Intense Spider 29er Full Suspension

4.55/5 (29 Reviews)
MSRP : $1499.99

  • Store Price
    Buy Now
    Buy Now

Product Description

Looking for that do everything 29'er full suspesion bike? Look no further than the Spider 29! With it's adjustable travel from 4.25" to 4.75" , you can build this frame up light for endurance racing with a 100 mm fork or build it up as an all-around, lightweight trail rig with 120 mm fork. Either way, this versatile platform will deliver podiums and smiles for miles to come. Features: -Adjustable travel 4.25?-4.75? (108mm-120mm), easily set at the upper link -Wide range geometry settings for racing and fast XC riding -49mm lower head tube and 44mm upper headtube allow you to run a tapered steerer fork -G1 rear dropout mount system accepts 142x12 Shimano, SyntaceX12, or standard 135QR dropouts -Direct mount front derailleur -Fox RPL stock shock -New impoved bearings with EZ-lock binder bolt main pivot system with replaceable zerk grease fittings -Redesigned proprietary tubset along with yoke & lower link machining for added rigidity and strength -World Cup, National, and World Championship winning VPP suspension platform

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 15 (29 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by CaptDan a Cross Country Rider

Date Reviewed: July 7, 2013

Strengths:    $2650 (demo - complete bike) price.
Smooth & active suspension while seated, yet still a great, firm, out-of-the-saddle climber.

Weaknesses:    Steering a little twitchy, rear wheel hangs on some climb obstructions.

Bottom Line:   
I was in the market for a fairly light 29er with a rear suspension that would not sag under hard, out-of-the-saddle pedaling efforts. The Spider 29 fills that role very well.
The rear suspension is very active when seated and pedaling smoothly, then “stiffens-up” as the rider starts to reef on the crank. The transition is very seamless and unnoticeable unless you really focus on it. I have not noticed ANY pedal kick-back or other such driveline/suspension shenanigans.

15 to 20+ mph downhills littered with half-buried 6-10 inch diameter rocks is where this bike shines of course, but it also outclimbs my hardtail 29er, offering greater traction and allowing the rider to move around more without the rear tire breaking loose.

Some testers have felt that the headtube geometry is rather steep on the Spider 29. My bike (with a 140mm fork and “short” 4.25 inch rear suspension setting) is slacker than the normal setup, yet still feels a touch twitchy. A CaneCreek AngleSet headset with .5 degree of added steering angle will fix that.
Lack of ground clearance, or a too-low bottom bracket, has never been noticed.

One drawback to this rear suspension design is the tendency to stall or hang-up on “steps” – large roots or rocks – while climbing. This is not strictly limited to the Spider, as many riders of VPP, DW-Link, CVA, etc. bikes have experienced this phenomena. Simply paying attention (choosing a smoother line or anticipating the step) will keep this from being an issue. Better that than wheelspin, I would think.

I bought this bike as a demo, so it was already built. Curiously, it was assembled with more of an All-Mountain focus (isn’t that the Tracer’s realm?) so it came with a Fox Float 34 fork and beefy Novatech Diablo wheels. To lighten the bike, a Ritchey cockpit was swapped in and lighter SUN/Ringle Charger Pro wheels installed, set up tubeless.

The Intense Spider 29 is a very satisfying, confidence-inspiring bike. I am extremely pleased with mine, and my riding partners have already commented that I am faster on it!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Stony Creek, Michigan

Duration Product Used:   50 miles

Price Paid:    $2650.00

Purchased At:   The EDGE Outdoors, M

Similar Products Used:   1992 Fisher RS-1
1994 ProFlex 954
1996 ProFlex 856
2011 Specialized Epic 29

Bike Setup:   2012 Spider 29 alloy frame – large
Fox 34 Float 29 fork, 140mm travel
SUN/Ringle Charger Pro 29 wheelset
Kenda Karma Pro tires 2.25 front, 1.90 rear, tubeless with 949Racing Schrader valves
Shimano XT 3x10 drivetrain
XT brakes with ICE tech rotors, 180mm front, 160mm rear
Ritchey WCS Rizer bars, C260 80mm stem, 1-bolt carbon post, barends
DT Swiss 15mm front thru-axle (custom), 142x12 rear thru-axle
Some random Specialized saddle (from the $10 bin)
29.8 lbs with Wellgo toe-clip pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jeff Blackmore

Date Reviewed: February 4, 2013

Strengths:    Looks, Lightness, Handling, Suspension, Cornering, Climbing, Great jumper too!

