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  1. #1
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    Intense Spider 29 ride report

    Spider 29 ride report:
    Spider 29 prototype #1: This frame was designed with steep angles to eliminate excessive trail found in most 29 designs. The goal was to make the bike handle like a 26” Intense Spider and to reduce 29 wheel flop.

    Setup: Fork Rock Shox Reba Race, Shock Fox RP3, Easton EA70 stem, Easton EC70 seatpost, Easton Monkeybar riser, Shimano XTR disc groupo, Bontrager Race Lite Disc 29, Bontrager Jones XR 2.20 tires.

    Conditions: Dry, mostly hard pack, some loose silt, some sand.

    Initial impression: 4” travel on a 29 feels like 5” or more, handling is good behaves much like a 26” Intense Spider.

    Climbing:
    Steep climbs while seated in a small gear or a big gear out of the saddle the bike would go exactly where you want it to go, no wandering of the front wheel, precise placement was easy to do. Pedaling and position was easy to find and hold. I even did a short steep climb with weight back on the rear of the saddle; the bike did not wander or want to wheelie.

    Handling:
    Bike feels snappy and quick handling, easy to throw around, cornering is precise and the front end control and contact is very good, the bike likes to carve thru a corner, its like the front tire is cutting into the dirt, no front push or slide, effect result of a steep(er) HA

    Descending:
    Feels sure footed precise in line placement. Can easily rail hard corners the bike hooks up no front end push or slide even in somewhat loose conditions. Direction change transitions are neutral and well behaved. Feels like an Intense 5.5 on a fast descent confidence inspiring, point and shoot, feels great at 8/10’s although I have not gone full tilt 10/10’s. Did not descend anything real steep.

    Summation: Bike handling is quick & precise, no surprises, pretty close on the first try, will need time on steep descents to make a more edumacated judgment.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    dirty hippy mountainbiker
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    What's wheel flop? Haven't had that yet. What HT angle? Higher than 71?

    Looks tight. What size is it? hows the toe overlap and DT clearance?

    -M
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  3. #3
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    wheel flop? i may not have been riding 29ers as long as most people on this board, but i have yet to experience this. is that due to the gyroscopic effect of the wheels?

    Cloxxki always talks about 29er forks needing more rake. can someone explain the difference between rake and trail to me?

  4. #4
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    Maybe its just me, but I don't want a 29" bike to behave like a 26" bike. I like the stability and carving affect caused by the 29" wheels.

    29 and 26" bikes are different. They ride and perform differently. If you want a 26" bike, buy a 26" bike. If you want the 29" bike, buy a 29" bike. If you want characteristics of both, buy a 96'er (29" front and 26" rear).

    No one in the ski industry is trying to make a GS ski perform like a SL ski, so why do we keep doing this in the bike industry?

    but.. I'm just me.. what do I know.

    But otherwise.. great looking bike. Thanks for making an attempt at the 29" market.
    Last edited by bigwheelboy_490; 11-10-2005 at 12:42 PM. Reason: forgot to add compliment.
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  5. #5
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    Hot damn!
    That is great news to my ears. Maybe I don't need to wait for the 5.5 in 29" trim. The Spider may be enough bike to really offset my fully rigid SS. You know how it is... you always want what you haven't got. Gears and gobs of travel sound really sweet at this point.
    Keep up the fantastic work (and let us know when you are accepting orders ).
    I will continue selling off my "extra" stuff in anticipation!

    OGG
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  6. #6
    Tig
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy
    What's wheel flop? Haven't had that yet.
    I'll take a wild-azz guess at it.
    With a relaxed effective steering angle, the front wheel tendency to flop over at slower speeds. Think of a chopper fork and front wheel for an extreme example. I think you can see it best when you lean your bike up against something where only the seat is resting on it and the handlebar is free to rotate... FLOP!

    OK, those who really know something can step in now.

    On a side note, I like the fact that Intense is stepping into the 29" market. Their 26" Spyder is among the very best FS XC bikes available. I've personally never seen the need for a full sus in a 29", but an excellent builder with a proven design could change my narrow mind!
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  7. #7
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by n10'sGuy
    The goal was to make the bike handle like a 26” Intense Spider...
    I'm not sure that I'd want my bike to handle like a 26"-wheeled bike. I suppose I'll have to test ride the final iteration to see if I like it, but I'd be turned away by marketing claims of "handling like a 26er."

  8. #8
    AOK
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    Rear tire clearance looks REALLY tight in that photo. Can we get a closer look?

    I realize this is a prototype - what do you think you can achieve as far as max tire size?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    I'm not sure that I'd want my bike to handle like a 26"-wheeled bike. I suppose I'll have to test ride the final iteration to see if I like it, but I'd be turned away by marketing claims of "handling like a 26er."
    I hear ya', Nat. But, if that translates to posessing the positive traits of a 26" wheel combined with the rolling and cornering and traction and stability of the beloved big wheels, wouldn't that be the ultimate 29er??!

    They are still tweaking, so I have complete faith. After all, if a company who has made some of the most unrivaled mountain bikes to date (and this includes putting more winning downhill sleds under more pro's [M-1], one of the best "all mountain" bikes in the 5.5 and the cross country winning design of the Spider) is embracing the big wheel movement; and they are apparently putting in their due diligence, I am confident we are just a short time away from an incredible 29er. No, I am not on the payroll, but I certainly am a "believer!"

    OGG
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  10. #10
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneGearGuy
    I hear ya', Nat. But, if that translates to posessing the positive traits of a 26" wheel combined with the rolling and cornering and traction and stability of the beloved big wheels, wouldn't that be the ultimate 29er??!

