From the highs of the World Cup podium, to the intricacies of the design studio, there was a lot going on for us here at INTENSE in 2022. In what has become a bit of a tradition, here are our top three picks from the last 12 months.
Racing has always been at the very core of everything we do here at INTENSE, and 2022 was a great year, not only for our INTENSE Factory Racing team of Aaron Gwin, Dakotah Norton, Seth Sherlock and Joe Breeden, but also for many of our ambassadors who were racing at national, regional and international events.
The highlight of the race year had to be Aaron and Dakotah’s World Cup success towards the end of the season. Aaron found himself back in the mix and on the podium with three fourth places – at Vallnord, Mont Sainte Anne and Val di Sole. And it was in Val di Sole that teammate Dakotah would join him in third place (above), giving IFR the ‘team of the day’ award. It was a great end to the World Cup season, which was made even sweeter a few weeks later when Dakotah won the Fox US Open (the last race of the year), taking home the Pro purse of $15,000! Nice.
Then of course there was Under 21 racer Seth Sherlock, who juggled racing both the Downhill World Cup series and the Enduro World Series. After a string of EWS podium results (on the new Tracer 279), a first place on his ‘home track’ in Whistler, and a year long battle with rival Luke Meier-Smith, Seth finished in second place overall. A great result, and a great year for the young Canadian.
2. ALL-NEW TRACER ENDURO LAUNCH
After several unplanned delays due to Covid we were ‘beyond stoked’ to finally be able to launch our all-new 170mm Tracer Enduro bike. First in April with the mixed wheel 279 model and then later in the year the 29” version.
This new Tracer is a complete redesign, a reimagining of what our INTENSE enduro bike needs to be, the dream combo of a bike that feels like a mini DH bike, and that climbs like a goat. We love it, and we think you will too.
3. NEW DOWNHILL BIKE BUZZ
First there was the radically different M279 HP1 (High Pivot 1), and now there is the M279 HP6. It is no secret that Aaron Gwin and the rest of the INTENSE Factory race team, along with Founder and CEO Jeff Steber and our global engineering team, have been dreaming-up new downhill bike designs and prototypes over the last few years. It has been a lengthly process, but one that proved its worth when the team started hitting the World Cup podium on the HP1.
No sooner had the season finished than the HP1 was ‘retired’, it had done it’s job, and the team were on the new HP6 (High Pivot 6-Link, above). With more testing and tweaking taking place over the off-season we are super excited to see what the 2023 race season will bring.
So that was 2022, but what about 2023? Well 2023 is going to be a big year for INTENSE. We have a lot of bike related projects going on in the background, and there is of course the HP6’s first ‘real race’ to look forward to, but the most important thing about 2023 is that it marks 30 Years of INTENSE… yep, in 2023 INTENSE will be three decades old. It’s gonna be good. Stay tuned.