Updated on May 18, 2022
While mountain bike racing in the United States was at a high point in the mid-1990s, legends were being made and the NORBA circuit was a summer-long travelling circus. Intense was born at this time. Shaun Palmer, Leigh Donovan, and Michael Ronning, among others, helped make the M1 a household name in motorsports.
where are intense bikes made
Front and rear triangular moulds are made in Asia, but suspension linkages and hardware (the majority of which is shared with alloy frame counterparts) is made in-house by Intense in California, where the bikes are assembled.
Long after most of its high-end competitors have relocated to Asia, Intense Cycles is still making mountain bike frames in Southern California in an unassuming building off the I-15 freeway.
New general manager Chris Allen said that while manufacturing in Southern California is expensive, his company has always managed to make a profit. Intense experienced double-digit growth in its category of premium mountain bikes last year, despite a drop in industry sales.
However, despite the company’s strong brand equity, its in-house manufacturing facility was unable to keep up with demand. After he made his first Intense frame in his garage, company president Jeff Steber said he’s been dealing with backorders ever since.
Jeff Moates, the production manager, is working to change that.
Because Intense was batching, or producing large numbers of a single model at a time, when Moates arrived in July, there was an inventory overhang. Batching also halted the production of other models in the queue, resulting in a backlog of orders.
Organizational discipline has been a key part of Moates’ efforts to increase availability on the field. Reorganization and lean manufacturing practises have been instituted by him. Since Intense can now produce any one of its six models at any given time thanks to the new system, the company will be able to keep less inventory on hand and complete orders more quickly.
Nearly seventy-five percent of the company’s custom order lead times have been reduced over the past few years. Lean manufacturing principles have also increased output, and the company expects a 50 to 70 percent increase in capacity this year as a result of efficiency gains.