2021 eMTB SHOOTOUT
INTENSE TAZER PRO REVIEW
Photos by Dusten Ryen
Video by Brian Niles/Treeline Cinematics
After giving the Intense Primer 275 a very positive review just a couple weeks before our eMTB Shootout, we were excited to see how the Intense Tazer Pro would perform. We knew it was going to be heading into a stacked field with some of the best eMTBs in the game. The bike provides some real fun on the trail and has some great characteristics but, despite having dialed geometry and giving our riders some of the best body position and fun in the corners, we could not get the suspension to perform how we’d hoped on rougher, square-edge terrain. Read on to see how this bike stacked up, where it performs best and how we tried to tune the suspension.
The 2021 Intense Tazer 275 PRO was slotted into our Enduro category sporting 160mm of travel up front with a buttery Fox Factory Float E-Mountain 38 fork with a 51mm offset and 155mm of rear travel managed by a Fox Factory Float DPX2 for our size large. Intense smartly spec’s XL bikes with a Fox X2 to better suit the higher weights of larger riders. The Pro model we had in our fleet comes in at $7,499 USD while the Expert model lands at $5,999 USD.
As soon as you swing a leg over the bike it generates a very confidence inspiring, comfortable feeling thanks to its 475mm reach. For a size large, we feel wonderfully blends the mix of long enough but not too cramped. On paper this bike seems quite big with its wheelbase of 1,260mm and 450mm chainstays, however it rode remarkably agile through the tight rocky switchbacks St. George had to offer. With its middle of the road 64.9-degree headtube angle, it was bound to navigate those tight sections of trail both climbing and descending with ease. We like seeing brands breaking the mold and not always feeling like they have to throw 63-degree head tube angles on a bike. Through faster sections of trail, you did have to really work to keep your line choice but, we don’t blame the geometry for that. We’ll touch on this more later.
Let us talk frame, this fully carbon monocoque chassis features a JS Tuned suspension platform, which is made up of two counter-rotating links that connect the front and rear triangles together. The frame also features internal cable routing for the dropper, brakes, and display unit. There is also a really cool integrated mud guard out back and is something Intense absolutely nailed on the Tazer. Our Pro build comes in at a respectable 51lbs, which is right up there with some of the lightest enduro ebikes in our test, and it rides light to boot.
Tucked inside the frame is a 504Wh battery powering a Shimano STEPS EP8 motor that puts out 85Nm of torque. The polarizing downtube looked like it was plenty big enough to fit a 630WH battery, and we think the shorter range of the 504Wh is a downside for riders wanting to ride farther or live in Boost mode like us. The Shimano Steps EP8 motor was always a pleasure to ride and provided plenty of power when cranking out of corners and a smooth delivery during technical climbs. The on/off switch for the battery was a little quirky, there is a rubberized button inlayed in the downtube with a “soft” press feel, it felt nice to the touch, but was difficult to tell if you pressed it enough to power on the system. To charge the battery there is a cover on the rider’s right side of the downtube that must be removed. While a few of the test riders were not big fans of this, some thought it was a cool feature, especially those that regularly ride in mucky conditions and need to wash their bike regularly.
The rest of our Intense Tazer’s Pro build was a mix of e*thirteen and Shimano components with DT Swiss H1900 wheels. Shimano covered both the shifting and braking duties featuring XT Four Piston brakes both front and rear with both rotors being the 203mm in diameter.The derailleur and shifter combo is the Shimano SLX 12sp version, while it’s not XT or XTR, we did not see this as a holdup in any of our riding. The 180mm e*thirteen Infinite dropper offered great height but was our least favorite dropper in the group. The lever requires more energy and force to actuate than others and it felt like the lever throw was also longer. The e*thirteen E*Spec cranks did well, and we like the 165mm length with a 34T chainring. While we did get some pedal strikes, this was not a consistent issue and the 165mm length is a happy medium for this size large bike. The cockpit is all e*thirteen except for the Intense brand grips.
The DT Swiss H1700 wheels come wrapped in Maxxis Minion tires however we changed them out to our test constant to help level the field and eliminate variances on our test bikes. The front wheel comes in at 30mm wide and for the rear 27.5” wheel is 35mm wide and is in line with Intense’s MX philosophy.