Trying to guess which way the current wheel size debate that appears to be dominating the mountain biking industry is nigh-on impossible. If I was a betting man, well I’d be broke by now. Anyhoo, Intense Cycles have recently planted another flag firmly in 29er world with the Carbine 29er.
Intense have been pretty active in the wheel size department, they were one of the first to produce a working 29er downhill bike, and also one of the earlier brands to jump aboard the 650B bandwagon as well. With the release of the new Carbine 29, it appears they haven’t given up on the bigger wheel size. Unlike Giant who appear to be throwing all their eggs in the 650B size.
Let’s leave the wheel size debate to one side for a moment, so we can focus on this new bike. For, in typical Intense style, it’s quite the looker. It houses the VPP suspension platform providing 140mm of travel with a 67-degree head angle when paired with a 160mm fork. The VPP linkages limit how short the chainstays can be, they measure 450mm.
The frame is all-carbon made to their usual high standards, with a claimed weight of 5.8lbs (2.6kg). It’s packed with relevant trail riding and enduro features, such as Reverb Stealth seat post routing and ISCG 05 chain guide tabs. The head tube is tapered, all cables are internally routed and it uses the direct mount standard for the front mech.
The bike will be on sale in the UK as frame kit only with a FOX Float CTD Kashima Coat, although there is no word on pricing as yet.
The market for long-travel 29ers is a growing one, with some seriously capable bikes starting to hit the trails. Springing to mind is the Specialized Enduro 29 and Trek Remedy 29, and the Carbine 29 easily stands shoulder to shoulder with those rivals.
Wheel size debate aside, 2014 is going to be an exciting year for long-travel bikes.