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  1. #1
    Dirt Hurts
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    New question here. NRS Air Frame VS VT 1 Frame

    I need some extra advice/opinions of what I am planning to do with my bike. Any help anyone can offer would be appreciated. I have made a decision about changing my frame. I would now like some imput about it. I have a choice to either choose a brand new VT 1 frame, over a brand new NRS 1 Frame with Giants Crash Replacement program. I am at heart an offroad type of person, but most of my Km is on road. Weekends I am hardly on pavement, although I have been doing more jump/drops now that I have learned my bike pretty good. I do a mixture of riding, but I dont want to sacrifice that much speed. The new NRS comes with a Fox shock on the rear, dont know why they changed from Rock Shox, I love the one on my bike, never had a problem with it. The New VT 1 comes with a Manitu Swinger SPV and I have heard it can be set up like the NRS, but it is no NRS. Help! I need some advice...
    "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth."

  2. #2
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    If your heart is off-road...then make the change if possible and make most of your Km's off-road on a VT (especially if you're doing drops and jumps).

    I've got a Swinger Coil on my AC...I can set it up to mimic a very stiff rear end as on the NRS, the Swinger Air can do the same. So - the VT can be tuned to be quite stiff in the rear for road riding (but of course it's a bit heftier then the NRS).

    If you don't plan on "racing" and can live with a bit more heft on the road do the VT. It'll only make you that much stronger anyways. Pump up the shock and the tires when you hit the pavement...

    The NRS is NOT for jumping/dropping or riding rough/technical trials.
    Phillipians 2:3-8 "...but (Christ) made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant..."

  3. #3
    Dirt Hurts
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    Idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO
    If your heart is off-road...then make the change if possible and make most of your Km's off-road on a VT (especially if you're doing drops and jumps).

    I've got a Swinger Coil on my AC...I can set it up to mimic a very stiff rear end as on the NRS, the Swinger Air can do the same. So - the VT can be tuned to be quite stiff in the rear for road riding (but of course it's a bit heftier then the NRS).

    If you don't plan on "racing" and can live with a bit more heft on the road do the VT. It'll only make you that much stronger anyways. Pump up the shock and the tires when you hit the pavement...

    The NRS is NOT for jumping/dropping or riding rough/technical trials.

    Thanks for the quick reply and advice. How can you say though that the NRS is not for riding rough Technical Trails? Its Giants Top of the line Cross Country bike! I do understand that she is not built for jumping or Huge Drops, but I have owned one now for the last 3 1/2 yrs and I have been doing 2-4 foot drops onto Concrete and it hasnt made even a scratch on my baby. I was under the impression from what my bike salesman (Thank god for Pete at Cyclepath on Bloor, the best guy to go to if your looking to purchase a bike) that the NRS could take a pounding before giving out and cracking/breaking. So If I may ask, how is the VT 1 on climbing? Ever ridden one extensivly? Is there much bob and energy waisted when standing and going on a peddal freak? How much more weight is the bike in comparison?
    "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth."

  4. #4
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    The durability of the NRS depends on two things...your weight and the trails you choose.

    I'm 5'6" and weigh 185 or so. I was riding primarily very, very rough technical trails - very much NOT your typical XC trails. Rock gardens, lifts, ledges and drops. I cracked my 2001 NRS frame after about 1.5yrs of riding. I was doing a few 2-3 footers to fairly flat dirt landings as well...and I cracked the NRS frame. Giant warrantied it quite happily with a 2002 NRS-1 frame.

    I have NOT ridden a VT. I have jumped up to a 2003 AC-1 with a Swinger Coil - that shock is simply AMAZING (and the air version performs the same way). If you have even a moderately smooth pedal stroke it just doesn't bob at all. I love being able to tune it according to conditions. I'll pump up the air making it quite stiff to pedal inputs on a long climb - then dropping into a long descent, drop the air and it becomes my bombing barcalounger!

    I know the 2004 VT frame is quite a bit lighter than the 2003 - I'd call giant support for specifics.
    Phillipians 2:3-8 "...but (Christ) made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant..."

  5. #5
    Dirt Hurts
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    ... and if we just ... Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO
    The durability of the NRS depends on two things...your weight and the trails you choose.

    I'm 5'6" and weigh 185 or so. I was riding primarily very, very rough technical trails - very much NOT your typical XC trails. Rock gardens, lifts, ledges and drops. I cracked my 2001 NRS frame after about 1.5yrs of riding. I was doing a few 2-3 footers to fairly flat dirt landings as well...and I cracked the NRS frame. Giant warrantied it quite happily with a 2002 NRS-1 frame.

    I have NOT ridden a VT. I have jumped up to a 2003 AC-1 with a Swinger Coil - that shock is simply AMAZING (and the air version performs the same way). If you have even a moderately smooth pedal stroke it just doesn't bob at all. I love being able to tune it according to conditions. I'll pump up the air making it quite stiff to pedal inputs on a long climb - then dropping into a long descent, drop the air and it becomes my bombing barcalounger!

    I know the 2004 VT frame is quite a bit lighter than the 2003 - I'd call giant support for specifics.
    Thanks for the advice, I will take it into consideration whne I take a Demo VT 1 to the Don. Cheers
    "If you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO
    The durability of the NRS depends on two things...your weight and the trails you choose.

    I'm 5'6" and weigh 185 or so. I was riding primarily very, very rough technical trails - very much NOT your typical XC trails. Rock gardens, lifts, ledges and drops. I cracked my 2001 NRS frame after about 1.5yrs of riding. I was doing a few 2-3 footers to fairly flat dirt landings as well...and I cracked the NRS frame. Giant warrantied it quite happily with a 2002 NRS-1 frame.

    I have NOT ridden a VT. I have jumped up to a 2003 AC-1 with a Swinger Coil - that shock is simply AMAZING (and the air version performs the same way). If you have even a moderately smooth pedal stroke it just doesn't bob at all. I love being able to tune it according to conditions. I'll pump up the air making it quite stiff to pedal inputs on a long climb - then dropping into a long descent, drop the air and it becomes my bombing barcalounger!

    I know the 2004 VT frame is quite a bit lighter than the 2003 - I'd call giant support for specifics.
    oh really? therees a big weight difference between the 03 vt and the 04 vt? I thought they were the same thing except for the small weight difference from the 4 way swinger in the 03 to the 3 way in the 04?

  7. #7
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    O4 VT on an Atkins diet???

    The 03 and 04 frames are them same. Only changes are componets such as SL vs XL rims...minute 1 vs psylo race...xt cranks instead of race face...3 way swinger vs 4 way...and some new composite hays disc.

    And the final result...04 is heavier than the 03...go figure!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRSAirDriver
    Thanks for the quick reply and advice. How can you say though that the NRS is not for riding rough Technical Trails? Its Giants Top of the line Cross Country bike! I do understand that she is not built for jumping or Huge Drops, but I have owned one now for the last 3 1/2 yrs and I have been doing 2-4 foot drops onto Concrete and it hasnt made even a scratch on my baby. I was under the impression from what my bike salesman (Thank god for Pete at Cyclepath on Bloor, the best guy to go to if your looking to purchase a bike) that the NRS could take a pounding before giving out and cracking/breaking. So If I may ask, how is the VT 1 on climbing? Ever ridden one extensivly? Is there much bob and energy waisted when standing and going on a peddal freak? How much more weight is the bike in comparison?
    I`ve ridden the VT extensively both on and off road (have racked up near 1300 miles in 6months).
    On road its simply a case of pumping up the pressure in the SPV to minimise any bob and then winding the front forks travel to its minimum...I put 60psi in the knobby tyres and although its no road bike in terms of speed, the rides are a pleasure...average road speed is around 18mph on trips that usually are close to 35 miles+. If youre after faster speeds than this...try some 26" slicks on it....should help.
    The VT`s climb very well....the rear suspension keeps the back wheel "hooked up" very well.......stay seated and theres no bob.....get out of seat and mash the pedals and you`ll get bob.
    The VT1 would probably be around the 30lb mark, give or take a little.
    If youre planning on doing tracks that have a lot of steep rough downhill in them....then the VT will beat the NRS here....5" front travel and 5.7" rear just eats up the rough terrain.
    Cheers Andy

  9. #9
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    '04 Vs '03 VT weight.

    If I'm wrong on that then so be it...I had read in several articles that they were lightening it up quite a bit for '04. My apologies...that's why I stated in my second response to check with Giant tech support to get specifics.
    Phillipians 2:3-8 "...but (Christ) made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant..."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO
    '04 Vs '03 VT weight.

    If I'm wrong on that then so be it...I had read in several articles that they were lightening it up quite a bit for '04. My apologies...that's why I stated in my second response to check with Giant tech support to get specifics.

    No apologies needed man! It's hard to keep track of who's doing what these days!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO
    '04 Vs '03 VT weight.

    If I'm wrong on that then so be it...I had read in several articles that they were lightening it up quite a bit for '04. My apologies...that's why I stated in my second response to check with Giant tech support to get specifics.
    i would imagine the 04 vt should be lighter than the 03 vt as an entire bike. what i was talking about before was just simply the frame. I think the frame hasn't changed, but the 04 vt just has some lighter components added to it now, i would even imagine that it could be a pound lighter than the 03 vt as a whole bike with stock parts but i personally don't actually know, does anybody know whats the weight difference between the 03 and 04 vt with stock parts?

  12. #12
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    NRS is Harsh on rough trails

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSAirDriver
    Thanks for the quick reply and advice. How can you say though that the NRS is not for riding rough Technical Trails? Its Giants Top of the line Cross Country bike! I do understand that she is not built for jumping or Huge Drops, but I have owned one now for the last 3 1/2 yrs and I have been doing 2-4 foot drops onto Concrete and it hasnt made even a scratch on my baby. I was under the impression from what my bike salesman (Thank god for Pete at Cyclepath on Bloor, the best guy to go to if your looking to purchase a bike) that the NRS could take a pounding before giving out and cracking/breaking. So If I may ask, how is the VT 1 on climbing? Ever ridden one extensivly? Is there much bob and energy waisted when standing and going on a peddal freak? How much more weight is the bike in comparison?
    Having logged many thousands of miles on an NRS 1, both on the trail and on the road, and now having spent abut 6 months on a VT 1, there is a very big difference in the bikes. The NRS is very well designed for the XC racer. The NRS 1 is all about going flat out as fast as you can off road (and it is equally as capable on the pavement). The reason it is so popular is that it exhibits many traits of a hardtail with enough suspension to let one speed over the rough stuff. The only problem is that you will experience a pretty rough ride. On the NRS, you can stand and pedal incredibly hard with no bobbing in the suspension.

    The VT 1 is an interesting bike. I have it set up with the swinger 4 way and the minute 1 fork. I have the suspension tuned to be more XC, and the result is that I get a fast ride that is far more plush than the NRS. It climbs well with the minute 1 at 130mm, and if I crank it down to 100mm, it climbs even better. Going down a rough hill, my VT would blow the doors off my NRS because it can absorb the terrain. On the other hand, going uphill, the NRS will blow the doors off the VT any day of the week. This is why it is a great racing bike. A rider will gain much more on their competitor if they are faster uphill than if they are faster downhill. As fast at the VT is down the hill, a rider may gain a few seconds over the NRS. Going uphill, the NRS will beat a VT by 30 seconds or more depending on the size of the hill.

    If you want to ride as fast as possible, regardless of the harshness of the ride, go with another NRS. If you are more into enjoying the ride, jumping and climbing over logs, go with the VT. I also broke my NRS and got the VT as a replacement. Either way, you win. Also, Giant is a great manufacturer. My friends have broken their frames from other manufacturers and got nothing but the run around. Giant is a solid company.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spongedog
    Having logged many thousands of miles on an NRS 1, both on the trail and on the road, and now having spent abut 6 months on a VT 1, there is a very big difference in the bikes. The NRS is very well designed for the XC racer. The NRS 1 is all about going flat out as fast as you can off road (and it is equally as capable on the pavement). The reason it is so popular is that it exhibits many traits of a hardtail with enough suspension to let one speed over the rough stuff. The only problem is that you will experience a pretty rough ride. On the NRS, you can stand and pedal incredibly hard with no bobbing in the suspension.

