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  1. #1
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    Opinions of the NRS?

    I recently built up a 2003 Giant NRS frame (posted on the "Roll Call" thread) and absolutely love the bike. It took me 3 long months to finally settle on the Giant and I did a lot of research and test drives to get there. Here are the bikes I shopped:

    Titus Racer X
    Giant NRS ('03 and '04)
    K2 Razorback Team
    Trek Fuel 100
    Gary Fisher Sugar
    Foes FXC (discontinued)
    Santa Cruz Blur (wanted a Superlight but could not find one to save my a$$!)
    Specialized FSR S-Works
    Kona King Kikapu

    My goal was to find a short travel, lightweight XC bike that I can also race. My previous bike is a '97 Trek 8000 hardtail (which I really like).

    Being a prior Trek owner and having such good luck with the bike, the first bike I shopped was the Trek Fuel. I *really* wanted to like that bike but just couldn't. The 17.5" frame was a bit too big for me and the 15.5 was way too small. And the ride was very rough.

    Being from Arizona, I am partial to Titus bikes (local brand). Many of my friends own Switchblades and RX's and they all have such good luck with them. The RX is one sweet racing bike. It's very stiff and handles very well. But the ride of the Titus is hard. You can barely feel anything going on back there.

    Regardless, after all of my arduous research, I narrowed my search down to 2 bikes: the Giant and the Titus RX. But since I got a much better deal on the Giant frame I went with the Giant.

    My opinions of the bike thus far:

    1) Rear suspension "feel" is just right for XC. Some people complain that the rear is a bit harsh, but I find it very compliant for my type of riding (fast XC). My riding is mostly in the rocks of Phoenix AZ and the 3.75" of travel is just right - not too much, not too little. Of course, coming from a hardtail, my expectations are different than many others. If I was crawling over big rocks and roots, I can see where a 5" bike would be more appropriate.

    2) Rear suspension design is fantastic as far as efficiency goes. Coming from a hardtail and being an avid climber, I was very worried that I would feel bobbing in the granny gear. But after riding 200 miles on this bike I am very happy to discover that there is absolutely no bob in this design whatsoever. And I feel no loss in efficiency as compared to my hardtail. I live right on the Phoenix Mtn preserve and have immediate access to the Trail 100. I know it like the back of my hand so I know how I "respond" to the terrain on my hardtail. And the Giant is as good as the hardtail when it comes time to point the nose of the bike upwards.

    3) Handling is pretty good, but not as good as the Titus. I'm still not sure why the bike feels a little slow. My tires are Hutchinson Python Gold Elite's, which are supposed to be quick tires. And I am running a short Fox F80RLT fork in front, so my head tube angle is not slack. I am using an Answer carbon flat bar and a 120mm 6 degree stem, which is similar to what I have on the hardtail. Maybe some of you can point me in the right direction as to how I can quicken up the bike. Or maybe I just need to adjust to it more?

    4) Fit and finish is really good. I like the top tube design near the head tube. Pretty trick. I thought that a "factory" frame would not be as well built as the boutique bikes (such as the Titus), but so far I don't see that being the case...

    5) Rock Shox rear shock is actually a pleasant surprise. Some people told me the shock works great, and others told me to replace it immediately. But I really like how it rides. And it hasn't been leaking any air. When it does wear out I guess I will get a Cane Creek Cloud 9.


    So what do you guys think of the NRS? Is it the ultimate XC bike? Does it work well for racing? Or are there areas that you think need improvement?

    BTW - of all the bikes, the one I liked the least was the Specialized (which surprised me). That "brain" technology was really stiff and klunky. I didn't like it at all. The biggest surprise was the K2 Razorback. In fact, I liked its ride as much as the Giant and the Titus. But it fell off my list because the shock design is proprietary (meaning no upgrade path).

