The Fix Bikes Blog

Gravity Mountain Biking Nerds – Downhill, Freeride, Trail and Dirt Jumping

951 Long Term Update

Posted by thefixbikes on February 13, 2010

It’s been almost a year since Intense’s much-lauded downhill race frame, the 951, was released.   We checked in with a few of our locals who have been riding the bike for a while and got their thoughts on the bike, how it rides, and how they’re holding up.  For starters, let’s go back and have a look at what the 951 is all about.  Before 2009, Intense had two downhill bikes, the M6 and the Socom.  The M6 was a hardcore race sled, low and slack with 9.5″ of travel.  The Socom was made to be super light and a bit more versatile in terms of geometry, with a steeper head angle, higher bottom bracket, and 8″ of travel.  We had several Socoms as shop bikes, and lots of friends on M6s.  The Socom was a fantastic pedaler, and did really well on smoother and more pedaling intensive courses.  Despite its weight, the reliability of the bike was very impressive, with the few failures all related to hardware and links.  The main complaint was that the bike needed a more aggressive head angle for the serious DH courses.  The M6 was the opposite, super aggressive with a very low bottom bracket that some people found too low.  The 951 was slated to replace the Socom, but after it’s release it quickly became Intense’s only downhill bike.  We attribute this to the bikes highly adjustable configuration, with two travel settings and three different positions on the dropouts the effect BB height, chainstay length, and head angle.   Initial response on the frame was excellent, lets check in with a few riders who have put in some good time with the bike and see how they’re feeling about it now.

Zach Johnson- Cat 1 Junior, Med 951 with Fox 40 and RC4

Amber Price- Cat 1 Women’s, Small 951 with Boxxer Team and RC4

How long have you had your 951?

ZJ- So far I have owned the bike since around September of 2009.

AP- I got the bike towards the end of the Summer of 2009,  and got to use it for The Sol Survivor and Fall Tilt in Telluride Races.

What’s your overall opinion of the bike, having spent some time on it?

ZJ- My overall of opinion of the bike is that it rocks and I wouldn’t rather
ride another bike. The 951 is super stable at high speeds in and out of rock
gardens. The three dropout wheel base adjustments also allow for the
bike to handle very nimbly and to be exactly what you want. Along with a
different bottom bracket height it makes the 951 dialed on rocky trails or
more high speed trails such as Snowmass.

AP-I’ve ridden my 951 down heaps of fun, steep, twisty, rocky trails, and I’m
in love with how it’s so light and easy to move around.  It feels way stable in corners and rides super smooth, so I trust it at speed and that inspires me to go faster.

How does the 951 compare to your previous bikes?

ZJ- Compared to previous bikes I have ridden, such as the Intense Socom, the 951
is much more stable and versatile to different race courses. The bike is
much lower to the ground making riding at high speeds much more stable.

AP- I think I’ve loved all my bikes because bikes are fun, but the 951 is the best because it looks super cool, and with the Fox RC4 it rides the smoothest of any I’ve had.  As soon as I got it, I felt like I was able to be more poppy and ride corners better.  It was very smile – inducing!  Also, I can stand over this bike and touch the ground better and put a foot down better than on any of my other bikes, which is nice someone my height.

Any complaints, problems, things you would change?

ZJ- The bottom bracket on the 951’s is extremely low and makes pedal strikes and
hitting the bottom bracket much easier. The higher position does provide a
little more clearance but in general it is very low.

AP- My only complaint is that they’re getting more popular, so I don’t feel that original riding it, but people still compliment me on how awesome it looks all the time, so that’s cool. I had to get a flat Boxxer crown, FSA flush headset and lower bar in order to get the front end low enough for me, with the bottom bracket so low it made my old front end setup way too high. After dropping the handlebar a little over an inch, it was just right.


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