Dirt Test Bike Build: Intense 951 EVO

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The latest downhill test bike in the Dirt stable, Intense 951 EVO

With production bikes coming into the office thick and fast it’s not too often we get to put something together with a spec exactly how we want it. Steve Jones has built this Intense EVO 951 with that exact thing in mind. Steve takes you through the bike and the reasons behind the choices he has made for this build.

Nice bike, but Intense are not what they were compared to when Kovarik was blowing people away?

They are probably more so now, Intense will be developing new products when the big bruisers have their marketing strategies to consider. How many 27.5 wheel downhill bikes are there on the market at the minute? Exactly.

But its not carbon?

That’s right, and it doesn’t have any holes in the chainstay or downtube either.

Heavy though right?

36.9lbs without a drop of carbon to be seen. And we didn’t go crazy mad with the build either.

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Almost ready for it’s first thrashing the Intense gets a last check over.

Nice colours!

Yes the Intense does have some pretty cool colour options, again the boys at Temecula are not stupid for it seems people buy bikes on colour before performance. From our first ride impressions on this bike you can in fact have a great looking bike that has a mean side.

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Cane Creek take care of the suspension out back with the coil Double Barrel

The Intense/Cane Creek combination hasn’t had great reviews in some places?

It will be one of the interesting parts of the test. Some VPP designs tend to sit up on the back under braking and are unsettled quicker than other bikes. In the past they’ve certainly not the easiest of bikes to set up but maybe it’ll be different with the 951.

Sizing seems pretty tidy?

Yes plus the large is actually a large not a medium. Still it would be nice to see an XL.

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Less money, great performance and just a touch more weight. Zee makes sense.

What’s with the Shimano Zee and not Saint?

Half the price and the weight is roughly the same, the shifters and mech are durable and never miss a beat.

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No need to have matching colours, reliable and durable hubs from Barnoldswick

And Hope wheels and anchors?

Of course, after all you can get colour matched with the frame, or not as we chose. Hope were one of the first companies offering a tough as nails 27.5 wheelset at a tidy price. As for brakes we were way over due on Hope’s on test bike.

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Hope’s Tech 3 V4 brakes will be taking care of speed control

Thomson bar and Renthal stem for finishers…

Yes but we’ll have to raise the bar a touch.

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A well tuned combination but there are spacers needed somewhere

Will it make me faster than on my 26’ wheel downhill bike?

Yes it will, the ride isn’t as nervy either, you can carry more speed.

Better than many pro bikes then?

Seems that way.

The bike will no doubt be passed around a few riders in the office and taken to a variety of different riding spots. Expect a full shakedown in the mag next month.

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