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2021 Mountain Bike Team Rumors

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1/9/2021 3:43 AM

stedaly87 wrote:

A bit old but did anyone read this on PB? It’s the staffs 2021 predictions, I’m thinking he’s taking about Danny in the first paragraph? (Happy for someone to correct me)
Maybe is Cube deal wasn’t as clear cut as we all thought when Warner hinted?

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Perhaps Gwinners team and Intense. I read very recently that Intense will be filing bankruptcy soon.

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1/9/2021 5:12 AM

ORTOGONAL555 wrote:

I guess "other than racing" exposure (let's call it that just for brevity's sake) is the main form of advertising these day. The question is how sustainable it is, that is how long before the online/YT/IG market will be saturated to the point it will no longer privide profitable investment. However, it's certainly not to that point now and it keeps growing (like, YT mtb channels are popping up like mushrooms nowadays). I'm not eve sure we'll get to that point nor if it's how these things work. But, more important for team rumors, it appears that racing alone will not be enough for some guys if they want to be paid reasonably well. I guess Someone like Bruni or Pierron will get good paychecks whatsoever because they are winning quite often (meaning they'll always keep their sponsors in the spotlight). I think the constant search of out of race exposure from brands is due to the fact that there are so few races in a season too (both for dh and enduro) , which drastically reduces opportunities to promote sponsors. If 2021 will be as bad as last year in regards of racing, it will hard for many racers to keep "just racing".

Oh for sure the new methods of getting out there will change sponsors and what sponsors expect from a rider.
But I meant the top paragraph where he’s talking about a rider, I wonder who that rider is?

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1/9/2021 5:39 AM

stedaly87 wrote:

A bit old but did anyone read this on PB? It’s the staffs 2021 predictions, I’m thinking he’s taking about Danny in the first paragraph? (Happy for someone to correct me)
Maybe is Cube deal wasn’t as clear cut as we all thought when Warner hinted?

Photo

jason.west.750 wrote:

Perhaps Gwinners team and Intense. I read very recently that Intense will be filing bankruptcy soon.

It seems like Gwin becoming part owner was a horrible decision.

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1/9/2021 6:21 AM

bermslapper69 wrote:

It seems like Gwin becoming part owner was a horrible decision.

Depends on the deal and how much % of intense he has. I am not sure bike companies were in trouble last year. Seems most were having little problem selling bikes without racing and the “need” for that expensive marketing tool.

I would think it talking about a guy like Troy. Danny is on a new team so that would not be second year for with down racing year for the brand.

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1/9/2021 6:44 AM

jason.west.750 wrote:

Perhaps Gwinners team and Intense. I read very recently that Intense will be filing bankruptcy soon.

bermslapper69 wrote:

It seems like Gwin becoming part owner was a horrible decision.

mfoga wrote:

Depends on the deal and how much % of intense he has. I am not sure bike companies were in trouble last year. Seems most were having little problem selling bikes without racing and the “need” for that expensive marketing tool.

I would think it talking about a guy like Troy. Danny is on a new team so that would not be second year for with down racing year for the brand.

I could be wrong, but I assumed whoever he was talking about had limited social media presence. 'Let(ting) the riding do the talking' would mean little to no outside exposure, so no Instagram, ride days with customers, or other things to generally help increase brand exposure.
This is pure speculation, but given that I personally thought he was talking about someone like Matt Walker who does not have a social media presence but performed very well. Maybe contract update talks after winning the World Cup overall did not gain him much because of this.

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1/9/2021 6:46 AM

Keeping on with the high-profile XC announcements this week:
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Specialized has a rich history in XCO MTB which include an Olympic gold medal, numerous world titles and countless World Cup victories. In 2021, we are delighted to announce a new team with riders who we believe will lead us to even more success. One of our goals is to invest and keep devoloping young talents like Sina Frei and Laura Stigger in a competitive environment while defending World Championship stripes and chasing world cup victories with Jordan Sarrou and Gerhard Kerschbaumer.

