Photo Graeme Murray

Right about now Intense Cycles are pulling yet another new bike from the shed, and we’ve been able to get a few rides in on it. The Recluse is a mid-travel bike with a slant towards the rowdy end of things. With 27.5 hoops, Boost, a 150mm Fox 36 fork and 140mm of Float X2 damped rear travel, slack 66º head angle and a burly spec, it’s a bike that’s trying to fit into a few different pigeonholes and manages to pull off its different personas admirably. It feels nimble on the climbs and bares a set of sharp teeth on descents, the rougher the better, and eats up terrain in a way a 140mm bike has no right to.


The Float X2 gives the Recluse an almost bottomless feel. Get it set up right and the rewards are worth it. I ran more sag than I normally would to get a bit more suppleness in the small stuff, but make no mistakes, suppleness isn’t this bike’s modus operandi. Cruise along and you’ll be underwhelmed, ride it fast and it comes to life, almost taunting you to go beyond your comfort zone.


Intense’s JS Tuned suspension and carbon rear triangle contribute to the bike’s aggressive nature. The BB area sports an impressive amount of carbon for a rock-solid platform that can be pushed as hard as you’re game. Cornering is no doubt helped by its stiffness, as it carves arcs with nary a squiggle.


Front derailleurs aren’t dead! Not necessary, but not dead either. This shows that Intense is banking on the bike’s versatility to be run in different guises to suit a variety of riders. With the big fork and shock setup on this build, it’s definitely at the all-mountain end of the trail bike spectrum. With a less burly suspension spec it would be a really confident trail bike that has the angles and stiffness and stature of a longer travel machine. Best of both worlds? Maybe, and we’ll probably see a lot more of this style of bike in the near future as makers and punters alike realise that not everyone needs 160mm but could do with some slackness in their life.



Grease ports in the lower linkages, nice. Everything on this bike is very neatly tucked away, from the clean cable routing (below) to these bad boys, meaning less maintenance and longer life for the bearings.



For more info go to Intense’s webpage…

Wide Open will be bringing in the SL framesets, the Foundation Build and their own “Rotorua Build” kit as below…


– Fox Float Performance Fork 150mm
– FSA DX Pro Headset
– ENVE 760mm Riser Bar
– Thomson X4 50mm Stem
– ODI Elite Motion Grips
– Thomson Covert Dropper 31.6
– SDG Duster P
– Stans MK3 Wheelset
– Maxxis Tires
– Shimano XT Crankset
– Absolute Black Oval – 32t
– Shimano XT 11spd Derailleur, Shifter and chain
– Shimano XT Brakes

Foundation Kit RRP $7700.00

– RockShox Pike RC, 27.5” 15QR Thru Axle, 140mm Travel, 100 x 15mm
– Rock Shox Monarch R Debonair, 200x 57mm
– 32H, 100 x 15mm Front Hub; 148 x 12mm BOOST Rear Hub Shimano Driver, 6-Bolt
– Sun Helix TR25 Rims, 27.5”, Tubeless Ready
– SCHWALBE NOBBY NIC SNAKESKIN, TL-EASY, PSC FOLDING 27.5 x 2.35″ front, 27.5 x 2.25″ rear
– SRAM GX/NX 11-speed
– WTB Silverado Sport
– Kindshock LEV Integra, 31.6mm x 385 mm, zero offset, 125 mm of travel
– Intense Recon 31.8 x 18 x 760mm
– Intense, 50mm
– TS Intense Headset, 25 mm of spacers
– SRAM GUIDE R, 180mm front and 160mm rear
– Intense Dual Density Lock-On

The Recluse is a skillfully crafted all-mountain machine. Featuring 150mm front and 140mm rear travel, and coupled with our proprietary JS Tuned Suspension, the Recluse will ascend with as much efficiency as it descends. If you’re looking to push boundaries on the mountain, the Recluse will deliver the experience you’ve been chasing.