Giant XtC NRS 2003 Full Suspension

4.54/5 (227 Reviews)
MSRP : $2300.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 15 (227 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mntbiker036 a Cross Country Rider from Nar the river,Pa USA

Date Reviewed: December 12, 2010

Strengths:    The suspension set up is great for a 7 year old bike. I can throw down with my buddies new $2500 Cannondale no problem!

Weaknesses:    None other than the fact that parts for bikes get hard to find after they have been out for 5 years. That sucks cuz I want to rebuild the suspension bearings and bushings in the near future.

Bottom Line:   
I resuced this bike from a guy who bought it and decided it was to small, then stripped it of the great componets and didn't care about her anymore. So for my money and the ride she gives me I stole it! I use it to commute to work somtimes but mostly ride on trials, single track and logging roads. I get a lot of comments on how it looks to! Bottom line it makes me smile!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The one wih my favorite dog

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $325.00

Purchased At:   down the road

Similar Products Used:   Trek fuel!

Bike Setup:   Rockshox psylo XC front,rockshox sid rear 3.75in. travel, Magura julie disc breaks, X-9 shifters & rear Derailleur,shimano xt Front Derailleur, Trivati GXP I crank set. Sram PC991 chain.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by calinrs a Weekend Warrior from Los Angeles, CA, United States

Date Reviewed: April 13, 2009

Strengths:    Awesome frame, pretty rigid, fast, light weight, setup is pretty much awesome for beginners

Weaknesses:    pilot fork, python tires, brakes

Bottom Line:   
First off,this is my first full suspension bike and I never knew that one day I would actually take it out on single tracks, I really bought it for transportation around the city and some nature park paths on my way home from work. I was able to obtain the bike in 2003. but the bike model was the newer 2004. When I took it out to check out other bike shops, they all thought it was a neat bike and the setup was simple at that time for what I was using it for.

As of now, I ride single track and this thing is awesome! I havent touched the bike and never really upgraded anything besides the brakes! Its a simple bike, quick fly by and by looks, can easly be mistaken for a hardtail. Rides smooth up hill and all parts seem to work even though I have some that are on the near verg of failing. I like to ride till things break, not just upgrade right away because of what people say, you gotta ride the bike first and only you can find out what is needed for your own setup, wheels and brakes is what i would get some tips on as it all depends really on where you are riding and only those who ride on those trails would know. I ride really hard so I didnt want to add the cassette and chain in the weakness as this all went out by me over powering the drivetrain. I cracked the cassette's 9th gear and strecthed/replaced the chain twice until I moved on to the xtr chain. But for the real beginner, im sure they would need to build that muscle first before this can happen, me, I started on it with lots of torque power already gained in my legs.

The front fork went out pretty quick though might I say and this was during the period where I only road the bike in the street (about 1.5years). BUT! I still ride with this pilot fork on the single track, yeah, its hard to do some quick turns and some steep steps with out the bike fliping on you but hey, I at least know that this fork is deffinitly in need of an up grade, im looking into Fox racing as a replacement.

The wheels, hutchinson pythons, did ok on the street really grips on paved roads, we did a test on it coming down coral canyon road, was doing about 55 mph and hitting turns at which speed signs saying 35mph! We know this because my brother was following behind me in his car. But on the trails, I there was plenty of tread left, I was still slipping out on turns, very unstable at high speed on the dirt because these wheels simply do not grip enough. I am using some cheap kenda wheels off a kmart parts bike which have some nice teeth on the edges but still rather heavy but I can live with it as it grips like crazy! only which the rubber was softer and it would be more of a champ!

The brakes, i never really liked clamp brakes yet always had them so this was the first time using disk brakes.....GET EM! BB7 Mechanicals will do this bike just fine! yet is not a hassle to maintain and adjust, great for biggners but also good enough to flip you over the handle bars if you are not to careful (as a friend found out the hard way when he didnt beleave me that they stopped on a dime).