Weaknesses:    This bikes only weakness is that it's got me all over it!

Bottom Line:   
I wanted a "can do everything bike". A XC racer, a Enduance machine, a Super-D smoker! With this rig I got it all! This bike feels great on the climbs and rips the down hills.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mike Penciner a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: October 17, 2012

Strengths:    Traction, climbing, descending, technical sections

Weaknesses:    weight, pedal strike, price

Bottom Line:   
This bike does everything it claims to do - fast on the flats, climbs well (never loses traction, keeps on going as long as my legs hold out), descends with confidence. In short can handle anything you throw at it - cross country, singletrack, epic rides, etc. and made me 10-15% faster (timed on a variety of trails and conditions). Like most 29ers it doesn't encourage air time and offers a steady (some might say boring) ride, and I didn't have enough left on my budget to get really high-end (and light) components. Overall this bike is a huge improvement on the 26 full bike I rode previously (Felt Virtue), and is a perfect match for my riding style. Do I recommend it? Definitely!

Expand full review >>

Purchased At:   Vertigo, Israel

Bike Setup:   2011 medium frame, Fox Fit RLC 120mm fork, SRAM X9 drivetrain, Shimano brakes, Crossmark 2.1 rear, Ardent 2.25 Front (both tubeless)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David Alley a Cross Country Rider from Lakewood, Colorado

Date Reviewed: October 4, 2011

Strengths:    Quick in the turns

Weaknesses:    none-I use the joplin 4 on the steeps and the thomson on the cross country.

Bottom Line:   
As long as you check that the spacing with the washers on both sides of the vpp suspension link are the same and there is no slop-after you tighten the special aluminum bolts-along with marking the heads (directly above the "set" screws) of these bolts and then partly drilling 1/8 inch hole so the "set" screws can embed into the bolts-then the bolts will not come loose. You can then grease them (I know that they are sealed bearings) but I grease them anyway and tighten up the set screws. I have no problem and no slack in the rear end using this method. I know that Intense should have done this but by looking at the custom welds you can see the reason that the washers have to be different thickness. I sanded mine down by hand. They have to cover the "rim" on the bearings-This is the pre 2011 model and I have no knowledge of the new one. To keep the wheel straight I also use a washer on the cassette side because the frame materal along with the hanger is not enough to be tightened to stay. I love this bike..

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Bear Creek Park

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   cambria

Similar Products Used:   Hardtail 29

Bike Setup:   weight is 29

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by presa a Cross Country Rider from currently Dallas

Date Reviewed: December 14, 2010

Strengths:    Handling is fast and responsive. The VPP suspension is perfect for 29er. The paint is very durable and the welds are impeccable. Medium weight is 6.5 lbs

Weaknesses:    Not much clearance in back for a high volume tire. Little room to adjust front derailleur's high low screws. Stickers are not under clear coat, so they can scrape off easily. Head angle can be a little steep for certain conditions,, I have learned to get back behind the saddle and have never went over the bars on a drop.

Bottom Line:   
I think this bike has def made me a better rider. It handles as fast as my Yeti ASR-sl and as smooth as my Yeti 575 did,, I've since sold both of those bikes because the Spider could provide the best of both worlds.
I am 160lbs and haven't noticed much flex from the rear, but it is there if you use your hand and rock it back and forth,, but a lot of bikes are like that...
I highly recommend this bike, I am the type to always check out new bikes and upgrade upgrade upgrade,, but i don't see where it is necessary anymore. I have found a good thing and
I'm going to stick with it.
I might eventually go to a SC Tall Boy once I've worn this one out or maybe the new Spider 229????

