from Locust Valley, NY
Date Reviewed: September 6, 2003
Strengths: No Bob. Great Specs. Massive value. Made me a better climber and all around rider.
Weaknesses: Ghost Shifting (until you realize how to eliminate it) Python tires suck! The tubeless version flat easily.
Two things: End ghost shifting by taking the rear deraliur cable out of the couplings that are on the seatstay. Instead of securing the cable in the couplings, use zip ties to secure it along the seatstay. I tried everything before learning of this solution. It's the only thing that worked at the cost is a few pennies for two zip ties! Second Problem is the Python tires. I'm 147 pounds and ride light. I used to run Kenda Karisma tires and tube setup at 38 psi on my previous bike and never flated. With the tubeless setup, running both Pythons and Comp S tubeless tires, I had at least 15 flats due to sidewall cuts in six months. I switched to IRC Seracs and Kenda Karisma's (both tubeless)and have had only two flats (both from thorns) in 15 months. Everything else about the bike is great. So happy with Giant that I bought a TCR 2 road bike.
Similar Products Used: DiamondBack Carbon Fiber Hardtail
Bike Setup: Egg Beatters, Monkey Lite Carbon, Mavic CrossMax Tubeless, IRC Serac tubeless tires, Thompson seatpost, Fizik Alante saddle
a Weekend Warrior
from Tracy, CA
Date Reviewed: August 1, 2003
Strengths: This is a follow-up status No BOB, Good Components, disk Brakes, Light ~27lbs Loves to climb Tires last a long time and generally a good all around tire - does not lose a lot of pressure and has never given me any flats
Weaknesses: 1) Rear cassette can come loose from axle bolt loosening out. When this happens it causes Rim to flex. You can tell when you put 2.1 tires because they will rub frame, also can tell when peddling out of the seat because the rear feels like some thing is loose. Its an easy fix, but its comes loose over 200-300miles. I use to think this was rim flex but it isn’t! Easiest way to check is to grab rear cassette with hand and see if there is any play when pulling cassette in and out, is so the axle bolt next to cassette needs to be tighten a little. 2) Chain jump/Ghost shift - at first, can be fixed Fix by stretching cable-pull on it to quicken the stretch. Once the cable is done stretching the problem goes away. Note, all new bikes go through this phase till the cable is stretched! Part of my chain jump was due to a broken tooth on the smallest cog that I never noticed till I cleaned the bike! Once replaced cog, the chain jump on that cog stopped. 3) Chain slap on bottom rail Remove 2 links so that chain does not hit bottom rail on smallest cog, then add a lizard skin - stops the problem and helps reduce the Ghost shifting. 4) Pythons generally good on everything but real loose terrain, can not peddle over wet roots or rocks, will just spin, so you have to go over those types of obstacles with momentum. Replace rear with a IRC SERAC and everything is perfect!. IRC SERAC has tons of traction. I leave the Python on the front because it rolls fast and last for ever- no flats in over 1yr and the tread looks new still. 5) After 700 miles you will notice that the cables will rub the paint down! have to put those round sticky felt stuff on cable and will stop the paint removal
-Love the bike! it climbs without effort. -Plan to purchase another for my wife -Its light – 27lbs due to disk brakes -Fork, shock, tires all hold air pressures. Tires might loose a little till you put in the Stan's goo -Once the cable finished stretching & remove 2 chain links; the ghost shifting will end. -Python tires roll very fast, do not flat or puncture easy, tread last for 1.5-2yrs would prefer a back tire with a little bit more knob but all tire reviews for Tubeless are horrible except for SERAC. Michelin Comp S UST Tubeless & IRC have similar tread patterns that look a bit more aggressive and would be an alternative. I am using the IRC SERAC and the Tire has plenty of grip - I read that the IRC works well but very difficult to put on. I let the tire sit in the sun, and lube the bead with grease and had no problems putting it on. Also the Hayes disk brakes are the easiest to service out of all brands. Down load the instructions from Hayes web sit. I use a syringe from the pet store and a tube from the HW store – total of $4 for the parts. So only major stock weakness is rear tire, and chain skip due to cable stretching.
