2022 Intense TRACER 279 Expert Review
- Price: $5499
- Frame: Carbon fiber
- Wheels: 29″ / 27.5″ Aluminum
- Gear: 1×12
What we like about it: Lightweight materials, comfortable geometric settings.
What we don’t like about it: The relatively high price.
Intense is a brand with a long history of producing high-performance mountain bikes designed for aggressive riding and racing. For years, the TRACER series has been the cornerstone of their product lineup, undergoing countless iterations and improvements to keep up with the demands of modern off-road riding and endurance racing. The TRACER series made its debut in the early 21st century and quickly gained a reputation for its exceptional handling and suspension performance. Over the years, Intense has continued to refine and evolve the TRACER, incorporating new technology and materials to make it even more capable and versatile.
The 2022 Intense TRACER 279 Expert is the latest evolution of this legendary mountain bike series. Designed for aggressive off-road riding and enduro, it features a carbon fiber frame and 170mm of rear suspension travel, as well as a 170mm travel front fork. This allows it to easily tackle the most technical and challenging terrain.
Below, we will analyze the Intense TRACER 279 Expert’s riding experience, key features, components and specifications, and other versions. If you want to learn more about bike reviews, you can follow us.
The 2022 Intense TRACER 279 Expert is a full-suspension mountain bike designed to excel on both climbs and descents. Before setting off, I also booked accommodation through Skyscanner to give myself ample space to rest and prepare.
Thanks to its carbon fiber frame and 170mm of rear suspension travel, the bike offers a smooth and efficient ride. However, on steeper climbs or technical terrain, there may be some unwanted movement in the suspension. This requires me to engage the lockout button on the shock to maintain efficient climbing. Once the suspension is locked, the bike climbs very well. So the rider can easily climb the steepest hills.
The TRACER 279 Expert truly shines. With its 170mm of suspension travel, 29-inch wheels, and aggressive geometry, this bike is an absolute beast on technical terrain. It’s stable and confident at high speeds and handles descents and jumps with ease. Shimano XT hydraulic disc brakes provide excellent stopping power, allowing riders to maintain control on steep and technical descents. The suspension is also supple and responsive, providing a smooth ride that soaks up bumps and drops on the mountain trails. Whether you’re sprinting up steep rock faces or weaving through narrow singletrack, the TRACER 279 Expert’s performance and handling will get you down the mountain safely and quickly.
Overall, the 2022 Intense TRACER 279 Expert is a highly capable and versatile mountain bike that can handle a variety of terrain and riding styles. While it may have some unwanted suspension movement on climbs, it more than makes up for it with its incredible downhill capabilities. The TRACER 279 Expert has a lightweight carbon frame, top-notch components, and adjustable suspension. It’s an outstanding choice for riders who demand the best performance and quality. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to take your riding to the next level, the TRACER 279 Expert is a bike that’s worth considering.
One of the main features of the TRACER 279 Expert is its carbon fiber frame. This material is not only lightweight but also has special stiffness and durability, allowing the bike to handle aggressive riding without compromising performance. Additionally, the TRACER 279 Expert has a low-slung top tube, making it easier to maneuver through narrow terrain and providing more clearance for the rider.
Another standout feature that sets the TRACER 279 Expert apart is its suspension system. The bike has 170mm of rear suspension travel and 170mm of front fork travel, able to absorb the biggest impacts and provide smooth riding on rough terrain. The suspension system is also adjustable, allowing riders to fine-tune settings based on their riding style and preferences.
The TRACER 279 Expert is equipped with top-of-the-line components, including a Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain, Shimano XT hydraulic disc brakes, and a Fox Float X2 rear shock. 29-inch wheels are wrapped in Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR II tires, providing excellent traction and control on the trails. The bike also features a KS Lev Integra dropper seatpost, allowing riders to quickly and easily adjust seat height, further enhancing the bike’s versatility and performance.
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What we like about it?
- Lightweight and sturdy carbon fiber frame optimized for Enduro riding.
- Fully guided internal cable routing for a cleaner and streamlined look.
- 170mm rear wheel travel and 148mm boost hub spacing for improved traction and handling on rough terrain.
- FOX Performance 38 Float 170mm front fork with GRIP damper and quick-release front axle for smooth and responsive suspension.
- FOX Performance Elite DHX2 coil rear shock with rebound adjustment and a 2-position climb switch for optimal control and comfort.
- SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain for smooth and efficient shifting.
- SRAM Code R 4-piston brakes with 200mm rotor for outstanding braking power.
- MAXXIS Minion DHF and DHR II tires with 3C Maxx Terra EXO+ casing for excellent grip and durability on all types of terrain.
What we don’t like about it?
- The price is relatively high.
