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2022 Racing/Team Rumors

trib

not worthy of a Rux.
Jun 22, 2009
1,514
469
Very interested to see how this develops. The fact that he’s left Intense to race a US made Alu Horst link bike shows just how far Intense had gone from Its heyday...
 

Andeh

Customer Title
Mar 3, 2020
1,078
1,037
Is it me or does it resemble fairly closely the Scott (prototype maybe?) he was on before moving to Intense?
In the Vital podcast, he said he learned a lot about bike kinematics from Ben (@buckoW ) before he left Scott, and that they did some tinkering but ultimately were limited by what could be done for retail bikes.
 

buckoW

Turbo Monkey
Mar 1, 2007
3,805
4,775
Champery, Switzerland
In the Vital podcast, he said he learned a lot about bike kinematics from Ben (@buckoW ) before he left Scott, and that they did some tinkering but ultimately were limited by what could be done for retail bikes.
Neko is awesome! He and I did a lot of testing together and he helped define the direction for the next horse link prototypes we did. The current DH bike has some of his feedback in there. I always liked his feedback and thought he is very good at testing.

I think he has a solid grasp on how to minimize the compromises and optimize his bike for his uses. That’s full racing and I love that he is going for it.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
21,218
6,202
borcester rhymes
Super cool news...I wonder who else will sponsor him? Will his frames just be coming from FTW? I thought the intense frames were finally designed pretty well, but it's clear the team didn't work for him. Hope he does great with his new setup.
 

gonefirefightin

free wieners
Super cool news...I wonder who else will sponsor him? Will his frames just be coming from FTW? I thought the intense frames were finally designed pretty well, but it's clear the team didn't work for him. Hope he does great with his new setup.
Time will tell, I wouldn't be surprised if the concept does well we would see the frames being manufactured on a larger scale. Who knows.
 

ianjenn

Turbo Monkey
Sep 12, 2006
3,002
705
SLO
that would be still overseas aluminium. just a shift in perspective…
Screen Shot 2022-01-02 at 7.12.35 AM.png



Be awesome to see Frank use some vintage YETI colours. I wanted to have him do a 140-150mm bike and see if he would be cool with me adding the old colours in Photoshop after I shot the bike and posted it all the hell over the place......
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
86,435
24,923
media blackout
Super cool news...I wonder who else will sponsor him? Will his frames just be coming from FTW? I thought the intense frames were finally designed pretty well, but it's clear the team didn't work for him. Hope he does great with his new setup.
His other sponsors are listed in the vital article.
 

Avy

Turbo Monkey
Jan 24, 2006
1,208
405
That is more Intense than what Intense is doing these days.
Cool that he gives a shoutout to @buckoW as well.
Forgive me iRider,but I did not know buckoW is a Rock Star? France,Scott eBike,should have put it together. I’m always playin catch up here.
Avy
 

Fool

The Thing cannot be described
Sep 10, 2001
2,824
1,564
Brooklyn
Downtime just dropped an interview with Neko about it.


Neko may say he dislikes doing media but he is very good at it. It's a great asset for him going out on his own like this. Loved all his vids last year, and this podcast was so good. Also, his World Cup recaps on Downtime with Eliot Jackson are fantastic.
 
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jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
86,435
24,923
media blackout
Neko may say he dislikes doing media but he is very good at it. It's a great asset for him going out on his own like this. Loved all his vids last year, and this podcast was a great listen. Also, his World Cup recaps on Downtime with Eliot Jackson are fantastic.
I've been following him on downcast for a while now. he does do a really good job on there, even if he doesn't like it. His post race analysis are good too.
 

jstuhlman

bagpipe wanker
Dec 3, 2009
16,835
13,272
Cackalacka du Nord
i found it funny that whitely came off looking good. also interesting that gwin is moving to tennessee. i guess windrock plus ttc plus local moto stuff plus cheaper cost of living is nice. also moar jeebus.
 

maxyedor

<b>TOOL PRO</b>
Oct 20, 2005
5,496
3,141
In the bathroom, fighting a battle
Hope Neko kills it this year, any racer who knows enough about their race vessel to provide meaningful input is rad. A dude who says screw it, partners up with an OG frame builder and says, make me this frame, is a legend. Cool to see Worldwide as a major sponsor as well, couple local guys started a little shop, now they’re bicoastal, have a whole line of house brand components, and seem to be doing really, really well for themselves.

Would be interesting to know what went so wrong at Intense. One of his buddies as the team owner, a brand clearly willing to build custom frames, sponsors willing to build custom one off parts. And yet, here he is, building bikes in a shed with FTW and going it alone. Seems like IFR just isn’t working, on any level.
 

konifere

Monkey
Dec 20, 2021
573
713
Yeah Neko didn't seem to get along well with his Intense bike, and reading between the lines, his Kenda tires either... :hmm: Such a honest and genuine guy, I can't wait to see what will come out of his race program!
 