    They are still tweaking, so I have complete faith. After all, if a company who has made some of the most unrivaled mountain bikes to date (and this includes putting more winning downhill sleds under more pro's [M-1], one of the best "all mountain" bikes in the 5.5 and the cross country winning design of the Spider) is embracing the big wheel movement; and they are apparently putting in their due diligence, I am confident we are just a short time away from an incredible 29er. No, I am not on the payroll, but I certainly am a "believer!"

    OGG
    Yep, they should tweak away to get the best handling traits they can achieve. Maybe from a marketing aspect saying it "handles like a 26er" would be a bad idea. A lot of people buy a 29er because it's different from what they had before. If they made a brand new bike and said, "handles just like our old bike!" who'd want that?

  11. #11
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    Sometimes I think 29er fanatics are their own worst enemies. Finding fault in nearly every new entry and then wondering why companies are reluctant to join the market. Saying you want more choices then complaining when the choices are different from what is already available or not different enough.

    I think you guys are mis-reading/mis- interpreting "handle like a 26 inch" bike.

    One of the main claims against 29ers is they handle sluggishly, with less agility. Part of the reason for this is the increased amount of trail when using the available forks. Decrease the trail and the agility increases while still benefiting from the inherent stability and traction of the big wheels.

    Bottom line is all bikes do not have to be the same. Different is good! Choice is good!
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  12. #12
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    My other bike is also a bike...

    My Vulture handles like my 26er. Where's the mystery? I bet they could make a 26er handle like a 29er. It's a lazy way of describing it. Really the only thing that matters is what it's designed to do. You can optimize either for anything. Sounds like intense is trying to make a fast nimble race FS XC bike with 29 inch wheels. Sounds like they nailed it on the first iteration. Sounds like it's not too hard either. It'll probably be the most expensive production 29er to date.

    -M
    Last edited by wolfy; 11-10-2005 at 01:40 PM. Reason: add
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  13. #13
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Sometimes I think 29er fanatics are their own worst enemies. Finding fault in nearly every new entry and then wondering why companies are reluctant to join the market. Saying you want more choices then complaining when the choices are different from what is already available or not different enough.

    I think you guys are mis-reading/mis- interpreting "handle like a 26 inch" bike.

    One of the main claims against 29ers is they handle sluggishly, with less agility. Part of the reason for this is the increased amount of trail when using the available forks. Decrease the trail and the agility increases while still benefiting from the inherent stability and traction of the big wheels.

    Bottom line is all bikes do not have to be the same. Different is good! Choice is good!
    Difference is good, which is why I wouldn't want a 29er to replicate a 26er (because why bother?). I guess they should explain what characteristics they're trying to achieve. When I read "handles like a 26er," I read "twitchy and nervous." I like Wolfy's way of describing it: "fast nimble race FS XC bike with 29 inch wheels." That's nicely descriptive. We'll see how their Marketing department spins it upon release.

    When I buy a new bike I want it to feel different from what I already have, in order to give me a new experience. How boring would it be to buy the same bike over and over and over again?

  14. #14
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy
    Really the only thing that matters is what it's designed to do.
    Definitely. And how f'ng sweet it looks.

  15. #15
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    YOWZA!

    I'm with OGG on this as the Spider was a bike I was seriously considering before learning about 29er's. I think this could be THE bike I'm looking for. A 4 inch. travel, light fast XC race bike.

    I agree with Nat and Wolfy. Don't mention the wheel size in describing the hadling. Go with the "Fast, nimble FS XC race bike."

    When can I order one?

    Cheers!
    -Ian

  16. #16
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    When can I ride one?

    And can I get it in Camo? I'm just happy to see more choices and a company like Intense jumping in to 29er's may put some others over the top to start development. And Thank You n10'sGuy for feeling this forum is important enough to share your develop!ment process!

  17. #17
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    Quick handling is the one thing I miss when riding my 29er. Sure, I can lean into the turns a bit more and have adapted my riding style but I would love a quicker handling 29er. Its ludicrous to say 29ers have to handle a certain way, if you don't want a quicker handling bike then don't buy it. I would love to give it a try. How much does a 26" Spider go for anyways?

  18. #18
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    Wild bike, great to have you guys on board.

    What head angle does your 26" Spider get? I seem to remember that the difference trail-wise with 29" can be corrected with just a 1 degree steeper head angle. Or wake up the fork guys and have them spec more offset than on 26" bikes, so toe clearance doesn't have to get so super-tight. If 29"ers have to be as snappy feeling as 26"er, it's really a big guys' thing, as only huge bikes get toe clearance.

    Gotta explain wheel flop to me. Do I have it, and not know it?

  19. #19
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    Wow...that thing looks great. If I were in the market for an FS bike that would definitely grab my interest. However, I personally don't like a fast handling "twitchy" race bike. If I were in the market for an FS it would be for 75+ mile rides and that is the last place that I'd want to be on a fast handling bike.

    That being said....I think Intense will sells loads of these. There are TONS of racer types out there that are dreaming of something just like this. Hopefully 29"er spider will make it to market and spur on some of the other manufacturers to turn out some new frames.

    I love the camo.

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  20. #20
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    Thanks for the ride report. I really believe that you will sell a boat load of these bikes to the XC racer crew especially if you can keep the final weight down to around 25 lbs.

    Make sure a Exi wolf can fit in the rear in case someone wants to fit some fat tires for an all day epic ride. Make them big enough for the tall guys (XXL) as well.

