Giant XtC NRS Air 2002 Full Suspension

4.59/5 (34 Reviews)
MSRP : $3000.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (34 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Paul a Cross Country Rider from Corvallis, OR, USA

Date Reviewed: June 28, 2005

Strengths:    Climbs like hardtail and descends so much faster. Awesome geometry design with no bob while pedaling.

Weaknesses:    Creaky seatpost/shim.

Bottom Line:   
I love this bike. I won't ever go back to hardtail. I had an '02 Giant Ranier which costed me 700. Got the NRS frame and swapped parts over and made some upgrades to it. Spent 500 for the frame with additional 400 for some upgrades. You should do the same if you had a nice hardtail with good components and want to try full suspension.

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Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   mtbr classifieds

Similar Products Used:   2002 Giant Ranier

Bike Setup:   XT rear derailleur and crankset, deore shifters and front derailleur, mavic 717 discs, xt hubs, avid mechanicals, easton50 seatpost, easton70 stem, '02 marzocchi EXR, tima atac aliums

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael Wirth a Cross Country Rider from Wooster, Ohio

Date Reviewed: June 8, 2004

Strengths:    This bike climbs like a mountain goat. The geometry is amazing, and if you build good componets with it you can have a cross country racer under 24 pounds.

Weaknesses:    I don't have any, except the stock componets were a little weak for me. So I took it to the top of the line.

Bottom Line:   
If you are not afraid to spend a decent amount of money on a machine that will indeed preform for you, this is the bike. This is a cross-country racer, rider's dream machine. This bike is possibly on of the slickest rides on the market, and if your looking for one badass setup, look this direction. I would like to thank my personal mechanic at Orrville Cycling and Fitness, Mr. Seth Buckwalter, we like to call him Mungwalter. I hope you have found this review useful.

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Favorite Trail:   Vulture's Knob

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   William R. Buckwalter

Similar Products Used:   Gary Fisher Sugar Team Issue
Trek Fuel 100


Bike Setup:   2002 NRS AIR XTC Pro Series Frame
2004 Rock Shox Sid World Cup w/Lockout
FSA K Force Steapost, and Handlebars
FSA XC-115 Stem
XTR Cassette, Shifters, Front and Rear Derailleurs
XTR Crankset and Bottom Bracket
Selle Italia SLR Carbonio Saddle
Salsa Flip-Off Skewers
Crank Brothers Egg Beater Triple Titanium Pedals
Hayes HFX Mag Plus Hydraulic Disc Brakes
American Classic Disc Wheelset
SRAM PC-99 Hollowpin Chain
ODI Lockable Grips

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jeff Cross a Cross Country Rider from Wixom, MI USA

Date Reviewed: June 3, 2004

Strengths:    Light, strong, climbs awsome

Weaknesses:    none so far

Bottom Line:   
This bike is amazingly quick and nimble. It weighs in at about 28 lbs and is the 22.3" model. It has dropped my times big time and makes me want to ride more often. I bought the frame off Ebay and built it up from my other bike with some upgrades. ALL the guys I ride with are amazed how much quicker I am on this thing...it's awsome...and it looks cool in Team Blue!

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Favorite Trail:   Island Lake

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Diamondback X2

Bike Setup:   Marzocchi Marathon, Magura Louis disc brakes, XT drivetrain, LX cranks, Mavic 223 rims, Hutchinson Python tires

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Glynn a Cross Country Rider from Colorado Springs, Co.

Date Reviewed: September 30, 2003

Strengths:    Light weight, great geometry, no pedal-induced bobbing.

Weaknesses:    Shimmed seat post.

Bottom Line:   
Bought this as frame-only. This bike rules. Climbs like a hardtail and does a great job of sucking up the bumps. I find I can use a wider range of riding techniques on this frame. I like everything about it except the shimmed seatpost. A real creaker. Do yourself a favor and buy a 30.9mm seatpost and scrap the shim. BTW, if you shop around and do all the work yourself, you can have a $3000+ bike for less than half that.

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Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $499.00

Purchased At:   Bob's Bicycles (Off this Site)

Similar Products Used:   Diamondback DBR V6, NRS3

Bike Setup:   XT component group (LX cranks), XT/Mavic 317 wheelset with Panaracer Fire XCs, Duke XC 100 fork, Avid mechanicals (185mm front, 160mm rear)

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nev a Weekend Warrior from Hong Kong

Date Reviewed: January 12, 2003

Strengths:    Great ride ,on a light bike with no bobbing

Weaknesses:    Could dent easily

Bottom Line:   
This bike is great !

