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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.
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  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
    Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites.

  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
    Spinning and Grinning...

  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
    Spinning and Grinning...

  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
    dirty hippy mountainbiker
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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
    Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites.

  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.

    B
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  20. #20
    what a joke
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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.
    Professional Amateur. Disagree? Submit your grievances here.

  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.

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