NS BIKES DEFINE AL 170 1
Mountain Bike Rider|August 2021
With big travel and mullet wheels, the enduro ready Define is easy to pigeonhole... or is it?
Paul Burwell

£4,499.99 / 29/27.5in / hotlines-uk.com

NEED TO KNOW

Big-hitting aluminium enduro bike with 180mm front and 170mm rear travel

Mullet wheels mix a 29in front and 27.5in the rear, fitted with 2.5in and 2.4in Maxxis High Roller II tyres respectively

Suspension components are from Fox’s Performance series – 38mm fork and Float X2 rear shock

Size-specific dropper posts across the three frame sizes improve the overall fit

Can you define a bike’s intended use by travel alone? I don’t think you can, and the new NS Define AL 170, an aluminium enduro bike that boasts 170mm travel and comes with a 180mm-travel fork and mismatched wheels, is a prime example.

There are two models in the Define AL 170 range and both use the same chassis – the 1 here and a sibling called the Define AL 170 2. That model has a RockShox Zeb fork instead of the Fox 38 and a coil-sprung X-Fusion rear shock, not the air-sprung Fox X2 you see here. Yes, it is a heavier build but it’s also £1,100 cheaper and, when I spotted it on the NS website, it looked like a bike you could take to BikePark Wales for a dirty weekend or find some steep off-piste to let your hair down.

Now, the reason I’m banging on about the Define AL 170 2 when I’m supposed to be doing a comprehensive first ride on the 1, is because I’m convinced that they’re different sides of the same big bike coin.

The Define AL 170 1 is essentially a long-travel bike with an aggressive geometry that you can pedal to the mountain top and ride down it, whereas the coil-sprung Define AL 170 2 is the kind of bike you’re more likely to sling on the uplift.

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