4 November 2006 - 2:21All Hail the Spider
Well, maybe not quite yet…
I have yet to get a turn with it, but the review from the first test rider was glowing.
There wasn’t a lot of time as the bike changed hands, in the not very late yet pitch black and cold as hell and snowy evening. The weekend is not supposed to be very warm either.
Tomorrow the bike gets another test rider, sadly not me.
But I did get a chance to get a couple of pictures.
So, this is what I know about it. It came as a full XTR equipped ride, with a Bontrager Race X Lite Disc wheelset, set up tubeless with Bonti Jones XR tires. It actually weighs in at 27.25lbs without pedals for a size medium with a Reba fork.
The frame’s construction and finish is top notch, however the was one oversight. A common problem with 29er frames, is down tube clearance. Probably the most common fork is the Reba, which has a rather tall adjustment knob on the right side. Many frames have contact issues with this knob, and an some frames, the problem is not limited to the Reba.
There are headsets available that will add 5 or so mm under the lower cup that will help correct this.
Intense and Santa Cruz got together and bought the old Outland VPP design a few years back. I think that Outland was ahead of their time, and that material and executional science was not there to back them up when they could have been the shining stars of full suspension-ness.
Back in the old days, the manufacturing capabilities weren’t what they are now, and the design once dismissed as a mechanical liability is one of the best selling designs ever.
I’ll tell you more about how it actually rides when I get a turn…
The Spider gets a seriously steep head tube angle of 74 degrees. This is to quicken the steering, as big spinning wheels “are harder to turn” than their little 26″ brothers. This is actually true. The gyroscopic effect of a big wheel is much greater than that of a smaller one. Steeper head tube angles will make a bike handle or steer more quickly. I think 74 degrees is a stretch, and maybe a bit overkill. As I said, I haven’t actually ridden the bike yet, so I can’t really comment on it from experience.
There appears to be plenty of tire clearance. There is room between the chain and tire when the front derailleur is in the small ring The Bontrager Jones XR is fairly high volume, and there looks to be enough room in the frame for a knobbier tire to fit. When I get my crack at it, I’ll be using my wheels, so we’ll see if the Rampage fits back there.
I hope to get a chance to ride it on Monday, at which point I’ll be able to tell you more about it.