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Price: £5,699.00 From: Intense Cycles UK,

Intense Cycles is another company with great heritage, with Jeff Steber still at the helm and very involved in every aspect from the day-to-day running of the company to the design and prototyping of the bikes. While Intense used to weld alloy frames in-house in its Southern California factory, it made the decision to catch up and join the carbon revolution a few years ago.

Over a very short space of time, Intense retired its alloy frames and entered the carbon full suspension (and hardtail) market with a bang. Launching something like six new models in just a year, there was suddenly a carbon Intense bike for every person and every purpose. While some of the bikes were a great entry into the carbon world for Intense, many customers (and journalists, ahem) were deeply confused over which bike did what. Intense has done a lot of simplification and this new Primer range is intended to be the ‘one bike quiver’ that perhaps all those other bikes were trying to be. Things aren’t quite that simple, though, as the Primer model actually encompasses three bikes (actually two different frames, bear with us…) with a different wheel combination for each. All coming with two different colours (a ‘mild’ and a ‘wild’) per model. Still confused? There’s a Primer 27.5 and a Primer 29er. That covers two models and four colour options. The third model, and the one we have on test, is the Primer 279 S. This staggered wheel model has a 29er x 2.6in front wheel, with a 27.5in 2.8in Plus rear wheel. This ‘mullet’ approach is currently popular in the racing world (29er for speed and stability up front, a 27.5in for flickability and better suspension gubbins (or bum) clearance out back. It’s popular also in the motocross world, which has always had oddball wheel sizes, as well as the e-bike world, with several bikes, including Intense’s Tazer, featuring the mismatch.

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About Singletrack

Editorial: Old Friends UK Adventure: Ochils the Noo Classic Ride: All Weather Lake District Column: Jason Miles International Adventure: Revelstoked Tech: When Did It All Get Good? Editors’ Choice 2019 Pete’s Pros: Jamie Nicholl Bike Test: Bling Bikes Still Going: Lucky Shorts International Adventure: Davos On The Cheap Interview: David Cachon International Adventure: Greek Highland Hopping Last Word: Unhealthy Obsession