Poland’s NS bikes is expanding beyond its traditional gravity downhill mountain bike audience. With the new Synonym range, the brand is embracing cross-country and downcountry mountain bikers.
Although NS founder, Szymon Kobylinski, has strong multi-discipline mountain biking roots, the Polish mountain bike brand now finally produced a downcountry bike and cross-country racing bike of its own.
The Synonym dual-suspension range splits into two variants: RC and TR. Each of these roll 29er wheels and feature a full carbon-fibre frameset, with either 100- or 120mm of rear-suspension travel. The difference also related to fork specification, with the RC running 100mm up front, compared to the 120mm TR.
Unlike many other cross-country racing, or downcountry bikes, the Synonym range has quite daring geometry. The RC version sports a 67-degree head angle and with a TR that gets even slacker, at 66-degrees. Balancing these slack head angles are very generous reach numbers, ranging from 445mm to 520mm, for sizes small through extra-large.
NS’s ambition with its Synonym range is to deliver a selection of lightweight cross-country racing pedigree bikes, which also have excellent descending stability – hence the geometry numbers, which are more akin to trail bikes, than traditional racers.
Two versions of each Synonym are available. If you are a dedicated cross-country racer on a budget, the Synonym RC2 prices at €4,799 and weighs 11.4kg. It runs a SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain, WTB’s ST Light i25 rims, laced to NS’s own hubs and features Fox performance suspension components.
If budget is not an issue, you could upgrade to the Synonym RC1, at €6,999. This version is nearly 1000g lighter, with a built mass of only 10.5kg. The drivetrain upgrades to SRAM XO1 Eagle, Fox’s suspension bits move to Factory grade specification and wheels are sourced inhouse, being NS’s Enigma Lite.
Downcountry riders also have two grades of Synonym TR to choose from. The cheaper version is similar in drivetrain and wheel specification to a Synonym RC2 a Fox Performance 34 fork and X-Fusion Manic dropper seatpost. It weighs 12.4kg and retails for €4,699
For €5,999 you can have the Synonym TR1, with a Fox Factory fork and shock. Weight drops to 11.8kg and you sit on a Fox Transfer dropper seatpost.