Why That Bike? Intense Tracer

Ifyou've ever cruised our Bike Check section, the largest collection of badass bike builds on the internet, you know that Vital members spare no expense when it comes to radifying their rides. Always on the hunt for a backstory, we reached out to the owners of these five fine Tracers to find out what went into each project. From the sneakily understated to the out-and-out custom shredder setup, there's something here for every taste. Which one is YOUR favorite?

Trekone33's Intense Tracer 275A

Age: 38

Where do you live? Carlsbad CA.

Favorite local trail to ride? San Juan Trail.

Why did you pick the Intense Tracer? Stealthy look of the bike. The way it feels sitting on it and how it handles on the trails. 

Is this Intense Tracer your only bike? No, I also have a 2015 Banshee Darkside, which I mainly ride at parks like Summit, Mammoth and Northstar.

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? I was riding a 2016 Trek Slash 9.9 Carbon. The bike was super expensive and I disliked how it handled. Plus the rear triangle cracked on me. I pretty much sold the frame for the price of the TracerA bottom of the line model. It worked out perfect.

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? I bought the Intense TracerA as a stock, bottom of the line complete. I got one of the last TracerA’s made. Then I pretty much ditched every stock part on it but the seat post clamp. I put all my parts from the Trek on the TracerA. 

What’s your favorite part about the bike? It fits me perfect with my riding style. Looks mean and It handles every obstacle I’ve ever given it.

What would you change on it? Nothing! For an aluminum frame the thing is solid and rides so nice.

How long do you plan on riding this bike? Probably another year or two

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? I would probably go with the 2018 Santa Cruz Nomad. Just because the bike is so versatile and seams to be on another level. I would only need one bike.

View Trekone33's Bike Check


cblesius's Intense Tracer SL

Age: 30

Where do you live? Laguna Beach, CA.

Favorite local trail to ride? Laguna Ridge Trail.

Why did you pick the Intense Tracer? Being a bigger guy at 6'5 220 with an aggressive riding style big travel bikes generally suit me better and keep me a little safer. I'll always make climbing sacrifices and spend more time on uphills if it gives me the ability to be more aggressive on the downs.

Is this Intense Tracer your only bike? At the moment yes, but I have Intense Carbine that I am currently building.

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? Before this I had a custom build Intense Primer built up as an all mountain bike.

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? This build was pretty much custom through and through. The builds out of the box from Intense are really dialed but I have always enjoyed having unique bikes.

What’s your favorite part about the bike? The best part about this bike was that I immediately felt at home on it. After the Primer I didn't think I'd ever ride another 27.5 but then I demoed it and on my first ride the bike's stability and confidence and speed blew me away. I don't know if I've felt so confident so quickly on any new bike.

What would you change on it? The only things I switched on this bike were the shock and the tires. I went from the DHX2 back to the standard X2 mainly because with my weight I had a really tough time figuring out the proper spring rate and tune for the coil shock. I know next to nothing about tuning shocks and being a heavier rider I had trouble figure out a spring rate I felt comfortable with. With the standard X2 I can easily get the sag correct and get tuning help from the guys at my shop. With the tires I started out running the Specialized Butcher GRID 2.6's front and rear and although they were very stable I felt like they were causing me to decelerate at almost all times. This set up I feel like would be ideally suited for the park. I ended up opting for a Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 in the front and a Maxxis Aggressor 2.3 DD in the rear.

How long do you plan on riding this bike? As much as this bike is a total ripper my riding style is better suited to 29" wheels. So as soon as I finish building my new Carbine I'll move onto that.

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? Pretty much answered that in the last question - I'll be riding a 2018 Intense Carbine soon.

View cblesius' Bike Check


Nonoyetiboy's Intense Tracer 275c

Age: 25

Where do you live? Annecy, France.

Favorite local trail to ride? French Alps, Meribel.

Why did you pick the Intense Tracer? I picked this bike because it's a little legend of all mountain and enduro since quite a few years already. I tried the aluminium version before the carbon version and I was like a child! The bike is easy on climbs and really fun on the way back down! 

Is this Intense Tracer your only bike? No, When you love, you do not count!

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? Before this Tracer, I rode a Scott Genius 710. My first 27.5 since the revolution of the wheel size! But this bike was too all-mountain and not enough enduro for me.

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? I bought the frame and built it with my favorite parts only. Maybe not the most light but a reliable and effective!

What’s your favorite part about the bike? This question is hard! I love all of parts of this bike ! But the Ohlins TTX is just crazy.

What would you change on it? Maybe the fork for the new Fox 36 or Ohlins RXF36. My Fox 34 is really good but sometimes, I would like something a bit more rigid for downhill sections.

How long do you plan on riding this bike? I don't know...until I find another awesome bike for riding in the mountains! And hopefully, when the bike industry stops creating new standards for bikes...

