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How to prey.
Intense Cycles' 29-inch trail beast rolls into a new model year with few changes except to its coloring. The Spider 29C Pro Complete Mountain Bike features muted colors that disguise rather than broadcast its predatory tendencies, which is a relatively understated look for the California-based manufacturer. The Spider 29C still has enough mid-travel Virtual Pivot Point suspension to scramble across rocky trails and webs of root lattices with the confident aggression of its eight-legged namesake. Since the bike is finished with a simple, efficient SRAM one-by drivetrain and the wheels' huge angle of attack, potential prey are just as vulnerable on flat ribbons of hardpack.
Both of the Spider's frame triangles are monocoque carbon, which allows the engineers to wrap the carbon through the joints. While you'll appreciate the increased structural integrity of this construction method, the process's primary benefit is that Intense can use less material, which lowers the overall frame weight. Long travel or not, 29ers are primarily about speed and lower weight means more propulsion, and the Spider's tapered head tube, thru axles, short links, and second generation Virtual Pivot Point (VPP) suspension take full advantage of those weight savings.
The VPP platform itself employs two aluminum counter-rotating links to balance smooth travel with a consistently solid pedaling platform. The upper link provides most of the rotation as the bike compresses into the sag point, yielding a vertical wheel path that you'll notice in the form of a firm feel during acceleration. As the bike compresses deeper into the suspension, the lower link activates, moving the axle path rearward. The rearward axle path lets the rear wheel yield gracefully to impacts, so the ride is smooth, not jarring, and pedaling efficiency isn't compromised by the frame's travel, and the Cane Creek Inline shock's Climb Switch adjusts low-speed compression and rebound in order to keep your tires glued to the trail for maximum traction while climbing.
The Spider shares more than just a name with eight-legged predators. Its 68.5-degree head tube hits the mark between slacked-out, enduro bomber and nimble XC dart, bringing the two disciplines together for a ride that mimics a spider's dexterity. This flexibility manifests further in the Spider's upper linkage, which affords two mounting positions to cycle between 130 and 115mm of travel, depending on where you attach the shock. The frame is finished with internal routing ports for brake, shift, and dropper cables, keeping the Spider's lines as sharp and clean as the spindly legs of its arachnid namesake.
- Item #INC001F
- Q & A
Dirt Demon Slick Rock Slayer
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Although I have not ridden the 2016 29C version of this bike, I have experienced pure joy with the 2015 27.5.
This bike is just plain rowdy! A true trail king, the Spider descends like a beast, but climbs solid.
The slacked geometry and VPP platform, takes on drops and eats up baby heads, but yields no sacrifice to challenging accents.
I am 5'5 and fit comfortably on a small.
I can't keep from smiling, when riding this bike!