Evolution of Excellence

From Racing Prototype to Production - The rebirth of the M1 Downhill Bike

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The 6-Link suspension platform is the key element to the overall performance of the M1, but of course it is the geometry that is equally important. You can’t have one without the other. We worked with our team riders, testers, designers and engineers on the M1’s geometry. Partly based on hard facts, but also very much on feel and a knowledge that has been built up over many years of riding and racing bikes. We sought a middle ground, a universal opinion that would please the team. We’ve honed the M1’s geometry to what we believe to be the correct set of ‘magic numbers’ to work perfectly with the suspension platform and downhill use.

The INTENSE Factory Racing Team had a good season aboard the original M279 (4-bar design) in 2022. The year culminated with a third place for Dakotah Norton and a fourth for Aaron Gwin at the treacherous Val di Sole World Cup. Following the team's best result, they scraped the bike and moved forward to the final testing product, the 6-bar design which would become our future M1.


A Vision Takes Form

The M1 has been a step forward for INTENSE. This project is our first departure from dual counter rotational URT bikes (JS Tuned/VPP). Founder, Jeff Steber and Factory racer Aaron Gwin, were critical to expanding our opportunities into evaluating various suspension concepts and frame platforms. We agreed early on to use racing as our means of developing the new downhill bike and it has been an exciting learning experience.

Searching for speed

There was a buzz around INTENSE when the news broke out that industry veteran Jason Chamberlain and Ride Dynamics expert, Devon Sullivan, helped INTENSE design and engineer the new bike. Think of pretty much any of the top MTB suspension brands in the world and Devon and Jason (at some point) has probably worked for them.




The 6-Bar adds an obvious degree of freedom to the suspension design. We discussed axle trajectory as opposed to idler and pivot locations. The execution and placement of pivots is a by-product of how we needed the bike to react. These performance metrics existed before the bike began development. Stability and energy management were also highly prioritized in choosing this layout.

With the UCI races approaching, Dak, Aaron and the engineering team tweak and refine the bike TO OPTIMIZE RACING PERFORMANCE.


Starting the UCI Season with a tough break, the INTENSE team faced setbacks due to injuries to both Aaron and Seth. Stepping up to the challenge, Dak and Joe proudly took the reins. Amidst immense pressure and unwavering dedication, Dak Norton defied all odds, clinching a remarkable second-place victory at the Loudenvielle World Cup #5.

The Final product

Join us as we step into the future of downhill mountain biking, where the M1 stands as a testament to the relentless pursuit of excellence and a promise of even greater adventures on two wheels. This is more than a bike: it's a legacy, an embodiment of INTENSE's unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of what's possible.

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