I would easily say, go for the nrs2 as it has better parts though all the nrs frames are the same except for the carbon series, but I like to upgrade my bike from the ground up, thats why I went for the NRS3, and I like the silver ;). As long as I got a good frame, thats all that really matters to me and the NRS frame is excellent! I still ride this bike on the same setup as when I first bought it (April 22, 2003) and its April 13, 2009! I will be upgrading the forks really soon but I think im going to keep tanking my way with the same drivetrain until I can afford it as the fork will eat up most of the bikes funding pot for now.

I recommend this bike for any entry level cross county XC biker intressted in learning the game. But ride your bike first and then see what is needed for your specs and your own liking.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   JPL

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Bikecology

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   Avid BB7's, 180mm front and 160 rear, shimano xtr chain

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sean a Racer from Montreal,Quebec,Canada

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2007

Strengths:    Every inch of it. Light weight, stiff but not unridable

Weaknesses:    shock bottoms out and needs to be pumped to ridiculous pressure. (I only weigh 150lbs and ride at 200psi)

Bottom Line:   
The frame instills confidence and speed without trying or noticing i am on average aproximately 3-5km/h faster on my nrs than on my GT Avalanche from the previous season.

I custom built up the bike but it goes so well that i would pay anyprice to keep making it better. I prfer this NRS to the new ANTHEM model that they offer.

Buy one build it up it's worth it.This bike is for everyone from the beginner to the racer.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $6000.00

Purchased At:   Sports Experts

Similar Products Used:   Always been a hardtail rider

Bike Setup:   2005 NRS,Sid race with lockout,DT SWISS XR1540 wheels,SRAM X.O drivetrain,Selle Italia SLR Carbon seat,carbon bar,Syntace f99 stem,xpedo TI/TI pedals,race face crank,hayes hfx9,easton post and maxxis maxxlite 310 tires. Overall weight 24.5pounds.18.5 inch size.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by ran chen a Weekend Warrior from ramat gan

Date Reviewed: June 2, 2007

Strengths:    cheep, good rear suspention, good body

Weaknesses:    nrs 2 is the best for their pric.
had to up grade all the moving parts and the fork.


Bottom Line:   
do not buy them and go for the NRS 2 and up.
it's like buying a porsche body with lada parts.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $900.00

Similar Products Used:   1995 used the 970 atx of giant with full LX parts.


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

Date Reviewed: January 24, 2007

Strengths:    Extremely light for a MTB, affordable entry, solid rear suspension setup (Rock Shox SID), feels like a hardtail on climbs!

Weaknesses:    Front suspension, Hutchinson Python tires, chain may skip from 2nd gear to 1st gear under heavy load.

Bottom Line:   
I felt like I stole this bike with the perfomance it could dish out for under $1,000. If you could find this bike thru dealers, friends, and anywhere else buy it! Even the NRS3 frame is the same as the 1 and 2. If you ride serious please please upgrade the tires and fork. The Pilot SL is terrible for riders +200lbs. Tires were terrible (can't corner and wore quickly). Uphill oh boy this bike can fly! Upgrade to disc brakes if possible. I added Avid BB7, Rock Shox Reba SL, Mavic CrossRides and turned it into a XC/Trail beast! Paying attention to the chain wear is key DO NOT ignore it or you will damage your drivetrain.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike

Similar Products Used:   Giant Trance 2

Bike Setup:   Cross country and Trail.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dallas a Weekend Warrior from Woodstock, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: October 2, 2006

Strengths:    very smooth riding, great gear transitions under power. Rides like a 2 wheel limo. V-brakes work great, who needs discs?

Weaknesses:    Tires were slipping over everything and anything, front derailer could be a little better

Bottom Line:   
great bike for uphill or decent. Awesome value.