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Jordan Sarrou is the 2020 UCI MTB World Champion and joins Specialized on a multi-year partnership. The 28-year-old Frenchman has enjoyed riding Specialized bikes from a young age and expressed great excitement in joining the factory team - “It’s a big motivation for me and I’m very excited to ride for Specialized; they are the best brand for mountain biking and cycling, so it’s a huge excitement for me to join the family now.”

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Winning the world title in 2020 was a dream for Jordan. In 2021 he has even bigger dreams of competing in the Olympic games and defending his world title - “Firstly, my goal is to be at the start at the Tokyo Olympic Games, then to defend my world title and be on top for the World Cup races.”

Brian Gordon, MTB product manager in Morgan Hill, California is excited to work with the new team of riders. “Specialized Factory Racing is and has always been an integral part of product development at Specialized. There is no doubt that the energy and excitement around the 2021 team roster will motivate and inspire us to push the limits of product innovation in every aspect.” The close tie between the race team and product team at Specialized has been paramount in building the legacy of Specialized Factory Racing and the Epic platform. The 2021 program will only see this tie grow stronger, pushing product design further into the future.

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Alongside Sarrou, Specialized have signed former Italian National Champion, Gerhard Kerschbaumer. ‘Geri’ as his team mates call him has set his sights on the 2021 World Title which will be contested in his home country, Val Di Sole, Italy. Apart from chasing the rainbow stripes, Kerschbaumer will focus on the World Cup series and an Olympic medal – “I have enjoyed my short time with the team. We are set up here at our first team camp and things are going very well. I come from a very small setup and having all of this support is very exciting for me. I never had a soigneur or a personal mechanic before and I need to get used to having access to all of this new information and product. I can learn a lot from Jordan who is the world champion and I look forward to 2021 with the team.”

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Benno Willeit who has been with the global race team for more than 10 years makes a return to the Specialized Factory racing team as program manager. Willeit has spent the last few years pioneering the E-bike racing category for Specialized and his wealth of knowledge and experience on the world cup circuit will be invaluable to the team’s future success – “I spent the last few years with the E-bike and Enduro teams. It is great to be back with the XCO team, it is where I started my career and super happy to be here in Stellenbosch with our team. We have 3 riders who are new to the brand and it has been very educational for everyone to get a Retül fit and learn more about the equipment that they will be using for 2021 and beyond. The goal of this team camp is to get to know everyone intimately, but also generate content for our sponsors and riders. So far we are having a great time together and I am excited for the years ahead.”

Sina Frei has an impressive résumé which includes U/23 World Champion, U/23 European Champion, Swiss Champion and at 23, she is undoubtedly one of the women to look out for in the Elite category. Frei joins Specialized on a multi-year partnership and is excited to get back to racing - “It is really exciting to join Specialized. I am already enjoying the team environment and it is such a great group of people to be a part of, everything is very professional”.

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Joining her teammates on the S-Works Epic for the first time, Sina has been impressed with the setup of her new bike and the Retül fit process – “From the first time I was on the bike, it has been super comfortable. Riding here in Stellenbosch, the bike is smooth and very precise in handling. I also had a Retül fit for the first time ever and the data is really interesting. I enjoy seeing the numbers and already, we have made a few tweaks which have improved my position on the bike.”

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Another talented rider who has been supported by Specialized, but now makes the step up to the factory racing team is Austrian, Laura Stigger. While she could still race in the U/23 Category, the 20 year old Stigger made the decision to race in the Elite women’s category and has already made huge impressions on the mountain biking community.
“I am very comfortable in this group. It is nice to get to know everyone better and I am excited to spend the next few years with this group of people. It is my first time in Stellenbosch and it is a big change from the Cross Country skiing that I have been doing back home in Austria. The riding, the food, the people are all awesome and I am very happy to be here.”

Laura has big goals for the 2021 season including a World Championship medal and podiums at the XCO World Cups.

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The Specialized Factory Racing Team will focus on the UCI MTB XCO World Cup season including the Olympic games, Sea Otter Classic, Specialized market activations and National Championships. The team is proud to be supported by SRAM, Rockshox, Wahoo, Cliff, HT Components, Retül, Roval, Motrex and Supacaz.

