M SERIES – A HERITAGE OF RACE HISTORY
M SERIES – A HERITAGE OF RACE HISTORY
Intense was created at a certain moment in time when the push-the-boundaries attitude of a young, vibrant new sport demanded fast-evolving engineering to progress.
After our founder Jeff Steber's first few designs in the early 1990's he turned his attention to a bike purpose-built to take on the rigours of the burgeoning downhill racing movement. The first M1 arrived on the scene in 1994 featuring a McPhearson Strut rear design offering five-inches of rear travel. With no forks available with matching travel, the first M1 bikes had just three inches of travel up front while the bike industry caught up with Jeff's innovative thinking.
It's the four-bar linkage M1design – pictured here – that Shaun rode at the 1996 world championships where he took second place and really put Intense on the map. That bike now sits in Intense HQ in Temecula, California.
For the rest of the decade, the M1 became the go-to DH race bike for the world's top riders – whether they were sponsored by Intense or not. Rebadged M1s were rarely off the World Cup podium.
Brian Lopes, Leigh Donovon, Mike King, Gee and Dan Atherton, Greg Minaar, Eric Carter, Mick Hannah, Andrew Shandro, Scott Sharples, Derrin Stockton, Lisa Sher, Cheri Elliott, Vanessa Quinn, Markus Stöckl, John Kirkaldie and, of course, Shaun Palmer, were all riding the bike.
The M1 continued to evolve and in 2002, Chris Kovarik rode the bike to victory in Fort William – winning by 14.02 seconds, still the biggest margin in World Cup history. The same year, Sam Hill won the junior world champs.
In 2006, the M6 and its race-team only sibling, the M6 EVO, were launched with Chris Kovarik, Sabrina Jonnier and Matti Lehikoinen racing the bike on the MS-Intense team.
Always ahead of the curve, Jeff began experimenting with a downhill-specific 29er in 2009 – the 2951 – but there wasn't the wheel and tyre support available in the industry to put the bike into production at that time.
Still, the idea didn't disappear and Jeff waited patiently for the industry to catch up.
Feedback from World Cup riders on the MS-Intense and Chain Reaction-Intense teams riding the M6 EVO informed what would eventually become the M9. The bike launched in 2010 and was a mainstay of the range until 2015.
After launching the aluminium version of the M16 In 2015, we followed up on the Carbine – our first carbon fibre model – with the M16C, a 27.5 DH beast with 240mm of travel.
Intense Factory Racing riders Jack Moir, Dean Lucas and Charlie Harrison raced the bike around the world, scoring some top results and providing a wealth of race-track feedback to filter into our next big project.
The M16 remains in our range as the ultimate example of the 27.5 downhill race machine.
We've never been afraid of challenging the industry norms and doing what others daren't and in 2017 we put it all on the line in front of the DH racing world as Jack Moir tested prototype 29er DH bikes on the World Cup circuit. Racing on alloy and then carbon models, Jack scored second at Fort William.
In summer 2018, the first publicly available M29 bikes arrived in the form of the M29 FRO – a limited run of only 15 ultra-high-spec builds that revived the For Racing Only programme we established in the 2000s.
Each bike was assembled at Intense HQ in California and signed by Jeff Steber – all 15 sold out within days of launch.
Now we're in 'that moment' once again: the exciting time when riders everywhere can experience the most advanced race-ready downhill 29er. The M29 is truly the latest evolution of the M Series, a range that has more race pedigree than any other in the world of mountain biking.
By the end of the year, the new M29 Elite will be available from Intense Cycles UK – set-up perfectly for you so you can feel the excitement of riding a beast of a bike and a piece of cycling history.