All new 2014 Smartphone Maps

Click here for's all new 2014 Smartphone Trail Maps...'s Ultimate Galbraith Mt. Guide
Click for Galbraith weather & webcams. You must be connected to the Internet...

The Ideal Galbraith Mt. Bike?
Intense Tracer

Intense TracerMark Belles on Galbraith Mt.'s Cedar Dust on the Intense Tracer

This is the Mystery Rider's personal Intense Tracer, which he has tricked out with a Rockshox Psylo SL fork, Fox Float RL shock, Chris King No-thread head set, Hayes Hydraulic disc brakes, Easton CT2 carbon fiber handlebar and seat post, Shimano XTR drivetrain, Mavic Crossmax Disc wheels, Profile Design bar ends, WTB Velociraptor tires and Titanium Frog pedals.

Model: Intense Tracer
Category: Light Weight Trail
Suspension: 3 to 5 inches front; 4 inches rear
Ideal for: Everything. "Ain't no mountain high enough..." 
Over all performance: This isn't just a very good bike, it's an important one. The full suspension revolution in mountain biking was "put over" by a handful of bikes, the Santa Cruz Heckler, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR XC, Gary Fisher Sugar and the Intense Tracer, which was essentially the first successful light weight trail bike. The Tracer's big contribution was what used to be called the "Intense link," the rocker that connects the rear shock to the four-bar rear end. All Horst-link four-bars use this design now, including Specialized's.

Intense has since moved on to The Next Big Thing (the VPP Spyder has replaced the four-bar Tracer as Intense's top-of-the-line trail bike), but the Tracer is still a superb technical trail riding weapon. By today's standards, the Tracer runs to the XC Flier end of the spectrum, with "only" four inches travel in the rear and a 70.5 degree headtube angle. The Tracer has one very big advantage over just about every other Light Weight Trail Bike on Galbraith, though. It has a very high, 13.5 inch bottom bracket, which means you don't need a rock ring. You can run a big ring on the Tracer and still not worry about digging the teeth into some cedar log drop at the totally wrong moment. Cool!

On Galbraith, the Tracer is unbeatable where the riding turns technical and tight, especially climbing -- the eroded chute near the top of Darrell's Death Climb, the Big Drop on Evil Twin, the switchbacks on the Intestine. This is a bike that absolutely shines whenever you have to put the power down in technical trail situations.

Front end: The Rockshox Psylo SL is a servicable fork that gets the job done, but it doesn't match up as well with the Fox Float shock on the back as the Fox Forxs do.
Rear end: Like the Specialized FSR XC, Specialized FSR Enduro and Titus Switchblade (among others), the Intense Tracer boasts the patented Horst-link four-bar rear end. Since the late '90s, the four-bar FSR design has been the reigning champion among rear suspensions. Efficient, comfortable, and utterly free of brake jack, it puts the power down -- whether you're seated or hammering out of the saddle -- better than any other design.
Brakes:  The Shimano 525s are excellent self-adjusting dual piston discs.
(The devil is in the) Details: You need a deep 10mm socket to tighten the valve on the rear shock (unless you want to take the shock off).
Durability: This is a proven, sturdy design that should be able to take all the technical trail abuse Galbraith can dish out. Remember, though, this is a light weight trail bike, NOT a Freeride bike. 
Geometry and sizing: Although it started out defining the Light Weight Trail bike, the Tracer's geometry runs to the tight end of the scale by today's standards. It has less travel and a steeper headtube than either the Specialized FSR Enduro or the Titus Switchblade, which are very similar bikes from the standpoint of both their FSR design and intended purpose.
Weight: 27 pounds as pictured.
Video: Check out this video of the Tracer in action on the Big Rock on Cedar Dust.
Reviewed: May 2002; updated September 2004

Mark Belles on Galbraith Mt.'s Cedar Dust on the Intense Tracer

Mark Belles finishes off the Big Rock on Cedar Dust on his personal primer gray Intense Tracer.

Maps    Trails    Technical    Gear   Gallery   Bikes    Video 

Please read's Terms of Use.

© Copyright 2000-2011 by All rights reserved. is a trademark of BF Communications Inc.

BF Communications Inc.
P.O. Box 393
Sumas, WA 98295 USA
(360) 927-3234

Website by Running Dog

Vert Quest, excerpts from Mongo's World Record Journal by Bruce Brown "Mountain In The Clouds" by Bruce Brown