Intense Cycles has been developing the 2022 Tracer 279 enduro bike since as far back as 2019, when Isabeau Courdurier took the Overall Title at the Enduro World Series aboard various early prototypes. With Isabeau onto her new chapter at Lapierre, it was Aaron Gwin who stepped up to help engineer, Jeff Steber, refine the new enduro bike into the production bike you see today. Following multiple pandemic-related delays, Intense are able to reveal, and accept pre-orders for, their new full carbon Tracer 279, said to be their most aggressive, yet composed enduro bike yet.
2022 Intense Tracer 279
Despite the new lower link-driven shock placed low in the frame, passing through a split seat tube, the Tracer 279 still has the unmistakable aesthetics of an Intense. It still runs a VPP style linkage (dubbed the JS-Tuned Enduro Link) with the lower link articulating about a pivot concentric to the bottom bracket, and it still sees that hallmark seat tube-top tube brace typical of Intense bikes. It now runs 170mm of front and rear wheel travel, and rolls on a mixed-wheel setup. It is the first Intense bike to have Aaron Gwin’s so-called “design blueprint” on it (Vee Tire Co showed us there is a second, longer-travel one to come).
- Intention: Enduro Racing
- Travel: 170mm F & R
- Wheel Size: 29″ Front, 27.5″ Rear
- Frame Material: Carbon, with Titanium Hardware
- Claimed Weight: 15.42 kg (Tracer S, Size M)
- Starting Price: £4,799 / $5,499 USD (Tracer Expert)
The Tracer 279 takes design cues from the M29 Downhill Bike, using that lower link-driven shock design but tweaking it into something with improved pedaling performance.
Geometry is adjustable by virtue of a flip-chip positioned at the lower shock mount. From the factory, the Tracer 279 is shipped in its HI position, engineered to offer the best performance on the roughest and most technical terrain. Here, the head angle sits at 64.5° with a 77.9° effective seat tube angle (saddle height not given). Measured from the rear axle, the BB drops just 5mm. Reach is bang up to date at 480mm in size large, spanning a 425mm to 505mm range across the S-XL frame options.
The LO position drops the BB by 7mm, while also relaxing the head angle by 0.5°. Reach shortens by 5mm, too. In this geometry position, the Tracer 279 is said to perform better on smoother, faster terrain, such as that found on bike park tracks.
A standout feature of the new Tracer is its hidden downtube storage, accessed from underneath the downtube near the BB area. Intense call it the CHAD Storage System, named after the late Chad Peterson, an Intense family member who was key to the brand’s rebirth.
Nice to see on this full carbon frame is a threaded bottom bracket, ISCG-05 tabs for the mounting of a chain guide and bash guard, as well as the use of fully guided internal cable routing. A proprietary rear fender protects the shock and the lower link from trail debris. Intense’s FLAK soft-compound frame protectors manage chain slap and rock strikes at the stays and downtube, respectively.
Pricing & Availability
Pricing of the 2022 Intense Tracer 279 starts at £4,799 ($5,499 USD) for the Expert model, built up with a Fox 38 Performance Fork, Performance Elite DHX2 Coil Shock, E13 LG1 Enduro Wheelset, SRAM NX 12 Speed Drivetrain, Code R brakes with 200mm rotors and an E13 cockpit. This one is available to pre-order now, with shipping due by May 31st.
The Tracer S is yours for £5,999 ($7,199 USD), boasting an Ohlins RXF 38 m.2 fork, TTX22M Coil, E Thirteen LG1 Enduro wheelset, SRAM GX Eagle 12 Speed Drivetrain with carbon cranks, Magura MT7 Pro brakes with 203mm rotors, and a Renthal alloy bar. At the time of writing this one is sold out, but you can still pick up the frameset with Ohlins coil shock for £2,799 / $3,299 USD.