German mountain bike component & suspension maker Intend has crafted an all-new air rear Hover shock that acts like a coil, and a revamped, upside-down Edge New Age fork that will have your enduro bike begging for more technical trails. Most recently we’d seen Intend Bicycle Components’ latest sleek CNC’ed stems, but we also keep spotting their unique suspension popping up on killer trail bike builds…
Remember that custom Revel Rascal that Flowrider Racing built up for the Sea Otter that didn’t happen? You know the one sporting prototype BraKing INCAS brakes, a prototype Ingrid 1×12 derailleur & prototype Ceetec C1 DH carbon handlebar? Yeah, that one. It also has more new kit on it. These aren’t protos, but the latest generation CNC-machined mountain bike suspension from Intend BC that you can actually buy right now (if your pockets are deep enough!)
Intend Hover large-volume piggyback MTB rear air shock
So, the new Hover shock is the latest project from serial-tinkerer Cornelius Kapfinger. (Cornelius is actually using a customized one now in a battle with Gustav Gullholm aka dangerholm to build the lightest/finest DH race bike in the World.)
Built to flat-out outperform everything on the market in weight, stiffness, smoothness & control, the Hover is a piggyback air shock that Intend says goes head-to-head with the top coil shocks.
As Intend puts it, the huge negative air chamber of the Hover delivers an almost linear spring curve like you see in a coil shock, but with none of the weight penalty and the easier tunability. In fact, the smooth action of the Hover made early test riders sense that it was setup too soft before they dialed in their perfect ride.
What’s with the unique look of the Hover air shock?
Intend says it looks similar to old Denk Engineering-designed shocks like the Scott Equalizer or the Fox Dyad because they share a similar, unique architecture. “The looks come from a series circuit instead of a parallel circuit of damping and air spring”, which means one is line up after the other, instead of them being placed parallel to each other (or one inside the other as it typically the case in air shocks.)
Unlike those Denk designs though, the Intend Hover is still a conventional push shock, compressing as the bike moves through its travel.
Air moves in from the piston in the lower half of the Hover from back to front (gold to silver), then transitions in the forward silver body to the upper half of the shock, and travels back to the rear (silver, back to gold).
What’s the benefit of the Hover’s series circuit design?
Intend says the series design delivers:
- greater heat dissipation since 100% of the air body is exposed to outside airflow,
- one less dynamic seal that normal for less friction, and
- the two main seals that remain are always bathed in oil for less stiction & greater longevity.
Intend says the Hover shock features a ‘Softlock’ lockout lever that only closes the low-speed compression damping circuit, leaving the compression circuit ‘much firmer’ but not a hard lockout. That also means the shock can’t be damaged when you forget and leave it locked, and it can still be compressed.
The Hover has external low-speed rebound & low-speed compression adjustment, plus the external Softlock, and a standard air valve with fine tune dial that allows separate positive & negative air pressure setup.
Now if all that sounds great to you, let’s talk pricing & options. The made-in-Germany Intend Hover air shock sells for 990€ with a claimed weights of around 428g (205x65mm trunnion) to 460g (230x65mm). The Hover is available in many trunnion-mount, plus conventional metric & non metric sizes with Fox/RockShox-sized bushings to fit many bikes with room for a piggyback shock.
That price includes a high-pressure shock pump and volume spacers to internally adjust progression. Plus, the Hover comes with a 3-month after-sales tuning service, where Intend will help you set up the shock, let you ride it for a few months, then you can send it back in for more setup-tuning for free, as needed.
Intend Edge New Age air XC-Enduro mountain bike fork
So, now let’s talk about New Age forks. The Intend Edge upside down fork was their first consumer product as early as 2015, but by mid 2016 in v4.0 was entirely designed & made by Intend. Now this version 6 or Edge New Age again gets a complete overhaul, updating everything Cornelius realized he could do better.
What’s new in the Edge New Age forks?
The new fork updates include:
- new construction with heavier, stiffer crown, but less mass on the shaft,
- new SKF wiper seals & oil seals,
- new heavy-duty & lightweight axle options, with knurled clamping surfaces,
- new 20mm thru to 15mm thru-axle adapters,
- new taller SKF D35 bushings,
- new CNC-machined external adjustment knobs,
- new & improved cable guides for better brake routing, and
- a new super smooth Royal Flush stanchion coating for extreme sensitivity
The fork is available for 27.5″ or 29″ wheels with up to 80mm/3.1″ wide tires, in Boost or non-Boost spacing, and offers up to 180mm of travel that can be reduced in 10mm increments. Its dropouts are designed for 20mm axles for maximum stiffness, but with the 20to15 adapters can be used with 15mm wheels, too.
The fork features adjustable rebound and compression damping, with adjustable air spring and progression control, as well.
The Edge New Age fork is made of 98% German individual components, built in small batches, all of which are hand-assembled by Cornelius in Intend’s Freiburg, DE workshop.
The Edge fork sells for 1950€ as a 29er x 80-180mm travel at a claimed 2130g. The 27.5 Edge fork sells for 1900€, again with 80-180mm travel at a claimed 2085g. Either size is offered in blue, black, or raw silver anodized uppers, all with black dropouts.
Intend also follows a strict program of sustainability on their products & manufacture, and fair wages for everyone who machines, finishes & assembles their products. Don’t expect some fancy packaging & unboxing videos here. Buy a thousand Euro shock or a two thousand Euro fork, and Intend will do their best to deliver it to you tucked inside a reusable cotton drawstring bag or wooden box.