Photos by Michal Cerveny

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1/9/2021 7:37 AM

stedaly87 wrote:

A bit old but did anyone read this on PB? It’s the staffs 2021 predictions, I’m thinking he’s taking about Danny in the first paragraph? (Happy for someone to correct me)
Maybe is Cube deal wasn’t as clear cut as we all thought when Warner hinted?

Photo

ORTOGONAL555 wrote:

I guess "other than racing" exposure (let's call it that just for brevity's sake) is the main form of advertising these day. The question is how sustainable it is, that is how long before the online/YT/IG market will be saturated to the point it will no longer privide profitable investment. However, it's certainly not to that point now and it keeps growing (like, YT mtb channels are popping up like mushrooms nowadays). I'm not eve sure we'll get to that point nor if it's how these things work. But, more important for team rumors, it appears that racing alone will not be enough for some guys if they want to be paid reasonably well. I guess Someone like Bruni or Pierron will get good paychecks whatsoever because they are winning quite often (meaning they'll always keep their sponsors in the spotlight). I think the constant search of out of race exposure from brands is due to the fact that there are so few races in a season too (both for dh and enduro) , which drastically reduces opportunities to promote sponsors. If 2021 will be as bad as last year in regards of racing, it will hard for many racers to keep "just racing".

stedaly87 wrote:

Oh for sure the new methods of getting out there will change sponsors and what sponsors expect from a rider.
But I meant the top paragraph where he’s talking about a rider, I wonder who that rider is?

Probably Hart. I guess whoever the article talks about had a deal lined up that got reworked because of covid losses and so forth. Seems to fit the situation he was in. Hard to tell though. Most of the top guys are not much active outside of racing, and understandably so. It could be anyone really.

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1/9/2021 7:41 AM

Dak?

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1/9/2021 8:03 AM

stedaly87 wrote:

A bit old but did anyone read this on PB? It’s the staffs 2021 predictions, I’m thinking he’s taking about Danny in the first paragraph? (Happy for someone to correct me)
Maybe is Cube deal wasn’t as clear cut as we all thought when Warner hinted?

Photo

jason.west.750 wrote:

Perhaps Gwinners team and Intense. I read very recently that Intense will be filing bankruptcy soon.

Gosh have things gotten that bad at Intense?
I haven't been a fan of some of the graphics on their bikes the last few years. There is a romance to the brand.
Always fancied a sniper as a quick trail bike if they had done a raw carbon.
Wonder what on earth Gwin etc would do if they went pop.

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1/9/2021 8:29 AM

stedaly87 wrote:

A bit old but did anyone read this on PB? It’s the staffs 2021 predictions, I’m thinking he’s taking about Danny in the first paragraph? (Happy for someone to correct me)
Maybe is Cube deal wasn’t as clear cut as we all thought when Warner hinted?

Photo

jason.west.750 wrote:

Perhaps Gwinners team and Intense. I read very recently that Intense will be filing bankruptcy soon.

bermslapper69 wrote:

It seems like Gwin becoming part owner was a horrible decision.

Gwin owns the race team not a stake in company

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1/9/2021 9:53 AM

Intense being in $$ trouble is a bit of a stretch. They recently brought on Ryan Dungey and some other moto bigwigs to invest/steer the company. Just hired new outside reps and are selling a ton of bikes. Gwin and Co are race team only as i understand it.

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1/9/2021 11:32 AM
Edited Date/Time: 1/9/2021 1:50 PM

stedaly87 wrote:

A bit old but did anyone read this on PB? It’s the staffs 2021 predictions, I’m thinking he’s taking about Danny in the first paragraph? (Happy for someone to correct me)
Maybe is Cube deal wasn’t as clear cut as we all thought when Warner hinted?

Photo

jason.west.750 wrote:

Perhaps Gwinners team and Intense. I read very recently that Intense will be filing bankruptcy soon.

where did you read that Intense filed bankruptcy, there's nothing public about it that I can find.

