Bernat Guardia is our European Marketing Manager here at INTENSE. Ex-Downhill World Cup racer, as well as being a product developer for a few select brands. He’s a great rider and is an integral part of INTENSE and everything that we do. He’s just built-up one of our 170mm Tracer 29 enduro bikes to his own spec, and it is very nice indeed.
OK Bernat, what do we have here?
A fresh custom Tracer 29 build.
You have ridden a lot of INTENSE bikes over the years, where does this one stack up?
This one has to be in the Top 3 of my all-time favorite INTENSE bikes.
You are 190cm (6’ 2 ¾”) tall and you chose to ride a size Large Tracer 29? What was the thinking behind that? Did you not fancy the XL?
I ride a Large size mainly for the kind of trails that I have around my area, they’re quite tight and an XL bike is hard to manoeuvre around, and I still fit pretty good on the L size.
Is there a specific reason that you choose to ride the 29” over the 279 ‘mullet’ set up?
I’m very used to riding full 29er bikes. I love my DH bike, the M29, and I rode the Carbine 29 a lot before. Now I’ve been riding the Tracer 279 for a good couple years, since I was helping on the development. The bike in the mullet setup is very fun to ride, nimble and easy to move around, but I always feel a lack of speed in a straight line and keeping momentum after corners or between sections, that you get with the big wheels. I feel like you can be more aggressive with the 279 setup, it accelerates faster and the bike is more forgiving, but for myself I try to ride smoothly and keep momentum everywhere. The 29 gives me that extra speed when being precise and hitting the lines perfectly.
Do you have the Flip Chip in the Hi or Lo setting?
Hi setting. The rear shock comes setup for this setting and I feel like the bike is very balanced this way, it climbs well and it descends better. The Lo setting is perfect for shuttles and bike park laps.
How would you describe the type of riding you do on this bike?
Mainly trail and enduro. It really doesn’t feel like a 170mm travel bike, especially going uphill, you’d expect a very sluggish bike and it climbs fairly well. So it has become my do-it-all bike.
You are running a 12x1 gearing set up, with a 9-50 range on the back, what size is the chainring?
I run a 34t chainring. I don’t like smaller chainrings as it messes the rear suspension kinematics and also I like to bring power to the cranks when going full speed.
How is your suspension set up?
Pretty firm on the front, around 10% SAG. I don’t like my front to sink when it gets steep or when I’m charging hard, so with this setup I’m missing a bit of suppleness at the beginning of the travel but I like the bike to be fast and keep momentum everywhere. On the rear I’m running around 25% SAG with a 502lb spring. The bike pedals fairly well with this spring rate and then going down it feels almost like a DH bike, very planted and good support on mid stroke, which makes the bike very fast.
And clipped-in of course?
Yes clipped-in. Although sometimes I put flat pedals just to play around.
You have TRP brakes on this bike. Isn’t that something new for you?
Yes, I wanted to see what was all the hype around the brakes, since a lot of the top World Cup teams are using it. I’m running the DH-R Evo model and so far so good. I’m always seeking modulation and bite control and this pair seems to deliver that.
Do you change this set-up at all depending on where and what you are riding?
I’m planning to go to Canada this summer and I’ll change the tires and put some DH casing Ethirteen tires on it.
Is there anything else special we should know about this set up?
I’ve had the freedom to choose every component of the bike, which is pretty cool. You can check the spec down below, but nothing I’d consider odd.
Do you think you will change some of the components as the year goes on? Or are there any changes you’d like to make?
I’m very curious about the SRAM AXS drivetrain, so if there’s the chance I’ll upgrade the bike with it.
What do you keep in your CHAD storage system!?
Always a multi-tool and a few times I’ve put in snacks and a tube.
Finally, can you give us three words to describe your Tracer 29?
Balanced, fast, trail destroyer… sorry, that’s four!
|INTENSE Tracer 29 size Large
|ÖHLINS TTX22 m.2 Trunnion 205x65mm
|ÖHLINS RXF38 m.2 29"
|E*THIRTEEN Race Carbon Rise 35mm 800mm width
|E*THIRTEEN Plus 35 50mm with Bronze clamps
|ODI Elite Flow lock-on
|CANE CREEK 40 series ZS49-ZS56/40
|SRAM XO1 Eagle
|SRAM XO1 Eagle 12spd
|TRP DH-R Evo Gold
|TRP RS01E 223mm Front / 203mm Rear
|FIZIK Alpaca X5
|E*THIRTEEN 210mm Vario Infinite Dropper Post
|E*THIRTEEN 170mm LG1 Race Carbon
|E*THIRTEEN 34t Helix R Bronze
|E*THIRTEEN TRS Plus
|E*THIRTEEN Helix R 12spd 9-50t Bronze
|SRAM XO1 Eagle 12spd
|CrankBrothers Mallet E Black
|E*THIRTEEN 29 LG1 Race Carbon Enduro
|E*THIRTEEN All-Terrain 29x2.40 Enduro Casing Mopo Compound. 1.70Bar/25PSI Front and 1.90Bar/28PSI