Product DescriptionThe fourth in Intense’s line of carbon fiber mountain bike frames, the Spider 29 Comp was designed for the XC/ light-trail segment and offers all of our signature features, as well as some new surprises. The Spider 29 boasts modern trail geometry while the combination of patented VPP suspension and 29? wheels are magical ingredients for maintaining rolling momentum through the rough stuff, as well as on the climbs. It brings all the features Intense is known for: adjustable travel (4.5 – 5?), G1 dropout system, proven ride quality and exceptional esthetics, but also has some new tricks up its sleeve like internal cable routing, tapered head tube, special internal cable routing for the Rock Shox Reverb Stealth dropper post and comes stock with the Fox Float CTD Kashima coat rear shock. Two travel settings allow the bike to really take on a dual personality. Use the 4.5” mode for an extremely solid pedaling platform or the longer 5” position to gobble up rocks, roots and chatter.
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|Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)|
Date Reviewed: June 10, 2014
Strengths: The Spider has the perfect balance of climbing, downhill, and turning ability.
Weaknesses: Minimal. My Spider had a very short stem (70mm?). If I were going to do a cross country race with steep climbs, I’d put a slightly longer stem on it to keep the nose down. But for most rides, I would keep it just the way it is.
I was wondering how a long ride would be on a 125mm rear wheel travel bike. As a downhiller in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, I thought anything with more than 100mm travel would be inefficient. The Spider didn’t feel inefficient at all. From an efficiency standpoint, it climbs VERY similar to my Spearfish, and this is a compliment considering the Spearfish has only 80mm of rear travel. It has an advantage over a hardtail on rocky or rooty climbs, because you can keep pedaling the whole way without the rear wheel skipping. Although the top tube is a hair smaller than that of the SF, the wheelbase is 1” longer, which seems to keep the front more planted on the steep climbs.
The bike felt GREAT going downhill and turning, and pedaling through rock gardens. I’ve read countless magazine reviews saying how certain bikes isolate pedaling forces from rear wheel action, but I feel like the VPP really has it nailed. The dropper post helped too – once I remembered to use it, it really helped me get lower for turning and descending. It was perfect when I came to some drops in Fountainhead - they are small enough, and have great transitions, so you don’t really have to lower the seat to drop them -but the lower seat gave me the confidence boost to hit them.
The Revelation was soft the first day, I felt like it was diving a little too much in rock gardens. That was easily fixed with more air pressure before the 2nd ride. However when I first added air the fork bottomed, and stayed bottomed, 5 minutes into a gentle ride on a bike path with the kids. When I added air again, it held. Perhaps the shraeder valve was loose the first time? I went on a 2 hour ride after that and it felt great.
The 1x11 gearing was great and I would consider running that permanently. I’m a big fan of dropping to the small ring at the last second before a technical climb, but I occasionally drop a chain doing that. The 1x11 seems more reliable. I would happily run fewer gears with a larger ratio change between gears if that were available. I almost always change more than a gear at a time anyway in the rolling hills where I ride.
The Intense jumps and bunny hops better than my personal ride. If I compressed the suspension before a jump I would get a nice bounce, but it did not feel bouncy through faster rock sections. I’m not sure if that is a difference between rebound settings, or the suspension itself, but it was noticeable.
The Ardents were great. I had confidence on rocks and turns, so I might be switching to Ardents in the future.
Overall, the Spider is a great bike. It truly is a one-bike-does-it all bike, because I feel like I could race cross country on it, or even throw it on the back of a chair lift. And it is undoubtedly a perfect choice for long days pedaling through rocks with your friends. Now I just have to explain to the wife how badly I need one!
Similar Products Used: Salsa spearfish
Bike Setup: RockShox Revelation fork
RockShox Reverb dropper post
Fox Factory Float CTD rear shock
Sram X01 rear derailleur. 1x11 – 42 largest in rear, 32 front
Tires: Maxxis Ardent
Date Reviewed: March 11, 2014
Strengths: Stiff yet not harsh; solid climber; awesome chunky down-hiller (point n go); quiet - no chatter riding. Flippin gorgeous
Weaknesses: if you've got the cash, none so far
Duration Product Used: 7 months
Price Paid: $6500.00
Purchased At: Slippery Pig
Similar Products Used: RECENT BIKES: Yeti 575; Yeti SB95 Alum; Blur XC; Orbea Alma carbon 29er; Niner SIR 9
Bike Setup: Fox 34/140; SRAM XX1 DT (1x11 - 28fx42r); Formula R1 Brakes; Stans Flow EX's with Hope II Pro EVO's; 30" low rise bars
Date Reviewed: May 14, 2013
Strengths: See below, too many to list.
Weaknesses: Easy to pop the front for a 29er, but still tougher because its a 29er. Frame protection peeling a bit on the edges. Hopefully they hold out given I don't spray my bike with water.
Best climbing bike I have owned bar none. Take this with a grain of salt as my stable has usually been 160mm AM bikes or hard tails. No surprise it climbs better than the AM bikes, but the hard tail superiority surprised me a bit. The exception here is the hard tails climb better when the trails are pretty smooth, as expected.
This incarnation of VPP has almost zero pedal feedback in the granny ring. A vast improvement over every VPP I have owned previously. This lack of kickback did not come solely at the cost of the venerable VPP rollover feel when descending which I will cover below. The suspension is relatively stiff off the top of the travel making it sit a bit higher in the travel than my other VPP bikes - which aids the climbing ability. With the 130mm Float and have never found the front end to wander on steep climbs or switchbacks. The slightly longer chain stays on 29ers aid in this respect. The Float far outperforms any Talas I have tried so I am happy with that decision. I have Enve wheels on the bike which also aid the climbing to an extent due to the light weight.
The negative on climbing is I do have to muscle it around tight uphill switchback more so than my 26ers, but that is an indictment of the wheel size and really isn't an issue. Overall, A in this category.
I love the long climb or ride and consider myself an all around rider, but I am a descender by background and is why I ride. Where I can accept an average climber, I cannot accept a subpar descender.
As I mentioned in a post the other day, the best barometer I had on this bike is a ride I did the other day with two buddies of mine who race Enduro and quite successfully. I can ride their rear wheels if I decide to hang it out that day but usually let them drop me ever so slightly. Riding a steep, technical single-track the other day, I was riding their wheels like I normally ride when I get slightly dropped. It was surprising and impressive. Actually, my buddy mentioned to me after the ride that he was shocked at my riding that day and chocked it up to new bike stoke. Whatever you chalk it up to, I am faster downhill on this bike than I am on my Uzzi in moderately technical and steep single-track.
The traction on this bike is incredible (Hans Dampf front) and the more you lean, the more you are rewarded. The traction is never ending and is an impressive attribute of this bike. The potential negative I can see for smaller or less aggressive riders is it doesn't fall into a lean as easy as my Uzzi or other bikes I've owned. If you don't have aggressive leaning tendencies or are afraid to weight your front, you will find yourself under steering. Lazy steerers should not apply. That said, if you ride it in an aggressive fashion, it is as, of not more, fun in tight single-track as my Uzzi and leaves it in the dust on sweepers. Also, this is the stiffest Intense frame I have owned which also contributes to its positive handling attributes.
The slack head angle and large wheels perform exceedingly well in chunk and at high speed. Not need to elaborate here as this is the presumed benefit of a slack 29er.
Jumping / Playfulness
You can ride this bike like a 26er pumping and jumping the trail, but it feels different. You get a slightly more stable, sailing effect. It is a different feel to a 26, not necessarily better or worse unless your sole intent of jumping is to cross it up on every launch. It is more confidence inspiring while in the air which could be a benefit for a newbie. The short stays and slack angle on this make it feel much more playful than the LTc or Rip9 I demoed last year. Unfortunately, and honestly, I think the SB95 I demoed might have a minor advantage in this area, although very minor. The biggest negative I can see with the 29er platform and the Intense is the manualing. Yes, you can ride the rear wheel but it is not as intuitive as on the 26er. Given the other advantages, and the fact it can be done with just more effort, it is worth the tradeoff.
Compared to what I am used to with my AM bikes, it has a decidedly racy feel to the rear setup. More DW like in firmer off the top, travel disappears in mid-stroke with nice ramp at the end. Granted, I have not sent it yet on a big drop but have not bottomed it out hard to this point. As mentioned above, there is still that nice rollover feel of VPP although not as pronounced as on my Uzzi, Tracer, 6.6 etc. That said, I am enjoying this firm setup as you really feel the trail beneath you vs a more muted ride on my longer travel bikes. The travel will be sufficient for all non resort riding in Colorado and will be perfect for all of Moab, with the exception of the Whole Enchilada. Also, the quality of Intense pivots have been their weak points on previous bikes, not on this one. Looks like they copied Santa Cruz's design and it is executed beautifully.
Duration Product Used: Few Months
Purchased At: Fanatik
Similar Products Used: Tallboy LTC, RIP 9, SB95
Bike Setup: Fox 34 Float (130mm), Enve AM, Yada Yada Yada....
Date Reviewed: April 14, 2013
Strengths: I agree with all the previous writer posted.
Weaknesses: Virtually none.
Date Reviewed: February 19, 2013
Weaknesses: Adjustable geometry
The Spider comp is that bike. First off, the bike is gorgeous. Intense has built some of most beautiful mountain bikes ever and the spider comp is no different. It has some serious bling factor. Okay - the ride: uphill: combination of short chain stays and big tires: you will run out of legs before the bike runs out of traction. The bike will roam a bit so you need to pay attention but that is a small price to pay for the added downhill stability.
The bike does very well descending - it can cut tight turns and the combination of 5" travel and 29" tires eats up baby heads and allows you to take the most aggressive lines through rocky terrain. I was surprised at the turning radius as well - just about equal that of my Tallboy.
The only negative thing I have to say about the spider is I do not understand why there is adjustable travel. It seems like a gimmick. I doubt people could tell the difference between the two settings and more importantly at Max travel the bike performs so well there is no need for adjustment.
If I could not have two bikes I would likely simply decide upon the spider comp. However, since I'm fortunate enough to be able to have two I believe that for pure cross country racing the tallboy is better suited for that task. But not by much.
You can't go wrong with a Spider Comp.
|Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)|
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Related Spider 29 Comp Forum Posts
I've been riding my Spider 29 Comp pretty hard for about 6 months and I'm starting to get paranoid about doing some preventative maintenance on all the bearings and such. I can't really find anything beyond a comment here and there about servicing the pivots, so I'm curious if anyone has any adv ... Read More »
I purchased a spacer kit for the float CTD to increase its ramp at the end of stroke. I bottom the shock a bit too easily for my liking. That said, what eyelet does the shock have installed on it? LV, SV, XV1 or XV2? I couldn't find this info anywhere on the shock. The different cans provid ... Read More »
I'd like some feedback from Spider 29 Comp riders out there. I'm currently riding a Carbine 27.5, Fox 34, XX1, Enve AM I9. I'm fortunate to have a good size credit at my shop and will be building a Spider 29 Comp. I'm thinking 140 Pike or Revelation, X01, Nox/I9 or Reynolds wheels. Most importan ... Read More »
Looking for a real world comparison of a Carbine 27.5 and Spider 29 Comp. I currently ride a Carbine 27.5 and really love the bike. I also think the Spider 29 Comp is a beautiful frame and have been thinking of adding it to my stable. I'm curious how someone who may have ridden both would compare ... Read More »
I've been on a first-gen Jet9 RDO for three seasons. The bike rides very well --- light and efficient, for sure. I'd prefer a couple of geometry tweaks, but overall, the bike is a joy to ride. I've had my share of problems -- bolts falling out, various cable routing failures and a rear triangle repl ... Read More »