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  1. #1
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    My ride on my new Tracer Vpp

    I have about four rides on my Tracer Vpp now. Here is my review. The bike is by far the best mountain bike I have owned the thing is amazing its like a light bmx bike with gears, long travel on steroids. The set up I am running is as follows 2008 Intense Tracer Vpp size med color works red, with the Intense XT build kit, fork Fox Talas 36 RC2 1.5 2009, with Thomson 45mm stem and Thomson elite seat post. The bikes turns on a dime. Going down steep hills it holds its line bike goes where you point it.It stays hooked upped in the corners. Up hills the bike climbs, Just pull back a Little on the bars when going up hill the front tire just lifts up when you need it to.I like to run my front and rear shocks very,very,very firm.The bike feels like a hard tail when climbing and on the cranks out of the saddle. But when airing out the bike the suspension moves when you want it to. This is my first Intense. Thanks to you guys on the forum and talking to the guys at Intense I made the right choice and got the 2008 Tracer Vpp and not the 6.6 The Tracer Vpp has made me a better rider. There is this section of trail where I ride that has a down hill part with 6 inch to a foot of root drop off going across the down hill trail with lots of corners if you go off them it is so easy to over jump the corner and go off the trail. The Tracer Vpp does this like it is on rails.It lands where you want it to.I love how the rear tri is stiff makes the bike rail corners.Going down rock gardens or a rocking, lose, rutted,rooted hill the bike just feels so solid under you like your in total control.Gives you sick confidence makes it so you don't second guess your self. Makes everything just flow and makes you want to tackle the next obstacle. All and all I could not be happier with the bike.Thanks to guys at Intense for making such a great bike. Thanks to Richard's Bike for their great service I bought my bike from them on-line. If you don't have a Intense dealer near you I would give Richard's Bike a call ask for Adam or the owner Mike. It was down to three on-line bike shops for the best price and Richard's Bikes matched the best price. Intense keep up the great work and please make that blue available in frame only not just a complete bike.Little hint THEY WILL SELL !!! I might have to sell my 2008 Spec Enduro SL Expert and get another Tracer in works blue.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyG 1970
    I like to run my front and rear shocks very,very,very firm.
    Glad you dig it.

    One question though - aren't VPP designs very specific about rear shock sag settings for optimal pedaling and bump sensitivity?

  3. #3
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    You are right. The guys at Intense said the same thing. But The guys I ride with are on single speed hard tails and they weight about 175-185 lbs and they fly. So with the correct psi and sag I felt the bike had way to much play in the rear end AKA very soft felt like it was slowing me down wasting energy. I have to say I like it firm-280psi in the rear better than soft- 250psi with sag at 25% from Johnny.G still amazing well made bike. I am so glad I got it.

  4. #4
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    We want picture('s) of your beauty.Nice to hear you likes it.

  5. #5
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    Nice review. I agree that the bike rails compared to the 6.6 and other bikes I have ridden. I can't explain why but this bike just handles amazingly well and the best word for it is playful. Enjoy the new rig!

  6. #6
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    So running your fork and shock at very high pressures do you get full travel?

    and dude please, you don't need to put "from Johnny G" at the end of your posts.

  7. #7
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    You are so right. I thought my 2008 Spec Enduro SL Expert railed turners note I have it set up super firm in the front and the rear which is very stiff to Begin with. I have it on the firm #3 setting and I have to say. The Tracer Vpp with the set up that I am running turns better AKA on a dime and completely rails corners the rear tire stays planted at all times You never get that rear tire is about to break lose feel. The guys at Intense Jeff and the boys did there home work on this bike. If any of you have ridden in New England you know what I am talking about.The trails are the extreme all the time. Up hill, down hills, roots and big roots like little logs, rocks, rock gardens,baby heads,ruts, soft and hard, hard pack and soft-sand, Then when this sh** is wet its a whole new game. Off camber hills up and down.I just got done riding with two super in shape sick cardio, and super fast and crazy bike skills guys. One is a local PRO MTB racer. These guys come to 3 to 4 foot rocks bunny hop to the top and jump off while coming at it pretty fast. On hard trails Ti bikes, single speed, some with rigid forks. Granted I am not doing the rock thing but on the trails I am not far behind but in the ruff stuff this bike shines.That is the kind of bike the 2008 Tracer Vpp is. Note my Tracer is far from a weight weenie's bike. But despite the weight it still hangs.I will try to get the pic's up I tried it but it would not load.
    Last edited by JohnnyG 1970; 11-24-2008 at 06:15 PM.

  8. #8
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    The fork I am running 85 psi I only get full travel when dropping off something very high or landing of something. The rear The correct sag 25% note The Spec came with a 25% sag tool so I used that for the rear shock when I first got the bike and set it up. The psi was 250. I found the bike had way to much play getting full travel when I was not even dropping off something or leaving the ground or landing from something. I felt it was kinda sucking the energy right out of me. All and all I felt like it was slowing me down. So I went to 280 psi in the rear and for me its perfect. But I am 5'10 and weight 235-237 lbs so this is why it works for me. But when I take a big hit on the bike I do get full travel.
    Last edited by JohnnyG 1970; 11-24-2008 at 06:17 PM.

