Saturday, November 05, 2005

Rumor In The Flesh

Well, here it is. The rumored full suspension 29 inch wheeled bike that I blogged about a few days ago. It's an Intense Spyder which has the Virtual Pivot Point technology. This is the design that got the whole 26 inch world giddy a few years back. Regarded as a benchmark in cross country full suspension design, this bike, if it truly comes to fruition, will be a highly coveted XC race rig by 29"er afficiandos. This bike is a prototype, but full production models are tentatively scheduled for mass consumption by the summer of '06.

The Guitar Ted Labratories take on this developement is that if this bike catches on, it just might convince a few of the major bike companies to sit up and take notice. The 26 inch version of this bike made quite a splash and made the major players step up their game. If- and this is a pretty big if- someone makes a few podium appearances mounted on this rig, we will finally see some mainstream 29 inch bike releases. What wins on Sunday sells on Monday, as the old saw goes.

Secondly, the take here that this is a bike from a "major player", or whatever, is not really founded in reality. Well, maybe Southern California reality, but anywhere else, not so much. This is because Intense is a small, boutique company on the order of Turner, Santa Cruz, or Ellsworth. A step above the custom builder base, which has supported the 29" wheels in the past. The Intense 29 inch Spyder will be limited in it's availability due to it's small dealer base, and will certainly be very spendy. Therefore, it will be doubtful that we will see this bike in large numbers unless someone starts winning on this rig on the pro circuit. My bet is that if Fisher can pull off it's Race Day Super Caliber by springtime '06, it will have a much bigger effect on the marketplace, and have a bigger influence on the future of the sport because the bike is scheduled to be used by the Fisher/ Subaru Team. The only "if" is whether or not one of their honches will podie on one of these rigs.

Well, at any rate, it's good to see another proven design done in the 29 inch wheels by a respected player in the MTB world. It'll be interesting to see how it does. Oh! By the way, nice camo paint job!

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