We had the exclusive opportunity to test a prototype of Intense’s latest carbon enduro bruiser, the Tracer 279 2022. Find out all details and information about the new mullet bike and read our first impressions!

Intense Tracer 279 2022 | 170/167 mm tracel (f/r) | Mullet

The Tracer has been an integral part of Intense’s portfolio for over ten years. During this time, it has earned a reputation as a mean bruiser for tough enduro trails. After ripping through the last decade on three different wheel sizes, 26″, 27.5″ and 29 “, the new 2022 Tracer 279 will be rolling into the new season on mixed wheel sizes, with a big 29″ wheel up front with a smaller 27.5” wheel at the rear. Intense are also working on a thoroughbred 29” version, but an official release date hasn’t yet been disclosed. The only thing we know for sure is that the 29er version will be presented some time after the official release of the 279 model. Countless pictures of Intense prototypes have been circulating around the internet over the past few years and already in 2019, Isabeau Courdurier even won a few EWS races onboard one of the prototypes. The Intense DH factory team led by Aaron Gwin is currently riding on a similar-looking frame, but all prototypes we’ve seen so far had an alloy frame.

Already back in 2019, Isabeau Courdurier has won a few EWS races with this 279 prototype.
A 3D-print of the Tracer 279 production frame
The first prototype of the 29” Intense Tracer
The 29er version relies on its own frame and swingarm and was designed independently from the mullet model

We had the exclusive opportunity to take a closer look at the new Tracer 279 and test it for you. We travelled all the way to Barcelona and spent a few days with test-rider Bernat Guardia, who told us alot about Intense’s new enduro rig with 170/167 mm travel. Given that the frame of our test bike is a prototype and the components don’t reflect the final spec of the production model, we’re not yet able to deliver an in-depth first ride review. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until we can get our hands on the production model, which is expected to be launched at the end of the year. As for now, we will take a closer look at the most striking features of the new Tracer.

The Intense Tracer 279 2022 prototype in detail

For the time being, the new Intense Tracer 279 2022 will be only available with a carbon frame. Via a flip-chip on the lower shock mount of the twin-link rear suspension system, you can adjust the geometry of the bike while a small compartment in the down tube allows you to carry trail essentials like a spare tube or snacks. Although the cables are routed internally, our test prototype makes a loud rattling noise, because the cables aren’t clamped at the cable ports. Nevertheless, Intense have assured that the production bike will be a lot quieter. Moreover, our test bike has the old chainstay protector of the previous Tracer model but a new one is in the works. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to look at the geometry table. All we know is that our prototype in size L has either 475 or 480 mm reach, depending on the geometry setting, and a very short seat tube. The latter ensures good freedom of movement but still allows you to insert a 180 mm dropper post all the way into the frame. Pictures of previous prototypes also showed a small fender between the seat and chainstays, but this didn’t make it on our test bike.

The storage compartment in the down tube of the new Tracer allows you to carry tools and other trail essentials
On our test bike, the internally-routed cables weren’t clamped at the ports, causing a loud rattling noise on rough descents
We’re curious to see whether the 3D-printed banana fender will make it into production.
Former Worldcup mechanic Ernest…
… was on our side throughout the test

Boasting several well-thought-out features, the new Intense Tracer 279 2022 looks promising and makes a very positive first impression. Unfortunately, the production bike will come with different components spec, which makes it impossible for us to write an exhaustive, in-depth first ride review. We can’t wait to get our hands on the Intense Tracer 279 2022 production model and tell you how it fares on the trail!

Find more information about Intense here.

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Words: Peter Walker Photos: Brazo de Hierro

About the author

Peter Walker

As editor-in-chief, Peter is as much a man of action as he is of words. This expert, screw-driver-flexing two wheeled-whizz has many envy-inducing characteristics, including a background in motocross, several EWS race plates to his name, and more than 150 recorded days at Whistler Bike Park. However complex the bike and however steep the trail, he’s probably already nailed it, twice. Oh, and he can do it all on skinny tyres too. When it comes to guiding consumers, Peter cut his teeth at Vancouver’s oldest bike shop and now puts pen to paper on the daily translating this know-how into our editorial plan. When not tearing up Stuttgart’s local trails while testing bikes, he loves nothing more than loading up his self-renovated VW T5 and hitting the road. The fact that he’s a trained paramedic gives his colleagues reassurance out on the trails. So far we haven’t had to call him by his alias ‘Sani Peter’, so here’s hoping he keeps it right side up for the rest of his time here!