Last October Curtis wrote a review of the M9 after test riding one at the 2010 Interbike On-Dirt-Demo at Bootleg Canyon. Since then he has ordered an M9 an built it up with much better suspension components than in the original test. Here is his review of the Intense M9 FRO downhill bike. Ed.
NEW 2011 Intense M9 FRO setup/initial ride.
The first ride on any new bike is always a bit sketchy. I am never sure how a new bike will react on the trail, especially downhill bikes. Coming from other VPP suspension bikes helped with the transition to the new Intense M9 FRO. With the many adjustments on this frame, it is very easy for any rider to customize the bike. The first ride on this bike was different from previous bikes. This bike felt at home on the steeper trails right away. With the shortest chain stay setting and the slackest head tube angle, the bike felt glued to the ground. The bike is setup with a CCDB shock, 2011 Fox 40 FIT RC2 with Kashima coating, Avid Code G3, Azonic Hustler Outlaw wheels, Truvativ and SRAM build kit.
The new 2011 Intense M9 FRO is now being offered with a Cane Creek Double Barrel shock and the new Cane Creek Angle set headset. The Angle set will be able to adjust the head tube from 62.5 to 65.5, so that you can change the angle depending on the courses. This will give the rider the ability to lower the front end, but still have the slack head tube angle. The Intense M9 frame is built with an upper pinch bolt that will allow for easy changes to the head tube angle, the headset comes with three eccentric cups that drop in.
The frame comes stock with the Cane Creek Double Barrel rear shock; the dual valving in the CCDB is far superior to any other shock on the market today. When set-up correctly, this shock keeps the Intense M9 on the ground even through the roughest rock gardens and steepest off camber sections. The dual rebound will keep the pedaling efficient, and will never “buck” the rider off the bike.
M9 FRO frames at Black Rock Bicycles
The M9 has a huge amount of adjustments. Head tube angle, travel from 8.5”, 9.0”, 9.5”, Adjustable wheelbase from 47.5 to 49.0 inches, depending on fork stanchion height and chain stay length from 17.25 to 17.75 inches, and adjustable shock progression. The frames are being sold in small, medium and large. The retail selling price for frame, rear shock, headset, and seat post clamp, is $2999.99.