NS Snabb Plus 1 – Review

Jun 12, 2017
by Vernon Felton  



NS Bikes’ origin story is fairly typical: Company founder falls in love with bikes as a child and grows up to be a rock star in Poland, who wins national downhill races during his weekends off from being a platinum-album selling musician. Same old, same old, really.

What may, in fact, surprise some readers is NS Bikes’ recent push to broaden their bike range. While the company is still strong in the slopestyle world (the rig of choice for the likes of Sam Pilgrim), the past few years has seen them also debut downhill, enduro and trail bikes. The latest addition? The 29er full-suspension Snabb Plus.

NS Snabb Plus 1 Details
• Intended use: trail, all-mountain, enduro
• Rear wheel travel: 127mm
• Fork travel: 140mm
• Wheel size(s): 29-inch or 27.5+
• Clearance for up to 27.5 x 3.0-inch tires or 29 x 2.4-inch tires
• Internal dropper post routing
• Threaded bottom bracket
• Boost 110/148 hub spacing
• Sizes: S / M / L
• 6061-T6 aluminum front and rear triangles
• 30.6-pound/13.9kg complete bike (size Large)
• MSRP: €3,999 EUR/$3,999 USD/$4,499 CAD
www.ns-bikes.com

There are two Snabb Plus models for 2017. We’re testing the upper-end version, but you can save more than a thousand euros/dollars by going with the “Plus 2” version, which features the same frame, hung with a more affordable parts kit.


NS Snabb 29 Bike Review by Vernon Felton
Internal routing? External routing? In this photo the rear brake line is run externally, but the Snabb Plus frame also features cable ports in the front triangle for dropper post, rear derailleur and rear brake.
NS Snabb 29 Bike Review by Vernon Felton
Breathing room is a bit tight here with the 29x2.35 Schwalbe Fat Alberts. In a nod to durability, NS runs Enduro Max bearings throughout the frame pivots.

Frame Design

According to NS, the Snabb is supposed to be the bike that can do a bit of anything, “A machine on which you can keep up with the guys on DH rigs in a bike park on one day and do an epic ride with your mates on XC rigs on the next.” That’s a tall order, but the market is loaded these days with capable, mid-travel 29ers (Stumpy 29er, Evil Following, Trek Fuel EX 29er, Santa Cruz Hightower, Pivot Switchblade, et al.) that make a compelling case. The Snabb Plus has a lot of competition.

The Snabb line (enduro and trail models) debuted in 2015, but the 2017 Snabb Plus is NS’ first attempt at a 29er. In point of fact, the bike can also be fitted with plus-size tires (up to 27.5x3.0), though it comes spec’d with 29er hoops and tires.

NS Snabb 29 Bike Review by Vernon Felton
The general design aesthetic runs towards the stout end of the spectrum.


NS makes no bones about it—their bikes all have a fairly aggressive, downhill-loving bend to them and the Snabb Plus is no exception. The aluminum frameset is a collection of tubes that are artfully shaped, but definitely lean towards the burly and boxy side of the design spectrum.

Some brands aim to produce the lightest rigs possible, at all costs. NS follows more in the footsteps of brands such as Kona, that place more of their eggs in the “You can beat on this thing all season and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work on it” basket. The Snabb Plus, in other words, is less show horse and more work horse. To that end, each pivot is loaded with durable, easy-serviced Enduro Max bearings. Likewise, while there’s provisions here to run every line internally though the main frame, if you don’t feel like noodling your rear brake line through the front triangle, you can route it externally along the downtube. Once you hit the rear triangle, everything runs above-ground, so to speak, with both rear derailleur and brake lines zip-tied atop the chainstays. Bottom bracket? It’s threaded. Water bottle mount inside the front triangle? It's there.

Most of NS' suspension models feature a Horst Link four-bar suspension design. Same drill here. For 2017, NS added a metric RockShox Deluxe Debonair RT3 to the mix, which is driven by a stiff, one-piece rocker arm. Geometry-wise, the bike follows the general "long, low and slack" party line. Head and seat tube angles are on par with the Hightower, Following, Switchblade and Stumpjumper 29er. The Snabb Plus, however, has a noticeably longer front center than most models. Font-center length for a size large Snabb Plus, by way of example, is just a few millimeters shy of that of an extra-large Hightower or Stumpy. Ditto, accordingly, for wheelbase. NS definitely took the "long" part of the modern-day geometry recipe to heart.

NS Snabb Plus 1 Geometry



Four Questions with NS Bikes' Founder, Szymon Kobylinski


The Snabb Plus 1 pedals extremely well—better, I’m guessing than a lot of people would suspect from a bike in this genre. What were you aiming for when you were engineering the amount of anti-squat in this frame? And why?


