The new 2022 Norco Range VLT, Sight VLT & Fluid VLT offer 540, 720 & 900Wh battery options

While Norco wasn’t exactly early to the electric mountain bike party, the Canadian brand has since established itself as a legitimate player in the e-MTB market, thanks to strong performances by the original Sight VLT 27.5 in 2019 and the sophomore Sight VLT 29 barely a year later.

For 2022, given that both the Sight VLT and Range VLT still being very much up to date in terms of their geometry and big battery capacity, we expected to see Norco simply updating the existing frames with the latest Shimano EP8 motor. Turns out we were quite wrong.

2022 norco sight vlt emtb electric shimano ep8
Norco is rolling out its 3rd generation e-MTB platform. Shown here is our newest test bike; the 2022 Norco Sight VLT C2, which features a brand new chassis, a Shimano EP8 motor, and the option to fit three different sized batteries.

The 2022 Norco e-MTB lineup

Unlike many others, Norco hasn’t just plugged in a new motor to its existing bikes. Ohhh no. Instead, it has completely overhauled its full suspension e-MTB lineup that comprises of a brand new Range VLT, Sight VLT and Fluid VLT.

All three models share the same silhouette, which represents the 3rd generation e-MTB platform for Norco. Compared to the outgoing models you’ll find a totally new frame layout, a reoriented suspension design and shock position, and three battery options for each bike (more on that in a bit).

Before we get to those juicy details, here’s a quick overview of those three models and how they sit alongside each other;

2022 norco range vlt sight fluid emtb electric shimano ep8
All-new for 2022, there’s the Range VLT (left), the Sight VLT (centre) and the Fluid VLT (right).

Shimano EP8 with three battery options

All of the new Norco VLT models are built around the Shimano EP8 motor. However, compared to other EP8-powered bikes on the market, Norco has clocked the position of the motor in the frame upwards by around 20°. In doing so, the engineers have made room for the battery to sit further down and just in front of the motor casing.

This achieves a couple of things.

2022 norco sight vlt emtb electric shimano ep8
Norco has redesigned the frames around a Shimano EP8 motor, which has been clocked upwards to make room for a straighter and lower-slung battery.

Firstly, it helps to get the weight down lower to improve stability and handling. It also facilitates a longer and straighter downtube, with an opening at the base of the tube that allows the battery to be easily slid in and out of the frame. Norco has then used this cavernous downtube to give the option of running three different battery sizes;

Yes, three battery sizes! All three batteries are compatible with the new Range VLT, Sight VLT and Fluid VLT frames, alloy and carbon variants, and every size from Small through to XL.

Norco’s idea is that you choose your preferred battery size when you purchase the bike. So instead of being locked into whatever battery size the bike designer has decided on, you choose the best option based on the type of riding you do and how much weight you want to carry. Clever!

You can buy batteries separately

To maximise flexibility, you’ll be able to purchase additional batteries separately, with prices ranging from $1,100-$1,500 AUD.

We reckon this is a brilliant concept. It means you could buy your new bike with the smallest and lightest 540Wh battery to cover your everyday trail riding, and then purchase a bigger 720/900Wh option down the line if you’re looking to take on longer all-day epics.

The battery design itself is all-new, employing the latest generation 21700 cells that pack a higher energy density compared to previous batteries. This means the new 720Wh option is actually a similar weight to the old 630Wh battery.

For those who already own a Sight VLT or Range VLT, it is worth noting that the outgoing models are not compatible with the new batteries. And because of the increased capacity on offer, Norco won’t be offering piggyback range extenders for the new VLT models.

2022 norco sight vlt emtb electric shimano ep8
Every frame size and every new VLT model will fit a 540Wh, 720Wh or 900Wh battery.

What else is new?

So many things. You’ll still find a four-bar suspension design, but Norco has flipped the shock up to mount underneath and parallel with the top tube. Along with the offset shock mount that rotates the piggyback reservoir away from the frame, this increases clearance so that there’s still room for a water bottle. Better yet, the Large & X-Large frames will actually fit two bottles!

