Intense M16 Downhill Mountain Bike Review for 2017

Intense M16c Downhill Mountain Bike Review

intense M16 downhill mountain bike carbon black

intense M16 downhill mountain bike carbon red



First Impressions- Intense Cycles M16c Downhill Bike

Stunning.  The Intense Cycles M16c should be in the dictionary under the picture for Downhill Mountain Bike Racing.  The constant refinements to the frame design are evident, with minor refinements to the VPP suspension system design every year their downhill bike just a little more edge in the heat of a World Cup. UCI DH race.


Paint & Colors – Intense Cycles M16 Downhill Bike

Race worthy.  Intense has always had a downhill bike design team that understands simplicity, yet race worthy paint and graphic schemes.  Both the red and black paint schemes for 2017 are so nice, for me it is hard to pick a winner, and will take either color happily.


Frame Design – Intense Cycles M16 Downhill Bike

The Intense Cycles, M16c is named so “c” because the of the carbon downhill mountain bike frame it taunts.  It boasts a M16 SL 275 Monocoque UD Carbon Front & Rear Triangle 275” Dowhnill Bike Frameset, ISCG 05 Mount, 157×12 mm spacing, 215 -240 mm travel.

Intense is serious about easing the burden of regular maintenance and addresses repairs as well by including:

  • Full internal cable routing for brake and shifting cables
  • Forged lower link
  • Double sealed pivots for long bearing life
  • Dual grease ports on lower link for easy maintenance
  • Full carbon dropouts and disk mounts
  • Angular contact bearings maximize stiffness
  • Collet axle pivots lock in place without pinch bolts
  • 3 year limited warranty

Frame Sizes – Intense Cycles M16 Downhill Bike

Intense offers a nice range of sizing S,M,L & XL.  According to the Intense Cycles M16 downhill mountain bike  sizing chart riders from 5’0 -6’6″ can find a frame size that fits them.  You can’t ask for more on this front.


Bike Weight- Intense Cycles M16 Downhill Bike

Not listed as a complete bike on Intense Cycles site, but based on last years models and weight data estimated 37lbs – 41lbs depending on both the downhill bike frame (carbon or aluminum) and the build packages selected (Expert, Pro or Factory).

No doubt these weights are based on heavy tire rubber, and if you want to run a tough enduro tire their is surely some big weight savings to be had if that is your thing.


Carbon  quality – Intense Cycles M16 Downhill Bike

Intense has an excellent reputation with it Carbon MTB frames and they seem to be fairly indestructible aside from the inherent limitations of carbon over aluminum in crashes and hard impacts.  The frame includes a healthy 3 yea limited warranty that is fair for such “Intense” usage.

At least during the actual race, I don’t see too many carbon frames being broken at the UCI DH World Cup level in crashes, so that is a positive sign of the strength of carbon for extreme downhill mountain bike use.


Parts grouping – Intense Cycles M16 Downhill Bike

Intense offers 3 build  packages for all budgets.  They are the Factory, Pro & Expert build.  Each frame is offered in two colors, a red and black scheme.

I like the mix and match build thing, and believe it gives extra value to your bike, as opposed to downhill bike companies that attach a frame color to a specif  build.

When I get the same color as the best model with a lower quality parts build, it just feels better. Also if you upgrade and match all the parts to the spec of the top of the line model then it is the same top of the line bike Intense sold for all practical purposes and resale.

If you do that to another companies model that was a lower end model, it simply will always be that lower end model with some better parts on it. Isn’t that crazy, its just a paint color, but do you agree?


Factory Build – Intense Cycles M16 Downhill Bike

  • Frame: M16 SL 275 Monocoque UD Carbon Front and Rear Triangle 275” DH Frameset, ISCG 05 Mount, w/ 157 x12 mm spacing, 215 -240 mm travel
  • Fork: RockShox Boxxer World Cup, 200 mm
  • Rear Shock: RockShox Vivid Coil
  • Wheels: ENVE M90 27.5 Full Carbon
  • Hubs: DT Swiss 350; 110×20 mm front HUB; 157 x 12 mm rear w/XD Driver, 20 mm front, centerlock
  • Spokes: DT Swiss
  • Rims: ENVE M90 27.5″ Full Carbon, Tubeless Ready
  • Tires: Maxxis Minion, 27.5 X 2.5
  • Shifters: SRAM X01 DH, 7 speed
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM X01 DH, 7 speed
  • Cranks: SRAM X01, 36T
  • Cassette: SRAM XG-795 10-24, 7 speed
  • Chian: SRAM X1, 11 speed
  • Chain Guide: E13 LG1
  • Bottom Bracket: BSA (threaded), 83 mm
  • Saddle: Fabric Scoop Radius Pro
  • Seatpost: ENVE, 31.6 mm, zero offset
  • Handlebar: ENVE, Bar MTB DH 800 mm
  • Stem: ENVE Carbon
  • Headset: Cane Creek, 40, alloy cartridge, 25 mm of spacers
  • Brakes: Shimano Saint, 203 mm front and rear
  • Grips: Intense Dual Density Lock-On

My Two Cents – Intense Cycles M16 Downhill Bike

As expected the Factory model has all the bells and whistles, and represents the pinnacle of parts and technology.

