AN INTENSE TIMELINE: A HERITAGE OF RACING
Intense was born in the heyday of American mountain bike racing, in the mid- 90’s when the NORBA circuit was a summer-long traveling circus as important and well-attended as World Cups, and when legends were created. Personalities like Shaun Palmer,Leigh Donovan, and Michael Ronning were superstars of the sport and helped launch the M1 into the limelight.
Later, Chris Kovarik joined Intense and began a new chapter of racing history when he dominated World Cup podiums and set the record for the biggest gap between gold and silver that still stands today, fifteen years later. Intense continued to push the envelope of bike design with the M3, M6 and M9.
Now, As we close in on our 25th anniversary, we take a look back at the years passed and reflect on the key moments that built our brand and made us #intenseforlife.
First “Spider” handmade in Steber’s garage in Lake Elsinore, CA.
Intense Cycles' First Interbike Booth, Anaheim CA
Maidenship M1 with McPhearson Strut rear design
Shaun Palmer picking up his first M1 from Jeff Steber.
First Team: Randy Lawrence, Mike Metzger, Shaun Palmer.
Shaun Palmer powers his USA-flag painted M1 to 2nd place in the World Championships in Cairns.
John Tomac was among the many top pro DH’ers who rode re-badged M1’s with their sponsor decals.
Intense-made Haro DHR piloted by Greg Minnaar.
Leigh Donovan’s 1999 Intense M1, custom painted by Troy Lee Designs.
Intense signs Chris Kovarik, who would go on to become a multi-time Australian National Champ and win several world cups.
IFR head wrench, Johnny Roy Bottema, took care of the team and brought us lot of laughs and good times. RIP Johnny Roy. You are missed.
Chris Kovarik wins Ft. William by 14.02 secs, and podiums at World Champs. Sam Hill wins Junior World Championships.
IFR rider, Sabrina Jonnier and her new M3, launched in 2004. Sabrina was a regular on the podium during her years as an elite racer.
Production of the M6 begins, with the M6 EVO featuring as a race team bike only.
Steber’s side project was a 29” DH-specific bike, the “2951” - predecessor to the prototype M29 ridden by IFR riders in 2017.
The M6 EVO is refined and redeveloped with feedback from the World Cup riders such as Chris Kovarik and evolves into the M9.
Intense drops first-ever Carbon Fiber model: The Carbine (26” trail bike, that was convertible to 27.5).
Young Aussie rider, Jack Moir is signed to IFR, the same year the M16 carbon was launched.
Australian Dean Lucas joins the Intense Factory Racing team after finishing 12th overall in the 2015 World Cup.
IFR signs American, Charlie Harrison, Jack Moir takes 2nd at Fort William, Dean Lucas takes 2nd at MSA. New M29 prototypes are being tested live on the World Cup circuit.
Intense Announces “Rider Direct” business plan, making world-cup proven bikes to more available to more riders worldwide.