Intense's new 2020 Primer S takes the mullet wearer's maxim of business up front and party out back and applies it to trail bikes, offering a 29" wheel and 150mm of travel at the front paired to a fat 650b Plus tyre and 140mm at the back. We've got our paws on this one so we can see how redneck rim ratios work on the trail.
The thinking behind the new Primer range is that riders who want a trail bike are quite likely to have a take on which wheel size they prefer, so instead of making three individual trail bikes with different wheels, the Primer allows riders to pick which wheel size they prefer; 29", 650b or a mix of the two, as we have here.
It's not just a case of ramming whichever wheels you're after into the same frame, with each bike using different front and rear triangles to maximise the qualities of each setup. All share the multi-link suspension system and travel figures though, with a flip-chip giving you a little extra head angle and bottom bracket height adjustability.
The JS tune suspension system has had a going over to help it work on a trail bike, keeping the small bump sensitivity of the Sniper cross-country bike but with more progression at the end of the stroke as seen on the harder-hitting Tracer. It's called - wait for it - JS Trail Link.
Other features include the proper, threaded bottom bracket shell, chunky protectors to keep the carbon frame safe and the use of Fox suspension across the range, with all bikes getting piggyback-equipped DPX2 shocks.
The brand hasn't gone to an extreme with the geometry; a reach of 460mm for the large we've got is fairly standard and the 65° head angle can be dropped half a degree to 64.5° using the flip chip in the lower position. The seat angle is rather slack by modern standards; 74° effective with a very slack 69.5° actual angle and getting slacker if you go low - it'll be interesting to see how the bike climbs on the steep stuff. The bottom bracket is pretty damn slammed though, your pick of 334mm or 327mm.
Our bike is the £5,699 Primer S Pro, but if that's a little rich for your blood then the range - including the other wheel sizes - starts at £3,699 for the Expert level bike. With a 36 Factory fork and similarly golden shock, our bike also gets a 12-speed SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain and sits on e*Thirteen's LG1 Enduro Race wheelset with Maxxis rubber. All bikes get size-specific dropper posts too, with a 125mm item on the smallest bike, 175mm on the largest and all the rest getting 150mm.
We are rather taken with the paint scheme, which seems to be channelling German national football kits of the ages with a yellow, black and red pinstripe over a nice gunmetal grey.
As ever, check back for a full review in a month or two.
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