Intense Spider 275C Factory Build - Review

Mar 31, 2016
by Vernon Felton  




Intense debuted the Spider way back in 2003. At the time, the Spider was a pure cross-country machine—all steep angles, radically-butted aluminum and jittery manners. What does 13 years worth of technological progress get you? This bike right here—the Spider 275C—a bike that’s just as fast out of the gate, but a hell of a lot more capable in technical terrain. Or at least that’s the storyline from Intense. Is this new carbon Spider truly the proverbial “one bike”—the bike that can do it all? We’ll touch on that subject in a bit, but first the basics.

Spider 275C Details

• Intended use: Trail
• Wheel size: 27.5
• Head angle: 67°
• Carbon front and rear triangles
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Weight (as shown, size L w/o pedals): 25 pounds (11.34 kg)
• MSRP: $9,499 USD
www.intensecycles.com.com / @intensecyclesusa

Intense wrangles between 130 and 115 millimeters (5.1 to 4.5 inches) of rear suspension out of the Spider 275C frame. Rear-suspension travel is adjustable, courtesy of the bike’s two-position shock mount. The Spider 275C is available in four different build kits, ranging in price from $4,599 for the Foundation build to $9,499 for the top-rung Factory version tested here. Looking for a frame and shock kit? Intense also offers the Spider 275C SL frame, equipped with a Fox Factory Kashima Float EVOL shock, for $3,199.


Intense Spider 275C
ISCG05 tabs...an indicator that the Spider 275C veers towards the aggressive side of the trail bike spectrum.
Intense Spider 275C
A dual-position shock mount lets you run the Spider 275C with either 130 or 115 millimeters of rear-suspension travel.


Frame Details

The Spider 275C is, in essence, a sleeker, more refined version of the aluminum Spider 275 that Intense introduced last season. To wit, it still sports a muscular-looking, low-slung cockpit, but adds all the latest touches including, Boost 148 rear spacing and a host of ports for internal cable and dropper post routing. There’s even a front derailleur mount if you just can’t leave yours behind. Some people just swing that way.

The Spider 275C also sports ISCG05 tabs, so you can slap on a chain guide if that's your thing. There's also breathing room out back for a healthy 2.35-inch rear tire. While standover clearance doesn’t look terribly impressive on the geo chart, there’s actually a ton of wiggle room between your unmentionables and things that shouldn’t be smacking said unmentionables.


Intense Spider 275C
The Factory Build sports a 2.25-inch rear tire, but there's space here for a meatier 2.35-inch model.
Intense Spider 275C
Grease injection ports help you keep the lower linkage pivots rolling despite the frequent mud baths it's going to receive.


Of course the real story with the new bike is the carbon frame, or perhaps we should say “frames” because there are actually two versions—a standard version, which shows up on both the $4,599 Foundation Build and $5,899 Expert Build, and the SL model, which is what you get if you go the frame only route or buy either the $6,799 Pro Build or $9,499 Factory Build versions.

What’s the actual difference between the Standard and SL frames? About 300 grams (.66 pounds). Intense pared down the weight savings on the SL frame by using a higher-modulus carbon, which, in turn, allowed them to use a larger mandrel and less actual composite material. The SL frame also sports titanium hardware and a carbon upper link. Despite the use of less composite, Intense says the higher-modulus fiber and different resin help make the SL frame slightly stiffer and stronger than “Standard” sibling. But no matter how you dice it—these things are light. A size Large SL frame weighs in at an impressive 2,655 grams (5.85 pounds).

Intense Spider 275C


Suspension Design

Intense calls their suspension design “JS Tuned”. You’re probably going to look at this bike and call that design “VPP” because, let's cut to the chase, Intense licensed the Virtual Pivot Point design from Santa Cruz Bicycles for more than a decade and what you see here is the descendent of that partnership. From here on out, however, Intense’s suspension design lies entirely in house.

Intense is quick to point out that while, yes, the system is composed of two counter-rotating linkages and a floating pivot (just like VPP) the secret in the suspension sauce, so to speak, boils down to their own unique kinematics and shock tuning.

Intense calls their brand of short-dual link suspension “JS Tuned” (the “JS” standing in here for Intense founder and designer Jeff Steber). There are three different configurations of the linkage: XC/Light Trail, Trail/Enduro and Freeride /Park/DH. The Spider, no surprise, rocks the XC/Light Trail linkage.

The Spider 275C also incorporates Intense’s I-BOX pivot junction—a short and stout bit of lower linkage that keeps flex at bay and helps keep the bike’s chainstay nice and short. And by “nice and short”, I mean “damn short”—as in 419 millimeters (16.5 inches).


Geometry

You’re looking at a relatively slack head angle (67 degrees), a fairly low bottom bracket (13.25 inches) and very short chain stays (16.5 inches). The Spider 275C essentially rocks the kind of geometry that the best all-mountain bikes were famous for before the enduro craze came to town a few years ago and transformed so many six-inch travel bikes into super slack, mini-DH rigs.

