It started as a fairly standard Intense Spider 29er build with a Reba, xt and x9, etc. I spent a good deal of time on it that way before I made a few tweaks to make it feel a little more at home here in the foothills around Lyons.
The first modifcation I made to the original build was last summer, after only a month or so on the Reba. I swapped the fork out to a Maverick DUC 32, which also called for some cockpit rearranging. Fortunately, the Maverick 31.8mm stem is not only svelte, but functional. A reversible cam on the stem allowed me to run it at either a 75, 85, or 95mm length. The top tube is long, but I ran it at 95mm because of my monkey arms. The Maverick front end and Chris King comb made for a very smooth, light feeling, and stiff front end.
The DUC slackened the head angle just a tad and gave me a bit more cush at the same time. I played with the fork after I got it mounted up and eventually had it dialed in as a good mate to the rear end. The fork dove a little into the travel so I experimented with oil volume in the air chamber until I got the fork to settle into a smooth ramping stroke. The front end was stiff, predictable and allowed me to push into corners or set up tricky lines with confidence.
Unfortunately, I felt that the original RP23 that came on the other end of the bike ramped up a little to sharply for my taste towards the end of it's stroke. It was, after all, a race bike, but I was using it to stomp around the backcountry foothills around here and it's rocky as heck. I wanted plush. After a quick call to Fox, I had a large air cannister coming for the rear shock. With the larger can, the expanded air volume of the rear shock helped to flatten out it's rapidly rising rate.
It was just what the rear suspension was looking for in this terrain. It now felt super smooth and controlled on all the ledgy, rocky bits not far from town. Back to the fork oil volume again and I got this sucker dialed into a super smooth riding 4" travel 29er trailbike. I liked it so much I left it and rode it that way until the beginning of this summer. After a drive train replacement (crank/chain/cassette) a few weeks ago and a new Nevegal rear tire 1 ride ago, I made the tough decision to let one go.