- Intense CC 2.25 tyres
Intense tyres (or Intense Tire Systems if we’re being formal) reach these shores courtesy of Jungle Products. The range covers DH and XC tyres, with the CC 2.25 sitting at the chunky end of the XC range. The rest of the XC tyres carry the “System” name, have 2in casings and lots of fairly shallow knobbles in a fairly overtly racy style. The CC, though, is just the sort of big-without-being-enormous, generously-treaded all-round tyre that we like.
Intense say that the CC is designed for “soft, intermediate and hard conditions,” so pretty much everything, really. It certainly looks the part – 2.25in is a handy size for everything except pedal-to-the-metal XC racing, and the CC is a particularly voluminous example of a 2.25in tyre. The tread design is simple, being largely parallelogram-shaped blocks arranged in a kind of chevron pattern. There’s quite a lot of non-tread space, which bodes well for mud clearing. They’re designed for front or rear, but the arrow on the sidewall only points one way. It felt to us like it hooked up a little better with the rear one switched round, but we may have been imagining it.
The casing is a fairly standard 72tpi item, the beads are the de rigeur folding Kevlar and you get a choice of rubber. C3 is Intense’s XC compound (Cross Country Compound, see?) – it’s a tad softer than most but, in theory, not so soft that it falls to bits almost immediately. Or there’s a Sticky Rubber variant which is softer still – more grip on hardpack and rocks, but reduced lifespan.
Based on running the C3 version for a while, we reckon it’s the one to go for. There’s plenty of grip on rocks and it seems to be holding up OK wear-wise. Grip on hardpack is good too, although the widely-spaced tread and softer than average rubber mean that it’s no speed merchant. We wouldn’t go so far as to say it was draggy, but it doesn’t feel fast.
We don’t think that Intense mean actual mud when they say “soft”, but the CC is pretty competent in the slop – it’s got lots of edges and it doesn’t pick up too much stuff. Anything it does pick up it chucks off again – don’t forget a Crud Catcher.
As for “intermediate” conditions, well, there aren’t many tyres that don’t work there. Intense’s offering doesn’t disappoint. Unlike some wider tyres, it takes on a pleasantly round shape on XC-width rims and didn’t manage to catch us out with any sudden breakaways. The side knobs are quite tall and there’s a hint of squirminess on hardpack, but nothing untoward happened.
What else? At 660g they’re a reasonable weight for a biggish tyre, and the price is on the high side but not terrifying. Intense call this a “Swiss Army Knife of tyres” and we’d tend to agree – it’s one of those tyres that you could beat in particular conditions, but if you don’t know what you’re likely to come across (or you know there’ll be a bit of everything) then you’ll be entirely happy on these.
Positives: Versatile, respectable price, fair grip/durability trade-off, plenty of volume, reasonable weight
Negatives: Not the fastest, a tad squirmy on hardpack
Verdict: We like these tyres. We like aggressively-treaded, large-volume tyres that don’t weigh a ton and we like tyres that work pretty well on pretty much everything even if they don’t excel anywhere in particular. We’re a bit alarmed that these days a £27 tyre doesn’t look outrageously priced, but there you go.