The NEW benchmark for XC Racing.
-XC racing geometry.
-VPP suspension technology.
-Easton/Intense proprietary Bi- Oval Flared tube set.
-Lightweight 5.2 lbs
-4 inches of travel.
-New all-sealed bearing pivot system.
-Cantilever or disc brake compatible.
-Replaceable derailleur hanger.
-Fox Float AVA shock.
An Open Letter to Intense Owners, From Jeff Steber - owner/founder, Intense Cycles:
First, I would like to thank everyone who has purchased an Intense frame. Years of research, development and technological evolution go into each frame design. No matter how much R&D is done on any product, however, unforeseen difficulties can arise.
I am writing to invite anyone who has a problem or question with any Intense product to please contact either me directly or Intense's full-time dedicated customer service director, Bobby Vore at 951-296-9596.
I welcome criticism and understand negative reviews and will continue to make myself available to assist in any problem with a frame, as I have done for years in the past. If you post a negative review and include your email address on your posting, we can contact you through the site to assist with your problem. Please use MTBR as it is intended – to help solve, not create problems.
I stand behind Intense products and will personally do whatever I can to help make Intense owners happy with their frames. With this in mind, we have instituted a full-time customer service person and are working hard to answer each issue personally and promptly.
Most Intense owners are happy with their frames, but in case you're not, please give me the opportunity to make it right for you. And please continue to use MTBR to post your feedback - as we learn a lot from reading what you have to say.
Thanks again for purchasing an Intense frame.
Owner/founder, Intense Cycles
Weaknesses: Not the lightest XC frame, VPP bearing require replacement after a hard season of riding, low BB can risk pedal stabs
awesome ride...stiff, inspries confidence, best pedalling efficiency. If only they made it in carbon so it was lighter...it would then be the perfect XC race bike. Otherwise, it's an excellent light xc bike
Gave it 4 chilis for value, because 1900$ is expensive for this bike in comparison to new carbon blur XC...which looks like the intense spider rear design.
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Blur XC....horrible by comparison, the Blur is a flex-o-matic in comparison to the intense contruction and triple butted build
Bike Setup: XTR disk, fox float front shock
Date Reviewed: November 30, 2007
Strengths: love the spider. handles great. super fast. everything the review says about tracking, handling, downhill control is true, and then some. super responsive
Weaknesses: broke rear triangle one time, near drop out, after 18 mos. bad weld, not a problem. had to mail piece back to get replacement. other manufacturers would have let me take picture (such as turner), send to manufacturer for replacement, without having to first mail broken piece in.
would buy an intense again, any day. to me, best aluminum frame out there.
a Cross Country Rider
from Ladera Ranch
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2007
Strengths: Fast, responsive and light… I am not a Pro, just started to ride in 2002. I used ride a $500 Treck.
Weaknesses: Frame is not strong enough for my size (220 pounds) it has a few cracks on the frame. Pivot bolts will brake at some point…
I came here to let everyone know that Intense has been great as Bike Company and also has been great with their customer service! My bike has been having problems it is been a while. For any crazy reason I haven’t been able to adjust the shifting on this bike any more. I guess the frame couldn’t handle my weight anymore. 5 or 6 months ago I heard a different noise while riding (cracks opening) and I didn’t know what it was. Well, the bike didn’t last very long with me. I took it to the shop and they contact Intense for me. It sounds that Intense understands the problem and should be replacing the frame for me. I truly believe that Intense is the best bike out there. My Spider made me a better rider and I was happy while the bike was in one peace. I have to say that I would buy another Intense even if they were not going to replace the frame for me. The bikes are the best. I was thinking about the Blur from SC and the 5.5. I tested the 5.5 this past weekend and I FELT IN LOVE WITH THAT BIKE. It is not as twitchy as the spider but it made me feel safer while going down hill. The bike seems to climb as well as my old spider. Intense: The guys were great this past Sunday in Fontana! The only advice I would have for you guys from Intense is: TRAIN those guys from Performance a little better. I bet we would not be having this replacement situation right now. Big guys should not be told to get a Spider if they are going to ride it 3 to 4 times per week. I guess Performance doesn’t even sell Intense bikes anymore…
a Cross Country Rider
from Concord, NH
Date Reviewed: December 27, 2005
Strengths: Finally, finally finally! I found a fix for the dad-gum pivot bolt problem. I've never ridden a bike that is this aggressive, comfortable, and efficient, and both climbs and descends beautifully. When it works. Every time I thought Intense had solved my pivot issues, they promptly returned. Tried the Loc-tite. Tried plumber's tape. Tried the new bolt system. Sent the frame back to the factory. Twice. All in all, MUCH more time without my bike than with it. With just about any other consumer good I would have cut my losses and moved on. But this bike's geometry and performance absolutely rock. Soooo, imagine my glee with a pivot bolt solution that works. The upgrade kit is engineered and sold by Tookywheelworks, a small shop with superior attention to detail (no website, email: firstname.lastname@example.org). The suspension has performed FLAWLESSLY since installation! I again love my bike. And I no longer have to face the prospect of writing off a large chunk o'change for a useless frame.
Weaknesses: Pivot bolts, but...see above.
Considering buying this frame? Until now I would have steered you away from it, despite its outstanding geometry and ride. Now I wholeheartedly encourage you to take a look at it. Maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones. But if you end up being one of the many who experience its ridiculous (at any price) pivot bolt problems, you can feel confident that there is a fix. If you already own a Spider (or 5.5 for that matter) with current (or potential) pivot bolt problems, email email@example.com about the upgrade. You won't be sorry. 5 (qualified) chilis overall for this outstanding frame with the upgrade kit 1 stinkin' chili for value given the original and recurrent pivot bolt design failure
a Cross Country Rider
from Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA
Date Reviewed: November 24, 2005
Strengths: Great climber, handles great, smooth as silk
Weaknesses: Cost, but firm believer that you get what you pay for
It took me a year and a half to find one with the components I wanted and the price I could afford. Even if I could only afford a used one, it was impeccably maintained. Half price sure was better than full price. Everyone that has a passion for cross-country should have the opportunity to experience the ride because that is what it is...an experience. It makes poor riders good and good riders GREAT! Like anything else that is built with the utmost performance in mind, it must be maintained and maintained some more to get the best performance out of it.
Bike Setup: 2004 Spider, Full XTR, Mavic Cross Max, Fox FX 80, 5th Element
a Cross Country Rider
from Long Island, New York
Date Reviewed: November 7, 2005
Strengths: Bike is fast. Climbs better than a hardtail. Awesome in tight singletrack. Bombs the downhill.
Weaknesses: Guess? The shop spends more time with the bike than I do. Initially I thought it was drivetrain problems, ghost shifting, chain suck, poping the chain, and generally poor shifting. Then a buddy told me that my rear tire was torquing to the right with every down stroke. Into the shop. LBS determined that the bearing were crushed. This enabled the rear triange to shift to the right when downward force was applied. Therefore, moving the drivetrain out of alinement and causing shifting problems. Intense sent the crush kit which was installed by the LBS. I get the bike back and it rides great, for four rides. Again the rear triange is all over the place. The bottom pivot slides forward, until it hits the BB. Back to the shop. Not sure what the fix will be this time, but I am concerned that this is going to be a problem that will persist until the point that Intense will say it is no longer under warranty.
I was looking for a highend bike that I could ride every weekend without issue. Maybe this is a racer bike that needs constant attention? When it is working properly the bike rides great. However, that is not very often. Further, the bike was not cheap. I am not sure what Intense is going to do. When and if they do something I will post it on MTBR.
a Cross Country Rider
from Basalt, Colorado USA
Date Reviewed: May 1, 2005
Strengths: Precise climber, no-bob pedalling, tracks great, fast. Great for racing 10K to 100 miles.
Weaknesses: More maintenance than expected, low bottom bracket, rear tire clearance is tight.
