Intense Bikes, owned and run by be Jeff Steber, manufacturers all of its aluminum frames and components (such as dropouts, thru-axles, and linkages) in the United States. As a result, when a new hot trend arises, they’re able to quickly mock up working prototypes.
Instead of trying to squeeze 27.5 wheels and slimmer tires into their existing frames, Intense went back to their lair and created two different solutions.
Carbon molds are expensive. Since Intense makes their replaceable G1 dropouts in-house, it wasn’t a stretch for them to machine a modified version which tweaks the geometry. Want to try the in-betweener wheels on the “cheap”? The 27.5 dropouts will be backwards compatible with existing frames, if Intense brings them to the market…
The revised dropout compensates for the bigger wheel size by lowering the BB and lengthening the chainstays to 17″ to improve clearance.
Intense Tracer 27.5
While the modified dropout is a great compromise, considering the cost of a new carbon mold, Intense also built a dedicated 27.5 Tracer. Owner Jeff Steber welded the prototype himself.
The prototype 27.5 Tracer lacks this new bridge found on the updated 26″ Tracer 2.
Travel remains adjustable but is tweaked downwards slightly to 5.5″ or 6″ of travel.
This prototype Tracer 27.5, running a dedicated 150mm Rock Shox 650b fork, has a 67 degree head angle, 17″ chainstays, and a 13.3″ bottom bracket.
Bonus: Hard Eddie 29r Weighed
Resting in the cool shade at Sea Otter was this sleek Hard Eddie Carbon 29r.
Pricing is $1,895 for the frame and fork is $425.
This was someone’s personal bike. Expect the complete bike to retail with an all together different build kit.
Weight was a respectable 20.3 lbs, but could easily be built lighter.