Tracer 275c Pro Review

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews' started by herzalot, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Well, I thought I would start this thread before I actually possess the bike. Love to build the anticipation!

    I will take delivery of an XL Intense Tracer 27.5 c tomorrow (Friday) evening for me to play with over the weekend. Now honestly, I had intended to surf, but opportunities arise when they arise, so I better make good on it. I have ridden 3 VPP bikes - a 2007 Santa Cruz V-10, a 2009 Santa Cruz Blur LTc and a 2011 Nomad C. I have never ridden an Intense. The Intense has better geometry numbers for me than the SC bikes (other than the V-10). My experience on the two SC trail-bikes was "meh." I found the VPP tended to hang up a little when riding up small ledges and roots. I was comparing to a Yeti 575 at the time. My Knolly is an exceptional climber in the chunk, but a little lethargic on smooth trails and fire-roads.

    Sooooo, stay tuned for a non-scientific, highly subjective series of ride reviews in this thread over the weekend.

    In the meantime, Here ya go:

    http://www.pinkbike.com/news/intense-tracer-275-carbon-reviewed-2014.html
     
    Bluesrider, rojomas, Mikie and 6 others like this.
  2. Danimal

    Danimal Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    Rocky Mountain Altitude
    Come on a ride with me this weekend and bring it along!
    Hope the Knolly doesn't get jealous with you cheating on it :mad:
     
    Mikie and herzalot like this.
  3. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    So far, the Knolly has been the big winner when I demo other bikes. I usually like the other bikes, but almost every time, my own suspension and tires are so much more dialed that I enjoy my own bike better than the $9,000 super machines.

    I have to give 'er several ups and downs at Aliso, so if you want to join me for that, great! If I get my fill of that, a nice W-STT-L-W run on Sunday will give me a final comparison.
     
    Mikie, LLPoolJ and Danimal like this.
  4. Danimal

    Danimal Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    Rocky Mountain Altitude
    Sometimes a little strange make the ride at home more attractive....just sayin'
     
    Mikie, pperrelle and herzalot like this.
  5. knucklebuster

    knucklebuster Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo (South Orange County)
    Name:
    Dave
    Current Bike:
    Canfield The One '12
    Is that an open/large group invite? We could even switch off for a more thorough review... you on my small CB and me on your borrowed XL Tc. And we ARE talking about bikes here:devilish:
     
    Mikie and herzalot like this.
  6. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Join me!

    Actually, I just got home from a visit to the ER. Wifey had to have a quick little unexpected surgery. Excised an abdominal absess in the location of her 2012 disaster. As usual when it comes to her threshold for pain and her self-pity, she jumps off the gurney, gets dressed and drives herself home saying "I'm hungry." She is 1000 times tougher than I, and has zero self pity, ever. For Godsake, she's married to me - lord knows she has cause for self-pity!

    Whoever rode that Tracer before me must've weighed 300 lbs or has no idea that suspension is meant to move. I have never felt stiffer suspension settings, and that includes the time I pushed on Aaron Gwin's forks.

    Looking forward to givin' it a go tomorrow, with a LOT less air in the fork and shock (Pike and Monarch Plus).
     
    Mikie, Faust29, UPSed and 1 other person like this.
  7. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    OK, here we go. Knucklebuster joined me for a fun morning of test biking. Aliso - of course. 3 climbs, 3 descents Rock-It, 5 Oaks, Lynx.

    OK first - the title of the thread is misleading. It's the Pro kit on the bike, not a Pro review.

    So - short answer - Great bike. Maybe the best I've ever ridden - but that's not saying much, as it's only the second carbon 27.5 I've ever test-ridden (Ibis HD-3 being the other).

    Set-Up: I was right. The fork had 170psi in it. The recommended pressure for me is 85-95. I started with 80psi. Perfect. The shock had almost 300psi. I couldn't find a recommended pressure, but I read about a guy who loved 210psi, so I started with 215 psi. I bumped it to 220 early into the ride, and that was great. Of course, I adjusted the rebound damping accordingly. That setup was damn near perfect on all of my suspension set-up test drops. Never touched it again. I dropped the front tire from 40psi to about 26, and ran about 28 in the rear.

    Build: Pike RC3T LMNOP Solo Air. Rock Shox Monarch Plus rear. Maxxis High Roller IIs front and rear. DT Swiss Spline 1700 wheelset. Guide Brakes. 1x11 32t front, 10-42 rear.

