Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,476

    Spider Comp Review

    I have enough rides on the Spider Comp to provide a review. I was reticent write one without having enough time on it in varied terrain to give an honest assessment.

    Quick note on setup. I have a Fox 34 Float on the front reduced to 130mm. I measured a 67.5 degree head angle with this fork setup, 110 headset and slightly taller front tire. I run the rear in 130mm travel as well.

    Climbing

    Best climbing bike I have owned bar none. Take this with a grain of salt as my stable has usually been 160mm AM bikes or hard tails. No surprise it climbs better than the AM bikes, but the hard tail superiority surprised me a bit. The exception here is the hard tails climb better when the trails are pretty smooth, as expected.

    This incarnation of VPP has almost zero pedal feedback in the granny ring. A vast improvement over every VPP I have owned previously. This lack of kickback did not come solely at the cost of the venerable VPP rollover feel when descending which I will cover below. The suspension is relatively stiff off the top of the travel making it sit a bit higher in the travel than my other VPP bikes - which aids the climbing ability. With the 130mm Float and have never found the front end to wander on steep climbs or switchbacks. The slightly longer chain stays on 29ers aid in this respect. The Float far outperforms any Talas I have tried so I am happy with that decision. I have Enve wheels on the bike which also aid the climbing to an extent due to the light weight.

    The negative on climbing is I do have to muscle it around tight uphill switchback more so than my 26ers, but that is an indictment of the wheel size and really isn't an issue. Overall, A in this category.

    Descending

    I love the long climb or ride and consider myself an all around rider, but I am a descender by background and is why I ride. Where I can accept an average climber, I cannot accept a subpar descender.

    As I mentioned in a post the other day, the best barometer I had on this bike is a ride I did the other day with two buddies of mine who race Enduro and quite successfully. I can ride their rear wheels if I decide to hang it out that day but usually let them drop me ever so slightly. Riding a steep, technical single-track the other day, I was riding their wheels like I normally ride when I get slightly dropped. It was surprising and impressive. Actually, my buddy mentioned to me after the ride that he was shocked at my riding that day and chocked it up to new bike stoke. Whatever you chalk it up to, I am faster downhill on this bike than I am on my Uzzi in moderately technical and steep single-track.

    Anecdote aside, here are my more technical thoughts.

    Suspension

    Compared to what I am used to with my AM bikes, it has a decidedly racy feel to the rear setup. More DW like in firmer off the top, travel disappears in mid-stroke with nice ramp at the end. Granted, I have not sent it yet on a big drop but have not bottomed it out hard to this point. As mentioned above, there is still that nice rollover feel of VPP although not as pronounced as on my Uzzi, Tracer, 6.6 etc. That said, I am enjoying this firm setup as you really feel the trail beneath you vs a more muted ride on my longer travel bikes. The travel will be sufficient for all non resort riding in Colorado and will be perfect for all of Moab, with the exception of the Whole Enchilada. Also, the quality of Intense pivots have been their weak points on previous bikes, not on this one. Looks like they copied Santa Cruz's design and it is executed beautifully.

    Cornering

    The traction on this bike is incredible (Hans Dampf front) and the more you lean, the more you are rewarded. The traction is never ending and is an impressive attribute of this bike. The potential negative I can see for smaller or less aggressive riders is it doesn't fall into a lean as easy as my Uzzi or other bikes I've owned. If you don't have aggressive leaning tendencies or are afraid to weight your front, you will find yourself under steering. Lazy steerers should not apply. That said, if you ride it in an aggressive fashion, it is as, of not more, fun in tight single-track as my Uzzi and leaves it in the dust on sweepers. Also, this is the stiffest Intense frame I have owned which also contributes to its positive handling attributes.

    Chunk

    The slack head angle and large wheels perform exceedingly well in chunk and at high speed. Not need to elaborate here as this is the presumed benefit of a slack 29er.

