KRob’s Outerbike 2013 Bike Demo Reviews – Part 2

26er 27.5 29er All Mountain Trail Enduro Outerbike Test Sessions

Intense Carbine 275

We were hoping to get our hands on a Carbine 29er for this ride but were only able to secure this 275 in the frantic rush for bikes. You may remember that this was mine and Craigstr’s favorite bike of last year’s Interbike Outdoor demo so even though I’d ridden it, I was glad Ben and Dietrich would have a chance to experience it and that we’d be able to compare it directly to some of the new offerings.

I was having so much fun on the Norco and the Pivot that I never got the chance to switch out onto the Carbine except for a brief spin while we were stopping adjusting its suspension and setting it in the longer 6″ mode. Dietrich had been complaining that it felt very harsh coming down which was surprising to me but when Ben said the same thing after he had his turn on it I was puzzled. So we stopped and looked over the settings. I was only getting 20% sag (or less) when I checked it so we let out about 20 lbs of air from the CCDB-A setting it at 130 PSI. I think the Chilcotin has a lower leverage ratio but I only run 125 in mine so I knew it was too high. We also determined that it had been set in the shorter (5.5″) travel setting so we rectified that, let out a little pressure from the fork and tires and continued downward for the last 1/4 mile of trail or so.

My little spin around the area where we were stopped didn’t tell me too much but I was surprised how different it felt from what I remember. Have bikes just all gotten so much better in the past year or was there something (several things?) different about the components and/or set up that just really affected the Carbine for the worse? Ben said it felt a little better after our adjustments but he still seemed less than impressed. It’d be tough to follow either of the first two bikes he rode, let alone both, but we’ll just have to await his reviews to get his thoughts.

Novatec wheels and hubs and Vee Rubber Trail Taker tires. I hadn’t heard of these tires until about two weeks ago when my buddy who just bought a Burner was looking for a replacement for the Honey Badgers that came on the bike came across a couple of threads here on Mtbr with high praise for them.

Next Bike: Devinci Troy »

About the author: Kent Robertson

Kent Robertson (better known to Mtbr forum users as KRob) is just a guy who likes to ride. A lot. Kent’s 52 and has been riding mountain bikes for almost two decades, though he says his love of two-wheeled conveyances began when he was 5. His favorite trail type is any, be it fast and flowy, steep and chunky, or jumpy and droppy. Even a mellow bike path cruise with his wife makes him happy. “If I’m on two wheels it’s a good day.” Kent calls Ely, Nevada, home, but he’s ridden all over the western U.S. from Moab and Fruita, to Tahoe and Oregon, to a bunch of places in between. And while Kent focuses on the ride more than the bike, he’s ridden and tested a ton of bikes and knows what makes for a good ride — and a good bike. You can read more from Kent on his personal website,

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  • Bikethrasher says:

    Great work man! I always look forward to your reviews. Especially this year as I wasn’t unable to make it to I-Bike or Outerbike. Real jobs pay the bills but sure restrict my ride time.

  • Don says:

    Nice review KRob. I am a big fan of the Chilcotin. Curious about what you liked better about the Firebird. If you didn’t already have the Knolly, which one would you choose?

    • KRob says:

      The Firebird with its dw-link suspension rewards standing and hammering better than the Knolly. I liked the 27.5 wheels though that’s not a huge deal in a bike with this much travel IMO. The taller stack feels better when standing on flatter terrain and higher BB avoids pedal strikes…. though it gives up some to the Chili in railing turns.

      If I didn’t already have the Chili I’d still pick the Chili over the FB 27.5, but there’s a couple other bikes that aren’t quite in the same class as the Chili on the more aggressive side of things that would sorely tempt me, like the Pivot Mach 6, Devinci Troy, Turner Burner, and Norco Sight. Having said that, if I wanted a bike in that class I’d have to ride the Warden too before making a decision. Big Knolly fan.

  • Mike says:

    I rode the ibis ripley at outerbike and liked it . How does the devinci Atlas compare to the ibis I would realy love if I can get some info comparing the two thanks

  • KRob says:

    Hey Mike,

    Yeah the Ripley was cool. Unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to ride the Atlas so can’t compare.

  • Jimmymats says:

    Great reviews KRob, did the Heckler you rode really have a Float R shock? When I look at the specs on the SC website it looks to come with a Float CTD Evo.

    • KRob says:

      You know, now that you mention it I’m not so sure. It did have a propedal lock out because I used it on the paved bike path.

  • Matty says:


    love the reviews! Thanks loads. Any advice to help me choose between carbon Norco Sight le1 x01 and Ibis mojo hdr 650b 2 x 10 xt?? For general all round trail use. Ibis costs a bit more here in UK but has kashima shock… Can only demo the Ibis due to Norco distribution.



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