Szymon Kobylinski: When we first started working on the Snabb, 1X drivetrains were still not really that predominant and we noticed that most bikes had too little anti-squat in the large ring to avoiding having too much in the granny. We were in love with 1X from the very beginning and never even considered a setup with the front derailleur, hence the kinematics are optimized for a 32-36 ring. In theory, you can use a 24T granny, but the pedal kickback is a bit too big.

Actually, we really don't believe that there is an "ideal" amount of anti-squat... suspension kinematics are really simple, but the interactions between the human rider and the bike and terrain are uber complex. That's why we strongly believe that. unless you test and measure if your new design is actually making you faster, basing decisions on questionable axioms is not a path that an engineer should follow.

No mathematical models exist proving that less anti-squat is better than more, or that there is a perfect suspension curve. We actually have been trying to get a large government fund to scientifically prove how full of shit many of the claims and 'truths' out there are... kind of a 'suspension Mythbusters' thing. Maybe one day...

In the meantime, we simply ride our bikes as fast as we can and base our designs on the feeling AND measured times. And even though we are a bunch of engineers, we don't try to apply reverse engineering to prove why it's happening. I'm sure the conclusions would be false.


The trend with new models these days seems to be erring towards even longer travel 29ers—I’m thinking of bikes such as the Enduro 29, the Wreckoning and the Slash 29. Why did you go about an inch shorter in front and rear travel on your first 29er full-suspension bike?



Szymon Kobylinski: The Snabb Plus, being our first 29'er was meant to be the big wheeled equivalent of our trail /all mountain bike - the Snabb T. We felt that the amount of travel was spot on for this category. Adding more travel on bikes with big wheels has certain consequences and the bike just felt right for the application as it was. In fact we all concluded that it rides like a 150mm 27.5" bike even though it actually has way less travel. FYI, there will be bigger 29" Snabbs for more aggressive/gravity orientated riders coming out soon.

People tend to lump all FSR-style bikes into one category—as if that chainstay pivot made the bikes all ride identically. Obviously, that’s painting with a seriously broad brush stroke. But I am curious as to why NS has chosen to go with the Horst Link on the majority of its full-suspension bikes? Why Horst Link versus, say, a virtual pivot point-style design?


Szymon Kobylinski: To be very honest, this simply stems back from the fact that historically all the bikes that I liked most had Horst link suspension. And since someone had to make a decision, that's what I chose as the base for development and we kind of stuck to perfecting it. Concluding - our internal opinion is that by changing the geometry of the frame, the position of the rider and the tires you can make way more difference to the character of the bike than by adding or subtracting half an inch of travel or by changing the suspension design. And what makes even more difference is having a bike that always works when you need it, and that's what were focusing on.

You’ve got a number of Snabb models in your line up. All of them have a reputation as burly bikes for aggressive riders. What does this 29/27+ “Snabb Plus” version do for riders out on the trail that your Snabb E or Snabb T don’t do? Or maybe a better way to put that is what kind of rider do you think would be better off riding a Snabb Plus instead of a Snabb E or Snabb T?


Szymon Kobylinski: The decision between a Snabb Plus and a Snabb T would be based solely on your preferred wheel size. It's best to have a go on both and make your own decision. Honestly though, since good 29" wheels and tires have become available, most of our team are leaning towards the bigger wheels nowdays.

The Snabb E however is a bit of a different animal - much more travel, much slacker. A good example of the way these bikes work in a quiver would be to have the 27.5" Snabb E set up on big heavy duty DH tires and use it mainly for gravity riding (shuttles, lifts, bike parks) and then have the Snabb Plus on lighter wheels as a bike for simply riding up and down on your local trails. Doesn't mean that the E can't be ridden uphill though. FYI, I can kick the butts of my XC mates uphill on my Carbon Snabb E, it just needs a light setup, and good legs haha.



Specifications
Specifications
Release Date 2017
Price $3999
Travel 140mm front, 127mm rear
Rear Shock Rock Shox Deluxe Debonair RT3, 185x50mm
Fork Rock Shox Pike RC 29"/27.5+ fork w/140mm travel
Cassette SRAM XG-1150, 11 speed 10-42
Crankarms SRAM GX 1200 170 mm Boost Direct Mount X-SYNC™ 30t
Bottom Bracket Truvativ GXP 73mm
Rear Derailleur SRAM GX 11spd
Chain KMC, 11 spd
Shifter Pods SRAM GX 11spd (rear only)
Handlebar NS Evidence Lite (762mm / 30” wide
Stem NS Quantum Lite 31.8, 45mm
Grips Octane One bolt-on, one-clamp
Brakes SRAM Guide R, 180mm front & rear centerline rotors
Hubs NS Rotary 15 Boost disc (sealed bearing), NS Rotary Cassette 148x12 Boost(sealed bearings)
Spokes 14G-2.0mm w/ 14mm nipples
Rim New NS Enigma Roll 29”, 32h (PLUS compatible) tubeless ready
Tires Schwalbe Fat Albert Front & Rear combo, 29 x 2.35 foldable bead, SnakeSkin, TL-Easy
Seat Octane One Rocket w/hollow cromoly rails
Seatpost Rock Shox Reverb Stealth 150mm travel ( 170mm for L size)





