While at DealerCamp, my search for 650B bikes proved more difficult than I had thought, so I ended up going to what felt comfortable. And, that led me to my first bike of the day, the Intense Spider 29. While it’s not billed as the lightest or fastest 29er on the market, Intense sure knows how to make great bikes. So, off I went.
Intense Spider 29 Features:
- 4.25″-4.75″ Adjustable Travel
- Designed around 100mm-120mm forks
- Replaceable rear dropout system
- 135 QR/142×12 QR rear wheel compatibility
- Tapered headtube (1 1/8″ to 1.5″ lower)
- FOX Float RPL 7.5 X 2.0 Shock
- Colors: Works, Stealth, Works Red (custom colors available)
- MSRP: $2149 (frame only)
Intense Spider 29 Review
It’s been awhile since I’ve ridden an Intense, so I was anxious to ride on the Spider 29 — even though it’s not all that new. In typical Intense fashion, the Spider is set up as a versatile, American-made big wheeler with adjustable travel (4.25 or 4.75 inches). This bike is well-suited as an all-day marathon rig.
With its G1 Dropout system, you can stiffen up the rear end via 142mm thru axle or adapt to any “new” standards that come our way. Of course, the Spider 29 utilizes the VPP suspension design for extra smoothness both up and down the trails. For 2013, the Spider 29 will only be available with the Fox Float RPL rear shock, which performed without quibble on this machine.
Wanting to test out the climbing abilities of the Spider 29, I quickly ascended up from the Snow Park base area at Deer Valley. The initial climb is via a loose fire road that steepens considerably near the end. I was surprised how much I relied on the lockout switch to settle down the suspension. Now, granted, I haven’t spent much time on a VPP bike in recent years, but the amount of pedal stroke-sucking movement I felt was a little unnerving. Thankfully, the lockout calmed things down and squirted me efficiently forward.
On rolling XC terrain, the overall feel of the bike with a custom 130mm Fox 34 Float 29 fork was smooth and comfortable. I could push it hard in varied terrain and the bike responded very well.
When things pointed downhill in earnest, the heft of the Spider 29 turned into a distinct advantage as it simply plowed through everything in its path. I could maintain momentum and comfortably maneuver through the twisty Deer Valley singletrack.
- Very comfortable on any trail
- American-made goodness
- Versatility that’s hard to match
- Really plows through anything yet handles nimbly
- I had to rely on the rear lockout to maintain efficiency
- No water bottle mounts
Bottom Line: Intense Spider 29
Yes, my time was pretty limited on this rig, but I was immediately impressed by the rideability of the Spider 29. It rides with predictability that’s sometimes hard to find. As an all-day American-made trail slayer, the Spider 29 has a lot to offer.
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Was the rear end setup correctly for you? I have a Tracer 29 with the same VPP suspension and I don’t notice much pedal bob. I have an RP23 but rarely bother turning the ProPedal on.
They dialed in the suspension for my riding weight and I didn’t bother with it. On the downhill, it felt smooth and controlled and I was using all the travel. I’m sure it could be tweaked, but the bob was not my friend on the road or extended climbs.
No water bottle mounts! No Bueno!