intense ebike proto

Jeff Steber Teases Prototype Intense e-Bike

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Jeff Steber is handy with a welder so when you leave him in a room full of alloy tubes and TIG welding gear you can rest assured that he’ll whip out his welding mask, hit ‘play’ on the A-Team theme tune and get to work. Even today, when all production Intense frames are carbon, it’s Jeff Steber who welds up the alloy test mules, and this is his latest.

Yes, it is an e-bike, and yes it does seem to be going through some sort of development process as Steber’s own Instagram account shows at least 3 versions of this prototype Intense e-MTB.

If you visit the Intense founder’s Instagram account and view his e-bike teasers in chronological order you’ll first see that Mr. Steber is attempting to hide the drive system from view (but we’re pretty sure it’s a Shimano STEPS setup) and secondly that the first incarnation of the Intense e-MTB was posted on the 7th June and had its battery mounted below the downtube.

Good progress on this project over the last year , getting out on some E pic rides, good times on two wheels !!@intensecycles @steber_guitars @intensefactoryracing

A post shared by Jeff Steber (@jeffsteber) on

Obviously, this is great for keeping the center of gravity nice and low, but it isn’t great for rock strikes not to mention the aesthetics of the bike. Swipe right though and you’ll see that another proto was already in development and is shown with its battery located above the downtube. Since then we’ve been treated to more teasers.

Intense R&D projects, looking to put some miles on this weekend, maybe 40 miles in 2.5 hours @intensecycles #noshuttlerequired

A post shared by Jeff Steber (@jeffsteber) on

Although each side shot of the Intense e-Bike prototype purposely crops the motor unit off the bike, we can clearly see the handlebar-mounted control unit in this short video, and it looks exactly like the unit that comes with Shimano’s STEPS E8000 system. Sorry Jeff, but we think the tell-tale yellow power meter gives the game away.

Desk job today, making some changes on P3 @intensecycles office days are almost as fun as test days on the trail, getting ready for weekend trip to @mammothmountain for some big mountain testing #noshuttlerequired

A post shared by Jeff Steber (@jeffsteber) on

P3 suggests that this next bike is actually the 3rd prototype version that Intense has worked on, and it is now beginning to gain that Intense signature look and feature a more visually appealing, semi-concealed battery design. We’re guessing this is likely what final production bike will look like. Interestingly the above Instagram post includes the tag #noshuttlerequired, perhaps suggesting that this could be a big travel bike made for descending similar to the Specialized Levo Kenevo.

The video also gives us the best look at the rear suspension system so far and shows a VPP system with the lower link attaching to the frame just above the motor cage.

Fun with prototypes getting P4 ready for some test riding @mammothmountain this weekend @intensecycles #noshuttlerequired

A post shared by Jeff Steber (@jeffsteber) on

At the time of writing, the above post is the most recent Intense Ebike teaser and shows us version P4 of the e-Bike project. We’re not sure what has changed between this and P3 or if this is simply the P3 mule with that additional top tube to downtube bracing added (as seen in the welding video above), whatever the changes are they are obviously subtle as the overall design remains the same.

The post once again hides many of the giveaway details of the bike although we can clearly see that this prototype is running a Rockshox Deluxe rear shock and what appears to be a Lyrik up front meaning we’re looking at a minimum of 150mm travel.

What we wonder is if Intense does release an e-Bike will it be alloy or carbon? Our gut feeling would say that Intense will stick to their guns and build a carbon Ebike, but what would the price of such a machine be? With Intense cutting pricing since last year, are they able to produce a boutuique carbon e-bike that undercuts the competition?

And what will it be called? Intense bikes are usually named after spiders or guns. They’ve already had the Tazer, so it can’t be that. The ‘Stunner’ maybe doesn’t sound too great – a bit too much like bikini girls, or a nasty crash. The ‘Uloborous’ is a spider that catches its prey using electrically charged threads, but that might be a bit obscure.

We’ll turn the guessing over to you. Or maybe you have comments on Intense and their move into the Ebike world – we’d love to hear your thoughts below.

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Comments (2)

    “named after spiders of guns”… can I get a job as proof reader / editor?

    What a money making exercise, stick to plastic, that’s where the money oh and what happened to the lovely alloy frames with wicked paint jobs of years ago!?

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