Park Bike Build – Intense SlopeStyle

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The Intense SlopeStyle (SS) is a bike that is more than its name implies. The Intense SlopeStyle offers aggressive geometry that makes it a great contender for a park bike in our opinion. The SlopeStyle name is a bit misleading as this bike has much much more to offer the user. Made out of Temecula, CA the SlopeStyle offers a lot to the consumer who is looking for a fun short travel bike with its 66º head angle, ~13.6″ bottom bracket, and 6.5″ of VPP travel. It is a treat on fast flowy trails and is fun in the rough stuff as well.

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The SlopeStyle was designed to work well with a 160mm single crown fork, but it can also take a dual crown easily. The FOX 36 matched up nicely with our SlopeStyle in looks and functionality. The 1.5″ steerer tube gave a solid and secure feeling at the bars. The 160mm FOX Float RC2 was easy to adjust for various terrain with the turn of a few knobs along with minor air adjustments to suit.

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Intense chose to use Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) technology on the SlopeStyle. The FOX DHX 5 shock measures 8.5 x 2.5 and delivers 6.5″ of travel. This setup gives the SlopeStyle a low 2.6:1 leverage ratio (approximation). Unlike the first two bikes we showed (Corsair Konig and the Transition BottleRocket) the SlopeStyle is not a single pivot but is a virtual pivot bike. The heart of the VPP design allows Intense to tweak the wheelpath as well as the leverage ratio to their specifications. In typical VPP fashion, the upper link rotates forward and the lower link rotates backward. The FOX DHX 5 has been working OK for us but we’re curious to try out our SlopeStyle with a different shock like the RC4 or CCDB. We think the SlopeStyle has the potential to perform even better.

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Tire clearance with a big volume tire was a little bit tight but there was ample room in there to fit a DH 2.5″ tire. The lower VPP linkage is hollow on the inside and we’ve noticed it can catch small rocks and debris inside on the edges of the CNC’ed piece. Eric at Competitive Cyclist suggested that the newer Uzzi VP style lower pivot could be swapped out to help alleviate this from happening as well as helping to stiffen it up a little bit.

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The SlopeStyle frame has mounting options for a front derailleur to be used as well as a full length seatpost, which helps those people looking to point  the SlopeStyle uphill a little bit easier.

The SlopeStyle also comes with robust ISCG-05 tabs that are welded and machined nicely to the frame (earlier versions had ISCG-03). The MRP G2 Mini bolted up to the SlopeStyle fairly easily but the upper VPP bolt caused some interference with the backplate since the C-clip portion of the bolt extends out into the backplate. Intense sells a flush mount bolt that would fix this issue easily and is worth looking into if you have or will be building up a SlopeStyle with a chain gude. Eric at Competitive Cyclist carries this bolt so ordering it up was easy.

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Intense uses a 1.5″ head tube and it opens up the options available for this frame. This lets the user run a myriad of fork options including 1.5, 1 1/8 or a tapered fork easily. A flush mount headset could be used to lower the SlopeStyle cockpit or to help make it slightly steeper and also lower the bars. We opted for a 1.5″ Syncros headset to secure our 1.5″ FOX fork. The Syncros headset has a clean look to it as well as a pretty low stack height should we decide to drop the bars lower. It has worked well for us.

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The SlopeStyle uses replaceable dropouts and can run a 135mm spacing or 150mm spacing depending on the dropouts purchased. Since we are running a Shimano 73mm crankset, the 135mm spacing was used to match up the chain line nicely. The rear 135mm Intense dropouts allow for various wheel configurations that was was nice to see right out of the box. The 135mm dropouts can accept a 10mm thru axle, 12mm thru axle, or a quick release rear wheel with the provided spacers. Below we have used a thru-axle setup on our SlopeStyle.

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Weight:

Manufacturer Model Year Real(g) Desc. Pic.
Intense SlopeStyle Large (Frame Only)
2009
3234
Intense QR Seatpost collar
2009
42
Intense SlopeStyle shock bolts
2009
51
FOX DHX 5 8.5 x 2.5 with hardware
2009
465
FOX 450lb 2.75″ Steel Spring
2009
422

Our SlopeStyle complete weighed in at 32.73lbs. More weights are available in our weight section.

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The Intense SlopeStyle has a lot to offer a park rider. The bike feels better placed in the miniature downhill genre as it really shines on the downhill, jumping big jumps, and just general downhill riding (at slightly slower speeds than a full on downhill bike). It is quite playful and is easy to maneuver about. Cornering on this bike has proven to be quite fun as the low bottom bracket (~13.5″) give the SlopeStyle a connected to the trail feel.

Time will tell where the Intense SlopeStyle ends up but it would be a shame to see it go away completely with the introduction of the Uzzi VP and the 951. Some revisements could be done to the frame that we’ll try to expound on later that would give the SlopeStyle some more modern Intense lovin’ (G3 dropouts, VPP2 technology, etc) but then it might be treading on the Uzzi a little bit.

A complete review on this SlopeStyle is in the works as well as a comparison between the park bikes we’ve selected. Stay tuned to learn more as we get more time on them. Check back later to see more park bikes we’ve selected to include!

[Intense SlopeStyle Gallery]

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