The Define is the carbon-framed version of NS Bikes’ 150mm-travel, 29in-wheeled Snabb. But on top of saving a few grams, NS has integrated several neat features to improve the elegance and versatility of this hard-hitting big-wheeler.
NS Bikes Define 150 1 frame
This is a big bike, not just in terms of wheel size and suspension travel, but in geometry too – with the wheelbase stretching out to 1,269mm on the large size I tested.
The Define only comes in medium and large. With the latter being closer to many brands’ XL, which leaves smaller riders having to look to the brand’s 650b bikes instead.
The chainstays are fairly long, at 440mm, and the head angle sits at a slack 64.5 degrees. Reach on the large is 490mm, but the bike comes with adjustable headset cups that can be used to bring that down to 480mm.
You can alter the rear travel and geometry by swapping the lower shock mount. Andy Lloyd
The Define uses the same four-bar suspension design as the Snabb but squeezes out 5mm more travel. It comes with a bolt-on lower shock mount, which can be swapped for an aftermarket replacement in order to drop the rear travel to 130mm (although you’ll need a shorter shock too) or raise the low-slung bottom bracket by 5mm (the bike has 35mm of BB drop as standard).
The cables sit discreetly in a recessed channel on the underside of the down tube.
NS Bikes Define 150 1 kit
This top-end model has Fox Factory suspension units at both ends: a DPX2 air shock and a 160mm-travel 36 fork with the FIT4 damper. I’d prefer the newer GRIP2 cartridge, but it’s still an excellent fork.
A Fox Transfer post gives 150mm of smooth drop, although I’d have welcomed the longer 175mm model.
The 1×12 SRAM drivetrain includes an X01 Eagle mech and Truvativ Descendant carbon cranks, but you only get Guide RS brakes. These are reliable, but it’d be good to see SRAM Codes on such an aggressive bike.
NS uses a selection of own-brand parts elsewhere, which I liked, apart from the tall 35mm-rise bar. Tipping the scales at less than 14kg, it’s light for such a capable bike.
NS Bikes Define 150 1 ride impressions
Make no mistake – the Define is a rocket downhill. The long, low geometry urges you to ride flat-out and the suspension tracks the ground exceptionally well, while still leaving something in the tank for big hits.
More than once, I found myself pulling up for gaps that on other bikes I’d have hesitated at. With slow steering, thanks to the slack head angle, the NS excels on fast, wide-open terrain, and a skilled enough pilot could put this bike on the podium at a downhill race.
The downside is that when the trail constricts, the Define can feel a little cumbersome. My test bike was at the upper limit of the size I’d normally ride, so I can’t be too critical here, but there’s no question that the tall 648mm stack height, combined with the high bar, gave the bike a tendency to understeer and made it harder to be precise.
Make no mistake – the Define is a rocket downhill. Andy Lloyd
Uphill, the NS is surprisingly agile thanks to its fairly steep 75.5-degree seat angle, although the long front-end makes it harder to weight the front wheel.
I found it took just long enough to pedal back uphill for me to compose my thoughts, before being tipped back down on a blisteringly fast, wild ride.
NS Bikes Define 150 1 geometry
Based on large size:
Seat angle: 75.5 degrees
Head angle: 64.5 degrees
Chainstay: 17.3in / 44cm
Seat tube: 19in / 48.3cm
Top tube (effective): 25.4/25.8in; 64.6/65.6cm
Bottom bracket drop: 1.38in / 3.5cm
Wheelbase: 49.6/50in; 1,259/1,269mm
Stack: 25.5in / 64.8cm
Reach: 18.9/19.3in; 48/49cm