- What is the maximum tire size that the Intense TRACER 279 Expert can accommodate?
The bike is designed to accommodate a 29″ x 2.5″ tire on the front wheel and a 27.5″ x 2.6″ tire on the rear wheel.
- Can this bike be modified to use a tubeless unit?
Yes, rims and tires are compatible with tubeless units. The bike already has a tubeless valve installed, but a separate sealant and tape will need to be added.
- Is the bike suitable for beginners to ride?
While the Intense TRACER 279 Expert is a great bike with high-end components, it is designed for the Enduro category and may not be the best choice for beginners. The bike is optimized for aggressive riding on technical terrain and requires some skill and experience to handle properly.
- Can this bike be used for off-road riding?
The Intense TRACER 279 Expert is not specifically designed for trail riding, but it can certainly be used for that purpose. However, riders who primarily do trail riding may want to consider a bike with a lighter frame and a more efficient drivetrain.
- What heights are Intense TRACER 279 Expert suitable for?
The size chart for Intense TRACER 279 Expert is as follows:
These sizes are only a general guide, the true fit may vary from person to person, and the easiest way to find your size is the best way to go for a test ride.
|5’0″ – 5’6″||S|
|5’5″ – 5’10”||M|
|5’9″ – 6’1″||L|
Intense TRACER 279 Expert Specs
|Frame||Full carbon fiber front and rear triangle utilizing an optimized carbon layup for the ENDURO category. Features fully guided Internal cable routing. carbon top link, titanium hardware, ISCG-05 tabs, threaded BB and updated molded frame protection and shuttle guard. Integrated CHAD storage system with the ‘tube bag’ included. 170mm of rear wheel travel. Quick release rear axle (148mm boost hub spacing).BB Standard: BSA, 73mm, ThreadedColors: Pearl Gloss White; Satin Black|
|Fork||FOX Performance 38 Float 170mm with GRIP Damper quick release front axle (boost 110 hub spacing) 44mm offset|
|Rear Shock||FOX Performance elite DHX2 coil, rebound adjustments, 2 position climb switch, Shock size/Stroke: 205mm x 65mm upper mounting hardware Trunnion Lower Mounting Hardware: 8mm x 20mm.|
|Bottom Bracket||SRAM DUB Threaded|
|Headset||INTENSE Top ZS49/28.6mm, Bottom ZS56/40|
|Stem||e*Thirteen 35mm stem, 40mm length|
|Handlebar||e*Thirteen 35mm bar with 20mm rise, 800mm width|
|Saddle||WTB Silverado Sport w/steel rails|
|Seatpost||INTENSE Recon Dropper 31.6mm, length 125mm SM / 150mm MD / 170mm Lg / 200mm XL (Frame Size Specific)|
|Grips||INTENSE Logo Lock-on|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM NX Eagle 12SP|
|Crank||SRAM NX Eagle 12SP / DUB / 32t / 170MM / Boost / 52mm Chainline|
|Shifters||SRAM NX Eagle 12SP|
|Cassette||SRAM PG 1230 Eagle 12SP / 11-50t|
|Chain||SRAM NX Eagle 12SP 118 links|
|Chain Guide||e*Thirteen Vario top guide|
|Brakes||SRAM Code R 4-piston – Front Rotor 200mm 6-bolt 1.8mm / Rear Rotor 200mm 6-bolt 1.8mm|
|Rims||e*Thirteen LG1 Enduro 30MM Alloy Rim / INTENSE alloy hub/boost|
|Spokes||DT Swiss 2.0 Straight Gauge|
|Front Hub||Front – INTENSE alloy hub 32h 6-bolt rotor 110mmx15mm boost front / Rear – INTENSE alloy hub 32h 6-bolt rotor HG driver body 148mmx12mm boost|
|Rear Hub||Front – INTENSE alloy hub 32h 6-bolt rotor 110mmx15mm boost front / Rear – INTENSE alloy hub 32h 6-bolt rotor HG driver body 148mmx12mm boost|
|Tires||Front: MAXXIS Minion DHF Maxx Terra 3C EXO+29 “x250” / Rear: MAXXIS Minion DHR II Maxx Terra 3C EXO+27.5 “x2.40”|
|Bicycles||Price||Drivetrain||Frame material||Components||Click view|
|2023 Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert RS||$6000||1×12||Carbon Fiber||SRAM X01 Eagle, Truvativ Descendant||Click View|
|2023 Canyon Spectral 27.5 CF 8||$4999||1×12||Carbon Fiber||Shimano XT||Click View|
|Santa Cruz BRONSON R / Carbon C / MX||$5399||1×12||Carbon Fiber||SRAM NX Eagle, Truvativ Descendant||Click View|
|2023 Scott Ransom 920||$4999||1×11||Aluminum alloy||SRAM NX Eagle||Click View|
Intense TRACER 279 Expert vs. Specialized Stumpjumper EVO Expert RS
While there are some similarities between these two bikes, there are also distinct differences that riders can consider when making a purchase decision.