    Thx...Doug

  2. #2
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    I have an 03 NRS 2 and its a pretty good bike. It is a great climber and does ok on the downhills. However, I have had it for about 6 months now and Ive encountered several problems:

    1. The play in the rear shock. After my first ride, I noticed that the rear shock had developed some play. Well I decided that it just needed to be tightend, so I did but the play was still there. Wel I tightened the bolt to a point where I sheared the bolt. Not a very happy moment. I took it back to my LBS and told them about the problem. They told me that the bushings were the wrong size and sent it into Rock Shox replacement bushings. After a couple of weeks, they told me that they had fixed it. Well when I went to pick it up, there was still play in the shock. To sum things up, it took them 4 months to finally solve the problem. I think I remember going back to the LBS about 5 times before they resolved it. I wasnt very happy with it because of all the down time I had when the bike was in the shop.

    2. Cracked fork. Pretty recent event, the skareb had developed a crack near the arch and that was warrantied very quickly.

    With all the problems Ive encountered, I just wished that they were resolved a lot sooner and I might have been fine with that. So anyways, I've put about 500 miles on this bike and its seen local trails and big bear. I havent put this baby in a race yet, but I will soon intend to. Oh and I think that the rear shock is a little too harsh. Ive played around with the air settings on the SID and I still dont like the feeling. I like a more plush feeling on the rear suspension. So after I finish paying up the payment on my bike, I'll save up for an AD-12 and most likely a new fork (fox fox fox). Hopefully that will make the bike feel more plush and a lot less hardtail-ish. Most of the coponents on the 03 NRS 2 are well spec'd. The avid disc work wonderfully in the SoCal weather and everything just seems right for the price I paid for it. The XT rear d is still working and the LX coponents are fine. (I am planning to upgrade to the new Sram X-9 stuff.) And everything else on this bike seems to be working fine. I have no complaints here.

    Heres a pic of my bike:


    Mostly stock except:
    Eggbeaters chrome
    Avid SD-5 Levers
    Sram PC-99
    Thomson Seatpost
    Warrantied Skareb Lowers
    ODI Rouge grips
    WTB Mutano 2.4 (F); 2.24 (R)
    Keep Pedaling

  3. #3

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    Comparison of head angles.

    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi

    3) Handling is pretty good, but not as good as the Titus. I'm still not sure why the bike feels a little slow. My tires are Hutchinson Python Gold Elite's, which are supposed to be quick tires. And I am running a short Fox F80RLT fork in front, so my head tube angle is not slack. I am using an Answer carbon flat bar and a 120mm 6 degree stem, which is similar to what I have on the hardtail. Maybe some of you can point me in the right direction as to how I can quicken up the bike. Or maybe I just need to adjust to it more?
    The NRS does have a very slightly slacker head angle than some other bikes. These are the specs from their websites.

    Giant NRS: 70 degrees
    Specialized Epic: 70.5 degrees
    GT ID XC: 71 degrees
    Fuel 100: 71 degrees
    Titus Racer X: 71.5 degrees (large frame...gets slacker with smaller frames.)

    However, I don't think this is the issue. I'm don't believe small head angle changes make too much difference in handling. In fact, I've run my NRS at 80 and 100mm with little effect on handling. I think other things have a bigger effect, like seated position and stem length. It is a combination of these things that make a difference. For example, a steeper head angle, coupled with a forward seating postion (putting more weight on the front wheel), shorter handlebar and a short stem, yields a faster steering bike.

  4. #4
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    If I could have any bike in the world it would be a 2004 NRS Air..............thats why I worked 80 hour weeks for the past 4 months. It's in the mail and completely paid for..........I also have a digital camera in the mail so you'd better believe there is going to be pictures when it arrives. Giant makes the best bikes in the world (for my purposes, XC racing). You sir made the right choice!

  5. #5
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    The Giant NRS is the perfect bike (for me anyway). I love it, although there are other bikes I would love to have alongside my NRS, like a Santa Cruz Blur or Heckler, But I wouldnt trade in my NRS for one. Everything on this bike fits my riding style perfectly. Luckily I am light (150lbs) so I can ride the crap out of it w/out too much worry. I like to ride wheelies and manuals everywhere possible, and the stiffer semiactive rearend is more predictable like a hardtail, making it easier. Climbs like a goat too.
    I have had the sid bushing play problem, and slight ghost shifting, but you can't expect something flawless when it is mass produced, although it is very close to being boutique quality IMO (machined headtube/integrated hs/hydroformed tubing like a corvette/etc.). The only downfall is going on steep downhills, although any XC bike is going to suffer here because their geometry is designed for climbing. I have an AC in my sights as the next bike to park by my beloved NRS. I also see a Fox TALAS on the horizon (to replace my POS RS SidWC blackbox noodle) for my NRS so I can set it at 80-100 for normal riding, then crank it up to 125 for some of the more wicked downhill sections I come accross here in the north country. I would like to checkout a canecreek Cloud9 and those SGF 4.5in rocker arms too. Overall, you can't get a better bike in its category. I hope you guys feel the same way. Ride on!

  6. #6

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    I rode the NRS 1 for 2 years and loved it for what it is...a highly efficient race bike. The reason that some claim that the rear end is harsh is becuase it is a little harsh. It gives you all of the benefits of a hardtail and many of the benefits of a full suspension ride, minus plushness. If you are racing, who cares about plushness anyway...you care about how fast you can get from start to finish, and the NRS will get you there fast! I would love to take a ride on a new AIR.

    Anyway, I switched to a VT 1 over the winter because I am not really a racer...I do 3-4 races a year, but mostly do trail riding. The VT was a good move. The VT is also raceable for the occasional racer if you lighten up the components.

  7. #7
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    BikeSATORI - Absolutely! Sounds like you're going in a similar direction that I did. I have made my bike a little heavier but I have more fun on it now.
    Sounds like you'd really like an adjustable fork. You can really tell the difference in the geometry from 80-100. I have an adjustable Black on my 03 NRS2 and in 100 mode it will suck up bumps/hits that the stock Skareb wouldn't.
    I haven't ridden the 4.5 rockers but the Cloud 9 is sweet on that frame. With the SID you can feel yourself rolling over things like logs and rocks then feel (and hear) the shock compress when you come down to soften the landing a little. It doesn't seem to do much on that initial hit. The Cloud 9 is a more active shock that lets the bike roll over more without your even noticing it. It's always working with the terrain but the suspension remains very efficient like you're used to.
    Big hoopy.
    Turner Sultan / On One Inbred

  8. #8
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well SID slack? 2003 NRS

    Dude

    Do you know what fixed your NRS shock? The LBS returned my SID to RockShox but whatever they did to the shock had no effect on the "slack." Then the LBS got me the new upper shock bushing kit. It also had no effect on the "slack."

    I appreciate any help.

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    If that was to me, you need new hardware from Cane Creek to mount their shocks. $40 - yoikes - but it fits.
    Big hoopy.
    Turner Sultan / On One Inbred

  10. #10
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    Here is my NRS AIR and it is for sale.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    NRS is an awesome race bike

    I demo'd a 2004 NRS 1 for the second time yesterday. This time I took it out on a much longer ride - over 3 hours. For the first hour I was ecstatic about the performance - this bike is amazingly efficient. While seated, any energy applied to the pedals surges the bike forward. And on fast low-angle bumpy downhills I was also amazed how well it works (almost as good as my VT). When things got steeper though, it was hang-on-and-try-to-survive mode, as the low front and forward bar position tried to pitch you over the front. But this is not unexpected in an XC race bike. I shortened the stem about 20mm to see if this would help the downhills - it helped a bit, but also lightened the front end on climbs which wasn't so good. In the middle of my ride I hit a technical downhill which lasts about 20 minutes - I survived this, but barely - I was pretty thrashed after this. For the last hour I snaked the bike through twisting up and down single track, and I was so wrecked I had a hard time controlling the bike through anything technical. If I was on my plusher VT, things would have been way more comfortable.

    So I was planning on gettting an NRS for racing this year, since I had a great time racing my VT last year, but was looking to shed a few pounds and sacrifice a little comfort to get something faster. But after this ride I realize my body needs something with more active suspension. If I had mega-$$$ I would probably get an NRS for races less than 2 hours, and train and do long races on a plusher bike.

