BRIAN GIVES HIS THOUGHTS ON THE NEW SPIDER 275C
It’s crazy to think that I have been riding this Intense Spider 275C for over 6 months now and the public is finally going to see & ride this awesome bike. I spent the initial couple weeks playing with some set up options here in Laguna since I know these trails like the back of my hand. It’s always good to test new stuff on terrain you are super familiar with as then you can quickly feel differences in performance. Right away I could feel the longer top tube, shorter rear end, improved suspension system (JST), and the nimbleness this much lighter bike possessed. All characteristics that lead me to believe this could be my new all around bike of choice.
Once I felt I had the bike dialed in on my local trails, it was time for a trip to take me out of my comfort zone and Utah, Colorado, & Nevada were on my radar. First stop was Fruita Colorado where the trails are smooth, flowy, fast, and perfect for a light travel trail bike like this. Being able to find little hits to whip off of and the ability to make this bike changed directions through some of the dual slalom type runs put a instant smile on my face. The lightness and shorter rear stays gave it that playful “I can make this bike go anywhere I want” type of feel. And who doesn’t want to have that feeling?
Next stop on my trip was to Moab Utah to test her out on some more aggressive types of terrain. Steep, chunky, rocky, relentless terrain is what Moab single track offers. Sure you can ride the Slick Rock which is super fun, but I already knew this bike would shine and be a blast to rocket airs out of all the natural stone bowls. I was on a mission to abuse this bike and see what it could handle.
The uphills in Moab can be as challenging as the downs and this bike ate them up. The short rear end in conjunction with the new JST suspension system made getting the front wheel off the ground to lunge up all the ledges a breeze. And of course having this 130mm travel in the rear, 140mm travel in the front bike, weighing in a few pounds lighter than my 160mm travel bikes, only aided in the quick acceleration & ability to make it up rock step after rock step. So, you’re probably thinking, OK, this makes sense, but how did it descend on that rough terrain? Well pretty damn good I’d say. The slack head angle and long top tube gave the bike great handling characteristics for this aggressive terrain. Sure, having a 160mm Tracer275 would have been nice if I were looking to race down some of these super rough trails, but I had zero issues charging down them at a moderate pace and was more than happy to sacrifice a little downhill speed for the freshness I felt after flying up the hills with this feather weight. A trade off that is very well worth it for anyone just looking to have fun, be comfortable on the super rough downs and isn’t looking for a downhill record. Now that isn’t to say this bike can’t go downhill fast as I’m confident in Fruita this would be your bike of choice if going for some KOM’s there.
Last stop on my drive home was Las Vegas, where there’s everything from super tech slow to fast and flowy trails. The one thing all the trails have in common is they are loose and sketchy, so having your suspension & tires dialed in are key. Low enough air pressure to float and contour to the rocks, yet enough so your not bottoming out onto your rims is key. Having a tire like the Maxxis EXO casing will allow you to get away with running lower pressures while not cutting tires. Same goes for your suspension, a supple feeling that is very active, yet will ramp up aggressively on a hard hit. That’s what Jeff Steber has accomplished with his latest JST suspension system. The bike performed excellent in Vegas & is a sure bet in the city where betting is usually a lose.
I’m excited for the release of this bike. I think it’s a perfect all around bike. One that can perform well in nearly every type of terrain. There isn’t one bike that is going to win a world cup downhill race one day and then win a world cup XC race the next, but there is one bike that you can ride any type of course or terrain on and have fun while doing it. The Spider275 has proven to me this is the bike and I’m sure you’ll agree once you’ve put it through the test.