2 Years later it is still a great bike, awesome climber and fun to peddle over the rough stuff. Worked great for Leadville 100 race and local Aspen Clycling Club races (climb, climb, climb then descend). I also replaced bearings twice but when this bike is dialed in I love it. My Fox RL AVA started losing air and the guys from pushindustries.com rebuilt the shock and it now rides better than brand new stock. Thanks Push Industries. Recommendations: (1) Fox Talas adj. fork is awesome for this bike. (2) Don't go with XTR cranks the replacement rings will break the bank ~$80-100 each. (3) VPP + disc brakes + tubeless + Fox Talas = Race Setup. Rating would be 5 Chilis if maintenance were lower.
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Blur, good but not as stiff on climbs. Also the Blur chain tension seems to pull the rear wheel too low so the back end bobs up with pedal pressure. To get rid of this the rear would have to be set with no sag.
Bike Setup: Fox Vanilla 130 RLC
a Cross Country Rider
from Matthews, NC, USA
Date Reviewed: November 5, 2004
Strengths: Crazy lite weight for a full suspension, Fast, Stiff, the VPP takes out any of the bumps in the trail
Weaknesses: I am having problems with the bearings as it seems that most people on the site is having... the bearings are crunchy to say the least.
What a bike, I love this bike. this bike is lite weight, stong and fast, can we say "no bob" all the power goes stright to the wheels. Now only if I can get the bearing problem fixed this bike would ride like a million bucks.
Similar Products Used: I love Intese bikes that is why this is my 4th one I have the Uzzi-SLX, Uzzi-SL, and the M-1 in addition to my spider. Hope to have a m-3 by the years end
Bike Setup: Spider, manitou fork with SPV, fsa cranks, marta SL brakes, king hubs and headset, easton stem, handle-bar, and seat post,
a Cross Country Rider
from Golden, CO, USA
Date Reviewed: September 27, 2004
Strengths: Great all around bike.
Weaknesses: They seem to have been taken care of.
FOLLOW UP REVIEW - I posted a negative review about 6 weeks ago and would like to post a positive follow-up. I spent 45 minutes on the phone with Jeff Steber (Intense President) and he promised me he would take care of my bike. Now that's customer service! Long story short, I have had the same experience that the last two reviews did. The bike is working as designed and is eating up the trails. Jeff personally took charge of fixing my bike and I really appreciate that attention to detail. Thumbs up and I am back in the saddle again. I hope to buy another Intense when I wear this one out.
Bike Setup: See previous review. I did switch to the Manitou Swinger which seems to be a pretty good shock.
a Cross Country Rider
from Bellevue, Nebraska, USA
Date Reviewed: September 19, 2004
Strengths: FOLLOW UP REVIEW. About a month ago I posted a disgruntled review on my Spyder frame. Jeff Steber of Intense Cycles contacted me shortly there after and we discussed my issues with the frame. He offered to overhaul my frame personally to correct the difficulties I was experiancing and with a one day turn around at Intense in California I had my frame back within a week with all the shipping. I reassembled the bike and have ridden it harder than I have since building it up this spring and now there is Z E R O problems with the suspension sqeaking or fasteners and hardware coming loose. In fact I have been able to refine my suspension pressures and sag so that it is truly much more fun to ride than it was before. I applaud Jeff's effort to contact myself and other disgruntled riders and providing personalized service to make us satisfied with the frame.
Weaknesses: None now. Nothing comes loose or squeaks.
I'm now totally satisfied with the Spyder frame and would recommend it highly to anyone who desires a very high performance XC rig. It performs exceptionally well in tight twisty single track littered with roots and rocks.
My break in riding when the frame came back was at Winter Park Colorado and it was a stellar performer.
Bike Setup: See previous review, except the Progressive 5th Element has been replaced with a Manitou Swinger 3-way. Overall the Manitou is working much better than the progressive.
from New Jersey
Date Reviewed: September 2, 2004
Strengths: Climbs, Decents, Overall ride!
