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When it was first unveiled over a decade ago, Intense Cycles' Spider was less a sleek, agile predator and more like the kind of eight-legged, jangly puppets employed by local carnivals that, as children, we'd recognize as facsimiles but display fear in order to fulfill our obligations as spook alley victims. The new Spider 275C Pro Complete Bike is different beast, though. Instead of the jumpy, never-at-ease feeling of the original Spider, the 275C model is more of a flowy trail sled. It doesn't clamber awkwardly across terrain like a daddy long-legs; it glides across it: a sleek, low-slung wolf spider on the prowl.
The key to the Spider 275C's dexterous aggression is its slacker, lower, and longer geometry, which knocks the OG Spider down a few pegs with a head tube angle of 67 degrees and a bottom bracket height of just 13.25in. These dimensions contribute to proper all-mountain stability that scrambles across trail furniture like a bike better suited to shuttle loops, but the sub-17in chainstays, stiff, lightweight carbon construction, and steep effective seat tube mean it handles climbs with similar aplomb. The chainstay length is a direct symptom of the frame's new Boost rear spacing, which bumps up clearance and allows Intense to slam the rear wheel up into the seat tube's personal bubble.
The 275C Pro build's frame also deserves some lingering attention, as it represents an upgrade on the aluminum Spider and on the less expensive Foundation build. While the latter is based around the Standard Spider frame, the Pro features the SL frame. The SL uses a higher modulus of carbon fiber, which translates to less material in order to hit the same strength and stiffness numbers. Less material equates to less weight, which further aids the Spider 275C's quest for the summit. After all, what good is a spider that can't navigate the web fast enough to catch its prey? No good. It's no good at all. The 275C Pro model ensures you'll be the first in your group to sample all the tasty trail morsels wiggling haplessly in your local singletrack web.
Intense's JS Tuned suspension system is another tail of generational evolution. It's a virtual pivot point design that began as a collaboration with another popular manufacturer, but Intense has since pushed off into its own territory in search of unspoiled hunting grounds. The counter-rotating pivot links maintain travel that won't fight back through the pedals, and Intesne's in-house XC/Light Trail shock tune ensures a light feel off the top that ramps up enough to eat everything up to gravity roll overs. The two triangles are joined by an I-BOX linkage, which is less like a box and more like a carbon fiber fortress built to ward off flex. A stiffer linkage makes for fewer watts lost while climbing and less lateral stress on the pivot hardware while descending.
The Spider 275C Pro build is no lead-footed slouch, either. It features a curated cocktail of SRAM's one-by catalog and matching FOX suspension bits. Both manufacturers have recently stepped up their game, making them the arguable benchmark for trail bike rowdiness. The spec sheet is finished off with two other names that hardly need any editorializing from us: DT Swiss wheels and a requisite Race Face Next crankset. Given the amount of engineering put into the frame redesign, though, it's only appropriate that Intense gets the last word, and the addition of internal routing and stealth dropper ports tidy the Spider's frame up to show off the clean, sinister paint job.
- A modern trail machine with all-mountain heritage
- Takes advantage of 130mm of travel with a targeted shock tune
- Geometry straddles the line between dropping in and climbing out
- Beefed-up I-BOX linkage increases back end stiffness
- SL carbon construction loses weight without sacrificing strength
- SRAM's drivetrains are the original one-by trailblazers
- Marquis component brands round out an impressive spec sheet
- Item #INC001K
- Q & A
Overshadowed Fun Ride!
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
There are a lot of trail bikes out there. This segment is huge and growing. I had a chance to give the Spider a good little test in the harsh terrain known as Moab, UT. A fantastic place to test any bike. Slickrock, singletrack, quick ups and downs, I really put the Spider to test. I would put this in the same bracket as the Santa Cruz 5010 or the Ibis Mojo 3- also very capable bikes. This to me felt very balanced, stiff and quick moving- I was actually expecting a bland bike and was pleasantly surprised. Dives into and out of berms with ease. Certainly another option to consider over a 5010 or Mojo.
Questions? Hit me up, I'd love to chat.
Scott Gartman : Account Manager-Bike