The 951 is Intense’s newest downhill offering. Gone is the Socom for 2010, but the 951 easily can fill its shoes and then some. Competitive Cyclist set up our 951 frame and made sure everything was good to go right out of the box. All the pivot bolts were loctited and the bottom bracket, seatube, and headtube were all checked over and chased/faced if necessary. The alignment was also checked. They include a check list of everything they double checked as well! Top notch service for every one of their customers without any additional charges.
The 951 features G3 dropouts (which lets you adjust the geometry between three dropout positions). In the shortest chainstay setting, we noticed that there is not much clearance for a 2.5″ Maxxis tire. Our Minion DHF comes very close in this position to the top brace. If you’ve got a bigger tire (or are running a spike) the shortest setting might not be usable depending on your setup. The other two dropout settings really help open the bike up to be quite different and its nice to see all this adjustability as all courses are not the same.
The 951 has a standard 1.5″ headtube. In addition to a traditional zero stack headset, we also used a K9 ARC headset in the 951 which is an offset headset. The K9 ARC offset headset can be used to slacken (or steepen) the bike’s head angle. In the middle dropout position with the K9 cups, the geometry yielded a 63º HA, 13 3/4″ BB, ~47 7/8″ wheelbase. With a traditional zero stack headset the geometry in the middle dropout position is 64.5º HA, 14 1/8″ BB, and a 47″ wheelbase.
For suspension up front we opted to use a 2010 Rock Shox Boxxer World Cup. The fork matched up well with the frame and the new adjustments on the fork as well as additional chassis stiffness over the previous Boxxer was great. The fork has a lot of adjustability (air pressure, bottom out adjustment, beginning stroke rebound, ending stroke rebound, low speed compression, and high speed compression) and can take some time to get all the settings just right. The air chassis allowed for easy spring rate tuning and fine adjustments that a typical steel spring setup can’t do as easily. The fork is really lightweight out of the box. Overall the fork performed well after some maintenance and tweaking (replaced rebound cartridge and overhauled). Paint on the white fork could’ve been a bit better as well, it quickly becomes scuffed and worn.
To handle the rear suspension we installed a Cane Creek Double Barrel. The shock performs really well with the frame after getting the shock settings lined up. There are a lot of adjustments with the CCDB as well so setting it up can take some time (LSC, HSC, LSR, HSR) but Cane Creek gave us some good starting points. The new changes done to the Double Barrel have been a treat as it has quite a few things done to it. The new hardware (Norglide bushings and new shock hardware) in the CCDB worked great. It has a slop free feel and is quiet.
The black protective sleeve on the shock we’ve noticed can be a bit annoying in dusty situations as the spring can rub on this and make some annoying noises at times.
In the 8″ setting, initially we used a 550lb spring on the CCDB as recommended (for an 180lb rider) and it worked fine but wasn’t quite as supple as it could’ve been. After some use we ended up with a 500lb spring on the CCDB and that allowed it to progress into the travel a little bit easier. The 951 is a pretty progressive bike and it ramps up quite a bit compared to the M6.
For the stem we installed a 42mm Sunline direct mount stem to the bike to try out as well as a Persist 50mm direct mount stem.
For the handlebar, we used one of Race Face’s new Atlas FR bars that are quite wide out of the box at 785mm and in a half inch rise. We cut it down a little bit to suit our tastes. It comes in a wide variety of colors too, so be sure to check out the wide color spectrum they offer if you’re in the market for a new handlebar.
For the grips we used some Sunline Half Waffle grips. They feel great and offer a good amount of cushion and thickness. They can wear out a bit fast in our experience but we like them just the same.
For shifting duties we opted to run a XTR rear shifter as well as a custom short cage XTR rear derailleur. Both worked great and the derailleur tucks in quite nicely behind the dropout staying protected.
For brakes, we used the new Saint M810 levers and used a m810 4 piston caliper up front and a two piston m800 in the rear. Tons of power and good modulation when needed.
For the seat post we opted to use a Thomson Masterpiece seatpost. Thomson makes one of the best seat posts around and they’re our go-to seat post it seems. For the saddle we used a WTB Silverado. It has a good amount of cushion to it, has a nice slender feel, doesn’t hurt your thighs when you need to grip it, and overall it worked well for us.
For the wheels we opted to use the new Deemax wheelset. These wheels have taken a beating for the most part and keep coming back for more. They’ve lightened them up compared to previous models and for 2010 they have an even racier version called the Deemax Ultimates. The rims we’ve setup tubeless with Maxxis UST DHF’s with relative good success. Mavic knows how to make rims quite well. These Deemax rims are not quite as beefy as previous versions (or the 823) that can potentially cut through tire sidewalls but we suspect these still could be even less beefy. Denting these rims isn’t an easy task and they could stand to be a little bit softer in our experience for a racer. For everyday riding, they hold up quite well and we’ve had no major issues with them. The rear finally has a small ding in it but that was after some pretty good riding throughout the entire summer. The revised rear Deemax freehub has been ticking perfectly (and has more engagement at 48pt than previous versions).
For the cranks we chose to use some Atlas FR cranks. The tooth blue color matches the Atlas FR bar as well, which gives the bike a little bit of color. The cranks have held up well and installation was fairly easy. The Race Face crank setup is a little bit different than Shimano. The chainline is adjustable which is nice should you need it. The driveside crank arm attaches to the non-driveside crank arm that holds onto the axle. Getting a chain guide setup with these cranks takes a bit more work as you have to snug up the entire system each time since the driveside crank arm bolts to the spindle and isn’t directly connected to the axle.
For the chain guide we used the new e*thriteen SRS+ in the 32-36t size. It bolted up quite easily along with a 36t e*thirteen guidering. The 951 has some nice robust ISCG-05 tabs that are welded fully around the BB shell that is reminiscent to the M6. The ISCG tabs could be rotated a bit more but the SRS+ bolted up easily to the tabs and is one of the easiest guides to setup nowadays.
For the pedals we bolted up some of the new Point One Racing Podium pedals. They’re lightweight, thin, and have a unique look to them. They sit pretty close to the crank arm and we’ve been quite pleased with them so far. They have a nice feel to them and the axle although visible, isn’t felt by your feet. The hardened pins have proven to be resilient to bending and the body overall has taken a beating and keeps on ticking. The downside of the pins however is that they use an English sized allen tool. Overall these pedals are great and are a nice finishing touch to the bike.
This wraps up our build on the 951. Total build as you see it above – 37.3lbs. Read the full review now at http:/www.sicklines.com/issue1
When it comes to downhill history, Intense has most every manufacturer beat. 951 is not only their area code, but is also the name they chose to call their latest downhill bike. The 951 is a reflection of what Intense has learned with VPP technology and applied it here. The 951 is not designed to replace the M6, but is a downhill bike that shines in its own light. Details inside.
Intense prides itself on being made in the USA and all of the CNC machine work, welding, heat treating, and assembly of the 951 is done in-house at the Intense factory based out of Temecula, CA. We’ve checked out the Intense M6 previously and Competitive Cyclist has the Intense 951 in stock so we felt compelled to check one out for our latest build.
Included when you buy an Intense 951
Perhaps one of the more noteworthy implementations Intense incorporated in the 951 is the amount of adjustability they have packed into it. The 951 offers a useful amount of adjustability in the G3 dropouts as well as offering two travel settings (8” or 8.5”). The G3 adjustments efficetly allow the frame to become longer, lower, and slacker to suit the rider or course.
The G3 dropouts offer 3 positions for the user to move the rear dropouts. According to Intense, the three G3 holes yield the following
The rest of the 951 geometry can be seen on the Intense website. The 951 frame offers two shock mounting positions for the 9.5 x 3″ shock. The lower hole offers 8″ of travel, and the upper hole 8.5″ of travel. For our build we’ve selected a Cane Creek Double Barrel for the 951.
Cane Creek is always trying to improve, and this latest Double Barrel has seen some revisions. These new CCDB’s feature altered valves internally that allow the shock to open up a bigger range of “low damping” than previously available. They were able to do this while keeping the high range of the Double Barrel the same. It means that “all out” on any damping setting will produce less damping force than before the changes while “all in” will be exactly the same as “all in” on previous Double Barrels. Effectively, each click does more because there are not any more clicks, but a bigger range so each click is more pronounced. Cane Creek says that they have maintained the linearity of the adjustments with the parabolic needles in the shock but reshaped them for the new orifice sizes.
The VPP2 system is refined and integrated into the new 951. VPP2 was implemented with the Tracer VP and the Uzzi VP. The 951 also gets the VPP2 treatment. VPP2 is said to reduce chain growth, pedal better, offer refined suspension curves, and more.
To aid in easing maintenance, Intense has implemented zerk fittings in most of their frames along with angular contact bearings. Greaseable zerk fittings are found at the lower pivots that allow riders to re grease their bike without having to worry about disassembly of pivots or bearings.
The 951 bottom bracket shell and lower frame bulges around the the frame in a robust manner reminiscent of the M6. Stiffness shouldn’t’ be a problem with this frame given the stout construction. Unlike the Socom, the 951 offers a 83mm BB shell that is more synonymous with downhill cranks (83mm) & wheelsets (150mm x 12). There are some benefits here as well such as stronger wheels and cranks can often be used but there are also some compromises in terms of wider q-factor as well as a little bit more weight in parts.
The 951 has beefy ISCG-05 chainguide mounts. It is welded fully around the wide bottom bracket shell but we’ve noticed that fitting chainguides onto the frame is a bit harder than it should be. The ISCG-05 tabs appear to be clocked improperly making it harder to mount any chainguide, namely the e.thirteen LG1 and MRP G2 chainguide.
The 1.5” head tube offers multiple options for users seeking to run various forks and headsets easily whether it is a zero stack headset or a 1.5″ headset.
|Intense||951 Large Frame Only||
|Intense||Seat Post Clamp 34.9||
|Intense||951 Shock Bolts||
|Cane Creek||CCDB 9.5 X 3 Damper Only (no spring)||
|Cane Creek||550 x 3 Steel Spring||
|Cane Creek||Shock hardware||
If you’re interested in finding out more about the 951 or purchasing an Intense 951, contact Competitive Cyclist.
Interested in seeing more on the 951 and how it was made? Check out the videos below Intense created to tell the story of the 951 a little bit more.