    Anybody have an opinion on the Kona King Kikapu ? It's the same weight as the NRS1 (27+ lbs), but more active suspension..

  12. #12
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    Bonking ... not feelin' well Paging mtnbikerdude87

    RedRocker

    I am trying to reach mtnbikerdude87 but can't directly email him. Still trying to fix the NRS slack or clunk.

    Thanks
    TR
    Last edited by elder_mtber; 03-22-2004 at 02:26 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by elder_mtber
    Dude

    Do you know what fixed your NRS shock? The LBS returned my SID to RockShox but whatever they did to the shock had no effect on the "slack." Then the LBS got me the new upper shock bushing kit. It also had no effect on the "slack."

    I appreciate any help.
    Hey sorry about ignoring you there, I havent been on these boards for weeks. Anyways, I think my LBS sent in the old SID and Rock Shox replaced with a new one and new hardware. Basically the clunk is gone from my NRS. Its interessting how they sent it back to Rockshox and it had new bushings and you still have the clunk. How long ago was this? If al comes to worst, try again. Hope this helps!
    Keep Pedaling

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    Bonking ... not feelin' well

    The LBS got the SID back from RockShox a couple/three months ago.

    I did not immediately reinstall it as I had my Cane Creek AD-12 on the bike (no slack or clunk with AD-12).

    So a couple weeks ago I reinstalled the SID and found the clunk/slack unchanged.

    Called LBS and told them about the upper shock bushing. LBS got the new bushing kit about a week ago. I installed it and no change.

    TR

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by elder_mtber
    The LBS got the SID back from RockShox a couple/three months ago.

    I did not immediately reinstall it as I had my Cane Creek AD-12 on the bike (no slack or clunk with AD-12).

    So a couple weeks ago I reinstalled the SID and found the clunk/slack unchanged.

    Called LBS and told them about the upper shock bushing. LBS got the new bushing kit about a week ago. I installed it and no change.

    TR
    Hmm that's interesting. Well since it seems like the bushing clunk isnt going away then I would stay with the AD-12 (Any reason why you switched back to the SID?). Does the LBS know about this problem? My LBS didnt know that the clunk was coming from the bushings and when they found out where the problem was, they got it fixed immediatly. Other than that, Im sorry I cant help you more. Personally I would stick with the AD-12....
    How do you like the shock BTW? Im planning to purchase one in the near future.
    Keep Pedaling

  16. #16
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    Kikapu is not an upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtSnake
    I demo'd a 2004 NRS 1 for the second time yesterday. This time I took it out on a much longer ride - over 3 hours. For the first hour I was ecstatic about the performance - this bike is amazingly efficient. While seated, any energy applied to the pedals surges the bike forward. And on fast low-angle bumpy downhills I was also amazed how well it works (almost as good as my VT). When things got steeper though, it was hang-on-and-try-to-survive mode, as the low front and forward bar position tried to pitch you over the front. But this is not unexpected in an XC race bike. I shortened the stem about 20mm to see if this would help the downhills - it helped a bit, but also lightened the front end on climbs which wasn't so good. In the middle of my ride I hit a technical downhill which lasts about 20 minutes - I survived this, but barely - I was pretty thrashed after this. For the last hour I snaked the bike through twisting up and down single track, and I was so wrecked I had a hard time controlling the bike through anything technical. If I was on my plusher VT, things would have been way more comfortable.

    So I was planning on gettting an NRS for racing this year, since I had a great time racing my VT last year, but was looking to shed a few pounds and sacrifice a little comfort to get something faster. But after this ride I realize my body needs something with more active suspension. If I had mega-$$$ I would probably get an NRS for races less than 2 hours, and train and do long races on a plusher bike.

    Anybody have an opinion on the Kona King Kikapu ? It's the same weight as the NRS1 (27+ lbs), but more active suspension..
    My buddy has the King Kikapu and it's no upgrade from the NRS. In fact, I'd say it is a step backwards for a race rig. The Kikapu has 3.5" of rear travel, but since it has the rear seatstay pivot above the axle, it's going to behave more like a monopivot bike. That pedaling efficiency you feel on the NRS is going to be lost somewhat on the Kona.

    What you decribe in terms of the difficult descents has nothing to do with the suspension. Your comments were more about the geometry, and with a race rig you want to be low-slung (not upright). Motoring downhill with an 80mm fork and a long/low stem will not be confidence inspring on ANY bike.

    Maybe you should try an NRS with a 100mm fork? Or if you've got the cash, check out the Hammerhead 100x or Titus RX (w/100mm fork option).

    Thx...Doug

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikerdude87
    Hmm that's interesting. Well since it seems like the bushing clunk isnt going away then I would stay with the AD-12 (Any reason why you switched back to the SID?). Does the LBS know about this problem? My LBS didnt know that the clunk was coming from the bushings and when they found out where the problem was, they got it fixed immediatly. Other than that, Im sorry I cant help you more. Personally I would stick with the AD-12....
    How do you like the shock BTW? Im planning to purchase one in the near future.

    I put the SID back on for two reasons; I wanted to see if the "clunk" was gone and the AD-12 had to go back to Cane Creek for a rebuild.

    I originally bought the AD-12 in order to have a back up shock for the SID that came on my first NRS (a 2001).

    The AD-12 rides smoother than the SID and is about 1 oz. lighter. However, the SID rides a lot softer, especially on small bumps, with 100 psi or more in the negative chamber (instead of the recommended 50 psi).

  18. #18
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    I just need a cushier rig

    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi
    My buddy has the King Kikapu and it's no upgrade from the NRS. In fact, I'd say it is a step backwards for a race rig. The Kikapu has 3.5" of rear travel, but since it has the rear seatstay pivot above the axle, it's going to behave more like a monopivot bike. That pedaling efficiency you feel on the NRS is going to be lost somewhat on the Kona.

    What you decribe in terms of the difficult descents has nothing to do with the suspension. Your comments were more about the geometry, and with a race rig you want to be low-slung (not upright). Motoring downhill with an 80mm fork and a long/low stem will not be confidence inspring on ANY bike.

    Maybe you should try an NRS with a 100mm fork? Or if you've got the cash, check out the Hammerhead 100x or Titus RX (w/100mm fork option).

    Thx...Doug
    I agree, the Kikapu would be a step back as a race rig. I've only demo'd it around the bike shop, in some fields and on/off curbs. Unless I had the rear locked out, I didn't get full power when I accelerated like on the NRS - there was still a little monkey-motion going on, even with the ProPedal damping. But I'm thinking when I'm out training or racing for several hours, the more active suspension is going to be a lot easier on my body than the NRS.

    That's one thing I don't like about the NRS, you can't 'turn off' the super-efficient rear end, like you can on some other designs. For example on my VT, I can crank the rear SPV pressure way down if I want a mellow ride, or crank it way up for a short sprinty race. On the Kona you can lock out the rear end when you need more efficiency on the flats, and unlock it for maximum absorption otherwise.

    Regarding downhill performance, I obviously wasn't expecting much from the NRS. I read somewhere that your race bike should be tuned for maximum climbing performance, and should just enable you to survive the downhills, without compromising safety. So I was pleasantly surprised that my first steep technical downhill on the NRS didn't throw me over the bars - I just wasn't expecting to be so thrashed afterwards. Maybe you get used to it - I've been spoiled on plush 5+5 for too long

    I have to think that with all the new platform shock technology, Giant is probably designing a new rear-end for their race bike - maybe I should wait for next year...

  19. #19
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    NRS suspension tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtSnake
    I agree, the Kikapu would be a step back as a race rig. I've only demo'd it around the bike shop, in some fields and on/off curbs. Unless I had the rear locked out, I didn't get full power when I accelerated like on the NRS - there was still a little monkey-motion going on, even with the ProPedal damping. But I'm thinking when I'm out training or racing for several hours, the more active suspension is going to be a lot easier on my body than the NRS.

    That's one thing I don't like about the NRS, you can't 'turn off' the super-efficient rear end, like you can on some other designs. For example on my VT, I can crank the rear SPV pressure way down if I want a mellow ride, or crank it way up for a short sprinty race. On the Kona you can lock out the rear end when you need more efficiency on the flats, and unlock it for maximum absorption otherwise.

