04 nrs improved....- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    04 nrs improved....

    Does the 04's Fox shock on the NRS improve it that much on subtle trail nuances and while braking/descending? I had an 02 NRS and didn't like how it was semi-active under braking and other situations, but if the ProPedal improved it then I'd be interested.

    I hear the 04 is more "active" than the 03 NRS while still maintaining the no resonance pedaling, but I also presume propedal has nothing to do with how a bike descends, only helping it pedal.

  2. #2
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    thats interesting topic. i have heard that "new improved" suspension. are the 03 rockers same as the 04. any changes in shock leverage ? i would like to see a comparison between the 03 and 04.

    dirt diggler

  3. #3
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    There are differences in the rear swingarm, and..

    chainstay pivot placement. Shock mount placement has been modified on the seatube, as well as rocker arm configuration. My Air is definitely more plush bump-wise, but still pedals like an 03' , FWIW

  4. #4
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    I thought the changes were subtle

    I test rode both an '03 and '04 NRS and didn't really find the differences between the bikes to be all that noticeable. The '04 did ride a tad nicer than the '03, but it was not a monumental difference.

    The biggest change between the '03 and '04 that affects the ride is the choice of shock. The '03 has the RS SID and the '04 uses the Fox Float. Many people think the Fox is a more supple shock, especially on the small stuff. But that's an interesting assessment, considering the new Fox is the "ProPedal" model, which is supposed to be harsher on the small stuff than the old Fox Float's (non-ProPedal).

    The other change is the rear pivot. The '03 had a long linkage at the pivot whereas the '04 has a compact linkage. To accommodate for this compact linkage, Giant also moved the chainstay pivot higher on the bike on the '04 model (to maintain a similar angle in the chainstay). The resulting geometry still looks the same, however.

    Again, I didn't notice a huge difference in the '04 model over the '03. I got a steal on the '03 and decided to buy it. And I've been VERY happy so far.

    Regarding the suppleness of the ride, I had to play around with the RS SID shock to get it "dialed in". At first I thought it was too harsh, then I thought it was too fast, then I thought it was too soft... Messing around with the +/- and rebound really helped tune in the bike. I ended up going with my body weight in PSI on the +, 70 lbs on the - (whereas Giant recommends 50), and a fairly slow rebound. This works well for me.

    Thx...Doug

  5. #5
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    Two words: Cloud Nine.
    Big hoopy.
    Turner Sultan / On One Inbred

  6. #6
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    red rocker,
    i agree cloud nine, i am on a hunt for one for my 03.

    dirt diggler

  7. #7
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    I found one that wasn't "in use" and had a damaged RCA. It basically cost me an overhaul and hardware plus I have my SID should I ever need it. The trade in deal is pretty good and I think you'd probably be just as happy with an AD-12. f*naetic (sp? oh, whatever!) had one and seemed to think so.

    On the other hand the Fox may be nicer on the 04 though dgangi didn't notice a big diff. It may depend on your weight and the riding you do.
    Big hoopy.
    Turner Sultan / On One Inbred

  8. #8
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    Have you noticed whether your NRS 'stinkbugs' on descents?

    I have a friend who complains that when she brakes on descents the shock locks out ('01 air). She said she just compensates where she can by full braking before the descent and then letting go of the brake the rest of the way. Obviously she would still have to deal with brake jack/stinkbugging on gnarly sections though.

    I figured this was something I'd have to live with on my '04 air but it would be nice to know if there were any improvements in the past couple of years.

  9. #9
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    Can only speak for the "last couple of years"...question. Yes, both my NRS rides do the same thing, ala stinkbug..lockout..topout..etc, while trailing the rear brakes. Yes, I do the same when I can, meaning braking more before entering, always going for the smoothest line, etc. Other times its just harsh, say when theres no choice of said "technigues". Price of admission sorta i guess, at least for the 01-03 chassis. It "is" a race bike first, eh? Can't talk for the 04. In return theres no lockout to remember to use(been there done that), fiddle with(and crash maybe while doing said fiddle), or otherwise meet Mr bob.