Watch those chilis burn

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The Pines

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Source for Sports

Similar Products Used:   N/A

Bike Setup:   Stock, save for a headlight and tailight

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Chris a Racer from Burlington, KY, USA

Date Reviewed: January 1, 2006

Strengths:    The Frame is Just awesome. Wheels are strong. Overall good bike. really shined at the 12 hours of DINO.(gonna be 24 in 2006)

Weaknesses:    The sid Fork was the weakess point so i changed it for a Fox Float RLC. another thing i didn't like was the cables and cranks. Changed Cranks for Truvativ Stylo Team, their narrower and easier to hammer away on. Changed Cables for XTR

Bottom Line:   
If used this bike in a variety of ways training, endurance racing and regular trail riding. I absolutely love this bike and dont see myself riding any other bike for cross-country purposes. Very solid bike highly recommend bike to anyone (just wont tell anybody trying to keep this advantage to myself).

I did come from a hard tail so the ride to me seems butter smooth but there is no bobbing when climming.

This bike really helpped me this season improving my results at every event dramitically. the bike just gives you so much confidence that you dont notice til you look at your time. If you have any specific questions feel free to e-mail me prosoccer2115@yahoo.com

P.S. No im not selling my bike, well if you say $5,000 ill think about it lol. still couldnt see myself selling it tho

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Winona Lake Trail. You Gotta Ride IT

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $926.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Similar Products Used:   Specialized Rockhopper, Specialized Epic, Haro, Leader,...

Bike Setup:   Stock except for the cables(xtr), Fork(Fox Float RLC 100), Cranks(Truvativ Stylo Team), Pedals(Speedplay Frogs), Tires(IRC Serac 2.1 Tubeless), Rear Shox(2006 Fox Float RP3 coming :))

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by graham fergus a Cross Country Rider from uk

Date Reviewed: December 29, 2005

Strengths:    light weight and comes with pretty good components. Shimanio, race face crank set. Shram v brakes and average huchision xc tyres.

Weaknesses:    front forks are not very easy to adjust and the air system takes a while to get used to.

Bottom Line:   
The bike comes ready to go. this i found was a good upgrade from an old scrapper. The bike feels very light and difficult to get used to at the start but afet 5 or 6 rides i found the correct set up for myself and was very comfortable. £400.00 bought me this bike and i have found myself doing the same as many other XC riders with out difficulty. Due to the gearing and weight composition it is very easy to accelarate on inclines and goes like a bat out of hell on the downs. As i upgraded i have started to build a hard tail and used all the old parts to make it up . I love my bike and would recommend it for and new riders.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   hamsterley forest black run

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $900.00

Purchased At:   uk shop

Similar Products Used:   scott

Bike Setup:   now up graded the forks and replaced the tyres to contintental explorers. Disc brakes where a must and i chose shram hydralic .

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by James Parman a Cross Country Rider from Oshkosh, Wi

Date Reviewed: December 23, 2005

Strengths:    All around great bike, I like how it rides, I like the action of the suspension, I like the fork, I like the tubeless tires, I like the disc brakes.

Weaknesses:    If one were to want to make this bike lighter, I don't know of a single component that would make a huge difference, they all seem kinda medium weighted to me. But very durable.

Bottom Line:   
I would buy this bike all over again. I sometimes miss the lightness of my hardtail, but the "extra" traction the dual suspension and the tubeless tires offer make up for the difference. I am 5'7" and have the medium. I sometimes think that I would like the small better (but who knows), or more frame size options. As I've read in other reviews, would have appreciated XT all around instead of the LX shifters/front derailleur.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   Fond du Lac Cyclery

Similar Products Used:   A few, hardtails mostly. My friend has a top fuel for 2005, the weight difference makes me jealous.

Bike Setup:   Stock.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Super Jason a Cross Country Rider from Leeds, UK

Date Reviewed: July 8, 2005

Strengths:    Price, full suspension, 31lb weight, looks, handling

Weaknesses:    Occasional gear slip under heavy pressure

Bottom Line:   
Having decided to upgrade from my 9 year old hardtail & hard nose mtb, I was wondering whether to spend my hard earned wedge on a hardtail with front sus or this full susser. I was concerned whether I would loose out on climbs with a full susser over a hardtail. My riding preference is xc.