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1/9/2021 11:41 AM

stedaly87 wrote:

A bit old but did anyone read this on PB? It’s the staffs 2021 predictions, I’m thinking he’s taking about Danny in the first paragraph? (Happy for someone to correct me)
Maybe is Cube deal wasn’t as clear cut as we all thought when Warner hinted?

Photo

jason.west.750 wrote:

Perhaps Gwinners team and Intense. I read very recently that Intense will be filing bankruptcy soon.

w4s wrote:

where did you read that Intense filed bankruptcy, there's nothing public about it that I can find.

Guessing the ole' reader comments on Pinkbike.....in other words, people trying to read tea leaves

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1/9/2021 12:10 PM

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1/9/2021 12:42 PM

THANK YOU, @Primoz!
.
.
.
Regarding Intense, Gwin owns the team, not the company. It was well documented at that point that he wanted off the Mob, because he wanted to do the things his way. This also coincided with a moment when Intense brought in a fresh influx of capital, but I believe Dungey is gone in the mean time. I am not sure how Intense are doing or how well their bikes/e-bikes are selling, but I'm sure, even if in financial trouble, they'd bounce back somehow, because their brand and heritage is far too valuable. As an Intense owner and fan (who could still tell that he didn't like quite a few of their bikes), I sigh a bit to the fact that the bikes are now made overseas and are carbon only, but I'm happy that Jeff still does mules and prototypes in Temecula. I was very tempted to get myself one of these newer carbon ones, but decided to spend my money locally instead.

Speaking of legendary brands, does anyone know who owns Iron Horse at this point?

Mx

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1/9/2021 12:49 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/9/2021 12:49 PM

They also just signed a new rider so this isn’t about Intense.

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1/9/2021 12:51 PM

Maxipedia wrote:

THANK YOU, @Primoz!
.
.
.
Regarding Intense, Gwin owns the team, not the company. It was well documented at that point that he wanted off the Mob, because he wanted to do the things his way. This also coincided with a moment when Intense brought in a fresh influx of capital, but I believe Dungey is gone in the mean time. I am not sure how Intense are doing or how well their bikes/e-bikes are selling, but I'm sure, even if in financial trouble, they'd bounce back somehow, because their brand and heritage is far too valuable. As an Intense owner and fan (who could still tell that he didn't like quite a few of their bikes), I sigh a bit to the fact that the bikes are now made overseas and are carbon only, but I'm happy that Jeff still does mules and prototypes in Temecula. I was very tempted to get myself one of these newer carbon ones, but decided to spend my money locally instead.

Speaking of legendary brands, does anyone know who owns Iron Horse at this point?

Mx

Pacific/Dorel Industries own Iron Horse I believe.

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1/9/2021 1:27 PM

Um, we covered it in here that Gwin had the rug pulled from under him regarding YT, he was literally having dinner with the CEO during worlds, talking about how it's a matter of days to sign the contract, then something like next week he was told the programme is done. And then they decided to continue (in a smaller capacity with Angel only or something like that).

He scrambled and did the deal with Intense, wreaking havoc in the Intense Factory Racing team that was running Sram gear with Jack Moir, Dean Lucas and Charlie Harrison, with the latter two parting ways with the team and Moir suffering for the next season on gear he didn't like (the hand picked stuff by Gwin), after which he left too.
The team went from the rad dudes in colorful kit with surfing vibes (my god was it fun watching videos of the Intense train going down the track in training runs) to what we have now...

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1/9/2021 1:53 PM

Hahahaha... Its all internet stuff I've seen. The only thing l do know is that i wish Intense would do alloy bikes again. Lost cause l know 😕

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1/9/2021 2:03 PM

Does anyone know who will provide the frames for Unior team? I think Jure Zabjek is one of the most underrated riders in the circuit, the guy is insanely fast...I hope they will have a good frame for this season. I really like Devinci and the prototype with the high pivot that was used last season looks really nice, but I’ve read that they don’t want to launch that version of the frame. Running a world cup team is expensive but IMO is the best way to advertise your products, I really want to see Devinci back on the world cup circuit I’m curious if they will have their own team...