Definitely buy it if you are into X-country riding or racing.

Don't buy it if are into 7 ft hucks.

As you can see from the setup, I built the wheels hubs and forks to take a bit more punishment rather than lightweight, due to the mixture of terrain around here(alot of stairs) I can easily drop a couple of pounds by changing the tyres ( and might do that).I have managed to ding the frame once, but no more than can be expected on any bike with what its been through.

It weighs 30lbs, and rides great. Riding uphill the bike is rock solid - no bouncing at all. It took me a while to set up the rear shock. Giant recommend 50lbs pressure in the negative chamber, but I found it rides better with around 120lbs negative, and then adjust the positive to suit. Mine "breaks away" if I roll over a small bump, and gives a plusher ride downhill.

I am undecided on my magura brakes, but all other components work well.

To sum it up - I love it. I ride now 4-5 times a week instead of 1-2. Get yourself one !!

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   My last bike was a cannondale raven 2000. Rode well, extrememly strong and very light ! Geometry didn't suit me.

Bike Setup:   Built from the ground up. Fox vanilla forks, Mavic F219 rims, hope hubs, magura marta disks, Raceface cranks and bottom bracket, Kujo IRC tyres. XTR drivechain.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bob a Cross Country Rider from Everett, WA, USA

Date Reviewed: October 22, 2002

Strengths:    No-bob (set it up right), XTR group, crossmax wheels, weight, anodized frame, Hayes brakes, climbs like a hardtail, descends faster than my hardtail.

Weaknesses:    Seat post and stem not Thomson. Weighs more than 24 lbs. Stock tires suck 10 months out of 12 in Washington.

Bottom Line:   
The bike simply makes me want to ride more. I have had zero problems except with the wild slipper tires (that I replaced). I'm 46 and this bike makes me feel like a young, cocky, fast punk---where's the chicks!

The Bicycle Center (Everett) rules for turning me on to this sweet ride!

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Favorite Trail:   Mr. Toads Wild Ride, South Lake Tahoe

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Bicycle Center

Similar Products Used:   NRS 1

Bike Setup:   Stock NRS Air except for Huthinson Scorpion tires and Onza bar ends

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Goomba a Racer from Canada

Date Reviewed: October 13, 2002

Strengths:    Suspension design. I have owned and tried a Titus racer x, Schwinn rocket 88, and still own a Litespeed Tsali softail. I built up this bike to see if I would really feel comfortable on a dually. I tried a older Titus 99, and did not like the thick feeling of the rear. The 2001 Schwinn seemed to bob too much, and my current racer Litespeed Tsali seems alright but could use a little more trave (I still love it though). This design made me feel more in control than any of those other bikes. Descending is awesome as well as the climbing. I just built up yesterday and rode for 4 hrs today and I love it.

Weaknesses:    It's a great design, but the tubing is rather thin. But hey, it's supposed to be light.

Bottom Line:   
I am going to sell this one to buy the new Giant Air. I love it! I have pic's and also it is on EBAY right now. It is brand new!! Have to get the new one.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1867690110&ssPageName=ADME:B:LC:US:1

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Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Internet

Similar Products Used:   99 Titus Racer x, 01 Schwinn rocket 88, and 00 Litespeed Tsali. I also have a Litespeed Obed hardtail, and Arenburg roadbike.

Bike Setup:   Full XT, time pedals, panaracer xc fire pro kevlar (red), magura louise disk brakes, shimano 575 wheelset, Selle italia flite ti (red) saddle, Kore lite stem, bars, and seatpost, profile design (red) grips. Beautiful red color scheme.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Sam Peralta a Cross Country Rider from San Diego, Ca

Date Reviewed: October 7, 2002

Strengths:    Very fast, agile, well balanced, bob-free on ascents, absorbs bumps as designed by manufacturer, Hayes Hydraulic Disk brakes have excellent braking power.

Weaknesses:    Rock Shox SID SL had oil leak out of rebound adjuster, Michelin XC Tubless Jet S tires handle technical terrain at a descent level; primarily designed for hard pack and asphalt terrains; not recommend on wet or sandy terrain. Chain slippage during the beginning, now rectified.

Bottom Line:   
Although the bike is rather expensive, it is worth the purchase. You can not ask for a better bike like this one. It is equiped with relatively high end components and no other similar product can out match it.