    Regarding downhill performance, I obviously wasn't expecting much from the NRS. I read somewhere that your race bike should be tuned for maximum climbing performance, and should just enable you to survive the downhills, without compromising safety. So I was pleasantly surprised that my first steep technical downhill on the NRS didn't throw me over the bars - I just wasn't expecting to be so thrashed afterwards. Maybe you get used to it - I've been spoiled on plush 5+5 for too long

    I have to think that with all the new platform shock technology, Giant is probably designing a new rear-end for their race bike - maybe I should wait for next year...
    I've ridden my NRS on some pretty gnarly stuff and I still don't quite see where you are coming from. In my opinion the Kona is no better than the NRS on the big stuff. They are still both 3.5" bikes (Giant is 3.75", but close enough to be considered the same), and therefore have inherent design limitations about the size hit they will take before bottoming out the shock.

    From what I know, both bikes should exhibit the same amount of brake jack. Even though the NRS is a Horst-type Specialized design and the Kona is a non-Horst 4-bar, they are still both 4-bar designs. And 4-bar suspensions typically lock up somewhat when the rear brake is applied, primarily because of the force of the brake activates the suspension.

    Regardless, I think the 5" trail bike you have is jading your perception of the bikes. The Giant is a better design from an efficiency standpoint, and with some tuning, you can make it a "plusher" bike. The RockShox shock on my '03 Air has both a + and - chamber, so I can adjust the "plushness" of the rear suspension from nice & supple to race-hard. I think any 3-4" bike is going to feel rough to you.

    The NRS also has a 4.5" conversion kit (available by a 3rd party), which supposedly makes the ride even more supple. I have no experience with this kit and don't know if it voids the warranty, but it is an option to consider.

    Thx...Doug

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    NRS tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi
    I've ridden my NRS on some pretty gnarly stuff and I still don't quite see where you are coming from. In my opinion the Kona is no better than the NRS on the big stuff. They are still both 3.5" bikes (Giant is 3.75", but close enough to be considered the same), and therefore have inherent design limitations about the size hit they will take before bottoming out the shock.

    From what I know, both bikes should exhibit the same amount of brake jack. Even though the NRS is a Horst-type Specialized design and the Kona is a non-Horst 4-bar, they are still both 4-bar designs. And 4-bar suspensions typically lock up somewhat when the rear brake is applied, primarily because of the force of the brake activates the suspension.

    Regardless, I think the 5" trail bike you have is jading your perception of the bikes. The Giant is a better design from an efficiency standpoint, and with some tuning, you can make it a "plusher" bike. The RockShox shock on my '03 Air has both a + and - chamber, so I can adjust the "plushness" of the rear suspension from nice & supple to race-hard. I think any 3-4" bike is going to feel rough to you.

    The NRS also has a 4.5" conversion kit (available by a 3rd party), which supposedly makes the ride even more supple. I have no experience with this kit and don't know if it voids the warranty, but it is an option to consider.

    Thx...Doug
    One of the big differences between these 2 bikes [stock] is that the Kona comes with a 4" Fox fork, while the NRS has a 3" fork. That plus the low riser on the Kona will no doubt make it a better descender right out of the box. I didn't think about putting a 4" fork on the NRS, that shouldn't change the geometry too much... So that would even things out up front. Regarding the rear shock, it seems then that with the Fox Float on the 04 NRS, you're losing some of the tuning options of the 03 with RockShox. Although it is an AVA shock - I didn't try adjusting that - but it was in its plushest setting. And I'm not saying the NRS was a bad descender - on gnarly root and rock strewn downhills that were low angle and high speed, I thought the NRS was awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtSnake
    One of the big differences between these 2 bikes [stock] is that the Kona comes with a 4" Fox fork, while the NRS has a 3" fork. That plus the low riser on the Kona will no doubt make it a better descender right out of the box. I didn't think about putting a 4" fork on the NRS, that shouldn't change the geometry too much... So that would even things out up front. Regarding the rear shock, it seems then that with the Fox Float on the 04 NRS, you're losing some of the tuning options of the 03 with RockShox. Although it is an AVA shock - I didn't try adjusting that - but it was in its plushest setting. And I'm not saying the NRS was a bad descender - on gnarly root and rock strewn downhills that were low angle and high speed, I thought the NRS was awesome.
    A 4" shock does change the geometry noticably. You could also more easily claim that the NRS is more a 4" bike than a 3.5" bike - remember that every other 4" bike will sag to the point where the NRS rides anyway. Another common change is a Cane Creek shock which I think has more volume than a Fox and definitely has more than the SID. These changes give you a different feel than the stock ride.
    Big hoopy.
    Turner Sultan / On One Inbred

