Giant NRS 3 XC Full Suspension

4.44/5 (32 Reviews)
MSRP : $1000.00


Product Description

Giant's NRS 3 can help you ride further, faster and finish every ride less fatigued. It sports Giant's top-end ALUXX aluminum frame with NRS suspension technology that improves comfort, preserves momentum and increases control.


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Reviews 1 - 15 (32 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by caseybones a Cross Country Rider from San Diego, CA

Date Reviewed: February 20, 2012

Strengths:    I love this bike and I've been riding it for 10+ years. I was a triathlete cyclist turned XC mt biker years ago, and was looking for a great hill climber. I am 5'3" and don't weigh much over 100 lbs. Today I am much more of a weekend warrior, and this bike fits the bill for my past avid cycling and my present day needs. It isn't a cushy ride by modern day full suspension standards, but then again if that is most important to you then maybe you need a beach cruiser.

Weaknesses:    For me the 'small' frame, 16", is too big. I would have preferred a 14 or 15, but this was the smallest they made in those days for these full suspension. Yes, much has changed, but I get a lot of satisfaction out of this bike, and it still climbs like a monkey. The bike is a little heavy, but unless you are racing and can tell the difference of a pound or two, it isn't that important. My other biggest gripe is this model is pre-disc brakes. The current brakes aren't bad and don't need adjusting too often, but they are what they are - old school.

Bottom Line:   
If you find one of these used that has been taken care of, and you don't want to spend a lot, buy it, because it's a great deal. You don't need a lot of modern bling to have a great ride.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Grapevine

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Mountain Bike Wareho


Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by hookooekoorider a Cross Country Rider from East Bay, CA

Date Reviewed: August 19, 2010

Strengths:    Great geometry, climbs great, fast

Weaknesses:    SID shock, Pilot fork

Bottom Line:   
A fast cross country full suspension bike. Switching out the Rockshox SID shock for a 2005 Fox Float R with Propedal made a world of difference, and I didn't even need to buy new reducers for the shock (amazingly they were the same size). Now, there is much better small bump compliance and the bike doesn't kick me out of my seat when I go over medium/large bumps, plus there's still very little pedal bob. The Pilot also had to go...tried an 80mm Marzocchi at first, but then decided to with a 100mm RS Recon fork. The 100mm fork makes it a much better all around cross country bike and barely changes the geometry. The bike was very flickable with the 80mm fork and a little less so with the 100mm fork, but that is actually desireable as it was maybe a tad too twitchy before. I also offset the change in geometry by getting a longer stem. In my opinion, the geometry change is negligible and definitely outweighed by the superior bump compliance of a 100mm fork. Also got disc rims and disc brakes, but that's not critical for the kind of riding one would do with this bike anyhow. I have a Giant Trance 2 with the Maestro suspension, and I actually like riding the NRS more for cross country rides...it climbs better and is faster.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Shell Ridge, China Camp

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   craigslist

Similar Products Used:   Stumpjumper hardtail, Giant Trance 2 (maestro suspension)

Bike Setup:   XT derailleurs & shifters, Fox Float R w/Propedal, RS Recon RL, Fizik Aliante seat, Mavic 317s, BB7 disc, stock Ride crankset

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by wazi_woo a Cross Country Rider from South Africa

Date Reviewed: April 17, 2010

Strengths:    Well designed full suspension

Weaknesses:    Have stopped making them. Parts becoming harder to get (rear shock).

Bottom Line:   
Wow, can't believe how good this thing is. Been a hard tail rider for a long time. Got this bike for a bargain second hand, done less than 1000 miles in its life and never been raced. Brilliant.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Private seller

Similar Products Used:   Hard tail before

Bike Setup:   NRS 3

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by soulknight a Cross Country Rider from Hampton Roads, VA

Date Reviewed: February 22, 2010

Strengths:    Climbs like a mountain goat.

Weaknesses:    RS Pilot SL fork. It's heavy and only work moderately well. The fork will be my next upgrade. Frame was built as a disc ready bike yet lacked seat stay guides for disc brake cable. I know thats a small issue but its all about attention to detail.

Bottom Line:   
I bought it new from the local LBS. This bike is not an all terrain assault vehicle but that's not what it was designed for. It was built for climbing and finesse. It will get you to the top quickly and back down the other side with relative ease. The NRS set up is still one of the best in my book. I will continue to ride it until the frame cracks.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Are all back in Ohio

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1400.00

Purchased At:   HDK Bikes Virginia B

Similar Products Used:   Giant Hard Tail & tested various other soft tails.

