Wouldn’t it be great to see the names Foes and Intense Racing back at the top of World Cup downhill racing? Handmade, finely formed, distinctive pieces of equipment that have character and layer upon layer of speed history in the heat of the revolution. Pretty much the bikes you’d be proud to own based on their legacy alone. Brands that should really be up there at the coalface, the place that earns the big bucks both underground and on the podium…
From Dirt Issue 115 – September 2011
Words and Photos by Steve Jones.
Yes, handmade Californian has a certain exclusivity, but at the same time certainly not anti–establishment, just handmade bikes from a company with a knack of infusing the moods of an artist, the muscle of an outside centre and the edginess of a bounty hunter. Which way you go shopping either way from Greenwich results in very different rewards these days.
But performance counts for more than charisma right? Sort of, see the K9 is all about performance yet due to its slightly pitbull persona many people are scared of it. Then there’s the Intense M9, a close neighbour to Foes, and although benefitting a perfectly balanced size and geometry didn’t live up to the mark with a Cane Creek fitted. I wondered, how would the Curnutt fare with the Foes Hydro? Was the adjustability a case of blight or beauty?
Let me tell you where I’m at. Fed up with many eastern offerings that simply fall apart; tired of visits to the shock shop for dampers that let go; exhausted from time spent trying to mix and match specifications and suspensions that simply don’t work together. Torn between big talking handmade kit that offers reliability yet highly strung and off–the–shelf that comes with great angles but falls apart. There might be a million nine out of ten’s out there based on component spec and angles, but how long do they last? I fully believe this bike will go the distance.>>