Words by Flow | Images by Flow

Flow caught up with the highly decorated Brian Lopes at the launch of the new Intense Spider 275c in the home state of Intense and Brian, California. While we valiantly hung on to his wheel on Brian’s local trails of Laguna Beach we witnessed a pretty crazy display of speed and skill from the multiple World and US champ.

What keeps you busy these days, what mountain biking are you enjoying the most.  

Cycling & family, having a 3 year old is a lot of fun, but it is also challenging to get certain things done as quickly as i’d like. I’m also training Cole Seely, a pro motocross racer for Honda. So between juggling about 15 personal sponsors, working with Cole, and spending time with my wife and kid, it’s tough to find free time.

How’s the riding scene at home, good crew of riders? 

Yes, there’s some fast local riders around here that i ride with socially and I also spend some time training on the road where there are a ton of fast guys. But as far as names people may know I sometimes ride with Hans Rey, Richie Schley a bit, Joe Lawwill from time to time and of course Cole Seely probably the most.

Has your focus shifted over the last few years?  

Absolutely, I use to care mainly about racing and being as prepared as I could be for every race now i’m not really training for racing.  I still ride a lot, but I ride for fun, for bike and product testing, for photo and video shoots. The only training schedule i kind of follow really is the one i make for Cole. I try to do most of the gym workouts and pedalling workouts with him.

Where will we see you travelling or racing to this year?  

I’ll do a few enduro races in the us, plus I’ll be at Crankworks and probably do a few different disciplines there. I’ll be going where my sponsors want me to be, at dealer presentations, media launches, shooting for whatever projects they need me for, basically being a content provider which could have me going anywhere.  

I’m looking forward to going to Australia this year for a GoPro camp, not bike related, but it’s possible I’ll go over a bit early and try to incorporate some sort of bike production there.

What’s your role in the mentoring of motocross athletes, how is that going?  

It’s really rewarding and exciting to see them improve and become stronger, fitter, and successful. I’m busy training Cole Seely right now and also a 15 year old amateur who rides for Suzuki on the east coast. I did train guys like Jessy Nelson, Christian Craig, and Shane Mcelrath in the past, but wasn’t able to commit to doing this full time for them. I really enjoy helping these younger guys achieve their goals. 

What mountain bike racing do you enjoy following the most?  

I follow it all a bit, but i enjoy the DH and XC the most I’d say.


Brian’s custom Intense Spider 275c

Intense have recently unveiled their latest trail bike, it’s a super-progressive trail bike with 130mm travel, slack angles and a short rear centre.

Read our full review of the Factory Spec model here: Tested – Intense Spider 275c.

Watch the video of Brian shredding the Spider here:

You’ve got yourself the new Spider, how are you finding it? 

This is my new Intense Spider 275 Carbon, the latest bike out of Intense and recently the bike I spend the most time out on the trails riding. I found this to be a great all around bike with angles, pedalling characteristics, and a weight that allows me to ride everything at a fun pace. Sure I could pedal my full xc bike up the hill faster, but going down the trails I enjoy wouldn’t be fun at all. And my Tracer 275 would potentially go faster down super rough trails, but the climbs require way more effort. This is where this new Spider 275 Carbon fits nicely, a happy medium giving me an all around more enjoyable ride.

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Intense’s new carbon trail bike, the Spider 275c.

Set up with 130mm in the rear and 140mm travel up front, I’ve found that depending on how you set this bike up, it can be more capable than you may think.

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Lightweight build: On this build I tried to keep the weight off where I thought I could save a few grams, so going with parts like Magura MT8 single piston brakes and the X-fusion inline O2 shock were really the areas.

Normally I run Magura MT5 four piston brakes with 180mm rotors F&R and either a X-fusion Vector Air or Vector Coil shock for more tune ability and performance, but the inline shock was a little lighter and also allows me to get a bottle in the cage easier.

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The super light Magura MT8 brakes, with tiny reservoir and carbon lever blade.

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Single piston Magura brakes.

Cockpit: I use Renthal Carbon Lite bars at 740mm wide with 20mm of rise, prototype compound ODI Elite Motion lock-on grips and the stem is a Renthal at 50mm length.

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740mm bars and 50mm stem.

Seatpost: I use a KS LEV dropper post, 150mm travel with the southpaw lever and a WTB carbon rail Silverado saddle make up my cockpit.  

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Carbon rails on the WTB Silverado saddle.

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KS LEV dropper post.

Suspension: For the suspension I’m running the X-fusion Sweep fork with 75psi, it uses the HLR damper system which has independent high & low compression and rebound control.  In the rear X-fusion O2 inline shock I’m running between 110-140 psi depending on terrain.

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75 psi in the X-Fusion Sweep fork.

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Wheels: Factor Carbon wheels with a High Roller 2 EXO/TR/3c at 25psi up front and usually I’m running a Maxxis Ardent 2.25 EXO/TR at 28psi in the rear, although at this time I was testing the Maxxis Minion SS.

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Maxxis High Roller up front.

Drivetrain: I’m using Shimano XTR 175mm cranks with a Wolftooth 34t chain ring, Shimano XTR RD, Shimano XTR rear 11-40 cassette, Shimano XTR shifter, a KMC DLC 11sp red chain.

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XTR 11-speed drivetrain with a Wolftooth 34T chainring and MRP guide.

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Shimano XTR with 11-40T cassette.

Pedals and headset: HT clipless pedals, and a Chris King BB & headset.  

A Pro Mount Billet stem cap to mount my computer to, an  MRP upper chainguide and King Cage Ti water bottle cage round out my build.

Australian brand - Pro Mount Billet provide a top-cap mount for the Garmin.

Australian brand – Pro Mount Billet provide a top-cap mount for the computer.


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