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1/9/2021 2:12 PM

Primoz wrote:

Um, we covered it in here that Gwin had the rug pulled from under him regarding YT, he was literally having dinner with the CEO during worlds, talking about how it's a matter of days to sign the contract, then something like next week he was told the programme is done. And then they decided to continue (in a smaller capacity with Angel only or something like that).

He scrambled and did the deal with Intense, wreaking havoc in the Intense Factory Racing team that was running Sram gear with Jack Moir, Dean Lucas and Charlie Harrison, with the latter two parting ways with the team and Moir suffering for the next season on gear he didn't like (the hand picked stuff by Gwin), after which he left too.
The team went from the rad dudes in colorful kit with surfing vibes (my god was it fun watching videos of the Intense train going down the track in training runs) to what we have now...

Moir is looking so good on canyon and Charlie and trek have been good for another. Pretty sure deanos has been injured but I think Scott’s bikes are probably better than intense at this point. It all worked for everyone in end. But i agree most fans preferred the yt mob and intense teams before the change. Also agree moir had to deal with the biggest setbacks as result

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1/9/2021 2:24 PM

Zink posting from Santa Cruz on Instagram. Maybe a coincidence or maybe that specialized announcement coming real soon

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1/9/2021 2:26 PM

Yeah, it might turn out for the better for them (well Moir had quite an off season between 2019 and 2020 with C pulling the plug and him scrambling to Canyon), but damn, the vibe in that team... Plus they developed the M29 which was basically thrown away by Gwin. That surely helped his mood in 2019 smile

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1/9/2021 4:18 PM

Primoz wrote:

Yeah, it might turn out for the better for them (well Moir had quite an off season between 2019 and 2020 with C pulling the plug and him scrambling to Canyon), but damn, the vibe in that team... Plus they developed the M29 which was basically thrown away by Gwin. That surely helped his mood in 2019 smile

The change is rules has a lot to do with the M29 being ditched. If the mullet rule had not been changed the M29 would still have been tve go to bike. A number of other racers ditched 29ers for mullets.

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1/9/2021 5:35 PM

Primoz wrote:

Yeah, it might turn out for the better for them (well Moir had quite an off season between 2019 and 2020 with C pulling the plug and him scrambling to Canyon), but damn, the vibe in that team... Plus they developed the M29 which was basically thrown away by Gwin. That surely helped his mood in 2019 smile

mfoga wrote:

The change is rules has a lot to do with the M29 being ditched. If the mullet rule had not been changed the M29 would still have been tve go to bike. A number of other racers ditched 29ers for mullets.

That sounds more like an excuse. Businesses need to be able to adapt. Many other brands did...

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1/9/2021 6:52 PM

What if Vali goes to Syndicate?

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1/9/2021 8:25 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/9/2021 9:48 PM

Primoz wrote:

Yeah, it might turn out for the better for them (well Moir had quite an off season between 2019 and 2020 with C pulling the plug and him scrambling to Canyon), but damn, the vibe in that team... Plus they developed the M29 which was basically thrown away by Gwin. That surely helped his mood in 2019 smile

mfoga wrote:

The change is rules has a lot to do with the M29 being ditched. If the mullet rule had not been changed the M29 would still have been tve go to bike. A number of other racers ditched 29ers for mullets.

mwolpin wrote:

That sounds more like an excuse. Businesses need to be able to adapt. Many other brands did...

To be fair, Intense is muuuuch smaller than many of those other brands. Rarely are other brands still having their founders or members of their management teams weld up team bikes and proto's. Although they've been around for years, they seems to be the last mainstream survivor of the great 90's American mountain DH bike revolution with Turner, Foes, Chumba and others falling to the side or completely vanishing after 2010ish. They've always seemed to be in a weird position the last few years trying to be a direct to consumer and shop brand at the same time. Honestly your getting pretty great bikes for the price. The geo does seem to be a gen behind, but not everyone wants our super sender geo. 70%+ of trail riders don't actually need a 77°/64° 140 trail bike to send steeps and many of us forget that. They also seem to have confused interest in the Gwin/Mullet DH bike with the actual interest on the Enduro proto bike that will actually sell. If they had of released the new tracer/carbine this season with better geo they would have a huge influx of cash but instead they have two tired bikes one their 4th and 5th seasons.

