Intense Primer 29 first ride report

Highly capable steed with 130mm of front and rear travel

29er All Mountain Trail
130mm rear with 140mm front.

The Intense Primer 29 has 130mm travel front and rear.

What is it?

The Intense Primer 29 is Intense’s latest entry into the burgeoning 29er trail bike market, the rad bikes that the majority of us actually ride. Sporting 130mm of front and rear travel, it is designed to climb well and descend even better. Standard spec’d is 1×11 or the new 1×12 SRAM Eagle, but it can also accommodate a front derailleur.

Designed for the rider who prefers the speed and stability of 29er wheels, the Primer 29 sports modern geometry with a 67.5-degree head angle and 75-degree seat angle. This bike is really designed with dropper posts in mind with the steep seat angle made for climbing, while the dropper post will get the post out of the way during descents.

Intense Primer 29er bb clearance is tighter than the seatstay clearance.

Intense Primer 29 BB area clearance is tighter than seatstay clearance.

Chainstays are at a 17.25” and BB height 13.25”. Reach is 431 mm for a medium. Hub spacing is boost front and rear, but it’s not convertible to 27.5 plus because there’s not adequate clearance for 3.0”. Instead, Intense chose to optimize its frames, the ACV handling plus duties.

Intense Primer Geometry has been thoroughly modernized.

The Intense Primer 29 geometry is on par with current trends.

Another prominent feature of the bike is the ability to adjust from 130mm of rear travel down to 115mm if, for instance, you’re lining up for an XC or endurance race. The high end build’s carbon frame construction, combined the DT Swiss XMC 1200 carbon wheels, provide a comfortable ride that is light and nimble. The bike features internal cable routing, disc brake post mounts, and protective integrated frame guards.

Intense Primer 29er is stable and forgiving in tech terrain.

Intense Primer 29 is stable and forgiving in technical terrain.

Tuned Suspension

The suspension for the Primer is a significant refinement over previous generations, as the lower linkage is now tucked inside the frame rather than underneath it. It is a much cleaner interpretation, with the linkage out of harms way.

The suspension has been tuned to be more supple and we definitely felt that on the trail. Initiating movement is a much easier affair, even under full power. As a result, the bike has more traction during tech climbs and entering rough corners. This is definitely the best performing suspension we’ve experienced on an Intense bike.

Weight is 25.93 lbs with RaceFace Chester pedals.

Weight is 25.9 pounds with RaceFace Chester pedals.

Due to an elegant looking support tube running from the top tube to the seat tube, the seat tube seems longer than it needs to be at 18” for a medium bike. This wasn’t an issue before, but it definitely gets in the way these days, as it limits riders from running longer dropper posts. At 5-foot-8, with a 30” inseam, 125mm was the longest post we could run on a size medium bike and we had no exposed seatpost.

Continue to page 2 for first ride impressions »

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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