Travel adjustable: The Spider comes with two travel settings,
which can be adjusted by changing the shock’s mounting position on the upper rocker. Since the bike handled so sweetly and
climbed so well, we didn’t find a need to go to the shorter-travel
setting at all.
Earn the turns: Climbing is one of the Spider’s
strong suits, and that was a huge plus for our
test riders who refuse to take a shuttle to the
top of the hill. While this thing is truly capable
on the descents, you can rest assured this rider
paid the pain tax of climbing up first.
Nifty axle: The Spider uses a Boost 148-millimeter spaced
rear axle to keep the rear end stiff and short. The axle itself is a
unique thread-in with a lock-bolt design that stayed tight and true
throughout our testing.
rider in an aggressive-feeling position right over the pedals, but
it doesn’t feel like it’s going to pitch you over the bars on a steep
descent. It appears Intense listened to the critiques of the aluminum version and made some adjustments.
Climbing: The Spider is designed to be an efficient machine
that can climb as well or better than it descends. Our test riders
were impressed with the forward-feeling geometry, which puts the
rider in an aggressive position for heading uphill. This bike is a full
6 pounds lighter than the aluminum version we tested previously
and climbs like a Sherpa on a cocaine bender. The lightweight
wheels, dialed geometry and active suspension make it as easy to
float uphill on long grinder climbs as it is to hit punchy and quick
ascents with confidence.
Cornering: The long front center and aggressive geometry of
the Spider make the bike handle both fast and technical corners
better than most bikes in this category. The 13.8-inch bottom
bracket height is fairly neutral, but the center of gravity still feels
fairly low, helping the bike carve corners with ease.
The Spider’s handling is quick by enduro standards but stable
by cross-country standards. It’s clear that Intense designed this
bike to have its foot in both camps for cornering.
Descending: The Spider is a relatively short-travel bike, but it
feels as if it’s the product of a trailbike and enduro bike love affair.
On descents the Spider can put gaps on other bikes in the same
travel category thanks to a plush and active suspension design