PRESS RELEASE: NS Bikes
The Fuzz has a special place in NS Bikes history. It was our first real downhill bike, and we worked very hard to make sure our debut was a success, so the effort behind this project was massive. We not only wanted performance, but also day-to-day reliability.It has been to Rampage and has a pretty good record in major international downhill races. The platform has been around since 2013 and during that time evolved from 26” wheels to bigger 27.5” ones, with some geometry updates in the meantime.
Fuzz prototype debut during Red Bull Rampage 2013. 26" wheels, obviously.
However around 2 years ago we started working hard on developing a completely new version of this bike in a close cooperation with our Factory DH Team. One of the obvious changes that we had to make was to put the bike on big 29” wheels. The team riders were really enthusiastic about the concept of racing a 29-er on the oh-so-demanding courses of UCI DH World Cup, so we found a common language, and the work kicked-off immediately.
First ideas of geometry changes.
Basically everyone involved wanted more than just the same Fuzz with bigger wheels. There were much more work to be done, to make the bike even faster. Hardcore bike trashing, being very deep in our DNA, influenced the suspension design of Fuzz 27.5" - it's very progressive and almost impossible to bottom out. Good stuff if you’re after super long jumps and unreal drops.The new Fuzz is meant for all our racing, so this had to change. The team’s feedback on the 27.5 version (which they have raced in 2017) stated that the bike needs to use the whole suspension travel more, and give more support in the mid stroke. So our main goal was to change the leverage ratio to less progressive than the former 27.5” version. Originally we designed quite a lot of progression into the suspension, keeping in mind that our bike would be used primarily for hucking and bike parks.
Fuzz 27.5 vs Fuzz 29 - leverage ratio and anti-squat comparison.
Secondly, the riders opted for more anti-squat to keep the rear suspension from bobbing, while pedalling hard on the flatter sections of the course.The new kinematics resulted in a more compliant and predictable feel in the mid stroke and promotes the use of more travel. We achieved that mostly by redesigning the main rocker from a previous 2-pcs to a much stiffer single piece monolink (we were also able to drop the seat stay bridge - making more space for big wheels) and revising the dropouts.We continued to use the custom offset headset, known from the 27.5" version, which allows the rider to adjust the reach of the bike, choosing from 3 positions: -8mm, zero, +8mm.
The offset headset cups of the Fuzz
The initial rides on the first bike samples confirmed just about everything that the theory assumed. The 29-er rides faster on virtually any type of courses. Maybe except very narrow and twisty tacks, however its cornering abilities were also improved by lowering the BB by 11 mm.
The feedback from the team was very positive, so there were no doubts about which bike to choose for the 2018 season.
Fuzz 29 tested hard on the UCI World Cup courses in 2018. / Photos: Sebastian Sternemann