Intense has unveiled its new and affordable 951 bikes. For years, the 951 was its halo DH frame name, but now, it has been rebranded to represent value for money.
The Californian company has added 951 variants to its XC and trail bike ranges, offering a value build kit, and using the same carbon-fiber frames and proven geometry as their Sniper T and Primer siblings.
Keen followers of Intense will know that the brand has a specific history with the 951 model name, because it is the area code where it is headquartered.
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Intense 951 XC: the cheaper Sniper T
Starting with the 951 XC, it features 120mm of VPP-linked rear travel balanced by a 120mm Fox 34 Rhythm Float fork. With an equal 120mm of suspension travel at both wheels, the 951 XC should effortlessly double up as both a dedicated race bike and singletrack tool.
This is a true downcountry bike, evidenced by the Fox 34 fork choice, which gives that additional torsional stiffness over the XC-orientated Fox 32, when navigating rocky terrain at speed.
The drivetrain is SRAM NX Eagle 1x12, with TRP Slate T4 brakes slowing it down. This choice of brake, with double the piston count of a conventional XC brake at each caliper, shows that Intense expects its 951 XC customers to never shy away from an adventurous descending detour.
An Intense house brand dropper post is specced to boost confidence on the descents, while Kenda Regolith tires roll it along. These tires are narrower than what you’d expect on a contemporary XC or downcountry bike, at 2.2 inches.
With a 66.4-degree head angle, the 951 XC is slack enough to qualify as a true downcountry bike and at only a touch over 28lbz (12.7kg), it is light enough to crush huge distances.
Intense 951 Trail: Primer on a budget
Riders who desire the sophisticated VPP suspension linkage and want to conquer more technical descents can opt for the 951 Trail.
It stacks 140mm of travel in the rear with a Fox Performance Float DPX2 shock, and 150mm worth of Fox 36 Rhythm upfront. That gives the 951 Trail a 65.7 degree head angle, which is definitely on trend for a contemporary trail bike.
Drivetrain, brakes, dropper and tire brands are the same between both of these new 951s, with the marketing strategy being affordability. But the 951 Trail has some notable differences in the size of specific components, including the handlebar, which is 20mm wider than the 951 XC, at 780mm. Meanwhile brake levers and calipers might be the same, but the 951 Trail runs a larger 180mm rear rotor, upsized from the XC’s 160mm.
On theme for its potential mild-enduro riding duties, the 951 Trail’s Kenda Regolith tires are larger than the XC's too, at 2.4 inches. That additional casing size and air volume should aid traction and deliver better trail feedback on challenging descents.
Priced at $3,699.00, these new Intense 951s bring carbon-fiber frame construction, the legendary VPP suspension system and progressive geometry to a potentially broader spectrum of riders.
If you like the idea of a cheaper Sniper or Primer, with extensive 951 branding, Intense has delivered.