Intense Tracer 275C

Intense’s Tracer 275C, billed as the “definitive carbon enduro bike” on its release in early 2014, is no longer such a young steed.

That’s great in terms of being a proven, trail-tough long-travel chassis that can handle some serious hammer, but it does mean this Southern Californian icon is starting to feel slightly long in the tooth compared with the latest machines.

Ageing suspension

Indeed, you could argue that elements of the Tracer were approaching obsolescence even our US team originally put it through its paces in March 2014. While Intense’s ‘super-enduro’ Uzzi has recently been updated with a linkage change – similar to the Santa Cruz Nomad – the Tracer uses an older version of VPP with a long lower linkage hanging below the bottom bracket.


The carbon front and rear triangles may be made in Asia but the upper and lower suspension links are CNC machined at Intense’s factory in Temecula, California

This increases chain growth when the shock compresses, giving very direct power delivery and tons of traction feedback for solid acceleration snap.

Kick back

Low profile

  • Size tested: L
  • Sizes available: S, M, L, XL
  • Weight (complete bike): 12.6kg
  • Frame: Intense carbon
  • Fork: RockShox Pike RCT3 160mm
  • Shock: RockShox Monarch Plus RT3 160mm
  • Crankset: SRAM XX1
  • Shifters: SRAM XX1
  • Derailleur: SRAM XX1
  • Chain: SRAM XX1
  • BB: SRAM GXP Ceramic
  • Cassette: SRAM XX1 10-42T
  • Hubs: DT Swiss 240
  • Rims: Enve AM carbon
  • Tyres: Maxxis High Roller II 27.5×2.35in
  • Brakes: Hope Tech X2 180mm
  • Bar: Renthal Fat Bar Lite alloy 750×31.8mm
  • Stem: Renthal Apex 50mm
  • Grips: Ergon Pro
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb 125mm
  • Saddle: Ergon Pro
  • Headset: Cane Creek

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Source: Bike Radar

The Cannondale Fat CAAD 1 is every bit as fancy as it is fat

All the big brands offer a fat bike now, don’t they? Well, before this model Cannondale didn’t, and so the £2,600/US$3,730 Fat CAAD1 is actually a pretty important introduction for the firm.

Typically for Cannondale, the Fat CAAD1 stands out among its competition even at a distance – well, if you’re looking at it from the right direction that is. 

Related: The Fat Bike Trend


That’s because, just like it did with the Slate gravel bike, Cannondale has once again found an alternative application for its signature one-legged Lefty fork. Dubbed the Lefty Olaf, it’s an air-sprung offering with 100mm of travel and uses Cannondale’s latest generation PBR damper.

Related: Scott Addict Gravel, Cannondale Slate and more at Eurobike preview

At the top of the fork leg there’s a rebound adjuster dial as long as Cannondale’s ‘push to climb’ compression switch. The Lefty Olaf also gets a bespoke crown which, along with it being necessary to provide the clearance for the huge 4in tyres, also allows Cannondale to switch to a 60mm offset figure, and that’s important. 

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Source: Bike Radar

Mark Cavendish to mentor Madison Genesis team

Originally published on

Mark Cavendish has teamed up with Madison Genesis in a special collaboration that will see the Manxman provide support to the British Continental team in 2016 via his CVNDSH Scholarship and in association with his new team, Dimension Data.

Cavendish created his CVNDSH Scholarship programme in 2012 and will now help Madison Genesis team manager Roger Hammond as they develop the young British riders in the squad. Madison Genesis was one of the strongest teams on the British racing circuit this year and also rode theTour of Britain. Cavendish will dedicate time to the team, helping the young riders develop into accomplished professionals with advice and mentoring about training, road craft and race knowledge.


Related: Mark Cavendish’s Tour de France Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS

“Without the support of key people like Roger Hammond in the early days of my career, I would never have made it to the top as a pro rider. It was the advice, guidance and assistance that I received that kept me on course to achieve the pro team ambitions I had,” Cavendish said in the official announcement of the Madison Genesis team.

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Source: Bike Radar

Martyn Ashton is back on two feet

Martyn Ashton has tasted glory on two wheels – winning world and British titles as one of the legends of mountain bike trials riding. Last week he walked down the corridor of The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) in Shropshire. And he feels like a champion all over again. 

Martyn is paralysed from the waist down, the result of an accident during an event in front of an audience of more than 500 people back in September 2013. Riding in a trials demo at the Silverstone MotoGP, the 40-year-old fell backwards off of a 10-foot high bar and hit the ground with force. “It was a spinning motion,” he recalled. “I landed on my shoulders face down. My legs whipped around towards my face and that is what broke my back – I kind of snapped myself in half. I knew I was badly injured, and I pretty much knew what that injury was. But the feeling of horror was easily equalled by the feeling of relief that I was alive. I felt really grateful, and that was a bit of a gift right away.”

