My mission: Race the “Kamikaze Bike Games” Mammoth Mountain.
Weapon of choice: Intense Tracer 27.5 Pro Build
When the idea of racing the enduro event at Kamikaze Bike Games was brought to me it was a definite, “YES!” The only issue I had was what bike I was going to race and one of the first bikes that came to mind was the Intense Tracer 27.5c, and for good reason. The 160mm travel bike is well known for its trail and enduro ability. It’s the kind of bike that whilst in the car on your way the the trail you start getting butterflies in your stomach because you know the levels of stoke are going to be high. So, the stage was set; I was going to Kamikaze and I was going to be racing the Tracer!
A cockpit can be a work of art.
My first ride on the Tracer didn’t disappoint. Straight away I felt at home. I tend to like riding bikes with a smaller cockpit, so this size medium didn’t take a lot of getting used to. Other riders might have to ride up a size as this bike has a relatively short top tube in comparison to many of today’s enduro rigs. This helps to keep the Tracer feeling nimble and slaying turns. Longer top tubes can give a more stable ride at speed downhill, but this bike did not seem to struggle in this aspect. The carbon monocoque frame feels stiff and light for a bike with this much travel. It felt just as good in the tight stuff as it felt shredding down hill.
Here I am trying to keep it scrubbed during race runs.
Suspension and Cockpit
The RockShox Pike RCT3 fork felt plush initially, but didn’t blow though the stroke. The faster I went the better it felt. You can further dial in the feel of plushness and ramp up in this fork using SRAM’s bottomless tokens. The “Pro Build” comes with a 760mm Renthal Fatbar handlebar. Some might find this on the short side of current wide bars, but I personally think, for my size (5’10’’, 170lbs), that’s plenty wide enough for an enduro bike. However, I could see some riders choosing to go upwards of 780mm or 800mm bar if focusing more towards a DH style riding. The SRAM GUIDE RS brakes were a big surprise for me. Initially, they started off not feeling great, but after bleeding them their performance livened up significantly. There was still a little pulsing in the front lever, but I can only put that down to the extreme heat I was putting them through on the downhill heavy stages that Kamikaze is known for. For everyday trail use I believe these would be more than enough for me with good modulation and a powerful feel.
One beautiful composition from wheel to wheel.
How good is 1×11!!! Not only is there less clutter on the bars, but it actually works awesome too!! The combination of SRAM’s XO1 and X1 components make shifting a no hassle experience, a 32t up front suited the mountain stages of Kamikaze well, and I was never looking for another gear on the transfer climbs. There’s no denying the Tracer’s downhill ability, but what really makes me happy about this bike is that it climbs with confidence and prowess. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s no cross country bike, but for a enduro bike it dosen’t feel like you’re climbing with 160mm travel underneath you. There’s not a lot of front to back transfer or “rocking.” The bike likes to stay planted. Even when standing, it doesn’t want to brake traction which is rare from a bike with the kind of slack and low geometry that defines most enduro bikes.
SRAM 1×11 screams enduro with it’s solid range and consistent performance.
Another awesome feature this bike has is the ability to switch the shock travel length from 160mm to 140mm without changing the frame geometry. This allows you to easily tune the rear end feel for whatever trail you are taking down. This bike remains incredibly plush and confident even in the 140mm setting. The DT Swiss E1700 wheels are an alloy tubeless ready wheelset. Combined with MAXXIS High Roller II 27.5’’ tires, you have your self quite a decent reliable set of aggressive trail shredding wheels. If you are looking for a higher engagement hub DT Swiss offers replacement star ratchets with either 36 or 56 teeth which will tighten the rotational engagement down to 10 or 6.67 degrees, respectively. If I was to race this bike full-time, I’d probably upgrade to a lighter carbon wheelset, but for the average rider these will take most any abuse you throw at them.
Ultra plush suspension with tune-able performance.
The Intense Tracer is a bike that begs to go fast. It’s almost impossible to jump this bike with out wanting to throw a little whip or bar turn, and when the trail gets rough and nasty it will whisper to you “please sir, may I have some more?” The faster you push this bike the more it’ll come alive and the bigger the smile under your helmet will be. This is a bike that, given the right rider, can win races. It’s a bike you can cruise the local trails with your girlfriend or she can leave you chasing her dust of her own Tracer. It’s the kind of bike that reminds you why trail bikes and racing enduro is so fun.