    The camo paint job is sweet!
    blah blah blah

  21. #21
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    I love more options

    I just hope the production version doesn't have that scary rear tire clearance.

    Wheel flop? Nonsense. Slower handling? Nonsense. Sluggishness - yes, but only from a dead stop or while grunting on the SS...to me. Once rolling I notice zero difference.

    Regardless, if I wanted a quick handling 29er race bike I'd by a Racer X or Asylum and put an 80mm Reba on it. Would likely be lighter too.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigwheelboy_490
    Maybe its just me, but I don't want a 29" bike to behave like a 26" bike. I like the stability and carving affect caused by the 29" wheels.

    29 and 26" bikes are different. They ride and perform differently. If you want a 26" bike, buy a 26" bike. If you want the 29" bike, buy a 29" bike. If you want characteristics of both, buy a 96'er (29" front and 26" rear).

    But otherwise.. great looking bike. Thanks for making an attempt at the 29" market.
    ditto, I like the way fishers and bikes around 71-71.5 degree head angles handle. 72 is almost too steep for me. Guess I just like choppers...

  23. #23
    what a joke
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    Dont forget the DT/fork crown clearance. It looks like it would hit.
    blah blah blah

  24. #24
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    Yep, smack-o goes the downtube.

    I must say it's cool to see the original poster keeping the current standards of bike industry journalism / bike evaluation alive and well.

    D- for the design, D- for the attempt at Guerilla marketing.
    No longer member of the bike industry nor society, so don't hassle me.

  25. #25
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    If the 29er spider sells for what the 26er does ($1750), it would actually be cheaper than an Asylum ($1900)... and a whole lot better looking.

    26 Spider is 71/73.

    D- ? You'd grade a first-generation prototype? Hmm.

    Think what you want. There's nothing suspicious or misleading about posts from a guy who's clearly stating who he's working for. Nice that feedback from the target market (us) may influence future iterations of the design.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine
    Yep, smack-o goes the downtube.

    I must say it's cool to see the original poster keeping the current standards of bike industry journalism / bike evaluation alive and well.

    D- for the design, D- for the attempt at Guerilla marketing.

    I am thinking that they are going to need to order some of those ventana made headset races. THey may have to stack 'em up in pairs to avoid that fork smacking

    On the up side it is really great that 1) they are making an attempt at 29er and 2) they are allowing us a preview.

    that being said, I doubt I will be buying one, best of luck anyway.

    On an edit I should clarify why I won't be buying one...I cant afford it while I am in law school with two kids.
    Last edited by OrBikbldr; 11-10-2005 at 04:17 PM.

  27. #27
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    I find it interesting how people on this forum can gripe about tire and fork clearance from a couple of photos taken at a right angle to the bike. Either I am not seeing some photos or there is some wild speculation going on here. Instead of jumping to conclusions why don't we just wait for some more photos and/or the final product before passing judgement?

    As for the D- grades, where do you get off saying that? Its a good thing when we get a look at a prototype, we should offer constructive feedback, not backhanded smack talk. Personally, I see no guerilla marketing going on here.

    This reminds me of a funny Daily Show rebuttal:
    Ed Helms: Jon, do you live near a sports store?
    Jon Stewart: No, why?
    Ed Helms: Cause I just want to know where you get your balls.

  28. #28
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    I think it's great that the community is getting a look at a prototype, even greater that there's another brand in the industry that's taking a look at 29ers.

    I do feel that the review was a little light, but I look forward to reading the riders thoughts on it again once more time has been spent in the saddle.

    What's up with the negativity Warwick? It's a prototype and fork clearance is one of those issues that should be worked out by the time the frame gets to production. BFD. I seem to remember a certain builder who was practicing some guerilla marketing on the trials boards a few years back. Remind me, what's that aluminum coating process of yours called?
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  29. #29
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    flopping around...

    Quote Originally Posted by Soupboy
    I just hope the production version doesn't have that scary rear tire clearance.

    Wheel flop? Nonsense. Slower handling? Nonsense. Sluggishness - yes, but only from a dead stop or while grunting on the SS...to me. Once rolling I notice zero difference.

    Regardless, if I wanted a quick handling 29er race bike I'd by a Racer X or Asylum and put an 80mm Reba on it. Would likely be lighter too.
    really? never noticed wheel flop or slower handling on a 29? how many different bikes have you ridden?

    i'm now on my 5th 29" bike, having been toying with the concept on and off since the days of the bruce gordon rock and road tires, and one of the biggest problems i have (emphasis on "biggest") is the fact that larger wheels tend to flop around in tight going, get deflected by rocks more when hitting them diagonally (i have a hunch it has a lot to do with the fact that they offer a greater target area to deflect), are harder to accelerate and decelerate (why is it that six-inch brake rotors turn blue a whole lot faster on my 29" wheels than they do on 26" ones?), and they exhibit a greater load on suspension components. this is across the board.

    don't get me wrong. i love big wheels. but they have some pretty notable design considerations (i'm taking care not to say "flaws" here) that are intriguing to build around. especially when it comes to things like wheel strength to weight ratio and the effect larger wheels have on bike geometry and suspension componentry.

    meanwhile, it's interesting to see intense playing around in the direction that they have chosen. i applaud seeing someone with their reputation jumping in, even if it is with an approach that many here are voicing dismissal of. celebrate it a little, and cut the guys some slack! if you don't like it, you don't have to buy one. but just bagging on them, based on one photograph no less, well, it comes across as pretty closeminded...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOK
    Rear tire clearance looks REALLY tight in that photo. Can we get a closer look?

