Art’s Cyclery Employee Bike Check

Art’s Employee: Brad Smith
Position: Hard Goods Buyer
Bike: Intense Tracer 275

About The Build: Love it, like it, or simply tolerate it, the 650B/27.5″ wheel size is here to stay. Making the upgrade to a pair of 650 hoops is like Miley Cyrus going to rehab, we all know it needs to happen and you should probably just get it over with before someone forces you to. One company that took the 27.5″ plunge while the other guys were still scratching their heads was Intense Cycles, offering both the carbon Carbine and the aluminum Tracer for your riding pleasure. The Tracer 275 was Intense’s very first foray into the new wheel diameter yet they managed to create an adept trail machine that is equally suited for thrashing descents as it is for devouring climbs. The Tracer frame is proudly made in the USA at Intense’s Southern California factory and proved to be the perfect match for our Hard Goods Buyer, Brad Smith.

Brad began his Tracer 275 build with a stark naked, stunningly beautiful Works Blue frame and set to work creating his “one bike to rule them all”. Brad likes to really test himself out on the trails and the aluminum construction and geometry of the Tracer suits this aggressive riding style (a.k.a. he’s a little less worried about if it continues down the trail without him). The infinitely tunable BOS Deville fork was an obvious choice for Brad who likes to tweak his ride until the optimum performance is achieved. He says, wholeheartedly, that it literally made him faster. When it came time to slap on a drivetrain, Brad chose 175mm Race Face SIXC Cranks and a 34T Race Face Single Ring Chain Ring to lay down the power for his simple and reliable 1X10 setup.

The “by 10” of his 1×10 is handled expertly by a Shimano Zee M640 SS Rear Derailleur and controlled effortlessly by a Shimano Saint M820 Right Shifter Pod. Inspired by the double up-shift capability and the long levers, Brad touts the Saint shifter as the best mountain shifter on the market. We have trouble disagreeing with him.

Wide WTB Frequency TCS i23 650B Rims provide low rolling resistance and stability in the corners and  Phil Wood Double Butted Spokes complete a very durable wheelset without too much of a weight penalty. Brad is “currently digging” his new Michelin Wild Grip’R 2 tires primarily because they are tough enough to withstand a lot of abuse and can handle the mixed condition trails we have around here in San Luis Obispo.

740mm wide Renthal Fatbar Handlebars perched on a Ritchey WCS Trail Zero Degree Stem provide superior responsiveness. A Rock Shox Reverb Stealth Dropper allows him to keep his center of gravity low and Magura MT 8 Disc Brakes allow him to stay on the razor’s edge of control.

Brad has been dreaming up this bike for quite sometime and all of us at the shop have been drooling over it for nearly as long. It’s hard to go wrong when you start with a solid base like the Tracer 275 but Brad made sure to build it up cherry. Check it out.

Tech Specs:

Frame: Intense Tracer 275 (Works Blue)
Rear Shock: Fox Float LTD with Enduro needle bearing shock eye kit top and bottom
Fork: BOS Deville 160mm TRC 650b/27.5″ Fork White 20mm
Headset: Chris King Inset 3

Brakes: Magura MT 8 Disc Brakes
Rotors: Magura Storm SL Disc Brake Rotors (180mm Rear 203mm Front)
Crankset: Race Face SIXC Cranks (175mm)
Chainring: Race Face Single Ring Chain Ring 104BCD
Chain: Wipperman Connex 10SX Chain

Cassette: Shimano M771 Deore XT 10 Speed Dyna-Sys Cassette (11-36)
Bottom Bracket: Race Face Turbine X-Type Team XC Bottom Bracket 68/73mm
Shift Lever: Shimano Saint M820 Right Shifter Pod 10 Speed
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Zee M640 SS Rear Derailleur up to 11-36
Pedals: Shimano M-959 Clipless Pedals
Seatpost: Rock Shox Reverb Stealth Dropper Seatpost 31.6 125mm
Saddle: WTB Volt Team Titanium Saddle
Stem: Ritchey WCS Trail Zero Degree Stem
Handlebars: Renthal Fatbar Lite Handlebar 740mm 31.8 (Rise: 10mm)
Grips: Race Face Half Nelson Grips

Extras: ABI Enduro Needle Bearing Shock Mount Kit

Weight: 30.6 lbs.