I blame it on the bike. There is something about the Intense Spider 29 Comp that encouraged me to be “that guy,” the one who borrows a demo bike and keeps riding hours after the agreed upon return time. This happened on my first of many rides on the bike, but I’d already fallen for this carbon 29er and couldn’t stop pedaling.
That ride came in Park City, Utah, during the annual Dealer Camp demo for bike retailers. As I’d done dozens of times already that week, I took the chairlift to Deer Valley’s mid-mountain station and began descending a pretty mellow XC-style loop. Only this time, for reasons I still can’t explain, I took a left at an early trail juncture and instead of descending back to the demo trucks, I began climbing.
The Spider 29 Comp, like most Intense bikes, has adjustable travel. Even in the longer-travel, 5-inch setting, with the FOX CTD rear shock set wide open in Descend mode, the bike ascended crisply in every chainring. I briefly switched the shock to the stiffer Trail setting, but that only reduced traction—the VPP suspension is so good that it’s best to minimize the shock’s platform damping. The Nevegal tires rolled slowly, but the bike felt light and lively, so I kept climbing. Until I hit one of the mountain’s downhill trails.
Two shock mounts allow riders to reduce travel from 5 to 4.5 inches.
Eager to see how the Spider Comp handled the terrain, I dropped in. Although the mix of steep terrain and manmade features initially left me rethinking by decision, the bike handled the rough freeride trail surprisingly well. I had to walk around some of largest drops and gap jumps, but the Spider sailed over many of the smaller features. Its controlled suspension, rigid chassis, big wheels and long, stable geometry locked the bike onto the trail.
After a few more runs, I rolled back to the demo area several hours late with a sheepish grin on my face and tried not to look at the crowd of other test riders waiting for their chance on the bike. Yes, I was “that guy,” but I still wanted more. So I asked Intense to send a bike for me to test on my home trails in California, where I wouldn’t have to share it with anyone else.
Once it arrived, I had time to notice the bike’s finer details. Intense could have chosen a different name for the Spider 29 Comp—other than using a similar VPP suspension design, the Comp has little in common with the standard Spider 29. The Comp has more travel, slacker angles and has a carbon frame designed with input from SEED Engineering of Germany.
Shift cables are routed internally, as is the line for a Stealth-like dropper post.
Depending on the components, the Spider Comp feels like a race bike, or an all-mountain rig.
The frame weighs a claimed 5.5 pounds (medium) and the geometry is progressive for a 29er. It has short 17.5-inch chainstays, long top tube and a slack 67.5-degree head angle (with 140mm fork). Intense routes the shift cables through the mainframe and chainstay with nylon sleeves that make them easy to install and prevent them from rattling on the trail. The Comp also has internal cable routing for a dropper post like the RockShox Reverb Stealth (not included) that enters the bike through a port down by the bottom bracket. Some riders may complain about the location, but those who work on their bikes—like me—will love it. It also has ISCG 05 chainguide mounts and Intense’s replaceable G1 dropouts that are compatible with standard quick-release skewers, 12x142mm and future rear-axle standards.
Intense’s dual-position shock mount allows riders to reduce travel from 5 inches to 4.5-inches (changing travel also requires recalibrating the rear shock’s sag). In the shorter-travel mode, the Spider Comp feels firmer on the initial stroke, a result of changing the leverage ratio. In that setting, the bike is perfectly matched for smooth, pedal-intensive trails. It would be ideal for someone who built the bike with lighter components and a 120mm-travel fork. After several rides, I swapped the stock wheels for a set of Mavic’s lightweight SLR hoops and added Schwalbe’s Rocket Ron tires, a change that shed 2.5 pounds of rotating weight. In that configuration, the Spider Comp felt like an XC race bike, yet still remained a capable descender.
My test bike came with a 130mm Fox 32 fork that gives the bike a 68-degree head angle. Before sending the Spider back to Intense, I installed a 140mm-travel Fox 34 for a few rides. The change immediately improved steering precision and kicked the head angle to 67.5 degrees, adding stability and improved high-speed cornering.
Few long-travel 29ers climb as crisply as the Spider 29 Comp.
Not long after I finished testing the bike, a friend who was headed to Moab’s Outerbike demo event asked which bikes he should try. The Spider 29 Comp was high on my short list of recommendations. When he returned, I inquired how he liked the bike. His response: “I couldn’t ride one because people had them out all day shuttling Porcupine Rim.” Apparently, I’m not the only one who didn’t want to return the bike after their test ride.
MSRP: $2,900; $5,925 complete W/XT Expert kit
WEIGHT: 28.9 lb.
SIZES: S, M (tested), L
FRAME: Carbon fiber, Fox Float CTD shock, 4.5 in. or 5 in. travel
FORK: Fox 32 Float CTD W/Trail adjust, 130mm travel
COMPONENT HIGHLIGHTS: Shimano XT shifters, derailleurs, cranks, brakes; Novatec TX wheels; Kenda Nevegal tires; FSA SL-K handlebars, stem.
Intense Spider 29 Comp video courtesy of Intense
- Vaccines and Travel: What You Need to Know
- Move over, Spider-Man! Spider silk can be used to build armor and repair nerves | Digital Trends
- Tips For Playing Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- As Travel Ticks Up Again Post-Pandemic, Here’s Where to Go (and How to Get There Safely)
- PCR Covid test: How to get one, cost, and is it required to travel to Italy?
- Summer travel will be filled with ‘hassle and delays’, warns Boris Johnson
- Senate Approves Aid for Small-Business Loan Program, Hospitals and Testing
- Emissions & PUC Tests Become Centralised — Your Vehicle Can Now Get A Rejection Slip For Pollution
- Clothes From A Petri Dish: $700 Million Bolt Threads May Have Cracked The Code On Spider Silk
- Travelers Companies Inc (TRV) Q1 2021 Earnings Call Transcript
- Irrfan Khan passes away at 53, film industry mourns loss of versatile actor
- 8 lasting bag trends that will stand the test of time
- ‘A long, dark year’: Twelve months into the Covid conservation crisis in Africa
- Children home-schooling 'denied laptops' by means testing
- EXPLAINER: Derby winner's failed test latest in horse doping
- 12 Editors Tested Kim Kardashian's Shapewear Line, SKIMS - and She Almost Has Us Ready to Walk Around in Bike Shorts
- How The Pandemic Tore This Travel Facebook Group Apart
- How Sleeping On A Stranger’s Couch Became A Moral Dilemma For Travelers
- Behind ‘the Collateral Heartbreak’ and Intense Devotion of the Reagans’ Decades-Long Romance
- The Latest: South Korea expanding virus testing, tracing
Tested: Intense’s Spider Comp—A Versatile Long-Travel 29er have 1179 words, post on www.bicycling.com at December 4, 2012. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.