NS Snabb Plus 1 Review by Vernon Felton






Climbing

I'll put it this way, I never felt the need to run the shock in anything but the Open mode. Not even on shitty, fire-road grinders. There is so little pedal-induced bobbing at play here that it sort of boggles the mind. Switching the Monarch shock into "pedal" mode only acts to reduce the bike's traction, it doesn't actually do anything worthwhile to improve efficiency. I tried it once or twice and then just left the shock in Open mode for the next couple of months. Bear in mind, I wasn't running the shock at 20 or 25 percent sag. I was running between 30 and 33 percent sag. So, yeah, efficient as hell. Personally, I think NS could have backed off on the anti-squat a tad. I like a bit more compliance out of the rear end when I'm pushing the pedals and would have been happy to simply switch the lever on the Monarch if and when I needed to add a bit of low-speed compression damping. But to each their own. If you dig bikes that pedal crisply, the Snabb has that going on in spades.

NS Snabb Plus Review by Vernon Felton

That said, the Snabb Plus is not a rocket ship or scalded monkey or mountain goat or... insert your favorite/most-despised metaphor here. The Snabb certainly isn't bloated, but it isn't light enough to ever feel like it's levitating effortlessly up the trail. The bike moves uphill with a minimum of that annoying bouncy-bounce. Similarly, when you are muscling up a particularly rocky section of track, there's little in way the of backward tugging pedals. That's all good, but if your goal is to set some climbing record, well, that's just not this bike's mission statement. I was really happy the bike was wearing a 30-tooth chainring.

The Snabb Plus is decidedly long, but NS kept the chainstays reasonably stubby (433 millimeters/17 inches). Those short chainstays and the bike's fairly steep seat angle make cleaning tight switchback climbs surprisingly easy. Nice.

NS Snabb Plus Review by Vernon Felton


Descending

It's a monster. In a good way. The Snabb Plus mows through chunky bits of trail and, between the 29er angle of attack and a deep-feeling rear suspension, it does actually feel like more bike than the spec sheet lists. Time and time again I got myself into OhDearLord situations, only to pop out the other end with a dazed, "Wait, I thought I was supposed to eat shit back there, but I'm still upright..." kind of sensation. Some people slag 29ers for making things easy. While the Snabb Plus is never going to clean sketchy sections for you all by its lonesome, it does have a way of muscling through choppy bits with a sense of calm that'd make a wizened Zen master look like the lunatics you see on street corners who hop around and scream at the angels only they can see.

Or to be less pseudo-poetic about this whole thing, I'll put it this way...

The bike's long wheelbase lends a shit ton of stability to fast, wide-open sections of trail. Not a huge surprise there. Combine that with a capable front end (it's hard to knock the RockShox Pike) and a rear end that doesn't seem to know the term "hard bottom-out" and you have a bike truly inspires confidence. Yes, I just said "inspires confidence" and I hate myself for resorting to that cliche, but in this case, it's apt.

NS Snabb Plus Review by Vernon Felton


People tend to categorize bikes by suspension design and while there can definitely be similarities between VPP-style bikes or faux-bar bikes or single-pivot bikes, you can just as easily wind up with bikes that share similar-looking kinematics and very different ride qualities. I say this because Horst Link bikes have a reputation for being buttery smooth on small and mid-sized hits. I think that's more a factor of Specialized Bicycles achieving that sensation with their many iterations of the Horst Link than of any inherent attribute of the design. A Specialized Stumpjumper is not, by way of example, a Norco Sight or, in this case, a NS Snabb Plus. So let me put it his way, if you're looking for a velvety, magic carpet ride, the Snabb isn't the best choice. The bike's suspension doesn't feel as supple off the top as, again for example's sake, a Stumpjumper 29er. The Snabb Plus, however, has plenty of support for popping the wheels off the ground. It also has more noticeable suspension ramp than many of its rivals.

NS position's the Snabb Plus as, in some ways, the 29er for gravity aficionados and the suspension feel is completely in line with that. The Snabb Plus feels best when pushed hard, brakes off, mowing through hacked-out terrain at speed. Those are the occasions when the Snabb Plus truly shines. This is a bike that's meant to be ridden aggressively and confidently at the edge of control. It's not, by contrast, as forgiving as some "plusher" bikes when ridden at moderate speeds. Whether or not that makes the Snabb Plus the right bike for you largely comes down to your own riding style and preferences.