    Duckout

  10. #10
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    Duck's right. That's inherent in the suspension design along with the no-lockout-needed feature. My guess is that the Fox may make the suspension more active and small bump sensitive, the Cloud 9 does. The forces transmitted through the suspension under REAR braking will still work to top out the shock and stiffen the suspension. So another tip is to get more used to braking with the front if you don't already do so.
    Big hoopy.
    Turner Sultan / On One Inbred

  11. #11
    Fragile - must be Italian
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    Brake jacking

    Quote Originally Posted by RedRocker
    Duck's right. That's inherent in the suspension design along with the no-lockout-needed feature. My guess is that the Fox may make the suspension more active and small bump sensitive, the Cloud 9 does. The forces transmitted through the suspension under REAR braking will still work to top out the shock and stiffen the suspension. So another tip is to get more used to braking with the front if you don't already do so.
    I think the brake-jack isssue is 100% related to the suspension design and has nothing to do with the shock. In fact, I would argue that the brake-jack issue isn't even about the act of braking - it's about the way the body weight is positioned when we brake downhill.

    The NRS is a "no sag" design, and I assume that most of the time we complain about brake-jack is when we are braking downhill with no weight on the saddle (fanny hanging over the rear tire). With no weight on the saddle (i.e little body weight on the back of the bike), the rear suspension is naturally going to stiffen up (as would any suspension bike). However, at this point the NRS is also topped out (no sag), so there is nothing in the shock to assume the small bump hits. Other suspension designs use sag, so even with little weight on the rear of the bike there will still be some remaining sag and related movement in the shock. This would give the feeling of less "brake jack" in other suspension designs.

    It's funny that people keep mentioning that the new '04 NRS will have better small bump compliance because of the new Fox Float w/ProPedal. This is *exactly* the opposite sensation that most people describe on other brands of bikes that had the "old" Fox (no ProPedal) vs the "new" Fox (w/ProPedal). The intertia valving in the new shock is supposed to make the bike less prone to rider input, but also less prone to quick chatter (i.e. small bumps). Almost everybody I know thinks the new Fox produces less bob, but is less plush than the old Fox Float's.

    Before purchasing my NRS, I demo'd a Titus RX ('04). It had the Fox Float w/ProPedal. My brother-in-law has an '02 Titus RX with the old Float. I rode both bikes to see if I could notice a difference (same size frame, only difference in the '04 is an improved rocker arm for stiffness and the new Fox shock). The comparison between the bikes was somewhat noticeable. Although the RX has very little bob with the "old" shock, the new shock had zero bob. BUT, the '02 RX had a more "smooth" suspension feel whereas the '04 definitely had a rougher ride over the "chatter". On the big hits both bikes felt identical.

    Thx...Doug

  12. #12
    Derailleurless
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    Totally on board with your ideas of rider weight shift on descents with the topped out suspension, and don't see how this can be improved with the shock switch.

    I, too, am perplexed by the ProPedal addition, other than Fox isn't offering any non-PP Floats this year (???). But knowing that Fox has a selection of compression valving, perhaps they are putting a very, very light shim stack in the NRS Float shocks to minimize the Pro Pedal harshness many riders complain about.

  13. #13

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    Actually, it is a combination of braking and weight shift.

    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi
    I think the brake-jack isssue is 100% related to the suspension design and has nothing to do with the shock. In fact, I would argue that the brake-jack issue isn't even about the act of braking - it's about the way the body weight is positioned when we brake downhill.

    Thx...Doug
    If you do some vector force analysis, you can see that you are inputting a huge torque into the upper swingarm during braking that directly opposes suspension travel. This is true with all the 4 bar, Horst type linkages. The closer you are to the "overcenter" position, the higher the brake jacking forces. Compared to, say the Specialized Epic, the NRS is much closer to the topped out, overcenter position...which makes sense because that is how it's anti-bob technology works. It puts the suspension very close to the breakover position. With the brake torque added to the suspension forces, it becomes much less compliant...especially at the topped out position.

    Given the suspension is designed to just break away above the rider weight, shifting weight forward would also delay the compliance point. So the inclination of the bike has an effect too...but probably less so than the braking torque.

