Intense Cycles Carbine Carbon

Carbine Carbon

Carbine Carbon     Photo: Courtesy of Intense Cycles

BEST FOR: All of the mountain, all of the time. THE TEST: This is the biggest bike we tested, with 6.3 inches up front and 5.9 in the rear. But it was the Carbine’s uphill skills that struck testers first. “How can a bike this slack engage so well on climbs?” one wondered. The secret is the Fox 36 Talas fork, which drops to 4.7 inches in climbing mode but has a muscular 20-millimeter through-axle for hammer-to-nail directness on chunky descents. Our bike was hung with XTR components (our favorite), XT wheels (“Viagra stiff,” cracked one tester), and a dropper post (which made hairy descents “feel like cheating”). THE VERDICT: The only faster, easier way down is an elevator. 27.8 lbs

CLIMBING: 4
DESCENDING: 5

Brand: Intense Cycles $4,750

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