5.5 EVP ride review and build notes- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    5.5 EVP ride review and build notes

    Wow! This bike is incredible!

    After bringing the new frame home Thursday evening, I finally was able to complete the build late last night, and took her out for our honeymoon ride this morning. And yes, this is the same frame that I posted in my other thread, and yes, I did change the decals from red to yellow. The grey frame with yellow decals looks much, much better - IMHO.

    First, a few build notes about driveline component selection – use cranks with Compact Drive. This frame appears to have been designed around cranks with Compact Drive chain rings (22, 32, 44), and using my '02 XTR's with standard rings (24, 34, 46) caused a few problems. First, my ’02 XTR front derailleur wouldn’t fit due to the inner swing plate’s pivot (and spring) hitting the swing arm. I’m using a 112.5 BB (which was recommended by Intense), and had thought about switching to a 116, but couldn’t find one locally. So, to solve the problem (I HAD to ride it this weekend!), I purchased a ’04 XTR front derailleur (which doesn’t have the swing link), which caused another problem. Since my big ring is a 46, the FD must be positioned higher up to clear the teeth. By doing this, the adjuster screws are now so close to the swing arm (see the photo below). I’m going to buy a set of ’04 XTR cranks tomorrow to eliminate ANY potential clearance or contact issues.

    Now, on to the ride review! Here’s a review on how the bike preformed in three different areas. First part of the ride was a reasonably flat fire road. With Manitou SPV equipped suspension on both sides on the bike, riding seated on smooth fire roads feels like you have very little suspension due to the SPV's pedaling platform. However, the suspension is constantly working underneath you absorbing the slightest bump without thought or hesitation. When you’re “just riding along”, the bike pretty much sits solid at your static sag position.

    Second part of today’s ride – a technical climb. This is the only full suspension bike that I’ve ever ridden where – at will - I could shift to my middle ring, get out of the saddle, and power through technical switchbacks without the bike feeling like a pogo stick. Climbing seated is effortless, and climbing while standing is phenomenal! While climbing, I would have NEVER guessed that I was riding a bike with 5” up front and 5.5” in the rear. This bike climbs much, much better than my SLX, and even better than my old i-Drive. Very impressed to say the least.

    The end of today’s ride led us to about a mile of fast downhill switchbacks. The geometry of the frame (70deg HT and 13.25" BB height) combined with the Minute Two fork, leads to an extremely confidence-inspiring descender. The suspension soaked up every little imperfection in the terrain and actually felt like it had more travel then my 7” SLX. This bike descends like it's on rails! It’s simply amazing to believe that a bike with such supple suspension is the same bike that I was climbing while standing (in middle ring) just an hour earlier.

    Intense really nailed this one on the head. This might just be the perfect trail bike……..
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  2. #2
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    Congrats. Great bike. I agree with you, Intense may have the perfect bike. I rode my Spider (full 03 XTR and Fox F80RLT) today and although its a great bike, I wished for just a little more travel. I am hopping the 5.5 will be like rolling my SLX and Spider into one.

  3. #3
    Its only 1" on the map!
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    Sweet looking bike..If I ever decide to get something a little longer legged than my Spider, the 5.5 is on my short list.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbbill
    Sweet looking bike..If I ever decide to get something a little longer legged than my Spider, the 5.5 is on my short list.
    Nice bike man..You mentioned you changed the decals. How much did you spend for a new decals? I ask this cause I'm planning to buy a black with red decals.

    Regards,
    Jesse

  5. #5
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    Okay, I want one.

    Unfortunately, my wife does not want me to have one. Oh well, I'll just have make do with the Tracer for another season. Enjoy the ride and keep us posted.

  6. #6
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    I agree that the yellow decals look MUCH better. You have it set-up just the way I was going to, but now I'm leaning more towards the 5-Spot. Have you ever ridden that bike and how does it compare?

  7. #7
    M070R-M0U7H FR3NCHI3
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonoskar
    I agree that the yellow decals look MUCH better.
    I second that...

  8. #8
    Canadian Beer, Eh?
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    I wonder why the odd decal schemes? ...from Intense

    Yeah ~

    I agree with most of you fellas- the yellow kit looks better on silver p.c. & gray ano.;
    the black looks best with red stickers.
    What matters is the bike, eh? Decals or no, it's sweet as a hot, loose date on prom night!

    MannyOmega

  9. #9
    M070R-M0U7H FR3NCHI3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manny Omega
    Yeah ~

    I agree with most of you fellas- the yellow kit looks better on silver p.c. & gray ano.;
    the black looks best with red stickers.
    What matters is the bike, eh? Decals or no, it's sweet as a hot, loose date on prom night!

    MannyOmega
    but the best of all best is black with yellow decals

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acadian
    but the best of all best is black with yellow decals
    By seen this picture posted by WSChris on the other forum. I like black with red decals.



  11. #11
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    Good job! Just got my 5.5 frame.

    Quote Originally Posted by E-man
    Wow! This bike is incredible!

    After bringing the new frame home Thursday evening, I finally was able to complete the build late last night, and took her out for our honeymoon ride this morning. And yes, this is the same frame that I posted in my other thread, and yes, I did change the decals from red to yellow. The grey frame with yellow decals looks much, much better - IMHO.

    First, a few build notes about driveline component selection – use cranks with Compact Drive. This frame appears to have been designed around cranks with Compact Drive chain rings (22, 32, 44), and using my '02 XTR's with standard rings (24, 34, 46) caused a few problems. First, my ’02 XTR front derailleur wouldn’t fit due to the inner swing plate’s pivot (and spring) hitting the swing arm. I’m using a 112.5 BB (which was recommended by Intense), and had thought about switching to a 116, but couldn’t find one locally. So, to solve the problem (I HAD to ride it this weekend!), I purchased a ’04 XTR front derailleur (which doesn’t have the swing link), which caused another problem. Since my big ring is a 46, the FD must be positioned higher up to clear the teeth. By doing this, the adjuster screws are now so close to the swing arm (see the photo below). I’m going to buy a set of ’04 XTR cranks tomorrow to eliminate ANY potential clearance or contact issues.

    Now, on to the ride review! Here’s a review on how the bike preformed in three different areas. First part of the ride was a reasonably flat fire road. With Manitou SPV equipped suspension on both sides on the bike, riding seated on smooth fire roads feels like you have very little suspension due to the SPV's pedaling platform. However, the suspension is constantly working underneath you absorbing the slightest bump without thought or hesitation. When you’re “just riding along”, the bike pretty much sits solid at your static sag position.

    Second part of today’s ride – a technical climb. This is the only full suspension bike that I’ve ever ridden where – at will - I could shift to my middle ring, get out of the saddle, and power through technical switchbacks without the bike feeling like a pogo stick. Climbing seated is effortless, and climbing while standing is phenomenal! While climbing, I would have NEVER guessed that I was riding a bike with 5” up front and 5.5” in the rear. This bike climbs much, much better than my SLX, and even better than my old i-Drive. Very impressed to say the least.

    The end of today’s ride led us to about a mile of fast downhill switchbacks. The geometry of the frame (70deg HT and 13.25" BB height) combined with the Minute Two fork, leads to an extremely confidence-inspiring descender. The suspension soaked up every little imperfection in the terrain and actually felt like it had more travel then my 7” SLX. This bike descends like it's on rails! It’s simply amazing to believe that a bike with such supple suspension is the same bike that I was climbing while standing (in middle ring) just an hour earlier.

    Intense really nailed this one on the head. This might just be the perfect trail bike……..
    Great looking bike. My Intense 5.5 frame (medium) just arrived the end of last week. I ordered a red. Ferraris should be red and so should an Intense! I sold my last bike complete so starting from scratch with full 2004 XTR including hubs. I'll use Mavic XM819 and I want to try UST, never tried them before. If I don't like them I can put tubes back in. Wanted to ask what size tires you are useing? I want to get Continentals and can't decide on Explorer 2.1 or Vertical 2.3. LBS guy recomends 2.1 for dryer summer conditions.

    Also I think I'm going to put a Fox TALAS RLC on. Had a F100X on my last bike and loved it. Would have kept it if it wasn't only 100mm.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie
    Wanted to ask what size tires you are useing? I want to get Continentals and can't decide on Explorer 2.1 or Vertical 2.3. LBS guy recomends 2.1 for dryer summer conditions.
    Ronnie,

    I'm using Intense System 4 tires that are a true 2.25". I too am looking for a good, large UST tire, but can't decide on what to get. I've heard good things about the Conti Vert 2.3" UST, so I may give those a try in the future.

    Be sure to post a picture of your bike once it's built.

    Eric
    Oakley - High Definition Optics

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-man
    Ronnie,

    I'm using Intense System 4 tires that are a true 2.25". I too am looking for a good, large UST tire, but can't decide on what to get. I've heard good things about the Conti Vert 2.3" UST, so I may give those a try in the future.

