- Intense System 4
Easily the most contentious issue on the bikemagic forum is what tyres to run, and it’s a debate which will certainly keep tyre manufacturers in business for a long time. A company recently jumping into the mix is Intense Tyre Systems. As well as a whole slew of DH tyres, there’s also four XC tyres available, with the System 4 sitting at the fatter end of the range.
Intense describe the System 4 has having “…added volume and taller knobs for the tougher demands of Enduro style riding”. And this is certainly the case. The tyre measures 2.25″ across that translates into a nice big volume when mounted on a standard XC rim, and to ensure its all-round capabilities, Intense chose a tread pattern comprised of lots of small knobs positioned fairly close together. Shoulder knobs get plenty of support for solid cornering, while two rows of centre knobs flanked by smaller knobs mean rolling resistance is good.
Casing is 73tpi, beads are Kevlar, and the compound is titled C3, which Intense use in all their XC tyres. It’s a softish compound which offers up a lot of traction and grip, but happily the wear rate is reasonably good. The System 4 is now available in a Dual Compound Lite version with a softer material along the central section of the tyre, should you want a really sticky tyre.
Performance in a range of conditions is good. We were particularly impressed with their performance in mud, though they’re not specifically designed for such conditions we found they cleared reasonably well, and the small knobs found grip quickly. But it’s in dryer conditions they excel at; quick acceleration, not too much rolling resistance, and finesse through corners is excellent. Lean them right over and they will slide, but controllably. 745g doesn’t put them at the light end of the scale, but they’ve been pleasantly fast on all our XC jaunts. That weight means they’re a tough tyre though, and have withstood a fair battering.
Ups and downs
Positives: Fast, grippy, tough, great all-round tyre
Negatives: Too soon to comment on longevity
We’re always in pursuit of the perfect tyre that copes with all the demands and terrain we decide to push them through. For lots of hearty all-day all-mountain riding the System 4 copes extremely well: they’re predictable, cope with different conditions without hesitation and are fast. It’ll be a while before they come of our bike.