Time to sell those Tracers

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews' started by rossage, Aug 16, 2016.


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  1. rossage

    rossage iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    East Sacramento
    Name:
    Ross Lawson
    Current Bike:
    Highball
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  3. Faust29

    Faust29 Moderator

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    B. Bunny
    Current Bike:
    I gots some bikes.
    The old models don't have 30mm wide wheels, do they? It's a wonder that they'll even mount up a Maxxis tire. This model is better in every way! Well worth the $10,000. :thumbsup:
     
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  5. Danmtchl

    Danmtchl iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Bakersfield
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    2020 Trek Fuel EX 9.7
    I have noticed they don't use the VPP Suspension anymore. Now it's JS Tuned.
     
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  6. scan

    scan iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    slightly modified VPP
     
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  7. knucklebuster

    knucklebuster Well-Known Member

    Location:
    34.2295° N, 117.2257° W
    Name:
    Dave
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail
    They've got so many models I don't know what's what any more. Gun names and spider names and an air cushioned vehicle, hmmm. Suppose they will condense once they roll out the new ones and retire the old ones. But don't the think the Recluse is meant to be the Tracer replacement (Recluse being 140 travel, Tracer 145-160 I think?). Figure they wanted to separate themselves from VPP/Santa Cruz so renamed the suspension(?)

    Seems like the whole bike industry is in a bit of turmoil/turnover right now, chasing the all the new standards...
     
  8. Cornholio

    Cornholio iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Bryan with a y
    Current Bike:
    Huffy
    The same comments about the bike industry doing yada yada yada have been around for quite a long time. If ya don't like it then don't buy it and who cares what everyone else is doing.
     
  9. Obsidian

    Obsidian iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Costa Mesa
    Name:
    Obsidian
    Current Bike:
    Kirkland Tracer
    The Tracer is 160/160, and the VPP patents ran out, so Intense is now tweaking it to fit their new designs. JS Tuned is actually quite a bit different from VPP if you look at it carefully.

    The Recluse looks like a pretty badass Bronson/5010 killer to me ... at least on paper.
     
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  10. knucklebuster

    knucklebuster Well-Known Member

    Location:
    34.2295° N, 117.2257° W
    Name:
    Dave
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail
    Yep, pretty much my belief at this point, I'm fine just watching things unfold and having fun with what i've got.
    Didn't know the VPP patent ran out, funny it was almost same time as FSR/horst. Cool they are tweaking it a bit (away from the initial regressing LR that VPP was know for? Will have to check it out). Was referencing the Tracer has adjustable rear travel 145 to 160 (far as I know) which is a bit more rear travel than the Recluse... Anyway, fun watching things work themselves out :thumbsup:
     
  11. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
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  12. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    Absolute crap...


    Oh wait, I am actually quite fond of my Tracer.
     
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  13. Danmtchl

    Danmtchl iMTB Rockstah

    Location:
    Bakersfield
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    2020 Trek Fuel EX 9.7
    Looked up the VPP patent and found a link to MTBR, look who posted a long answer.

    Varaxis said:03-05-2016
    1. Clearing up some misconceptions:

      There's 4 patents covering VPP. 3 are from Outland and 1 assigned to Santa Cruz. They last 20 years from the filing date of the earliest international patent as long as fees are paid. 3 of them are expired/lapsed for sure, but I'm not sure about 6206397 which is one that covers counter-rotating links.
      The patents cover various topics like S-shaped wheel path, controlled chainstay length growth, counter-rotating links, and controlled variable shock rate.

      There's no real consistent VPP feel other than the feel of stiffness possible from having 2 short links. You might recognize a classic Santa Cruz feel, or a 2nd or 3rd gen Santa Cruz feel, but to call that a VPP feel is inaccurate. They change the suspension feel from one bike to the next. Outland, Santa Cruz, and Intense have their own unique suspension feels. Pedaling feel tends to be related to the amount of pedal kickback making it more or less pedal reactive (or more fully active). Which shock is paired with the suspension also matters. VPP has great design flexibility. The latest gen SC has become more active and firmer, while Intense has pushed the pedal reactiveness, mid-stroke plushness and chassis stiffness further than SC did with their prior gen.

      I believe Diamondback is trying to cash in on VPP's marketability. Their last generation linkage driven single pivots aren't bad at all, considering the level of quality of the shocks that can be paired with them, but I doubt they sold well considering how saturated their target market is and how they don't have any outstanding halo mtb product to give their brand reputation. No amount of marketing dollars would be enough to dispel the misconception that single pivots are inferior to dual short links. The successful brands utilizing single pivot don't really even try, but DB needed some marketing to build awareness for their brand and they maybe thought it was a wiser investment to spend it promoting something like this than their single pivot designs.