Intense Spider 275C


Specifications
Specifications
Release Date March 2016
Price $9499
Travel 115 to 130 millimeters
Rear Shock Fox DPS Float EVOL
Fork Fox Factory Float 34 FIT4
Cassette XX1
Crankarms Race Face Next SL
Chainguide None
Bottom Bracket PF
Rear Derailleur SRAM XX1
Front Derailleur None (though mount included)
Shifter Pods SRAM XX1
Handlebar Renthal Fatbar Carbon
Stem Renthal Apex
Grips Intense
Brakes Shimano XTR
Wheelset DT Swiss XMC 1200 Spline Boost 148
Hubs DT Swiss Spline
Spokes DT Aero Comp
Rim Carbon
Tires Schwalbe Nobby Nic
Seatpost RockShox Reverb
Intense Spider 275C
As befits the price, Intense's Factory Build version of the Spider 275C is loaded with top-shelf components, including a Fox Factory Float 34 fork, XTR brakes, RockShox Reverb dropper post, Renthal bar and stem, and, well you get the idea....






Set-Up

The Factory Build version of the Spider 275C comes equipped with top-shelf suspension bits: a Fox Factory Series Float 34 fork (130-millimters of travel), complete with Kashima-coated stanchions and the three-position FIT4 damper, and a Kashima-coated Float DPS shock with the EVOL air sleeve. Getting the bike to its happy place was fairly straight forward. I played with the suspension in both 25 and 30 percent sag. Twenty-five percent wound up being the lucky number, so to speak. Low-speed compression damping (in the “open” mode) on the Fox fork was something I always fiddled with on a case by case, ride by ride basis.

Some bikes take awhile to gel with, when you’re trying to dial in the cockpit. Not this one. I climbed on the Spider and felt dialed from the get-go. The 780-millimeter wide Renthal Fatbar Carbon and 50-millimeter Renthal Apex stem are sized well to the bike’s generous top tube and though it’s spec that you might expect to see on an all-mountain/enduro bike, it’s a good hint at the Spider 275C’s proclivities.


Intense Spider 275C
Lightweight and efficient, the Spider 275C climbs with the best of them. It also boasts good traction under pedaling loads--something you can't say about all short-dual link designs.


Climbing

Climbing is generally the strong suit for a short-dual link bikes and that’s definitely true here. There were plenty of days when I just didn’t feel like bothering with even flipping the shock into its middle setting. Fireroad spins in wide open “descend” mode? You bet. The Spider is impressively efficient.

On days when I was feeling feisty and out-of-the-saddle efforts were the plan of attack, I’d opt to take advantage of the little blue lever, but I still never fully “locked” the shock out. Didn’t need to. Climbing traction, it’s worth noting, is quite good—even you are taking advantage of the Float DPS shock’s middle compression-damping setting.

The Spider’s relatively steep effective seat angle and its sheer lack of heft (25 pounds, right on the nose) help make cleaning steep and technical climbs fairly painless, but the bike would still climb well in one of its heavier, less swank packages: it’s fundamentally based on a suspension design that does a good job of quelling suspension squat.

Intense Spider 275C
The Spider 275C doesn't give you the massive margin for error that comes courtesy of a heavier, burlier, longer-travel package, but when ridden aggressively, you can have a hell of a good time trying to find this bike's limits.


Descending

Intense has created a bike that’s light and efficient enough to be raced cross-country, but if that’s all you did with this thing, you’d be sorely wasting its potential.

I’m not going to say that this is “the one bike”. I haven’t the faintest clue of what that phrase means to you. For all I know, you could be wearing a heart rate monitor and planning your next afternoon of interval training. Or maybe you’re caressing your full-face helmet this very instant. Each of those riders has a wildly different version of the “one bike”. But I will say this—Intense has made a ridiculously fun bike to ride.

A lot of bikes get called “nimble” or “flickable”. The new Spider 275c, however, is the real deal. You know that line that’s too tight for you to nail? That stops being a problem when you’re on this bike. I know, that sounds like marketing bullshit, but I kept finding new lines that I’d never even seen before…and I was riding trails that I’ve barreled down dozens and dozens of times. Moreover, the Spider is the kind of bike that has you aiming for and popping off of every possible little booter on the trail.

The Spider 275C boasts a geometry that's in line with what you'd find on many all-mountain bikes. This doesn’t mean, however, that the Spider 275C also gives you the same kind of margin for error that you get with a burlier, longer-travel package…

The Spider encourages—begs you, really—to get rowdy on the trail. As a result, there were times, frankly, when I also wound up hitting bigger things at much higher speeds than I should have, given the bike’s 130 millimeters of rear suspension. The Spider 275C’s suspension is so capable over technical terrain and geometry is so dialed that you might wind up pushing beyond the limits of its travel. On the upside, you’ll have a very good time finding those limits.

Intense Spider 275C
Rotational weight will crap all over your inner rainbow. While these DT Swiss XMC 1200s aren't cheap, they are both light and durable.
Intense Spider 275C
Kind of the gold-rims and diamonds treatment--XX1 rear derailleur and shifter meets Race Face Next SL cranks. Result? Serious bling...and solid shifting.

Component Check

• Wheels and Tires: The Factory Build includes a set of the very swank, DT Swiss XMC 1200 Spline wheels. At 1,410 grams, these things are feathery and roll up to speed right quick, yet sport a healthy 24-millimeter internal width, which plays nice with bigger tires. Tire choice was conservative: a 2.35 and 2.25 front and rear Schwalbe Nobby Nic. Lightweight, decent traction…not the most durable tire out there, but a capable all-rounder. On the upside, given the light wheelset, you could eventually add some burlier and grippier rubber to the Spider without feeling like you were saddling the bike with cement boots.

• Shimano XTR Brakes: A bit of a surprise given the bike’s SRAM-centric drivetrain, but plenty of product managers are still banking on Shimano’s reputation for reliability. I'm more of a fan of how SRAM Guide brakes actually feel, but true to form, these XTR brakes performed flawlessly throughout the test.

