We first spotted the new Intense Hard Eddie 29er carbon fiber hardtail mountain bike at Eurobike. At the show, one of the very first frames was on display with few details and a projected launch date of March 2012, making it fashionably late.
Built using the same carbon fiber technology as their Carbine SL, the Hard Eddie is designed by Jeff Steber and engineered by SEED Engineering. And, like the Carbine SL, it gets swappable QR and 142×12 rear axle dropouts, but this one adds a singlespeed option, too. Claimed frame weight is a hair over 1,000g, and Intense offers a paint-matched carbon rigid fork that they say lets you build a complete bike right at 18lbs.
Pics and details right this way…
Both the bike and the fork bear “Designed in the USA” graphics, and indeed they’re both designed here but made overseas. It has their G1 dropouts (shown better below), which are the same across their line of bikes, and helps them future proof the bike against future standards.
“When we started two and half years ago, we saw what was starting to happen with high end carbon fiber manufacturing and the trend towards stronger bikes and more aggressive trail riding,” Steber said. “We built a huge factory here to keep our alloy production in the U.S., but we saw the trend was moving toward carbon fiber even for the more aggressive bikes. Basically, we decided we had to jump on the carbon thing and do it the best we can. We’re aluminum experts, and we immediately realized we needed an expert in composites and found the SEED guys.”
Now that they have the big travel stuff under their belt, it was time to do a fast hardtail in the wonder material. Steber said the impetus was that they had to change with the times. They’ve always been big into downhill bikes and the gravity scene, but now they’re putting some focus on other areas to give their dealers more options and customers and fans the opportunity to stay in the Intense family as their tastes change or expand.
Frames (and forks) will be available in Naked Red…
…and just plain Naked.
Bottom bracket is Pressfit BB30, a departure from the PF92 on the Carbine SL. The downtube and chainstay have FLK-GRD. Like the Carbine, it extends around the bottom of the BB shell for full coverage, but this one has a carbon weave appearance.
Shift cables are internal and the rear brake hose guide runs down the bottom of the downtube. Oddly, the lower hose guide mounts over the FLK-GRD plate. Headtube is tapered 1.125″ to 1.5″.
The fork is from an existing mold but they made a few tweaks to make it their own.
Pricing is $1,895 for the frame and fork is $425.
Steber says more are on the way, too. The Fast Eddie makes three carbon fiber bikes, and by the end of the year they’ll have five…and they’re very excited about it.