I decided that I would regret not going for the full sus option, so I bought the Giant NRS 3. This is a SUPERB bike. It climbs virtually by itself thanks to it's light weight (compared to many other full sussers - 31lb). It is entremely well balanced, meaning it will take you up, round and down anything with confidence. The hydrailic discs stop me on a sixpence in any weather, even when covered in mud.

Giant are replacing this bike so it's possible to negotiate deals with retailers, making the attractive pricetag positively stunning.

My only annoyance is when powering down hard in 2nd gear, it slips into 3rd. This may be gear setup but I suspect it's more likely due to the tail flex others here have mentioned.

In conclusion, if you have £600 sheets burning a hole and are tempted by full sus (which you should be!), buy this. It looks hard, rides hard, climbs hard and loves being treated like a dawg!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Cyclesense, Tadcaster, UK

Similar Products Used:   None

Bike Setup:   Standard off the shelf

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Eric a Cross Country Rider from Highlands Ranch, CO

Date Reviewed: June 29, 2005

Strengths:    All around great MTB, lightweight, excellent riding position and response for a 5'10 192 lb guy. Solid Full suspension, no bob on uphill. Solid Mavic x139 wheelset, i beat on em for 2 yrs b4 replacing. It was the right price for an mid grade entry level bike. I should be using it for years and wil definetly consider other Giant bikes in the future.

Weaknesses:    Should come with Pilot SL forks adjusted to 100 MM not 80 MM,Python tires were replaced in under 60 days,no shoulder for cornering. Replaced chain in first 6 - 9 months.

Bottom Line:   
This is one sweet bike. It does everything except extreme downhill. If you want downhill check out the 05 Giant bikes reign and faith. This NRS will treat you right, for a first time full suspension and beyond. Excellent riding position makes for a comfortable ride, better response and handling on technical trails. The center shock is a little weird with pressure because of the geometry of the bike. None of the shops told the same story, so I called Rock Shock and Giant to confirm. Almost no other bike requires your riding weight (clothes, Camel Back and all)in pressure PSI on top chamber (no more than 250 psi top), no more than 50 psi bottom. The bike is rigid, prevents compression loss, is perfect for climbing and knows when to absorb shock riding back down hill. One sweet bike. I have used this bike riding, colorado front range single tracks, Green and Blue single track trails at Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge, WinterPark and Copper mountain resorts in Colorado. And had a great ride everytime. You dont need a bike that costs twice as much to have a good time, but you need a better bike than WalMart sells to do these type of rides. GIANT NRS is the ride!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   The one I am riding

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   Performance Bike Colorado

Similar Products Used:   None, my first full suspension bike. Was on GT Hardtail b4.

Bike Setup:   New Mavic 717, Replaced Avid Single Digit 3 with digit 7 V Brakes (I wore the front pair out), New Easton EA70 seat post (got fat & or wrecked and bent old titec), running with Fire XC Pro Tires and swap with Specialized Enduro's for single track mountain.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Lucas a Cross Country Rider from Krakow, Poland

Date Reviewed: May 12, 2005

Strengths:    This bike sells on it's excellent rear suspension, go ahead and find me a better system... then again... dont bother - there is none

Weaknesses:    like people below said, accessories are crap and tires are hopeless, frame on my NRS was made from AluXX, not the AluXX SL

Bottom Line:   
Excellent XC bike, competition just doesn't seem to be able to catch up. It feels like a hardtail untill you get on bumpy surfaces - I noticed the difference (as compared to hardtails) especially on downhill singletracks full of tree roots and some loose stones (theres lots of those here). At the same time this bike climbs like mad with absolutely no loss of energy - speaking of which, it is a good idea to invest into front fork with lock out. then you can change your NRS into rigid bike when need be.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   GT i-drive, kelly's beast

