NS Snabb E1 - Singletrack Magazine

JUL 27 2015
NS Snabb E1 - Singletrack Magazine

The Singletrack Mountain Bike Magazine crew has recently tested our NS Bikes Snabb E1 bike. Check out what they think about our enduro bike in this full review and video:


New for 2015, NS launched the Snabb.


It’s a bike of two platforms: E (Enduro) and T (Trail). Both platforms have two build options and are also available in a stunning – in my opinion… but hey, this is my review – black, frame-only option.



In the E corner, there’s 163mm rear travel and a heavier frameset, and in the T corner there’s a slightly lighter frameset with 140mm travel. I’ve had the privilege of putting the all-singing, all-dancing, stock E1 version through its paces – and as you’ll see from the pictures below, the stock frames are the complete visual opposite of the frame-only deal…


NS hails from Poland, and the company has stuck firmly to its roots by producing a bike focused around strength and descending performance. Pedalability isn’t a core feature, although there is nothing stopping you riding the Snabb on an all-day trail hunt. It’s been up Snowdon, as well as to the races, and it coped equally well with both.


The bike is built around an aluminium frame with Horst-style four-bar linkage, and it’s designed around a SRAM X9/X7, single-ring groupset. Out back is RockShox’ Monarch Debonair RT3 rear shock, while up front is the current undisputed king of the trail forks, the Pike RC 160mm. Braking is taken care of by SRAM and its Guide R, with 180mm rotors front and rear.



Unusually, the frame allows you the choice of internal or external cable routing; guides are provided down the top of the downtube. This used to confuse me a little – why not fully commit to the neatness of internal, or just stick with the ease of external routing? It was only when somebody put it to me that, if you only service your bike, say, once or twice a year, you can afford to take your time re-threading internally routed cables. But if you’re at, say, an enduro event and snap a cable while on a timed transition, you don’t really have the option of messing around with internal routing. This is why a number of racers will choose to run external gear cables over internal – and it’s nice to have the choice, even if you don’t race.


The groupset and finishing kit seems to be how NS has put together a bike like this at such a good price – it’s 1×10 gearing with a 42T extender cog on the cassette. Sticking with the descending flavour, NS has specced the Snabb with a 34T narrow/wide chainring – which, even with the 42T dinner plate out back, is a little harsh for some of the steeper Hebden climbs with my cocktail stick legs, though it was perfect for some of the easier gradient races/trail centres I also rode. For me the size of a single chainring is very personal, and depends on the location you generally ride in or how strong you are; either way, it’s easy enough to change to your preferred size. The remainder of the groupset is made up from X7 and X9 products.



Hoops, handlebar and stem are all NS’ own-brand. With its Magneto 47mm stem and Evidence Light 762mm bars. NS has also used inhouse 27.5in wheels and hubs (Enigma rear and Enigma Light front) shod with Schwalbe rubber: Hans Dampf front and Rock Razor rear, both at 2.35in. All of the inhouse products feel and look like they have been built to maximise strength and reliability.


Setting up the Snabb was easy as melting ice in the desert – with sag on the forks and shock done, off I went. What I really like about the Monarch shock is that I’ve learnt I can comfortably run it with just over 30% sag, for a good, soft initial feeling, that still ramps up nicely near the end to reduce the risk of bottoming out.


With the Snabb being a bit on the heavy side compared to some carbon bikes of a similar travel – but way more cash, it was never going to be the most sprightly of climbers and I did need to use the Pedal and Lock shock modes in several locations. Despite that, I was still very pleased with the time I managed to put down on it during a flattish stage of a local race where pedaling efficiency was key.


With the shock on Pedal I managed to push my legs and lungs to be third-fastest master – which I wasn’t expecting at all.


It’s when it gets steep and rowdy (the Snabb’s natural home) that the fluoro beauty is impressive. With an effective top tube length of 611mm and a long wheelbase of 1185mm on our medium-sized test bike, the Snabb has a solid and well-balanced feel to it; it is easy to stay centered on the bike when the going gets rough.


Thanks to that long wheelbase, I felt the Snabb was stable at speed and there was plenty of traction delivered through long corners. The Monarch provided plenty of support and it recovered well during tighter turns, too.


And of course, there’s that paintjob. Each time I looked down at the fluoro loudness of the Snabb E1, I felt like I was being goaded to push harder – it’s like the way that listening to a deep drum and bass track will get your juices boiling and make you release the brakes. If you’re not keen on the paint though, the frame-only option is an understated and gorgeous black.


It’s been a while since I’ve been on a bike that feels so planted in so many different situations. Taking bites out of rock gardens, feeling balanced in the air and having an all-round feeling of strength of componentry and frame when descending are all Good Things.



The NS Snabb is solid in feel and handling. It’s not the lightest but that’s a small price to pay for a bike with fantastic descending prowess. I personally would have prefered a true one-by groupset, but that would definitely have ramped the price up. Anyway, it’s something you can upgrade the Snabb to in time, because this frame is going to live on.



NS Snabb review from Singletrack Magazine on Vimeo.


Full review: