You’d be hard pushed to argue that Polish dirt jump and freeride extraordinaires NS Bikes make anything other than top-notch bikes. The Metropolis 2 comes in at a shade under £800, using the same geometry as some much more expensive models. It’s a competitive choice if your preferred riding is sending dirt jumps. We hopped on and rolled down to the trails.
Ride & handling: Well suited to dirt jump job
After just one run through our local dirt jumps, the NS’ pedigree was instantly noticeable. The steep head angle and super short chainstays create a ride that feels easier to throw around than a bag of feathers! It’s stable enough too. The low bottom bracket gave us enough confidence to just get on with hitting the jumps.
Getting the bike sideways or starting a rotation in the air was easy too, as was manualling, again thanks to those short chainstays – it was easy to find the balance point and keep the front end aloft.
The 2in rise NS bar won’t be to everyone’s liking, especially because the shape seems to lack the backsweep that most other bars have, which means it felt odd when we initially hopped aboard.
The Avid BB5 brakes work a treat, and we’re more than happy with the cable setup on this dirt jump rig. Its simplicity is unbeatable, the power is easily modulated and there’s more than enough of it to bring you to a halt before the next take-off if something doesn’t go to plan.
The 25-11T microdrive drivetrain is pretty tidy, too. Whether at the skate park or trails, there’s enough to get going without having to crank too hard or get spinning. The bike’s 13kg (28.7lb) weight is also not bad for the price.
NS Bikes Metropolis 2
Frame & equipment: Good value kit
The full chromoly steel frame features a press-in, Spanish-style bottom bracket and a fully integrated 1.125in headset. The rear wheel is standard 135mm spacing, made for a 10mm axle. The integrated seat clamp is a nice touch too. The one-size frame has a 575mm top tube length, short 385mm chainstays and 330mm bottom bracket height. The head angle is 70 degrees.
The Metropolis comes with some seriously good kit for its very reasonable asking price. Marzocchi’s 100mm (3.9in) travel DJ3 fork is bolted on up front, while the wheels feature sealed bearing hubs and NS Fundamental rims, wrapped in Kenda Small Block 8 tyres.
The rear hub has a one-piece 11-tooth driver, and there’s a 25-tooth chainring bolted to the three-piece SALT crankset. The bar, stem and grips all come courtesy of NS, and the one-piece seatpost and saddle is from Octane One.
We were a little disappointed with the lack of a bolt-through axle on the fork, though, especially because the bolted 9mm axle wasn’t easy to fit a spanner onto when it was sat in the dropouts. Chain tugs would have been a nice inclusion too.