There’s also little to fault with component spec. Like the rest of the Intense line up, this bike’s parts reflect some of the best value for the money across all models, yet manages to retain a custom built feel. The only big miss is the Renthal Apex stem, which is not only one of the ugliest on the market, but a pain to install.
Sliding further back, we also found that during several test riders on our size medium frame we experienced issues with getting the saddle height low enough with the 125mm RockShox Reverb post at full extension. For those with shorter legs, the only solution short of swapping the dropper for a 100mm unit is to install a slimmer seatpost collar or a saddle with shorter rails.
In terms of geometry, the Intense has a middle of the road 67-degree headtube angle, standard 23.5” top tube for a size medium, and relatively short 16.5” chainstays. These numbers are similar to several leading competitors and produce a well balanced bike. The one area that really differentiates the Spider is the low standover, which is a boon on steep terrain.
On the trail, there’s little to fault. This bike is an exceptionally efficient climber. What’s surprising is that in addition to being fast uphill, it’s also fun. This is a bike that doesn’t mind racking up air miles. In fact, it prefers to be ridden with one wheel off the ground. You may actually find you spend so much time manualing that your arms grow. While other brands have attempted to create four-cross inspired trail bikes, the Spider actually nails it. This is essentially a carbon slopestyle bike with a slacker head tube angle. It’s too bad dual slalom isn’t more popular these days, because it’s the perfect bike for gate starts and pedaling-heavy enduro races (RIP, Super D).
While it does bear a strikingly similarity to the Santa Cruz 5010 in terms of suspension and geometry, the two are entirely different beasts. The 5010 has chain stays that are .2” longer and a more progressive shock tune (especially when you throw in a larger volume spacer). It’s also more of a hard charging trail bike, while I’ve found that the Spider is a more efficient climber that is easier to both manual and bunnyhop.
For those with a heavy BMX background that prefer bikes that are easy to toss around, demo the latest Intense. It’s an easy bike to ride with style and it’s also surprisingly fast in and out of the saddle.
The new Spider 275 C is available at four price points. The ultra Factory model we tested retails for $9499, but complete bikes start at $4599. Frame and shock are available for $3199.
For more info visit www.intensecycles.com.