130mm carbon full suspension 29er replaces the old Spider

The rebirth of radical 29ers continues apace as Intense unveil the new 130mm travel Primer.

Need to know

  • 130mm travel carbon 29er
  • 67.5° head angle
  • 438 chain stays
  • Plenty of standover for smaller riders
  • JS Tuned Suspension system


The Primer is not a huge surprise – Intense’s Spider 29 was getting on a bit and lagging behind in the ‘standards’ and standover departments – but its appearance is still very welcome to the trail riding twenty niner scene.

>>> Intense Spider 275C Factory first ride


With a 67.5° head angle it’s not pioneeringly slack. It’s actually fairly conservative these days. The Primer is a fairly low and long steed though. The 75° seat angle is arguably the more eye-catching number; it’s rare to see a seat angle that steep on a production bike.

Geometry and geeky stuff


If you’re thinking that it looks remarkably similar to the Intense ACV 27.5+ released a few weeks ago, there is a reason for that (beyond the fact that pretty much all Intense’s have a very clear design aesthetic). The front end of the Primer is the same moulding as the ACV.

Note we said ‘moulding’. The shape is the same as the ACV but the layup of the carbon is different. ‘Layup’ means the type of carbon used and the way it is all put together.


Actually we should say layups (plural) because the Primer is available in two different layups. There’s the standard layup and there’s the SL frame layup.

The SL frame is just as strong but it’s lighter. About 300g lighter. This is partly due to fancier carbon being used (high modulus) but also partly due to the use of titanium hardware.

The Boost-ed back end of the Primer is entirely new and unique to the Primer. It’s a bit slimmer looking than the ACV and the arrangement of the asymmetrical vertical strut is different.


What’s an i-Box?

Intense have something called an i-Box on the Primer. The i-Box is essentially a funky name for the lower link. The i-Box is significantly reworked section compared to the old Spider’s lower linkage.

The i-Box lower link has enabled the use of shorter chainstays (438mm). It’s also meant a small but significant relocation of the lower pivot position. This reworked post-VPP design has been called ‘JS Tuned Suspension’ (JS stands for Jeff Steber AKA Mr Intense).

You can find out how this change affects the ride characteristics in our forthcoming review of the Primer.


There is actually also a 115mm setting available that doesn’t affect the geometry but will affect the suspension characteristics. It’s a quick procedure to switch between travel settings via a bolt on the upper linkage. (Does anyone ever use the short travel option on bikes like these though?)


Not exactly cheap

Intense bikes are not cheap and while it’s hard to really quantify value for money on a modern mountain bike, it is nice to see signature features on Intense’s still being retained. The i-Box still has a grease port, for purging out old filthy muck from the linkage bearings.


The upper pivot, head tube and bottom bracket are fully sleeved and reinforced. The pivot bearings are very large diameter bearings.


What else? Well, you can run a front mech on there if you wanted to. The cabling is internally routed. The weight of the top end Primer SL Factory is 26.5lbs.

Let’s have a look at the colourways of some various Primer builds…





Prices start from £4,099 and top out at £7,999. The Primer SL will also be available as a frameset for £2,899.

Keep your eye out for the nest issue of MBR magazine for our review of the Intense Primer.