Following a busy summer of planned releases where we got to ride and test the new ACV 27.5+ and Primer 29er trail mountain bikes, the Recluse lived up to its name and stayed in the shadows. Where those two bikes use Intense’s adjustable rear travel to get either 115mm or 130mm rear wheel travel, the Recluse bumps it up to 140mm to fill the hole between the new rigs and the Uzzi. Or, more precisely, it becomes the boosted 27.5 version of the Carbine 29er. Now that the travel/use hierarchy is out of the way, lets see the details…
The frame looks familiar, using similar lines and shapes on the monocoque front triangle, internal cable routing, downtube and chainstay Flak Guards, ISCG05 mounts, direct mount front derailleur, and…
…IS rear brake mounts as opposed to post mount. That’s a bit odd considering the other new bikes are all post mount. Rear axle spacing is Boost 148, which looks to be done mostly for rear wheel/system stiffness as opposed to maximizing tire clearance. All models are spec’d with 27.5 x 2.3 tires.
The suspension is JS Tuned, which means it uses the same counter-rotating dual linkage design as their others, designed by company founder Jeff Steber. It uses angular contact/collet bearings with grease fittings to ease maintenance. We’ve been very happy with its performance on other bikes we’ve tested, enjoying the fact that it’s efficient when pedaling while still absorbing the hits. The Recluse’s rear travel is fixed at 140mm, paired with a 150mm fork up front.
At the top of the roost is the Recluse Limited Edition, which gets an SL version of the frame using high modulus fibers and titanium hardware to save 250g over the standard version. Spec highlights include Race Face Next SL carbon cranks, XX1, Guide RS brakes, Fox 36 Performance Float fork, Rockshox Reverb Stealth and the new Intense Recon carbon wheels.
The new Recon wheelset laces a 31mm (internal, 36mm external) wide carbon fiber rim to DT Swiss 350 hubs. They’ll be available separately also, only with Boost hub spacing.
The Factory Edition, which is also available in the blue paint scheme as the Limited (and vice versa), upgrades to the Fox 36 Factory Float fork and switches to the new Mavic XA Carbon wheels with an otherwise very similar build spec, including the SL frame.
The Pro Edition gets the SL frame, too, plus the Intense Recon carbon wheels and Fox 36 Performance fork, only stepping down the drivetrain to an X01/X1 mix. Renthal bars and stems are fitted to all three of the bikes above, as well as the Expert build, below.
The Expert Edition introduces two new paint options, the all-black shown above, and the circus clown orange and pink below. It steps down to the standard modulus frame with steel and alloy hardware. Fork is a Rockshox Pike RC with Monarch Plus RC3 high volume metric-sized rear shock, wheels are DT Swiss Spline E 1900, and the drivetrain is XT with a Race Face Turbine crankset.
The Foundation Edition is your entry point with a Sun Helix rims on Intense hubs, Rockshox Pike RC and Monarch Plus HV, SRAM NX/GX 1×11 drivetrain with Race Face Aeffect cranks and Shimano M506 hydraulic brakes.