Intense Sniper 29er Full Suspension

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  • Slack headtube angle coupled with the offset fork
  • Carbon frame with carbon/magnesium links


  Available Models:

  • Sniper XC Factory
  • Sniper XC Elite
  • Sniper XC Expert
  • Sniper XC Pro
  • Sniper Trail Expert
  • Sniper Trail Pro


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[Jul 16, 2020]


I've had my Intense Sniper T expert for 4 months now. In that time I've done roughly 1600 km, enough to sort out the suspension, get the seating position where I want it, and get some idea of the bike's quirks. For reference, I'm 190 cm and weigh 80 kg, and am riding an XL. My previous bike was a 2013 Canyon Nerve AL (what they used to call the Neuron); that bike has what was "trail" geometry for the time (69.5 degree HA, 435mm reach on size L, 90mm stem, etc), but which today would be pretty standard XC geometry. In retrospect that frame was always slightly small on me, one of the reasons I decided to buy a new bike... In summary: Believe the hype. The Sniper's geometry oozes confidence on the descents, which I somewhat expected from the reviews. What I didn't anticipate is how eager the bike is to be leaned hard into corners; the difference here with respect to my old bike is as big as it is surprising. This makes even XC-type riding exhilarating and immensely fun. I had never ridden a "longer / lower / slacker" bike and the benefits with respect to more traditional geometry are noticeable from the moment you get on the bike. It makes you want to get up and sprint out of every turn or over every hill, giving back everything you put in (and more), while treating every trail like a pump-track. Despite the difference in look and feel, the bike handled intuitively from the moment I got on the saddle and started pedaling. I was worried I'd find the raked-out front wheel "weird" and perhaps not like it, especially on a bike I had never swung a leg over before buying, but this fear turned out to be misplaced. This combination of different, but intuitive, is IMO, the bike's secret sauce. One surprise is just how aggressive the seating position is. The short head angle and long reach mean you can get as low and stretched out as you want for racing. But this, combined with slightly longer travel and aggressive geometry is the core of what makes the bike special. It really is XC position and pedaling efficiency with trail geometry. For all that, you don't give up much, if anything, on steep climbs or hairpin turns; the bike never feels too big or too slow, and in any case you quickly adapt to the changes. In terms of suspension, the Sniper is in a different league compared to my old Horst-link setup. I believe part of this is the new generation of Fox rear shocks: the EVOL sleeve makes it super sensitive to small bumps in the first third of it's trave


-The fox 34 feels surprisingly harsh, especially when compared to the rear suspension. Removing the 2 stock air volume spacers helped, but honestly, I've been a little disappointed by this fork, especially given its stellar reviews. I would stay its not plusher than my old 2013 fox 32 CTD. It is, however, a lot stiffer. - If I can nitpick, having a steeper ST angle would have been nice, especially in this XL size. I have long legs so have to run my saddle quite high, which means unless I slam it forward on the seaport, it feels like I'm hanging over the rear wheel... not the best pedaling position, especially on climbs. -

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