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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, heard about this forum from some guys I rode with last summer. I just started riding, currently on a used hardtail, but have saved up a little under 3k for a new bike. I don't do anything difficult, typical cross country stuff and am not really interested in anything more.

I've been lurking around the Intense forum drooling all over my monitor when someone builds a new bike, but I think I'm ready for a full suspension, something to take a little edge off the hardtail. Being in Maine, not too many shops around, but I have seen a few Intenses on the trails, not even sure where they came from.

Basically, I'm looking for a full suspension bike, I'm not adverse to used, provided it can be upgraded and provided the parts aren't terribly beat. I was thinking 5.5 or Spider for what I do, or a Santa Cruz Blur, or Specialized Stumpjumper. I think I'd have to compromise the components for the Stumpy, and a little bit on the Blur, but I'm not sure on the Intense. Do they do completes? If so, what do they have and where can I see the list of components?

Thanks and sorry for all the questions.
 

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Welcome..

Intense > Santa Cruz > Specialized.

You'll find that Intense is generally going to be the highest price of the 3 brands.. Of course you'll get what you pay for. The Stumpy would get you a nice build in your price range with some extra coin left over to invest in riding gear (plus you can find used ones everywhere). Then, once you've had a few years of trail time to get used to full suspension you can upgrade to an Intense. I love my Intense, but the performance gains of a high-end brand might not be worth the extra $$ to someone new to FS. Any of the bikes you mentioned will be fully capable of taking you quite far in the sport.
 

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There's hundreds of bikes out there that fit the description.

If you must buy online (no test ride), the first thing you need to figure out is what sort of frame/bike geometry you want: horizontal top tupe measurement, head tube angle, seat tube angle, standover (especially for short legged guys like me), how much suspension travel (sounds like 4" would be enough?)... How much weight is OK? ...

Your budget is enough for a nice bike. Now you need to find the bike that fits you best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I might not have to buy online

I asked around last night, and found that if I'm willing to travel about 35 miles or so, I found where the Intense bikes are coming from, and I guess its a well known shop who sells Intense, cruz, turner and ventana. They are a bit old school I hear, no frills type of shop, but have some great mechanics and my favorite, bikes in stock. Hopefully they are open because there is still a ton of snow up here.

I might actually get to ride one of these bikes, maybe I'll bring my hardtail in for some pre-season service just to get to know these guys. I'm a little dubious about a full 5.5 or more of travel, I don't think I need it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Another question...

Thanks mtbikerx, that was the shop I had heard about, the Bike Boutique. Its about 35 miles away from me, but I went down and met some of them and its going to be worth it. Stood around talking with one of them for an hour while he built a bike, and he showed me some tricks to building, preventative maintenance, all kinds of stuff. Now, here is my question. They had a few Intense Spider completes in there, that am interested in, not only because they are dead gorgeous frames and they are in complete form, but the regular 08 spider with something like an X.7/X.9 build kit, I think was selling for $2600 and the FRO they had there was selling for only $3000.00. I thought it might have been a misprint, but they said it was a special that Intense is having on those bikes in complete form only. They said I didn't really need the FRO though, so I'll leave that to the next xc racer that comes by.

Someone mentioned a 5.5 on here as an option, which they have one for a little over 3k, and also they have some Blur LT's, Hecklers, and Nomads ready to go, which are all higher travel bikes than the Spider, and to be perfectly honest, most were more expensive than the Spider special at 2600. I now know that the Spider is an XC race bike, but to be perfectly honest, I don't race, and don't want to race, and don't think I need the extra travel. So my thought is, (pending a test ride on all of these, which they said I can do when the snow goes away), why would I spend more money for something that is heavier, and I don't really need? And should I worry that I might be riding a XC race frame and I'm not really a racer?

One of the guys actually said I might be better off slowly going into full suspension, saving some cash and getting a Heckler with a D or R AM kit, (saving about $1000), but I really like the "idea" anyway, of a VPP bike, as I can see climbing being one of my favorite things to do and I'm coming off a hard tail. I'm going back today to talk to them about this, because most of these questions I thought of after I left. I was just a bit "awe-struck" by all the bikes to drool over, and the choices. Then there is the question of a couple of 29" bikes, which I also saw there. Brian said they were going to be demos as the trails in the area lent themselves to 29" wheels and not many people in our area have seen a 29" mtb.

As you guys can see, I have a lot of information being thrown at me at one time, and I will teach myself this stuff, but thought since everyone here has been so nice, I could get some thought from people who might have already been through this.
 

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Intense

Look, I'm admittedly a bike-o-holic. Just for reference, I have a Turner RFX, Sultan, RIP9, Fatbike and an Intense Socom and Intense 6.6. I don't know how you will ride in the future but if you are talking xc and trail riding you cannot do better than these deals on the Intense line. Holy carp - look at the prices in the mountainbike mags and use your browser to check online prices on the Spider and Spider FRO! These are coveted bikes with all the good stuff. If these guys are willing to let these go for $2600 and $3000 then grab one. In fact, buy the FRO -- that's the price of a plain old Spider from most dealers.
 

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The Bike Boutique guys are good guys to hang and buy from. Heck, I live 3000 miles away and I bought quite a few frames from them.
Im a little more into the longer travel bikes because I feel I have better control of my bike. I would look at the 5.5 over the Spyders and perfer a bike like a Heckler, Nomad or 6.6.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A lot of research later...

drumstix said:
The Bike Boutique guys are good guys to hang and buy from. Heck, I live 3000 miles away and I bought quite a few frames from them.
Im a little more into the longer travel bikes because I feel I have better control of my bike. I would look at the 5.5 over the Spyders and perfer a bike like a Heckler, Nomad or 6.6.
Ok, I got a great response from people via PM, and spent a lot of time at the shop going over things and asking a ton of questions, usually over beers after hours, but that is another in a long line of stories. With the snow finally going away, I got a chance to ride a spider, 5.5, blur lt, blur 4x, nomad, 6.6 and Heckler. I was really interested in the Heckler that I didn't even put on my first list, but after riding it, was impressed. But, I really fell in love with the spider, maybe its the hardtail guy in me, but it felt more comfortable and quicker. Not to mention the current unbelievable deal on spider's.

I therefore settled on the Spider XVP, with a SRAM kit and a Reba fork. The bike feels really balanced, light, quick, and was within my budget by about $400.00 which can go to upgrades down the line. Very impressed with Tom and Brian at the Bike Boutique, but to be honest, I think they wanted me to wait for a while until more snow went away and I could get a real test ride. But I know what I want, and after riding all those different frames, it wasn't even close if I wanted a VPP bike, for me anyway. I went with the XVP over the Fro, not only because it was 400 bucks cheaper, but because I didn't think I needed the Fro, and it has an integrated headset, which I don't know enough about to make a decision on, and if you ask 3 different people about it, you get 4 different answers.

I'll post pics of my black beauty soon, and thanks again for everyone's help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here it is :)

Here is my bike, my black beauty spider XVP. I got the basic SRAM kit, which is still quite nice with X.9 Shifters, Stylo crankset, Reba fork, and Mavic wheels and Truvativ team bits and pieces. She scales out at 27.5 pounds (not bad for a $2700 bike), with the Mallet pedals which I don't know if I'm going to keep. I have the option of trying several different types, was thinking about Times, thats what I had on my previous hardtail. They are also lighter, as the Mallet C's seem to be a little chunky.

Also, I'm not sure yet if I'm going to trade in the saddle, as its a bit rough, but again, you can see the snow so its hard to tell how thats going to work out on the trail. Regardless, a few tweaks here and there and some little additions and I'm ready to hit the trails on my first full sussser. Its a quick bike, thats for sure.
 

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Told ya

...... those guys at Boutique Bikes would treat ya right. If you offer to buy the beer they may even let you ride with 'em.:thumbsup:
 

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Not really...

Hey, you know that a Spider won't work very well at Sunday River on the lift runs that we take. We are old and lazy now and not terribly into the XC scene that I can see that Spider doing. He can take one of our demo DH bikes, a cell phone, a bottle of percosets, and the telephone number for the local hospital. But I guarantee he'll have a smile on his face while he tries to drink a beer at the Sunday River Brew Pub with his arm in a sling... :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Lovin tha bike

Just a quick update. Lovin the Spyder, but rode one of the 29er Spyders they have on demo and once you get used to them, they are awesome. Gonna ride the 26" for the rest of the year and may grab a 29 next spring. Anybody have any long term time on a 29 spyder?
 

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Yep. Awesome. Get one. Seriously, though, it's one of the most fun bikes I've thrown a leg over. I made a few mods on mine to take it from 29er XC to more of an all arounder trail bike. I've been riding it over a year now and have loved every minute.
 

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Not on a Spyder but loving the 29" thing. There is a real advantage to the 29er riding the New England style rough, rooty trails. The larger radius of the big front wheel mows over abrupt changes in the trail surface with ease. Another issue with 29er sized frames is the way they feel to larger bodied riders. I'm on the taller side and I just feel more comfortable on a 29er. You know, they sell those demos too.
 
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