NS Bikes Rag+ 2: The Facts
Frame material: Aluminium
Wheel size(s): 700c (650b compatible)
Maximum tire clearance: 45mm (700c) / 55mm (650b)
Axle dimensions (v/h): 15 × 100/142 × 12
Mudguard Eyelets: Ja
Luggage carrier eyelets (v/h): No Yes
bottle holder: down tube up, seat tube
Weight wheels v/h/total (with tires and brake discs): 1.810g / 2.003g / 3.813g
Weight complete bike without pedals (size M): 10,91kg
Price: € 1.499
Chic aluminum frame with lots of space for fat tires
With the Rag+, the Polish manufacturer NS Bikes has had a hot Gravel iron in the fire for several years. That's a bit surprising - after all, the roots of NS Bikes lie more in the freeride and dirt jump area - with the attractively priced aluminum graveler, the guys show that they can also develop convincing bikes with racing handlebars. The Rag+ is visually simple, but thanks to the large tube diameters it is quite massive. The new Rag+ 2 equipment variant for 2020 comes in a pretty cool finish.
Anyone wondering – Rag? Isn't that English for carpet?! No... well yes - but in this case Rag stands for Road and Gravel and the attached plus is intended to underline the wide range of uses of the bike. Where the journey should go is shown, for example, by the tire clearance: 45mm is the case with classic 28″ wheels. If that's not enough for you, you can also switch to 650b - then up to 2,2″ are possible, so "real" MTB tires can also be accommodated in the Rag+ 2.
The Graveller from our Polish neighbors is similarly generous when it comes to mounting lugs: mudguards are of course possible at the front and rear, and a full luggage rack can also be attached to the rear. In this way, the NS Bikes Rag+ 2 could easily be turned into a sporty commuter bike.
Sporty is the right keyword: The Rag+ is not necessarily the best choice for leisurely touring riders who like to sit upright on the bike: The alignment with its long top tube and rather short head tube ensures a decent saddle elevation and places the rider stretched out on the bike in a sporty way The short chainstays promise agility, but this is countered by a steering angle that tends to be slightly slacker in order to maintain the necessary smoothness.
Geometry NS Bikes Rag+ 2
|seat tube (in mm)
|Top tube horizontal (in mm)
|chainstay (in mm)
|Wheelbase (in mm)
|Steering angle (in °)
|Seat angle (in °)
|Stacks (in mm)
Solid equipment with no slip-ups
With the Rag+ 2, NS Bikes has expanded its gravel bike this year with a new, cheaper variant: At 1.499 euros, it is in the lower mid-range of our entry-level test field in terms of price. At almost 11 kilograms, the bulky aluminum bike is quite heavy - but the thick 45mm WTB tires should play a decisive role.
With the Apex group, the entry-level 11-speed group from Sram am Rag+ 2 does its job. The DoubleTap levers are easy to use and grip well off-road, and the rear derailleur comes with efficient damping that reduces chain slap on bumpy ground. With a gear range of not quite 400%, the 1-speed drivetrain with its 11-42 cassette provides a sufficient number of gears for moderate terrain or speed. In very mountainous regions, however, it should be a little more up or down.
|NS Bikes AL6061
|NS Gravel+ Carbon
|NS hubs / Alex Draw 2.1 rims
|WTB Riddler 45mm
|Sram Apex Type 2.1
|Shame on Apex
|Sram Apex 42t
|Octane One Rocker2
|Octane One Flare
When it comes to the brakes, NS Bikes unfortunately only uses a mechanical variant with the TRP Spyre - although the TRP is one of the best non-hydraulic discs, it clearly falls behind in a direct comparison with hydro brakes. After all, maintenance and repairs are a little easier here.
The wheels come from our own company and make a good impression in terms of looks and quality, the rims are nice and wide at 21mm and are also tubeless-compatible. The fact that the set is not one of the lightest is definitely to be coped with in view of the low price. Caution is advised if you want to give the Rag+ a new wheelset: a 12mm version is used at the front instead of the otherwise usual 15mm axle. Tip from our side: With these dimensions, there are some pleasingly cheap non-boost MTB wheelsets from the XC area.
The WTB Riddler tires already mentioned will be installed on numerous gravel bikes this season thanks to their versatility, but on very few in the voluminous 45mm version like on the Rag+. This ensures comfort, but it does increase the weight and rolling resistance a little.
Parts from Octane One or from our own company are used in the seating and cockpit area. In both cases there is reason for criticism at first glance, on the contrary: they fit in nicely visually and also make a good impression in terms of quality.
More tests, products and background information about the Velomotion Gravel Month:
- Storck Grix Platinum Ultegra Di2 gravel bike in test: Race tourer for gravel and off-road
- GT Grade Carbon Pro in the gravel bike test: Comfortable triangle for lots of driving fun?!
- Orbea Terra M30-D in the gravel bike test: Lively bike for training and gravel tours
- NS Bikes Rag+ 2 in the gravel bike test: Convincing aluminum all-rounder
- Rondo Ruut CF 2 in the gravel bike test: Fast gravel bike with a striking look
Let's Gravel: The NS Bikes Rag+ 2
At first glance, the NS Bikes Rag+ 2 gravel bike looks pretty beefy, apart from that the bike shows its best side with its simple paintwork and appealing design elements, such as the white splashes of paint.
Even if RAG stands for "Road And Gravel", in our opinion the gravel part is clearly the focus of the NS Bikes Rag+ 2. Because with its design, which is tailored to versatility, there is also enough space for wider tires, including the WTB Riddler with 45mm, which were installed on our test bike. These offer decent grip and comfort off-road, but are by no means suitable for longer journeys on asphalt due to their rolling properties.
Even if the frame, with its relatively classic construction, does not have a lowered rear end, the bike ensures great comfort even on harder passages and trails, which is primarily due to the tires. The great smoothness of the NS Bikes Rag+ 2 also ensures sufficient safety on these turbulent sections. However, the bike also appears a little sluggish on technical passages and can only be steered around tight corners with the necessary calm. The mechanical discs also slow us down a little on such passages, since we have to step on the brakes a little earlier in comparison to hydraulic discs in order to be able to handle the speed.
The Rag+ 2 also seems a bit sluggish when it comes to liveliness, which should not least be due to the considerable total weight of over 10 kilograms. The NS gravel bike simply needs a little run-up when accelerating to get up to speed. Nevertheless, you have the feeling that the frame has a solid power transmission, since the kicks are converted into propulsion in a quite sporty way. However, this does not show up directly when accelerating, but rather on the level while driving, which made us particularly happy on longer trips, as we got closer to our goal faster and were able to really cover the distance.
Other gravel bike highlights in the test:
Test: With the Open UPPER, we tested an extremely light and very elegant gravel bike - equipped with components from Easton, for which the bike serves as a show bike. The UPPER shows that compromises between road bikes and gravel are possible and can be a lot of fun. Open UPPER: The facts Frame material: Carbon Wheel size(s): 700c (650b compatible) […]
Test: The Nukeproof Digger Comp is an unusual entry-level bike, but it proves once again that it can be worthwhile if manufacturers think outside the box. In the case of the British aluminum gravel bike, classic gravel elements are combined with MTB gravity features. Doesn't that go wrong? Nukeproof Digger Comp: The Facts Frame Material: Aluminum Wheel Size(s): 650b […]
Test: With the Kona Libre DL, the Canadian manufacturer has a hot Gravel iron in the fire and manages the complicated balancing act between a sporty Gravel bike and a multi-day tourer almost perfectly. Kona Libre DL: The facts Frame material: Carbon Wheel size(s): 650b (700c compatible) Maximum tire clearance: 52mm (650b) / 45mm (700c) Axle size (f/r): 12×100 / 142×12 Mudguard mounts: Yes Rack mounts [ ...]