    Climbing: There's no denying that a VPP bike (or DW Link, or Maestro) is likely to be a more efficient climber than a wide open Knolly 4x4 suspension (think Horst Link, with an extra linkage). So it stands to reason that the Intense was easier to climb than my own bike. I cleaned all of the little techy sections (which I usually do on my own bike as well). The rear is laterally stiff enough to allow precise lines on off camber climbs. VPP allowed plenty of power to be transferred to forward motion, while allowing the suspension to hook up as needed. I climbed with the shock in the "medium" setting - think Trail on a CTD. Of course, the bike is also about 1.5lbs lighter than my bike. The 32t front was challenging, but with the light-ish bike and the VPP, it was doable. I am reasonably sure I set some personal (recent) bests up Cholla - not because I wanted to, but because I was forced to run a harder gear than I normally use.

    Descending: The bike was a blast down the hill. It wasn't necessarily better than mine, but it was very good. I had the suspension and tire pressure pretty dialed for the first ride on a demo bike The front end felt a little light at times down hill, but it was pretty danged precise. The Pike was the real deal.

    Turning: Fun. Laterally stiff. Predictable. Great body positioning for me. I liked the bb height (13.5" unsprung). That's kinda tall by today's standards, but it felt good to me, although my test runs were mostly straight and not a series of linked turns where a low BB puts a big grin on one's face. It seemed pretty quick left-right-left. And like the Ibis - the harder you flog this bike, the better it rides.

    Parts is Parts:
    Fork: This was my first real ride on a Pike, and I was impressed. It was every bit as plush on the little trail chatter as my new Marzocchi, and ramped up very predictably. My Marz has a slight advantage at high speed repetitive hits, but I am sure there is room to dial in the Pike a little more to make them every bit as good as my Marz 350. I liked the three position switch for climbing (think CTD again). The middle position was great for Cholla, and the "locked" position was great for climbing the pavement to 5-Oaks. My own fork has a 28 position dial - which is effective but quite inconvenient - and a lockout - useless on anything but pavement.

    Shock: No complaints. The rear chattered a bit here and there, but I've never been on a 5-6" travel bike with air suspension that doesn't. It was great on bigger hits. I wonder if either Cane Creek product would tame it just a smidge better?

    Wheels: This DT Swiss set is probably my favorite wheelset I've tried. The Ibis 741 on DTSwiss 350s were a sweet wheelset too, but there are no tires available yet that match the profile created.

    1x11: After five total days aboard a SRAM 1x11 (32t) on 3 different bikes, I am getting used to it, and I kind of like it. I'm not sure I could continue to push the 32, but I like it. I don't like SRAM derailleurs or shifters though. Compared to Shimano, they are clunky and crude.

    Guide Brakes: This is my second demo bike with Guides, and my response is meh. I like my XTR Trails better.

    Is it better than my bike? Sure - it's 27.5 and carbon. Is it $4000 more fun than my bike? Once again - nope.

    Tracer.jpg
     
  8. knucklebuster

    knucklebuster Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo (South Orange County)
    Name:
    Dave
    Current Bike:
    Canfield The One '12
    FWIW, I've chased Herz down these trails before, I think he's a bit faster DH on the Tracer than his Knolly. Just glad it was an XL, so no way I could fit on it to give it a spin....
     
  9. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Thanks for the props, but we haven't ridden together since my improved suspension toys! The Tracer is definitely a faster overall bike - especially on the flat bits. The bigger wheels make a difference. It's no secret that 29ers are faster still - but mostly in a straight line.
     
  10. Danimal

    Danimal Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    Rocky Mountain Altitude
    Eventually you will be assimilated! 27.5 carbon will become part of you! Glad you finally tried one you like, but yep, 7k better, probably not.

    So, someone really likes air! How they let you get this with that pressure is beyond me.
    The 30 tooth front is the sweet spot for this area given the steep ass climbs. Although after changing out my 32 for a 30 and riding it for a year I seldom use the granny.
    Yes SRAM are clunky compared to Shimano, but the 1x simplicity has me sold, and I've gotten used to hearing a solid CLUNK on every down shift.
    XTR brakes for the win. I've also used the guides for a couple weeks and they are Meh at best, I'll keep my XTRs.

    And of course, that frame color scheme is DA BOMB! Think I need to get a bike with those colors.....

    And as usual, thanks for the review, always nice to hear honesty. ( even though I think you bias them to keep you wallet safe..:rolleyes: not a bad thing)
     
  11. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Ummmmm, there are no colors. Just drab, and dreary. I like skittles!
     
    Tom the Bomb and Mikie like this.
  12. Cougar

    Cougar Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington City, UT (near St. George)
    Name:
    Craig
    Current Bike:
    '14 Turner Burner
    Whiting - STT - Luge - Whiting? /interested - not sure if you want any additional folk though!
     
  13. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Hells yes! Join us - the more the merrier (up to ten). 8:30 Wahoos parking lot.
     
    Tom the Bomb, Mikie and Cougar like this.
  14. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS

    Really????? Hmmmmm. :sneaky:
     
  15. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Seriously dude? You will do four laps while I pat myself on the back for doing one!
     
    Tom the Bomb and Mikie like this.
  16. Cougar

    Cougar Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Washington City, UT (near St. George)
    Name:
    Craig
    Current Bike:
    '14 Turner Burner
    Right on, see ya in the morning. My legs are a bit tired from today, but not going would just be an excuse :p
     
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  17. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Tom the Bomb and Danimal like this.
  18. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS
    You can only avoid riding with me for so long.....it's gonna have to happen eventually. :gag:
     
    Tom the Bomb, Mikie, Danimal and 5 others like this.
  19. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    Room for one more?
     
  20. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Heck yeah! You and J can go up and back and up and back and up and back while I struggle up the hills. Danimal will accompany you.

    This has turned from a bike review to a "trailhead" posting. How awesome is that?!
     
    Tom the Bomb, Mikie, Danimal and 2 others like this.
  21. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Rancho Santa Margarita
    Name:
    Steve
    Current Bike:
    Chameleon & Highball C
    I'll get a little warmup in, and be there at 8:30!
     
  22. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Much as I'd like to do this, 8:30 start is too late. I'd get one round in and have to go.

    And all y'all would leave me in the dust anyway :laugh:
     
    Tom the Bomb, Danimal and herzalot like this.
  23. jaime

    jaime Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Corona, ca
    Name:
    jaime
    Current Bike:
    '15 Giant reign advanced 1
    20151017_225301.jpg
    I can help adding color if you want to... :)
     
  24. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    C'mon now RwS. We're just doing Whiting-STT-Luge-Whiting. It takes a slow guy like me, who likes to socialize, about 2:30. That's 11:00am finish. Perfect time for lunch at Wahoos.

    See you there?
     
    Mikie and Danimal like this.
  25. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    I've done this exactly once, about two years ago, leaving from McDonalds. I don't know my way around. Heck, I don't know where Wahoos is, although I am fairly conversant with Mr. Google and could probably figger it out. Maybe I'll do a quick lap starting at 6:30 and if I don't get lost, meet y'all at 8:30. I have to be done by 11 to pick up the offspring at the barn in HB by noon.
     
  26. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    Our lap is 16 miles and 2400' of climbing. Not sure what kind of warm up you need to do, but go for it. Perhaps a warm-up lap through Whiting (7 miles, 1000'). Sunrise is about 7am these days. Wahoos is at Portola and Glenn Ranch Road. Enter the parking lot where Glenn Ranch ends at Portola. This is nowhere near the McDonalds, BTW.

    I'll be in a white Audi Q5 with a blue Knol...wait a minute, let's look at this thread title... with a grey Intense Tracer 275 - completely indistinguishable from all of the other grey and black bikes.
     
  27. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    It's about a 45 minute drive for me...so my warmup will be minimal. If I drag my lazy carcass outta bed early enough, I'll see you there (although the last time I did the Luge, which was also the first time I did the Luge, I swore I'd never do it again on my hardtail) and will be game for walking down whatever is beyond my abilities. Which could be much of the Luge.

    I have no ego.

    I'm in a silver-ish (hasn't been washed in a while) GMC Canyon, with the bike pictured in my avatar - Giant XTC.
     
    Tom the Bomb, herzalot and Danimal like this.
  28. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Addict

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Edward Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO Plus
    And thanks for that review! My buddy is sold on the Tracer!
     
    Tom the Bomb, Mikie, herzalot and 2 others like this.
  29. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    And riding with J is ... enlightening. But loads of fun trying to keep up.:):eek:
     
    Tom the Bomb, Mikie, Faust29 and 3 others like this.
  30. Danimal

    Danimal Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Mission Viejo
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    Rocky Mountain Altitude
    This is great, going to be a imtb ride! As some said, my legs are tired too, but going to be fun!
    See y'all there.
     
    Tom the Bomb, Cougar, Mikie and 2 others like this.
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