Feb 21, 2020
865
1,221
SoCo Western Slope
Hope Neko kills it this year, any racer who knows enough about their race vessel to provide meaningful input is rad. A dude who says screw it, partners up with an OG frame builder and says, make me this frame, is a legend. Cool to see Worldwide as a major sponsor as well, couple local guys started a little shop, now they’re bicoastal, have a whole line of house brand components, and seem to be doing really, really well for themselves.

Would be interesting to know what went so wrong at Intense. One of his buddies as the team owner, a brand clearly willing to build custom frames, sponsors willing to build custom one off parts. And yet, here he is, building bikes in a shed with FTW and going it alone. Seems like IFR just isn’t working, on any level.
Sure seems like he mentioned "marketing decisions" and "making bikes to sell" quite a bit as barriers to getting something that worked for him.....pretty sad coming from Intense. They made their name on bikes that went fast and won races.
Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.
 

iRider

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2008
5,654
3,101
Come on guys! Do I really have to make the joke for you?










He wanted to ride a properly aligned frame for once. :D
 

ebarker9

Monkey
Oct 2, 2007
858
246
Hope Neko kills it this year, any racer who knows enough about their race vessel to provide meaningful input is rad. A dude who says screw it, partners up with an OG frame builder and says, make me this frame, is a legend. Cool to see Worldwide as a major sponsor as well, couple local guys started a little shop, now they’re bicoastal, have a whole line of house brand components, and seem to be doing really, really well for themselves.

Would be interesting to know what went so wrong at Intense. One of his buddies as the team owner, a brand clearly willing to build custom frames, sponsors willing to build custom one off parts. And yet, here he is, building bikes in a shed with FTW and going it alone. Seems like IFR just isn’t working, on any level.
Maybe we'll Gwin riding an Intense branded "Mulally" frame this year.

Agree, this is really cool all around. Looking forward to the videos documenting the frame development. I also find it hard to imagine how they could have gotten things seemingly so wrong at Intense. Definitely sounds like tires/frame. Kenda, sure, definitely get that. But they went through multiple custom frame iterations while he was there. Not sure what it says for their "race program" that Neko can put something together in Linkage, have a frame built in a couple of months, and he's immediately happier with it than his Intense. Generally seems like there's enough information out there at this point about what works and what doesn't that it shouldn't really be that hard to get something that's not holding your riders back. Hell, copy a successful design and then add random gussets to make it look more "Intense-y".
 

iRider

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2008
5,654
3,101
Maybe we'll Gwin riding an Intense branded "Mulally" frame this year.

Agree, this is really cool all around. Looking forward to the videos documenting the frame development. I also find it hard to imagine how they could have gotten things seemingly so wrong at Intense. Definitely sounds like tires/frame. Kenda, sure, definitely get that. But they went through multiple custom frame iterations while he was there. Not sure what it says for their "race program" that Neko can put something together in Linkage, have a frame built in a couple of months, and he's immediately happier with it than his Intense. Generally seems like there's enough information out there at this point about what works and what doesn't that it shouldn't really be that hard to get something that's not holding your riders back. Hell, copy a successful design and then add random gussets to make it look more "Intense-y".
Maybe Gwin had more say in the development than Neko, so they developed in the direction Aaron wanted to go? That might not have fitted Neko's riding style. But hard to imagine that Jeff cannot whip out different protos for each rider.
 

ebarker9

Monkey
Oct 2, 2007
858
246
Maybe Gwin had more say in the development than Neko, so they developed in the direction Aaron wanted to go? That might not have fitted Neko's riding style. But hard to imagine that Jeff cannot whip out different protos for each rider.
Totally possible, but it's not like Gwin seems happy with the bike either. Guess my main point is that it shouldn't be THAT hard to get a bike that works for your riders if you're building a straight prototype, which is seemingly what Intense has been doing.
 

iRider

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2008
5,654
3,101
Totally possible, but it's not like Gwin seems happy with the bike either. Guess my main point is that it shouldn't be THAT hard to get a bike that works for your riders if you're building a straight prototype, which is seemingly what Intense has been doing.
I think Gwin is desperate to get some wins again, so he plays around with the bike a lot. Not sure if this helps or confuses him. He admitted that he has no chance of testing under WC conditions, so optimization might go the wrong way.
Wasn't there this SX moto rider some years ago that said in an interview that he was travelling with 2 forks, 3 shocks, multiple different sets of tires and was constantly testing, but didn't get good results. Once he did pre-season testing and settled on one shock, one fork and 2 sets of tires (dry and mud/soft) and focused on his riding instead of the bike his results improved massively. Maybe something along these lines is going on with Gwin?
 

gonefirefightin

free wieners
I dont blame him for taking on his own ride, it seems there is some sort of black magic bad juju when it comes to DH bikes looking back at all the frames that are no longer in production or discontinued. Either the industry/geometry is a overhyped continual learning space or its a corporate battle over investment/ROI game and possibly both. Either way it will be good to see how the little man can possibly shake up the big game.
 

fwp

Monkey
Jun 5, 2013
411
404
Neko is the man, regardless of what the results sheet says, this guy does more for the sport of DH at the grassroots/amateur level than anyone.
Wonder if he has some Atherton Bikes ideas in his head? How cool would it be to see Neko design and develop his own bike and eventually take it to the open market.