt to keep the weight down, the rear triangle suffered and is kind of flexy. Having more travel than it needed was also a factor, but it still is a good bike, I just look at it differently now that I've ridden the new Tracer.

    Having ridden the tracer and heckler both, I can say that the Tracer is a more capable bike (all around), given its versatility in rear travel, head angles, etc. The Heckler is still a great bike, and less expensive, but has less overall versatility.

  10. #10
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    I have a light/AM 6.6 build and it climbs fantastically with or without dropping the fork travel. The 6.6 replaced a 5.5evp which I felt was too short legged, and that is more than obvious now that I have ridden the 6.6 for a month.

    Now, I'd never own a trailbike with less than 6" of travel. In that respect, the Tracer is on the verge. But, most coming off a 6.6 to the Tracer are very happy with the new vpp.

    BTW, there are many pics of riders clearing some crazy stuff on the 6.6. E2@CC comes to mind. The Tracer has only been out a short while, but I'm not getting the felling that Tracer riders are taking 6-foot drops all that often.

  11. #11
    Commit or eat sh!t
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    6" drop and occasional DH'ing puts you into a light freeride bike range, especially given your weight. You should be looking into the Slopestyle, Uzzi, Bullit, Nomad, among other bikes.

  12. #12
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    Have two 6.6's that I can sell

    Hey Crash,

    6.6 bikes rock, period.

    I have two 6.6 bikes that I'm building up to sell... and hanging on to my 3rd built up as a lightweight AM. I have a Tracer on the way, but am telling you I love the 6.6 and it would be very, very hard for me to give up, we'll see.

    Anyway, let me know if interested? PM me and I'll send over the builds. 1 is all 2008 XT, with CCDB ti or Fox Vanilla Coil and 36 Talas or Vanilla Fork, and the other has RP23, Hadley, Dangerboy, 36 Talas, etc.

    Anyway, can probably save $3-4,000 over a new Tracer build so that might help your decision!

  13. #13
    Cannonball!
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    Are you the guy that had the blue 6.6 on ebay that ended a couple days ago?

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the input guys, I think I am going to go for the 6.6.

    My biggest concern was the way the head angle would efect climbing but having looked at the 09 6.6 the angle is 68.5 degrees my Heckler is 69 degrees so I cant see that 0.5 degree making a huge difference.

    And to be honest climbing sucks whatever you are on, the rush is coming down and that where I am hoping the 6.6 will excel.

    I am going to try and arrange a test for the holidays and see how it goes

    If well I will be torn between white or baby blue! - What do you guys think?

  15. #15
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    Great Choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Crash Bang
    Thanks for the input guys, I think I am going to go for the 6.6.

    My biggest concern was the way the head angle would efect climbing but having looked at the 09 6.6 the angle is 68.5 degrees my Heckler is 69 degrees so I cant see that 0.5 degree making a huge difference.

    And to be honest climbing sucks whatever you are on, the rush is coming down and that where I am hoping the 6.6 will excel.

    I am going to try and arrange a test for the holidays and see how it goes

    If well I will be torn between white or baby blue! - What do you guys think?
    Hey Crash, just sent PM, check it out. 6.6 is good choice, like I said I love mine, and even though I have a Tracer coming, I am not letting my 6.6 go until I can be sure the Tracer rips the downhills like the 6.6.

  16. #16
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    The 68,5 degree H/A was with a flush headset and the old Nixon fork (I think around 515 or 520mm height). That said, if you use a Lyrik, 36, 55 or non-flush headset, your headangle will be appreciably slacker. Not too many setups that you see actually have a 68.5 degree H/A.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithrider
    The 68,5 degree H/A was with a flush headset and the old Nixon fork (I think around 515 or 520mm height). That said, if you use a Lyrik, 36, 55 or non-flush headset, your headangle will be appreciably slacker. Not too many setups that you see actually have a 68.5 degree H/A.
    What would you estimate the head angle being with a Fox 36 fitted?

    King you have PM!

  18. #18
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    I have a 6.6 with a 36 and external (standard) headset and I would guess mine is around 66.5 to 66.75 degrees based on visual comparisons to stated 67 degree H/A bikes. So if you go flush, I would bet you are at 67 degrees with a fox 36 on a 6.6.