    The only solution I can think of is staying off the rear brakes in the rough stuff. This will only sacrifice 20-25% of your braking capacity anyway, since the rear does less on decents.

  14. #14
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    Just curious - how are you doing your analysis? Paper, software, assumptions...? I've got a couple mechanical engineering degrees that I haven't used in a while since I sell business software now and I miss doing that stuff!
    Big hoopy.
    Turner Sultan / On One Inbred

  15. #15

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    Just a quick note guys: The '04 NRS bikes do not come equiped with ProPedal Fox shocks.
    The shocks are custom-built Float AVA shocks without the ProPedal valving.

    Thanks!

    [email protected]

  16. #16

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    I've got ME and Physics....like to draw on paper.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedRocker
    Just curious - how are you doing your analysis? Paper, software, assumptions...? I've got a couple mechanical engineering degrees that I haven't used in a while since I sell business software now and I miss doing that stuff!
    I always like to start out drawing on paper. Here is a very rough quick sketch that shows forces applied to upper swing arm by the brakes


  17. #17
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    That about sums it up
    The force of the chain also drives the rocker upwards which tops out the shock and cancels bob. You ever notice that every other bike with a similar-looking 4-bar has the top of the shock mounted much lower so the brake force compresses it?
    Big hoopy.
    Turner Sultan / On One Inbred

  18. #18
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    [email protected], what makes...

    ...the Fox shock "custom built"? The internals? Externals? And how does it change the performance of the shock vs. the propedal versions.?

    pnassmac

  19. #19

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    On Horst style 4 bars, the brakes always jack up the suspension.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedRocker
    That about sums it up
    The force of the chain also drives the rocker upwards which tops out the shock and cancels bob. You ever notice that every other bike with a similar-looking 4-bar has the top of the shock mounted much lower so the brake force compresses it?
    As long as the brakes are mounted to the upper swing arm...and they have to be...they will apply torque in the lifting, or jacking direction on a Horst style suspension. The NRS is unique in that its shock pivot arm is almost parallel with the upper swingarm...almost "overcenter." This increases the leverage of the brake torquing forces.

    Designers can add an element of brake squat by designing the path of the rear wheel travel to move the rear wheel rearward during compression. Then, when you brake the rearward push will try to squat the suspension. I doubt this force would come close to equalizing the force caused by the brakes on the upper swingarm....at least not in the NRS's design. Further, growning the chain adds an element of suspension input from drive forces.

    One of the big advantages of a 4 arm linkage is that it can be designed such that suspension travel does not cause rotation at the crank...or at least is greatly reduced. In a single swingarm design the suspension necessarilly has to drive the crank with travel...when going over bumps you will feel the pedals load and unload (this has nothing to do with chain growth...just simple gears driving each other.) GT reduced this effect from the cranksside with their i-drive, as did Schwinn with their iso-drive and Maverick and Klein do with their Mono-link.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by pnassmac
    ...the Fox shock "custom built"? The internals? Externals? And how does it change the performance of the shock vs. the propedal versions.?

    pnassmac
    The Fox Float AVA on the '04 NRS bikes does not have the ProPedal valving in it. There is also some hydraulic topout fuction as well.

    [email protected]

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disaster
    As long as the brakes are mounted to the upper swing arm...and they have to be...they will apply torque in the lifting, or jacking direction on a Horst style suspension. .
    Just wondering why they have to be

    I have been thinking for a while now that if the caliper was mounted on the chainstay the brake jack might be eliminated

    Although if it were this easy surely giant would have done it already

    can you tell me why this is not possible

    thanks

  22. #22
    TEAM TOPEAK - ERGON
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    '04 Nrs Air Is Smoother

    Just thought I would put my 2 cents in. I have raced both the 2002, 2003, and now the 2004 NRS AIR. Most of my racing has been upper midwest (IA, WI, MN) with trips out west (CO, UT, and British Columbia). My racing started out as XC, but now the focus is on endurance solo racing. The 2004 NRS rides a lot smoother. There is no top-out or bottom out like on the 02 and 03 models. I have outfitted the bike with a Fox F100X, up front, and makes this bike a "sofa" for endurance events.

    Thanks for Reading!
    Jeff Kerkove, Cateye Enduro

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