There are some shared structural elements between the Range VLT, Sight VLT and Fluid VLT models, including the adoption of the new 1.8in tapered head tube standard. This is mostly an aesthetic choice to help the head tube and fork crown better match the gargantuan downtubes, though it also increases stiffness over the 1.5in tapered head tube standard.

What about mullets?

Curiously, despite many e-MTBs moving to a mullet wheel setup (including the Merida eOne-Sixty, Canyon Spectral:ON and Specialized Levo), Norco hasn’t gone that route with its new VLT models.

All bikes and all sizes are rolling on 29in wheels front and rear. And because there are no geometry adjustments or flip chips built into the frame, there’s no easy way to compensate for fitting a smaller 27.5in rear wheel.

However, if the geometry charts are anything to go by, it would appear that Norco is trending towards outright stability and traction over nimbleness. And why’s that? Well, all of the new VLT models – the Range, Sight and Fluid – feature enormously long chainstays with a 462mm rear centre length. That is very long, particularly when you compare it to other 29er e-MTBs like the Polygon Mt Bromo (435mm) and the Trek Rail (447mm).

2022 norco sight vlt emtb electric shimano ep8
The Sight VLT shares the same travel and wheelsize as its predecessor, but everything else has changed.

On review – the new 2022 Norco Sight VLT

To see how it compares to the Sight VLT 29er we reviewed last year, Norco sent us a new 2022 Sight VLT C1 to put to the test. The bike has been supplied with the biggest 900Wh battery option, which is an absolute whopper!

We’ve only had a couple of rides in, though impressions are positive so far. It’s certainly an aggressive-looking bike with its meaty tyres, big brakes, piggyback shock and huge head tube. The downtube is more angular in its profile, with sharper edges and that abrupt 90° angle down at the motor casing.

Having complained about the mess of wires, speed sensor and spoke magnet on the old bike, it’s nice to see Norco adopting a cleaner layout with the speed sensor integrated into the dropout. There’s also a MegNeg air can for the rear shock, which should help to address the bottom-out issues we encountered previously.

We won’t be leaping to any conclusions just yet, as there’s a load more testing on the cards in order to really get to know what the new Sight VLT can do. We’ll also be carrying out some range test experiments to see how it compares to some of the competition, so stay tuned for the full review coming soon.

In the meantime, read on for a closer look at the specs and pricing of the new 2022 Norco Range VLT, Sight VLT and Fluid VLT models that will detailed be coming to Australia later this year.

2022 norco range vlt emtb electric shimano ep8
If it’s a big travel bruiser you’re after, the Norco Range VLT features a 180mm travel fork along with a coil shock and 170mm of rear travel.

2022 Norco Range VLT price & spec overview

The biggest travel option in the lineup, the Norco Range VLT is designed for enduro-style riding and lapping up bikepark terrain. You get 170mm of rear travel with a big coil shock, and a 180mm travel Fox 38 or RockShox ZEB up front.

There are alloy and carbon frame options, though each Range VLT is equipped with Maxxis Assegai tyres that feature the heavy duty DoubleDown casings and sticky 3C MaxxGrip rubber compound.

Geometry is super raked out with a 63° head angle, long top tubes and a massive 462mm rear centre length on all four frame sizes. For those who want to shuttle up to ride the gnarliest, steepest and fastest downhill trails, this is the bike you’ll want to be looking at.

2022 norco range vlt c1 e-mtb shimano ep8 electric
The Range VLT C1 gets you Fox Factory suspension, e-MTB specific wheels from DT Swiss, Maxxis DoubleDown tyres and a Shimano XT groupset.

2022 Norco Range C1 VLT

2022 norco range vlt c2 e-mtb shimano ep8 electric
The Range VLT C2 has the same carbon frame and Shimano EP8 motor, paired to a RockShox ZEB fork, a Super Deluxe coil shock and tough e-MTB specific hubs.