  9. #9
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    So let me get this straight: you are raving about a bike that has it's suspension set up wrong? Sorry, but this is worthless.

  10. #10
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    I am running the rear shock firm and it RIDES FINE. THE BIKE IS STILL HOOKING UP. This is the set up I choose to run. I did not say this is good for everyone.So pull your head out of your a**. Never fails some TOOL comes out of the wood work to talk sh*t.

  11. #11
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    The problem I was having running the factory recommended sag 20% to 30% was out of the saddle the bike felt like a spring and going up steep hills the same thing. Even with the Pro peddle on #3. It was still doing it. So by running the higher psi and the Pro peddle in the #3. It feels great and handles great.

  12. #12
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    Hey, in contrast to you I can set up my bikes. Who is the tool now?
    Don't you think a review about a bike that is set up, well.... unique (some would say wrong) is not gone to help other buyers?
    BTW: why do you think Intense recommends a sag setting? But hey, you are smarter than they, what do they know? They just engineered that bike.

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    jeez did JohnnyG lay a cable on someones kitchen table - why all the animosity? i don't see too much wrong with letting people know the thing rides sweet in an alternate set up. By the way the Tracer VP is incredible, just getting 1 more bike together for a four bike shootout

  14. #14
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    You got to be kidding me!!! First of all I have a MX back ground. Trust me I know how to set a suspension up.Where do you think all this full travel stuff comes from? The guys on this forum are smart enough well many not everyone to do there own thing. I am not saying that every Tracer Vpp owner should run what I am. I didn't even sagest that at all.So you are way off. Did I say Intense does not know what they are going. No I did not.Did I put down the Tracer Vpp in any way? AKA bad review. Even if I did. Ever here of a thing called freedom of speech The only thing I would add to my review would be in the future it would be nice if Intense would offer the Fox DHX 5.0 air for the TRACER Vpp. I would like the option of having a rear shock where I can run it firm if I choose. I feel the RP-23 is Little to plush for my taste.But I found a quick fix by running higher psi.One of the reasons I waited before doing my review the first few rides I was not happy was the bike.Was it the way Intense designed the bike the problem NO. Was it the bike NO. It was the plushest of the rear shock. So I made it feel the way I like it then was able to GIVE A POSITIVE REVIEW. You give me to much credit I don't think my review is going stop people from buying a Tracer Vpp if anything maybe someone a larger rider who was having the same issues. Can try the same thing. It was a review nothing more its not set in stone.To Smith and the other guys love your I-9 wheel sets that is my next thing for my TracerVpp. Intense keep up the great work love the bike even though I can't set up my suspension up right.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ants
    jeez did JohnnyG lay a cable on someones kitchen table - why all the animosity? i don't see too much wrong with letting people know the thing rides sweet in an alternate set up. By the way the Tracer VP is incredible, just getting 1 more bike together for a four bike shootout
    Looking forward to reading your shootout. What are the other bikes in the shootout?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyG 1970
    I feel the RP-23 is Little to plush for my taste.But I found a quick fix by running higher psi.
    JohnnyG - You should check with Intense and find out if your RP3 is the High Volume Air Cannister or the Low Volume. The HVAC can provide a suppleness that isn't always desired. THe smaller air cannister creates a more progressive curve, whereas the HVAC makes the curve more linear. That could be the answer to your issues with the RP3 (if not a good PUSH!).
    Last edited by CharacterZero; 11-25-2008 at 07:49 AM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyG 1970
    The fork I am running 85 psi I only get full travel when dropping off something very high or landing of something. The rear The correct sag 25% note The Spec came with a 25% sag tool so I used that for the rear shock when I first got the bike and set it up. The psi was 250. I found the bike had way to much play getting full travel when I was not even dropping off something or leaving the ground or landing from something. I felt it was kinda sucking the energy right out of me. All and all I felt like it was slowing me down. So I went to 280 psi in the rear and for me its perfect. But I am 5'10 and weight 235-237 lbs so this is why it works for me. But when I take a big hit on the bike I do get full travel.

    Hey JG-
    I have to agree with iRider here- the engineers are smarter than most of us. I have ridden VPP bikes and appreciate the OPTIMAL sag setting - mainly because the axle path of the rear suspension is like an S-curve. Your moto bikes are not like this, so don't cite moto setup and feedback as the end-all be-all of suspension setup. Bikes are designed with other constraints in mind.

    That being said, you are having to work around the limitations of your shock. You even say so yourself. Do yourself a favor and find a more progressive mechanism to control your suspension travel - either get the LVAC RP3, get yours PUSH'd, or get a COIL (which you would really appreciate at 230#, trust me). The DHX-A might work...The coil will allow you to tune in progressive feel while allowing small bump sensitivity. It will not allow the shock to wallow past the optimal sag setting, which creates that "play" that you dislike.