• SRAM XX1 / Race Face Next SL 1x11 drivetrain: You could get a lot of the same shifting performance for a lot less money, but there’s no denying that Intense assembled a ruthlessly lightweight and precise drivetrain here.


Intense Spider 275C

Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotes Light enough to be raced cross-country, yet capable enough to tackle seriously technical trails. Intense just popped out the proverbial unicorn. If you are looking for an all-mountain or enduro bike that will consistently save your bacon, you should opt for something with a bit more travel. As an all purprose trail bike, however, this thing is way more fun than it has a right to be. - Vernon Felton




Visit the high-res gallery for more images from this review




About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 44 • Height: 5'11” • Inseam: 32" • Weight: 175lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
In 1988 Vernon started riding mountain bikes—mainly to avoid the people throwing cans of Budweiser at him during his road rides. At some point, roughly when Ronald Reagan was president and Hüsker Dü was still a band, he began loving mountain bikes on their own terms. Vernon Felton spends most of his time riding bikes, thinking about bikes, thinking about riding bikes and then riding some more on the wet and filthy trails of Bellingham, Washington. If it has a greasy chain and two wheels on it, he’s cool with it. Except for recumbents. Well, okay, maybe those too. Nah, forget it. No recumbents.



229 Comments

  • + 258
 Just another spider the Mrs would go mad about if it was in our house
  • - 33
flag GeorgeHardesty (Mar 31, 2016 at 5:01) (Below Threshold)
 looks like a genius
  • - 43
flag Ziph (Mar 31, 2016 at 5:26) (Below Threshold)
 Hmmm Dual position shock you say? so buy a size smaller and it becomes a playful trail bike / slopestyle beast in short mode.Well played intense, always wanted one because it's basically a santa cruz without having to join the santa cruz brigade.
  • - 36
flag forallhesgot (Mar 31, 2016 at 5:51) (Below Threshold)
 @Ziph: whats wrong with the Sc brigade homie ? yea.. never mind I left it after 2 years..
  • - 30
flag Gilmarques (Mar 31, 2016 at 7:05) (Below Threshold)
 looking good no doubt, the gravity point is definitely low, but in a big drop, landing on the seat, is it strong enough not to break? just a question
  • - 34
flag RedBurn (Mar 31, 2016 at 7:16) (Below Threshold)
 @GeorgeHardesty : looks like an altitude !
  • - 26
flag wolf-amongst-lambs (Mar 31, 2016 at 7:44) (Below Threshold)
 @RedBurn: it DOES except for that lower link.
  • + 15
 Press Fit BB – just another creaky bike that I won't consider.
  • + 20
 Need a review on the new UZZI ! I imagine the wife would be stoked about that too
  • + 5
 @Silliker269: it awesome
  • + 3
 Sick , what do you guys ride with it ? Pedal up ?
  • + 1
 @Silliker269: Local trails so far which have a good 50:50 mix of ups and downs. Nothing too gnarly just roots and small rocks. Handles them with ease. Plan on taking it to bike parks once they open. Actually climbs pretty good, having the dropper helps. Might switch the shock out to a Monarch to get the climb switch.
  • + 3
 @sevensixtwo: I totally agree that no bike should creek and a $10,000 bike better not even make a whisper. All frame manufacturers should go back to threaded BB's, but as of now most are still pressfit so don't let that be the only thing that keeps you from buying the bike if the rest is great. Praxis Works makes a collet style BB for almost every type of crankset. No more creaking Smile
  • + 1
 @sevensixtwo: I have press fit in my 2012 giant reign and haven't heard a a thing outta them, my raceface xtype on the other hand creaks bad
  • + 2
 @danthepirate: Yes, the only way is to fit a Praxis collet BB, which is like installing a normal BB in a frame without one. So you're essentially correcting a manufacturing fault. Ever get the feeling you're being taken for a ride?
  • - 2
 @yourgirlfriendsass
  • + 4
 @mhoshal: there are some lovely bikes out there with PF – like your Reign, and this Spyder, f*cking amazing – but this Press-Fit madness has to stop. You're lucky, but there are tons of people who aren't. Anyone who races knows that when you ride a lot of volume, your bikes end up spending way too much time on the stand. And with PF, it only makes it worse.
  • + 3
 @sevensixtwo: My Tracer 275c hasn't creaked yet...bought last season.
  • - 3
 @BoiseID5point5: I believe it mostly roumors regarding PF, or people neglect to service bikes
  • + 1
 @sevensixtwo: I've owned 2 bikes (Pivot 5.7c and Yeti SB5c) for over two years that have PF BB's and never a sound. But my Yeti has a Praxis conversion BB, which would solve whatever concern you have.
  • + 137
 Vernon has been an incredible addition to PB. I can tell immediately when an article or review is written by him just from the conversational tone and creative use of language. Great content lately, keep it up!
  • + 17
 ^^^What he said. And the picture quality is fantastic as well.
  • + 17
 I was thinking exactly the same thing! His stuff is so much more fun to read
  • + 11
 It's not because his name is written at the top of his articles? Smile I feel the same way. Coming from reading Bike mag, it's nice to read his articles here almost on a daily basis.
  • + 6
 It's great to have Vernon here. I have been a fan of his prose for years over at Bike. He's a writer/rider I'd like to go for ride with someday. Keep up the great work Vernon!!!
  • + 5
 Great review, can't wait to see more from Vernon! Always enjoyed his writing at BM, glad he found his way to PB!!
  • + 7
 Levy and Felton fo' the win.
  • + 4
 @hellbelly: They should organize events every once in a while: "Ride with your favorite columnist/gear reviewer". We all meet somewhere and ride together and get to hang out.
  • + 8
 @TheFunkyMonkey: That's all @meagerdude The dude is handy as hell with that Nikon.
  • + 5
 I was thinking, this article is well written, professional... Structured, unbiased. Insightful. Unusual for PB. Then I realized it was a Vernon Felton.
  • + 1
 @blackthorne: did Vernon leave Bike Mag?
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: hi Vernon. Great write up! Thank you! Did you leave BikeMag?
  • + 3
 @Satn69: Yup, joined Pinkbike a month ago. Cheers.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: Congrats! I love your writing...too bad for Bike though..."web monkey speaks" is the only reason I ever went to that site... That thing you wrote about how true friends rag on each other because they actually care...pure gold.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: Indeed he is! Really appreciate your approach and words being combined with great pictures from @meagerdude. Welcome and look forward to reading and seeing more from you and the the rest of the Pb team!
  • + 49
 I love how intense manages to produce nice long reach figures without making the seated reach (eTT) too long, by having steep seat angles.

