Jeff Steber is famous in the world of mountain biking for creating the ﬁrst full-suspension downhill-speciﬁc bike, the M-1. However, the bike that made his name was the 3in-travel Spyder, born a few years earlier on his kitchen table in Lake Elsinore, California. With World Cup downhilling still being done on hardtails, the Spyder was originally marketed as a cross-country bike, but it soon caught the attention of downhillers from around the world. After Shaun Palmer won the downhill event at the 1996 US Nationals on a full-suspension Intense bike, many major bike brands bought Jeff’s bikes and rebranded them with their logos - Haro’s Greg Minnaar won the World Championship in 2003 on one, and they have also been ridden by Brian Lopes, Eric Carter and Leigh Donovan of Mongoose, John Tomac of Giant, Toby Henderson of Iron Horse, and John Kircaldie, Colin Bailey and April Lawyer of multi-championship winning Maxxis DH. Growing up in Ohio, Jeff was designing hang gliders in his parents’ garage while still at school, and he quickly moved on to designing, prototyping and constructing groundbreaking bikes. His company, Intense Cycles, was founded in 1992 and he soon formed a factory team including motocross legends Randy Lawrence and Mike Metzger and snowboarder Shaun Palmer. Working closely with professional racers, Jeff says it remains his personal mission to ‘design and refine each Intense model to achieve the highest possible level of performance and craftsmanship’. All Intense bikes are still built by hand in Temecula, California.
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