    Since I don't know what the Specialized tool is for sag measurement, I have to think this could be a culprit - mind telling us what this tool is? Are you sure that your current and last bikes have the same i2i/stroke (as I have to imagine this is how the specialized tool works).

    It almost sounds like that tool could be giving you the incorrect measurement - telling you that you have 25% sag when you really have 40%. Then you say "aw hell, 25% sag is too much for me, let me bump up the pressure to get 10%" and you really move it to the proper setting.

    I only say this because I spent a lot of time getting my VPP bike setup right, and could certainly feel the wallow and slowness when the sag was set past the optimal point.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyG 1970
    Looking forward to reading your shootout. What are the other bikes in the shootout?
    Nomad (VPP1 - for want of a better description), Pivot Mk V, Tracer VP and (hopefully) DW 5.5 Spot. I'm sure some much smarter mind than mine will tell me they're different kinds of bikes, and in riding them they definitely were, but they've all been responsible for a big puddle of drool by my computer in the last couple of months

  19. #19
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    Thanks for your feed back.when I said I know how to set up my suspension what I should have said is I know how I like it to feel. The tool from SPEC is this little plastic tool you put right against the shock and it has Little notch in it where the o-ring should meet up with it.Maybe your right about the tool. Fox gave me the sag setting in mm maybe I will try that.I will give Intense a call about what kind of RP-23 it is. I think your spot on about the shock. If that is the case. Sometime this winter I will buy a Fox DHX 5.0 air and sell the RP-23 on e/bay. Thanks for the feed back.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyG 1970
    Thanks for your feed back.when I said I know how to set up my suspension what I should have said is I know how I like it to feel. The tool from SPEC is this little plastic tool you put right against the shock and it has Little notch in it where the o-ring should meet up with it.Maybe your right about the tool. Fox gave me the sag setting in mm maybe I will try that.I will give Intense a call about what kind of RP-23 it is. I think your spot on about the shock. If that is the case. Sometime this winter I will buy a Fox DHX 5.0 air and sell the RP-23 on e/bay. Thanks for the feed back.
    If you talk to Intense, see what they say the optimal sag is in either mm or percentage of travel (idk what the i2i/stroke is on that frame, intense's site doesn't seem to have it up). Fox has a general guideline, but Fox doesn't account for the specific frame/application.

    FWIW, some people have had the wallowing issue with the DHX-A (iirc, they were the first to start switching out the high/low air canisters). That might have been remedied with the newer ones.

    Glad I could help and even more happy that you are happy with your setup. Keep on riding...I am getting out of here in an hour to hit a new trail before a night ride!

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    That Specialized tool is useful, if you're using the right one. It's a sag meter for an Enduro SL with sag notches in a little plastic tag from 25%-33%, they use the same size rear shock. The shock he has is waaaaay too linear, it's the low compression tune, low rebound tune HVAC RP23, I already recommended the Evolver ISX6. I am 170 with gear and found that rear shock to be way too uncontrolled, I much prefer the control and adjustability of the ISX6, IMO, no comparison.

  22. #22
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    IIRC, sag should be 15-17mm. Mine is set at 17mm right now and it is fantastic. I understand what you're saying jonnyg, at first I thought this sag was way too much, but now I feel this is correct because when I mash the pedal, the bike will actually rise about 3mm.

    I'm also about 235lbs geared, and i'm running the shock at about 225psi.
    09 Tracer VP - "wtf, am I hovering?"

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by woogie11
    That Specialized tool is useful, if you're using the right one. It's a sag meter for an Enduro SL with sag notches in a little plastic tag from 25%-33%, they use the same size rear shock. The shock he has is waaaaay too linear, it's the low compression tune, low rebound tune HVAC RP23, I already recommended the Evolver ISX6. I am 170 with gear and found that rear shock to be way too uncontrolled, I much prefer the control and adjustability of the ISX6, IMO, no comparison.
    Who makes the Evolver ISX6? and how much? Thanks for the feed back. I love the bike I do not like the rear shock. If I had the option I would of got a DHX 5.0 or CCDB it would have been well worth the extra money.When looking at my Spec sag one line is 18% sag and the other is 33%. I was running the 18% with 250 psi in the rear shock. Note I was fully geared- helmet,camel back,shoes. Like I said the rear was like a soft spring way to much movement. But thanks to you guys now I know why- the design of the RP-23 so for now I will run more psi. Most likely put a Fox DHX 5.0 or a EvolverISX6.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyG 1970
    Who makes the Evolver ISX6? and how much? Thanks for the feed back. I love the bike I do not like the rear shock. If I had the option I would of got a DHX 5.0 or CCDB it would have been well worth the extra money.When looking at my Spec sag one line is 18% sag and the other is 33%. I was running the 18% with 250 psi in the rear shock. Note I was fully geared- helmet,camel back,shoes. Like I said the rear was like a soft spring way to much movement. But thanks to you guys now I know why- the design of the RP-23 so for now I will run more psi. Most likely put a Fox DHX 5.0 or a EvolverISX6.
    Manitou Evolver Intrinsic ISX6...MSRP is $500, I think.

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