One of the biggest differences is the price. the Stumpjumper EVO Expert RS is priced higher than the Intense TRACER 279 Expert. this may be a factor for riders on a budget. In addition, the Stumpjumper EVO Expert RS has higher-end components compared to the Intense TRACER 279 Expert. Such as RockShox suspension, SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, and SRAM Code RSC brakes.
Another difference is the cushioning travel. the Intense TRACER 279 Expert has 170mm of rear wheel travel compared to 150mm for the Stumpjumper EVO Expert RS. This may make the Intense TRACER 279 Expert a better choice for riders looking for more cushioning on rough terrain.
Finally, the two bikes have slightly different geometries. the Stumpjumper EVO Expert RS features a longer length and a smaller head angle. The Intense TRACER 279 Expert, on the other hand, may feel more agile and maneuverable.
Intense TRACER 279 Expert vs. Canyon Spectral 27.5 CF 8
One of the biggest differences between these two bikes is the price. Compared to the Intense TRACER 279 Expert, the Canyon Spectral 27.5 CF 8 is much less expensive. This may make it a more accessible option for riders on a tight budget. Another difference is the quality of the components. While both bikes have high-quality components, the Intense TRACER 279 Expert has higher-end components. Such as the FOX Performance Elite DHX2 coil-over rear shock and SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain. And the Canyon Spectral 27.5 CF 8 has a RockShox Deluxe Select+ shock and SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain.
The two bikes also have different cushion travel. the Intense TRACER 279 Expert offers 170mm of rear wheel travel, while the Canyon Spectral 27.5 CF 8 has 150mm of rear wheel travel. The Canyon Spectral 27.5 CF 8, on the other hand, has 150 mm of rear wheel travel. the Intense TRACER 279 Expert’s greater cushion travel makes it a better choice for riders looking for more comfort and control on rough terrain.
Intense TRACER 279 Expert vs. Santa Cruz BRONSON R / Carbon C / MX
One of the biggest differences between these two bikes is their geometry. The Santa Cruz BRONSON R/C/MX has a more relaxed and easy-to-handle geometry with a slacker head angle and longer reach. The Intense TRACER 279 Expert has a more aggressive and nimble geometry with a steeper head angle and shorter reach. This may make the Santa Cruz BRONSON R/C/MX a better choice for riders seeking a more stable and comfortable ride, while the Intense TRACER 279 Expert may be favored by those who prioritize responsiveness and agility.
Another difference is the components used on each bike. While both bikes have high-quality components, the Santa Cruz BRONSON R/C/MX has a mixed kit that reduces compatibility between parts. This may make future upgrades or modifications to the bike more challenging. In contrast, the Intense TRACER 279 Expert has a more streamlined and cohesive component group. Additionally, the prices of both bikes are fairly comparable. While the Santa Cruz BRONSON R/C/MX may have some advantages in handling and maneuverability, the Intense TRACER 279 Expert has higher-quality components and a more streamlined design. Ultimately, the decision between these two bikes will depend on the rider’s personal preferences and needs, including riding style, terrain, and budget factors.
Intense TRACER 279 Expert vs. Scott Ransom 920
One of the biggest differences between the two bikes is the price. The Scott Ransom 920 has a lower retail price compared to the Intense TRACER 279 Expert, which may make it a more affordable option for budget-conscious riders.
Another difference is weight. The Scott Ransom 920 is lighter than the Intense TRACER 279 Expert, which may be a factor for riders who prioritize weight reduction. The standover height of the two bikes is also different. The Scott Ransom 920 has a higher standover height, which may make it less suitable for shorter riders as they may have difficulty standing over the bike.
The riding position of the two bikes is different. Compared to the Scott Ransom 920, the Intense TRACER 279 Expert has a more aggressive and forward-riding position. The more aggressive riding position of the Intense TRACER 279 Expert may not be as comfortable for beginners, while the Scott Ransom 920 may be a better choice for riders seeking a more upright and comfortable riding position.
Overall, both the Intense TRACER 279 Expert and the Scott Ransom 920 are excellent bikes. The decision between the two will depend on the rider’s personal preferences and needs, including riding style, terrain, and budget.
Above is our test of the Intense TRACER 279 Expert. This comfortable endurance full-suspension bike not only allows you to ride longer distances on mountain trails but also keeps you in a comfortable seating position. I think this is a great option for beginners, provided that your budget is sufficient.
If you want to try out some affordable entry-level bikes, feel free to check out our related tests.
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