2003 Intense Tazer HT


Old School Hero
The first generation of Intense Tazer is an absolute classic and one which needs little introduction. This sequence in the first Earthed film of Kovarik razzing about the pits with the '03 decals to me was absolutely iconic, as were those years of Norba and World Cup 4x, until of course Sam Hill killed 4x by quitting and making everyone else realise that if they wanted to compete with him at downhill they'd need to quit too. It was a shame as the Saturday night 4x events were great craic. These days the Pro Tour is a shadow of what went before, and there isn't even an event at Fort William these days. Anyway, the Tazer with Kovarik onboard was one of the iconic bikes of the era and while it did go through some tweaks and changes in its time, the biggest changes were arguably to the paint jobs more than the metalwork. This is an '03, before the seat stay/seat tube junction gusset appeared to help prevent the cracks these frames were notorious for.


This frame is far from the perfect example and I definitely overpaid for it. It's a 14" frame and rather annoyingly has been run by some moron in the past with the seat post way too high which led to the top of the seat tube snapping off. It's been rewelded with a shim inside to get it going, but I'll investigate at some point to see how easily this can be removed and a proper repair done before reaming it back out to the proper 31.6mm. At the end of the day the post on this one will always be pretty slammed from now on so if it's not full strength it's not the end of the world. Even if I can't do that I'll still sort out the aesthetics by grinding the external weld flush. There's also a dent on the underside of the non-drive side chainstay. I'll put it in the press and flatten the bulges before sticking some fibreglass mud in there. Then it'll be a case of repainting it. I'm undecided whether to go red again, as Intense should be, or if I go white to match another frame I may have picked up. Either way I've got a set of 2002 decals from Filip Badura to go on as they're my preferred look.




I originally built this up with a '98 Marzocchi Z1 BAM but this never felt quite right as I couldn't get a set of stiff springs for it. It's also a flexy noodle by modern standards. The perfect fork would have been the old Manitou Millenium I had many years ago but that ship's sailed, sadly. I did then pick up a mint set of '98 X-Verts in red which would have been perfect but Herpes lost it between the seller and me. And so I ended up with these later X-Vert Super, and it matches the kit the team was running in 02 too. I've given them a regrease and stuck an extra firm spring out of some Rock Shox to help stop it bobbing about at the pump track.



Headset and controls
It's got an FSA Orbit XL2 which is a solid and no nonsense bit of kit, and is vaguely age appropriate. A King would be lovely on it but they're too much money for a bike that isn't going to get ridden much other than at the pump track, and Hope headsets of the era have too much stack height and are ugly as sin. The bars are 685mm/50mm rise Answer ProTapers in black from my Rotec, while the stem is a Race Face SYStem in 50mm and red which works really well with the red frame. If I do go white on the frame I think I'll need to go white on the stem to match, or black, but the black would then lose the definition of the three piece design that the contrasting colour offers. The seatpost is the classic Easton EA50 which is in surprisingly good condition, while the saddle is my all time favourite SDG Ti-Fly.



This has seen quite a few changes since I built it up. I did have Race Face Northshore cranks and an MRP but these were from my old M1 and are destined to go back on something similar, so I dug these DMR Chieftan II's out from the spares box and fitted them along with the relatively rare Roox Rollercoaster chain device. These devices are such an utter PITA to set up compared to even the MRPs of the time so it's no wonder they didn't see as many sold. The cranks aren't much better given the tight fit onto the steel 48 splined axle. The ring is an oversized for the purpose 40T Middleburn one I once had on my Marin, and the spider is an aluminium compact one from DMR. After sitting for the best part of 20 years I needed to use the 75 ton hydraulic press to push the axle from the drive side crank arm so I could set the chain line properly, they'd well and truly fused together. The M970 XTR shifter came from my old V10, the cassette is a Shimano M750 XT 9spd, and the XT M739 SS short cage rear mech replaced a Saint M810 because it just looked out of place. However, the spring tension on the XT is almost gone so chain control is fairly poor and while I like it for it's relative rareness, I'll swap it for an M950 XTR GS when I find one at a decent price. One day I might go back to M952 XTR cranks and an MRP as they just suit these so well, but it's rideable as it is at the moment and that's the main thing.



Wheels, tyres & brakes
Originally Mk2 Deemax's, I've just built up a pair of D521 CD's into some Hope hubs, a QR Bulb on the front with matching spider, and a Sport on the rear. A matching Bulb would have been nice as I could have set it up to be 12mm to make the most of the frame's capability but it's far from the end of the world. This meant that I could use the proper 165mm discs to match the Hope Pro C2's that have also been fitted. The frame needed a little attention with the dremel so that the caliper would sit flat, but that was minor. They're not particularly powerful by modern standards but they're good enough, and short of a set of mk1 XT discs or Hayes Mags (I do have a set but again, earmarked for something else), they're spot on for the bike. Wrapping the wheels are Intense tyres. The front's a DH 2.35 in 4 ply casing which is very much overkill for the bike's purpose but it looks good, and the rear is a CC 2.25. The big limiting factor on the rear is the ridiculous lack of clearance on the seat stay bridge. However, the chain stay clearance is huge.





Overall it's a great wee bike for the local pump track or small dirt jumps. Dirt jumping has never been my forte and most of what I did was 15-20 years ago, but it's a fine bike for summer evenings of messing around locally. Once I've sorted out the frame I'll post more pics of what I've done and how I've gone about doing it.

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Lovely! Was on my to-own list for a long time...
Cheers! I was the same. As I didn’t race 4x or dirt jump I could never justify £800 for one at the time. For £200 or so it was a different matter, especially as I originally built it entirely from spares. I’ve bought stuff for it since but not much, and it was all at the ‘right price’ so if it only gets ridden a few times a year it’s just not a problem. I thought I’d missed the boat on them, and for a mint example I definitely can’t justify it, but for a bike to actually use this is perfect.
Always wanted a pair of tazers (ht and fs) looks great.
I'm not jealous at all


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Always wanted a pair of tazers (ht and fs) looks great.
I'm not jealous at all
Sorry! 😂 With you on the FS version too, they'd go well together although I'd go for a set of Millennium's or Supernova's for this before I spent the money on that. I think if I went FS I'd probably do it in the Maxxis team colours of grey/orange, that scheme looked great to me.
Adding a few relevant pics taken from the '98 and '03 Intense brochures which I'd posted in another thread.

'98 Tazer HT with horizontal plate rear dropouts


'03 Tazer HT

'03 Tazer FS
This is incredible. Always lusted after an Intense and remember seeing 4X builds of Tazers and thinking that they were such a good looking bike!
Nice! if you ever wanna sell the hubs or wheels please let me know, I have red hope bulbs on d321's that ill be parting with soon most likely