written by: J.V. Nixon
Intense Socom sitting pretty at sub 35lbs (click to enlarge)
In 2007, Intense introduced a new model to their fleet of bikes, the Socom FRO. The Socom went through a few variations in its naming (S.O.S. – Sea Otter Special, Sussi – 6.6/Uzzi, and more) but eventually got called the Socom. The Socom FRO has 8″ of travel and has similar static geometry to their M3. In 2008, Intense modified the Socom slightly from the feedback they received to bring you an even better bike.
So what is the point of the Socom? The Socom FRO is designed to be a lightweight downhill frame that combines the strength of an Uzzi and the lightweight 6.6 into a downhill package. The Socom FROâ€™s geometry is downhill inspired with 8″ of rear travel and Intense suggests a 180-200mm fork to mate with it. FRO is â€œFor Racing Onlyâ€ but it still carries Intenseâ€™s 2 year warranty so rest assured itâ€™s not a throw away frame that the name might imply.
all Intense bikes are built in the USA (click to enlarge)
The FRO badge isnâ€™t meant as a daily bike necessarily but it does offer some additional strength over their standard offerings. They use weight optimized tubing (which doesnâ€™t mean weaker necessarily) in addition to different weld specifications. Rick the welder expounded a bit more on the FRO techniques used and all tube junctions are double butted, or straight gauge. Similar to the Uzzi VPX, it is double welded at all joints. Like pipe welding, bead is applied on the inside as well as the outside.
(click to enlarge)
So with the introductions out of the way, our goal with this lightweight frame was to push the limits ever so slightly with what a “normal” DH bike weight might be typically construed as. With properly set up suspension, the bike should still track just as well as a heavier bike as the pilot is the one controlling what the bike is doing and not the mass of the bike or rider. Faster acceleration, more responsiveness, and increased agility are a few benefits of a lighter downhill bike.
With that said, some of the pieces we selected aren’t the typical “bombproof”. Realistically everything is fair game to get broken in a DH situation. We stuck to a lot of strong parts where we felt they were needed to keep this rig running smoothly without any major hiccups with some attention to detail in part selection to keep the weight down. Every piece on a bike counts. Saving 10 grams on every part of a bike seems insignificant in the short term, but makes a big difference in the overall weight.
Ready to see one of the sickest Socom’s ever created? We thought so! Full review later in the season, continue on to see the parts we picked for our build. You can read what Competitive Cyclist had to say about the Socom as well for more knowledgeable information and online purchasing.
[Intense authorized reseller Competitive Cyclist] [Socom Build Gallery]
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