Steep seat angles, not only better for shifting the seated weight forward for climbing, but means that the bike will fit riders with their height in their legs - we don't end up over the back wheel with the saddle up.

Intense bike's geometry is first rate.
  • + 9
 ^^^dude is right......
  • + 6
 I ran an offset FORWARD seatpost for a while... I have long legs relative to my arms. It works fine but looks ugly,
  • + 7
 The geometry is nearly identical to my 2010 Specialized Pitch! It had a 76 degree seat angle, 67 degree head angle, average length top tube, yet very long reach. Back then people ridiculed the bike for being crazy long.
  • + 3
 The first picture says it all, look how high his seat is relative to bars and Vernon is 5'11 and only has 32" inseam...that's on the short side.... and all because the stack is too low.

His seat is hardly clear when its fully dropped.......

The stack is the same for L and XL and the L/XL are only 11mm higher than the medium.
  • + 4
 @Travel66: Most likely running a 125 dropper instead of a 150. That could be part of what you are seeing.
  • - 3
 @salespunk: could explain my dropper comment but not my first one......which is really the point....and if a guy with a 32" inseam needs a 150 dropper on a short travel trail bike something is wrong!
  • + 6
 @Bob12051968: Brandon Sloane/jason Chamberlin and the other guys at Specialized were waaay ahead of the curve on geometry. Agreed.
  • + 7
 Agreed. Take notes Evil.
  • + 3
 I'd rather have a bike with longer stays and a shorter reach, so I'm sitting in the bike, not on the back wheel. I rode the tracer back to back with this, and the Tracer climbs and descends better.
  • + 2
 @SlodownU: If you combine short stays with a steeper seat angle, you can have both.
  • + 1
 @WingnutPA: No, you can't. Look how high his seat is in that picture, yea, that looks really comfortable. Because now you need a super short stack to keep that front wheel on the ground when climbing the steeps. Go ride the Tracer 275c and tell me which bike is better. And have fun weighting that front wheel through the turns. There's a reason all the best bikes in the world have stays around the 17" mark.
  • + 4
 @SlodownU: Fit is very personal. You can have 3 people with the same overall height with seat height/inseam lengths varying 4-5 inches. This bike will work great for some and not so great for others.
  • + 31
 Actually a pretty nice looking bike, I'm glad companies have started making shorter travel slacked out 'do it all bikes!
I'd really like a go on one of these! Big Grin
  • + 11
 "pared down the weight savings" c'mon guys, you do this for a living. it should be "pared down the weight" or "increased the weight savings." "pared down the weight savings" reads like they LESSENED the weight savings, not increased them.
  • + 10
 I don't buy cheap bikes, and currently I have 9 of them, but does anyone else look at the price tag of US$9,499 on this and think, "Wow, a 10,000 dollar BICYCLE"
  • + 4
 Agreed. But its nice to dream though, no?
  • + 1
 Carbon wheelset. Other companies' builds might top $10k for this spec. The Foundation is sub $5k.
  • + 16
 I just think... Can that really be 8,000 dollars better than my bike?
  • + 10
 @bikekrieg: It's not, but you'll feel 8,000 times cooler.
  • + 0
 Nope. I'm stoked that the technology (and then price) is still advancing rather than retracting. I'd be sad to see more bikes that find ways to do things cheaper especially when they usually do it at a ride quality cost. Seems like when the frame is crap, the brand talks about how they have an awesome rear derailleur and how "overpriced" that the boutique guys are.
  • + 12
 $9499 msrp. Will be on pricepoint for 40% off in a few months...
  • + 4
 8-10k bikes drop to 3800-4500(dep wheelset) within a year. Serious buying power/weak selling.
Santa Cruz and ibis seem to fair best on used market, from what ive seen.
  • + 1
 All the new stuff won't be allow online like that unless its a company approved closeout price.
  • + 2
 Only available in-store only for the next 180-days. No online sales at all. Price point is no longer a dealer. Only 2015 bikes are discounted online. Unlike Specialized, Cannonade and Trek that have "spring sales" for 2016 product at a forced 50% off price.
  • + 1
 @Johnny-Rocket-Sauce: it kept me from buying another intense bike... for some reason their bikes were always discounted 30-40% months after release by online retailers.. for someone that likes to upgrade often and try different bikes it didn't work for me. If that changes and their resale value goes up.. maybe I might think about trying another intense... maybe... prolly not
  • + 1
 Interesting enough, Andy Herrick addresses this head on in the comments section over on BRAIN: www.bicycleretailer.com/north-america/2016/03/31/intense-limits-availability-new-model-brick-and-mortar#.VwKkTxMrJTY

This bike is sick but I think Intense has an uphill battle with this strategy. First, this historical perception to overcome. And second, this model limits access to Intense bikes for those who don't have dealers close by.