    Be sure to post a picture of your bike once it's built.

    Eric
    Hi Eric,
    I used the Conti Explorer on my last bike and liked them except they were a bit short on traction on wet rocks and roots. Maybe I'm expecting to much. I read the reviews on the Vertical on this site and most guys say they are pretty good. Several though said that they are small for a 2.3. My LBS guy says that the rolling friction on the 2.3 is to high to use as a trail bike tire and convinced me to go for the 2.1 Explorer... but now I'm not convinced.

    I sure will post a photo when I get the bike. You might have noticed although I'm English speaking, I live in Europe. Switzerland to be precise. Great for mountain biking but not so good for getting parts sometimes. Hopefully I should get my TALAS in about a week.
    Ronnie.

  14. #14

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    Hutchinson Spider 2.1 UST

    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie
    Hi Eric,
    I used the Conti Explorer on my last bike and liked them except they were a bit short on traction on wet rocks and roots. Maybe I'm expecting to much. I read the reviews on the Vertical on this site and most guys say they are pretty good. Several though said that they are small for a 2.3. My LBS guy says that the rolling friction on the 2.3 is to high to use as a trail bike tire and convinced me to go for the 2.1 Explorer... but now I'm not convinced.

    I sure will post a photo when I get the bike. You might have noticed although I'm English speaking, I live in Europe. Switzerland to be precise. Great for mountain biking but not so good for getting parts sometimes. Hopefully I should get my TALAS in about a week.
    Ronnie.
    I use those on my Tracer. 698 grams(UST and bigger that 2.1 even if rated 2.1), incredible traction. Best tires untill now (I have experience in conti vertical, explorer, survival, twister - tioga red phoenix - hutchinson octopus, mosquito, scorpion and spider)

  15. #15
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    ... and if we just ... conti vertical

    Quote Originally Posted by E-man
    Ronnie,

    I'm using Intense System 4 tires that are a true 2.25". I too am looking for a good, large UST tire, but can't decide on what to get. I've heard good things about the Conti Vert 2.3" UST, so I may give those a try in the future.

    Be sure to post a picture of your bike once it's built.

    Eric
    I have a 5.5 coming in next month and I got all my parts together I bought schwalbe big Jim 2.25 Front and vertical pro 2.3 back Tests at conti showed that the vertical has lower rolling resistance than the twister 2.1 I will ride it this weekend and be able to tell you more, it looks rounded when mounted (unlike the wtb wich look square and crap out in turns and off camber) and has a good center strip of knobs.

  16. #16

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    Schwalbe tires are great too

    Quote Originally Posted by Festusjrf
    I have a 5.5 coming in next month and I got all my parts together I bought schwalbe big Jim 2.25 Front and vertical pro 2.3 back Tests at conti showed that the vertical has lower rolling resistance than the twister 2.1 I will ride it this weekend and be able to tell you more, it looks rounded when mounted (unlike the wtb wich look square and crap out in turns and off camber) and has a good center strip of knobs.
    I have experience too with the Jimmy 2.1 front only and the rear and Big Jim 2.25 front only and the rear, but not UST. I used with Stan's notube. They are great tires, light (even if smaller that the rated size) but weared faster than my spider's.

    paulo from portugal

  17. #17
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    Hi everyone,

    I thought I'd share with you the most recent pics of my 5.5. Since my original posting and build, I've changed the decals to the new "neutral" (white) decals that Intense just made available, installed a set of '04 XTR cranks, Hayes Mag Plus brakes, and changed to WTB Epic Wolf 2.1" tires. 27.3lbs per the local LBS scale, which is exactly one pound heavier than Wrench Science's web site build with the identical parts. Hmm....

    She looks great and rides even better!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Oakley - High Definition Optics

  18. #18
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    Very Nice!

    Quote Originally Posted by E-man
    Hi everyone,

    I thought I'd share with you the most recent pics of my 5.5. Since my original posting and build, I've changed the decals to the new "neutral" (white) decals that Intense just made available, installed a set of '04 XTR cranks, Hayes Mag Plus brakes, and changed to WTB Epic Wolf 2.1" tires. 27.3lbs per the local LBS scale, which is exactly one pound heavier than Wrench Science's web site build with the identical parts. Hmm....

    She looks great and rides even better!
    I must say that's the nicest looking 5.5 I've seen to date. I'm a big fan of the "understated" look. Enjoy.

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