Fast Bikes - 2018 Intense Primer Expert

Dirt Mountainbike | Words: Sean White | Images: Leuan Williams

For 2018 Intense Cycles move to ‘direct to consumer’ sales with lower prices throughout the range. We’ve revisited the latest take on the Primer, a bike that we felt was one of the fastest trail bikes we’d ridden…

We loved the 2017 Intense Primer from the first ride onwards. All of us here at Dirt felt the mix of 29″ wheels, 130mm of travel and a lightweight carbon frame resulted in a very fast and capable trail bike. A bike that could cover distance with ease, yet feel engaging tight, twisting and rough terrain. A trail bike through and through. In grey and orange with a full Fox Factory suspension and colour matched DT carbon rims the 2017 Primer looked a real weapon…

All this performance came at a cost though, with the Factory spec 2017 Primer having a price tag of £7999. Cheaper builds started at just over £4000 but however good the finish, performance and spec was, comparisons to similar machine such as the YT Jeffsy 29 and Trek Fuel EX 29 were inevitable. The competition were offering higher specs for the money and also aluminium framed versions of the same bike.

With the move to direct sales for the 2018 model year we’ve revisited the Primer but this time testing a more affordable model. The 2018 Expert model (one up from the cheapest Foundation build at £2699) sells at £3299, using the cheaper of the two Primer frames but with a twelve speed SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain and a full complement of proven hardware. The only ‘in-house’ components are the lock-on grips and stubby stem. This Primer now sits very well against the big brands such as Trek and Specialized when it comes to value for money.