My closest Intense dealer is 110 miles each way. Been there, done that and not doing it again. When I went to buy a Smuggler, Transition sold to me direct so that I didn't have to travel as the closest dealer was 85 miles away. Paid full retail but didn't have to travel to a dealer that I would never return to other than for a warranty issue. This model seems to control the pricing and distribution issue(s) while not limiting your potential sales base.
  • + 1
 @TheFunkyMonkey: ya I'm on an Evil now.. direct sale.. build my own bikes so not worried. After years of being on an Ibis the shop support was nice but more often than not I was dealing with the manufacturer myself on warranty or crash replacement stuff.
  • + 6
 Could pinkbike do a comparisson on this frame with anthem, fuel, sworks ...etc....same build kits, same tires ...that would be swell...most of us can piece together the possibility of the frame but 13000 cdn, thats like my mortgage for the year Wink
  • + 7
 You have to compare apples to apples: this would compare to things like the Remedy, Nukeproof Mega TR, SC 5010, etc by the sound of the review. In other words, bikes with AM geo circa 2014.
  • + 8
 Add the Transition Scout, the Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt and you've got yourself a rodeo.
  • + 3
 @Rubberelli: Esp. the 5010, as it shares a lot of the same DNA.
  • + 1
 @ReformedRoadie: Ditto on the 5010. Would definitely like to see that.
Mtbr.com did very brief comparison in their review today.
  • + 1
 And the Evil Following would be good to throw into the mix. Still waiting for a proper review on that from PinkBike after BikeMag gave it such high marks.
  • + 1
 I like the current flock of shorter travel smaller wheel trail bikes - a large portion of casual to medium serious trail riders would be very well served with bikes like this.
  • + 2
 I demo'd a 5010 and was blown away with how good it was. It climbed excellent and decended the same. Would like to hear comparisons between this and the 5010, but I'd buy the 5010 on the bottom bracket alone.
  • + 1
 @UtahBikeMike: I feel the exact same. I'm always very very surprised when people (although there's really only a few) say they're unimpressed by the 5010
  • + 9
 Sorry if I missed it, but what size fork does it come specced with?
  • + 3
 I was looking for the same thing- it's mentioned nowhere. Front travel is just as key as the back, I'm surprised they didn't touch upon it even in the specs.
  • + 4
 Fox 34 130
  • + 3
 @ninjatarian: Sorry about that, I thought it was implied, but I guess I was just sloppy. Thanks for speaking up--I'll add it in a second, but, yup, 130 millimeters of front suspension travel.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: No problem! I have just seen some bikes lately running longer travel forks on shorter travel frames, e.g. Smuggler & Scout, and didn't know if that was the case here.
  • + 1
 130 on Factory and Pro, 140mm on the Expert and Foundation builds
  • + 4
 It seems like it's been a while since an Intense bike has received such high praise. Going back to the days of the M1, their design and craftsmanship has always been amazing. Add to that their rides are always easy on the eyes. Congrats to the team in Temecula, CA.
  • + 6
 the test rider is Morpheus from Matrix...
  • - 2
 That's vernon felton.
  • + 0
 Bet you feel pretty foolish now, @huvolix.
  • + 2
 @ricechrispy: youre right Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
  • + 3
 One thing I like on a mountain bike is that the down tube and the top tube connect well with the head tube. There's too many worries about that part breaking otherwise. That bike looks very solid.
  • + 1
 The head tube, bb and upper link bearing has a carbon sleeve that runs through the frame at each of those junctions. It essentially becomes a double-walled frame at those areas. Doing that creates a massive reduction in lateral or vertical movement, wall "breathing", and alternating bearing movement.
  • + 3
 What happend to this AL beauty? Is it off the market?
www.pinkbike.com/news/intense-spider-pro--review-2015.html

If so, then bike industry is getting the wrong direction...!
  • + 3
 Still strong and fun! A hell of a bike for $3k
  • + 4
 It'll return in time... with a Boost 148 rear end.
  • - 10
flag Johnny-Rocket-Sauce (Mar 31, 2016 at 11:08) (Below Threshold)
 No one wants alloy.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: now it makes sense...;-)
  • + 2
 Great looking bike! The lower box link improvement is fantastic. No more smacking it on rocks,logs or roots. If the price bothers you just wait a year and buy used for less than half. Isn't Santa Cruz vpp patent expired? Guessing the reason it doesn't say VPP on bike any more. Intense has the best customer service and amazing geometry on their bikes. This bike looks to cement that reputation. Not sure why it has boost 148 rear spacing? No tire larger than 2.35 will fit in that rear triangle.
  • + 1
 Hi Vernon,

