2015 Intense Hard Eddie Carbon 29″ Mountain Bike Review

2015-intense-hard-eddie-mountain-bike
 2015-intense-hard-eddie-mountain-bike

Press Release (Shortened)

The Intense Hard Eddie is built for pure speed and light weight. Cross-country racers won’t be disappointed by the Hard Eddie’s snappy feel and responsive handling.

The Intense Hard Eddie frame is built using the same carbon fiber technology as the Carbine and Intense’s other carbon fiber offerings. Designed by Jeff Steber and engineered by SEED Engineering.

Together Jeff and SEED worked to create a lightweight 2lb 7oz frame that is true performer on the trails. This cross country racing machine was designed for those that love the speed benefits and the stable feeling a 29er provides. Intense has outfitted the Hard Eddie with replaceable G1 dropouts and internal cable routing. The tapered headtube keeps the front end stiff as you are powering up the hills.

For a bike as capable as the Hard Eddie, Intense chose a no-holds-barred approach toward the build kit – making this XC rookie ready for the big leagues.

The Intense Hard Eddie Pro build comes with RockShox’s impressive SID RCT3, offering 100mm of buttery smooth suspension travel for eating up the trail. The SRAM X1 30t crankset is paired with a SRAM X01 rear derailleur and XG-1180 10-42T cassette to deliver top notch, reliable pedaling performance with a gear-range that’s well suited for any terrain. Powerful Shimano XT hydraulic disc brakes offer industry leading braking performance and modulated control for descents.

The Hard Eddie rolls on a bomb-proof set of Stan’s NoTubes Crest Comp 29 wheels, offering tubeless compatibility right out of the box. The Thomson Trail Carbon handlebar provides a nice and wide grip to guide you through rough and technical single-track and dampens trail vibration, reducing fatigue and wrist strain. Intense chose to outfit the cockpit with a WTB Silverado saddle, and a Thomson stem and seatpost for a lightweight package centered on leverage and excellent control.


First Impressions

A good looking carbon hard tail bike. Intense is not offering a team build, not sure why? I assume they have a team in UCI World XCO?

Here is what the factory IntenseCycles.com website description says about the XC racer, the Hard Eddie:

“The Hard Eddie is our 29 inch hardtail built for pure speed and light weight for cross country trails, flowy single-track and weekend racing.”

Sounds like fun…


Paint & Colors

Very classy. It is offered in one color naked blue which is mostly black with lighter blue accents.


Frame Design

The frame is a 29” Hard Eddie Hardtail Frameset, Internal Derailleur Routing, Downtube Flak Guard Armor, G1 Replaceable Dropouts w/ 142 x12 mm spacing. You know your standard high quality 29” carbon hard tail racing frame for 2015.

Smart cable routing is another plus.


Frame Sizes

Intense offers the minimum acceptable sizing S,M & L. I wouldn’t mind seeing an XS and definitely an XL size in the future. Maybe even this model in a 27.5” wheelset as well, which might be better suited for smaller riders. Sorry tall racers about no XL, you are either breaking all their frames, or the design team forgot about people over 5’ 11”. Apparently they think you are rare like a big foot sighting?

The geometry is hard core XC and includes a 70.5 degree head tube, a 72 degree seatpost and a very stable wheelbase that increase with frame size. (Small: 1092 mm/ 43″, Medium: 1118 mm/ 44”, Large: 1143 mm/ 45”)


Bike Weight

Not listed for the complete bike builds. The claimed weight of the frame is 2 lbs. 7 oz. which very competitive in the realm of UCI XCO world cross country racing.


Carbon quality

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.


Parts grouping

The Hard Eddie is offered in 3 different packages, Pro, Expert and Foundation builds all in the same Naked Blue color.


Pro Build

  • Frame: 29” Hard Eddie Hardtail Frameset, Internal Derailleur Routing, Downtube Flak Guard Armor, G1 Replaceable Dropouts w/ 142 x12 mm spacing 29” Hard Eddie Hardtail Frameset, Internal Derailleur Routing, Downtube Flak Guard Armor, G1 Replaceable Dropouts w/ 142 x12 mm spacing
  • Front Suspension: RockShox SID RCT3 29″, 15mm thru axle front, 100mm travel, Solo Air
  • Hubs: 32 Hole NO TUBES 3.30 HUB 142x 12 mm rear w/XD Driver, 15 mm front, 6 Bolt
  • Rims: NO TUBES Crest Comp 29
  • Spokes: DT Competition 2.0/1.8/2.0
  • Maxxis Ikon 29 x 2.2″ 3C EXO TR
  • Shifters: SRAM X1, 11 speed
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM XO1, 11 speed
  • Cranks: SRAM X1, 30T
  • Cassette: SRAM XG-1180 10-42, 11 speed
  • Saddle: WTB Silverado Race
  • Seatpost: Thomson Elite 31.6mm x 410 mm, zero offset
  • Handlebar: Thomson Trail Carbon 750mm x 12mm Rise x 6°
    backsweep/4° upsweep
  • Headset: Cane Creek, 40, alloy cartridge
  • Brakeset: Shimano XT Hydraulic Disc
  • Grips: Intense Dual Density Lock-On

My Two Cents

While this model is labeled Pro, it appears to be comparable to what most bicycle companies would label their Team model, I only see the highest level of components available used here, so go Pro, and go for the big wins.


