The new Intense Cycles Recluse combines custom JS-Tuned suspension and boost spacing for a burly trail bike perfect for aggressive riders
The Intense Recluse is the latest MTB in the Californian brand's new JS-Tuned line-up, this new trail monster following on from the incredible Primer 29, plus-sized ACV and the trail-eating Spider 275C.
It's that latter bike that the Recluse has most in common with. Pronounced 'wreck-loose', the new bike is named after a venomous spider, hinting both at its relation to its sibling in the Intense range and the fact that this is something altogether more aggressive.
Like the Spider 275C, the 27.5-inch wheeled Recluse is most at home on the trails but whereas the former bike is as much about climbing prowess as descending capability, Intense's latest dips further into the enduro market with aggressive geometry and suspension spec. The result is a burlier ride and the ideal choice for more assertive riders looking for a bike that can keep up with their aspirations of downhill speed on the trails.
Up front there's 150mm of travel, with either Fox Performance Float 36 or RockShox Pike RC forks giving boost spacing and 36/35mm stanchions for a stronger wheel build and a stiffer fork. This limits flex in the front end to give no-nonsense, confidence-inspiring handling over the roughest terrain – again encouraging riders to attack the trail.
The front end is complemented by Intense's own JS-Tuned suspension at the back – a floating dual pivot design with the main I box link positioned in a hollow in the base of the seat tube. It's a set-up that also keeps the back end short and snappy, the 419mm chainstays making for nimble handling and the ability to square off turns with conviction.
The JS-Tuned design also makes the most of the 140mm of travel on offer with each model in the five bike Recluse range coming loaded with either a Fox Float X2 or RockShox Monarch Plus shock. Usually seen on 160-170mm travel machines, this spec choice once again highlights Intense's desire to arm more aggressive trail riders with the very best performance. In this case, the suspension tune makes for a firmer mid stroke, allowing riders to avoid unwanted sag when sitting into the travel when carving round corners and pumping the ground for extra speed.
As with Intense's other 2016 launches, the JS-Tuned philosophy also extends to the choice of components. Each model from the dream-build Factory through the Pro, Expert and Foundation machines has been carefully specced out to give riders exactly the kit they'd want at each price point. Intense has also added an Elite option between Pro and Factory, which takes advantage of new Intense-branded carbon wheels featuring a 30mm internal diameter for an ultra-stable tyre profile that doesn't roll under pressure.
The Factory, Elite and Pro models also make use of Intense's SL frameset which shaves around 300g while maintaining that all-important burliness that gives the bike its aggressive character.
- Intense Recluse Factory – £8,700
- Intense Recluse Elite – £6,600
- Intense Recluse Pro – £5,800
- Intense Recluse Expert – £5,300
- Intense Recluse Foundation – £4,200