    I have both the 6.6 and the Tracer. I can tell you the Tracer's lower bottom bracket, stiff rear end, and more importantly, new VPP suspension are appreciable improvements to the 6.6. The new VPP pedals uphill significantly better in the rough (much more active while still maintaining the vpp platform) without giving anythinhg up on the downhill. I would not trade my Tracer for my 6.6 on any trail I ride. My Tracer has around a 67 degree H/A with a 36 and king 1.5 external headset. 6.6 is a good bike, it is just an older design that has been improved upon with the later Intense offerings. If you feel you want more Travel than the Tracer, check the new Uzzi that will be coming out in Feb. I am sure the new Uzzi has similiar traits to the Tracer.

  19. #19
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    Nice one thanks

    Do you know if they plan on improving the 6.6 in the near future? Perhaps implementing the improvememts the Tracer has seen over th 5.5?

    I will look into the Uzzi but I think it may be a little to much of a hucker than I am after!

  20. #20
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    The Tracer is not the replacement for the 5.5. I have a Tracer with an AM build and I would never own a 5.5 - it is toooo XC for me. The Tracer will replace the 5.5 and the 6.6. If it is run in six inch travel mode with a fork like the Fox 36 with an external headset you are at an approximate 67 degree H/A and it rips the downhill like a 6.6. If you run a 140mm fox 32 type fork with an internal headset and 5.5 inch travel setting you get something close to a 5.5 but it is still slacker than the 5.5 ever was (by one degree) and is stouter. Intense designed the Tracer to be versatile to cover a larger definition of trail and all mountain. The new Uzzi in 6.75 inch travel setting isn't that big of a step up from the Tracer with an aggressive A/M setup so one of these two would probably meet your needs.

    The setup on my Tracer to make it more on the aggressive side of the Tracer spectrum (ala 6.6) is below. The Tracer is all about how you build it.

    New Large Tracer VP

    I am fairly sure the 6.6 will be discontinued but someone can correct me if I am wrong.

  21. #21
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    What would you estimate the head angle being with a Fox 36 fitted?



    Like I said, I measure mine with a flush headset and Lyrik at 66*. I believe the Lyrik and 36 are both 545 A/C

  22. #22
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    Smithrider / All

    Thanks for the great info, I have a few questions if I may..,

    How does the Tracer cope with Drops? Let say 6' to a shallow transition?

    How does the 6.6 cope with the same drop?

    How would the Tracer cope with the odd Downhill day? Could it cope with the odd light freeride day?

    Is the frame on the Tracer as sturdy as that on the 6.6 is it as strong?

    The part I cant get my head around is that the Tracer has 5.5" or 6" of travel, now is the bikes frame and frame strngth based on the 5.5" or 6"?

    Is the 6" of travel there to show that the bike can be riden agressively all over the mountain? taking in drops and jumps?

    Or is the bike a 5.5" frame that is designed for trail riding and the 6" setting is only there to offer a slacker angle for those who like it and to open up the sales market and not for what is mentioned above?

    My issue with the tracer over the 6.6 is not the lack of travel it is the frame strength and its ability to take hits, drops & jumps without hesitation.

    I appreciate I should be asking Intense these questions, which I will, but your experiences and opinions will be more real world than theirs!

    The Uzzi is to free-ride for my liking, I am beinging to wonder if a Nomad may fit my requirements?

    All comments greatly appreciated!

    Thanks

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottW
    What would you estimate the head angle being with a Fox 36 fitted?


    Like I said, I measure mine with a flush headset and Lyrik at 66*. I believe the Lyrik and 36 are both 545 A/C
    Is that a measured HA Scott? My 6.6 with a flush headset and Van 36 was closer to 67.5, I believe, though I never measured it. I'm pretty sure it was nowhere near 66 though.

    It climbed great even with the 160 Van.....

    To Crash Bang. According to Intense, the Tracer is every bit as strong as the 6.6 but is a half lb lighter. I don't know if it's as strong or not. Time (and 250# guys doing 6' drops to flat on it) will tell. Amazing and very versatile bike that ripped the ST and climbed like crazy and still had a bunch of rough descending prowess....but it felt more long travel XC and less AM than my coil/coil 6.6.

    +1 what the others suggested. With your weight and intended usage I would be thinking UZZI VP, Delirium T, Canfield Diggle, and the 6.6 over the Tracer.

  24. #24
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    I measured mine with an angle finder, did it several times and always get 66. Granted the angle finder may not be super precise.

  25. #25
    Oh, So Interesting!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottW
    I measured mine with an angle finder, did it several times and always get 66. Granted the angle finder may not be super precise.
    Intense has said its 67.5 with a flush headset, so I'd guess you're off by 1.5 degrees.
    .




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