Giant NRS XC Full Suspension

This sweet dualie has a light, durable aluminum frame perfect for hammerheads. It sports just enough travel (80mm front, 95mm rear) for comfort and control without added weight.

User Reviews (16)

Showing 1-10 of 16  
Tulsa   Cross Country Rider [Aug 01, 2009]
Strength:

everything

Weakness:

nothing

This bike has alot of upgrades, I love it, best bike i have owned so far for riding everything, I have had a carbon Trek Team Hardtail with full XTR 19lb and full downhill 40lb bike, this bike can do everything both those bikes did.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ryan J   Cross Country Rider [Apr 03, 2006]
Strength:

Quality paint, looks good. Fox shock, custom valved for the NRS with rebound adjustment. No sag, ultra efficient, bob-free, race inspired linkage design, with hydroformed tubes. Tried, tested, refined.

Weakness:

Suspension requires maintenance, unlike hardtails.

Well, my Giant Rainier cracked, and i needed a new frame. Giant agreed to warranty it. The NRS was my dream bike, but i got the Rainier to save money. At times, I regretted that decision, yet still loved my Rainier. At this time i took the opportunity to test ride a Trance 4 and an NRS C2. The trance was ok. A relatively heavy frame, very compliant, yet a little soft for my liking, and a poor match for my 80mm fork. I loved the NRS as soon as i tried it. I could just hammer, with no bobbing at all, and it still provides 3.75" of forgiveness. For a fee, Giant allowed me to upgrade to the red aluminum NRS frame. Swaped the Rainier components, and am very happy. The bike gained a little weight i guess, but that went basicly unnoticed by me. For casual XC riding, the NRS does well, yet does not amaze. It provides a firm ride that softens things up a little over the bumps, and takes hits nicely. Coming from a hardtail, i like a firm ride. It's not as compliant as some other designs. The sag/bob free design allows it to remain capeable for such a variety of conditions including road. Great for when you need to ride to the trail, as i often do. Where does this bike shine the most? On the race course. It allows you to carry so much more momentum over uneven terrain. It also saves fatigue. This bike loves to go fast! It's an XC bike, so i try not to catch too much air with it, but the 3.75" does well on the bigger hits too. Most air mine has seen was a 2.5' wheelie drop to flat. It used all the bikes travel, and i would not suggest consistantly dropping this bike much over 2'. It's aluminum, so if you abuse it too much, it will fail sooner or later.

Overall, I really, really, like this bike.

Similar Products Used: Sugar 4+, Cake 3DLX, Trance 4.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Lee   Cross Country Rider [Mar 14, 2006]
Strength:

Great handling, quick XC bike that climbs well and doesn't beat you up. Great product mix for the price.

Weakness:

A little porky, but not totally overweight. Tires not the best for the loose stuff.

Back in 98 I bought a left over Proflex 850. It had a great fork that needed a new frame and rear suspension. It didn't climb well at all, and bobbed alot. It kept me from thinking about another FS for about 7 years. After becoming a Giant fan, and reading magazine reviews on the NRS, I decided to try FS again as my HT was just beating my aging bones up too much.
After a couple of rides on my new 2005 NRS, I can say I'm really impressed. As others have stated, this bike climbs very well with no perceivable pedal induced bobbing. It soaks up the sharp-edge bumps with ease, and even though my 18.5" frame is noticably taller than the 17" XTC I was previously riding, it handles very well. Very quick to react and flickable.
I do notice the extra weight going up hills, but it's only a minor difference. And on level surfaces I don't notice it at all. Coming down is a whole new ball game for me. The rear soaks up all the bumps, and the Duke XC front shock does a good job, too. The Duke isn't as plush feeling as the rear suspension, though, and I have a Marzocchi on the way to help that out.
I don't get thrown around like before on the HT, and don't have to worry as much about where I'm going 'cause I know the NRS will soak up the rough stuff instead of passing it onto me. This allows me to travel faster and more confidently that on the HT. And therefore I have more fun. I've actually laughed out loud a couple of times 'cause I was having that much fun.
Overall I'm happy I made the switch back to FS, and think the NRS is a great choice. 4.5 flaming turds 'cause I wish it was a bit lighter.

Similar Products Used: Giant XTC SE1, Custom Access frame build up, Proflex 850
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Bun Tadlock   Cross Country Rider [Mar 03, 2006]
Strength:

number 1 for me is frame size, and I like/need a big frame, so the 22.5 is perfect.
Component set is good, the Hayes Sole, Duke XC and Fox Float R, the air fork allows for easy tuning to my weight.
The NRS, no sag, no bob systems climbs well, almost like a hardtail, absorbs the trail nicely at speed.
85 trail miles so far, no complaints

Weakness:

Hutchinson Python tires, the tread is not at all an off-road tire, they saw less than 20 miles.

Really like the bike, although previous review regarding its use by heavier riders, I have experieced no concerns, as I am currently at 250lbs.
This is a good bike for a "more than recreational rider".

Similar Products Used: Test rode Santa Cruz Heckler, Ironhorse MKIII.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Mathew   Cross Country Rider [Jun 12, 2007]
Strength:

Fast and smooth ride. Decent components for the most part. Good for trails.

Weakness:

Hayes Brakes, crappy crappy stuff. Pythons, not the greatest. Rear shock, not suitable for a heavier rider.

This is a great bike for what I paid. It really felt like a steal except for the absolutely horrible brakes which have had to be sent in for warranty and the rear shock which I cannot get set up right for me at 240lbs. It just will not adjust to no sag. Otherwise though everything else is great.

Similar Products Used: Cannondale F400
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
spangels aregreat   Weekend Warrior [Feb 10, 2006]
Strength:

Lightweight, easily maintained, good paintjob, rides like a hardtail when needed.

Weakness:

Original Rock Shox SID gave up after 4 months. Giant own brand replacement shock still going strong thoough. Bushings on Horst Link, but have now replaced with BETDs bearings.

I have been using the NRS for 3 years and it is still sweet. Replacing the Horst Link Bushings with BETD custom bearings makes it much plusher. I have just serviced the Giant shock and it is working better than ever. Combined with the Rebas it is a great fast trail bike.

It does occaisionally come unstuck if you hit a bit bump in the saddle but overall it does what it is designed too.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Jake   Weekend Warrior [May 12, 2006]
Strength:

Light, Durable Frame. Comes default with good shocks, as well as very good components.

Weakness:

None that I have come across yet.

The Giant NRS revolutionized the bike world upon its release in 1999. Most mountain bikes have a few year stints, while only a SELECT few (NRS, Stumpjumper) have kept in production. This bike's light, durable, and well-tested components help to make the NRS an affordable bike that will keep you happy for years. Anybody who has started to become interested in the field of mountain biking should strongly consider this bike as an option.

Similar Products Used: Giant Warp DS2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
G. S.   Cross Country Rider [Jun 20, 2005]
Strength:

Frame/NRS rear shock system is absolutely great.

Weakness:

None for the value. A front fork Fox FRL80 would have been perfect, but the price would have gone up.

The short story.
The frame is superior to anything else I have tried, the components are very good. A great bike for the value, very efficient. It’s a competition-type bike, so you might want to consider the Trance or equivalent for a plusher ride and a more upright position. If you like XC, and you do not want to spend as much as a pro (or his/her team) for the NRS-C1 or equivalent, this bike is for you.

The long story.
I had two (false) concerns when I bought it: the single-piston Hayes So1e disc brakes, and the Rockshox Duke front fork. The brakes work great, they give you confidence, they are progressive and powerful, and also quiet in almost every condition. The Duke XC does the job, with predictable reactions, and a solid feeling thanks to the U-shaped stiffener. Apparently, it is one of the most reliable forks too. Of course the Fox FRL80 has superior dynamics, weights 1 pound less and costs about 400$ more. Maybe in two years or so I would upgrade, but the Duke is pretty good so far.

The frame and the rear suspension are ABSOLUTELY GREAT: no bob uphill unless you bump into some rocks, and a fairly soft ride downhill. Giant was racing with aluminum until last season (or so) with practically the same geometry. For the same amount of money or less, Giant gives you frames that are far superior to any other competitor. Don't be fooled by fancier components on other bikes in the same price range. The Shimano LX/Raceface package is quite good: it’s a light, great frame (and your legs) that will make you climb faster.

I tried the Trek Fuel EX-7 with Hayes HFX-9 and Deore XT: very nice all-around bike, but the frame does not compare. I still cannot accept the fact that a high-end, 2600$ Stumpy FSR 120 would bob uphill. Forget about the rear lock-out: are you going to lock and unlock every 100 yards on the trail? The NRS geometry locks and unlocks automatically, without any electronics (that would sooner or later fail): it’s just a masterful mechanical design by Renault Formula 1 Engineering.

My NRS weights 28.5-29 pounds (20.5” frame), about 4-5 pounds more than the slimmer composite sister. For a rider like me, it does not make sense a carbon fiber NRS: 400$ every pound less, and I carry anyway 3/4 pounds of Camelback when I ride. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel that only a pro-racer deserves a NRS-C1 or similar.

With the NRS you would devour single track as if you were flying, and this is pretty much what I do 4/5 times a week in New Mexico. I hope I’ve been helpful, have a nice ride.

Similar Products Used: Trek Fuel EX 7 - Stumpjumper Expert 120 FSR
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Chris   Cross Country Rider [Aug 19, 2005]
Strength:

Hayes Sole Disc Brakes, Race Face Crank, overall suspension feel is tight.

Weakness:

Rear Shock can't handle Clydesdales, Front Shock needs help - overally; Geometry and Suspension need to be dialed in for bigger riders - BTW: I'm 6'1", 240 lbs.

Bike felt great on test rides around LBS, but after buying it, I found that the rear suspension bobs substantially on uphills, even with proper setup, sag and checkout. BTW - this is a Fox Float R rear shock. And it leaks and has to be pumped up routinely, otherwise damage can occur! Like...uh, unwarranteed damage!

I pumped the rear shock to 260 lbs (!!!), which helped a bit, but now it feels like it's not doing what a shock should do...soak up the bumps. The NRS (no resonance suspension) idea is really what I was after, but on further review I should have carefully checked into MTBR when considering a bike for my size.

I'm switching to Romic Rear shock with heavier outer spring to accomodate my size, reviews claim almost no bob for heavier rider and soaks up everything. Another rider said changing out front suspension springs on the DUKE to heavier ones made a huge difference; and changing oil to 15 wt from OEM 5 wt made all the difference for his 230 lbs size - my next plan of action.

Current geometry of the bike isn't what I came to love about my Bridgstone MB-3. I feel like my legs are out in front of me, with the seat far back and the front handles are dropped forward and below my knees, causing my rib cage to compress under my legs...and no, I'm heavy at 240 lbs, but it ain't because of a big belly in the way. It might be due to pogo-ing of the rear shock, or some stem / seat changes that are due. Only time and modifications will tell.

Overall, I'd rate this bike a 4 in value (not totally screaming - GAWDIJUSSS'LUVVITT!), and a 3 overall due to the issues that I still have to work out.

Still, Mike at Sun Bikes (and the other guys, too) are the best when it comes to working with riders. They stand by everything they do and I've bought from them for years because 'they get it.' I would recommend this bike at $900, but with the previously mentioned caveats. And I highly recommend Mike & crew at Sun Bikes in Milpitas, CA.

Similar Products Used: Bridgestone MB-3, other full sus XC setups.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Dylan Allen   Downhiller [Jun 12, 2005]
Strength:

Fast and light, I also own a Haro X1. This bike is a great choice for a 24 hour race bike. Pedals uphill alot better than the Haro. Nice components and a great bike at a fraction of the cost of the Intense, Turner, and Ellsworth.

Weakness:

None

If you are tired of pushing your downhill bike while riding with your friends on XC bikes this bike s for you. A great value!!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 16  

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