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   northshore

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   built up from frame

Similar Products Used:   Kona Big Unit 29

Bike Setup:   Reba 100, XTR cranks, Crossride wheels,Marta sl brakes,CB 4 ti pedals, Racing Ralph 2.25 complete weight is 25.5 lbs

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by 2lits a Weekend Warrior from Anaheim,CA

Date Reviewed: March 22, 2010

Strengths:    climbs well, love the handling , decent weight, rear is not flexy I weight 200lbs including gears.

Weaknesses:    low bb, rear tire clearance

Bottom Line:   
lighter than my other bike, really makes me a better rider,I can handle more technical stuff with ease than before , with the bigger wheels it doesn't look really steep at all going down on technical stuff compared to my other bikes.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Nothing better to do-El Moro

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   Speedgoat

Similar Products Used:   09 Stumpjumper Marathon HT

Bike Setup:   Front shock Reba Race, xtr brakes,xtr front and rear derail.2009 Shimano WH-MT75 XT 29 Wheelset

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Mr_PirateGirl a Racer from Tucson, AZ

Date Reviewed: August 9, 2009

Strengths:    Climbing, handling, pedaling, not too heavy, 29er.

Weaknesses:    low BB, horrible mud clearance, kinda flexy.

Bottom Line:   
Great frame for a big guy, I usually ride an XL/21", in this frame I am a large.

Price was for the complete, new bike (shop dumping '08s when the '09s hit the floor), a deal I couldn't pass up.

Handles great, climbs awesome. Well balanced climber, keeps the front end down. Can be a little spooky on decents with the 3" fork, going to a 4" might help with stability, but I'm worried it would hamper the climbing, so I live with it.

Mud clearance is horrible, don't buy this bike if you ride in mud a lot (I usually don't, but had one nasty race because of it). The mud packs between the a swingarm brace that wraps around the tire, and the tire.

Handles technical stuff fine if you're prepared for the lack of stability, but the low bottom bracket makes it hard to get through some sections. I also have to run a lot of pressure (~280 psi) to sag to 20% for my 210 lbs.

All around a great XC race bike for someone who wants a 29er, and a great endurace bike. The Intense frames are pricey, so I knocked down the value some, and I think there are a few tweaks that could make this an overall 5 chilis.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2600.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   RIP 9, a bunch of 26ers

Bike Setup:   2008 L frame, RP23, Reba (3"), full XT.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by da_alias a Cross Country Rider from Knoxville TN

Date Reviewed: July 27, 2009

Strengths:    Agile, feels like a long travel bike, amazing climbing traction. Killer welds and paint as usual from Intense

Weaknesses:    A little challenging to get the perfect position, limited F Der options, clearance tight for rear tires if they have a tall casing. Now what do I do with my 5.5 bike?

Bottom Line:   
First, I'm not a newbie jumping on the 29er fadwagon. I've been riding 26" MTBs since 1992, my latest 26" bike was/is an Intense 5.5, before that a standard Intense Spider. Decided to try the 29er idea after getting a great deal on a fully rigid Fisher Ferrous 29er which was going to be my beater/camping bike. Liked the way it felt, so I put on a Minute fork and loved it. Now I knew there was something about this 29er handling I really liked. After much research, I decided on an Intense Spider 29er (big surprise I know but I've liked my previous Intense bikes so why switch) I found one in pearl white BNIB on ebay. Switched over the Fisher parts and I'm in love. I don't want to get into the 26 vs 29 technical arguement, they both have their merits. I can only speak from personal experience. I'm faster and more comfortable on this bike all around and I now clear sketchy technical climbs I never could before. I haven't noticed any of the twitchy tendencies mentioned in other reviews but I've been on Intense bikes for the last 5 years so I'm probably used to quick steering already. I also haven't noticed rear end flex. This bikes makes me flow more on the trail, leaning more and steering less. A little squirely at nearly stopped technical manuevers but not unmanageable at all. If you have a chance to ride this bike do it! But be prepared to have a different opinion of your 26" when you r done.

5 chilis for value-thanks bestbikevalues!
5 chilis for overall

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Haw Ridge, Tsali, Ocoee

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   ebay

Similar Products Used:   Fisher Ferrous, Niner, Rig.

Bike Setup:   XT with Avid BB7's (I'm too lazy to deal with hydros), Manitou minute 100mm, King HS, Fox RP23, eggbeaters, bonti rythym wheels and specialized captain tires

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mikestre a Cross Country Rider from Las Vegas

Date Reviewed: April 5, 2009

Strengths:    Light for a 29er (27.5 lbs). Climbs great, Rolls fast! I can out climb all of my friends on the steep techny stuff on this bike. Once you get used to the handling of a 29er you'll never want to ride a 26er again.

Weaknesses:    Flexy rear end, although not noticeable if you have the right amount of air in the rear shock. I broke the shock bolt once and i am about to change the rear bearings. I bought the bike used so I'm not sure of the mileage on it.

Bottom Line:   
This is an awesome bike! I love riding it, but you have to be okay with the high maint. If its set up right its a dream of a ride (and you don't notice the flex). If its NOT, its a nightmare and makes you work hard! I find if I fill the rear shock to my riding weight in lbs (including my camelbak) and the tires in the 25-28 psi range this bike just floats over everything in its path with incredible comfort. I love it!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Thunder Mountain

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $4800.00

Purchased At:   All Mountain Cyclery

Similar Products Used:   None.

Bike Setup:   XT, Mavic Crossmax29, Manitou Minute Fork.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by greg-rt34 a Racer from Calgary, Canada

Date Reviewed: April 2, 2009

Strengths:    rear suspension

Weaknesses:    flex

Bottom Line:   
I just finished riding the Cape Epic on this bike. It was new and unridden, and my first time on a 29er. The length of the race gave lots of time to stress test the bike. The bike is noticeably smoother than my 26" Spyder. The big wheels flatten out the terrain and provide excellent traction on gravely climbs. As usual the VPP suspension works so well you don't even notice it. The bikes pivots are as smooth as they were when the bike was new. The only negative is the flex in the rear triangle. It is noticeable in certain situations. It is not enough though to discourage me from recommending the bike. The geometry is quick enough for tight single track, and is stable at high speed.
As a side note I am now a believer in the 29er movement. The platform does accelerate slower, but the additional traction and smoothness more than compensates for this. It also allows you to roll over obstacles with ease. The rocky terrain of the Cape Epic was well suited for this type of bike.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Similar Products Used:   Syper XVP (26), Scott Ransom

Bike Setup:   Ruby, Crossmax, XTR, XO, Chris King

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by silvermtb69 a Cross Country Rider from Austin, TX

Date Reviewed: February 18, 2009

Strengths:    climbs very good, excellant in tight single track, pure joy to ride

Weaknesses:    bearings & bottom swing arm linkage

Bottom Line:   
I totally love 29er bikes now. This bike is a joy to ride and is very fun. One note is very poor engineering on bearings and bottom swing arm linkage. I can't get over 250 miles out of them. Have replaced 2x already and both times at 250 miles. Pretty expensive and frustrating. This is the only reason for low chilly ratings...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   off road

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Similar Products Used:   Titus switchblade TALAS, Spot SS 29er

Bike Setup:   Full XO, XTR crankset, DT 240 hubs, bike is blinged out

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by BodaBoda a Cross Country Rider from Nairobi, Kenya

Date Reviewed: November 27, 2008

Strengths:    Rolls over anything, very, very, very comfortable.

Weaknesses:    I can't put my finger on it. It just didn't feel right. I feel I really need to work the bike to keep the acceleration uphill, moreso than my 26ers and much, much more so than my Fisher Superfly. Having given up on the Spider, I swapped out most of the components to the Superfly and after years of getting used to full suspension - and swearing by it - whether in 26 or 29 form, I find it hard to leave the Fisher home. The Spider just seems to want me to work that much harder.