    Jumping / Playfulness

    You can ride this bike like a 26er pumping and jumping the trail, but it feels different. You get a slightly more stable, sailing effect. It is a different feel to a 26, not necessarily better or worse unless your sole intent of jumping is to cross it up on every launch. It is more confidence inspiring while in the air which could be a benefit for a newbie. The short stays and slack angle on this make it feel much more playful than the LTc or Rip9 I demoed last year. Unfortunately, and honestly, I think the SB95 I demoed might have a minor advantage in this area, although very minor. The biggest negative I can see with the 29er platform and the Intense is the manualing. Yes, you can ride the rear wheel but it is not as intuitive as on the 26er. Given the other advantages, and the fact it can be done with just more effort, it is worth the tradeoff.

    Things I would improve. The adhesive on the downtube and chainstay protector kind of suck. I think it will last a year or hopefully two but they are peeling in areas along the edges. Even shorter stays! Intense was on the bleeding edge with Yeti, Kona, et al until the Enduro announcement. It might be tough to get them any shorter with the mini links, but I think it would help the manualing even more. At odds with my last request, a bit more room vertically for tires. I am running a 2.3 specie with plenty of room but the 2.35 Nobby Nic was tight.

    Overall, great purchase and my favorite bike to date. That's saying a lot as I have been MTBing for 20 years. More importantly, it puts a huge smile on my face when I ride it which is different from most 29ers I have demoed (SB-95 and this head and shoulders above the others I tried). Also, I would say this bike is faster up and down the hill than my Uzzi in anything but very chunky terrain. The caveat there is you have to be willing to ride it aggressively and muscle it around. If you like to ride lazily, the 26er could very well be faster down.

    However, I won't be selling my Uzzi or hardtail anytime soon as they all ride different and can make the same trail a completely different experience. Variety is the spice of life.

    Excuse my two beer rambling review. Enjoy the ride!
    Last edited by smithrider; 04-16-2013 at 06:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Dude, got any schwag?
    Reputation: TheSchwagman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    792
    Nice review. I'll have to demo one of those bad boys down at Sea Otter!
    Billy

    Speed is sweet, it's like an avenue to
    ... Shredtopia!

  3. #3
    Bikes!
    Reputation: Just J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3,773
    Excellent review thank you!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1
    I've been seriously considering The Comp for a couple of months now. On the fence, especially since the Bronson was announced, but your excellent review has tipped the scales. You sound like you actually know what you're talking about. Thanks for taking the time to write your impressions with such detail and clarity.

    And the two beers only helped!

    One question and I hope I didn't miss it in your write up- what drive train are you running? I'm considering a 1x11......

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    502
    Thanks for the review :-)

    Could you elaborate on in what ways you feel the SB95 is better than then Spider Comp 29?

    I just rented the SB95 for two days in Moab and really liked it but found the toptube a bit short meaning I would have to run a longer stem that what I prefer. I also rented the new SC Bronson and rode TWE on it and it was a blast but I think the SB95 would have been done the job as good as the Bronson if the SB95 had a 140 in front.

    Thanks for the insights on your experiences. The Spider Comp 29 is definitely a possible replacement for my Spider 29 when it needs to be replaced :-)

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,476
    The advantage I felt the 95 had was it was ever so slightly easier to manual. Could have been because the switch suspension is a bit stiffer off the top helping pop the front up. Any comparison between the two is really splitting hairs in how they ride. Biggest difference is the one you pointed out. The Spider has a longer tt and reach. I would be equally happy with a 95c or Spider Comp.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    502
    Thanks :-)

    What really impressed me about the SB95 alloy version was the stiffnes of the frame. I ride the new Spider 29 and the SB95 seemed a lot stiffer than this frame. Well - guess I better start saving up :-)

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    183
    I ride a 29 comp and totally agree with you on your review....

    My friend rides a SB95 and I do feel the only advantage is also that the bike jumps and manuals better, it just has the feel of been more active even tho its 5 lbs heavier

    Good Review!

