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First Ride: Intense Recluse DVO Special Edition

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It was hard to miss Intense’s latest build option in Sedona. Propped up against the red rocks, the green bike with bright green accents screamed for attention – and judging by the number of people who stopped to comment on it while out on the trails, the bike succeeds. We’re talking of course about the new special edition Intense Recluse that not only gets a custom finish, but also gets a tailored spec which includes a full DVO suspension kit.

The DVO Recluse is extremely limited, but that didn’t stop us from getting out on a ride to see what the bike offered for the chunky, challenging terrain Sedona is known for…

Starting with the standard Recluse that was introduced last year, the bike is a 140mm travel JS-Tuned carbon frame mated with a 150mm travel fork and 27.5″ wheels. The SL version (used for the DVO Edition) uses more high modulus carbon fiber for both the front and rear triangle as well as titanium hardware to squeeze out every last gram. Running Boost 148 rear spacing and 15 x 110mm front spacing, the frame includes ISCG05 tabs, internal cable routing, integrated frame protection, and their I-Box pivot system.

Naturally, the bike is equipped with DVO suspension including the DVO Diamond air fork and Topaz T3 air rear shock.

To complement the DVO suspension, the bike has a custom build with a SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain, Rock Shox Reverb Stealth dropper with Fabric Scoop Radius Elite saddle, Intense Recon Trail Carbon rims laced to DT Swiss 350 6 bolt, 28h hubs, and a Renthal Fatbar Lite DH bar. Stopping the bike are the excellent Magura MT Trail brakes with Storm SL.2 rotors.

Out on the trails of Sedona, the Recluse felt almost instantly at home. The chunk of the red rocks leads a lot of rider to gravitate towards bigger wheels, but I still enjoy the ride of 27.5″, especially when it comes to challenging maneuvers where it seems easier for someone of my size (5’8″) to move the bike around. With that said, my 690mm measurement from the top of the saddle to the center of the BB still prevented me from using the full 150mm dropper length due to the long-ish seat tube. If this was mine, a 125mm dropper would be a requirement, but that should be more than enough to make the fit work.

Otherwise, the reach on the medium felt great out on the trails, and the 66° head tube and 75° effective seat tube angle worked well for the challenging, punchy climbs and descents.

I must say that the DVO suspension was surprisingly good straight away. Very little tuning was needed to dial it in, though I suspect this was more a result of other editors riding the bike before I did. Even so, the fact remains that the suspension felt incredibly plush on the thousands of square edged rock hits, but still efficient enough for the steady barrage of climbing. Other than short test rides at trade shows, this was my first time on DVO suspension and I came away quite impressed. The fork’s internal workings seemed a little more noisy than some of the competition, but that was the only thing you could really criticize it for.

Along with dialed suspension, the rest of the ride is well thought out as well including a great ride from Intense’s own wheels and impressive stopping power from the Magura MT Trail brakes with HC one finger levers. If you haven’t ridden the recent Magura brakes, you owe it to yourself to try them out. Now thanks to the new brake levers with better ergonomics, the brakes offer the full package of high stopping power and smooth progressive modulation. Intense’s carbon wheels deserve a shout as well as the 31mm wide, 26mm deep Recon Trail rim never felt too stiff or harsh for the abusive desert conditions.

The Intense Recluse DVO Edition won’t be for everybody, but the multi-green and black special edition will certainly make a few riders very happy. Specifically, just 100 riders as that is all that Intense will be selling to the public. Each one comes individually numbered and signed by Jeff Steber, and are available now for $7,999.99 each.

intensecycles.com

 

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joe
joe
5 years ago

I love ‘JS Tuned’…meaning a guy completely clueless on Mechanical Engineering and suspension kinematics developed your bike. I sincerely doubt there is any actually ‘tuning’ going on besides JS deciding that he ‘likes’ it. I would much rather see some actually data on the kinematics, then read a bullsh*t thing like ‘JS Tuned’. But, obviously, I’m not stupid enough to buy an INTENSE!

Fall
Fall
5 years ago
Reply to  joe

Whoa, It’s only Monday Joe! You’ve got to get through the whole week, pace yourself!

tickle
tickle
5 years ago

I find it comical all the internet susp designers, it’s just a selling point, it’s a VPP look it up joe plenty of good reviews. These are nice bikes but damn the color combo’s are LOUD 🙂

joe
joe
5 years ago

Yeah, well some of us went to college for Mechanical Engineering and don’t think bicycle suspension is particularly complicated or innovative. Personally, I just see it as a bunch of hype and acronyms now. It’s a sport for idiots who didn’t get an education. And honestly, the Horst Link hasn’t been significantly changed or updated for many years, and it still rides great enough to be on many 2017 bikes. So that proves that unless a design is radically different than Horst Link, it’s not going to be significantly better.

