How It’s Made – INTENSE BIKES

Hidden down a small road just off of the Winchester exit on the 15 Freeway, the Intense Factory is neatly tucked in a small business park in Temecula California. In fact, if you didn’t have an address or know where you were going, it is likely that you would miss the company with over 23k friends on Facebook, a nationwide tour and with a CEO that designs guitars in his spare time.

But despite it’s modest appearance from the outside, this factory houses several large mills for component production, a photo shoot lab and about 30 employees who are all die hard mountain bikers, and who are passionate about their role in masterfully creating  some of the most innovative and highest quality bikes available on the market. With Jeff Steber leading this small, tight-knit and focused team of mountain bike enthusiasts, it’s no wonder Intense is able to unveil the  951 Evo, Carbine 29,  Spider 29,  Carbine 275  and the Tracer 275, just within the first 7 months of the year.  And with Interbike just around the corner , the world is waiting to see if they unveil another bike this year and how it will compare to the line-up of bikes that have already be shown at Eurobike last week.

Well, since so many of us just couldn’t wait until the end of September to find out, we decided to take a trip out to their factory to find out what they are currently working on and how they make their bikes, just so damn Intense.

1. Every bike that comes from the Intense Factory starts here at aluminum station.

2. The aluminum tubes go to the Bandsaw where they are cut into billets or shorter bars and tubes.

 

Their  Haas CNC machines to produce different parts for each of their different frames. Everything from pivot bolts and dropouts to thru-axles and suspension links.

3. After the billets are cut down to the desired component, they are inspected before heading to the parts store.

4. Once an order is assigned to a bin, someone will pull all of the necessary parts from the store and place them, in a holding area where each bin is matched up to a frame that is set on an assembly jig and prepped for the welders.

5. Next comes the heat treatment. Frames are heated for about an hour to allow the frames to soften so that they can be malleated and set to fit the correct geometry for each respective frame specifications. After this process, they are sent back into the machine for cooling before they are sent down the street for anodizing  and powder coating.

6. Upon there return, each frame is thoroughly inspected for quality before they head to the assembly department.

This is the last station each bike goes through; here they are built up and boxed for shipment before they make their debut online at www.pricepoint.com.

Watch the video footage.

 

 

5 Things You Don’t Know about Jeff Steber

 

Jeff Steber

 

It’s been more than 20 years since Intense Cycles founder Jeff Steber started making bike frames on his kitchen table, but that hasn’t stopped him from applying his personal touch to every frame that comes out of the Intense factory today. His bikes are just as legendary as his hair and his passionate fans are the pulse that pumps life into the brand.

While so many bike companies are struggling to stay in the race with brands like Cannondale, GT, Specialized and Trek, we wanted to find out what it is about Jeff and his approach to design that makes his brand so unique, so our social media guerillas went out to the Intense Factory to catch up with him before he heads to Eurobike next week.

 TL: Good Afternoon Jeff. Thank you for having us out. We know you are a busy man, and we just wanted to catch up with you to see what’s coming up next for you and Intense.

JS: No problem. We always have things in the works at Intense. There is always something in development. So it’s good you came by.

TL: Most people consider you to be the rock star of the bike industry. Your hair is the one thing that most people remember about you. How do you get your hair like that?

JS: Honestly I just wake up in the morning and put some water on it and run my fingers through it. It could just be the cut, but I don’t have to do anything to get hair like this.

TL: Name the Best Movie of All Time

JS: I’m a sci-fi buff, so for the longest time I’d have to say The Fifth Element. And pretty much any movie that creates an emotional response that I don’t normally feel and don’t get to feel that often. And I hate to admit it, but I cry every time I watch Avatar, when they burn home tree down.

TL: What inspires you?

JS: Well, I have to break that down into different categories. When it comes to music I’m always drawn back to the early years of rock and roll. I like Jimmy Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, even in this day and age, I identify with those people because they were the firsts sounds I heard. I feel like that genre of music has withstood the test of time.

TL: What is the one thing you want to accomplish before you retire?

JS: The hardest thing I’m going to have to do is actually retire. I hope I will learn to do that someday.

TL: What is one thing you’ve always wanted to do and do you see yourself still doing it?

JS: Once upon a time I wanted to climb Mt. Everest. I think I’ve reeled that in more. Now that I have a family I have shifted what I wanted to do a lot. I consider myself very lucky to have a job like this and to have created a brand that people can identify with. So I guess the only thing I could really want to do before I end my career is to grow Intense to its full potential.

Check Out the Extended Version of Our Interview Below: