Dirt Rag Magazine

Interbike first ride impressions: Intense Spider 29 Comp

By Justin Steiner,

The new Spider 29 Comp from Intense is the slightly longer-travel version of the original Spider 29. Though still intended for XC and trail use, the Spider Comp has been brought into the modern trail bike realm with a 68.5-degree headtube angle when equipped with a 120mm fork. The 17.5-inch chainstays, while not short, keep things reasonable out back. The low-ish 13.2-inch bottom bracket height will climb to 13.5-inches with a 140mm fork installed. With that same fork, the headtube angle slackens out to 67.5-degrees.

This 5.5 lbs. carbon frame offers internal cable routing, with internal tubing to ease cable instillation, and includes accommodations for a RockShox Reverb Stealth seatpost. Travel can be set to 4.5 or 5 inches, up from 4.25 to 4.75 inches on the original Spider. The G1 replaceable dropouts can be swapped to accommodate 135mm QR wheels or 142x12mm axle systems. For those looking to run a single ring setup, the new Spider offers ISCG mounts.

The Spider 29 Comp I rode today had a 32mm chassis, 130mm-travel fork installed that directly splits the difference between the numbers above. On the trail, the 45.25-inch wheelbase makes itself known in technical situations, but delivers stellar stability at speed—there’s always a trade-off.

It quickly became clear to me this bike would be ideal for covering large swaths of rough terrain with minimal effort expended manhandling your bike—just aim and keep on pedaling. If, on the other hand, you like a playful ride, stunting every possible feature, the Spider’s longer wheelbase and chainstays may require more effort than you’d prefer to expend.

Overall suspension quality felt excellent, with solid pedaling performance and stellar ability to absorb larger hits. That said, I’m not terribly excited about Fox’s Climb, Trail, Descent damper; I just don’t want to feel compelled to flip a lever every time I go up, down, or around. Particularly in the rolling setting of my demo ride, you’d be switching suspension settings every couple of minutes. That said, my ride was more than satisfactory leaving the suspension in the “Trail” setting, which dials in a touch of low speed damping to maintain chassis control.

The Spider 29 Comp seen here retails for $5,300, while an frame and shock retail for $2,300.

 

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