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Full suspension 29ers ten years later

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29er

Intense 29

Then and now full suspension 29ers.

As we stared at our latest test bike, the Intense Carbine 29er, we marveled at all the changes that have come about since the first Intense 29er we tested, the Spider 29.

Key side by side geometry figures for the Spider and the Carbine

Key side by side geometry figures for the Spider and the Carbine

Most notable of all the changes is the head angle so we dug up some old photos to compare the two. We photographed in the same setting to highlight the difference, the 2007′s head angle at 73 degrees and the 2017′s 65.5 degrees. This is truly dramatic since experienced riders know that even one degree of difference is noticeable. This difference of 7.5 degrees signifies how long we’ve come from the early days of full suspension 29ers.

Intense Spider 29

The Rockshox Reba dominated the 29er scene and catapulted 29ers into the mainstream.

Walk with us down memory lane as we chronicle what else changed and what stayed the same in this tale of two bikes.

Key Players

Niner, Astrix, Ventana, Ellsworth, Intense were the key players.

The Intense Spider was one of several bikes we tested in the treat 29er Shootout of 2008. Even back then, the Spider had the steepest head angle at 73. The slackest ones checked in at 71 degrees.

Intense Carbine

Fully decked out model uses carbon in all possible areas.

Today, the Intense Carbine is one of the slackest 29ers in the lot with a 65.5 degree head angle. They want to lead the charge and be ahead of the ‘longer and slacker’ All Mountain bike movement.

Intense Spider 29

Technical descents were always exciting much like the bikes of that age.

Travel for the Intense Spider was 100mm front and rear. It climbed fairly well but when things got steep and chunky, it was a handful indeed.

Travel for the new Intense Carbine is 155 rear and 160mm front. It is a bruiser of a bike that does well on the burliest terrain with the rider throwing moving all over the bike to transfer weight where it is needed

Check out our photo gallery to view detailed shots of both bikes.

Did you ride the old full suspension 29ers then and now? What are the most noticeable differences for you?

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