    I realize this is a prototype - what do you think you can achieve as far as max tire size?
    26" wheel Spider (as posted by n10'sGuy on the SS board)
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by smudge
    I think it's great that the community is getting a look at a prototype, even greater that there's another brand in the industry that's taking a look at 29ers.

    I do feel that the review was a little light, but I look forward to reading the riders thoughts on it again once more time has been spent in the saddle.

    What's up with the negativity Warwick? It's a prototype and fork clearance is one of those issues that should be worked out by the time the frame gets to production. BFD. I seem to remember a certain builder who was practicing some guerilla marketing on the trials boards a few years back. Remind me, what's that aluminum coating process of yours called?
    Hey, I'm all for Guerilla marketing. Spam is tasty and goes well with Pineapple.

    I know people get excited seeing protos and feeling like they're all warm and fuzzy being 'part of the process', but from one photo you can clearly see that the forks would smack the DT in a crash, the toe overlap is marginal, and I ain't even looking closely.

    We gotta 'keep the bastids honest', right Smudge?
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine
    ... the toe overlap is marginal, and I ain't even looking closely.
    Looks like a non-issue to me, unless you pedal with your heels over the spindles.
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  33. #33
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    Oh Boy...

    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine
    I know people get excited seeing protos and feeling like they're all warm and fuzzy being 'part of the process', but from one photo you can clearly see that the forks would smack the DT in a crash, the toe overlap is marginal, and I ain't even looking closely.

    Geez...here we go again....
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine
    Yep, smack-o goes the downtube.

    I must say it's cool to see the original poster keeping the current standards of bike industry journalism / bike evaluation alive and well.

    D- for the design, D- for the attempt at Guerilla marketing.
    Girl #1: "Doesn't Darcy look really pretty in that dress?
    Girl #2: "No. It makes her look fat!"

    Moral of the story: Putting someone else down does not make you look more attractive. It is, in fact, an ugly trait. Thylacine- stop being THAT girl.

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  35. #35
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    New question here. What

    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine
    Yep, smack-o goes the downtube.

    I must say it's cool to see the original poster keeping the current standards of bike industry journalism / bike evaluation alive and well.

    D- for the design, D- for the attempt at Guerilla marketing.
    Your comments do not compute.

  36. #36
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    dood, that's INTENSE!!

    ha ha! thanks for posting the pic. Looks great. Don't mind all the self-appointed experts here... I would love to take that thing for a LONG spin.

    And if you didnt already know, you have a cool job... good to see that you take advantage of it by dreaming up new stuff.
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  37. #37
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    I"m just saying the bigger this forum gets, the more arseholish it gets as well...

    Thylacine probably still hasn't even ridden a 29er, dude has been putting them down from the start

    the bike looks great, if I had the money I'd consider it, always liked the 26ers Intense makes
    Rudy Projects look ridiculous

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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Sometimes I think 29er fanatics are their own worst enemies. Finding fault in nearly every new entry and then wondering why companies are reluctant to join the market. Saying you want more choices then complaining when the choices are different from what is already available or not different enough.

    I think you guys are mis-reading/mis- interpreting "handle like a 26 inch" bike.

    One of the main claims against 29ers is they handle sluggishly, with less agility. Part of the reason for this is the increased amount of trail when using the available forks. Decrease the trail and the agility increases while still benefiting from the inherent stability and traction of the big wheels.

    Bottom line is all bikes do not have to be the same. Different is good! Choice is good!
    A-freaking-men!!!
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  39. #39
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    Just from those 2 photos it doesn't look like the 26" wheeled Spider has any more clearance than the PROTOTYPE 29er.

    There are lots of folks here that need to lighten up a bit and give Intense some credit for even building a prototype. Choices are a good thing folks!

    Don't forget, Intense make tires too. If they're designing a bike maybe they've got some tires in the works as well. Sounds all good to me.

    Cheers!
    -Ian

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by appleSSeed
    I"m just saying the bigger this forum gets, the more arseholish it gets as well...

    Thylacine probably still hasn't even ridden a 29er, dude has been putting them down from the start

    the bike looks great, if I had the money I'd consider it, always liked the 26ers Intense makes
    Actually, I had a Sycip "700c Mountainbike" pre Noughties, and I like bigger wheels. Heck, I like all size wheels just as I like all size bars, stems, cranks, seatposts and....frikken....shoe sizes. Never said otherwise. The inability of some to not be able to take a bit of ribbing or their need to pidgeon-hole people based on some childish "You're either with us or against us" mentality is not my problem.

    Still, Intense makes a good bike - If only they'd fixed the trail issue by maching up some custom dropouts for the fork rather than simply steepen the head angle like we all do.
    You'd think with their resourses they could bang heads with WB and have some real marketable advantage, right? I mean, you gotta sell frames with forks, so it only makes sense to align yourself real tight with a fork OEM.

    And how about doing the downtube a-la Specialised / Lenz to fix the fork crown issue?

    Gee, do I have to do everything around here?
    No longer member of the bike industry nor society, so don't hassle me.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by goneskiian
    ...Don't forget, Intense make tires too. If they're designing a bike maybe they've got some tires in the works as well...
    To repeat, Intense Cycles sold Intense Tires several years ago. Now totally separate companies.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine
    Yep, smack-o goes the downtube.

    I must say it's cool to see the original poster keeping the current standards of bike industry journalism / bike evaluation alive and well.