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1,145
    Quote Originally Posted by Danish Dynamite View Post
    Thanks :-)

    What really impressed me about the SB95 alloy version was the stiffnes of the frame. I ride the new Spider 29 and the SB95 seemed a lot stiffer than this frame. Well - guess I better start saving up :-)
    Have you ridden the Spider Comp? I find that it lacks nothing in terms of stiffness. I agree with you that the SB95 is a stout frame, I'm interested in throwing a leg over the SB95c at some point.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    502
    No unfortunately not - I could not find a place in moab where I could rent one. It looks nice

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,476
    I would recommend testing the 95c and Spider Comp and buy the one that fits best. They really are very close to each other in ride dynamics.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    1,145
    Agreed. I fell right between sizes on the SB95's so I jumped all over the Spider Comp when it came out since it was just right ala Goldilocks I do prefer the cable routing (stealth dropper etc) and tire clearance on my Spider over the Yeti as well. I will admit that I have a soft spot for Yeti and especially that new 95c in Turqouise.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: vice grips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    735
    Quote Originally Posted by smithrider View Post
    I have enough rides on the Spider Comp to provide a review. I was reticent write one without having enough time on it in varied terrain to give an honest assessment.

    Quick note on setup. I have a Fox 34 Float on the front reduced to 130mm. I measured a 67.5 degree head angle with this fork setup, 110 headset and slightly taller front tire. I run the rear in 130mm travel as well.

    Climbing

    Best climbing bike I have owned bar none. Take this with a grain of salt as my stable has usually been 160mm AM bikes or hard tails. No surprise it climbs better than the AM bikes, but the hard tail superiority surprised me a bit. The exception here is the hard tails climb better when the trails are pretty smooth, as expected.

    This incarnation of VPP has almost zero pedal feedback in the granny ring. A vast improvement over every VPP I have owned previously. This lack of kickback did not come solely at the cost of the venerable VPP rollover feel when descending which I will cover below. The suspension is relatively stiff off the top of the travel making it sit a bit higher in the travel than my other VPP bikes - which aids the climbing ability. With the 130mm Float and have never found the front end to wander on steep climbs or switchbacks. The slightly longer chain stays on 29ers aid in this respect. The Float far outperforms any Talas I have tried so I am happy with that decision. I have Enve wheels on the bike which also aid the climbing to an extent due to the light weight.

    The negative on climbing is I do have to muscle it around tight uphill switchback more so than my 26ers, but that is an indictment of the wheel size and really isn't an issue. Overall, A in this category.

    Descending

    I love the long climb or ride and consider myself an all around rider, but I am a descender by background and is why I ride. Where I can accept an average climber, I cannot accept a subpar descender.

    As I mentioned in a post the other day, the best barometer I had on this bike is a ride I did the other day with two buddies of mine who race Enduro and quite successfully. I can ride their rear wheels if I decide to hang it out that day but usually let them drop me ever so slightly. Riding a steep, technical single-track the other day, I was riding their wheels like I normally ride when I get slightly dropped. It was surprising and impressive. Actually, my buddy mentioned to me after the ride that he was shocked at my riding that day and chocked it up to new bike stoke. Whatever you chalk it up to, I am faster downhill on this bike than I am on my Uzzi in moderately technical and steep single-track.

    Anecdote aside, here are my more technical thoughts.

    Suspension

    Compared to what I am used to with my AM bikes, it has a decidedly racy feel to the rear setup. More DW like in firmer off the top, travel disappears in mid-stroke with nice ramp at the end. Granted, I have not sent it yet on a big drop but have not bottomed it out hard to this point. As mentioned above, there is still that nice rollover feel of VPP although not as pronounced as on my Uzzi, Tracer, 6.6 etc. That said, I am enjoying this firm setup as you really feel the trail beneath you vs a more muted ride on my longer travel bikes. The travel will be sufficient for all non resort riding in Colorado and will be perfect for all of Moab, with the exception of the Whole Enchilada. Also, the quality of Intense pivots have been their weak points on previous bikes, not on this one. Looks like they copied Santa Cruz's design and it is executed beautifully.

