A few years ago we wouldn’t have dreamt that Intense would build an eBike, but they have and judging by the fact that Intense’s head honcho, Jeff Steber managed to leak every stage of development on to his personal Instagram shows just how excited the brand is about it.
The new Intense Tazer borrows its name from one of Intense’s 4X bikes from yesteryear, but this brand-new Shimano STEPS equipped eMTB is nothing like its alloy brother.
While prototypes and test mules were handed welded and tested by Jeff Steber, the production version of the Tazer is a full carbon bike, and while the rear end may look similar to the Tracer, every part of the Tazer had been designed specifically for this eMTB.
In the U.S Intense is aiming the Tazer at Moto Cross riders, and in fact, many prominent MX magazines have already reviewed the bike. The general idea behind the Tazer is that it’s a big travel, go anywhere eMTB that riders can use to explore the great outdoors. Ride further than they have ever before, and to places that they never thought possible.
This is why the downtube on the latest Intense features a plastic door, giving easy access to the Shimano STEPS eBike battery. Intense hopes that riders of the Tazer will take a second battery in their backpack and so won’t be limited by the range on a single charge. It’s a great concept, and after using the panel for myself it’s very neat and easy to use, but how many riders are really willing to spend roughly £500 on an extra battery?
With the battery hidden in the downtube the Tazer does look more modern than some bikes with the battery located externally, and although photos do make the bike look a little, well, “pregnant”, the actual bike is rather pretty in the flesh.
Intense have also ensured that the battery is as low down as possible to keep the centre of gravity low, combine this with the weight of the STEPS motor and you have a stable and well-balanced bike.
A quick look at the geometry of the Tazer brings up a few surprises. First of all, a size L has a reach of 475mm. That’s pretty long, that’s as long as a Transition, and it’s not at all what we’re used to seeing from Intense.
For my time riding the Tazer in the Spanish sun, I opted for M which has a reach of 450mm. Not as long as my current bike but I find the extra weight of an eBike does sometimes mean a shorter bike is a little easier to handle, and after listening to other testers I’m pretty happy with my size choice.
At 64.9° the head angle mimics the slack nature of similar 160mm travel bikes and gives you the confidence to really push the front 29er wheel into loose corners and tackle blind drops without concern.
Outback the Tazer offers 155mm of rear wheel travel, and because the bike uses a compact Shimano motor system, the chainstay length isn’t horrendously long like some eBikes. Intense has maintained a 450mm chainstay length across S, M and L bikes, which gives enough clearance for the Plus sized 27.5in rear wheel, but not enough for a 29er.
While the motor assist is going to help you up even toughest climbs it makes sense that Intense has given its first eMTB an efficient seat tube angle of 75.4°, and to ensure maximum climb and dependability a Fox Transfer dropper with fancy Kashima coating comes as standard.
One issue we had with the dropper post was the lever. Because Intense has opted to spec a trigger style shifter for the STEPS system an underbar dropper remote won’t fit so instead we have a rather ugly overbar remote. It worked fine, it just looks a bit of a mess. UPDATE: Intense has been in touch regarding this and say they are now looking at changing the controls so that a standard underbar remote can be used.
Fox also provides the Factory DPS X2 Kashima rear shock and Fox Factory Grip 2 fork with the same slippery Kashima finish. The fork is actually an eMTB specific model which uses thicker walled stanchions to a standard 36.
With a fancy carbon frame, and top end suspension components from Fox you may be expecting a flagship groupset and some swanky finishing kit, but don’t be too disappointed. The Shimano groupset is a 10-speed SLX set-up, which works really well and is cheap to replace as and when needed, and the Intense branded bar and stem served me well on a trip to the mountains around Barcelona, but at £6,899 I suspect some buyers would prefer fancier kit.
With that said though the brakes are the extremely powerful Shimano XT 4 Pots we tested earlier in the year, and wheels are super tough DT Swiss H1700 models with a 35mm rim front and 30mm wide rim on the rear, just what we like to see on a 21kg bike.
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