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Trail and Enduro Bikes

NS SNABB E CARBON

Flagship 160mm enduro bike from Poland

Flagship 160mm enduro bike from Poland

Words: Ieuan Williams   Photos: Callum Phillpott

NS Bikes have been about for a relatively short time, starting up in 2003 with a range of dirt jump and freeride bikes. The brand have had some great success in the market so moving into the trail and downhill market was a natural move no more so than when the original aluminium Snabb came out. Since then it has progressed into the carbon bike you see here.

The new model has a great look going on, with some really clean sweeping lines carried through the bike. The matte black paint scheme with bright green popping up here and there works really well in keeping the bike looking fresh and up to date. The bike rolls on 27.5” wheels and is available in 160mm or 140mm, the only difference being tubing sizes.

SUSPENSION

NS have called in RockShox for dampers with the 160mm RockShox Pike RC solo air, a regular on tests offering high performance and low maintenance, little wonder companies choose the Pike as a platform to build a bike from. At the rear RockShox are again represented with a Deluxe RT3 rear metric damper. It feels great and really compliments the frames design, comes with a three way adjust on compression and plenty of rebound adjustment.

COMPONENTRY

There is a real SRAM theme going on with the Snabb where it almost looks like it has been pushed through the factory and been kitted out on the way through. SRAM have come up with the yet again faultless GX 11 speed drivetrain offering a great shift feel and easy to deal with gearing range with the SRAM Descendant alloy crank to match. On the braking there is a set of Guide R stoppers that are definitely regarded as one of the best lower range brakes on the market so no problems there, with a Reverb stealth dropper post rounding off the parts from SRAM.

After that wheels are own brand NS with a good wide stance and a clean look to them, although if you are used to the sharp performance of a Chris King or a Hope Pro4 then they do not quite hit the mark where the freehub engagement is concerned. The NS Bikes cockpit is also something that needs commenting on with the bar having a slightly uncomfortable down sweep to it, this is something that can easily been changed but is more a personal touch.

FEELING

After a very short time there was a great snappy feel to the bike where the short 430mm rear stays came into play offering a great feel in the tight turns where you need the the maneuverability. The boys over at NS must have spent some time looking at making the Snabb as quiet as possible as it was one of the most silent riding bikes that we’ve ridden this year with the chain line being away from anything that would cause any issues.

Getting the Snabb airborne was no problem at all with a nice chassis balance and weight distribution, it has  the feel of a bike built to send but this is no surprise given the heritage in dirt and slopestyle that NS have.

LIMITATIONS

The head angle at 66 degrees is a little on the steep side, the bottom bracket a shade high and the range of sizing is a touch limited with only two sizes. Still, the Snabb rides good even with these issues. You can always solve bottom bracket height and head angle issues by fitting an angle set or some offset shock bushes. There is also a question of bar shape but that’s minor.

VERDICT

Everything considered this is a really good fun mid-priced carbon enduro bike. We’ve seen the bike priced at less than £3500 on some websites, meaning you’re looking at a good value for money bike here. It will keep you on your toes with its silent snappy ride and only really needs some minor changes to make it into an even better bike. The choice of alloy wheels gives you the little bit of flex that is needed in a bike where the frame’s stiffness could potentially make for a harsh ride. The NS Snabb really seems to be a sturdy workhorse built to stand up to some serious riding abuse and should easily be capable of taking on uplifting or all day long riding. It may not be the lightest bike out there but the price and ride are very good indeed.

£4299

Ns-bikes.com

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