15 Jun 2018

The new school of cross country race bikes are bringing a level of versatility and fun that we're really enjoying. Intense joined the party with the Sniper XC recently. After racing this bike at the Port to Port MTB stage race, here are our thoughts.

The not-so-minor details


Intense Sniper XC


Intense Cycles Australia







XC low weight and pedal efficiency with geometry that shreds.
Comfortable for four days of racing.
Our type of XC race bike.


Rear end lacks stiffness.
No cable routing provisions for left/rear brake.
Dropper became sticky and slow after three days.

Intense Cycles aren’t exactly synonymous with cross country racing; these disruptive Californians have traditionally dwelled in the world of downhill and long-travel shredding. But here we are, looking at a full-blown XC race weapon, the Intense Sniper XC Elite.

The name might say XC,  but you don’t have to dig deep to find the Intense downhill DNA. We first clapped eyes on this bike a few months ago (read our first impressions piece here) and right away we knew we wanted to spend more time on it. Its mix of geometry, efficiency and low weight promised to bring more grins and fewer grimaces to XC racing, and that’s why we picked it as our bike of choice for the Port to Port MTB race.

Watch our full video review below to learn if it lived up to our expectations.

For a stage race environment, where you rarely know what’s coming up, the Intense’s stable geometry was a big confidence booster – let it rip!

Stage 2 of Port to Port MTB was a favourite, with loads of singletrack really playing to this bike’s strengths.