The Intense M1 was, for all intents and purposes, the first downhill bike that actually mattered. Sure, there were gravity bikes that came before it, but the arrival of the M1 signaled the beginning of downhill racing's modern era. There's a reason that during the '90s, nearly all of the world's best rode M1s, barely hidden beneath their sponsors' paint jobs. The sport has advanced considerably since then, but there's no denying that the Intense M9 Mountain Bike Frame is in every way a deserving heir to the M series crown. If you're willing to dedicate your life to standing atop the podium, the M9 is an immensely capable partner in your quest for glory. There's occasionally some confusion as to where the M9 fits in, with Intense's shorter travel, larger wheeled 951 getting so much attention, so let us clear this up for you. The M9 is built as a World Cup race bike, plain and simple. It's not built to be nimble at slow speeds, nor will it be particularly well suited to recreational bike park warriors. Its aggressive geometry and longer travel is aimed squarely at keeping you in control when you're trying to shave fractions of seconds on the steepest, roughest race tracks on the planet. Part of the secret to the M9's ability to flatten terrain lies in its VPP suspension design. VPP employs two aluminum counter rotating links, which allows it to eat square edged impacts at wide open speeds, without sacrificing pedaling efficiency when you need to get on the gas. The upper link provides most of the rotation as the bike compresses into the sag point. This yields a vertical wheel path, which you'll notice in the form of a firm feel during acceleration. As the bike compresses deeper into the suspension, the lower link activates, moving the axle path rearward. The rearward axle path is key to letting the rear wheel travel out of the way of the high speed, square edged impacts. The suspension is highly adjustable, giving privateers the option to fine tune the bike to t...