Bike Setup:   put on XT deraileurs, SRAM Rocket shifters, Magura Julie, suntour E-LO up front

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Edgar Bautista a Weekend Warrior from Antioch, Ca, USA

Date Reviewed: May 6, 2005

Strengths:    Decent components for the price

Weaknesses:    rear suspension feels like it tightens up under braking

Bottom Line:   
This was my first foray into full suspension. I've been impressed at how much difference it makes. The bike is really geared towards xc, and I've been mixing in trail riding. The bike works well in these conditions. I still have some tweaking to do on the suspension, otherwise I really am a convert now. Looking on trading up to a Trance.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   China Camp

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $700.00

Purchased At:   classifieds

Similar Products Used:   none

Bike Setup:   stock xt/lx mix,skareb fork,rock shox shock,maxxis tires

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ev a Cross Country Rider from Edm, AB, Canada

Date Reviewed: April 7, 2005

Strengths:    VALUE, VALUE, VALUE,
NRS rear suspension works great.
Pretty light for its price.


Weaknesses:    The front shock bobs lots, if you get serious, i would buy a fox shock with lockout.
Stock rims are heavy, try upgrading to crossmax.


Bottom Line:   
This is an awesome value bike, you can find it for around 1000$ on ebay, pink bike, ext. The rear shock is the best system without a lockout on the market. THis bike is best with 'Wildgripper' tires on it (by michelin). If you get more serious the upgrades you would want would be a new front shock, new wheels, and a new seat & post. If you are just getting into mountain biking this is the bike for you.
And dont worry about upgrades, they are easy to get, the frame will last a lifetime.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $450.00

Purchased At:   from a family member

Bike Setup:   Giant NRS 3, added disc brakes,

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Victor Primacio a Racer from Dededo, Guam, USA

Date Reviewed: January 21, 2005

Strengths:    Solid carbon frame matched with top of the line components.

Weaknesses:    Can't go smaller frame because 16.5 is the smallest

Bottom Line:   
NRS Air gives me a natural high for speed and comfort riding a bike. No need to take a nap post ride unlike my hardtails, I guess the carbon frame plus rear suspension took all the beatings. I can't wait for my new shorter stem I special ordered from dealer after then no other weaknesses. I wish I could afford to buy all my 5 sisters and 4 brothers each one with nrs air.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Hornet's Sport

Similar Products Used:   My very first DS bike but former XTC and Trek 8000

Bike Setup:   Full XTR's, Sid Team fork, stock NRS air rear susp., Crossmax SL

Reviews 1 - 15 (227 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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


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 »

XtC NRS 2 rear shock size?

Hello all, I have a friend at work who wants to get back into riding. He has a 2002 XtC NRS 2 and he wants to replace the rear shock with a new one. Does anybody know what size it is? I searched on the internet and couldn't find him an answer. Any help would be appreiciated, thanks.Read More »

Monarch 4.2/RT3 tune when using with Giant NRS/XTC frames?

The older Giant NRS/XTC uses a "no sag" setup, does the leverage ratio consideration change when selecting a rear shock?? Do things change because there is no sag and NRS frame design? The suspension travel is rated at 3.75". The 165mm shock has ~1.5" travel. The calculated leverage ratio is 2.5. ... Read More »

With NRS/XTC & no sag, does leverage ratio calc (& shock tune) change?

With the old Giant NRS/XTC "no sag" setup, does the leverage ratio consideration change when selecting a rear shock?? Do things change because there is no sag and NRS frame design? The suspension travel is rated at 3.75". The 165mm shock has ~1.5" travel. The calculated leverage ratio is 2.5. ... Read More »

Giant NRS/XTC FS, what is the leverage ratio?

Does anyone know the leverage ratio of the NRS or XTC full-suspension frames? I know the suspension travel is 3.75". With a 1.5"-stroke Fox AVA shock, it would calculate to be 2.5:1. I'm curious to know as to what the actual figure is. Thanks!Read More »

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