BIKE TEST / INTENSE M16
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
The Intense crew has custom-tuned the build packages with
many of the components that they have used as riders for years.
Our test bike came equipped with the Pro build, which sports a
seven-speed SRAM X01DH drivetrain matched to Shimano Saint
brakes, Stan’s wheels and a Renthal cockpit. None of these com-
ponents disappoint; in fact, we could almost call them “downhill
If you really want to throw your wallet at this bike, Intense offers
its “Factory” kit, which has most of the same parts but upgrades
to a carbon ENVE bar, stem, and wheels. Intense claims this will
shed a couple pounds from the bike but will also nab an extra
$2800 from your bank account.
Suspension setup: Plan to spend some time with this one
to find the right setup, because it’s much more involved than
setting up a typical bike with an air shock. The bike ships with
a size-tuned spring and a baseline shock tune, but we swapped
the spring right out of the gate and adjusted the compression and
rebound as well.
Our bike came with a 450-pound spring mounted to a RockShox
Vivid shock, which proved too stiff for our 175-pound test riders.
We swapped to a 400 and increased the compression adjustments
slightly to split the difference between the two springs.
Fortunately, the Boxxer World Cup fork has an air spring to eas-
ily match the sag of the shock. We also found it helpful to add two
of RockShox’s Bottomless Tokens to the air spring. The tokens are
basically little screw-together plastic pucks that go in the air cham-
ber to take up volume. They allow for a more progressive spring
rate that’s suppler on small bumps and also handles big hits better.
For a bike like this one, it should be pretty much mandatory.
Descending: The bike sports a fairly rearward bias for a bike
with this much travel, which puts the rider in a position that’s ready
and dialed to handle the steepest chutes and obstacles with ease,
Nice touch: A slim built-in fender keeps
dirt and debris thrown up by the rear wheel
from going straight onto the shock. It looks
Big axle: Intense uses a 157-millime-
ter-spaced rear axle. The axle itself is fastened using this clever collate system with
an expandable wedge on one side. The
wedge keeps the axle from coming loose
unless you want it to.
Carbon throughout: The new M16 not
only has carbon construction in the front
and rear triangles, but also in the rocker
system. The new frame shaves 3. 3 pounds
off the weight of the aluminum version,
according to our scales.