NS Movement - first ride review£800.00

Nimble alloy jump bike

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NS is known for its compact steel-framed jump bikes, so when the alloy Movement appeared we were keen to swing a leg over it and see how it handled at the skate park and down at the dirt jumps.

Frame and equipment: fat tubes, some nice touches but a few upgrade niggles

The 6061-T6 alloy frame takes its geometry (and paint job) from the slightly more expensive steel Metropolis 2, and it’s only the larger diameter tubeset that sets the two bikes apart visually. The straight head tube only accepts 1.125in steerers, which limits future fork upgrade options. There are cable guides in case you want to add a rear derailleur and a hanger is supplied with the bike. We’d have preferred to have had a set of chain tugs included because there aren’t any integrated into the frame.

The straight head tube unfortunately limits fork upgrade options:
The straight head tube unfortunately limits fork upgrade options:

The straight head tube unfortunately limits fork upgrade options

The heavy Marzocchi DJ3 fork has no rebound adjustment and only a couple of Allen key turns of spring preload, but performed reasonably well.

The quick-release dropouts with 15mm nutted hubs were annoying when we punctured or needed to load the bike into a car though, and mean that upgrading the fork will require a new front hub too. The 3in rise of the own-brand Lick bar looks massive but complemented the riding style of the frame well. The Kenda Small Block 8 treads performed flawlessly.

Ride and handling: short and steep setup makes for flickable fun

The Movement’s stumpy 385mm chainstays and steep (by trail bike standards) 69-degree head angle might make it feel fast and twitchy to a novice. But in the hands of an experienced rider, this geometry allows you to throw the bike into spins and make shapes in the air with ease.

Carving tight, technical lines at the skate park is where the Movement really feels at home. While a dirt jump bike with a mountain-bike-influenced design might feel too long and low and make it a struggle to pop out of tight transitions, the BMX-style geometry of the Movement lets you boost, whip and launch every obstacle.

Airborne antics are the movement's natural strong point:
Airborne antics are the movement's natural strong point:

Airborne antics are the Movement's natural strong point

The Movement is a blast when you’re firing out laps at the BMX track too, but it’s definitely a bike that’s more about getting sideways in the air than out-and-out speed. The compact 1,037mm wheelbase makes pumping the backsides of dirt jumps or hammering pump track loops a rapid, fun affair.

The main thing slowing the Movement down is the weighty Marzocchi fork. Although it takes the sting out of heavy landings and softens sharp transitions when street riding, having to pick up 2.75kg of fork takes some of the fun out of the ride. We plugged in a rigid jump fork weighing 650g less for comparison, and the bike was transformed into a fun, floaty, easy-to-ride street machine.

While some taller riders might prefer something more stable and with a little more cockpit room, it’s always great to get on a fast handling, easily chuckable bike like the Movement that’ll keep you on your toes.

The Movement will be available in Australia in October 2015, with pricing TBC

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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