Bike Setup: 178lb rider 1" rise Bars from LP. I had Answers but they broke easily in a crash and had no flex what so ever. The LP has a better warranty, has lasted through many crashes, can handle bar ends, and has way more damping characteristics than Answer! Lizard skin on bottom rail 11.3mm front fork sag 1.75 turns out rebound- best setting 2mm Rear shock sag / 2.75 turns in Rebound - stops the back end from kicking and improves the plush-ness over small bumps - a must! 8mm shorter TiTec stem - I am only 5'8.5" so do not want to be bent over so much 35psi rear tire pressure, 33psi front tire pressure Stan’s NoTubes Liquid Latex - Works great! No flats yet! Quick adjust seat post clamp for those long, steap down hills, can lower the seat w/o any effort or tools Hutchinson front tire, IRC SERAC rear – Best combo! LP braid Jr bar ends 2 links taken out of chain – to minimize chair rub/slap/skip
a Cross Country Rider
from Belmont, CA
Date Reviewed: May 27, 2003
Strengths: Awesome climber - no bob on the uphills and with a quick twist on the rebound adjust it descends great - very smooth and the bike holds a line well.
Weaknesses: Giant's choice of tires could have been better. The tread pattern of the Python's leaves a lot of room for improvement. On loose trails it loses traction easily. Changed it immediately after my first ride. The geometry of the bike takes a little getting used to compared to other bikes. I'm 6'2" tall and I noticed that on my 20.5" ride that the front end seems to pop up no matter how I position my seat and stance over the bike on climbs.
Picking this bike up at the end of the season saved me some bucks but even if I had payed the full price this would have been the best money spent! I am totally psyched by this bike. The Superlight was a more plush ride but it would have also cost a lot more with the same component set up so in my mind this was a better choice! If you want to maximize your value vs. quality this should be the bike of choice!!
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz Superlight, Specialized FSR
Bike Setup: Stock except for upgraded XT shifters and front derailer. Picked em' cheap on ebay to round out the XT rear drive!
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 11, 2003
Strengths: THIS BIKE IS A SCREAMER. climbs like a hardtail light,very fast,stops on a dime.tires are great all around,sand,mud,rocks.shoxs are also very fore giving. front air shox works great under any condition. back shox responds exelent. love the diskbrakes.
Weaknesses: had problem with front air shox sent back to rox shox they fixed it. going strong.
if you got the cash your in for a blast. this bike will do everthing you want it to do and more. this thing is a rocket
Bike Setup: full xt. monkey lite bars. carbon fiber stem.
a Weekend Warrior
from Tracy, Ca
Date Reviewed: April 25, 2003
Strengths: No BOB, Good Components, disk Brakes, Light ~27lbs Loves to climb Tires last a long time and generally a good all around tire - does not lose a lot of pressure and has never given me any flats
Weaknesses: 1) Rims flex if you are >175lbs. You can only tell when you put 2.1 tires(Panaracer's) because they will rub frame! Have to stay with 2.0 tires with the stock rims. Or put Crossmax wheelset so that you can use 2.1 size tires. 2) Chain jump/Ghost shift - at first, can be fixed Fix by streching cable-pull on it to quicken the stretch. Once the cable is done streching the problem goes away. Note, all new bikes go through this phase till the cable is stretched! Part of my chain jump was due to a broken tooth on the smallest cog that I never noticed till I cleaned the bike! Once replaced cog, the chain jump on that cog stopped. 3) Chain slap on bottom rail Remove 2 links so that chain does not hit bottom rail on smallest cog, then add a lizard skin - stops the problem and helps reduce the Ghost shifting. 3) Seat is kinda hard. But could be due to me not using shorts with cushion. 4) Pythons generally good on everything but can not peddle over wet roots or rocks, will just spin, so you have to go over those types of obsticles with momemtum.
