Thunderbolt (2015) vs. newer Intense Spider 275c, Evil Calling, or Pivot Mach 5.5?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    220

    Thunderbolt (2015) vs. newer Intense Spider 275c, Evil Calling, or Pivot Mach 5.5?

    I love my T-bolt, but something new and different is always tempting... unless it's not actually better Does anyone have any comparison feedback on the bikes listed?

    Top priorities are:
    -Playful/Nimble/flickable
    -Poppy off lips/features
    -Sprightly under power esp when standing
    -Steep seat tube (thus not looking at 5010)
    (would still ride a hardtail if I could take the punishment)

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: crissvaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    21
    Depending on which model you got, an upgrade in fork and suspension might be useful.
    The later DPS and DPX2 are clearly ahead of the CTD shock. If you've got a nice carbon version of 2015, I'd not really upgrade the frame geo-wise. You can match the frame with a longer fork and also extend the rear travel, opting for a new shock and offset bushings.

    That said, there's something about the bikes you've mentioned:
    - Pivot Mach 5.5: A very versatile trail bike, offering enough traction for an Enduro guy to have fun also pointing upwards and enough travel for an XC guy to have fun picking almost any line when going down the hill. Though, it's not as playful as the Calling or the TB.
    - Evil Calling: Probably the best but definitely one of the best and playful bikes in the 130 mm category. Pedalling efficiency may lack 5 % to the Pivot, but boy, this bike speaks poppiness fluently.
    - Spider 275C: This bike comes close to the TB, even though pedalling efficiency needs the shock in medium or firm mode (limiting the travel to 115 mm) when going upwards out of the saddle. Like the Pivot and the TB, it suggests more travel when descending than you have. Met a guy above Lake geneva with 200 mm rotors and 4 piston brakes, shredding this black and red beauty down some crazy lines in company of bikes with 160+ mm travel.

    Generally, there's not really somehting to advise, only information to transfer. The Pivot is very forgiving in downstream sections and eating up a lot, trading in for poppiness, playfulness.
    Coming from your priorities, the Intense may be the top choice, but if I'm not mistaken it's EOL and comes with a hefty price tag.

    cheers
    ​Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 2016 Custom Built

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    220
    Wow thanks for the detailed response Criss! I couldn't resist the 799 frame's "ride like a swarm of yellow jackets is chasing me" color So good frame but the meh CTD shock. I'm very curious on your comment with the Spider's pedaling -- were your saying it needs the shock lever in the middle position for good efficiency, or the rear shock mount set at the 115mm travel position? It got my hopes up when I read a user review saying, "every ounce of pedaling translated to instant forward acceleration." Really curious about Tbolt vs. Spider pedaling, in and outta saddle!

    * I also posted about upgrading the shock in the Tbolt thread, but no responses yet - maybe you have some insight? There I asked:

    I'm wondering if anyone with experience on both the CTD shock vs. either the Monarch or DPS can advise: I've read they're both superior to CTD, but specifically I'm looking to reduce pedal-bob when out of the saddle (in the Open/Descend mode. My trails are rolling quick ups-and-downs so I need one mode that works well. I have no interest the hassle of the remote, & so I've never even tried it in "Trail" mode.)

    Would jerry-rigging the CTD clamped to Trail mode with maybe a touch less pressure offer a better platform vs. compliance compromise? Or is it a really major performance leap to get a Monarch or DPS?

    I'm only 145 geared up, aggressive/ smooth-ish rider but not very chunky trails. The other factor that is more shock tune than anti-squat design, is that i appreciate "mid-stroke support" for pumping features.

    Thanks for your insights!

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: crissvaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    21
    Hi there,

    Indeed, I saw your post but forgot to reply smh ..

    Starting with the Spider, let's put it this way: It's very efficient and fast when pedalling and climbing, but the last percentage you get only out if the shock is set to medium. That said, it pedals incredibly well - which indeed, is also needed when speeding the TB. I just wanted to point out, the Spider will not feel that different compared to the TB - considering you swap the shock.
    This is where the story starts: In my opinion, there's no (economical) way to tune the CTD in order to reach DPS / DPX2 performance. That shock will change your bike massively. I've come from a very good DPS already, and the DPX2 just improved the already good things. The DPS within the TB however is a game changer.
    The Monarch, I've personally never really tested that deep, only demoed a BC edition (incl. Monarch) which was just a fun ride.
    Both, TB and Spider, suggest more travel than actually available, due to clever geometry and progressiveness.

    If you're not keen on a new bike, including fork, headset, hubs, rims and whatsoever, I'd save my bucks and swap the shock. Currently, there are great deals on DPS/DPX2 from 2018 or you could also ask your LBS if he got a barely used one.


    cheers
    ​Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 2016 Custom Built

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    220
    Awesome thanks for getting back at me Criss - my wallet is glad to hear Tbolt and Spider are equivalent in pedaling prowess! When you went to the DPX2 was it an improvement even in stock form, or did you get it tuned for the TB?

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: crissvaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    21
    Good morning,

    the DPX2 itself has been an improvement, even though my DPS was already performing nicely.
    I haven't had any custom tuning in terms of shim stack (oil flow etc.), but switched to a larger spacer to even more utilize the progressiveness of the last mm's of the TB link.
    As I have changed shock and stroke length, I did go with some offset bushings to play with the leverage ratio and eventually end up where I wanted to go: ~ 135 mm of rear travel, progressiveness in the link and some small bump sensitivity.
    That said, small bump sensitivity is a tough one, and it took me a long time setting up rebound and low speed compression.

    cheers
    ​Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 2016 Custom Built

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: IPA Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    516
    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsy View Post
    I love my T-bolt, but something new and different is always tempting... unless it's not actually better Does anyone have any comparison feedback on the bikes listed?

    Top priorities are:
    -Playful/Nimble/flickable
    -Poppy off lips/features
    -Sprightly under power esp when standing
    -Steep seat tube (thus not looking at 5010)
    (would still ride a hardtail if I could take the punishment)
    Thanks in advance!
    ??? - 5010 has a 75.2 STA...which it looks to be steeper than that on The Calling and the 5.5 based on their numbers
    Riding: '91 Carbon Epic Stumpjumper w/1" Slicks and a Rack on the Back

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    220
    Quote Originally Posted by IPA Rider View Post
    ??? - 5010 has a 75.2 STA...which it looks to be steeper than that on The Calling and the 5.5 based on their numbers
    I'm glad you pointed that out, I was looking at last year's 73.8 STA, thanks!

Similar Threads

  1. Evil Calling vs Pivot mach 5.5
    By mannyfnz in forum All Mountain
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-30-2018, 03:42 AM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-28-2016, 01:40 PM
  3. BK-XC's Video Review of the Intense Spider 275c Pro.
    By JCWages in forum All Mountain
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-25-2016, 07:49 AM
  4. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 05-11-2016, 07:01 PM
  5. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 04-04-2016, 06:23 PM

Members who have read this thread: 46

Posting Permissions

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

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.