The ride is very comfortable once you dial in on the shocks based on the rider's weight and preference. It is very fast, responsive, and does well on hill climbs.

This bike is designed for one purpose, "XC racing". Well job GIANT!!!

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Favorite Trail:   Rancho Penasquitos Canyon

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   Black Mountain Bicycles

Similar Products Used:   Trek Fuel 100

Bike Setup:   Stock, with the exception of the Time ATAC pedals.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John a Weekend Warrior from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Date Reviewed: October 5, 2002

Strengths:    Absolutely no bob. Great parts.

Weaknesses:    None

Bottom Line:   
Summmed up in one word AMAZING. There is a reason why Bicycling Magazine repeatedly called this their favorite MB. They stated that it will help improve any riders skills. I did not believe all the hype. After riding this bike the reviewers did not rave enough. This bike does it all. Its not meant for big drops but no cross country bike is. However, I've done some 5-6 ft tables and the bikes overall balance makes them easy. Can't beat it. Nothing on God's earth even comes close when climbing.

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Similar Products Used:   Specialized hardtails, trek fuel, Klein

Bike Setup:   Stock, Crank Brothers pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Greg a Cross Country Rider from Ann Arbor, MI

Date Reviewed: October 1, 2002

Strengths:    No drag, excellent powertrain, very fast, agile, no bob on climbs, powerful brakes. Climbs 99% as well as a hardtail, makes up for any loss on technical climbs with performance in all other areas.

Weaknesses:    Rear end more stiff than some.

Bottom Line:   
This bike is very smooth, quick, and responsive. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a serious cross country machine. I was very reluctant to go to a soft tail as I did not want to loose any climbing performance. I have no regrets, this bike is amazing. It does everything well without exception. I bought it on sale for 30% off MSRP, so it was a deal. Did I say it was FAST? The low profile tires climb well in all but loose dry dirt and slippery mud, everywhere else they are crazy fast with excellent grip.

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Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Great Lakes Cyclery

Similar Products Used:   None. I only roade hardtails before this one.

Bike Setup:   Stock.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dan Peters a Racer from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Date Reviewed: September 18, 2002

Strengths:    - Climbs like a Goat
- Descends like a Demon
- No need to upgrade the Specs (although I did slightly)
- No BOB means NO BOB and no SAG means no SAG!
- Once you’re on it and climbing you couldn’t tell if you’re on a hardtail or a dual
- Light enough to be a Cross Country racer at the elite level


Weaknesses:    -Chain noise can be loud at times but you’re usually going so fast you have other obstacles to concern you

Bottom Line:   
All right, here’s the bottom line after a year of riding and racing all over (Moab trip upcoming in 2 weeks and I can’t wait to tackle Porcupine Rim on this thing) on my Giant NRS Air. I love this bike!

This was my first true dual suspension bike, as I’ve waited for the right bike to come along that best fit my riding style (XC racing mostly) and voila we have the NRS.

Don’t get me wrong this is not a plush ride by any means and it wasn’t designed to be. When you sit on an NRS (with the correct PSI for your weight in the rear suspension shock) this bike feels like a hardtail, there’s no 1 or 2 inches of ‘Sag’ built in like almost every other model on the market today. But when the terrain gets rough this thing just works (I'm no engineer so I can't explain how) and it feels soooo good because your boys around banging around like a sack of marbles.

Big hits to stutter bumps all you have to do is stay seated and keep pedaling away from the competition (riding buddies or fellow racers will be eating your dust). Climbs better than my Rocky Team Vertex because the rear wheels stays planted to the ground.

Bottom line, no complaints. I don’t even like Giant as a company (don’t ask me why, I just don’t) and never thought I would eventually buy one. But this bike is so good I’m ordering the ’03 NRS Air with the new Cross Max wheel set and the fancy new XTR groupo. Go figure ...

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Favorite Trail:   Birch ('99 Pan Am Games Course)

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   Olympia Ski and Cyclie

Similar Products Used:   -Trek Fuel 100

Bike Setup:   -Stock (XTR, Cross Max, Hayes)
-Changes: Thomson Stem, Thomson Layback Seatpost, EggBeaters

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kevin a Cross Country Rider from NYC

Date Reviewed: September 12, 2002

Strengths:    This bike is absolutely amazing. It does it all

Weaknesses:    Chain smacks on chainstay and is noisy. Takes a while to get setup right but once you do and you realize it will never give you a plush, plush ride then you stop fussing and become amazed at how you can just let it rip through any terrrain you encounter.