Bike Setup:   XT crank & shifters, FSA XC-300 SL wheels w/ WTB Velociraptor tires, 80mm stem, and Avid BB7 disc brakes.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by trarahumara a Weekend Warrior from tepoztlan, morelos, mexico

Date Reviewed: November 14, 2009

Strengths:    The frame! Awesome. Even though the bike is 6 years old, the frame and suspension system is still up to today's standards;
The bike demonstrates good stiffness and little flex.


Weaknesses:    Slightly on the heavy side, but I overdid it with triple treatment (slime, heavy duty tubes and liners---you feel it in the rolling resistance, but then again, I've never had a flast.
While a solid bike, it's geometry keeps it from being fast and maneuverable.
Front sprockets ok but not the greatest


Bottom Line:   
A good choice for weekend warriors that want a bike that'll take all sorts of punishment and abuse. Great for steady pushers rather than speed freaks.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   old railway road from Tepoztlan to Mexico City

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Bike City

Similar Products Used:   Proflex Beast

Bike Setup:   Standards components. Shimano Deore LX.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by BUDI INDARWAN a Weekend Warrior from INDONESIA

Date Reviewed: May 6, 2008

Strengths:    I bought nrs3 1 year ago and mostly use at mountain area with variable surface,up till now i have no complain,this bike works well on me,i'm 167cm/68kg's,on flat surface this bike feel comfortable lite,uphill feels like hardtail bike,downhill a bit scary,but since i change with rockshox tora it feel great,for manouvering fantastic,the botom line this bike is worth it with the price

Weaknesses:    comes with shimano lx rd and fd,deore crank,avio shifter,

Bottom Line:   
Good bike for xc

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   puncak

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   jakarta

Bike Setup:   shimano xt comp,deore hydrulic brakes,mavic rim,michelin tires,rockshox tora,giant rear shock,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Mark a Cross Country Rider from Blacksburg, Virginia

Date Reviewed: October 29, 2007

Strengths:    Price, lightweight, sturdy frame with beefy welding, NRS system, Hayes hydraulic disc brakes, Manitou R7 air forks, Rockshox SID rear air shock

Weaknesses:    Shimano Deore derailleur, stock tires

Bottom Line:   
Great frame that can handle most of the trail abuse. I've done several XC and 24hr races and the bike is still solid as a rock. Efficient climber that acts like a hardtail, but with better traction and bump absorption thanks to the timeless NRS system. Giant NRS may seem like an old frame design, but if you look at all the full suspension bikes now days, they're all still using the exact same rocker arm design! Why? Because it's the most efficient! The rear shock automatically locks up as you smash the pedal and transfers all the crank torque to the rear wheel, not the rear shock. Large swing arm bearings that are sturdy and smooth for an efficient suspension operation.

Overall an awesome XC/trail bike at a fraction of the cost of those multi thousand dollar blings on two wheels. Personally I think bikes now days are WAYYYY over priced... What gives?!?

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Pandapas

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Craigslist

Similar Products Used:   Ironhorse hard tail

Bike Setup:   Upgraded: Shimano XT derailleur, Avid Rollamajig, SRAM cassettes, SRAM Attack Trigger shifters, SRAM PC 971 chain, Bontrager Race Light UST wheelset, Panaracer Fire XC pro tires w/ tubes, 100mm FSA stem with Raceface riser bar.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Julius a Cross Country Rider from San Diego, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: October 21, 2007

Strengths:    Light frame, solid shock, v-brake & disc compatible, price, and very VERY quick on singletrack.

Weaknesses:    Tires, saddle, RS Pilot SL fork (yuck!).

Bottom Line:   
This bike may possibly be your best bet to start mountain biking. For the money it's a great value what this bike can do. Depending on your sag it's as fast as my hardtail uphill and goes downhill with just as much authority with no punishment on the rear end. The NRS (No Resonance System) rocks! My huge gripe was the saddle and I was thinking I was better off on the seatpost alone!

Anyways, THE BEST beginner's mountain bike in my opinion.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Noble Canyon, Descanso, CA

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bicycles

Similar Products Used:   Giant Trance, Giant Rainier, BMC Fourstroke

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Will a Cross Country Rider from Vienna, Virginia, USA

Date Reviewed: June 11, 2007

Strengths:    Climbing ability. Shifts fast and clean. Handles very well in around tight turns and fast switchbacks. The rear suspension performs like Giant claims it will. I have beat the crud out of this bike for over three years, ridden way to hard 3-4 times a week. I should probably own an all mountain bike to suit my riding style but I love to climb and this bike is great for climbers. I have overworked the shox on the descents and am currently waiting for my Fox float fork and rear shock to arrive.

