simple, three-position lever that allows the rider to select the open,
medium or firm mode. It’s easy to use and feels every bit as plush
and controlled as fancier versions. Similarly, the X2 Performance
shock sports an easy-to-use two-position climbing switch to firm
up the travel for efficient ascents.
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Setting sag: The Recluse sports an air-sprung fork and shock,
which makes initial setup a relatively easy process. The fork only
requires the sag to be set to about 25–30 percent via the air
valve. The Grip damper switch controls the fork on the fly with
an easy-to-use three-position lever. The X2 shock requires more
attention once the initial sag is set up. We landed at about 30-per-
cent sag, and then set the high- and low-speed rebound near the
middle of their ranges. We set the high-speed compression to
about 30 percent of its range. The low-speed compression is controlled with the hand lever as a climbing switch.
Moving out: The Recluse fits very true to size. Our size-large
bike had a comfortable and roomy cockpit, which allowed us to
keep the stock short stem and wide Renthal bars.
Climbing: With 140 millimeters of travel and a lightweight
chassis, the Recluse can float up nearly any climb. It sports
enough travel that it can charge chunky and steep ascents and let
the suspension do the work. It can also be set with the suspension in the firm setting to handle long climbs efficiently, thanks to
the relatively steep seat angle and lightweight construction. The
Intense-brand carbon wheels aid climbing, thanks to their low
weight and wide profile. The tires feel snappy and responsive but
also provide a large contact patch for improved traction.
Cornering: The JS Tuned suspension is plush and active,
which makes both high-speed and low-speed cornering efforts
easier. It also allows for a short chainstay, which makes the bike
lively, snappy and quick through turns. The geometry tucks the
rear wheel close under the rider, which allows the rider to power
Short stay: The JS Tuned suspension design allows the Intense
designers to keep the chainstays short and the geometry playful.
The carbon tubes also sport internal cable routing to keep the
Foxy setup: The Fox X2 shock isn’t quite as easy to set up
as the other Float shocks, due to the multiple compression
and rebound knobs. Once dialed in, however, the X2 takes
this bike to the next level.