NS Snabb Plus Review by Vernon Felton


Finally, a word about geometry.... As front-centers continue to lengthen on modern bikes, so too do their wheelbases. The size large Snabb has an axle-to-axle spread that's approaching 48 inches. Even with the Snabb Plus' relatively tight rear end, that's a lot of length, which is perfect for wide-open trails and less awesome in deep-forest situations. The suspension is so well dialed and the frame stiffness is so on target that I still had a blast on singletrack where the corners keep coming fast and hectic. If, however, you're terrain is full of particularly tight singletrack and you are eyeing a Snabb Plus as a daily trail bike, you may want to size down.


Component Check

NS Snabb 29 Bike Review by Vernon Felton
The widely-spaced Fat Alberts aren't going to help you set speed records on the flats or climbs, but they proved tenacious in sloppy to moist conditions.
NS Snabb 29 Bike Review by Vernon Felton
It's the little details that matter. NS spec'd 180-millimeter rotors front and rear. Always nice to see rotors sized appropriately, given a bike's bias.


• 170-millimeter RockShox Reverb Stealth: Most of the time I wind up wishing a test bike came with a dropper that boasted more drop. NS, however, equips the Large Snabb Plus with a 170-millimeter model. Nice. The Medium Snabb Plus wears a 150 Reverb Stealth.

• GX Drivetrain: I tend to prefer the shifter feel of Shimano XT, but I walked away from the test impressed again by how solid and reliable SRAM's GX group proved to be. Yes, the triggers lack the adjustability of the brand's higher-end kit, but the actual shifts remain surprisingly solid and trouble free.

• Pimpy Finish: Whenever I ran into people on the trail, they invariably pointed to one component: the stem. The stem? Not the fork, or the wheels, or trunnion-mount rear shock, or the swoopy downtube, or any of the noteworthy aspects of the bike. The stem. Well, while I feel shallow pointing it out, I have to admit that the finish on NS' house brand Quantum Lite stem is kind of awesome. Is this finish any better than purple ano? Probably not. Then again, I liked purple ano back in the mid-90s, so I probably haven't gotten any smarter.

NS Snabb 29 Bike Review by Vernon Felton
Good bang for your buck. SRAM Guide R brakes and GX drivetrain may not be top-tier, but on-trail performance is damn good..
NS Snabb Plus 1 Review by Vernon Felton
Color me shallow, but the oil-on-water themed matching stem, spokes and hubs did it for me.

NS Snabb Plus Review by Vernon Felton


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesThe downhiller's 29er? A lot of bikes have been given that handle, but the Snabb Plus might be the most deserving of it. Long, low, slack, capable...NS has made a bike that is truly at its best when ridden hard and fast over technical terrain. It's not a super plush, "let's traipse lightly through the countryside" kind of bike. It's all hard and fast with this one. More like Slayer and less like Steely Dan. Vernon Felton






About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 45 • Height: 5'11” • Inseam: 34" • Weight: 175lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None •
In 1988 Vernon started riding mountain bikes—mainly to avoid the people throwing cans of Budweiser at him during his road rides. At some point, roughly when Ronald Reagan was president and Hüsker Dü was still a band, he began loving mountain bikes on their own terms. Vernon Felton spends most of his time riding bikes, thinking about bikes, thinking about riding bikes and then riding some more around Bellingham, Washington. If it has a greasy chain and two wheels on it, he’s cool with it. Except for recumbents. Well, okay, maybe those too. Nah, forget it. No recumbents.



154 Comments

  • + 64
 Wow he wasn't lying, that stem is hot
  • + 4
 It shore is...
  • + 6
 Looks like the hubs have that finish too.
  • + 4
 I love the stem, especially the side clamp. I wish they did it in 35 because, you know, i've already got a perfect less than a year old 31.8 setup. Obviously I need 35.
  • - 1
 The length of this review has reached my expectations and controls my buying decisions.
  • + 3
 I feel like NS is the European Transition.
  • + 1
 @Triber66: I am curious what you mean by that. I love me some NS and a lot of guys I ride with love them some Transition.
  • + 1
 @WaterBear: Similar suspension design and setup most likely. Both TR and NS Bikes also ride similar sag settings, I think the article mentioned 30-33% sag for the Snabb. It seems likely it would be that way across NS's line as well.

I love me my Scout, by far the funnest bike I've ever owned!
  • + 1
 @WaterBear: I just noticed I never answered your question, I mean that in the way that they have a sort of not take themselves too seriously, anti- establishment take on building bikes. Like what you might expect a BMX company would be if they made mountain bikes.
  • + 42
 Question 5: why not make an XL? It is after all a 29er.
  • + 23
 +1 from the 6'6" crowd, aka the thing I like best about 29 is it's scaled up to my size.
  • + 7
 Want XL!
  • + 9
 Another vote for XL... 483 seat tube just ain't enough
  • + 7
 @Chris-Brown23: 6'5" here, agreed. An XL would be choice.
  • + 3
 Ditto, it's hightism is what it is!
  • + 1
 XL +1
  • + 40
 The downhiller's 29er? So a v10 then
  • + 13
 I'm still waiting for the 29er's 29er to come out
  • + 37
 I honestly miss external brake housing, so much easier to deal with, so that's a nice little surprise!
  • + 31
 you know whats as cliche as all the "climbs like a goat" and "inspires confidence" phrases? Talking about how cliche they are and then using them anyway. Its been like 5 reviews now where the reviewer acknowledges the cliche and goes ahead a uses it. Please to add a meta level of cliche to your cliche. Just get on with it. Thanks.
  • + 14
 Complaining about the use of cliches is the pot calling the kettle black.
  • + 4
 Cliche or not I think she's hot as hell. I wouldn't kick her out of my bed for eating crackers. Burly mid travel 29 FTW.
  • + 2
 @acali: So now we are at meta meta cliche. Complaining about the cliche of complaining about cliche. Nice. We have reached peak cliche.
  • + 1
 @freestyIAM: We can go deeper, we need to reach critical cliche.
  • + 5
 @browntown40: we need boost cliche.
  • + 23
 Loving the piss pot lid!
  • + 4
 I can't stop looking at it.
  • + 6
 It honestly made me think i need to dig out my old brain buckets. Then i remembered it's summer, and those things are basically steam saunas for your melon.
  • + 13
 Can we have some kind of objective metric for climbing prowess already?

...bobbing, XC, levitation... does these terms really mean anything?

Slap some telemetry/power meter on these test rigs for some scientific findings please.

Otherwise, I can dig the refined diction. Keep it up please!
  • + 5
 If you don't understand what bobbing is then surely more advance facts and figures will surely pass you by as well.
  • + 4
 @mgolder: Is that bobbing caused by the suspension compressing or the anti-squat causing the suspension to extend?

Tell me what you understand it to be?
  • + 17
 Vernon knows his audience...link for Steely Dan, not needed for Slayer.
  • + 15
 I love Felton's reviews - he's the best at it. No offense to the other staff, of course..
  • + 4
 Absolutely. He ID's little details that many, many other reviewers never mention. That said, I'd like to see bike specs start to call out the maximum length dropper that will fit in a frame. Now that droppers are available in more than one length - and larger frame sizes really demand longer droppers - it'd be useful to consumers to know what post will work with their frame. That a 200mm dropper won't fit in my XL frame has me thinking of shopping for a new bike that will fit me even better.
  • + 5
 @sngltrkmnd: not just the little details. VF can actually write with real journalistic wit and humor. Always an entertaining read. Keep up the great work!
  • + 5
 +1 for Felton's reviews. But this bike gives me pause because Vernon was not able, or failed to mention, it's ability to clean lines he has never cleaned before, which is the Bible of all measurements regarding bike reviews.
  • + 10
 sorry, but the "DHer's 29r" bike has already been taken by the Evil Following....
  • + 5
 Or the Canfield Riot.
  • + 12
 Im pretty sure you meant The Wreckoning.
  • + 4
 Or the YT Jeffsy
  • + 4
 Or the GG Trail Pistol.
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro: got the pistol it's one beefy bike!!!
  • + 1
 @Gregorysmithj1: The Pistol really seems to check all the right boxes for me in this category. Curious, do you run the 120 or 130mm travel setup? - thx
  • + 1
 @teamtoad: to be able to run 2.6 29er tires it needs to be setup with 120. My front is a ribbon with 130, travel feels great and doesn't bottom out.
  • + 8
 That stem is nice tho. In BMX they've been making 'jetfuel' colour parts like that for ages and I'd like to see some MTB parts in the same finnish from someone.
  • + 3
 Yeah, also called "oilslick"!
Can look awesome and is sth. refreshingly different!

Well done!
  • + 5
 NS offers all the oil slick parts seperately as well
  • + 1
 @Dano-01: I've seeon some on CRC. DMR have some jetfuel pedals.
  • + 6
 Had to go straight to the comments, after following the DH World Cup ...the downhiller 29er is a DH 29! Even Gwin said if he had one to ride he would be on it- I've had 2 NS bikes, loved them both, had a tear in my eye when boxed up my SS soda- I'm sure this bike absolutely rips... NS Makes Sick Bikes!
  • + 2
 Preach it.
  • + 4
 Great review. I really like direct comparisons to other bikes in the same category since there is a chance it's a bike I've ridden. Since more and more bikes are claiming to cover everything from XC to DH it's also nice to see them positioned in that spectrum again relative to others in the category. Finally, I really like a seeing a good perspective on what type of rider this bike is best suited for. Since readers of these reviews probably range from super fit supper aggressive to moderately fit relatively cautious, it's good to see a thoughtful recommendation of who the bike best fits.
  • + 5
 All I saw was "external routing for rear brake" and I fell in love with this bike! Then the stem and hubs as I scrolled down....oh my!!
  • + 5
 You have strange priorities.
  • + 0
 @scottzg: If you work on your own bikes, external routing is a lot nicer than it sounds. Especially for brakes. If you're installing new brakes that are already filled with fluid, you don't like to think about the hose dripping brake fluid in your frame while you're shoving it through. Especially corrosive DOT fluid (which I don't use, thankfully).
  • + 2
 Sounds a lot like my smuggler! Looks like it too. I'm more and more impressed with it, agro 29ers for the win! Big wheels, big rubber and all fun! Bikes like this are similar to a pair of fat skis. They will make you ride better, but YOU HAVE TO GO FAST. All the time. I love it.
  • + 6
 OKAY WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH BLURRY GEOMETRY SHEETS?
  • + 4
 Sounds a lot like how the Jeffsy 29r is described. C'ept this one would be more smash n' bash whereas the Jeffsy's more pop n' play... yeah?
  • - 1
 This has way less travel.
  • - 5
flag haallinson (Jun 12, 2017 at 14:56) (Below Threshold)
 @High-Life: But they both have 140mm of travel front and rear?
  • + 6
 That's a nice looking bike!
  • + 4
 actually a pretty good interview. I like NS bikes. Simple and stout works for me. All bikes should be made heavy and stout, just to piss off the weight pussies.
  • + 0
 I not shy of saying I'm a weight weenie. I'm also not shy of saying I would gladly make a nice build around that frame with lighter parts!
  • + 2
 Never really thought much of NS beyond street frames but this interview and the review of the bike really have me interested. Plus price looks a bit more reasonable than a lot of the competition
  • + 3
 Simple and stout is how I would describe NS. Very stout. They are really not too heavy, surprisingly. Canfield bikes are heavier (and, presumably, even stouter). I like to ride durable bikes.
  • + 1
 @vernonfelton I've been seriously considering this bike for my wife, who is a casual trail rider, But ready to step up to a better bike. It's kind of between this bike in the transition smuggler, do you think the smuggler is a better all-around trail bike for someone who isn't as interested in smashing all the descents?
  • + 1
 Man did you read the review? This bike is probably overkill for your wife. A lighter bike will always be more fun for a trail rider.
  • + 1
 I would also care for a comaprison between the snabb plus 1 and the smuggler. Although, I want a new bike for me Wink
I guess the snabb would be more Point and shoot and the smuggler a Little more nimble and able to go around the obstacles?
  • + 2
 Of course I read the review, but if this bike climbs just as well and gives more confidence on the descents, isn't that a good thing? And the listed weights on the bike actually have the NS coming in a little bit lighter, for the build kit that I'm looking at anyway.
  • + 2
 @Triber66: I know your question is not directed at the peanut gallery, but I'd recommend the Smuggler. It's capable of riding the same stuff as a Snabb and probably has a lighter frame, so with some upgrades you can drop weight nicely. Slightly shorter travel will benefit a trail rider.
  • + 1
 Love my Snabb E, rides better than any other bike i've owned, few minor gripes: They need to make a downtube protector, the swoopy bend at the bb is a rock magnet, the cable routing under the bb is terrible (think this might have been fixed) and the paint is a bit crap and flakes off pretty much everywhere. Other than that, bombproof, buy one.
  • + 1
 Met Snabb owner 3 weeks ago on the trail. I was riding uphill, and he was walking that thing down the hill as he noticed a bearing on the chainstay (the one closest to the deraileur) went missing, along with the screw that hold it in place Big Grin And it was one of newest machines, Super Deluxe shock got my attention.
  • + 4
 The fasteners on the non-drive side of my Soda Evo all got loose because the way the suspension moves, it tends to unscrew those right-hand threads. I lost a pivot bolt that way. After learning about this I put blue locktite on all the pivot bolts that screw into axles. If that's the worst thing you can say about a bike then the bike is doing pretty well.
  • + 1
 @WaterBear: that's the only thing I can say about this bike even before I have ridden one. I'm not saying it's bad, just the experience I had with it so far. On the other hand, they should have loctited this at the factory or make this left-threaded.
  • + 1
 @strasznyzbigniew: I agree with you on that. I don't know if they put loctite on the threads or not but I also think they should have gone with left-hand threads on that side of the bike.

Like I said, not a big deal. My Soda has taken a lot of hard abuse (and a few crashes) and continues to take punishment like no other bike I've owned.
  • + 1
 maybe its cos i ride commencals but to me those bearings actually look tiny. The weight of the bike is quite decent though but i would rather have a bike tailored to 90% of my everyday riding and usable with compromised ability for the 10% i ride somewhere much different. I find bikes aimed at both xc and dh type trails will be compromised at both. that said though if you ride both often then they do make sense.
  • + 1
 I've not seen many Commencals in person because I live in the states, but the bearings on my NS are definitely wider in inner and outer diameter than the ones on my old cross country bike, by a very noticeable amount.

I own a 140mm heavyweight 29er and they are usable on xc trails (or just regular trail riding) if they pedal well but no, they are not really light enough to be a proper xc bike. Brands like NS are best if your #1 concern is durability and not weight.
  • + 1
 "That's why we strongly believe that. unless you test and measure if your new design is actually making you faster, basing decisions on questionable axioms is not a path that an engineer should follow."


Finallly a bike engineer that's not afraid to tell it straight. You should contact me about my Inerter Suspension Design, and we can make the TRUE NEXT GENERATION MTB SUSPENSION!
  • + 5
 Too tight if you want a tyre with proper knobs on.
  • + 2
 With a clearance like that on a 29er wheel, it seems that this bike was a 27.5+ first to hop on the bandwagon but decided that 29er will be an easier sell with DH going 29er.
  • + 3
 I like the external routing for the rear brake, and the use of a threaded bottom bracket. Good choices!
  • + 1
 As a Snabb T owner I agree definite plus points, external brake routing and good old fashioned threaded BB.
  • + 2
 Please test the Snabb Trail !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • + 1
 I love my medium Snabb T (I'm 5'10"), I have a 160mm Pike up front to slacken it a touch and I have a RC3 shock on it rather than RT3. It feels like it's got loads more travel than it has, feels more like a 6" travel bike in the downs than 5". I mostly ride regular XC type trails typical ride 400m elevation gain on it and it's only marginally harder work on the climbs than my hardtail (Ragley Mmmbop) but I have raced it DH on an occasion I didn't think the course that Knarly, it is a good solid do it all bike. I did a week in Spain and took it down the SRAM DH test track for example with out issue. My only areas for improvement would be mud clearance, BB area cable routing for gear & dropper, general QC - my shock mount isn't 100% straight for example. My bike was an early 2015 and I hear that sort of issues been rectified.
  • + 1
 @StevieJB: thanks for your opinion Smile it helps a lot Smile
  • + 0
 It's amazing how many bicycle companies DO NOT PROPERLY SETUP THEIR COIL SPRINGS. Adjustable preload is somewhat complicated, BUT VERY IMPORTANT TO PROPER SUSPENSION PERFORMANCE. I'm glad that Szymon Kobylinski is a 'no bullshit engineer'...we need some of these guys in the US. I don't want to be the only one.
  • + 0
 Ok! The first ever Horst Link that can climb in open position ... one first wonders how many psi he was running buy then ... wait! He reverses his opinion ... "if your goal is to set some climbing record, well, that's just not this bike's mission statement." which frankly is kind of ridiculous and betrays the problem: A modern 29" boasting a very modest 127 mm travel must be able to set a climbing record ... also true it is a ridiculous 30+ pounds but get rid of the Horst and it might get some where!
  • + 4
 Per the review, I was running between 30 and 33 percent sag throughout the duration of the test. That's generally the right amount of sag for a all-mountain/enduro bike. The lack of squat (pedaling-induced suspension bob) isn't a result of the tester (myself) running ridiculously high PSI--it's a combination of kinematics and, to some degree, of course, shock tune.

I made a point of saying the bike doesn't simply blaze up hills because many people assume that a bike with a fair bit of anti-squat should be incredibly fast on the climbs. Climbing performance is more complex than simply tuning much of the bobbing out.

A bike's geometry, weight, etc. also play a role in climbing performance and, of course, you sacrifice some climbing traction if the degree of anti-squat is high enough that the bike's rear wheel doesn't track as well as other bikes under pedaling loads.

Again, the goal was to point out this larger distinction: Yes, it pedals efficiently, but, no, it is not some blazing beast of a climber.
  • + 1
 A normal ride on my Snabb T will see 400m of climbing, it's only marginally worse at climbing than my Hardtail Ragley MmmBop or the Hardtail OnOne 456Ti I had before. I never touch the lock out it's always left full open. It has a lot of anti squat, if anything you feel the suspension lifting on pedalling rather than compressing, it's more or less static though. Put it this way I don't think hum going to be riding up some hills today I'll take the Hardtail.
  • + 2
 sorry, I blame the Iron Maiden Tooper beer. it brings out the smartass coments.
  • + 1
 Alittle similar to the Norco torrent full susser-although that bike is on special at the moment here in Oz for around 3400 AU with the DVO suspension.
  • + 0
 I really want to like it, I want it to win me over but it's just not tickling my pickle, I bet it's one of the most overlooked bikes by far purely because it's a bit meh, shame.
  • + 2
 Different strokes for different folks. There's nothing flashy about NS Bikes' design (other than their paint sometimes) but what draws a lot of us to the brand is the durability and beefiness of their frames. If you ever see one in person you will know right away that it looks strong.
  • + 2
 I've got an NS Soda Evo and love it. NS Bikes are utterly bomb proof and easy to service. Would highly recommend.
  • + 1
 Am I crazy or does it remember the old full suspension version of the Specialized Pitch (2011)? It is more sexy now though!!!
  • + 1
 Look at the 650b snabb t. It's a pitch. They even did it in black and green! Even the geo is almost identical
  • + 2
 Tire clearance is really really tight, that would be my only regret about this bike
  • + 2
 As efficient-pedaling as this bike is, seems like a lightweight carbon version would be amazing.
  • + 1
 They have carbon options on other Snabbs and they're like .5kg (1 pound-ish) lighter, so pretty meh to be honest.
  • - 1
 Spec list - Rockshox Deluxe. Article - Rockshox Monarch. Is it only me who is getting sick of these articles not being proof read? There is a massive difference between the two shocks performance and fitment wise
  • + 1
 Wait until the end of the season NS are always going out super cheap on CRC
  • + 1
 NS Bikes company founder as a rock star in Poland : youtu.be/TqQHWRsGJCg?list=PLF691E0BED65B88C8 Wink
  • + 1
 The 2004 DJ lid stole the show in this article. Did he forget his trail lid?
  • + 2
 Its easy to say that most bikes on the market today are really good.
  • + 2
 Stem and hub are my new favourite colorz!

Smile
  • + 2
 Credit card is out. Where can I purchase this stem?
  • + 1
 Lama cycles carries a lot of NS parts + bikes for the US and CAN, you can try there. I tried e-mailing bti once and my e-mail could not be sent because it was not on their authorized list or some weird error.
  • + 4
 @mollow: We do carry NS products in our Canadian warehouse, so duties are already factored in the price (for canadians customers) and shipping is free. We still have stock on Snabb Plus frames and complete bikes.

Thanks for choosing Lama Cycles, a rider's own company!
  • + 1
 @WaterBear: do they make a direct mount?
  • + 1
 @me2menow: Ask @LamaCycles my man. I assume you're asking if they make a direct mount stem for DH use in that nice oil color? The answer is yes.

www.ns-bikes.com/direct-mount,190,pl.html
  • + 1
 Can the shock be replaced with an X2 or DB? Or is that a reunion thingy locking you in?
  • + 1
 *Trunnion*

all shocks are offered in a Trunnion mount now
  • + 2
 Am I blind or nobody mentioned the weight ?
  • + 2
 30.6-pound/13.9kg complete bike (size Large) - in the details section.
  • + 2
 well tickle my ass with a feather! long, low and slack! ...well no shit.
  • + 3
 All out of feathers but i gotta leather whip...
  • + 1
 I love my snabb E, but not a fan of the bendy top tube on this one. I'm a shallow human being
  • + 5
 The more I look at the Snabb E the higher it goes on my list of bikes I'm considering next.
  • + 1
 Can you alter the way you load the geometry charts so they are legible on a cell phone?
  • + 3
 Yeah, it's pretty tiny. I found that if you switch to the desktop version of the site - there's a button at the bottom of the page - it's way more clear, and you can zoom in.
  • + 1
 Should just get rid of the awful mobile site entirely.
  • + 3
 thats so tight
  • + 1
 I liked the style of this review
  • + 1
 2.75-3.0 width tires not 27.5 that would be super boost
  • + 1
 More bike reviews should compare bikes to bands.
  • + 1
 Next year, GX Eagle equipped for good price? I'd buy one. Smile
  • + 1
 Looks like a.... smuggler actually.
  • + 1
 Colour me shallow @vernonfelton whats that riding jersey?
  • + 3
 I'll have to ask Michael Storm--the photo model for that day. We banged out two shoots on one ride--I was on the Switchblade, Storm was on the NS. I'm bad when it comes to recognizing clothing--if it's clean, I wear it. That's about as deep as I normally go, unless I'm slated to review a piece of apparel.
  • + 1
 Yay another bike that you can't pick put in a crowd...
  • + 1
 i hope one day this 29er will be an old collectors bike
  • + 1
 It's nice to see more rear travel coming back.
  • + 1
 This is a beast.
  • + 0
 fuck. Trooper
  • + 1
 There's no shame in thread tortures, just keep it to yourself Wink
  • - 2
 Locks weird. Like to partbuckets from different catalogs in China collided. Otherwise boring.
  • - 1
 delete
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