    D- for the design, D- for the attempt at Guerilla marketing.
    And what grade would you give this redheaded stepchild?
    <img src=http://www.thylacinecycles.com/albums/album03/ThylacineProto01.jpg>

  43. #43
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    Tell that rider his bike is too small for him.

    :-)

    B for innovation
    D for drivetrain efficiency and wear
    A for short chainstay/long travel ratio with high pivot
    F for rider/wheelsize ratio

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thylacine
    If only they'd fixed the trail issue by maching up some custom dropouts for the fork rather than simply steepen the head angle like we all do.
    Custom dropouts? The Reba has cast lowers. And don't you think it's just a little unrealistic to expect a boutique frame builder with three days of work on a prototype to do something that Fisher, in four years and thousands of bikes, hasn't done?

  45. #45
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    Well - presumably you could do some sort of alternate dropout for a WB fork, I don't think the suggestion was restricted to Rock Shox forks. The trail issue is a very definite one for 29" wheels. I quite liked the handling of my Rig with a Reba, though the recent addition of a rigid fork with more rake has made a world of difference to the agility and speed of handling. You can of course reduce trail by steepening the head angle which is what Intense seem to have done. The problem then is that you have toe overlap issues in smaller frame sizes. A better way to reduce trail is a fork with more offset/rake. This is very achievable on a rigid fork, though more difficult on a suspension fork as there are obviously other design constraints at work. However I'm sure if the big manufacturers really put their minds to it they could make it there. I don't think it's going to be long until they see sufficient demand to justify such a step - we've indeed had previous reports that WB have been experimenting with forks of different amounts of offset themselves.

    Wheel flop is something that is apparent on any bike with a lot of trail, even more so if that's accompanied by a relatively slack headangle. I think this is possibly more obvious on 29" wheels because they tend to have more trail generally, and the wheel is heavier so you feel this tendency more readily. As with most steering geometry traits, it's most illustrative to think of an extreme example. Picture a bike with a really slack head angle and a lot of trail. Lean the bike off centre, and the wheel will want to fall, or 'flop', so that it sits on it's lowest point.

    Sam

  46. #46
    change is good
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    Does Intense still have a 220lb rider weight limit on their frames and what will be the limit on the new frame? I had a Blur at one point and although I'm not fast the bike felt fast.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singular
    Well - presumably you could do some sort of alternate dropout for a WB fork, I don't think the suggestion was restricted to Rock Shox forks.
    The proto photo on this thread shows a Reba, and I think it's safe to say that any frame coming to market right now ought to work, as is, with the existing crop of forks (otherwise, we'll end up with everyone griping on here about how they'd love to buy the frame, but they don't want to have to buy a new fork to go with it). If Thylacine is going to start arguing that every new framebuilder ought to customize White Brothers forks specifically for them, then it's kinda hard to take that argument seriously.

    "I give the Spider 29er a D- because it doesn't cure world hunger or protect the Earth from rogue meteors."

  48. #48
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    Bravo!

    Welcome to the party, guys. Glad there's another builder on board.

    the los
    Whiskey is my yoga.

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  49. #49
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    First, thanks for trying a 29er, we who believe appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by n10'sGuy
    Spider 29 ride report:
    Spider 29 prototype #1: This frame was designed with steep angles to eliminate excessive trail found in most 29 designs. The goal was to make the bike handle like a 26” Intense Spider and to reduce 29 wheel flop.
    I have a Leviathan with at 100mm Reba. The head angle is probably 70 or less and the super stable handling is very confidence inspiring on steep technical terrain. On the other hand I feel the handling could be crisper on flater tight terrain or climbing but it's a trade off thing and lots of people here seem to really like the Leviathan. On the other hand Lenz's newer 5" travel design, the Bohemoth, does have a steeper head angle at 71 deg. As are others I'm concerned that a 73 degree head angle may loose too much of the positive 29er traits of stability and resistance to 'endoing' but I haven't ridden it so it's just conjecture on my part.
    As a potential customer I'd just request that you make an otherwise identical frame with a 71 degree head angle for your own comparison before finalizing production specs.


    Quote Originally Posted by n10'sGuy
    Initial impression: 4” travel on a 29 feels like 5” or more, handling is good behaves much like a 26” Intense Spider.
    I think you'll find a 4" travel 29" bike may fit the 5.5 market segment more than the Spyder racer segment. With luck and/or good planning maybe it will work for both.
    Last edited by Cloxxki; 11-11-2005 at 08:41 AM. Reason: just some figures
    2 wheels

  50. #50
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    Diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    Difference is good, which is why I wouldn't want a 29er to replicate a 26er (because why bother?). I guess they should explain what characteristics they're trying to achieve. When I read "handles like a 26er," I read "twitchy and nervous." I like Wolfy's way of describing it: "fast nimble race FS XC bike with 29 inch wheels." That's nicely descriptive. We'll see how their Marketing department spins it upon release.

    When I buy a new bike I want it to feel different from what I already have, in order to give me a new experience. How boring would it be to buy the same bike over and over and over again?

    Shiggy an Nat are right. I find it amazing that the 29’er community is embracing this bike with open arms. All of the racer type should be going nuts. Personally I am disappointed because if it was a 5.5….wha-wing! However it makes sense that Intense would offer a CC 29’er first and if sales are good a 5.5 would be next (if there is a fork to match the frame).

    What really surprises me is the amount of posters that drool all over themselves when (insert manufacturer here) introduces another steel HT frame. How boring is that?
    Last edited by DeeZee; 11-11-2005 at 08:19 AM.

