Earlier this year, Intense Cycles invited us to the coastal hills of Laguna Beach, CA, promising an "Intense Experience." What was the occasion? The launch of their newest trail bike, the Intense Spider 275C. While the new Spider 275C shares some traits of its big-wheeled brother, the Spider 29C, there are a few key differences. Besides the 27.5" wheels, the new Spider 275C utilizes what Intense calls the I-Box Link, which sits over the bottom bracket, allowing the Spider 275C to have substantially shorter chainstays. At 16.5 inches, the Spider 275C's chainstays are an inch shorter than the Spider 29C and half and inch shorter than the Tracer 275C. Intense states that by bringing the lower link closer to the bottom bracket, adding extra-large diameter bearings to both the upper and lower links and a BOOST 148x12mm rear end, they whole system works together to stiffen up the bike substantially. With a 67-degree head angle, 13.25-inch bottom bracket and those 16.5-inch chainstays, the new Spider 275C is aimed squarely at both the elite trail riders and weekend warriors.

Intense Spider 275C Features

  • Adjustable Travel: 4.5" to 5" (115mm-130mm)
  • 
27.5” Wheel size

  • Integrated BOOST 148 x 12 dropouts

  • 5.96 lbs / 2,705 grams = Standard frame w/ alloy link, no shock
  • 
4.48 lbs / 2,490 grams = SL Super Light frame w/ carbon link, no shock
  • ISCG05 Mounts
  • Internal Cable Routing

  • Internal Seat Tube Cable Routing for dropper posts
  • 
Monocoque front triangle

  • H20 Bottle Fitment
  • 
FLK – GRD Downtube and Chainstay protection
  • 
Tapered Head Tube
  • 
Direct Mount Front Derailleur
  • 
Angular Contact/Collet Bearing System with replaceable Grease Zerks

Component Spec

  • Fork – 1.5” tapered steerer, 130mm Travel, 519mm lower leg length, 42mm offset
  • Shock – 200mm x 50.8mm (7.875” x 2”), 22mm x 6mm and 30mm x 6mm reducers
  • Front derailleur – Direct Mount

  • Seatpost – 31.6mm
  • Headset – Cane Creek, 40, Alloy Cartridge
  • Bottom bracket - PF92
  • 
Rear Axle – BOOST 148x12mm T/A

  • Brake Mount – international standard for 160mm rotor
  • Crankset - BOOST 148 Compatible - single or double ring only
  • Rear Wheel - BOOST 148 Compatible

Intense Spider 275C Geometry

Intense Spider 275C Build Kits


Factory

  • Front suspension - FOX FACTORY 34 FLOAT,  3 Pos Lever w/ Open Mode Adj, 27.5"
  • Rear suspension - FOX FACTORY FLOAT, 3 Pos Lever w/ Open Mode Adj, SV EVOL, 200x50mm
  • Wheels - DT Swiss XRC 1200 SPLINE® 275" BOOST
  • Hubs - 28 Hole DT Swiss 240 ; 100 x15mm Front Hub; 148x12 BOOST Rear Hub w/ XD Driver, centerlock
  • Rims - DT Swiss XRC 1200 SPLINE® 27.5", Tubeless Ready
  • Spokes - DT Competition 2.0/1.8/2.0
  • Tires - SCHWALBE NOBBY NIC SNAKESKIN, TL-EASY, PSC FOLDING   27.5 x 2.35" front, 27.5 x 2.25" rear
  • Shifters - SRAM XX1, 11 speed
  • Rear derailleur - SRAM XX1 X-Horizon Carbon, 11 speed
  • Crank - RACE FACE NEXT SL, 32T
  • Cassette - SRAM XG-1199 10-42, 11 speed
  • Chain - SRAM XX1, 11 speed
  • Saddle - Fabric Scoop Radius Pro
  • Seatpost - RockShox Reverb Stealth, 31.6mm x 420mm, zero offset, 125mm of travel
  • Handlebar - Renthal FatBar Carbon 20mm - 760mm
  • Stem - Renthal Apex 50mm
  • Headset - Cane Creek, 40, alloy cartridge, 25mm of spacers
  • Brakeset - Shimano XTR Hydraulic Disc, 180mm front and 160mm rear
  • Grips - Intense Dual Density Lock-On
  • MSRP - $9,499

Pro

  • Front Suspension - FOX Performance Elite 34 FLOAT,  3 Pos Lever w/ Open Mode Adj, 27.5"
  • Rear suspension - FOX Performance Elite FLOAT, 3 Pos Lever w/ Open Mode Adj, SV EVOL
  • Wheels - DT Swiss M1700
  • Hubs - 28 Hole DT Swiss 340 ; 100 x15mm Front Hub; 148x12 BOOST Rear Hub w/ XD Driver, centerlock
  • Rims - DT Swiss M 1700 Spline Two 27.5", Tubeless Ready
  • Spokes - DT Competition 2.0/1.8/2.0
  • Tires - SCHWALBE NOBBY NIC SNAKESKIN, TL-EASY, PSC FOLDING   27.5 x 2.35" front, 27.5 x 2.25" rear
  • Shifters - SRAM X1, 11 speed
  • Rear Derailleur - SRAM X01, 11 speed
  • Crank - RACE FACE NEXT, 32T
  • Cassette - SRAM XG-1175 10-42, 11 speed
  • Chain - SRAM X1, 11 speed
  • Saddle - Fabric Scoop Radius Elite
  • Seatpost - Kindshock LEV Integra, 31.6mm x 385mm, zero offset, 125mm of travel
  • Handlebar - Renthal Fatbar 20mm x 760mm
  • Stem - Thomson Elite X4: 50mm
  • Headset - Cane Creek, 40, alloy cartridge, 25mm of spacers
  • Brakeset - SRAM GUIDE RS, 180mm front and 160mm rear
  • Grips - Intense Dual Density Lock-On
  • MSRP - $6,799

Expert

  • Front Suspension - RockShox Pike RC, 27.5” 15QR Thru Axle, 140mm Travel, 100 x 15mm
  • Rear Suspension - Rock Shox Monarch RC3 Debonair, 200x 51mm
  • Wheels - DT Swiss M 1900 Spline 275 BOOST
  • Hubs - 28 Hole DT Swiss SPLINE® hub with pawl drive system, silk matte black ; 100 x 15mm Front Hub; 148x12 BOOST Rear Hub Shimano Driver, centerlock"
  • Rims - DT Swiss M 1900 Spline 27.5", Tubeless Ready
  • Spokes - DT Competition 2.0/1.8/2.0
  • Tires - SCHWALBE NOBBY NIC SNAKESKIN, TL-EASY, PSC FOLDING   27.5 x 2.35" front, 27.5 x 2.25" rear
  • Shifters - Shimano DEORE XT, RIGHT, 11-SPEED
  • Rear Derailleur - Shimano DEORE XT, RD-M8000, SGS 11-SPEED TOP-NORMAL SHADOW PLUS DESIGN
  • Crank - RACE FACE TURBINE, 32T
  • Cassette - Shimano DEORE XT, 11-SPEED, 11-13-15-17-19-21-24-27-31-35-42
  • Saddle - WTB Silverado Race
  • Seatpost - Kindshock LEV Integra, 31.6mm x 385mm, zero offset, 125 mm of travel
  • Handlebar - Renthal Fatbar 20mm x 760mm
  • Stem - Thomson Elite X4: 50mm
  • Headset - Cane Creek, 40, alloy cartridge, 25mm of spacers
  • Brakeset - Shimano XT Hydraulic Disc MY2016, centerlock rotors, 180mm front and 160mm rear
  • Grips - Intense Dual Density Lock-On
  • MSRP - $5,899

Foundation

  • Front Suspension - RockShox Pike RC, 27.5” 15QR Thru Axle, 140mm Travel, 100 x 15mm
  • Rear Suspension - RockShox Monarch R Debonair, 200x 51mm
  • Hubs - 32 Hole Intense Tuned, 148x 12 mm BOOST; 100 x15mm Front Hub; 148x12 BOOST Rear Hub Shimano Driver, 6-Bolt
  • Rims - Sun Helix TR25 Rims, 275”, Tubeless Ready
  • Spokes - DT Swiss Champion
  • Tires - SCHWALBE NOBBY NIC SNAKESKIN, TL-EASY, PSC FOLDING   27.5 x 2.35" front, 27.5 x 2.25" rear
  • Shifters - SRAM GX 11-speed
  • Rear Derailleur - SRAM GX 11-speed
  • Front Derailleur - SRAM NX 11-speed
  • Crank - RACE FACE AEFFECT, 32T
  • Cassette - SRAM NX 11-42, 11 speed
  • Chain - SRAM NX 11 Speed
  • Saddle - WTB Silverado Sport
  • Seatpost - Kindshock LEV Integra, 31.6mm x 385 m, zero offset, 125mm of travel
  • Handlebar - Intense Recon 31.8 x 18 x 760mm
  • Stem - Intense, 50mm
  • Headset - TS Intense Headset, 25mm of spacers
  • Brakeset - SRAM GUIDE R,, 180mm front and 160mm rear
  • Grips - Intense Dual Density Lock-On
  • MSRP - $4,599

Frame / Shock

  • MSRP - $3,199

​Initial Impressions

Every time we've chatted with Jeff Steber, Intense Cycles founder and frame designer, he's stressed the importance of maintaining the Intense aesthetic throughout the line. That remains the case with the Spider 275C. But even with the bike's industrial-inspired design, its flowly lines and sleek carbon tubing make for one seriously nice looking bike. Internal cable routing and bold-but-attractive graphics don't hurt the Spider 275C in the looks department either.

Intense set us up on their highest-end model, the Spider 275C SL Factory build. We were blown away by the top-level build. Highlights include a FOX 34 FLOAT FIT4 FACTORY fork, FOX FLOAT DPS in-line shock, DT Swiss XMC 1200 carbon-rimmed wheels, SRAM XX1 drivetrain, Race Face Next SL cranks, Shimano XTR brakes and a proper wide and short cockpit thanks to the Renthal goods up-front. All these parts are arguably at the top of their game when it comes to performance. But, that performance comes at a cost. $9,499 to be exact. That said, Intense offers the Spider 275C in four different build kits as well as a frame / shock-only option.

New for Intense is the use of what they're calling SL Carbon in the high-end models of the Spider 275C. The new higher modulus carbon fiber on the SL models reduces the frame weight by almost a pound compared to the standard carbon. The SL models also include titanium hardware while the standard frames use stainless steel. Our large Spider 275C SL Factory weighs only 25.06lbs (11.37kg) (tested). That's impressive, to say the least.

On The Trail / First Ride Impressions

We've been riding the Spider 275C on a variety of trails. From the rolling hills in Laguna, where we started our journey, to some more aggressive DH-oriented trails near home. One thing you might have noticed is that we haven't mentioned VPP yet in this article, and that's because Intense has taken a departure from the previously-licensed suspension system. In its place is what Intense has dubbed the JS Tuned system, which was designed and refined to work with each individual Intense bike model. While it's similar in nature to Intense's former suspension design, working around two counter-rotating links, Intense has tweaked the system to perform a bit more specifically for the intended application. That means specific kinematics for three different platforms; XC, trail and DH. It's fair to assume the trail platform is intended to provide a balance of bump compliance and pedaling efficiency, and we think Intense pulled it off wonderfully.

The Spider 275C is an excellent climber, both in terms of pedaling efficiency and geometry. The cockpit is nice and roomy with an extra half-inch of top tube when compared to the same sized Tracer 275. The front end hasn't wandered on us when things got steep and the rear wheel holds traction well, even when in a very low gear. In fact, we've yet to switch the rear shock out of the open setting, nor have we felt the need to utilize the adjustable travel and drop the bike to 115mm as opposed to the 130mm we've left it in. We'll be sure to test both of those functions during our long-term test of the Spider 275C.

We initially expected a 130mm / 25lbs bike to quickly show its limitations on the descents. We were wrong. The Spider 275C feels like a much bigger bike when things get rowdy. Sure, the short stem and wide 780mm controls help in this department, but we have to give credit where credit is due. The geometry and kinematics of the Spider 275C are excellent. The bike stays composed when things get rough, allowing us to focus on the trail ahead and not worry about what the bike is doing underneath us. With the short rear end and overall light weight of the bike, we found it to have a very playful nature. Picking up the front-end to manual a section or change lines was made easy and we found ourselves doing just that as often as possible. The stiffness of the frame and wheels made cornering on the Spider 275C just as fun as charging a rock garden. And getting on the gas out of those corners was rewarded with extra speed due to its agility.

Overall, our initial impressions after a short time onboard the Spider 275C are very positive. Even so, we're still going to put this bike through the proper paces during our long-term test, which will drop soon.

For more information, visit intensecycles.com

Words and Photos by Fred Robinson

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