Weaknesses: Maintenance, rear tire clearance (not uncomman for a X-Country racer)
This is a follow-up to my previous post (see below). After my last review in which I expressed concerns regarding this frame. Jeff Steber (Owner/Founder of Intense) contacted me personally and we had a great conversation regarding the Spider. Jeff listened to what I had to say and explained everything Intense is doing to address certain issues. Since then Jeff sent me a kit to rebuild the pivots on my bike, particularly the lower pivots which now include crush tubes to take the load off the bearings and bolts with slots cut into them so the set screws have something to set into. I completed rebuilding everything and the bike was running great. The ultimate test came over this past weekend though during a 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race. For all you East Coasters, it was Allamuchy so you know the terrain is super technical!! The bike held up great!!! In fact the only thing I did during the while event was lube the chain, nothing ever loosened or needed adjusting! I broke the bike down after the race (it rained and was muddy) to clean and check over and all bearings are still running smooth.
As I stated in my last review, this is the best bike I have ever ridden and now that my problems are addressed and Intense is taking care of me, I will give it the 5 Chili's it deserves.
I will post another update in about a month to let all spider owners know how things are going.
Bike Setup: Large Frame, 5th element Shock, Fox F80x Fork
from Littleton Co
Date Reviewed: August 23, 2004
Strengths: Great all around bike. Fast climber. Good desceder. The thing I love about this bike is that it doesn't suck the energy out of your legs like other full suspension designs when climbing and you compress the suspension.
Weaknesses: Linkage. Continious maintenance. However, I was told that this bike needed more maintenance than others. That being said I have been pretty happy on this puppy. I bought it in february and had to replace 2 bearings out of 8. Miles logged since february: 2600...yeah...thats not a bad failure rate is it? I've also had one bolt break. However, I am quite pleased with intense's support. usually a 3 day turnaround from when I need parts and when I get them. not bad eh?????
As soon as I bought this bike paranoia set in. But after I put it through the ringer I gained some confidence in it. I raced all season on it(2 wins) and it held up quite well. This is not a bike for people who take their bikes to bike shops for maintenance. YOU will have to learn about the bike and the mainentance needed. But if you spend an extra 15 minutes a week checking up on it it will make you happy. Great bike, design could have some tweaks, but I'm pretty happy with mine. Props to intense for taking care of the flamers on this board.
Similar Products Used: Titus racer-x. Early series FSR. Friends bikes....
Bike Setup: xt.
a Cross Country Rider
from Golden, CO
Date Reviewed: August 14, 2004
Strengths: Great bike, when it isn't in the shop.
Weaknesses: Same as everyone else...bolts/bearings/swingarm.
The bolts, the bolts, the bolts. Same story as everyone else. My bolts came loose, I tightened them again and again. The bearings were crushed and swing arm was cracked...so had to spend a $100 shipping the bike back to Intense. They replaced everything...AND 2 RIDES LATER THE WHOLE DAMN THING STARTED HAPPENING AGAIN. Bolts came loose, etc. I would NEVER buy a bike again with this shoddy quality. I spent $1950 on the frame alone. What a scam these guys are pulling. I wonder if a BLUR is better?
Even though this post will be repetative with others I wanted to force the point!! This bike rides awesome when it's healthy. However, Intense needs to address the problems with the pivots not staying tight. My story is very similar to others: The main pivot on the shock would always loosen while riding and eventually starting cutting into the aluminum pivot bolt until one day it snapped the bolt. I called Intense and they replaced evrything with that pivot, I rode once after reassembly and after one hour of riding I was using a multi-tool to tighten the pivot back up.
INTENSE, You clam this to be a race bike... What race lasts less then an hour??? How can we race a bike that has these falls apart?
When I contact Intense they act like no one else is having these problems? Well thank you MTBR.... I think it's obvious that everyone is having these issues. Anyone who has questions or ideas on what to do next feel free to contact me.
This bike would definitly be a 5 star if it didn't have these serious issues.