I prefer the Rockshox suspension, and the ENVE wheelset with DT Swiss is the bomb.

I can go either way on the drivetrain, Shimano or SRAM and the SRAM setup they selected is top notch.

I prefer the Shimano Saint brakes the bike includes.

Overall this is a sick setup, and with the exception of custom tuning, delivers the identical package the factory level UCI World Cup DH racers are on.

So that being said, this is as good as it gets.  If you don’t get on the Podium on this thing, it isn’t the bikes fault.


Pro Build – Intense Cycles M16 Downhill Bike

  • M16 SL 275 Monocoque UD Carbon Front and Rear Triangle 275” DH Frameset, ISCG 05 Mount, w/ 157 x12 mm spacing, 215 -240 mm travel
  • Fork: RockShox Boxxer World Cup, 200 mm
  • Rear Shock: RockShox Vivid Coil
  • Wheels: Stan’s No Tubes Rapid 30
  • Hubs: DT Swiss FR 1950 CLASSIC 27.5, 110×20 mm front HUB; 157 x 12 mm rear w/XD Driver, 20 mm front, centerlock
  • Spokes: DT Swiss
  • Rims: Stan’s No Tubes
  • Tires: Maxxis Minion, 27.5 X 2.5″
  • Shifters: SRAM X01 DH, 7 speed
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM X01 DH, 7 speed
  • Cranks: SRAM X01, 36T
  • Cassette: SRAM XG-795 10-24, 7 speed
  • Chian: SRAM X1, 11 speed
  • Chain Guide: E13 LG1
  • Bottom Bracket: BSA (threaded), 83 mm
  • Saddle: WTB Volt Team
  • Seatpost: Thomson Elite, 31.6 mm, zero offset
  • Handlebar: Renthal Fatbar Lite DH 20 mm x 780 mm
  • Stem: RENTHAL INTEGRA II Direct Mount 45 mm
  • Headset: Cane Creek, 40, alloy cartridge, 25 mm of spacers
  • Brakes: Shimano Saint, 203 mm front and rear
  • Grips: Intense Dual Density Lock-On

My Two Cents – Intense Cycles M16 Downhill Bike

If you can get a good deal on the Pro, there is very little difference between the M16c Pro build and the Factory build.  In fact some of the factory build is obviously just a rider specific choice, and / or based on sponsorship.

For example, the Pro build uses a Thomson seatpost and Renthal stem and bars.  The factory build has an ENVE seatpost and handlebars.  This isn’t going to be a big life changer.

The biggest change is really just the wheelset to the Stan’s No Tubes Rapid 30 over the ENVE carbon wheelset.  There is nothing wrong with the Stans.  The are great wheels.

Go for the Pro in my opinion and save some cash for gear and tires.


Expert Build – Intense Cycles M16 Downhill Bike

  • M16 SL 275 Monocoque UD Carbon Front and Rear Triangle 275” DH Frameset, ISCG 05 Mount, w/ 157 x12 mm spacing, 215 -240 mm travel
  • Fork: FOX Performance Elite 40, 27.5″ x 200 MM
  • Rear Shock: FOX Performance Elite COIL DHX2 (450# size small, 550# size medium, 650# size large)
  • Wheels: Custom Build
  • Hubs: 32 Hole Intense Tuned, 110 x 20mm Front Hub; 157 x 12mm Rear Hub Shimano Driver, 6-Bolt
  • Spokes: DT Swiss Champion
  • Rims: Sun Helix TR29, 27.5″(650b) Disc Rim, Tubeless Ready
  • Tires: Maxxis Minion, 27.5 X 2.5″
  • Shifters: Shimano Zee, 10 speed
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Zee, 10 speed
  • Cranks: Shimano Zee
  • Cassette: Shimano CS-HG50-10, 11-36T, 10 speed
  • Chian: KMC 10 speed
  • Chain Guide: E13 LG1
  • Bottom Bracket: BSA (threaded), 83 mm
  • Saddle: WTB Volt Sport
  • Seatpost: Intense Recon, 300 x 31.6mm
  • Handlebar: Renthal Fatbar DH 20 mm x 780 mm
  • Stem: Renthal Direct Mount 50mm
  • Headset: Cane Creek, 40, alloy cartridge, 25 mm of spacers
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide R, 203 mm front and rear
  • Grips: Intense Dual Density Lock-On

My Two Cents – Intense Cycles M16 Downhill Bike

The good news is you save a bundle running the M16c Expert model over the more expensive Pro and Factory build.  The bad news is, not really that much.

