27.5″, 650B, call it what you will, but Intense now have it covered with both this new Tracer and a Carbine.
The jury still seems to be out on whether or not 650B is the perfect blend of 26″ and 29″, or whether instead it simply sits in the middle and offers the none of the benefits of either the larger or smaller size, but this bike could well be the one that answers that question for us. Why? Simply because the 29″ Tracer currently ranks as our favourite 29’er and with the two bikes being so similar apart from wheel size it hopefully shouldn’t be too hard to come to some conclusions. The travel is slightly different with the new model being adjustable between 5.5″ and 6″, and the 29″er being adjustable between 5″ and 5.5″, but there’s still some overlap for comparison. By the sounds of it though the guys at Intense seem pretty certain that this middle wheel size is the way to go.
As for the Carbine 275, on paper it looks almost identical to the Tracer 275, apart from of course the fact that it’s a full carbon frame rather than aluminium. Basically we think it’s the classic case of lighter, but more expensive. You just have to make the decision as to which one you want to go for. The interesting thing though is that apart from the dropouts the frame is identical to the 26″ version of the Carbine. Several other manufacturers have already taken advantage of the very small difference in wheel sizes and offered their 26″ frames as 650B bikes, but with the dropout change Intense have made sure that they haven’t been left with compromises in either geometry or tyre clearance. It’s definitely a far cheaper solution when compared to making an entirely new carbon frame, and if it works then it’s also very sensible. Of course this small change also means that with just a couple of dropouts and a new pair of forks an existing Carbine owner could make the switch to 650B wheels.
Anyway, here’s the official press release…
Meet the Tracer 275 – The next BIG THING from Intense Cycles.
Made in our factory in Southern California, the Tracer 275 is the latest offspring from the creative mind of designer/president, Jeff Steber. The idea to do the 275 came to Steber while he was traveling abroad. A few weeks later, he was riding the first prototype.
“One of the advantages of having our own factory on-site is that we can put plans into motion right away,” says Steber. “ I can visualize it and can make the first prototypes a reality within a very short window.”
The 275 combines the best qualities of the 26” & 29” wheels. It has all the precision and efficiency of the 26” wheel and the added power and stability offered by 29ers.
“If the industry had to decide on one wheel size, I would vote for the 27.5, without hesitation. It is just as much fun as a 26, but faster” says Intense Marketing Manager, Scott Sharples. “If I had to pick one bike from my quiver right now, it would be my Tracer 275. Without a doubt.”
The Tracer 275 offers 5.5-6” of adjustable travel, 17” chainstays, a 13.3” bottom bracket, cable routing for RockShox’s stealth reverb dropper post, our G1 replaceable dropout system and a modified geometry 67-degree head angle. If you have been in search of the perfect trail bike, Intense built it for you.
“The 27.5” wheels roll right over the chatter, float through the sand and still rail into the corner without the overbearing feel of the 29er. The best part is, you don’t’ have to adjust the way you ride on the 275. You can hop right on and feel instantly comfortable with the bigger wheels”, says Intense Sales Manager, Mike Dettmers.
While locked away in “Area 51”, Steber also found the time and the creativity to develop a second 275 model. The Carbine, a 5.5-6” travel Carbon Fiber trail bike released late last fall also gets the 275 treatment. A modified G1 Dropout allows for ample tire clearance and as well adjusts geometry, which gives the bike the same dialed head angle that all Intense bikes are known for. While the Carbine 275 is a conversion kit, there are no compromises; the Carbine 275 will allow a full size 2.35” tire unlike many of the other bikes being converted on the market.
For additional information including geo-charts, stock color info and our current 275-photo gallery visit www.tracer275.com
Scheduled ship date is October 2012. Orders accepted now.