Here we are with another in the series of Hard Tales we have been razzing about in the recent months, from roll backs in the ‘skatepark’ outside the office to a real skate park and the odd pumptrack we have been giving these fun little rippers some varied riding. If you want to check out the rest of the bikes featured then here they are:
Hailing from Poland NS Bikes have been under Sam Pilgrim for a few years now and he has taken them right to the top, podiums all over the place and a 3rd at Crankworx in 2013 give the Suburban a good grounding in the Dirt Jump world but what’s this little green bike all about?
NS make two versions of the SubUrban, Dirt and Park, it’s available just as a frame so you are free to do what you want with the build. The Park version is based on the original Suburban 24 and designed to squeeze 26″ wheels into a short frame. We have the Dirt version and that too fits the short and snappy traits the Park sets out to cover, it’s kind of like a big BMX. James McKnight said it’s the 29’er of the BMX world, it’s pretty short and even though the head angle is supposedly 69° it feels steeper than that. The BMX analogy runs true and this bike is easy to flick around and manualing is a doddle, keeping the front end up can be a bit of a challenge with such a short, quick responding back end but all in all it feels good.
Head angle – 69°
Seat tube angle – 70°
Top tube length – 573mm
Chainstays – 381mm
Wheelbase – 1033mm
The NS is built from custom butted 4130 chromoly and the Dirt version is designed to run a 80-100mm fork, standard stuff in the dirt jump world. There are a few neat features that make the bike stand out, one of which is the lost wax cast seatstay bridge. It incorporates the NS Bikes logo and looks pretty sweet, not something we have seen on a bike for a while. NS have gone for an integrated headset that keeps things neat up front and with the bearings hidden away inside the frame they should last well. The Suburban is clad with a bunch of parts from NS and Deity and our test bike came with some high riser bars that added to the BMX feel and meant everyone was trying (and mainly failing) to do bars spins outside the office. The bottom bracket is a euro sized affair, basically smaller than a standard MTB bottom bracket shell. We’ve got a three piece setup from Deity here and they do a good job of being solid but not too heavy.
The wheels, bars, stem and grips are all NS branded and fit the bike well, wheels especially feel solid and nice mid-weighted click in the rear hub sounds good without being noisy. The DMR has the nifty Taperlock dropouts but the Suburban uses a standard chain tug on the driveside, it does the job perfectly well and after multiple sideways landings everything is still in place and straight. Suspension is taken care of with the Manitou Circus forks, adjustable compression and rebound damping mean you can set these up as you wish, the rebound is pretty basic with just a simple twist dial that moves 180 degrees on the bottom of the right fork leg. Atop the same leg is the compression that has 8 clicks of adjustment with the most extreme end locking the fork out. The forks ramp up pretty quickly, something definitely needed in any DJ fork as you don’t want to blow through the travel on a heavy landing or be popped of a lip too harshly.
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The NS gains a few pounds over the DMR and about half a pound over the Nukeproof coming in at bang on 26lbs. For a bike designed to be an out and out trick machine then the Suburban hits the nail on the head, it’s small feeling bike but not unstable at speed and you can throw it around without worrying about if it will survive. If you are looking for a bike to get on the trails with or razz around a skatepark this winter then the NS Suburban could be just what you are looking for.
Price £379.99 – frame only