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? I think it would be the new Santa Cruz Hightower LT. It looks really good and fun for riding fast and long. Maybe for Christmas if I'm a good boy...

View Nonoyetiboy's Bike Check


Jason's Intense Tracer 275c

Age: 41

Where do you live? San Diego.

Favorite local trail to ride? Dog Crap.

Why did you pick the Intense Tracer? DH capacity. I will get to the top at a cruising pace and then have a blast down.

Is this Intense Tracer your only bike? No. This is mostly my park bike for Snow Summit. But I also love to break it out for the rowdier local trails.

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? This replaced my 2016 Intense Uzzi. It is a bit of a better climber when that is necessary.

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? The entire thing is custom built from the Sped wheels to the DVO suspension to the Deity cockpit. Even the paint is custom.

What’s your favorite part about the bike? I love the quiet handling and the ability of this thing to rip corners.

What would you change on it? Maybe an air shock to lock out going up that miraculously changed into a coil for descents.

How long do you plan on riding this bike? Until I build the next one.

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? A long travel 29er (wink, wink).

View Jason's Bike Check


fangoman's Intense Tracer 275A

Age: 26

Where do you live? I live in Diano San Pietro, Liguria, Italy. Near Finale Ligure in other words.

Favorite local trail to ride? My favorite trail near my home is San Rocco, it is more technical than other trails in this zone. But I like to drive to Finale Ligure, Molini di Triora and San Romolo too (these spots are all within a range of 30 minutes by car).

Why did you pick the Intense Tracer? I buy an Intense Tracer because I like handmade frames. I have had many other bikes: Giant, Scott, Specialized...but when in 2009 I bought my first Intense M3 (used) I fell in love with the brand and since then, I buy only Intense. In fact after the M3 I have had: an M6, two Uzzis and now my Tracer T275A. 

Is this Intense Tracer your only bike? No I have a Kona Explosif too.

What bike did this replace / What bike were you on before this? My previous bike was an Intense Uzzi 2012 with a Manitou Dorado fork.

Did you go for an off-the-shelf build or did you customize the build? I built the bike myself. I have chosen even the bolts (all my bolts are made from titanium).

What’s your favorite part about the bike? The rear shock, an Ohlins TTx22M tuned for my weight, as well as the rear suspension system.

What would you change on it? Dreaming of an Ohlins fork but I have run out of money hahahahaha!

How long do you plan on riding this bike? I don't know, I live day by day...

If you could get another new bike (any kind/type) right now, what would you get? My next bike will be an Intense Recluse.

View fangoman's Bike Check


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13 comments
  • Beasy

    8/21/2017 7:31 AM

    How about that 2016 275c with an ohlins coil shock and no dropper. As an avid rider of a 2016 275c Tracer, I'm surprised that someone with (apparently) the means would opt for no dropper.

    I like these articles, btw.

  • iBeRash

    8/19/2017 6:52 AM

    Best bike I've owned or ridden. Love my Tracer.

  • Peter_Craig

    8/18/2017 3:05 PM

    I love my Tracer. Its a trail monster. And for chrisingrassia when you own such a bike that brings you such joy. You take the time to clean it when you finish. It helps preserve your ride

  • MTBrent

    8/18/2017 8:17 AM

    "Why That Bike? HARDTAILS" next!

  • enrico650

    8/18/2017 2:25 PM

    I would like that too but, seems to me they only do bikes from companies that pay for advertisements

  • iceman2058

    8/19/2017 12:38 AM

    If that is really what you take away from these features, we might as well not bother doing them anymore. Why That Bike is all about our members, we cruise the bike check section looking for sweet rides that people have put some effort into customizing, and then we showcase those bikes in the feature to share the stoke and maybe inspire new builds. Advertising has nothing to do with it.

  • MTBrent

    8/21/2017 5:05 AM

    For the record, I just want to hear the stories behind some rad hardtails in the Bike Checks...

    "...share the stoke and maybe inspire new builds" is what I take away from these. Keep 'em up!

  • chrisingrassia

    8/18/2017 7:58 AM

    Not a single bike with dust/dirt

  • Inclag

    8/18/2017 6:26 PM

    Yep....

  • Fred Trampler

    8/19/2017 12:11 AM

    I know, right? It's like these guys take pictures of the bike when new, or something.

  • ColoradoDirt

    8/19/2017 9:34 PM

    Are you F'n kidding me? I do spent 5-6k on my rigs and I shred the shit outa them. Then, I come home and wash that shit. I worked my a** off to get it, I will certainly keep it clean. It's easy... called simple green and at you local home depot. Thanks dad. Sick rigs dudes!!

  • chrisingrassia

    8/19/2017 10:41 PM

    U mad bro?
    R.E.L.A.X.

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