Your suspension switches out to a Fox 40 package, mostly Shimano Zee 10 speed, SRAM Guide R brakes, intense branded products and mostly a Renthal cockpit.  It is still a very race worthy and competitive package, just add 3-4 pounds on gut of the bike, but again, not a deal killer.

This is a serious racing machine, and you can always upgrade a couple parts here and there as they break, or you simply want to upgrade for performance.


Final thoughts – Intense Cycles M16c Downhill Bike

The Intense M16c remains a fierce competitor on and off the race track.  Intense Cycles didn’t hold back either one drop on delivering you a full factory racing package, if you have the budget and cajones to push it to its limit.  Go big and win, buy an M16c.


Pros – Intense Cycles M16c Downhill Bike

Intense has remained true to the VPP suspension system and slowly tweaked it to maximum perfection.  The Carbon frames now offered with a 3 year warranty is huge.  Each bike offers stylish color, with race proven geometry, and awesome parts packages for all budgets.  You simply can’t go wrong with any of the M16c builds.

Also the 157mm rear axle is bomber and the rear suspension adjustable range from 215-240mm is very nice to have.


Cons – Intense Cycles M16c Downhill Bike

The weight is a bit of a mystery on Intense Cycles website.  That’s it, really there are no Cons here except maybe an extra small frame size and not having enough money to buy one.


Rating: 2017 – Intense Cycles M16c Downhill Bike (Factory Build) Bike Review for DH MTB Racing:

Sizing: (4 1/2 stars)
Componentry: (5 stars)
Design: (4 1/2 stars)
Performance: (5 stars)
Price Point: (4 stars)
Overall Rating: (5 stars)

Rating: 2017 – Intense Cycles M16c Downhill Bike (Pro Build) Bike Review for DH MTB Racing:

Sizing: (4 1/2 stars)
Componentry: (5 stars)
Design: (4 1/2 stars)
Performance: (5 stars)
Price Point: (4 1/2 stars)
Overall Rating: (5 stars)

Rating: 2017 – Intense Cycles M16c Downhill Bike (Expert Build) Bike Review for DH MTB Racing:

Sizing: (4 1/2 stars)
Componentry: (4 stars)
Design: (4 1/2 stars)
Performance: (4 1/2 stars)
Price Point: (4 1/2 stars)
Overall Rating: (4 1/2 stars)

Intense M16c Downhill Mountain Bike Review

intense M16 downhill mountain bike alloy black

intense M16 downhill mountain bike alloy red

Pro Build – Intense Cycles M16a Downhill Bike

  • Frame: M16 275 Hydroformed Alloy Front and Rear Triangle 275” DH Frameset, ISCG 05 Mount, w/ 157 x 12 mm spacing, 215 -240 mm travel
  • Fork: RockShox Boxxer World Cup, 200 mm
  • Rear Shock: Cane Creek Double Barrel Coil
  • Wheels: NO TUBES Rapid 30 Team 27.5″
  • Hubs: 32 Hole NO TUBES 3.30, 110 x 20 mm front HUB; 157 x 12 mm rear w/XD Driver, 20 mm front, 6 Bolt
  • Spokes: Sapim
  • Rims: NO TUBES Rapid 30 Team 27.5″, Tubeless Ready
  • Tires: Maxxis Minion, 27.5 X 2.5
  • Shifters: SRAM X01 DH, 7 speed
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM X01 DH, 7 speed
  • Cranks: SRAM X01, 36T
  • Cassette: SRAM XG-795 10-24, 7 speed
  • Chian: SRAM X1, 11 speed
  • Chain Guide: E13 LG1
  • Bottom Bracket: BSA (threaded), 83 mm
  • Saddle: WTB Volt Race
  • Seatpost: Thomson Elite, 31.6 mm, zero offset
  • Handlebar: Renthal Fatbar Lite DH 20 mm x 780 mm
  • Stem: Renthal INTEGRA II Direct Mount 45 mm
  • Headset: Cane Creek, 40, alloy cartridge, 25 mm of spacers
  • Brakes: Shimano Saint, 203 mm front and rear
  • Grips: Intense Dual Density Lock-On
  • Two Year Limited Warranty

Final thoughts – Intense Cycles M16c Downhill Bike

The Intense M16a is only offered in a Pro build which is almost identical to the M16c, with the exception of the rear shock which is a Cane Creek Double Barrel.  Also it is unknown why the alloy model only has a tow year warranty, while the carbon model has a three year warranty.

Overall the alloy model adds a little weight but provides all the same race winning performance, great build package, and little more confidence for smacking rocks and trees on the frame.

Go alloy, save some cash and still land the podium.  Buy an M16a.

Rating: 2017 – Intense Cycles M16  Downhill Bike Alloy (Pro Build) Bike Review for DH MTB Racing:

Sizing: (4 1/2 stars)
Componentry: (4 stars)
Design: (4 1/2 stars)
Performance: (4 1/2 stars)
Price Point: (4 1/2 stars)
Overall Rating: (4 1/2 stars)

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