The M-series downhill bikes from Intense are steeped in history, dating back to the 90’s when Shaun Palmer was on the race circuit. Intense launched the M1 before I was born-and it still has a strong following. Earlier this year, Intense launched the 5th iteration of the M-series downhill bike; the M16. I was able to get some photos of the carbon version, the M16C, and a tour of the bike from Jeff Steber (the owner and designer) himself.
The carbon Intense M16 shares geometry with the aluminum version, but there are differences made possible with the use of carbon.
You might be asking, “What am I supposed to be looking at?” Well the answer is, what are you not looking at? Intense used an asymmetrical design for the rear triangle, and removing the brace between the chain stay and seat stay on the drive side. Easy access to the shock and the lower link, which is where the two travel options can be selected.
The internally routed cables peek out at the lower link area. According to Jeff Steber, this provides for a hinging action on the cables, rather than buckling when the rear goes through its travel.
The M16C uses the VPP suspension design. Intense has eliminated the adjustable dropouts in the rear, to keep thing simple and to save weight.
The Intense M16 Carbon has bonded carbon tubes on the inside of the frame to make installing the cables much easier.
The M16C can be set with 216mm or 241mm of travel. Jeff told me that the World Cup racers preferred to use the 216mm option, which makes for a snappier ride with more spring energy than the longer travel option, while the weekend warriors liked the 241mm option.
Pricing and release dates are yet to be determined, but we should hear of some numbers soon.