Intense Tazer FS rebuild | MTB Flashbacks

December 9th, 2015

By Andrew Dodd in Bikes,Features

Darren Tapp’s retro Intense Tazer FS rebuild

Back in the late 90’s when slalom racing had gone up a few notches and morphed in to Dual, there was an influx in short travel bikes geared for railing berms flat out and hitting big doubles.

The racing was fast and furious, involving plenty of crashes. Most of the bikes that were designed for team riders were modified XC bikes, but a few brands made dedicated bikes for the purpose – and arguably the best of the lot was the Intense Tazer FS.

Intense Tazer FS

Just look at the wild seat angle! The Tazer looks so alien by todays standards, but was a bike designed to shred slalom and dual courses – or equally smash a few runs in the local woods

Using a tried and tested Horst Link for a fully active rear end, even under braking, the Intense packed between 3.5 and 4.5inches of rear wheel travel and had adjustable angles and ride height to suit different courses.

This particular Intense Tazer FS belongs to old school racer Darren Tapp, who spent 12 months of hunting on eBay to source. He’s built the bike with a few new bits to get it going, but is on the look out for a few more original parts, like the classic MRP Slalom guide with the little orange rollers. The Manitou Black forks took a bit of finding but are about right with the period of this particular frame. He also sourced some Intense original tyres – which are deteriorating but do add to the look.

Intense Tazer FS

Intense Cycles are lovingly hand crafted by Jeff Steber and his team in Temecula, California. This Intense Tazer FS is classic racing red, and bears the hand crafted head tube badge. Cool eh?

Intense Tazer FS

When others were wondering what font to use, Intense had huge, brash graphics inspired by motocross bikes. And it was this look that won them a huge fan base – look how cool the graphics are!

Intense Tazer FS

Sealed Enduro cartridge bearings and a simple, wide pivot gave the Intense Tazer FS a sturdy base for hard riding. And the huge USA lets you know where this hunk of kick-ass hails from.

Intense Tazer FS

The Classic Horst Link, with Enduro bearings kept the Intense Tazer FS fully active under braking and accelerating – it had a forgiving ride with loads of traction.

Intense Tazer FS

The different shock mounting options affected wheel travel from 3.5in – 4.5in, and adjusted the bottom bracket height and head angle for performance fine-tuning. Many original bikes used the Romic rear shock, but this particular build has an old Fox Prototype shock that was originally on one of Will Longden’s Slalom bikes, before it made it’s way to Darren’s Intense Tazer FS via our good selves!

Intense Tazer FS

Azonic World Force ‘Shorty’ stem. In 75mm! It’s pretty crazy to see how bikes have come along, with most trail bikes settling on 40-50mm stems these days. But still, the CNC machined Azonic stem was the one we all wanted back in the day, and was the model that inspired a whole generation of cheap knock-offs by brands like Amoeba, Trans X and Planet X.

Intense Tazer FS

Azonic World Force Shorty stem, and original Azonic World Force rider bars.

Intense Tazer FS

The Azonic World Force bars on Darren’s Intense Tazer FS measure a whopping 650mm, and would have been red anodised at some point, as opposed to pink!

Intense Tazer FS

Intense had a whole range of great stuff out, including the sticker rubber shoes which later became Five Ten Impact shoes, and the sticky rubber tyres which came in differing sidewall thicknesses (remember the four plys?) and compounds.

Intense Tazer FS

That Fox Prototype shock from one of Will Longden’s Four Cross race bikes fitted the Intense Tazer FS perfectly.

Intense Tazer FS

Completing the retro look, although from a few years prior to the Intense Tazer FS, Darren Tapp was wearing some old JT pads. Those things were super comfortable – they made elbow pads too. Remember them?

We’re huge fans of classic and retro mountain bikes here at Factory Jackson. Have you got anything worth shouting about?

If so let us know in the comments below, or drop us a line via our Facebook page.

We’d love to hear about cool project bikes you have on the go…




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