New Intense Carbine SL Adds Carbon Fiber Trail Racer – Updated!
After unveiling the full carbon Carbine in July, Intense Cycles has followed up with a lighter weight, shorter travel XC/Trail version called the Carbine SL.
Coming in at a claimed at 5lbs for the frame, the SL drops half a pound from the longer travel Carbine. Intense employed several weight saving tactics, including titanium bolts, a carbon fiber linkage and going with a simple 135x9mm QR axle in the rear. All of which point straight toward the XC crowd, but there are a few nods to some serious trail riding, too…
The Carbine SL uses high modulus carbon fiber and renewed their partnership with Germany’s SEED Engineering for the design. It uses their tried and true VPP suspension design. It’ll be available in March as a frame (w/ shock) or complete bike with Shimano XT and Fox suspension kit.
Using a flip-flop link, travel is adjustable from 4.75″ to 5.25″ (120mm to 135mm). The linkage arm is full carbon fiber, and it’s all mated up to a Kashima Fox Float shock. The top tube has cable routing for dropper seatposts built into the underside.
Links are built around burly 15mm collet system axles. Bottom bracket is PF92 like the original Carbine.
The SL also borrows the Flk-GRD downtube protection with extended lower section, except here it gets a carbon-fiber weave look.
Unlike it’s longer travel big brother, the Carbine SL’s rear dropouts are not replaceable. They’re molded in and set at standard QR dropouts with 135mm rear spacing. Given the intended use, we’d say that’s fine, and the derailleur hangar is replaceable. Post mount brake tabs would have been nice, though.
UPDATE: Intense’s Scott Sharples says they’re slowly but surely moving toward post mount brake tabs on their frames, this one included, but that being a small company they have to watch the trends for a bit longer before jumping in head first.
The headtube is tapered 1.125″ to 1.5″ and sits at a nice slack 68º when mounted up with a 150mm fork. Intense built the bike with the option of running a shorter 120mm fork, too, so we’re guessing the Fox 32 TALAS (travel adjust 120mm to 150mm) fork is exactly what they had in mind on this one.
Front derailleur is direct mount, allowing the seat tube and suspension design free reign to get the job done. Like the bigger Carbine, the SL is free of ISCG tabs.
FULL SPECS LIST:
- Intended Use: XC / Trail
- Patented VPP Suspension
- Fox Factory Kashima RP23 Custom Carbine SL Tune
- Light and Strong Carbon Fiber Upper Link
- Titanium Bolts
- Tapered Head Tube 1.5” / 1-1/8”
- Composite Bottom Bracket Shell For Press Fit Bottom Brackets
- Replaceable Derailleur Hanger On A Svelte 135mm Carbon Dropout
- Adjustable Travel 4.75” / 5.25” – (120mm or 135mm)
- Dropper Seat Post Cable Routing
- H2O Bottle Mounts
- Direct Mount Front Derailleur
- INTENSE “FLK-GRD” Down Tube And Chain Stay Protector System
- Angular Contact Bearing / Collet Axle System With Replaceable Zirk Fittings
- Available Colors Are: Naked Red
- 5.0 Lbs. Frame Weight (Medium Size) W / Fox Kashima RP23
We’ve requested pricing and a few other tidbits, we’ll update as we get them.
UPDATE: U.S. pricing for the frame with shock will be $2,819.00 and the frame weight includes the shock as suspected.