  22. #22

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    ... and if we just ... Best Bike I have ever bought, Period.

    I have owned an NRS for 3 1/2 yrs now and from the Upgrade to Fluid forming the frame this bike has come a long way. As mine was an NRS Fully XTR, I upgraded to Chris king/Thompson components where I could, I have noticed the actual performance of the frame and it has performed flawlessly. From doing 3-4 foot drops, to riding in British Columbia to the Don in Toronto this bike has taken it, chewed it up, swallowed and then begged for more . I am now considering a VT 1 for my future bike as I have gotten to know my bike and realized that I need more travel in the front and the rear. Anyways You guys know where to look to see the specs of my bike, anyone got anything better than a VT 1 frame to suggest...?

  23. #23
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    2004 Nrs1

    Doug - You commented on a post while I was shopping for bikes a month ago and I ended up getting an 04 NRS1. After the first few rides here in VA, I love the bike. This is a great bike coming from a hardtail. I found the the Giant sizing - which is right in the middle of the Trek sizes - to fit me best. The bike is awesome and better than I am right now. I am having fun catching up to it.

    Thanks for your thoughts on the NRS when I was shopping - it's a great bike.

  24. #24

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    4.5 inch rockers

    I have the SGF rocker arm comversion on my NRS 2 and I initially loved it, butthe better it made me at ridding through technical terrain the more it exposed its biggest weakness. It lowers the bottom bracket and makes you bash the cranks even more then with the stock setup. I tried it with the Sid shock and with a Fox float. If your a trail rider and not a racer it's worth the small change, while your at it get a 100 mm fork, it makes the tough sections easier. It made me order an Intense 5.5!!
    Hope it's useful.

    LukeWFI

    Quote Originally Posted by dgangi
    I've ridden my NRS on some pretty gnarly stuff and I still don't quite see where you are coming from. In my opinion the Kona is no better than the NRS on the big stuff. They are still both 3.5" bikes (Giant is 3.75", but close enough to be considered the same), and therefore have inherent design limitations about the size hit they will take before bottoming out the shock.

    From what I know, both bikes should exhibit the same amount of brake jack. Even though the NRS is a Horst-type Specialized design and the Kona is a non-Horst 4-bar, they are still both 4-bar designs. And 4-bar suspensions typically lock up somewhat when the rear brake is applied, primarily because of the force of the brake activates the suspension.

    Regardless, I think the 5" trail bike you have is jading your perception of the bikes. The Giant is a better design from an efficiency standpoint, and with some tuning, you can make it a "plusher" bike. The RockShox shock on my '03 Air has both a + and - chamber, so I can adjust the "plushness" of the rear suspension from nice & supple to race-hard. I think any 3-4" bike is going to feel rough to you.

    The NRS also has a 4.5" conversion kit (available by a 3rd party), which supposedly makes the ride even more supple. I have no experience with this kit and don't know if it voids the warranty, but it is an option to consider.

    Thx...Doug

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    You CAN change the ride of the NRS by varying the rear shock air.

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtSnake

    That's one thing I don't like about the NRS, you can't 'turn off' the super-efficient rear end, like you can on some other designs. For example on my VT, I can crank the rear SPV pressure way down if I want a mellow ride, or crank it way up for a short sprinty race. On the Kona you can lock out the rear end when you need more efficiency on the flats, and unlock it for maximum absorption otherwise.
    ...