Selling old tech for a premium price, just gets old. I grew up being told I’d have a f**king levitating hover board by now!

joe
joe
5 years ago

BTW, it’s been over 10 years since I designed a new MTB suspension using an F1 Inerter. But, I’ve never been able to get it developed because nobody in America is willing to invest in a prototype suspension technology. They would all rather sit around milking their old technology on old patents.

There is so much technology simply bypassing the cycling industry and yet, they still charge thousands upon thousands of dollars for 30 year old Carbon Fiber technology. Just Bass Ackward this industry is. And while I will always love bicycles, I will never be part of the bike industry. It’s just filled with Luddites who think they’re geniuses.

Andy
Andy
5 years ago
Reply to  joe

I’m sure economics play a huge part. Bike companies stay alive when people buy more bikes. With profit margins on bikes relatively low, it’s a hard sell for any manufacturer to take a leap in R&D investment for minimal gains. In Formula 1 the tech exists purely for a competitive advantage. You could build a frame out of graphene and some fancy linkage. But how many are you actually going to sell vs. the much easier and cheaper route of convincing a million beginner cyclists that they need a new wheel size?

joe
joe
5 years ago

Case in point. Nearly 10 years ago, in college I took a ‘Thin Films’ class where I did a project report on Titanium Nitride and other high performance films for bicycle applications.

Well, they’ve had TiN coatings for drill bits for nearly 20 years, and only recently have they applied it to the $$Eagle Drivetrain$$ for thousands of dollars. And they don’t even bother to properly coat the chain, so it’s pretty much useless as applied!

Now, obviously ‘The Eagle Drivetrain’ is a completely rip off. In fact, it should be that TiN is applied to entry-level drive trains, because the tech is certainly cheap enough.

Then, the top-level spec should be a DLC film (Diamond Like Carbon). That’s what they use for the pistons and camshafts in Formula 1, everything is a dark black color due to the DLC film. That way, we could have aluminum drivetrains that had the wear properties better than steel!

But, guess what, the bicycle industry will conveniently ‘ignore’ this development until they can properly milk it in their ‘product development timeline’. Whereby they strategically delay new technology in order to ‘milk the customer’ for as much money as possible.

This is why you see such absurd standards, and waffling between sizes. This crap wouldn’t fly in an industry where the technology actually matters – like Formula 1.

haromania
haromania
5 years ago

Sweet looking ride.

Colin M
Colin M
5 years ago

Hey Joe. I feel ya man. Once high end (non custom) bicycles got to the price of motorcycles ($8000 plus mark) the industry went off the rails. The forced obsolescence of drivetrain components every couple of years (10 spd to 11 spd to now 12 spd) is a stupid game they play.

You said it yourself…we love bicycles..but the bike industry (and many of its customers) is like a ADHD child with a bag of candy. Not focused.

Lucas H.
Lucas H.
5 years ago

@Joe. KMC chain has an MTB/Road Chain with the DLC film. Not going to mention the MSRP because it is insane and I conveniently forgot it once I knew it was out of my league. But it is black & beautiful looking.

joe
joe
5 years ago

@ Lucas, this is exactly my point. I didn’t even know about the KMC chain because of all the ‘Eagle hype’…but it’s out there. At $120, it’s a bit steep, but the ‘The Eagle’ chain rings up at $85.

Personally, that’s all money wasted, but if you have money to waste, the KMC DLC is going to be wasted much better!

John
John
5 years ago

I demo’d a large Recluse DVO and found the bike a bit to big. I’m 5′ 9-10″. I got used to the size of bike but could not get comfortable on the seat. I’m guessing the dropper post was a 150mm, so I would a agree with previous post comment about using a 125mm post. Santa Cruz bikes fit me well, so, I was surprised the frame felt a bit uncomfortable for me. Just get on the bike before you buy!

John
John
5 years ago

Sorry! Not to be a nuisance but I forgot to mention out on the East Coast, the pedal strikes and bottom bracket hitting obstacles were annoying. Sedona is beautiful! Did it last year!! Survived!!!

Arnie
Arnie
5 years ago

I own an Intense tracer 275 DVO Carbon , simply the worst bike I ever owned ,right of the bat the noises it made were unbearable , creaking and squeaking that would wake up the dead .. twice within a period of six months the rear triangle cracked , intense warranty department claim that I had an impact ( I no impact whatsoever ) or that I rode through some thin gaps between rocks ( none of that either) there were some very small scratches in the area of the crack which is what they based their completely off the mark determination on ..it is a mountain bike after all so I have yet to see a two year old bike without any scratches .
My first and definitely my last Intense product !

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