BUILT FOR ENDURO: THE 2022 TRACER 279
Introducing the all-new INTENSE Tracer 279 Enduro bike. Completely redesigned and reengineered for 2022. With 170mm (6.7”) of travel and a mullet/staggered wheelset (29” front/27.5” rear), we have created a bike that is stable and capable, while also fast, fun and agile. It is perfectly at home in the bike park doing laps, out in the back country on an adventure or racing against the clock on Enduro racecourses around the world.
We believe that an Enduro bike needs to do two things: eat-up mountainous terrain on the downhills and climb back up to do it all again. With our new Tracer we have made a bike that can do just that. Borrowing inspiration and technology from our M29 downhill bike, utilizing its bottom link driven rear shock and suspension design, we have designed a bike with plush travel for the roughest of descents, and a firm pedal platform when needed on the climbs. We’ve positioned the rear shock low down and centered in the frame, allowing the Tracer to descend and handle terrain flawlessly.
The first prototypes for the 2022 Tracer started back in 2019 when (then) INTENSE team rider Isabeau Courdurier raced different versions of the ‘new’ Tracer at the Enduro World Series. She went on to win the final race on a mixed wheel frame and in the process claimed the series win. It was a great start for the new Tracer, and the bike that she rode would go on to be used as the blueprint for the Tracer 279 that you see now. It’s a great example of the trickle-down effect from racing to the end consumer, something that INTENSE has always championed.
In that same year another important part of the puzzle was that downhill racing legend Aaron Gwin joined INTENSE and started to give his feedback and input into the design. As he worked closely with Jeff Steber (Owner and CEO) the Tracer 279 would go on to become the first bike from INTENSE with Aaron’s “design thumbprint” on it.
The full-carbon Tracer is available in four sizes (S, M, L and XL), and with a reach ranging from 425mm-505mm, a 64.5⁰ headangle (HI setting), and a 77.9⁰ seatangle (Effective) the Tracer is very much in line with the new-school way of thinking when it comes to ‘longer, lower, slacker’ geometry. Add in Flip Chip two-position adjustable geometry, our CHAD in-frame storage system and a threaded bottom bracket and you have a bike that ticks all the Enduro boxes.
We have two complete build options. The Tracer 279 Expert (£4,799) and the Öhlins spec’d Tracer 279 S (£5,999) both will be available by the end of May.
The Tracer has been in our INTENSE range for well over 20 years, and we believe that the ‘all-new’ Tracer represents everything INTENSE stands for in 2022 and beyond. It’s big on travel (not too much!), is hard hitting, but with the modern climbing characteristics that everybody wants. For further details on the complete 2022 Tracer range please see the attached documents. If you require more information or test availability, we would love to hear from you.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE INTENSE TRACER
The First Tracer is launched with 100mm travel and a 70º head angle. It was heralded as one of the first successful lightweight full suspension trail bikes.
With 140 or 152mm of travel the first VPP Tracer is launched at Sea Otter. Still on 26” wheels, it’s a do-it-all multipurpose machine, inheriting its name from the original four-bar linkage trail bike.
The Tracer is reborn as a 29” 140mm trail/enduro bike. It was ahead of its time.
“We wanted to make a 29er for the non-29er crowd—no disrespect intended—a burly 29er that was made to thrash and play, yet still had the finesse to hammer uphill and on the flats. We wanted to build a bike that would be ahead of its time and would define the category.” Jeff Steber, 2011.
There were three versions of the Tracer at this point, all still in aluminum – the 26” Tracer with 148-158mm, a 27.5” wheeled 140-152mm version and the Tracer 29” 140-152mm model.
The first Carbon Tracer is introduced and it becomes an instant hit. A Shaun Palmer Special Edition is released and sells out immediately.
The second generation of the carbon Tracer is launched. By this time there had been six iterations of the bike and we had said goodbye to the front mech. The Tracer is slowly becoming longer, lower, slacker... a real “gravity predator”.
Team rider Isabeau Courdurier rides different prototypes of the ‘new’ Tracer at the Enduro World Series, winning the final race on a mixed wheel frame and in the process claiming the series win. That bike would go on to be used as the blueprint for the 2022 Tracer 279.
Aaron Gwin joins the team and starts to give his feedback and input into the design. The Tracer 279 would go on to become the first bike from INTENSE with his “design thumbprint” on it.
Various prototypes, mules, rapid prototyping (3D printing) of the 279 are made. First samples of the carbon frames are tested and sent out to a select group of sponsored riders around the world.
Final tweaks are made, specifically to the carbon layup. Covid hits and throws a spanner in the works. Production is delayed.
April 4th the All-New 2022 Tracer is launched.