Bottom Line:   
It is the most efficient full suspension bike made. Takes a while to realize how well it does almost everything. This bike is perfectly balanced. It can tackel almost any terrain. It is the most efficient pedaling xc bike made. The power is transmited directly from your legs to the rear wheel- thats the way it should be. It may not have the snob appeal of an Ellsworth or quite the same build quality but it is a BETTER BIKE. It has a better suspension than the Ellsworth and a similarly outfitted Truth would cost between $1500 to $2000 more. I know Ellsworth fans will find these comments blasphemous but I happen to own both bikes and thats my view after lots of comparison. It does almost everything better than the Truth. Its lighter, it climbs better, it is equally maneuverable and I find the geometry more comfortable. The Truth may have a slight edge when ripping downhill but only a slight edge. Buy this bike if you want to be sure it is not the bike holding you back. The bike is not cheap but it is the easiest/cheapest way to get a bike that will put you in the superstar bike category.

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Favorite Trail:   Vietnam trails Berkshires

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   internet

Similar Products Used:   Fuel 80, Ellsworth Joker, Ellsworth Truth.

Bike Setup:   Stock- Crossmax, XTR, WTB saddle,Hayes, Atacs

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Ken a Weekend Warrior from Houston,TX

Date Reviewed: September 4, 2002

Strengths:    Light, quick,smooth

Weaknesses:    noisy

Bottom Line:   
great xc bike, smooth and quick, great climber (I need better legs)really fun thru tight and twisty, good on downhill as long as its not too bumpy.

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Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $2500.00

Purchased At:   sun&ski

Similar Products Used:   nrsxtc, spec.fsr, ibis szasbo

Bike Setup:   Manitou, deore disc, xt drivetrain, monkeylites

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Joel a Cross Country Rider from Helsinki

Date Reviewed: July 5, 2002

Strengths:    Great climber, no bob, ligthweigth.

Weaknesses:    Geometry doesn't seem to be agressive enough for technical trails. Blushes last only few weeks.

Bottom Line:   
Not for heavyer or bigger riders! Rear swing is like jelly after 2 weeks of driving. Blushes last only few weeks. Ok I weigh 95kg but still...
Frame overall geometry sucks for 187cm driver, it's like driving a roadbike on trail. This leads to lots of crashes and you really can't drive bike like this with trust on more demanding trails. I'm slow as turtle with this bike on decents and more importantly a lot slower than with my hardtail. This leads to 1 star value rating.

NRS system really works well and the bike climbs great. The durability of rear SID migth be a problem in a long run.

It's an exellent buy if you weigh is less than 80kg, you are under 180cm and don't drive on demanding trails.
Otherwise I can't recomend it.




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Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Similar Products Used:   Many

Bike Setup:   European XTC Team alu frame size L, XT all over exept Sram Rocket shortie shifters, Sid sl, Mavic Crossmax, Raceface stuff.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rod Harper a Cross Country Rider from Newport

Date Reviewed: July 2, 2002

Strengths:    Incredible sprint ability with the way the rear end works. Just got off an Klein Adept Pro and love the extra rear travel. Very stiff rear end considering all the pivots.

Weaknesses:    I don't like Hydros so I put on Avid Mechanicals. I don't want tubless so I put on Hugi 240, DT DB, and Mavic X317 rims. WHAT, a spacer in the seat tube? Seat didn't fit me well, I kept falling asleep downstairs.

Bottom Line:   
I tweaked the components to what I wanted but the frame is what's important. Coming off a hartail and a short travel hardtail I am very hapy with the characteristics of this bike. It's like a hardtail where I want it to be and a softail where I want it to be. If you want squishy all the time then this isn't for you, buy a Specialized but if you like the feel of the hardtail when standing then this bike is for you.

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Favorite Trail:   Potowatami Trail

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Purchased At:   Jack's Bicycle & Fitness, Monroe, MI

Similar Products Used:   Klein Adept Pro, Klein Attitude

Bike Setup:   Stock except, Avid Mechanicals (mid size), Custom wheels (see above). Replaced stem that was correct size for me (Thomson), and put in the correct size Thomson Seatpole. I also went for more travel and a stiffer fork with a Duke SL 100.

Reviews 1 - 15 (34 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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