About this time last year, Jeff Steber of Intense Cycles introduced the 2951 prototype to the world...a 29-inch wheeled downhill bike built from a modified 951 frame. Vital MTB visited the Intense factory in Temecula to speak with Jeff about the bike and see it in action.
Here's the video from last year:
Fast forward one year. Had Intense gone further with the bike? Had they tested it more or tweaked it? The answer is yes. Intense is still testing and tweaking the 2951. Craig "Stikman" Glaspell of Intense filled us in on the current status of the bike and sent over these new photos.
- There are currently 2 prototypes being tested
- Just because we can, we're testing a 69er version (26-inch rear wheel). The "jury is out" on the 69er set up, but we figured it was worth trying.
- Intense G3 dropouts allowed adjustment for the perfect bottom bracket height
- The hardest part of the progression so far is getting racers to actually use the bike in a competitive environment. JD Swanguen (Intense Pro Rider) is really excited about the bike, especially in rocky conditions. With the help of his sponsors, JD may be racing the 2951 in 2011.
- Tires are still the biggest limiting factor in a competitive downhill environment.
- CRC Intense team manager, Nigel Page, rode the 2951 prototype at a Southern California test track that is very steep and tight, a place we wouldn't expect the bike to shine. He was impressed by the capabilities of the bike and rode it for a good portion of the day.
Most recent 2951 prototype with 29-inch front and 26-inch rear wheel (aka 69er)
Why not? Intense put a Cane Creek Double Barrel and Manitou Dorado on a Tracer VP 29er with Hammerschmidt. A true, aggressive 29er trail bike.
The future is out there and it seems like most riders who have thrown a leg over the 2951 are surprised and stoked on the potential. Only time will tell (I hope we see more of it in 2011!)
Have your thoughts or views on the potential of this 29er DH rig changed since this time last year? Let us know in the comments.