  51. #51
    Harmonius Wrench
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    Let's talk about head angle and trail

    First, thanks to Intense for putting forth the effort, and subjecting themselves to the "wolves" here. This is a fine idea as far as I'm concerned. although it may not be for me, we'll see!

    Head angle: This and trail numbers seem to vary all over the place as far as what all of us 29"er aficiandos think is proper for the big wheels. On one hand we have mikesee, who favors a slacker head angle and greater trail than most. Now we have Intense on the opposite end of the scale with their steeper head angle, resulting in a lower trail number.

    I wonder if anyone with more smarts than I would like to weigh in on the issue? Mikesee, what do you think? I seem to remember that mikesee liked his setup because it was very stable and handled really well in the singletrack. The Intense people seem to think that wheel flop during slow speed climbs is a problem, and downhill stability is not affected by their seemingly very steep head angles.

    Am I goofy, or does some of this seem contradictory here?

    Discuss!
    Riden' an Smilin'
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  52. #52
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    Good job! Pile-On!

    Quote Originally Posted by goneskiian
    Just from those 2 photos it doesn't look like the 26" wheeled Spider has any more clearance than the PROTOTYPE 29er.

    There are lots of folks here that need to lighten up a bit and give Intense some credit for even building a prototype. Choices are a good thing folks!

    Don't forget, Intense make tires too. If they're designing a bike maybe they've got some tires in the works as well. Sounds all good to me.

    Cheers!
    -Ian

    - Thanks Shiggy, DWF, & goneskiian......... The voices of reason!
    Also - Thanks Intense for giving thought to 29ers and quite possibly another option. Can
    you please push Rob @ Santa Cruz a little on this one too???

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee
    What really surprises me is the amount of posters that drool all over themselves when (insert manufacturer here) introduces another steel HT frame. How boring is that?
    DING DING DING DING! If you want a steel frame, there are any number of custom builders, many of whom post on this board. I understand why Kona or GF making one is interesting, because it costs less, but why do we need any more mass-produced steel frames that cost more than a Waltworks, Sycip, or Curtlo?

    I, for one, think this is really cool. It's exactly the opposite of the bike I want, but I think it's very cool that Intense is creating such a focused design. 26" hardtails converged long ago to 71/73 geometry with short chainstays, and everyone gets really excited over a 5/8" change in TT (dirt jumpers and other heavy freeride frames excepted). Now, with a new market in 622 wheels, we actually have some choices in how we want a bike to ride and handle. Enjoy it for a few years before everything converges to two or three basic designs.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Head angle: This and trail numbers seem to vary all over the place as far as what all of us 29"er aficiandos think is proper for the big wheels..

    I wonder if anyone with more smarts than I would like to weigh in on the issue?

    Am I goofy, or does some of this seem contradictory here?

    Discuss!
    There are so many ways to manipulate the geo of a bike. You can have a low trail number but still get (with other tweaks) a stable bike at speed. You can have a high trail number on a bike that's quicker than you know what to do with.

    Bottom line is that it's personal preference. Best evidence is this thread--opinions are all over the place.

    More confounding is that for most of us, our mtb rides feature varying terrain, varying levels of traction, varying pitch, roots, rocks, mud, rain, snow, small wheel-attacking rodents and other unpredictables. To compensate, you're all over the bike to maintain balance and traction. Suspension is compressing, wheels are turning and slipping, numbers are changing. Nothing is ever static.

    Not to mention that you've got different body shapes and sizes, different levels of experience, different levels of aggressiveness, and hugely varying levels of trail difficulty. What's insane for me to try might be mundane for you to do. And vice versa.

    Further complicating things is that you get a vocal minority that know a lot about the numbers and how a bike *should* handle, but that opinion is often based on the numbers *on paper*, not necessarily on the actual ride.

    In the middle you've got a decent sized group that understands (in a basic sense) how the numbers affect the ride, and many of them have realized that what is 'ideal' (can of worms, I know, but allow me to generalize so that we can all get back to what we were doing) on a 26" bike is not ideal with big wheels.

    Then you've got a huge number of people out riding, with no idea what the numbers on their bike work out to. They know it's very different from their 26" bikes, they know they love it, but they can't explain why.

    How do you bring them all together? You don't. You build what works for you, and if it works for enough people the word will get out there (courtesy of word of mouth testimonials, in the real world as well as on forums like this one) and you're in business.

    This is exactly what has happenned to Walt, Wily, Lenz, Niner, et al. If the bikes sucked, would we be paying big money to buy them, much less continually riding them? Of course not. These companies/individuals are building bikes that people are fanatical about, and the result is that they can't build them fast enough to meet demand.

    So how does that answer G-Ted's question? Intense is building what they think works. Maybe it will and maybe it won't. The market will determine that quickly. If steep angles and a low trail number don't work, Intense won't sell many bikes. Maybe they'll blame the market and say that 29" is too small of a niche. Or maybe they'll say, "Hey, we've got our hands full with 26" stuff--no time for 29". Or, maybe they'll mellow on their geo stance. Hard telling, not knowing...

    I suspect that they will sell a lot of bikes, not only because of their reputation, but also because the 29" market is growing and diversifying. Aside from a few smaller custom shops, how many bikes can you name that have similar geo? I can't think of any. They've got the keys to a corner of this market.

    That right there might be why they are doing it: because only they are doing it.

    That geo does not work for me in any of the places that I ride or have ridden. But it may work for some, and that's reason enough.

    MC
    Last edited by mikesee; 11-11-2005 at 06:13 PM.

  55. #55
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    Excellent post!