Thanks for the informative, well written review. I'm considering buying the Spider 275C (haven't ridden it) and am currently riding a 2016 Process 134 DL. I know you're familiar with the Process, so I'm hoping you wouldn't mind giving me a sense of the difference in the two rides?
  • + 1
 Good review. I recently demoed a v2 5010 and I was hoping it would ride like this new 275 (great climber, can handle tech terrain) but it didn't. I've ridden the aluminum version of the 275 and that was fine but sounds like they changed enough on it to make it a great bike.
  • + 1
 Hey, @matadorCE, the most recent 5010 is definitely the closest cousin to the Spider 275. Try 'em both if that kind of bike is your poison.
  • + 3
 @vernonfelton: Have you ridden the new 5010 as well? I'd be interested to hear your take on the notable differences between the two.
  • + 2
 @MatadorCE:
Maybe give that 5010 another go, often one demo ride can feel weird as your body/brain is intuitively seeking a similar ride feel to what your current bike offers. Last September, after way too much 'net research and demo rides of competitor bikes, I caught a good deal on a near-new 2014 5010 CC w/140mm Pike (1x11 XTR/XT, 26lbs). The first ride seemed awkward (coming off a 2008 Trance X2, 3x9 XT), especially noticeable was the slacker head angle causing wandering on climbs. By the end of my second ride (4hrs in total) the bike began feeling natural to me. Of course most of us want a bike that hits the Holy Grail of fun feel plus, as you noted, is actually faster than our prior bike on both climbs and descents. Within a week I noticed my fun factor was comparable to that familiar eager early season mode and Strava revealed both uphill and downhill speeds were increasing on every trail.

FWIW, comparison-wise, I live in one of the little MTB meccas in BC with plenty of grunt up, grin down, rocky terrain.
  • + 1
 @dlford: Yeah I may give the 5010 another try when a demo event shows up. I demoed the new Bronson and Hightower along with the 5010, and the 5010 had the most 'unnatural' feel out of the 3 bikes. The top tube felt too long while the head angle felt steep and overall the bike didn't feel very composed on tech terrain. The Fox suspension might have had something to do with it as well, as the whole bike just felt harsh.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: Where would the Mojo 3 fit in between the 5010 and the Intense?
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: I've ridden both and the 5010 is a far cry from this bike. The JS suspension enters the mid-stroke much faster and has such a distinct climbing advantage and pedal efficiency (in and out of the saddle) over VPP.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton
Can you tell me about the sizing on this bike? Do you remember? Unless I overlooked that you did not mention what size you rode here... and I'm about an inch taller than you at 6'0" / 183 cm... I am trying to figure out which is better the L or XL, as I am right in the middle. Any advice? Thanks!
  • + 1
 You would be surprised at how versatile this rig is. I've seen it rip through the chunky stuff in Sedona just like the longer travel guys on 150mm+ bikes and then kill it on the technical/pedaling sections...Easily the most fun looking bike I have seen on trail. Rips it down with the big bikes and kills it on the pedaling tech sections like a short travel.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton can you comment on the sizing? Do you remember what size you rode in the test?

Anyone else have comments on the sizing of this bike? At 6'0" I am usually in the middle of the large range... looking at the size guide for these bikes I am on the tall side for a large and the short side for an XL... anyone with insight on this?
  • + 2
 I'm gonna go out on a limb and not complain about the price...of the foundation build. Pretty sweet spec for 4600 bucks, considering I paid nearly 4000 grand for a carbon wonderbike in 2009 with an X9 spec.
  • + 1
 I continue to enjoy watching the bike industry 'jump the shark' - I just can't look away. That said - why does this bike even require a review? For this price isn't the outcome certain? If this isn't anything BUT a 11 out of 10 then WTF, no?
  • + 1
 You know what Pinkbike? You may as well start reviewing Ferraris while you're at it cause I'm just as likely to buy an Enzo. Only rich old men spend 15-16 thousand (CAD) on a bike. Get real. Review something the majority of us can actually afford-
AND if I could spend 16k on a bike, I wouldn't. $4000 gets you a bike thats kicks ass.
  • + 2
 Well, I'm in my early 30s. I ride a bike that people claimed was unobtainable for the masses. I see a TON of them on the trails. Yeah, I got a cheaper build, on sale but it's still just as capable as the $12k version of it. It's just a couple pounds heavier.

You'll be able to get a carbon non x1 build of this bike for less than 4k at the end of the model year.

I feel like most of the people buying bikes like this are probably working at their crappy dayjob during the day then taking the last couple free hours in their busy schedule to go jam out on their awesome bike, not comment on pinkbike about how expensive it is.
  • + 1
 @UtahBikeMike: SO basically you are in agreement with me on the topic. FYI I do work so I can enjoy a few hours a week on my bike. I've been riding my whole life. I've had rigids with U brakes under the chain stays and everything in between that and my current ride. I have seen the industry grow and change for better and worse. What's great is that what you get today for your dollar actually goes way further than it used to. What's not great is that this extra cool MTB dedicated website is loosing sight of their target audience by not representing the price point most commonly sold. And it looks like you ALSO have the time to comment. Pity. DONT VOTE FOR TRUMP.
  • + 2
 @twintip82:

When I'm at home watching my kids, while they're asleep I get on pinkbike to kill some time before bed. I also comment while pooping.