Weaknesses:    A little jarring on fast, steep descents and rock gardens. The bike is a little heavy for long climbs.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is awesome for people who like to climb and like a bike that handles well (steering and nice tracking on the rear suspension)

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   wakefield park or shaffer farm

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   old GT hardtail, cannondale hardtail

Bike Setup:   Rock Shox Pilot SL fork, Rock Shox SID rear, LX drivetrain, Raceface XC crank, Avid levers and V brakes, Deore shifters, low end Mavic wheels, Hutchinson Pythons. I am solving the weight problem with Fox floats, Mavic Crossmax SL wheels, Avid Juicy 7 disc brakes, and a new XT drivetrain with XTR rear derailleur

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rob a Cross Country Rider from Philippines

Date Reviewed: April 27, 2007

Strengths:    price, looks! (stealth black), performs well.

Weaknesses:    heavy, not plush

Bottom Line:   
mine is the 2004 nrs3 black with disk brakes. this is noticeably heavier (33 lbs!) than the older nrs3 with v-brakes.
Price and looks was what attracted me to it. I changed the forks, cranks, pedals, saddle, stem right away. im 5'8" 148lbs and got the small size but put a longer stem.

Its pretty nice to ride once you have the right pressure in the rear shock. I use less pressure than recommended to get a more comfy ride. Can be harsh on rocky terrain.

I recommend this to riders who are on a budget and want a full-sus with disk brakes.

Dont buy if you want a plush ride or a very light bike.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   local bike shop

Similar Products Used:   hardtails, roadbikes

Bike Setup:   changed cranks to fsa, forks to marzochi bombers, saddle to serfas, pedals to shimano.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dave Quail a Cross Country Rider from Johannesburg, South Africa

Date Reviewed: January 6, 2007

Strengths:    Great geometry, Fox Float, Mountain Goat! Very nimble, virtually no suspension feedback (bob) when pedaling hard.

Weaknesses:    Not too much for the price.

Bottom Line:   
Value-wise, very hard to beat. Comfortable, and quick on single track. Climbs and descends very well. Feels very sure-footed.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Lichtenburg

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Scott, Merida

Bike Setup:   Stock, Xram7, Hayes Sole Discs, Fox Float R.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Gabriel Kovacs a Cross Country Rider from Kiriat Bialik , Israel

Date Reviewed: December 4, 2006

Strengths:    Great Geometry, Fun to ride. Strong on the uphills, and pretty good on the opposite direction too.

Weaknesses:    The stock judy sucks bigtime, replaced it with a Rockshocks DUKE XC 100mm (now it kicks ass) i broke a few spokes on the rear wheel, but maybe its just me cause my friends say i need a more aggressive bike. The original breaks dont break well but i replaced the pads to Klarks and now they rule (aldough i would die for some good performance hydraulic disks). had some problems with the BB, nothing serious. The stock Michelin tires were so bad that after the first ride i kicked them off and replaced them.

Bottom Line:   
great bike for XC riders, fun to ride, fast both on up and down hills. Good control
I recommand it to everyone.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   SingleTrack

Similar Products Used:   Non full suspension, i had a Peugeot 500 Control for like 12 years.

Bike Setup:   Fork: Rockshocks Duke XC 100mm, Breaks: Clarks Pads, Seat: RMB, Tires: Front-WTB Mutano Raptor 224 Rear-Panaracer FireXOPro and the rest stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jack from San Diego, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: September 8, 2006

Strengths:    Geometry, Fox Float Rear, works as advertised.

Weaknesses:    Stock components, especially the brakes, tires, crankset/bb, and the fork. Shiney red paint is not my favorite and chips easily.

Bottom Line:   
The frame has little/no bob while pedaling/accelerating, yet engages bumps, drops, and dips with the confidence and comfort of a full suspension bike. This is straight up XC racing bike. If it was composite, it would be perfect. They make a composite model, but for $2000 more and only a couple pounds of weight. You decide!

Better than the Haro and Epic. Just as good as the Truth (though slightly heavier) for a fraction of the cost. The NRS revolutionized FS XC MTBing. I thought the Anthem would be even better, but the geometry is a little more "straight up". Not as much a racing bike as the NRS. I slapped $1500 in components on this bike that I saved in not buying the Epic or Truth.

Great bike overall. 5 flamin' chilis for value and 4.5 for overall (rounded to 5), cause a carbon frame would be better.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $550.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Ellsworth Truth, Specialized Epic, Haro XLS, Giant Anthem.

Bike Setup:   Strippped to the frame and rebuilt with SRAM/XT/FSA/Thomson/WTB/Hope/Avid/Manitou.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ben a Cross Country Rider from United Kingdom

Date Reviewed: August 6, 2006

Strengths:    Very good price, fairly light, ridable as standard (if you're light enough!)

Weaknesses:    Front Suspension needs replacing straight away if you weight 220lbs (100Kg) like me!

Bottom Line:   
The frame is awesome value for money but for a really good ride you need to replace certain bits. The handlebars are a bit too narrow for the rough stuff so get some wide riser bars. Then replace the stem with one 75-90mm to stop it being twitchy on landings. The front shock is c**p so replace with an air-sprung one like the Tora (£169 EBay) and whilst the wheels and brakes are awesome (if you fit Clarkes cartridge V-Brake pads) there is nothing like decent Disc Brakes. In short: An excellent frame to build on!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $680.00

Similar Products Used:   Giant NRS 1 (2005)

Bike Setup:   Wheels: Mavic 717 rims & Shimano XT Hubs; Front Shock: RockShox Tora 318 with PopLock; Brakes: Shimano XT; wide Riser Bars fitted

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Matt Forget a Weekend Warrior from Chula Vista, Ca, USA

Date Reviewed: May 5, 2006

Strengths:    Handles and Rides like a champ! This bike is a perfect bike for single-track and light hill climbing. Not much tail-bob on this bike, "Just as the NRS is designed for"!

Weaknesses:    Front Shocks Suck for big-size riders (260lbs.) So do the rims. But if you are under 200lbs. the setup may work well for you.

Bottom Line:   
Because of my "Clydesdale" size, 6'3" and 206Lbs, it was hard to find a bike that would have the frame size, structure and durabilty for a 40 year old weekend warrior. THe cost of the bike for the quaity of the components was also a big plus on this bike. Great entry level bike for the money. I would recoment this XC-bike for larger riders.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Otay Lakes

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $875.00

Purchased At:   Mission Cyclery

Similar Products Used:   This is my "First Full Suspension Bike".

Bike Setup:   Changed the front forks from the AIr Judy RockShox to Manitou Black with upgraded Springs. Changed Mavic rims to the Sun RynoLites (for us clydesdales!) & Stem Riser. Thats it! I have over 1000 miles of singleTrack and Mexico Runs on the bike. with no problems since I replaced the rims and front shocks.

Reviews 1 - 15 (32 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


Giant NRS-3 fork upgrade

I have a 2002 Giant NRS-3 (xtc suspension). Looking to replace/upgrade my front fork. 1 1/8 straight steer tube The stock fork is a Rockshox Judy XC 80mm travel (2.5" - 4.0") Rear sock is Rockshox Sid 3.75" Stick with 80mm or maybe 100mm? What are you NRS owners running? Any fork recommendatio ... Read More »

NRS 1,2,3,Air differences?

I have a 2004 NRS2. I have seen other references to NRS, NRS3, NRS Air. I don't think it is dependent on the year made, so what makes one bike a NRS3 as opposed to a NRS2? Is it the level of original components, or something different in frame design?Read More »

Giant XtC NRS 3 2002 - bad idea?

Is it a bad idea to buy an old FS bike for a first FS bike? I noticed a 2002 Giant NRS ($400/obo) & 2001 Giant XTC AC1 ($250). People are selling off their toys for extra $$ to buy gifts and there may be some good deals coming up. I recently got a 2007 Fisher Wahoo and don't need a FS. But ... Read More »

NRS 3 - Upgrade fork and rear susp

Hello, Looking for recommendations to replace the stock fork and rear shock on my 2003 NRS 3. Mid-level price range... ThanksRead More »

NRS 3 to Stumpy

Hey everyone. So I am not a great rider and weight about 280. Anyways I been riding hard tail for awhile an a year ago got an NRS 3 with a some minor mods for a good deal. But now I been riding more and more (also losing more and more weight, YIPPIE) and feel maybe I should either get a different bi ... Read More »

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