2016 Intense Tracer
The 2016 Intense Tracer didn’t have any changes for 2016 on the frame, but I went a new direction for my suspension and I can tell you that I learned a lot about my bike set up and how to get the most out of my 160mm travel bike.
Like my 2015 Intense tracer 27.5 I used Sram Guide Brakes and the 1x11 drive train. In my opinion it’s hard to beat this set up. I did how ever change up the cranks and went with a very cost effective, but very strong and stiff crank from Praxis Works. The reason for this is I had a I had a lot of time on my XX1 carbon crank from my 2015 tracer and I was a little worried about them breaking, but being on a budget and wanting great performance I went with the Praxis crank. The ODI lock on ruffian grips, Crank brother mallot pedals, Gamut chain guide, Rock Shock reverb dropper post, Renthal bar, and stem are other pieces that I left the same for this 2016 build.
What I did change on the 2016 tracer was my suspension. On the 2015 build I used Rock Shock components front and rear. I can’t say that I really disliked anything about the products but I was looking for something new and if you don’t try you will never know if it could be better. After doing some research and seeing the push from DVO I decided to purchase the 160mm Diamond fork and the Jade coil over. I was very happy with the performance and quality of the DVO components. The fork had a very good on the subtle bumps with an amazing reserve on the big hits. That being said the fork made a lot of noise on small chatter compared to the Rock Shock fork. When it comes to the shock this was my first time using a coil shock on a trail bike. Switching to the coil shock was a much more drastic change then expected. I instantly noticed that my acceleration climbing was compromised. The bike sat lower in the stroke, which put the front end higher while climbing. All that being said once you started grabbing some gears and heading down hill I quickly could feel the gains of the DVO Jade Coil shock. The wheel rear wheel stayed more planted and I had more traction in all areas. On the production Can Creek shockair shock it would deflect and want to lose traction entering turns and the balance of the bike was high in the rear. So the question is? Do you mind losing a little bit of performance climbing to gain a lot more confidence down hill? For me YES I would. I feel the tracer was a in between bike until I added the coil shock. It didn’t climb bad, but it wasn’t good. It didn’t descend bad, but it could be better. The Coil Shock made it just that, a whole lot better
As far as the wheels go I felt a huge gain going with a local company UXA. They are known for their wider carbon rims and using high end American made hubs. I went with the 40mm wide Carbon hoops and the Profile elite hubs. The traction that I gained with the wider rims was mind blowing but it makes perfect since because the tire is not rolling off the rim like standard 24mm allow rims. I would probably not go as wide as 40mm next time due to the fact the rim is really exposed in rock gardens. 35mm wide is the perfect balance in my opinion. The Profile hub is just sexy! The engagement rivals the best on the market and being a BMX kid it’s just plain cool. One thing I don’t like about the Profile hub is the free hub can pull out of the hub way to easy and you may lose the engagement shoes while changing a flat on a trail.
All in all this bike is a really fun bike and it has it's place but I wouldn't make it my one do it all bike. It doesn't climb good enough to be an all around bike and it doesn't descend good enough on the descents to be a big mountain enduro bike in its standard trim. I would go a little more slack in the front and a stiffer frame if I had my way.
Frame- Intense Tracer 27.5 size medium
Bars- Renthal Carbon 10mm rise
Stem- Renthal Duo 40mm
Chainring- Praxis works 34t
Wheels- UXA 40mm
Hubs- Profile elite
Cranks- Praxis works Cadet
Brakes- Sram Guides w/ Shimano rotors
Fork- 160mm Diamond DVO
Shock- 160mm DVO Jade coil over
Pedals- Cranks Bros Mallets
Saddle- SDG Bel Air
Drive train- Sram XX1 11 speed
Chain Guide- Gamut Trail HDM