Although Intense has branched out into the trail bike market in recent years, don't let that fool you into thinking they've forgotten about their roots. Intense's roots have always been in downhill, and they intend to keep it that way. The M16 Alloy was unveiled in 2014, but it was merely a tease. Everyone knew that Intense had a carbon version of their flagship DH bike in the works, and finally, it has come to light. The M16 Carbon is the result of Jeff Steiber's master mind through several years of development.
It comes as no surprise that the M16 has been developed from the ground-up around 27.5" wheels. The new wheel size has dominated the trail bike market, and it's now largely taking over the downhill market as well. All for good reason too, as downhill is a game of seconds. Simply put, bigger wheels roll over obstacles easier, and 27.5" wheels provide a happy medium. Bikes like the M16 strike the perfect balance - it's able to monster truck anything you throw in its path, but it doesn't loose the playful factor we've all come to love from Intense bikes. Speaking of monster trucking, the M16 will do just that. This bike is not for the faint of heart, make no mistake - it is intended to be ridden hard on the roughest, gnarliest, steepest trails you can find.
The M16 Carbon follows similar lines to it's alloy counterpart, but geometry has been tweaked in a couple spots. Intense wanted to insure that the tall folks out there are taken care of, so reach, top tube, and seat tube measurements have been adjusted to include the extra large size not previously available with the M16 Alloy. The frame itself is constructed of EPS molded high modulus carbon fiber, similar to that found on Intense's carbon trail bikes, but beefed up to insure downhill strength. Both front and rear triangles are built entirely from carbon, as well as the upper swing link. Intense worked hard to save grams everywhere possible on this frame, and the resulting weight is 9.5 pounds including shock - nearly three pounds lighter than the alloy model. You may also notice that Intense went with an asymmetrical design on the M16 Carbon, allowing side-access to the rear shock on the drive-side of the bike.
As with all of Intense's bikes, the M16 utilizes the Virtual Pivot Point suspension platform, with adjustable travel between 8.5" and 9.5" (214mm - 241mm). Intense did make the M16 a bit more progressive than the M9 to give the bike a livelier feel overall. Most people will probably find that the 8.5" travel setting is plenty, but the 9.5" setting will provide extra stability for super rough terrain. For those who prefer a more linear suspension feel, the M16 can accommodate that by using the secondary mounting position for the upper end of the rear shock. Generally speaking, the 8.5" setting is best used in conjunction with the progressive curve, while the 9.5" setting is better suited to the linear suspension curve.
Other highlights on the M16 Carbon include a full internal brake and shifter cable routing, 12x157mm rear dropout width, integrated fork bumpers/cable guides, downtube flack guard, and a tapered 49mm/56mm headtube. The lower linkage utilizes 15mm collet-style locking pivot bolts and angular contact bearings, grease-ported for ease in maintenance.
The M16 Carbon comes stock with a Rock Shox Vivid R2C rear shock and a 12x157mm bolt-on rear axle. Intense bikes and frames may only be shipped within the United States. The M16 is backed by Intense's five year manufacturer warranty.
- JS-Tuned VPP suspension
- EPS molded high modulus carbon construction - full carbon main frame and rear swingarm as well as compression molded carbon fiber upper link
- Asymmetrical frame design with side-access to rear shock
- Integrated fork bumpers
- Internal cable routing
- Integrated rear tire fender
- Adjustable travel and suspension curve
- Dual grease ports on lower link for easy maintenance