Bottom Line:   
Not the bike for me. This had me convinced that the benefits of 29er were nothing but a myth...until I started to use the Fisher Superfly.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anywhere offroad

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $4000.00

Purchased At:   Somwhere in Germany

Similar Products Used:   Canyon XC8, Canyon LUX MR 7.0, Gary Fisher Superfly

Bike Setup:   XTR brakes, mech and drivetrain (yes, no expense spared); Reba SL fork, DT Swiss 190 L shock (replaced the RP23 which just didn't work for me), Crossmax29 wheelset, Syntace 99 stem and Syntace Carbon flatbar. Ergon Mag grips.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by P Riley a Cross Country Rider from Denver, CO

Date Reviewed: November 25, 2008

Strengths:    Agile, great climber, comfortable, great carving on twisty singletrack, reasonable downhill stability, great fit for tall guy.

Weaknesses:    Heavy for racing - mine is near 29 lbs. Flexy rear end, flexy front end (Rock Shox Reba)-therefore not as good in technical situations as stiffer bikes.

Bottom Line:   
Fantastic bike for all around XC riding, especially for a large person (I am 6'4", 185 lbs). Somewhat flexy in technical terrain, and a little heavy for endurance racing. An upgrade to stiff wheels and stiff fork probably worth the money.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Edge Loop, Fruita

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $3800.00

Purchased At:   Golden Bike Shop, Go

Similar Products Used:   Niner RIP 9, Ellsworth Evolve.

Bike Setup:   SRAM 9 drivetrain, stock Bontrager Race Lite wheels, Reba 29er fork.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dudey a Cross Country Rider from golden, co

Date Reviewed: November 17, 2008

Strengths:    Fast and nimble for a 29er

Weaknesses:    Maybe a little flexy of a rear end

Bottom Line:   
Still the best 29er full susser. Very quick but still fun on the downhill. Yeah it has a steeper headtube angle but it is a 29er not a downhill bike. I think others that complain have learned to let the bike do to much for them.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   mushroom rock

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $90000.00

Purchased At:   Golden Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   Pivot mach 429, Niner Rip9, Ellsworth Evolve, bass boat blue homegrown

Bike Setup:   XO. Crossmazk. minute 29

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Chuck K1 a Cross Country Rider from Charlotte, NC, USA

Date Reviewed: August 19, 2008

Strengths:    This is what a 29er is all about - it rolls so fast, rolls over anything and tracks like it is on rails. If you have never ridden a 29er before then i would recommend taking a demo ride on the trails because of the 29er difference. Comp Cyclists has a great demo program and i tried it out on my local trails. Once i did that, i was sold!

Weaknesses:    The rear end is a little flexy but i'm not sure if that is the wheel or the rear end. It isn't a problem though. I would recommend going with the stiffest wheelset that you can afford because the wheels are so large and prone to flex.

Bottom Line:   
This is a fantastic bike! The more i ride/race it, the more i love it. It gets better everytime i ride it. It does take some getting used to the gearing because you use a higher gear for longer to get your speed up quicker but once you are up to speed, you have all the other gears to take you to another level. I will run off and leave my 26er friends from even a dead start but then once i'm up to speed, i can maintain a much higher speed because of the larger wheels. One of the other big advantages is that you sit in between the wheels so your center of gravity is much lower even though your clearance is higher - you can take corners and tight, twisting singletrak at amazing speeds. If you are a large guy over 6 ft and at least 200 pds then this is the ultimate ride for you. While it isn't the lightest bike, i still race it and have improved from the middle of the pack to the top three. The comments about the steep head angle are part of this bike's chemistry and what makes it so agile. Get off the back of the seat and it is no different than any other bike!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   US Natl Whitewater Center

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $3750.00

Purchased At:   Competitive Cyclist

Similar Products Used:   Schwinn Homegrown Hardtail and a Klein Palomino X Team.

Bike Setup:   Large frame, Sram build kit, Juicy 7 brakes, Fox 29 fork and Swiss DT wheelset.

Reviews 1 - 15 (29 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating