but i do!
I knew for a while I wanted a new XC to replace my 26 inch dually race bike but didnít knew what I wanted exactly. Iím lucky enough to have the chance to ride different bikes quite often and to try new stuff. Thatís how I first rode 29ers when Fisher came out with their first one but was not convinced right away. The idea was great but geometry, wheels, tires and suspensions were not match for the bigger wheels and made the ride quality ordinary to me. Fast forward a couple years and the geometry, wheels, tires and suspensions have caught up big time and the bikes are now more fun to ride. It was now time for me to switch to big wheels but which bike to choose! I knew I wanted a dual suspension but not a race or an all mountain bike and thatís when I heard about the Spider 29 from Intense Cycles from my LBS. 120mm travel dual suspension, XC angles and fairly light frame, the perfect combo I was looking for to replace my 26 race bike!
When the frame finally arrived and pulled out of the box it looked amazing and had all the details Intense Cycles is known for, CNC parts, formed tubes, replaceable G1 drop outs (135 or 142) and their famous thick welds! It was now time to build it. The fork I chose is a 2011 Fox 32 TALAS 29er 95-120mm with 15QR axle. The TALAS was chosen because it has a nice plush 120mm for the downhillís and 95mm to keep the front end low for the uphills. The rest is a mix of Easton Heaven components, Shimano drivetrain and an E13 XCX guide to run 1x10. The complete bike came at around 26.5 pounds.
Riding a 29er is a bit different than riding a XC 26 but similar in way of a DH bike as you need to keep the wheels turning and keep forward momentum. So after setting the sag on the fork and the FLOAT RPL rear shock that came with the frame is was ready for the first ride in our local trails. Now on the trail I had to get used to my new 29er and was thinking it would take sometime after riding 26inch for 15years but I found myself not even thinking about it, jumping and drifting corners after about 10 minutes in our ride! I was hooked, it rolled faster, climbed better and went over rough stuff like a charm. The stock Fox RPL is valve pretty firm so when you put the power to the pedal combine to the VPP system it goes but is still smooth when the terrain gets nasty.
The Spider 29 is nimble and fast. Never did I get the feeling the bike was holding me up. I even had to adjust my braking zone because I am now coming into corners faster. The combo of the bigger wheels, a light yet stiff VPP frame and the Fox suspension makes the Spider29 climb or go downhill like a rocket. It doesnít mind if the uphillís or downhillís are full of roots or rocks, it will just go right through! The only down side is the placement of the water bottle cage under the down tube but thatís a minor thing that I fixed. Overall Iím super happy with the new Spider 29, the look is amazing and the ride is superb. Itís exactly the bike I was looking for, still fast like a race bike but fun like a trail bike.
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