NS Bikes Soda Air - First look16 décembre
The release of the first NS full suspension frame last year was a big success - the debuting Soda has proved to be rock solid, reliable and reviews from riders around the world are confirming that it rides great as well. Since then the team has been focusing more and more on full suspension designs with ambitious plans for the future in this department.
A few months ago NS hired one of the most respected MTB guys in Poland, Maciek Kucbora, who has over 10 years of successful 4X and DH racing behind him. Maciek's role in the company is to take part in creating the strategy, design and marketing of all the full suspension bikes that NS will be coming up with in the next few years.
For 2013 NS is presenting a new bike based on the revised Soda frame. The complete setups that were offered up till now were definitely on the hardcore end of the scale, and this was not necessarily the best solution for everyone. Many riders who built the frames up themselves used lighter components and air shocks and this is exactly what our new Soda Air bike is about. The bike crosses categories and can play the role of a lightweight freerider or a heavy duty enduro bike. Tough, versatile and fun - these words would be best to describe the Soda Air. It will cover a lot of ground - big-air, bike parks, downhill or all-day climbing.
The heart of this heavy duty workhorse is the super sturdy frame - not the lightest on the planet but it really can take a lot more than your regular all-mountain rig. It features huge bearings, a super stiff rear end, adjustable travel and adjustable chainstay length. For 2013 the frame has been slightly modified and has lost some weight, but it still remains as bombproof as always.
One of the key characteristics of the Soda's is that they are extremely “jumpy”. Everyone who tries the bike immediately notices this difference when comparing it to a “traditional” bike with 6-7” of travel. At a first glance it's hard to pinpoint where this is coming from, because the geometry - on paper - is pretty standard. But if you look closer, you can see that there are three factors: first of all the chainstay in the short position is really, really short. To add to that, the axle path does not have a very rearward path. So, when your hammering berms, hitting a lip or pulling a manual, the compressed rear end STAYS short. Add to that a slightly degressive and then clearly progressive ratio and it all comes together to give that crisp, compact feel that really makes you want to fly over obstacles instead of plough through them.