    Cornering

    The traction on this bike is incredible (Hans Dampf front) and the more you lean, the more you are rewarded. The traction is never ending and is an impressive attribute of this bike. The potential negative I can see for smaller or less aggressive riders is it doesn't fall into a lean as easy as my Uzzi or other bikes I've owned. If you don't have aggressive leaning tendencies or are afraid to weight your front, you will find yourself under steering. Lazy steerers should not apply. That said, if you ride it in an aggressive fashion, it is as, of not more, fun in tight single-track as my Uzzi and leaves it in the dust on sweepers. Also, this is the stiffest Intense frame I have owned which also contributes to its positive handling attributes.

    Chunk

    The slack head angle and large wheels perform exceedingly well in chunk and at high speed. Not need to elaborate here as this is the presumed benefit of a slack 29er.

    Jumping / Playfulness

    You can ride this bike like a 26er pumping and jumping the trail, but it feels different. You get a slightly more stable, sailing effect. It is a different feel to a 26, not necessarily better or worse unless your sole intent of jumping is to cross it up on every launch. It is more confidence inspiring while in the air which could be a benefit for a newbie. The short stays and slack angle on this make it feel much more playful than the LTc or Rip9 I demoed last year. Unfortunately, and honestly, I think the SB95 I demoed might have a minor advantage in this area, although very minor. The biggest negative I can see with the 29er platform and the Intense is the manualing. Yes, you can ride the rear wheel but it is not as intuitive as on the 26er. Given the other advantages, and the fact it can be done with just more effort, it is worth the tradeoff.

    Things I would improve. The adhesive on the downtube and chainstay protector kind of suck. I think it will last a year or hopefully two but they are peeling in areas along the edges. Even shorter stays! Intense was on the bleeding edge with Yeti, Kona, et al until the Enduro announcement. It might be tough to get them any shorter with the mini links, but I think it would help the manualing even more. At odds with my last request, a bit more room vertically for tires. I am running a 2.3 specie with plenty of room but the 2.35 Nobby Nic was tight.

    Overall, great purchase and my favorite bike to date. That's saying a lot as I have been MTBing for 20 years. More importantly, it puts a huge smile on my face when I ride it which is different from most 29ers I have demoed (SB-95 and this head and shoulders above the others I tried). Also, I would say this bike is faster up and down the hill than my Uzzi in anything but very chunky terrain. The caveat there is you have to be willing to ride it aggressively and muscle it around. If you like to ride lazily, the 26er could very well be faster down.

    However, I won't be selling my Uzzi or hardtail anytime soon as they all ride different and can make the same trail a completely different experience. Variety is the spice of life.

    Excuse my two beer rambling review. Enjoy the ride!

    yo SmithRider, nice review +1 but do me a flavor next time you do a write up drink three beers

    Could you tell me how tall you are
    what your weight is
    what size frame
    what size stem
    what size handle bars
    the color of your eyes

    I made the jump to 27.5 on my carbine and love it.
    and was thinking of getting the comp(never rode a 29er on trails)
    I would want it set up like my other trail bikes(and my women) short and wide(stem/bars) and I'm not sure if that would mess with the handling of the bike
    Our trails have some nasty climbs, and to legit to quit DHs
    so I need a bike that climbs light(doesn't have to be light) but have that mini DHbike feel on the dh

    thanks and glad you love your bike
    cheers

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,476
    Quote Originally Posted by vice grips View Post
    yo SmithRider, nice review +1 but do me a flavor next time you do a write up drink three beers

    Could you tell me how tall you are
    what your weight is
    what size frame
    what size stem
    what size handle bars
    the color of your eyes

