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  1. #1
    Reputation: rural's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Intense 6.6 vs Tracer VP - my thoughts after a test ride

    I had the chance to hire a Tracer for 2 days, I normally ride a 6.6 and here's a few thoughts on the differences...

    About me
    I own a 6.6 and Spider and am an Intense fan.
    After a week in Vegas on a conference, a buddy and I decided to drive up to Utah and try the trails around Zion National Park.

    Bike set up
    The Tracer was set up almost identically to my 6.6 with the one exception being that it had a Talas 36 and my 6.6 has a VAN 36.

    2 days at Gooseberry Mesa on some of the most technical, but fun stuff Iíve ever ridden.

    What I liked/what was the main difference
    I felt instantly comfortable on the Tracer. I knew where the BB was and where I would pedal strike by instinct, to me it was exactly the same as the 6.6 in geometry and feel with one very notable differenceÖ. With the 6.6 when you are on the granny side of the gearing, when you stomp down thereís a bit of a mushy feel before the bike picks up. With the Tracer this is completely gone, the feel is instantly responsive, solid and the power feels direct. The suspension improvement was very noticeable. I would not have survived the technical challenge of the slick rock if I was on a lesser bike.
    I did like the Talas 36 a lot. Itís lighter than my VAN 36 and felt much better balanced on the bike. The VAN does have a slightly smoother feel and can take bigger hits, but I would give that up for the balanced feel that the Talas gave.

    Rear flex
    With people making comments on Intense flex, let me first say that on my 6.6 I donít notice the flex or maybe just donít ride in a style where I would notice it and I do not consider flex to be a problem on the 6.6, but while standing next to the 6.6, I can grab the rear, put one foot on the wheel and make it flex. I tried this with the Tracer and it barely moved! Not sure what theyíve done to the rear triangle design, but it was solid!

    Bottom line
    Was it good enough to make me sell my 6.6 and trade upÖ. No, I still love my 6.6 and although the suspension feel is better on the Tracer, itís not enough for me to warrant the change over cost.
    If I was going to buy another bike, would it be the TracerÖ. Absolutely, without even the tiniest doubt! Best bike Iíve ever had the privilege to ride.

    Now if someone would bring out a retrofit kit for the 6.6 so that I could get the 6.6 suspension feeling that good, I would snap that up in an instant.

    A HUGE THANKS to Fred at Zion Cycles - what a nice guy!!! Getting set up on that bike for a couple of days and riding those trails has made my year!

  2. #2
    suspension whore
    Reputation: matthew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    i'm assuming you rode in 6 inch mode.
    Did you notice the difference in travel on the back end?
    Are you running an air shock on your 6.6?

    thx for the head to head thoughts
    Intense 6.6..... Demo 9.

    Mammoth MTN downhilling - check it out

  3. #3
    Reputation: rural's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by matthew
    i'm assuming you rode in 6 inch mode.
    Did you notice the difference in travel on the back end?
    Are you running an air shock on your 6.6?
    My 6.6 has an ISX-6 (Which I quite like and was a HUGE improvement on the soggy DHX Air I started with).
    So both on Air and the Tracer in 6 inch mode.
    I did not notice the missing .6 at all.

    The change in suspension design had that instant power down and go feel, but apart from that once I was on the go it was just as plush and felt very similar to my 6.6. On all the dips and transitions the rear suspension got a workout and I was using all the travel available, but it was constantly active and kind of helped me to float over stuff and - I can't quite describe it - but be lighter on the bike comes to mind. The rear just worked and I found I didn't have to focus on it at all. I found all my thoughts and energy were on working the forks to get down and up those tight dips without going over the bars.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Thanks for the comparison Rural. I also ride a 6.6 and had a chance to do a pretty good trail demo on a Tracer and concur with most of your findings.

    Climbing and hard pedaling seemed less sluggish, lighter, and snappier than my 6.6. I imagine some of that was due to the weight differences (My 6.6 = ~34 and I'm sure the Tracer I rode was closer to 30) but a lot of it was due to the new v2 VPP. It climbed like crazy.

    I didn't feel like it had quite the plushness and bottomless feel of my coil sprung 6.6 on rough downs but it was pretty good. Maybe with a nice coil shock on there it would be more like my 6.6.

    +1 on the lack of flex and pedal kickback. Nice bike.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

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