For 2013 Intense Cycles actually has two All Mountain 650b bikes. The Carbine 275 and Tracer 275 both have 5.5 or 6″ of travel (adjustable shock mount). The main difference between the two are that the Carbine 275 is made from carbon and the Tracer is aluminum. How was Intense Cycles able to create a carbon fiber 650b so quickly? Jeff Steber, founder of Intense Cycles, discovered that his current carbon model (the Carbine) could easily be upgraded to 650B wheels due to his use of the “G1” interchangeable dropouts. But that was several months ago and the Carbine 275 shown here is fully optimized for 27.5 with proper travel and geometry. Utilizing the well known and well liked VPP suspension design, the Carbine is provides a familiar ride for many. In fact, this is a key point to remember, the 650b platform rides more like a 26er and requires little acclimation period (unlike most 29ers).
In this video, Francis gives us the low down on the Intense Cycles Carbine 275 and how it compares to it’s big brother, the Tracer 275.
The frame is made overseas with what Jeff calls, “American design with German engineering.” Intense uses the German firm, SEED Engineering to create his carbon frames. The Carbine 275 has the shortest wheelbase of all the bikes we tested, but oddly has the highest bottom bracket. However, we are quick to note that it did not feel overly tall or tippy. In fact, with it’s lighter weight over it’s brother, the Tracer 275, the Carbine 275 was the best climbing bike in our group.
However, that excellence at climbing did not come at the expense of it’s downhill handling or fun. In fact, even though the Carbine is shorter, taller and slacker than the Tracer they both handled very similar and the carbon frame provided a very similar ride quality as the aluminum Tracer. The VPP design allowed the Carbine to really corner well, especially when proper loaded. The Carbine is super stiff, agile and is confidence inspiring for those jumps and drops that you’ve been working up towards.