Intense M16 Carbon – New Arrival
Yes – seriously. This bike has just landed in Wales. Intense M16 carbon – the first carbon DH from Temecula. Maybe time for consideration before getting into the detail, the ride, before we get rolling….
Its knocking on twenty odd years since the Intense M1 transformed off road racing bicycles from modified postman scoots to purposeful equipment with a bit of swagger and a ton more travel.
On parade the M1 delivered, big style. It became an iconic bike in its time but not before the likes of Shaun Palmer, John Tomac, Gee Atherton, Sam Hill and Chris Kovarik took it in it various guises to the upper reaches of world cup downhill.
Just after the turn of the century, the Intense VPP design got rolling slightly quicker than the Santa Cruz version but then the latter gained ground especially once the V10 became carbon with its particularly pretty curves. Santa Cruz were not alone to introduce carbon to their downhill equipment, yes it was largely about looks you could say, but it was now they who were winning World Cups.
Meanwhile the M series bikes were continuing to be steadfastly brilliant performers and hugely tough characters, well they’d have to be with fourteen stone of Australian bulldozer travelling by the name of Kovarik trying to put the M bike in places not really meant for two wheels.
This however, the new Intense M16 Carbon is a moment in time for the company. Its different in many ways to what came before it, we loved the 951 bike…and remember Intense were so ahead of the curve with 27.5″ wheels its almost embarrassing to remind the competition. Whilst nearly the whole world were watching, and following, like sheep, Jeff Steber was welding up the future.
There are many questions we still have to answer, but that’s once we’ve ridden it. Does this bike pull up alongside the Santa Cruz V10? Does it move ahead even? More travel, more muscle possibly?
As soon as it arrived we weighed this size large bike in at 35lb, slipped its beautifully ported frame with gears and brakes and just stood there. Looking at it. Just as we and many people around the world have done with all the Intense downhill bikes before it.
Yes, the Intense M16 Carbon is different, but it continues to have an Intense quality to it, it’s still that charismatic bike from Los Angeles that carries an x factor. …elegant yet purposeful, brawny but lightweight, colourful yet with dark intentions.