    Well thought-out overview of the various facets of custom frame design.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloxxki

    B for innovation
    D for drivetrain efficiency and wear
    A for short chainstay/long travel ratio with high pivot
    F for rider/wheelsize ratio
    That thing looks ridiculous... sky high pivot? The reduced cog/chainring engagement looks like it was designed to ghost shift!?

    I'd run it over with my neighbor's big purple truck and put it out of its misery.




  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    To repeat, Intense Cycles sold Intense Tires several years ago. Now totally separate companies.
    Thanks Shiggy. Sorry to make you repeat yourself. I was not aware of this. I assumed that because they have a link on their website to some tires with their name on them that they were still in the tire biz.

    Cheers!
    -Ian

  58. #58
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    After seeing this, I would think Santa Cruz is re-evaluating their thoughts on the 29" market. Especially if they look at the forum post counts...this forum is now the largest and I suspect people are very interested in a new race bike. I believe many visiting here are not looking for just hardtails or singlespeeds.

    If Intense can get this frame to market pretty fast (April-ish timeframe) I'd suspect people wanting to upgrade/get something new for the next racing season would like this frame and it would be at the top of a lot of peoples short list.
    Front Range Forum Moderator

  59. #59
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    There are so many ways to manipulate the geo of a bike. You can have a low trail number but still get (with other tweaks) a stable bike at speed. You can have a high trail number on a bike that's quicker than you know what to do with.

    Bottom line is that it's personal preference. Best evidence is this thread--opinions are all over the place.

    More confounding is that for most of us, our mtb rides feature varying terrain, varying levels of traction, varying pitch, roots, rocks, mud, rain, snow, small wheel-attacking rodents and other unpredictables. To compensate, you're all over the bike to maintain balance and traction. Suspension is compressing, wheels are turning and slipping, numbers are changing. Nothing is ever static.

    Not to mention that you've got different body shapes and sizes, different levels of experience, different levels of aggressiveness, and hugely varying levels of trail difficulty.. What's insane for me to try might be mundane for you to do. And vice versa.

    Further complicating things is that you get a vocal minority that know a lot about the numbers and how a bike *should* handle, but that opinion is often based on the numbers *on paper*, not necessarily on the actual ride.

    In the middle you've got a decent sized group that understands (in a basic sense) how the numbers affect the ride, and many of them have realized that what is 'ideal' (can of worms, I know, but allow me to generalize so that we can all get back to what we were doing) on a 26" bike is not ideal with big wheels.

    Then you've got a huge number of people out riding, with no idea what the numbers on their bike work out to. They know it's very different from their 26" bikes, they know they love it, but they can't explain why.

    How do you bring them all together? You don't. You build what works for you, and if it works for enough people the word will get out there (courtesy of word of mouth testimonials, in the real world as well as on forums like this one) and you're in business.

    This is exactly what has happenned to Walt, Wily, Lenz, Niner, et al. If the bikes sucked, would we be paying big money to buy them, much less continually ride them? Of course not. These companies/individuals are building bikes that people are fanatical about, and the result is that they can't build them fast enough to meet demand.

    So how does that answer G-Ted's question? Intense is building what they think works. Maybe it will and maybe it won't. The market will determine that quickly. If steep angles and a low trail number don't work, Intense won't sell many bikes. Maybe they'll blame the market and say that 29" is too small of a niche. Or maybe they'll say, "Hey, we've got our hands full with 26" stuff--no time for 29". Or, maybe they'll mellow on their geo stance. Hard telling, not knowing...

    I suspect that they will sell a lot of bikes, not only because of their reputation, but also because the 29" market is growing and diversifying. Aside from a few smaller custom shops, how many bikes can you name that have similar geo? I can't think of any. They've got the keys to a corner of this market.

    That right there might be why they are doing it: because only they are doing it.

    That geo does not work for me in any of the places that I ride or have ridden. But it may work for some, and that's reason enough.

    MC
    - Very well written post. DO keep in mind, he said it's a prototype and angles can/could
    change.

  60. #60
    Driven by watts inside
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    If this frame is available by the start of racing season, I will buy one. Currently, I'm planning on ordering a custom Ti Racer-X 29, but the Spider would change my mind. I'd actually probably buy both just to compare.

    73 sounds logical. I want a bike that won't wander on ball-busting steep climbs, yet rolls over obstacles smoothly and won't eject me over the bars on steep descents.

    Honestly, even if 73 performs better than 72 or 71, I bet that 72 or 71 would sell better simply because people freak out when they see 73. Can you imagine this bike being reviewed by the jackasses at MBA? Even if it performed like a dream, I guarantee that they would still ***** and make up imaginary stories about how the steep head angle caused "twitchy" steering. They've got great imaginations over at that rag...

    - Jeremy -

  61. #61
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    Thanks Mr. mikesee!

    I'll make sure to bring you an apple next time I come for school!

    I'm not much good at this geometry stuff, so thanks for the "down to earth" explanation! Sometimes when the propeller heads and geeks get cranked up here, I lose interest!

    Makes sense now, thanks again!
    Riden' an Smilin'
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  62. #62
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    This may not be a valid enough point for some people, but the way I look at it and others may have said this, is that the more companies are investing time, hrs, and money in te 29'er field the better all of us 29 riders will benefit. This means more companies will jump aboard and start catering as well, this way you don't have 10 tires to choose from you have much much more. The 29'er is still underrated and not as accepted at the 26" bike so the best thing we can do is try to support as much diversity as possible, so that in turn we get rewarded with much more choice and options.