Martyn was initially taken to Coventry Hospital before being transferred to RJAH, a world renowned specialist orthopaedic hospital based on the outskirts of the market town of Oswestry. He spent five-and-a-half-months as an inpatient, slowly learning how to cope with his new life, but his positivity in the face of adversity has won him legions of new fans. His willpower was evident in July this year when he released a YouTube video called Back on Track, in which he was shown riding a specially adapted mountain bike at the Antur Stiniog trail in Snowdonia. 


Martyn’s famous positivity was in evidence again last week when he was back at RJAH to learn how to use a Parawalker – a special device that allows him to experience, however fleetingly, the chance to get out of his wheelchair and move on his own two feet. He was under the care of Jenny Broadbent, a senior physiotherapist from the Orthotic Research and Locomotor Assessment Unit (ORLAU) at RJAH, who worked alongside physio Rob Fox and Technical Instructor Jayne Jones. The team develop engineering solutions for disabled patients and the Parawalker is one of the solutions they offer to help paralysed patients get a taste of being back on two feet. “It’s not really a form of transport,” said Martyn,  “I won’t be walking to Tesco in it any time soon. But, when you’ve been in a wheelchair for so long, it’s a really great experience to be upright again. To be mobile is a really strange experience for me. It’s really hard work and I found it very tiring on my shoulders, but I love that ache; that feeling of having done exercise. It felt like I was defying all the rules. I did three laps of the gym the other day and I am paralysed – that is kind of funny. Jenny and the team from ORLAU have been amazing. Their enthusiasm and dedication is infectious.They told me it would be hard work but that is what’s cool for me – I wanted a challenge.”

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Source: Bike Radar

Christmas gift ideas: 12 presents for adrenaline junkies

Chances are there’s at least one cyclist on your shopping list who constantly likes to flirt with the edge of safety, going just a little bit bigger, exploring a little further away, testing the limits a little harder – and maybe crashing more often than they’d like in the process. If this all sounds familiar, here are a few gift ideas to make next season their best (and possibly safest) ever.

Leatt DBX 4.5 neck brace

The DBX 4.5 doesn’t offer quite the same variety of adjustments as Leatt’s top-end 6.5 model but it provides the same level of neck and spine protection at a much more reasonable price. The adjustments that remain are more than enough to get the 4.5 tuned just right while still allowing for a generous range of motion, and recent improvements have made it easier to clean, too.


Bell Super 2R MIPS helmet

It’s always nice to have full-face protection when flying downhill on a trail but not always on the way back up. The Bell Super 2R MIPS is two helmets in one, offering the excellent ventilation, low weight, goggle-friendly shape, and potentially brain-saving MIPS liner as a high-end conventional trail helmet but with a removable chin guard for added safety when needed. The chin guard is astoundingly easy to attach and remove – even without removing the helmet – and adds minimal weight in the process, too.

Dedicated gravity riders will still want a proper full-face but for everyone else, some level of face protection will always be better than a trip to the dentist. And if you act quickly, you can also satisfy someone’s inner Star Wars habit with one of limited-edition themed versions.

EVOC FR Trail Blackline pack     

ICEdot Crash Sensor      

Spot Gen3 personal GPS tracker

POC Index DH gloves      

Brave Soldier Crash Pak first aid kit        

Dynaplug Micro Pro tire repair kit

Anthill Films unReal DVD

A lift pass at a local resort

A private coaching session

Gorilla Tape To-Go

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Source: Bike Radar

Raptor smart glasses feel the need… the need for speed

With the Raptor smartglasses, Israeli firm Everysight is bringing 30 years’ experience of developing fighter jet display technology to the world of cycling wearables – and it really shows.

Everysight, a spin-off of defence tech company Elbit Systems, is using augmented reality technology that overlays information such as speed, bearing, altitude, position and more directly into your line of sight.

Related: Recon Jet smartglasses review


Could this display layout be better for cyclists than screens in the peripheral vision?

It’s called Everysight Beam, and the makers say this approach – rather than the peripheral screens used by rivals such as Recon Jet and Kopin Solos – cuts distractions, reduces eyestrain and eliminates opaque display elements that can obscure the field of view.

Another big potential plus is that the glasses are claimed to be much lighter and more comfortable than existing alternatives, with superior optics. We’re interested to see how those claims stand up, and plan to put some test units through the BikeRadar wringer as soon as they’re available.

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Source: Bike Radar