If you’re into running the slopes with your DH / FR bike or want a bullet proof tire for you AM bike, check out the 909 and the Intruder from Intense Tyre Systems. These are two tires with one purpose, each built for slightly different trail conditions. Both the 909 and the Intruder are available for around $49.99 MSRP each.
The 909 and Intruder feature foldable lightweight beads, which let’s face it, is a good thing when it comes to storing or keeping a few spares around. As with many true DH-specific tires, these babies are double ply which means they have 2 layers of fabric instead of one, increasing durability without increasing weight. Along the side of the tire, ITS adds something called a Pinch Flat Bumper which prevents the tire from folding over on itself and biting the tube. As an added benefit, the Pinch Flat Bumper allows you to run a few pounds lower pressure to increase traction even more. With 50a Durometer black stuff covering the carcass of the tire you have a rubber that will stick well to many surfaces. The downside is that these tires won’t last as long as some other tires on the market but if you’re looking for a tire that sticks then that’s the trade off you have to make.
First up on the course was the ITS 909 which weighs in at 1163 grams for the 26 x 2.35″ version. ITS says the 909 is good for loose, soft, and intermediate soils. With six rows of tread, the two center knobs are set so that you have twins side by side with alternating spacing, giving you a combination of good traction with lowish rolling resistance. Still, the spacing between the center knobs is enough to tackle softer terrain (though not mud).
The transition knobs that lead into the cornering knobs are a perfect balance of bite without the squirm. This makes the 909 a good choice for riders who want decent traction and aren’t afraid to pitch the bike into the berms. During my testing I found that the 909 easily allowed me to get nearly horizontal.
Over boulders and rock gardens I felt comfortable knowing that the Pinch Flat Bumper was there. I did notice however that the tire needed a break in period to relax the carcass of the tire. Over the first few runs the tire was a bit sluggish when turning and did slip ever so slightly compared to later when I had many more runs into it. After break-in I found the tire flexed underfoot and gripped wonderfully in the corners (inflated at 36psi). I also found the tire was at its best when the ground was soft enough that riding over the trails left a slight imprint in the ground (about a 1/16th of an inch).
909 Overall impressions
8 out of 10 for rolling and efficiency
7 out of 10 for loose conditions
8 out of 10 for intermediate conditions
7 out of 10 for hardpack conditions
7 out of 10 cornering (*8 when intermediate)
Conditions: Loose – Soft – Intermediate
Compound Sticky Rubber LSG 50a compound
Weight: 1163 grams
The second DH tire that I had a great time playing with is the new Intruder 26 x 2.35″. The Intruder weighs 1200g which is officially just a shade heavier than the 909 but my scales showed the two tires weighed nearly the same. Just looking at the tread pattern you can get an idea of what this tire is made to do. When the weather gets bad or the course you’re running gives you everything from hard to loose terrain, the Intruder has your back.
The Intruder loses a bit on rolling resistance due to the more open center block pattern but the good news is the tires resist caking and packing of loose soils after hitting soggy sections. The intermediate blocks on the Intruder sit a bit higher than the 909s and are spaced a little wider from the cornering blocks. On some tires this would cause the tires to squirm but in this case the strategically placed blocks track straight and offer good cornering performance. The upshot is this tire will inspire you to really pitch it, even in the loose stuff.
While the Intruder is a great tire, it’s not as well suited as the 909 for dry courses. Where the Intruder really shines is in damp situations, especially when cornering. Most of my FR buddies who tried this tire agree.
Intruder overall impressions
7 out of 10 for rolling and efficiency
9 out of 10 for muddy conditions
8 out of 10 for soft conditions
7 out of ten for intermediate conditions
8 out of 10 for cornering (9 for damp soft stuff)
Conditions: Mud – Soft – Intermediate
Compound Sticky Rubber LSG 50a compound
Weight: 1200 grams
Thanks to the shredders at Intense Tyre Systems for providing these tires for testing.