5. After 700 miles you will notice that the cables will rub the paint down! have to put those round sticky felt stuff on cable and will stop the paint removal
-Love the bike! it climbs without effort. -Plan to purchase another for my wife -Its light -Fork, shock, tires all hold air pressures. Tires might loose a little till you put in the Stan's goo -Once the cable finished stretching & remove 2 chain links; the gost shifting will end. -Python tires roll very fast, do not flat or puncture easy would preffer a back tire with a little bit more knob but all tire reveiew for Tubelss are horible. So will stay with Python's till something better come a long. Michelin® Comp S UST Tubeless & IRC have similar tred patterns that look a bit more agressive and would be an alternative. I read that the IRC works well but give a slight harsh ride due to harder carcass and very difficult to put on. Kenda Kharisma UST Tubeless rear tire looks like a good tred that would still roll fast- gets good review but is expensive.
Bike Setup: 178lb rider 1" rise Hell Bent Bars from TiTec Lizard skin on bottom rail 12mm front fork sag 1.75 turns out rebound- best setting after trying 8mm-17mm 2mm Rear shock sag / 2.75 turns in Rebound - stops the back end from kicking and improves the plushness over small bumps - a must! 8mm shorter TiTec stem - I am only 5'8.5" so do not want to be bent over so much 37psi tire pressure Stan’s NoTubes Liquid Latex - Works great! No flats yet! Quick adjust seat post clamp for those long, steap down hills, can lower the seat w/o any effort or tools Have on order the remote fork lock out.
a Cross Country Rider
from WGTN NZ
Date Reviewed: April 2, 2003
Strengths: This Bike is awesome, I had my reservations after riding a top Rocky Mt hardtail for years. I thought the uphill speed would be compromised to the extent of negating the downhill advantage. How wrong I was! I am 190 lbs and a fairly aggressive (ex MX) rider. I ride all single track and generally fairly technical. This bike has excelled in all terain in my area including rocky up and down, trees and roots up and down and a mixture of fast and slow. The geometry is fast enough for tight single track slalom but stable enough for fire road blasts. The suspension once set up to weight (I ride with the rear with no sag)is a beautiful thing, combined with the discs I am now jumping the last stutter bumps, roots etc into corners and then slamming, not possible on my old hardtail. I am having more FUN than ever and riding a bit quicker with less fatigue. Enough Said I think!!!
Weaknesses: The rear shifting is a bit flighty (see all the previous reports re ghost shifting) but I have found that if I ride properly and don't try to crunch down gears under serious pedal load the gears change fine. If I do change underload they tend to ghost. I don't perceive this as a problem, just a lesson in correct riding technique! Discs tend to bind a wee bit in the mud but that I guess should be expected as crap fils up the callipers. Otherwise no weaknesses surfaced as yet. I have only riden 20hr+ and expect things may loosen up a bit soon!!
Great bike for x-county weekend warriors that like a bit of speed. Good enough to race up to sport level although a bit heavy for the real serious stuff (by a NRS air!)I am in love and look forward to every ride. If you are looking, take one for a test, you owe yourself that much.
a Cross Country Rider
from Perth - Australia
Date Reviewed: March 31, 2003
Strengths: Front end is still amazing. Have not had to adjust anything and feels planted. Brakes are strong. Rear suspension a great compromise. Mavic rims are unbreakable(I've tried). Atac pedals are quick/strong and don't care how much mud they fill up with. Frame is still rigid.
Weaknesses: Still going through a drive train every 2-3 months, and have gone to steel chain rings,sram 7 cassette, and 105 for my road wheelset, for longevity. Rear Formula hub is shocking shocking shockingly cheap, bad, rubbish!! It failed three times in warranty & then one month out of warranty it failed again and Giant told me to go jump! Now replaced with XT with the bike shop pitching in - Thanks Cyclerama!! Saddle is hard.
This is an update on a review I did after having the bike for a short time. A bit more knowledge before buying would have gone a long way and I would have replaced all the cheapy bits with aftermarket & saved myself a long walk and some bucks. However I have now done about 11,000km and I love it. It is now set it up properly and can go just about anywhere. Might not be the fastest but it will get there. If it wasn't for Giant giving me every reason not to buy another one, I would. Sorry Giant but your warranty policies suck!
Favorite Trail: mid state/ leominster state forest
Duration Product Used: 6 months
Purchased At: O'neils bike shop
Similar Products Used: sugar, fuel
Bike Setup: tubeless wild. grippers to save weight after hutchinsons wore out, bar ends
a Weekend Warrior
from Northridge, CA
Date Reviewed: February 12, 2003
Strengths: Hayes disc brakes rock!