Expert Build

  • Frame: 29” Hard Eddie Hardtail Frameset, Internal Derailleur Routing, Downtube Flak Guard Armor, G1 Replaceable Dropouts w/ 142 x12 mm spacing 29” Hard Eddie Hardtail Frameset, Internal Derailleur Routing, Downtube Flak Guard Armor, G1 Replaceable Dropouts w/ 142 x12 mm spacing
  • Front Suspension: RockShox SID RLT, 29” 15QR Thru Axle, 100mm Travel
  • Hubs: 32 Hole NO TUBES 3.30 HUB 142x 12 mm rear, 15 mm front, 6 Bolt
  • Rims: NO TUBES Rapid 28 Team 29
  • Spokes: DT Competition 2.0/1.8/2.0
  • Tires: Maxxis Ikon, 29×2.2 “, EXO TR
  • Shifters: Shimano XT, 10 speed
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano XT, 10 speed
  • Cranks: Shimano XT, 38/26T, 10 speed
  • Cassette: Shimano XT CS-HG81-1, 11-36T, 10 speed
  • Saddle: WTB Silverado Race
  • Seatpost: Thomson Elite 31.6mm x 410 mm
  • Handlebar: Renthal Fatbar Lite 20mm x 740 mm
  • Headset: Cane Creek, 40, alloy cartridge
  • Brakeset: Shimano XT Hydraulic Disc
  • Grips: Intense Dual Density Lock-On

My Two Cents

Great package, largely Shimano XT with a 10 speed rear derailleur and 2 rings in the front. If this is your price range, don’t hesitate, this is truly a solid build that should offer excellent performance on the trails and at the races. Consider the extra weight of a lightweight chain guide upfront for the 2 rings.


Foundation Build

  • Frame: 29” Hard Eddie Hardtail Frameset, Internal Derailleur Routing, Downtube Flak Guard Armor, G1 Replaceable Dropouts w/ 142 x12 mm spacing 29” Hard Eddie Hardtail Frameset, Internal Derailleur Routing, Downtube Flak Guard Armor, G1 Replaceable Dropouts w/ 142 x12 mm spacing
  • Front Suspension: X-Fusion Trace RL, 29” 15QR Thru Axle, 100mm Travel
  • Hubs: 32 Hole Intense Tuned, 142x 12 mm rear, 15 mm front, 6 Bolt Wheel Set
  • Rims: Sun Inferno 25 Rims, 29
  • Spokes: DT Swiss Champion
  • Tires: Maxxis Ardent 29×2.25″, EXO TR
  • Shifters: SRAM X7, 10 speed
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM X7, 10 speed
  • Cranks: SRAM S1000, 38/24 T, 10 speed
  • Cassette: Shimano CS-HG50-10, 11-36T, 10 speed
  • Saddle: WTB Silverado Sport
  • Seatpost: Intense, 350 x 31.6mm
  • Handlebar: Intense Recon 31.8 x 18 x 740 mm
  • Headset: TS Intense Headset
  • Brakeset: AVID Elixir DB3
  • Grips: Intense Dual Density Lock-On

My Two Cents

A very capable parts grouping. Apparently Intense has no qualms about switching or intermixing their SRAM and Shimano components, and neither should you. The foundation package offers more than most other manufactures at this model level, but bear in mind it should, it costs more as well.


Final thoughts

The Intense Hard Eddie is clearly a well built lightening fast and light weight competitive XC racer. If you an Intense Cycles fan, as I know I am step up to the plate and buy a 2015 Intense Hard Eddie carbon hard tail mountain bicycle.


Pros

The Intense frame a very slightly longer wheel base as compared to some of it other competitors which will translate into more control on really fast rough straights, and its climbing ability should be enhanced. Tight turn, slow speed maneuvering will suffer slightly but there is always a tradeoff in life, and I think this is the right direction for an XC racer.

The full length, straight, non-interrupted seatpost is a huge plus in my opinion. Also this model should offer superior vibration dampening due to both the carbon, and the curved chain stay and top tube engineering.

Finally, if you don’t win any races on the an 2015 Intense Hard Eddie Carbon MTB hardtail racing bike, might I suggest hiring XC-MountainBike.com as your riding coach. Maybe we can help. Check out our articles on Strength, Endurance and Nutrition at XC-MountainBike.com


Cons

The claimed weight of the complete bike is not provided but it should be very competitive when compare to other 20 lb offerings in its class. Not 100% sure without the weight? There could be a small amount of frame rigidity loss with curved chain stays and a curved top tube. On the flipside this will improve vibration dampening.

With no XS or XL your bummed if you can’t fit into the S, M or L that is offered. This is not a problem for my frame, but for many others it could be, so hopefully Intense will remember you guys / gals ride in the future.

Hint: Intense is still more of a boutique brand and supplies are usually more limited so, buy a 2015 Intense Hard Eddie Carbon XC bicycle while their available.


Rating: 2015 Intense Hard Eddie MTB Pro Build Bike Review for XC Racing:

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


Rating: 2015 Intense Hard Eddie MTB Expert Build Bike Review for XC Racing:

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


Rating: 2015 Intense Hard Eddie MTB Foundation Build Bike Review for XC Racing:

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


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