The search for the perfect Leadville ride continues. I've been going back and forth between a few frames now, hoping to see some Eurobike models come to light, patiently waiting to see what happens at Interbike next month. I was pretty set on a Niner, but there's something not quite right with their Air 9 Carbon RDO. The lines seem strange to me. That's when I came across the Intense Hard Eddie.
It's really light, compared to a Niner RDO as well as a Santa Cruz Highball, which I found to be ubiquitous and unappealing graphics wise (2013). The Hard Eddie is an anomaly in that the majority of Intense's brand is focused on big hit trail bikes. It's their first and only 29er hard tail to date, and there's something cool about that. Comparing geometry specs to other leading brands it seems to be on par. I'm curious to see one up close. It features an interchangeable rear drop-out system, accommodating 142mm axles.
Is it too racey? Is the stealthy matte black with red highlights played out? Is th fact that it's another Taiwan made carbon frame (and who isn't these days) unappealing? The price is right, weight is down there, and it's just a gorgeous looking frame, with an optional matching rigid carbon fork. So far it's a front-runner.