I may not have won a trophy, but this bike won my affections.
The actual result at Kamikaze for me wasn’t great and I didn’t win any medals, trophies or get to spray the bottle of champagne, but I did have one of the best experiences I’ve had riding a bike. So, I think the Intense Tracer 275 and I were the real winners in our own little world.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Tracer 275C Factory Build
|FRAME||27.5” Tracer Full Mountain Carbon Front and Rear Triangle, JS Tuned Suspension, Internal Derailleur, Brake & Dropper Post Routing, ISCG 05 Mount, Downtube Flak Guard Armor, 140 -160 mm travel|
|FORK||FOX FACTORY 36 FLOAT, 3 Pos Lever w/ Open Mode Adj, 27.5” 15QR Thru Axle, 160 mm Travel|
|SHOCK||FOX FACTORY FLOAT X, 3 Pos Lever w/ Open Mode Adj, LV EVOL, 200 x 57 mm|
|WHEELS||DT Swiss XMC 1200 SPLINE® 275|
|HUBS||28 Hole DT Swiss 240 15 mm Front Hub; 142 x 12 Rear Hub w/ XD Driver, centerlock|
|RIMS||DT Swiss XMC 1200 SPLINE® 275″, Tubeless Ready|
|SPOKES||DT Competition 2.0/1.8/2.0|
|TIRES||Maxxis High Roller II, 27.5 x 2.3“, EXO TR|
|SHIFTERS||SRAM XX1, 11 speed|
|REAR DERAILLEUR||SRAM XX1 X-Horizon Carbon, 11 speed|
|CRANK||SRAM XX1, 32T|
|CASSETTE||SRAM XG-1199 10-42, 11 speed|
|CHAIN||SRAM XX1, 11 speed|
|CHAIN GUIDE||AU ONLY, E13 XCX|
|SADDLE||Fabric Scoop Radius Pro|
|SEATPOST||RockShox Reverb Stealth, 31.6 mm x 420 mm, zero offset, 125 mm of travel|
|HANDLEBAR||RENTHAL FatBar Carbon 20 mm – 760 mm|
|STEM||Renthal Apex 50 mm|
|HEADSET||Cane Creek, 40, alloy cartridge, 25 mm of spacers|
|BRAKESET||Shimano XTR Hydraulic Disc, 180 mm front and rear|
|GRIPS||Intense Dual Density Lock-On|
Sizing & Geometry
|A||WHEEL BASE||1124 mm/ 44.25”||1149 mm/ 45.25”||1175 mm/ 46.25”||1200 mm/ 47.25”|
|B||TOP TUBE LENGTH||560 mm/ 22”||585 mm/ 23”||616 mm/ 24.25”||641 mm/ 25.25”|
|C||CHAINSTAY LENGTH||432 mm/ 17”||432 mm/ 17”||432 mm/ 17”||432 mm/ 17”|
|D||HEAD TUBE LENGTH||100 mm/ 4”||114 mm/ 4.5”||125 mm/ 5”||125 mm/ 5”|
|E||HEAD TUBE ANGLE||66.5 ̊||66.5 ̊||66.5 ̊||66.5 ̊|
|F||REACH||395 mm/ 15.5”||416 mm/ 16.4”||445 mm/ 17.5”||470 mm/ 18.5”|
|G||STACK||594 mm/ 23.4″||609 mm / 24.0”||618 mm/ 24.3”||618 mm/ 24.3”|
|H||BB HEIGHT||343 mm/ 13.5”||343 mm/ 13.5”||343 mm/ 13.5”||343 mm/ 13.5”|
|I||SEAT TUBE ANGLE (EFFECTIVE)||74.5 ̊||74.5 ̊||74.5 ̊||74.5 ̊|
|J||SEAT TUBE ANGLE (ACTUAL)||70.5 ̊||70.5 ̊||70.5 ̊||70.5 ̊|
|K||SEAT TUBE LENGTH||395 mm/ 15.5”||445 mm/ 17.5”||485 mm/ 19”||540 mm/ 21.25”|
|L||STAND OVER HEIGHT||792 mm/ 31.2”||798 mm/ 31.4”||802 mm/ 31.5”||803 mm/ 31.6”|