When Intense decided on a name for its all-moun- tain machine (designed to claw its way up nearly vertical slopes and then descend with precision
that’s almost telepathic), the marketing guys were probably
thinking of the brown recluse spider, the most venomous
spider found in Southern California. But, a recluse is also
someone who wants to shut out the world to go meditate in
solitude, perhaps on a long-distance trail ride away from the
hustle and bustle of the city. So whichever way you look at it,
both meanings apply. We got a hold of one of these deadly
spiders to test it on our own trails.
WHO IS IT MADE FOR?
The Recluse is meant to hit trailbike weight targets but still
offer the geometry and suspension performance to handle
things when the trails get nasty. While the Recluse isn’t the
lightest XC bike, and it’s not as bike-park-friendly as a true
enduro bike, it’s as close as you can come to ticking both
those boxes in a single package.
WHAT IS IT MADE FROM?
The Recluse is a carbon bike with almost 6 inches of
travel via the JS Tuned dual-link suspension. The bike sports
all the modern amenities, including high-modulus carbon
fiber tubes; Boost 148-millimeter rear-axle spacing; internal
routing for all shifter, brake and dropper-post cables and
hoses; and custom-made downtube and chainstay protectors. The bike uses angular collet-style pivots designed to
increase the surface area between the bearings connecting
the front and rear triangles. The pivots keep maintenance
down by staying tight for longer than a typical rocker-bolt
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
Right away the flashy paint scheme will catch your eye.
If bright and colorful isn’t your style, Intense also offers the
Recluse in a muted, Stealth Black color scheme.
The blacked-out Fox suspension may not be the top-of-the-line factory version with super-adjustable dampers and
Kashima coating, but the fork and shock provide remarkable
performance. The 36 Performance fork features Fox’s new
Grip damper, which is a sealed-cartridge system with a
A bike with “Spidey sense”