Intense Carbine, Transition Bandit

The Carbine (with Transition Bandit for scale)

I got the chance to take the brand new Intense Carbine bike for a few laps on the trails at Deer Valley Resort during Bike Dealer Camp and I was blown away!

First, a little bit about the Intense Carbine:

 MEET THE CARBINE – Carbon Fiber With an American Attitude

Intense Cycles introduces its new carbon fiber mountain bike, the Carbine.

State of the art engineering and technology, along with the vision and design of Jeff Steber, has culminated in the production of our most alluring and inspired mountain bike design to date. “We combined the best of the best” says Steber, “American design with German engineering.”

Intense employed the services of German firm, SEED Engineering to match its vision with their expertise in carbon-fiber product development and engineering.

The brains behind SEED come from years of experience in carbon fiber manufacturing. “We use all the great technology there is, but especially keep a focus on providing the best product”, says SEED engineer, Thomas Harter.

The outcome is remarkable: a do-it-all trail bike with a dual personality. “We took the original DNA of the famous Tracer VP and re-designed and improved it using carbon fiber construction”, says Steber.

The Carbine is proving to be Intense’s best all-around trail bike. The combination of the properties of carbon fiber and the magic of patented VPP suspension makes the new Carbine a segment leader.

Intense Carbine

Click the photo for more detail images

Carbine Specs:

  • Colors: Naked Carbon (which looks kick ass), Shiny Red (which looks kick ass)
  • 5.5 to 6 inch All Mountain
  • tapered (1-1/8 to 1-1/2in) head tube
  • direct-mount front derailleur
  • BB92 bottom bracket and Intense’s G1 replaceable dropouts
  • Dropper post cable routing
  • rigid rubbery “FLK-GRD” protectors on the DT and CS
  • 68° head angle, 73° seat angle and 13.25in BB with a 150mm-travel fork
  • 67° head angle, 72° seat angle and 13.5in BB with a 160mm fork
  • 16.75in Chainstay
  • 5.5 lb (medium frame)
  • Prife: $2,579
  • Source: Bike Radar


The bike I rode had the BIG Fox 36 fork and WIDE bars and burly tires. So i wore my pads… It wasn’t light, but it wasn’t heavy. It was pretty reasonable weight wise for how it was set up. They set up the sag for me and the thing felt like a cadillac pedaling up to the lift. SO PLUSH, yet the suspension hooks up when you mash the pedals down. It was a trip. Even climbing out of the saddle, it felt like a hard tail (with low air pressure in the tires).

Joe testing the Intense Carbine at Deer Valley

On the descents it was hard to manage the irrational exuberance the thing induces. It feels like a light XC bike, yet soaks up the terrain. I rode a Black Diamond trail with tight switchbacks with root drops. The front end, with the Fox 36, was super stiff. Felt amazingly solid. I don’t do big drops, but i did a couple and it soaked them up well.
The one short climb on the way down was no problem even without locking out the shock or raising the seat. I just cranked it up single speed style and it wasn’t a problem. Very nice.
My only complaint is that when you hit the brakes, the front end dives like mad. Not sure if that was the frame or the way the shock was set up. Wasn’t a huge deal though.
I liked it so much I had to do a second lap.