    I play with my rear pressure quite a bit. I can pump it up so it doesn't bob when I'm hammering in the saddle...or put less air in it so it just doesn't sag when I apply my weight. More air...stiffer ride. Less air, more bob.

  26. #26
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    FYI: to all Giant NRS owners with failing Rockshox top bushings.

    FYI: to all Giant NRS owners with failing Rockshox top bushings.

    I have a 2003 Giant NRS2 with the Rockshox rear shock. Purchased late last year around October. I have not had to many miles on it due to upgrades and Ohio weather. About two weeks ago I really rode the heck out of it to get my full use and just recently I noticed the talked about suspension play on the upper bushing. I disassembled the linkage and cleaned and re-lubed all pivot points, but the slack was still there. I also have a Cane Creek AD12 that I was going to replace and experiment with. On to my story, I contacted Rockshox / SRAM and mentioned my problem and right away they are sending me a new bushing kit w/o-rings to fix the problem. Great customer service by SRAM. One note that the SRAM / RS guy said that Giant spec’ed the bolts too small causin the play / slack noted on previous replies. I have also heard that Fox bushings can be used in place of OEM Rockshox upper bushing. I hope this work or may be using the CC AD12. I will probably try the AD12 soon, the rockshox also developed a high pitch air wheezing sound when “bunny hopping”.

    Dirt Diggler

  27. #27
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    Hi,

    I have a 03 NRS Team bike and I, along with mtnbikerdude87, experienced the bushings problem. It is because the original bushings were specced to the wrong size. However, thanks to us early adopters and complainers Giant should be fully aware of the problems and should be able to provide replacement ones.

    I also had major problems with my SID and it had to go back to Rock Shox UK. They eventually (after 9 weeks) elected to replace it but managed to send it with, yes you guessed, the wrong size of bushings fitted.

    I was so pissed off I phoned Giant UK and went off on a rant of epic proportions. This resulted in me managing to convince them to replace the SID with their own make shock (in the UK it is specced on all 04 bikes instead of the Fox).

    The new shock has performed faultlessly so far (it even came with a spare set of bushings) and is far plusher than the SID.

    I also have started to use the 4.5 inch rockers and they are a big improvement and are really complemented by my 02 Rock Shox Psylos (fitted with firmer springs and the climbit control has been modded to work as a non locking compression) set a 100mm.

    Overall, despite the problems, I really like the NRS and it will hopefully be problem free for the next few years.

    Regards
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  28. #28
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    I'll have to add my $.02 here. I got my NRS in the fall of 2002 as my first FS bike. Before that I was riding a cannondale hardtail, and as you might imagine i was getting beaten up on technical sections of trail riding. The stock NRS w/ a Mars Elite 80 took a lot of that beating away, but when things got hairy I was still a bit uncomfortable.

    I went with the 4.5" rocker arms, and a 100mm fork (Marzocchi MX Pro ETA which *rocks* btw) and things have gotten considerably better. I'm not sure if it's the fork or the rocker arms or the combination as I changed them out at the same time but the bike handles much better going downhill...it seems to soak up the small stuff better and can also take the big hits whereas before the rear would bottom out. You lose a tad of efficiency going up hill, but not enough to worry about unless you are a hardcore racer. Even then, you can always add air to the shock and get your efficiency back (or reinstall the stock rockers). Occasionally I will add some air to the shock if I race or am on a ride where I know there won't be much in the way of technical sections...

    So the moral here is that if you race XC, the stock NRS is probably great. If you want a bit more travel but don't want the weight of a 5" travel bike, the NRS can do that too with a 100mm fork and the 4.5" rocker arms...

  29. #29
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    I have a 2001 NRS2 with a Duke SL Uturn up front... also upgraded to SRAM 9.0 rear drlr/ shifters and a few other swaps (pedals, setpost, seat bars, stem). Anyway I still LOVE this bike and would not sell it. The swaps that I made on the front shock and the stem gave me the extra plushness and geometry I needed without sacrificing the speed.

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