BIKE TEST / INTENSE SPIDER
Shorty rear end: The Spider has very short chainstays, which
make the bike impressively maneuverable. Combined with the
low weight of our build kit, this bike could whip around any tight
switchback, whether it was uphill or down.
Tried and true: DT-Swiss has been a favorite of the Mountain
Bike Action test crew for many years. Their hubs are simply bulletproof and hold together the XMC carbon wheels with a quick
engagement and flawless action. We couldn’t think of a better
wheelset for this bike.
The full-carbon frame sports 5. 3 inches of rear wheel
travel with Intense’s Steber-Tuned suspension design, named for
the company’s founder. The design is similar to other dual-link
systems, but sports it own kinematics to make the ride quality
uniquely “Intense.” The frame offers all the modern amenities,
including a new Boost 12x148-millimeter rear axle for stiffness
and hub compatibility.
WHICH COMPONENTS STAND OUT?
The Spider 275C is available with three different build kits to
suit a wide range of budgets. Our bike came with the Factory build
kit, which offers the highest end components that would make
any factory sponsored athlete jealous. The SRAM XX1 drivetrain
coupled with Shimano XTR brakes and Renthal cockpit work flawlessly. The entry-level “Foundation” build kit, which comes with a
mix of Shimano SLX parts and the exact same frame, is priced at
HOW DOES IT PERFORM?
Setting sag: The Spider’s setup is made simple with air-sprung
Fox suspension front and rear. We set the Spider to 30-percent
sag front and rear and hit the trail, using the single air-valve
adjustments on both the fork and shock. Compression and
rebound damper adjustments are also made simple with Open,
Medium and Firm settings front and rear. Don’t be intimidated by
the huge number of clicks for the rebound and low-speed compression damping. Simply put them near the middle of their range
to start, as we did. Then, use them to fine-tune the suspension
feel as you get used to the bike.
Geometry improvements: The Spider’s modern geometry
features a long “front center” (the distance between the bottom
bracket and the tire contact patch), relatively short chainstays, a
slack head angle and a steep seat tube angle. The bike puts the