Multitasking FTMFW
  • + 1
 @twintip82:

Also, 16k cad would get you a used '92 rockhopper here
  • + 3
 I really like my alum. spider, it's a super fun bike. I hope they come out with a Tracer more like this bike (longer front, shorter rear).
  • + 3
 "Intense just pooped out the proverbial unicorn" - fixed that typo for ya Vernon. I have to ask, what's with the mini sunglasses?
  • + 1
 --> busts out soapbox: If you havent ridden a 275 Spider; you have no idea how good this bike is.......IMO- It handles better than anything out there, and is capable of much more than one would perceive. The only geo number that changed is standover height. Get an alloy version and support THREADED BOTTOM BRACKETS and MADE IN THE USA; before there isnt an option Smile
  • + 1
 My 2014 Intense Spider 275 is the funnest bike I have ridden to date...Bold words I know, but true. I can only imagine the carbon version. That price tag will keep me on my aluminum version for a while though, oh and no creaks or squeaks yet....
  • + 1
 A $9,999 bike should better get a great review, but I find it amusing that last years reviews of the same bike in aluminum was stated as having limits and gets sketchy in techy terrain.
  • + 3
 Still PF bottom bracket!! sorry no spider for me. I'll go back to Santa or mojo
  • + 2
 I am currently running the alloy version of this bike with a 160mm X Fusion Sweep Roughcut upfront and holy snapping duckshit this bike loves to get loose!
  • + 0
 25lb trail bike. I like it except for that ridiculous price tag. Holy sh!t I can buy damn near four Trance 2 bikes for this price. I imagine those wheels is what drives up that price. Seriously nice looking bike and good review. Thanks.
  • + 0
 There are cheaper models that are a little more into a normal price range
  • + 0
 I've been riding a 25 lb trail bike since 2010. It's call a Giant Trance X Advanced SL.
  • + 2
 @cool3:
Which is still a wicked ride IMHO but don't forget its MSRP was hovering at the top-tier of the 2010 price range when new, as is this bike.
  • + 1
 @dlford: True, but it was far from 10,000 USD, still. Half this, if I remember well… But of course, just a set of upper range carbon wheels makes the price go up steeply. Back in the time (hey, that's just 6 years ago), these were not an option.
  • + 1
 That seat tube though...or wait I can attach a sail to it and boat away in to the sunset... Only a couple of brands still sticking with towering seat masts, it's a shame the spider got bit!
  • + 2
 Thanks for the review, Vernon! How does this compare against the Mojo 3? Mostly interested in differences in suspension dynamics/feel.
  • + 3
 Doubt I'll ever spy der one of these on my local trails - thats about R150k in our monopoly money.
  • + 3
 JS Tuned = The patent expired and we don't have to have the other guy's name on our bikes anymore...
  • + 3
 I have the aluminum version of this bike and it is first-rate fun
  • + 3
 almost 10k .... I buy two Dacias with that money
  • + 2
 But you won't get to ride 'em on those trails! Wink
  • + 2
 @jrp1: they may not make it to the trailhead.
  • + 1
 I rode a Spider at an Intense demo day in 2009, I think. Even back then, I thought that was one solid bike. Sounds like I'd like this new one even better.
  • + 3
 For $10K, it should come with xx1 eagle 12 speed.
  • + 4
 Or XTR DI2
  • + 0
 Excellent shifting has never made an excellent ride quality. I've been on the development side of carbon construction, and I can attest that the labor/material costs of the changes they did to the head tube and bb would likely increase their costs by 50+%.
  • + 2
 The only question that I have, will warranty allow using that bike for the bike parks?
  • + 1
 Love how they tucked the lower linkeage inside the frame a-la Nomad/Bronson2, can't wait to see this design and revised kinematics on the next tracer.
  • + 1
 I'm not sure there is an industry that is quite so full of bs as the bike industry. Why can't they call it vpp as it is pretty apparent that's what it is?
  • + 2
 There are probably more legal reasons behind it than marketing... Santa Cruz might have rights to the name VPP, or something like that.
  • + 0
 Ride it and tell me you think it is VPP. Not even CLOSE
  • + 1
 SC probably trademarked the name VPP or something like that. Johnny, dunno why you're thinking this isn't VPP as it clearly is.
  • + 2
 @UtahBikeMike: I learned a lot while trying to validate my statement. I did checked and VPP is not TM'd or protected since Jan 18, 2016.

The JS axle path is changed from VPP in these ways: The initial part of the "s" turn happens within a shorter distance of the travel resulting in a "mid-stroke" that is wider. Because of the change in that action, it also has a much less pronounced feel on the pedals than that of VPP. The secondary part of the "s" turn is farther into the the axle path as well, which results in a much steeper leverage ratio within the rear shock. That gives a shorter travel shock a more "bottomless" feel without additional volume spacers installed. Shorter links also give JS a "one-up" on VPP, too as it increases structural stability and a stiffer complete frame.

Where it is similar: counter-rotating links. stability under braking forces with minimal impact to the bike’s geometry.

I could also use comparisons of Four-Bar designs to further describe how a similar linkage design results in a "not even close" statement between Specialized, Norco and YT. All use the same "in-front-of and below rear-axle-pivot" design with different names and each have their own distinct ride quality and axle-path.

I guess that the weak US Patent broad brush stroke descriptions that protect a design are a bit confusing to me, so I could be easily proven "wrong" and that JS might be considered VPP (or Norco could be called FSR), but I think that if the axle path changes, the brand name of the movement is no longer valid.
  • + 1
 @Johnny-Rocket-Sauce:

Ok, so it's VPP with altered geometry and a different name.
  • + 1
 @UtahBikeMike: altered axle path and a different name. UtahBikeMike, you've helped me quite a bit here. Thanks, man. I had to do some digging to learn all of that and it opened up a completely new level of awareness.
  • + 2
 10k....hmmmmm i wonder if cheap financing we see with cars will come for bikes
  • + 1
 Any size recommendations on this frame. At 6'0" /183 cm I'm between L and XL.
  • + 1
 vnice review..vernons style really reminds me of mike ferentino. only it looks like vernon takes showers.
  • + 2
 Stack height is so retardedly low
  • + 1
 It hurts my eyes , and 10,000$ ?? Give your head a shake intense your prices are crazy
  • + 1
 $9,499 for the top-rung Factory version tested here.......Any bike with this sort of spec will ride well
  • + 1
 Why do so many bikes these days ( Including mine) look so goofy with the seat at full height..
  • + 3
 Not 29 ?? Smile Smile
  • + 2
 Looks like Tippie, with transition-lens glasses.
  • + 3
 27??
  • + 1
 badass, that's a bike you ride, like, 90% of the time. agree with keystone about the rear brake routing...
  • + 3
 and PF BB? haven't we all had enough of those stupid things?
  • + 1
 Great looking bike... with the exception of the seat post/tube. With the dropper fully extended it looks obscenely long.
  • + 2
 I dont like the fact they dont make the aluminum version though...
  • + 1
 And also, when will fox match the tone of their kashima treatments, am I the only one who finds it disturbing?? But appart form that, super sweet ride!!!! I would fit a golden xx1 cassette in their for absolout perfection...
  • + 2
 that rear brake hose routing though........
  • + 2
 Just one sexy bike, too bad it costs a shade under ten grand
  • + 2
 Ten bags! It's a lot isn't it!
  • + 2
 Bike looks so sick!!! Can't wait for 29er version
  • + 3
 You mean an update of the existing Spider 29C?
With a 140 fork and resultant 67.1 degree HA, the current version doesn't really need updating unless your desperatefor boost...
  • + 2
 @Richt2000: Intense rolled out a Spider 275 (aluminum) model last year, this bike is very similar to it, in terms of geometry. It's a very, very different beast than the Spider 29er, which I've also tested (bikemag.com). While the aluminum Spider 275 went MIA on the Intense site, it will be back and it will get the Boost 148 treatment.
  • + 3
 @vernonfelton: I'd like to see the 29er to get this treatment of shorter CS and longer reach. An Evil Following competitor so to speak.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: I'd love to see the (I'm sure it's coming according to a reliable source) redesign of the Spider 29C with the iBox suspension. I've had both the Spider 29A and C with VPP2, currently riding the Following. How do you feel the pedaling and suspension compares between the VPP2 and the iBox of these new Intense bikes? How would you compare it to your Following wheel size not withstanding?
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton: thanks for the info and the time to comment Vernon! Hope to see the Spider 29C mk2 soon :-)
  • + 1
 Nice , but that cable location
  • + 1
 Anyone know if it can take a 2.8 tire?
  • + 2
 2.8 tire won't fit on stock Fox Factory Fit4 34 fork and the 24mm internal width rim would not be suggested either. You could buy or swap out the fork. You couldn't fit 2.8 rear tire in the rear triangle. This is supposed to be a x-country maybe all mountain racing rig at 25lbs.
Is anyone racing x-country on 2.8 tires?
  • + 0
 chain guide mount spacing has nothing to do with how aggressive a bike is.... surely???
  • + 1
 They're pointing toward the fact that having a chain guide is proof that it will likely be ridden hard
  • + 1
 Nice bike but lacks of the red detailing Wink
  • + 1
 Does anyone know what those pedals are?
  • + 1
 HT-AE01 from the look of them. Certainly from the HT range!
  • + 1
 Looks like HT pedals...
  • + 1
 Thanks. Looks like they're a bit out of my price range...
  • + 1
 Definitely a really good looking frame. Smooth and edgy at the same time.
  • + 1
 I prefer santacruz cinematic
  • + 2
 Wheel size 27?!
  • + 1
 Yup, 27.5
  • + 1
 Duuude! Vernon, are you on Syncline?!?!
  • + 1
 I'm in love... I think this will be my next rig
  • + 1
 pinkbike needs to review a bike under 8000bucks
  • + 0
 Again?
  • + 1
 Why?! Who wants to see another BC Edition bike? Not me.
  • + 1
 I feel the need to say to this bike "single pivot looking mofo".
  • + 1
 Will there be something like the Wreakoning from Intense?
  • + 2
 Dig it!
  • + 2
 FUCK ME! 11.3 KG!
  • + 1
 How about a review on those new 5.10's he's wearing?
  • + 3
 It's coming. I'm just getting all the poison oak oil off of them right now, but, yeah, a review is in the works.
  • + 1
 Where are these trails? On my phone so I can't see location of pictures.
  • + 1
 Bellingham
  • + 2
 I don't think that's Bellingham. Eastern WA maybe?
  • + 1
 @railin: Hood River. Syncline
  • + 1
 funny stack hight tbh
  • + 1
 does it come in 36''?
  • + 0
 Stopped reading at the $9,000+ price tag...yikes.
  • + 0
 Destructing comments arriving in 3,2,1... Awesome bike btw
  • + 0
 Also known as the Santa Cruz 5010
  • + 3
 But better looking.
  • + 2
 @cool3: And rides better.
  • + 1
 Syncline baby!
  • - 1
 Yeah, I wouldn't mind climbing onto that Spider! Yeah I said it.
  • + 0
 Looks like a Scott.
  • + 3
 But better looking.
  • - 1
 Looks like....A $15,000 CAD waste of money.
  • + 0
 Even IF it happens to be a nice bike.
  • - 1
 10 GRAND!... Yea you can go fuck yourself.
  • - 1
 10k. Fk that
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