Considering the weather we’ve experienced all month, this weeks ‘bike’ should probably be a photo of a canoe, but I’m gonna keep it real and talk about one of our favorite custom builds. An Intense Tracer29 with some pretty rad bits hung from it’s hand-built in the USofA frame. The Tracer29 has two travel options for the rear shock, 5″ or 5.5″, the rear dropouts are easily swapped-out to go from 135×10 to a 142×12 through axle which this bike has. It is also running a Marzocchi Roco air shock, something we feels complements the VPP suspension design extremely well and matches the performance and plush feel of the ‘zocchi fork.
This Tracer is sporting SRAM’s XX1 drivetrain, which is pretty darn cool. You get to ditch the front derailleur and shifter and still have a gear range that is equivalent to a 2×10 set-up. SRAM was able to pull this off by going to an outrageous 10×42 11 speed rear cassette.
The 10 tooth cog on the cassette requires a special hub, which is quickly becoming available for almost all hubs, but it is yet another new ‘standards’. This bike rolls on a set of 29″ Enduro wheels from Industry Nine, a shop favorite. The i9 wheels are shod with a set of 2.4 Maxxis Ardent tires set-up tubeless. There is a, now almost mandatory for any all-mountain bike, dropper post. In this case a Rockshox Reverb. One of the great thing about ditching the front shifter is it provides more room on the handlebar to place the remote for the seatpost. Notice the amazingly cool machine work on the Hope brake lever, they really know their way around a CNC machine. Easy to use, tool free adjustments for reach adjust and bite point.
Why it’s cool: The Intense Tracer29 was the original longer travel 29′ bike when it was introduced in 2009 and it’s taken a few years for everyone to catch up and wrap their heads around just how capable a 5.5″ travel 29er can be. This bike is insanely fast in rough terrain. How fast exactly? That’s been tested: http://dirt.mpora.com/news/dirt-magazine-26v29-bonus-feature.html heck, they named it their ‘Trail Bike of the Year’. This is the first bike I’ve ridden that I honestly feel pedals like a trail bike and feels like my DH bike on downhill sections of trail. It’s just amazing.