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.