The biggest move for NS Bikes in the coming year leans towards lighter, shorter travel with the all-new carbon Synonym cross-country & trail bike. A company known more for burly bikes (like their also new Nerds), NS’s new carbon XC bike is actually a lightweight trail slayer in disguise, taking advantage of modern slack geometry and adaptable suspension.
2020 NS Synonym carbon 100mm XC or 120mm trail bike
NS calls their new pair of carbon Synonyms a mix of the “most aggressive XC bike on the market” and the “fastest trail bike on the planet”. As much as they build burly dirt jump to downhill bikes, NS wanted a trail bike for just going fast.
Starting with a light, but strong carbon frame platform with forward & slack geometry, they build the Synonym in two directions: 100mm travel front & rear with 32mm stanchion forks and a lightweight component spec for proper XC racing, or 120mm of travel at both ends with 34mm forks and a more durable (but still light) build for all-day trail riding.
RC & TR Geometry
The carbon Synonym comes in four stocks sizes. The frame geometry itself is the same for both 100mm RC & 120mm TR frames, but the bigger axle-to-crown difference vs. more minor rear shock length differences, makes the complete trail bike geometry more slack than the complete XC bikes.
That said the long frame reach & 67° headtube make even the cross-country RC bikes slack and fun to bomb downhill. Then, a steep 77° seat angle paired with the long toptube makes climbing a breeze without feeling cramped. The same translates to the even slacker 66° TR trail bikes – more fun descending and still capable climbing.
Synonym Tech Details
Both 29er Synonyms share the same carbon frameset mold – a single pivot suspension design using seatstay flex and a short alloy rocker link to drive an upside down shock.
The 1x-only bike features modular internal cable routing with dropper & remote shock lockout capabilities, Boost rear-end spacing, two-position water bottle mount, a 1.5″ tapered internal headset & pressfit BB.
The short travel RC frame gets a premium lightweight carbon mix to keep frame weight low (complete RC1 bike weight is ~11kg), while the longer travel TR bike uses a slightly heavier carbon layup to handle more trail abuse.
Synonym complete bike spec & pricing
Each of the two Synonyms is available in two build specs. The 100mm rear XC bikes get light & stiff 100mm Fox 32 SC forks, flat bars, negative rise -8° stems, light 2.2/2.25″ XC race-ready tires, short travel droppers & the lightest carbon frame. The 7000€ Synonym RC1 is the priciest of the family with Factory suspension and a SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain, at 11.4kg. The 4800€ Synonym RC2 dials back to Performance Elite suspension and GX Eagle.
The 120mm rear trail bikes feature more capable 120mm Fox 34 SC forks, riser bars, shorter +5° stems, larger volume 2.35″ trail strong Maxxis Ikon tires, and the tougher carbon frame. The 6000€ Synonym TR1 again gets Factory suspension & SRAM X01 Eagle drivetrain at 11.9kg. The 4700€ Synonym TR2 dials back to Performance Elite suspension & GX Eagle to save coin.