NS Bikes has redefined their popular, adaptable carbon Define trail to all-mountain to enduro 29er mountain bike platform with the addition of a new aluminum frame. Beyond just lowering the cost of entry to the adjustable geometry & travel options, the new alloy Define AL has opened up the possibility for a couple of longer travel mullet builds to push boundaries even further…
NS Define AL 130-160mm travel adaptable trail-enduro bike
We got an early look at NS Bike’s carbon 29er Define all-mountain, do-it-all trail-to-enduro bike two summers ago before it hit the market last year. With short 130mm or long 150mm travel setups, both of which could adjust geometry with a flip chip in the lower shock mount, it was a popular bike that was just itching for a more affordable aluminum option.
But NS took it one step further with the new Define AL, forming that same adaptability in an alloy bike that could handle even more abuse, and then throwing in even longer travel options that mix wheelsizes to create a couple of Mullet enduro versions.
Define AL – Adjustable geometry
The concept of the Define AL remains unchanged from the carbon original – build a single full suspension mountain bike platform that can adapt from all-around trail riding up to more aggressive enduro racing – much like the newer Synonym transitions from XC-trail.
To do that, the Define AL uses the same two different lower shock mounts to keep the same upper shock mount to frame distance (short mount for longer stroke shock, long mount for shorter stroke/shorter travel shock – shock mounts also available separately to re-define the bike in the future.) The same frame then gives you 130mm of rear wheel trail travel (paired to a 140mm fork) or 150mm of enduro rear wheel travel (paired to a 160mm fork).
Then, each of the two different lower shock mounts feature a flip chip at the lower shock eyelet to further re-Define geometry – 1/2° slacker head & seattube angles in the Low position, or slightly steeper with 5mm less BB drop in the High position.
The result is that no matter the travel option you pick, all three variants of the Define AL share the same front triangle and get aggressive geometry that transitions from trail to all-mountain to enduro – with the ability to further adapt the bike to your riding style.
The one final variability is that the move to alloy allowed NS to build a new rear end specifically for the additional, longer travel Mullet builds. Stepping up to 160mm of travel with a 27.5″ rear wheel, it gets 2mm shorter chainstays and 170mm of 29″ front wheel travel, while essentially keeping the same enduro geometry of the all-29er 150 bike.
Define AL – Tech details
Beyond the myriad of geometry & travel choices, the Define AL keeps many of the other tech details of the original carbon Define. It gets what NS calls “semi-integrated cable guides” clustering all the full-length cables/housing into a shared clamp setup tucked into a channel under the downtube, but still working with stealth dropper routing.
The hydroformed, double-pass welded 6061 & 6066-T6 alloy frame features the same proven Horst Link suspension design as the rest of the Define and fixed geometry NS Snabb aggressive trail bike range.
Linear anti-squat keeps pedaling efficiency at the beginning of travel, while anti-rise remains more constant throughout to keep the bike active no matter how fast you are going (or stopping). At the same time, a progressive leverage curve lends support to the air shocks through the middle of travel, then going regressive especially in the longer travel variant for bigger hit bottom-out protection.
NS Bikes Define AL 130mm, 150mm & 160mm options and pricing
In the end, the new Define AL is still not meant to be an ultra affordable trail/enduro bike, but does knock about 20% off the carbon versions. Four complete bike builds are offered – one with 130mm of travel, one with 150mm, and two with 160mm of travel & Mullet 27.5/29″ wheel combos.
The 4000€ NS Define AL 130 is the most affordable of the bunch in 130mm trail bike guise. It gets Fox Performance suspension with a 34 Float Grip 140mm fork & Float DPS rear shock, featuring a SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain, Guide R brakes, an X-Fusion Manic dropper NS branded cockpit & Truvativ Descendant DUB 32t cranks.
The 4200€ NS Define AL 150 steps it to 150mm of rear wheel travel, keeping the 29er wheel setup. It bumps up to smoother Kashima-coated Fox Factory suspension with a 36 Float Grip 160mm fork & Float DPX2 rear shock, plus GX Eagle, Guide RE brakes, and the same cockpit, cranks & dropper.
Moving to the mixed wheelsize combo at the same 4200€ price, the NS Define AL 160 steps up to 160mm of 27.5″ rear wheel travel with the Fox Factory Float DPX2 shock paired to 170mm of 29″ front wheel travel in the Fox Factory 36 Float Grip fork. Then it gets the same GX Eagle, Guide RE, NS cockpit, X-Fusion dropper & Truvativ Descendant crankset.
Lastly, bumping a big step up to 5700€, the NS Define AL 160 Race is meant to be the most shreddable version of the Define platform – a race-ready enduro bike that you never have to worry about bashing against the rocks. The 27.5/29″ enduro Mullet with 160mm rear, 170mm front travel gets the same Fox Factory 36/DPX2 air suspension, but upgrades to a SRAM X01 Eagle 12-speed drivetrain, Guide RSC G2 brakes, an NS Licence Carbon 35mm bar, an upgrade to a Fox Transfer Performance Elite dropper post & Truvativ Descendant Carbon cranks.
All of the new Define AL bikes should be available in three frames sizes from your local NS Bikes dealer now.