Weaknesses: Tubeless tires are killing me...
I like this bike a lot. There is no apparent bob when climbing, and it's fast climber. The brakes clamp up tight, and that's one thing I have to get use to. Overall, for a first bike, and compared to other friends' bikes, I really enjoy my ride.
One more thing - tubeless tires are killing me. I keep on punturing those suckers. My friends and I will go through similar terrain, and sometimes there will be some thorny stuff on the trail that will stick to the tires, but the tubed folks will be fine while I'll be there patching the $H!T up! Oh well, I still think it's a killer bike.
DISCLAIMER: I'm just beginning, and I know I have a lot to learn. Plus, I don't ride with any experienced riders, and the group I ride with is just having fun trying to figure this whole sport out. Also, I apologize for not using any technical biking terms.
Similar Products Used: First bike - just started biking Aug '02
Bike Setup: Stock
a Weekend Warrior
from Madison, MS
Date Reviewed: January 31, 2003
Strengths: Weight, No Bob, good stock components(except F Derail), Tubeless, suspension tuning
Weaknesses: Front Derail
Great climber...very nearly like a hardtail. Takes some time to get suspension tuned but worth it! No mechanical problems at all. Would have preferred a little better stock front deraileur. A little sceptical about tubeless but they have been great...can run much lower pressure for better grip and feel. Highly recommend this bike.
Weaknesses: Integrated headset. What have bike manufacturers been smoking lately? Have your shop the standard headset adapters and put in a King.
Just a follow-on note for those who have been having the ghost-shifting problem. Please refer to the News posting for 01/03 on www.angryasian.com.
According to this News posting, the problem with ghost shifting is due to the fact that the 2002 NRS frame has a small amount of flex in the right seatstay during hard pedaling uphill. Since the rear derailleur cable is routed through stops at either end of this seatstay, and it takes a very small amount of cable motion to shift Shimano 9-speed SIS, this allows ghost shifting.
The recommended fix is to remove the rear derailleur cable from the stops in the seatstay, and use a single piece of cable housing starting from the end of the top tube all the way to the rear derailleur. Attach the cable housing to the seat stay using zip ties.
Just FYI. Apologies for making this a review, but it seemed like the most general location here.
a Cross Country Rider
from siloam springs
Date Reviewed: January 4, 2003
Strengths: This bike is super fast and climbs super solid. Most of the components are great. The yellow paint job also adds a litte flare.
Weaknesses: It took me and my shop an entire month of figureing out why it would ghost shift like all hell on steep climbs. It was not the bottom bracket or either of the derailers. Turns out it was the terrible shimano chain which only lasted about 150 miles. The tires are definately not intended for anything other than solid conditions. This is my first set of tubeless and they are great as long as im running a tubeless sealant to keep the thorns out. Im guaranteed a thorn flat per ride without it. LX has got to go. This is still a great bike.
Buy this bike. Im sure in 03 many of the problem have been resolved with the now infamouse ghost shifftin problem. I think was something to do with the wrong bottom bracket on the ealier models. Find a good set of wet conditions tires if you need, swap out the LX in the front and this baby will keep you smiling all day.
Similar Products Used: Fuel 90 specialized fsr comp
Bike Setup: whipperman conexx chain lp carbon barends everything else is stock but not for much longer. Old xtr front and back will make this bike top notch. New xtr if you can afford it.
a Weekend Warrior
from Lake Geneva, WI
Date Reviewed: December 31, 2002
Strengths: Light frame Front Fork (SID SL) Hayes Brakes Awesome looks! (people approach me asking about the bike all the time - it's an ego trip)
Weaknesses: Rear Rock Shox Shock loses air in negative chamber Race Face Bottom Bracket shot after 6 months of riding Tires are terrible in wet and mud Ghost Shifting
Overall I love this bike. I can conquer hills I could only get half way up before with my hardtail. I have also increased my average speed by 1.5 mph around my favorite single track.