    I made the jump to 27.5 on my carbine and love it.
    and was thinking of getting the comp(never rode a 29er on trails)
    I would want it set up like my other trail bikes(and my women) short and wide(stem/bars) and I'm not sure if that would mess with the handling of the bike
    Our trails have some nasty climbs, and to legit to quit DHs
    so I need a bike that climbs light(doesn't have to be light) but have that mini DHbike feel on the dh

    thanks and glad you love your bike
    cheers
    Let's see here, I have brown to hazel eyes, and like long walks on the beach. And short and wide is how I like my bulldog, not my women; but to each his own. That aside, here's the other info you were asking for plus an opinion you didn't.

    6'1
    185lbs
    Large
    Stem 70mm (wish I went 60mm in hindsight, might change it out)
    Bar 720mm Flat (race face on both bar and stem)

    Here is my unsolicted opinion. The spider comp will be fairly redundant to your Carbine 275, and I am a fan of a big stable of bikes. However, they really accomplish almost the same job.

    My Spider Comp is my trail, aggressive trail bike and it can take some abuse. It goes on 40 mile epics to the weekday morning 10 mile loop. That said, it would not be my bike of choice if I was looking to pedal up a few miles to hit a legit downhill run with serious braking bumps, large drops with less than smooth transitions and constant large babyheads. I just think you would miss the travel. If the intent really is a self shuttling downhill 29er, take a look at the new Specialized Enduro. If you are looking for a trail bike that can take some pretty good abuse and is fun to ride aggressively on anything from tame to technical trails, the Comp is the perfect fit.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    502
    Quote Originally Posted by Colin+M View Post
    Agreed. I fell right between sizes on the SB95's so I jumped all over the Spider Comp when it came out since it was just right ala Goldilocks I do prefer the cable routing (stealth dropper etc) and tire clearance on my Spider over the Yeti as well. I will admit that I have a soft spot for Yeti and especially that new 95c in Turqouise.
    I also has a soft spot for the SB95C I would like to try it in size large with a shorter stem. Well - the next two days will be on a SC TBC LT in Fruita and then I will see if I can pick up a SB95 in Salida

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,476
    I was reading about the new trek remedy 29er on an Enduro website and happened upon this recent review of the Spider comp by an Enduro racer.

    Enjoy!

    INTENSE SPIDER 29er COMP (carbon) A Proper Bike Test | Enduro Mountainbike Magazine

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    237
    Have you ridden the Stumpjumper Evo FSR? I'm curious to hear your thoughts on how it compares to the Intense and perhaps even the Yeti SB95c?

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,476
    Quote Originally Posted by JHANguyen View Post
    Have you ridden the Stumpjumper Evo FSR? I'm curious to hear your thoughts on how it compares to the Intense and perhaps even the Yeti SB95c?
    I took a quick spin on a SJ EVO 29er and thought it was a good bike. It felt a bit more 29erish than the Intense or Yeti due to the longer rear end but somehow it felt shorter than the Tallboy LT's rear even though they are about equal. The other thing that made me like the Yeti and Intense more is suspension design. I prefer the mini-link, firmer feel to the VPP and Switch vs the softer feel of the fsr.

    I presume the SJ EVO will be redesigned for next year with short stays like the new Enduro 29er. If this is the case, the SJ might be the trail bike 29er to beat. For now, I would put it behind the Intense and Yeti for the two reasons above.

Similar Threads

  1. Intense Spider 29er Comp --- my short review
    By rakerdeal in forum Intense
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-31-2013, 09:16 AM
  2. My new Spider Comp
    By smithrider in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-09-2013, 07:02 AM
  3. Spider Comp
    By mbernard71 in forum Intense
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 01-14-2013, 08:38 PM
  4. My new Spider 29 Comp!!!!
    By SaxMan2001 in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 01-14-2013, 04:47 PM
  5. Intense Spider 29 Review
    By bsdc in forum 29er Bikes
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-19-2011, 07:08 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •