Almost 20 years ago, back in 2003, Dirt was the number one downhill mountain bike magazine in the world, and it enjoyed somewhat of a cult status. At INTENSE we already had an international World Cup race team but we also decided to join forces with Dirt as their frame sponsor. The team was made up of largely UK based riders and they were riding our classic M1, Tazer FS and Taser HT frames.
The original Dirt team consisted of Nigel Page, Vanessa Quin, Steve Jones and BMXer Alex Dick. The team had plenty of success over the years, but the highlight had to be Vanessa Quin’s 2004 World Championship victory.
I think it is OK for us to say that the bikes were beautiful. They were painted in ‘Yamaha’ blue and were dripping with top end components from the likes of Manitou, Mavic, Chris King, Easton, Shimano, MRP and more. To top it all off the team’s clothing sponsor was Troy Lee Designs… it was a match made in heaven.
There have been many classic bikes in the history of downhill mountain biking, but surely none is more iconic and respected than our INTENSE M1? Back in 2003 all of the frames were made in our California HQ – hydro formed monocoque designs crafted from zero temper aluminum – and of course they were all using 26” wheels!
The team’s bikes were featured in issue #41 of the magazine, and this is what they had to say about the M1, “the features on the frame are endless. It has an adjustable wheelbase for faster or tighter courses, the stays will take 12mm or standard QR axles and the frame will accept six or eight inch rotors. But not just that. The head angle is adjustable, the height you run the bottom bracket is adjustable too, and hell while they were at it they made the suspension leverage ratio adjustable as well. I mean what else do you want? Well maybe some large diameter custom made cartridge bearings packed in a waterproof lube that are low maintenance. Or how about some externally butted square section seat stays that are thick where the welds are and thinner in the middle? And how about the FSR patented link that isolates the suspension from the drivetrain and braking inputs?” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
The Tazer FS was used by the team for 4X racing when the tracks demanded it, but they were also very good just as general bikes, for jumping and just ‘bombing around’ on. Nigel Page rode and raced the Tazer on many occasion, here’s what he had to say back in 2003, “The frame has quite a slack head angle and a laid back seat tube, so it is stable at high speed and on downhill style course, but it is also a great bike for riding at the trails. It has a low centre of gravity and a low top tube, so it is easy to throw around on the jumps. The frame has a few suspension settings – on short travel it has about 3”, which I use primarily for racing and jumping, but if I’m just going hacking about at a small DH track I put it in the longer setting (about 4”) and it becomes a wicked little lightweight DH bike. In my opinion it is the best 4X, BSX, jump, hack bike in the world! You can just set it up to suit your riding. To top it all off there isn’t a better looking bike around.”
We continued to support the Dirt team with frames for many happy and successful years. All of these bike are now absolute classics and are highly sort after collector’s items.