    The VT 1 is an interesting bike. I have it set up with the swinger 4 way and the minute 1 fork. I have the suspension tuned to be more XC, and the result is that I get a fast ride that is far more plush than the NRS. It climbs well with the minute 1 at 130mm, and if I crank it down to 100mm, it climbs even better. Going down a rough hill, my VT would blow the doors off my NRS because it can absorb the terrain. On the other hand, going uphill, the NRS will blow the doors off the VT any day of the week. This is why it is a great racing bike. A rider will gain much more on their competitor if they are faster uphill than if they are faster downhill. As fast at the VT is down the hill, a rider may gain a few seconds over the NRS. Going uphill, the NRS will beat a VT by 30 seconds or more depending on the size of the hill.

    If you want to ride as fast as possible, regardless of the harshness of the ride, go with another NRS. If you are more into enjoying the ride, jumping and climbing over logs, go with the VT. I also broke my NRS and got the VT as a replacement. Either way, you win. Also, Giant is a great manufacturer. My friends have broken their frames from other manufacturers and got nothing but the run around. Giant is a solid company.
    hey thats a really good description of the two bikes, giant is definitely a great company for warranty issues.

  14. #14
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    Get the VT, it's raceable, strong, climbs well and super plush.

    The NRS is an excellent race bike but not so plush as the VT and doesn't feels as plush on the downhills, specially under braking.

    For all around riding and fun the VT is the way to go.

  15. #15
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    my old and new steeds...






  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=Spongedog]my old and new steeds...

    nice pics man, hows the vt in snow?

  17. #17
    Dirt Hurts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spongedog
    Having logged many thousands of miles on an NRS 1, both on the trail and on the road, and now having spent abut 6 months on a VT 1, there is a very big difference in the bikes. The NRS is very well designed for the XC racer. The NRS 1 is all about going flat out as fast as you can off road (and it is equally as capable on the pavement). The reason it is so popular is that it exhibits many traits of a hardtail with enough suspension to let one speed over the rough stuff. The only problem is that you will experience a pretty rough ride. On the NRS, you can stand and pedal incredibly hard with no bobbing in the suspension.

    The VT 1 is an interesting bike. I have it set up with the swinger 4 way and the minute 1 fork. I have the suspension tuned to be more XC, and the result is that I get a fast ride that is far more plush than the NRS. It climbs well with the minute 1 at 130mm, and if I crank it down to 100mm, it climbs even better. Going down a rough hill, my VT would blow the doors off my NRS because it can absorb the terrain. On the other hand, going uphill, the NRS will blow the doors off the VT any day of the week. This is why it is a great racing bike. A rider will gain much more on their competitor if they are faster uphill than if they are faster downhill. As fast at the VT is down the hill, a rider may gain a few seconds over the NRS. Going uphill, the NRS will beat a VT by 30 seconds or more depending on the size of the hill.

    If you want to ride as fast as possible, regardless of the harshness of the ride, go with another NRS. If you are more into enjoying the ride, jumping and climbing over logs, go with the VT. I also broke my NRS and got the VT as a replacement. Either way, you win. Also, Giant is a great manufacturer. My friends have broken their frames from other manufacturers and got nothing but the run around. Giant is a solid company.
    Wow, thats the best damn responce I have ever seen. Really descriptive and a lot of usefull information. I have noticed myself doing a lot of crazier stuff on my NRS that I though never possible with the bike. How is the VT in Snow? Lol. Im thinking that the VT is the way to go with my new particular riding style. I absolutly HATE the new 2 Tone colors of the VT's this year though, really damn ugly. You seem to have a Solid color model, 2003? I will have a chance to be lended a VT 1 Demo bike from my shop, the manager is willing to let me take it for a weekend in the Summer, be it that if I break it, I buy it. I will probably leave the swap until the end of the season, so to see if any improvements will be made for the new '05's on both bikes. Thank you all for your advice, it has been extemely helpful.
    Matt G.
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  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=Mr. VT]
    Quote Originally Posted by Spongedog
    my old and new steeds...

    nice pics man, hows the vt in snow?
    I think the VT is okay in the snow. Just drop the pressure a little (I run UST, so I can run them pretty low. I wish that I had some studded time though.

  19. #19
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    color

    Quote Originally Posted by NRSAirDriver
    I absolutly HATE the new 2 Tone colors of the VT's this year though, really damn ugly. You seem to have a Solid color model, 2003?
    When Giant told me that I could get a VT as replacement for the NRS frame, they told me I was getting a 2004 VT 2 (the black one). When it got to the shop, it was a 2003 VT 1 frame in silver. I like the look too.

  20. #20
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    04' also has beefed up rocker arms/linkages....

    Adding a few grams, but offset by the Swinger 3.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit
    Adding a few grams, but offset by the Swinger 3.
    oh really? thats something i did not know, i remember hearing something about the 03 vt's linkages becoming a bit loose or something, anybody have this problem before?

  22. #22
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    I have a few 04's in stock...

    and everything in the linkage is a tad larger. I will post pic's tomorrow. The changes do not appear in the catalog, only on the bikes. Improved, IMO. Much stiffer laterally.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spongedog
    On the other hand, going uphill, the NRS will blow the doors off the VT any day of the week. This is why it is a great racing bike. A rider will gain much more on their competitor if they are faster uphill than if they are faster downhill. As fast at the VT is down the hill, a rider may gain a few seconds over the NRS. Going uphill, the NRS will beat a VT by 30 seconds or more depending on the size of the hill.

    If you want to ride as fast as possible, regardless of the harshness of the ride, go with another NRS. If you are more into enjoying the ride, jumping and climbing over logs, go with the VT. I also broke my NRS and got the VT as a replacement. Either way, you win. Also, Giant is a great manufacturer. My friends have broken their frames from other manufacturers and got nothing but the run around. Giant is a solid company.

    I would disagree about the NRS climbing better than the VT. I ride a YETI ARC HT as well and must say that with some invested time on the swinger 4 way I can climb as well on my VT as I can on the ARC. So the next question is going to be...how bad is the bob...and my answer is...darn near none. I set the sag ring to 0 position once on the VT and then spent 3 hours climbing a hill that would never end. I stayed in the sadle the whole time and after the climb the sag ring may have moved 1/32". I thought that was pretty darn good. So now you ask...the ride must be harsh now? And I would say no...on the other swide of the hill were some very nice 2-3' drops and the landings were nice!

    I was very pleased and highly impressed with the climbing ability of the 03 VT1 compared to my 22lb YETI ARC which is well known for being one of the best mountains goats on the hill.

    I weighed the VT1 (03, 22.5") lastnight on a calibrated scale and got 28.2 lbs. This was with the PIG UST hutchinson scorpions. I swaped the scorps for some UST pythns this morning so I suspect the weight dropped a bit more.

    Overall I am highly impressed with the VT1 and would not hesitate to race it after a few mods.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by k0zu
    I would disagree about the NRS climbing better than the VT. I ride a YETI ARC HT as well and must say that with some invested time on the swinger 4 way I can climb as well on my VT as I can on the ARC. So the next question is going to be...how bad is the bob...and my answer is...darn near none. I set the sag ring to 0 position once on the VT and then spent 3 hours climbing a hill that would never end. I stayed in the sadle the whole time and after the climb the sag ring may have moved 1/32". I thought that was pretty darn good. So now you ask...the ride must be harsh now? And I would say no...on the other swide of the hill were some very nice 2-3' drops and the landings were nice!

    I was very pleased and highly impressed with the climbing ability of the 03 VT1 compared to my 22lb YETI ARC which is well known for being one of the best mountains goats on the hill.

    I weighed the VT1 (03, 22.5") lastnight on a calibrated scale and got 28.2 lbs. This was with the PIG UST hutchinson scorpions. I swaped the scorps for some UST pythns this morning so I suspect the weight dropped a bit more.

    Overall I am highly impressed with the VT1 and would not hesitate to race it after a few mods.
    hey just wondering, but whats the specs on your vt? 28.2 lbs is pretty darn good!

  25. #25
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    I got mine to under 27...

    With no compromises. Fox float fork, Carbon bar/post, XTR/grip shift drivetrain, Mavic 317/db/alloy nips on Hugi 240 hubs, hayes hydros with all Ti bolts, Trailbear tires with Stan's, lock on grips, 959 pedals, ti stem. Nice, snappy, light riding bike!

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