      I kind of am curious to see if any other brands go VPP too. I have my doubts though. Frankly, I think it's big game where brands market the heck out of any differentiations between their product and the competition. VPP patents expiring opens more opportunity, but I think cost and established reputation trumps all. SC knows their design very intimately and has fixed many of their shortcomings regarding axles, bearings, cracks, cable routing rub, maintenance, warranty support, etc. They have years of data from testing to build better products off of. A lot can go wrong with new coming products not built off of such data--people don't like buying into first gen products for this reason. Trek and Spec know their respective designs well, and overcome many of their challenges of how to meet demands that squeeze the most from them, so I'd be very surprised if they go VPP. Seeing Chinese factory direct copies is probably the only thing I can foresee with any certainty.

      Looking at it the other way, my favorite susp system is the Yeti Switch Infinity and SC's latest gen VPP most closely resembles it. Why would someone consider a Yeti over a SC when SC is so much more affordable? People can find value in that and try and copy it, making something more affordable than SC... good luck to anyone that tries DB or Chinese copies.

     
  14. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    Ahhh Varaxis, how I miss thee... :inlove:
     
  15. scan

    scan iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    The same basic counter rotating links is the characteristic of VPP. JS tuned has tucked the lower link up higher than previous versions. Of course you can tweak the characteristics of VPP alot with small variations , shock choice, etc. (refer to Varaxis' link above), but the basic VPP design is still there.
     
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  16. riiz

    riiz Member

    Location:
    Redlands, CA
    Name:
    Eric
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Heckler/Killmaleon
    Now that they've removed the VPP branding, maybe they can remove made in Cali sticker as well, hehe.

    But seriously, isnt Intense getting a bit bloated with the amount of models they currently offer. Santa Cruz and Yeti both have phased out some long running models, with Santa Cruz going a step further and offering Alloy versions again to displace single pivot offerings.
     
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  17. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    Intense will be eliminating the Spider 29, if that helps. That will leave them only the Primer and Carbine 29ers. Spider, Recluse and Tracer 27.5 trailbikes, Uzzi and M-16 gravity bikes, and the ACV plush-sized bike. Some of those will remain available in aluminum models, I think. The Uzzi is aluminum only.

    The Tracer refresh probably won't be released this year. Last I heard, Intense were planning to go bigger with the Tracer- to compete with the Nomad and not the Bronson. I am not sure why, unless they plan to retire the Uzzi again. Seems to me the sweet spot for an all-around great trailbike with strong DH manners is the 150-160mm travel zone ,with accompanying modern geometry and suspension rate.

    If I were in charge of a Tracer refresh, I would keep the 145/160 rear suspension. Do the JS treatment to the VPP kinematics, shorten the chainstays about 1/4" lengthen the top tube 1/2", slacken the head angle 1/2°, keep the bb height, use a threaded BB, go to boost rear hub spacing, keep the 74° seat tube or steepen it 1/2° and that's about it. Sounds like a certain other VPP company's best selling trailbike, actually - but targeting the 160mm zone.
     
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  18. Torrent77

    Torrent77 Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Dave
    Man! I just got this tracer!
     
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  19. Varaxis

    Varaxis Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Perris
    Name:
    Dan Vu
    Current Bike:
    Yeti SB5c ('16 Yellow v1)
    Dang. Pretty ambitious trying to summarize my perception of the bigger picture of DB using VPP using only ~5 paragraphs. So much context left out that could better explain things. ;)

    JK JK. That was kind of hard to read. I will try to improve readability, in my attempt to summarize the way I see it here, which I have to admit is partly based off of presumptions:

    Intense seems to have been in an agreement to produce products that would not overlap Santa Cruz's models, an example being the Tracer275 fitting between a Bronson v1 and Nomad. They likely planned to hit the sweet spots in the market, with a full revision, using everything they learned, waiting for the moment they were clear from the constraints. They are aiming to grow big, announcing that they're releasing 5 new bikes this year.

    They're emphasizing the full package experience, which Jeff Steber says is the true vision of JS Tuned, which is holistic design, rather than just designing around the suspension linkage and selling frames only. They must've held back on prior designs, or JS had an epiphany. Based on the Spider 275c I've demo'd, they really got the centered and neutral handling feel down. I first experienced this when I demo'd the Thunderbolt; I found them extremely easy to get along with virtually all situations, not needing to adapt to the bike's personality as it didn't behave poorly at all. The only downside I could really think of from my experience on the demo, is that I fear perfect can feel boring.

    So that's 4 bikes released this year so far? Spider 275c, ACV, Primer, Recluse? If so, 1 more to go... feels like a game to try and guess what it'll be. I'd wager that it's a serious up to date Enduro racer.
     
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  20. scan

    scan iMTB Rockstah

    Name:
    fran allas
    Current Bike:
    Scott Spark
    Welcom back Varaxis!!!!!
     
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  21. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Ibis DV9 / SC Hightower
    The Varax is back!!!!!
     
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  22. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    2020 Revel Rail
    He posts fairly often on the MTBR Intense thread.

    Some of his posts are long and technical. :eek:
     
    Danmtchl likes this.


As a former Amazon Associate I continue to get screwed trying to stay qualified as an Amazon Affiliate. So I quit!


Want to donate to imtbtrails?