    It is like the old saying "don't look at the accident", if a bike "prototype" doesn't suit you or your riding style then just "don't look at it". Others may love the ideas presented etc.

    I think if Intense believes in the project enough to take the time to create, test and one day produce a 29'er then I give them a big high 5 and raise my glass!!

  63. #63
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    In stead of correcting head angles to supersteep in order to work their way around (perceived) handling issues with 29" wheels, please let fork makers just adjust the offset of their 29" fork to match the wheel used.

    We know White Brothers is working on it, and I love them for it. Please if anyone is now investing in a 29" fork, let them get it right first time! That would take away so many of the design restraints towards a short trail 29"er!

  64. #64
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    SS Spider

    I weep for the soul of this bike.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaredbadams
    I weep for the soul of this bike.

    Intense makes killer bikes, but since when has ANY Intense bike ever had a soul. Only a certain type of bike has a soul, and they are usually made by small operations where some guy spend too much time making it for the money he charges. Also some older bikes simply by being ridden thousands of miles have found a soul, even if they were not born with one. I suppose an Intense could get one in this manner but I doubt it.

    Of course, I am a bit silly about this, but I still have only named one bike ever, because only one bike ever has had a soul. And it was because it was my first bike I ever owned, a Schwinn Stingray that I rode from the time I was 5 until I was 12 and is still at my parents house.
    my builder: Neil at Cernitz Bike

  66. #66
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    Hi Gang,

    Well l own one and ride it often. I am 6.5 and 230lbs and have riden it on all types of terrain. I have done 6 hour epics to smaller gap jumps. The only issue l have had is l believe the rear is too flexy for my heft (most FS are). Other than that it is the best ride l have ever owned. Stable has included Motolite, El Comandate SS, Yeti 575 and ARC, Intense 6.6 and Tracer, Specialised Enduro and the Spider shits it in................. period.
    One thing l did (out of necessity rather than design) is l put a Manitou Minute 120 on the front which does relax the HA / SA and slightly raise the BB.......... all good things for me......... wont suit everyone. Two other friends of mine have ridden just as many brands as l and will tell you that their Intenses are the best of the bunch(5.5 and 6.6)........... for them.
    JD
    Last edited by johnd663; 10-23-2008 at 08:23 PM.

  67. #67
    It's carbon dontcha know.
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    Nothing like replying to a 3 year old thread which was talking about the prototype...

  68. #68
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnd663
    Hi Gang,

    Dont quite know how there can be so many negative comments when so few of you have ridden one. From a photo of a prototype suddenly it is the "death of soul", a crusade of honour and the cause of the credit crisis. Well l own one and ride it often. I am 6.5 and 230lbs and have riden it on all types of terrain. I have done 6 hour epics to smaller gap jumps. The only issue l have had is l believe the rear is too flexy for my heft (most FS are). Other than that it is the best ride l have ever owned. Stable has included Motolite, El Comandate SS, Yeti 575 and ARC, Intense 6.6 and Tracer, Specialised Enduro and the Spider shits it in................. period.
    One thing l did (out of necessity rather than design) is l put a Manitou Minute 120 on the front which does relax the HA / SA and slightly raise the BB.......... all good things for me......... wont suit everyone. Two other friends of mine have ridden just as many brands as l and will tell you that their Intenses are the best of the bunch(5.5 and 6.6)........... for them.
    Too much bike snobbery folks
    Get ridin, less whinging
    JD
    In the past three years since this thread was active I'm sure lots of people have had a chance to ride one. Some opinions might have changed. Many of the people on this thread aren't even on this forum any more.

  69. #69
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    I appriciate it may be an old thread but you do a search on Intense Spider 29er on MTBR and this is all you get. I was discusssing the attitude more so than the content and offering my own findings on this particular bike. Shouldn't give an arse if it is one day old or three years, it is still relevant and the level of attitude expressed was unproductive and frankly rather mundain and typical. Thankyou Nat for being informative and polite and 6TH Element for continuing to uphold the steriotypical forum prowler. I was just looking for information on my bike and there is sweet f all. Perhaps there may be others out there who may benefit from the sharing of information................ oh thats what forums are for.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnd663
    I appriciate it may be an old thread but you do a search on Intense Spider 29er on MTBR and this is all you get.
    Really? A search for "Spider 29er" turns up 8 pages of threads- well over a hundred threads with mentions of the Spider 29er.

    I ride one and love it, but haven't felt the need to challenge old opinions on long-forgotten threads. Next time, just start a new thread and share your own positive experiences (the more pics the better), rather than digging up ancient history and getting argumentative about it...
    Former New Yorker, now in Fort Collins
    http://www.nycmtb.com

  71. #71
    SyT
    SyT is offline
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    I own one.
    I've ridden it.
    It is ridiculously flexy.
    Although Intense has never acknowledged the problem, I understand there will be changes to the 09's to address it.
    I would be glad to tell you, 3 years from now, what I thought of this frame

  72. #72
    Snapper
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    Please excuse my emotional state.

    OK l will shut up now. Point taken. I should watch my own emotional state before added my two bobs worth.
    I will go and hide in the Titus forums now.
    By the way my Spider is very flexy as well and Intense suggested running a Shimano quick release as they have the best / firmest cam action. I use Chris King fun bolts and it hasnt improved.

  73. #73
    SyT
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    I wasnt hatin', it doesn't bother me one bit that you pulled this up. If I wasnt interested, I wouldnt've clicked on it. (funny how that works, my choice and all). Intense knows, or should know, no skewer of any kind, nor 20mm axle, is gonna fix the noodle of rear triangle they sold to the public.

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