If they fixed their confusing distribution and doubled down on Enduro and trail they could be killing it, but as long as they hold onto the DH dream too hard they'll struggle.

I'd be interested to see how the Knolly issue affects them although as mentioned, I think it's a bit bullshit.

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1/9/2021 8:42 PM

mfoga wrote:

The change is rules has a lot to do with the M29 being ditched. If the mullet rule had not been changed the M29 would still have been tve go to bike. A number of other racers ditched 29ers for mullets.

mwolpin wrote:

That sounds more like an excuse. Businesses need to be able to adapt. Many other brands did...

metadave wrote:

To be fair, Intense is muuuuch smaller than many of those other brands. Rarely are other brands still having their founders or members of their management teams weld up team bikes and proto's. Although they've been around for years, they seems to be the last mainstream survivor of the great 90's American mountain DH bike revolution with Turner, Foes, Chumba and others falling to the side or completely vanishing after 2010ish. They've always seemed to be in a weird position the last few years trying to be a direct to consumer and shop brand at the same time. Honestly your getting pretty great bikes for the price. The geo does seem to be a gen behind, but not everyone wants our super sender geo. 70%+ of trail riders don't actually need a 77°/64° 140 trail bike to send steeps and many of us forget that. They also seem to have confused interest in the Gwin/Mullet DH bike with the actual interest on the Enduro proto bike that will actually sell. If they had of released the new tracer/carbine this season with better geo they would have a huge influx of cash but instead they have two tired bikes one their 4th and 5th seasons.

If they fixed their confusing distribution and doubled down on Enduro and trail they could be killing it, but as long as they hold onto the DH dream too hard they'll struggle.

I'd be interested to see how the Knolly issue affects them although as mentioned, I think it's a bit bullshit.

100% agreed. Downhill is great to ride and watch but dh bikes just aren’t selling. They dropped the ball this year not focusing on releasing the prototype enduro bike we saw Isabell riding at Trophy of nations. Photo

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1/9/2021 11:03 PM

mfoga wrote:

The change is rules has a lot to do with the M29 being ditched. If the mullet rule had not been changed the M29 would still have been tve go to bike. A number of other racers ditched 29ers for mullets.

mwolpin wrote:

That sounds more like an excuse. Businesses need to be able to adapt. Many other brands did...

metadave wrote:

To be fair, Intense is muuuuch smaller than many of those other brands. Rarely are other brands still having their founders or members of their management teams weld up team bikes and proto's. Although they've been around for years, they seems to be the last mainstream survivor of the great 90's American mountain DH bike revolution with Turner, Foes, Chumba and others falling to the side or completely vanishing after 2010ish. They've always seemed to be in a weird position the last few years trying to be a direct to consumer and shop brand at the same time. Honestly your getting pretty great bikes for the price. The geo does seem to be a gen behind, but not everyone wants our super sender geo. 70%+ of trail riders don't actually need a 77°/64° 140 trail bike to send steeps and many of us forget that. They also seem to have confused interest in the Gwin/Mullet DH bike with the actual interest on the Enduro proto bike that will actually sell. If they had of released the new tracer/carbine this season with better geo they would have a huge influx of cash but instead they have two tired bikes one their 4th and 5th seasons.

If they fixed their confusing distribution and doubled down on Enduro and trail they could be killing it, but as long as they hold onto the DH dream too hard they'll struggle.

I'd be interested to see how the Knolly issue affects them although as mentioned, I think it's a bit bullshit.

Tend to agree. I think we are taking it off topic now however it is interesting to hear ideas and thoughts on Intense. My last thought if they could weld aluminium bikes straight at a good price do you think they would sell through for the brand.
I love the look of the raw protos they fabricate for the races.

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1/10/2021 12:59 AM

TwinkletoesLarry wrote:

They also just signed a new rider so this isn’t about Intense.

Seth Sherlock just moved up to elites. That's the "new rider"

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