Like many others I am dissapointed with some of the components: Namely the Rock Shox rear shock losing air in the negative chamber and the poor quality Race Face Bottom Bracket. These are currently being fixed by the great techs at my LBS. They are also working on the ghost shifting corrections suggested by the reviewers below.
Overall I love this bike. I simply feel Giant should have placed some higher quality components on a $2000 + bike.
Bike Setup: SPD Pedals Serfas Seat Serfas Grips HellBent Handle Bars (Well worth the money)
a Cross Country Rider
from Northern Virginia
Date Reviewed: December 9, 2002
Strengths: Durable Frame Strong Components Light Great in all conditions - hard pack, mud, sand, snow, water, rocks, fast downhill, grinding uphill. The bike is better than I am.
Weaknesses: Drivetrain goes out of allignment easily SID's front shock died. Chainsuck issues Bottom Bracket
**FINAL REVIEW** I have a love-hate relationship with my bike. When all is working as it should, I love it. Thankfully, this is the way it is most of the time. When it is not working as it should, and this happens enough to be annoying, I hate it. BIGGEST ISSUES - DRIVETRAIN-GHOST SHIFITING - Just when I think I have this problem licked, it comes back at the worst times. I can spend an hour with the bike on the rack adjusting it so the drivetrain is perfect, but when I get on the trail, boom, it is not the same. Removing a link in the chain really helped, but I think it is a design flaw on Giant's part. Hopefully it will be fixed in future models.
SID FORK DIED RECENTLY - I ride hard, several days a week, all year round, but a fork should not die in less than a year. The SID lost its ability to rebound, and bottomed out badly. The fork went back to Rock Shox, and after a giant pain in the ass dealing with the bike shop and the manufacturer that cost me about a month of prime riding time, I got a replacement from Rock Shox. They did the right thing and I am really happy about it.
BOTTOM BRACKET - Developed a great deal of play after 6 months and was replaced. Again, this should not happen on a 6 month old bike that is well maintained.
WHAT DID I LIKE? HAYES BRAKES - They just plain kick ass! They worked as advertised. Once you learn to bleed them without making a mess, and you learn to reseat the pistons when necessary, they are easy brakes to deal with. Much better than any non-disk brake.
UST SYSTEM - The Mavic Rims, XT Hubs, and Hutch Pythons were great. I still have my front tire (after a hard year of riding and a few races, including a 24 Hour funfest at Snowshoe. I replaced the rear after the sidewall ripped with a Wildgripper, and I have found that the tire is also excellent. Very good in loose conditions.
SUSPENSION SYSTEM - At first, I was jealous of my friends with their PLUSH riding bikes, but I soon became very attached to the ride of the NRS. I set it up so that it is slightly plusher than is reccomended, but it still retains most of its no-bob characteristics. I can clime just about anything using any line I please (or any line I am forced into). I can haul down the biggest hills without worrying about ruts in the trail. I can launch over nice jumps without fear. I can take just about any log pile in the woods.
THE BOTTOM LINE - When everthing is running well, you can't beat the bike. It is a great value and a whole lot of fun to ride. The pesky annoyances will cost only one chili.
Anyone have any of those rockers to add an inch of travel to the old nrs frames?? Mine is a 2001 XTC NRS 1
If so, please PM me... or if you know where to buy them. I think it was SGF Components.Read More »
i picked up a used NRS a while back... i just replaced all the bearings/bushings with enduro bearings and a bushing kit for a 01 from GIANT... heres the problem..
the bolt connecting the rocker arms tthrough the shock is too short...
the bearing in the pivot connecting the rear triangle to the ro ... Read More »
Is the composite ride and experience worth the extra expense? I like light bikes but wonder about durability and maintenance also. If I purchase a used bike, are there certain years which are particularly good or best to avoid? I am also not sure if I need a full suspension, because I mainly use ... Read More »
I am 135lbs and have put a 5 inch travel shock up front (though usually leave at 4) and the 4 1/2 inch rockers arms on the rear on my 2001 NRS 1. I jumped off a table and blew the seals on the sid rear positive and negative air chambers. If I send to hippie suspension tech they will rebuild for $8 ... Read More »