2022 Norco Range C2 VLT

2022 norco range vlt a1 e-mtb shimano ep8 electric
Not so fussed about carbon? The Range VLT A1 brings the price down with an alloy frame and a Shimano Deore groupset, while still offering a Fox 38 fork, a DHX2 coil shock and high-end Maxxis rubber.

2022 Norco Range A1 VLT

2022 norco range vlt a2 e-mtb shimano ep8 electric
The Norco Range VLT A2 is the entry-point, though still features a RockShox ZEB fork and Super Deluxe coil shock, along with the Shimano EP8 motor and your choice of 540, 720 and 900Wh batteries.

2022 Norco Range A2 VLT

2022 norco sight vlt emtb electric shimano ep8
Designed as an All Mountain e-MTB, the Norco Sight VLT features 160/150mm travel along with carbon and alloy frame options.

2022 Norco Sight VLT price & spec overview

With a 160mm travel fork and 150mm of rear travel, the Norco Sight VLT is designed as more of an all-rounder. Geometry is still very long and slack though, with a 64° head angle, a 455m reach (Medium), and an equally long 462mm rear centre. To improve the climbing position, the seat tube angle is very steep at 77-78°.

You’ll find air-sprung suspension front and rear on the Sight VLT, with a piggyback shock aiming to improve consistency on long descents.

As with the Range VLT, all Sight VLT models get 4-piston brakes with big rotors and metallic brake pads. There’s a sticky Maxxis Assegai front tyre, which is paired to a faster-rolling Dissector out back. It’s still burly though, with DoubleDown casings all round and e-MTB approved hubs.

2022 norco sight vlt c1 e-mtb shimano ep8 electric
The Sight VLT C1 sits at the top of the tree with its Fox Factory Series suspension, OneUp dropper post, SRAM Code RSC brakes and X01 shifting.

2022 Norco Sight C1 VLT

2022 norco sight vlt c2 e-mtb shimano ep8 electric
The Norco Sight VLT C2 is the bike we’ve got on test. There’s the same carbon frame and Shimano EP8 motor as the C1, but SRAM GX components and the RockShox Lyrik RC fork helps to take two grand off the price tag.

2022 Norco Sight C2 VLT

2022 norco sight vlt a1 e-mtb shimano ep8 electric
Perhaps the best-value option in the whole lineup, the Sight VLT A1 is built around an alloy frame and Shimano SLX components, with a Fox 38 fork and Float X2 shock taking care of bouncy business.

2022 Norco Sight A1 VLT

2022 norco sight vlt a2 e-mtb shimano ep8 electric
The A2 is the cheapest model in the Sight VLT lineup, though it still features the excellent Shimano EP8 motor along with sticky Maxxis tyres, big brakes and a proper piggyback rear shock.

2022 Norco Sight A2 VLT

2022 norco fluid vlt emtb electric shimano ep8
The Norco Fluid VLT is all-new for 2022, bringing much of the same tech from the Sight and Range VLT, down to a more accessible price point.

2022 Norco Fluid VLT price & spec overview

The shortest travel option in the lineup, the Norco Fluid VLT is also all-new for 2022. It’s designed to be a more approachable trail bike for a wider audience, and with prices starting at $7,599 AUD, it’s also the most accessible option too.

The Fluid VLT is only offered with an alloy frame, with 130mm of rear travel and a 140mm travel fork. It also rolls on 29in wheels, features the Shimano EP8 motor, and gives you the option of those three battery sizes.

Compared to the Range VLT and Sight VLT, you’re getting faster-rolling tyres and the geometry is also less aggressive. However, it’s still designed to provide the rider with stability thanks to its long wheelbase and a slack 65° head angle. Many e-MTBs around this price point tend to have pedestrian, old-school geometry, though Norco looks to have designed the Fluid VLT as a properly confidence-inspiring bike for those getting into the sport.

2022 norco fluid vlt a1 e-mtb shimano ep8 electric
The Fluid VLT A1 is pitched as a confidence-inspiring entry point into the world of e-MTBing, with RockShox suspension, a Shimano Deore 1×12 drivetrain and Maxxis Dissector EXO+ tyres.

2022 Norco Fluid VLT A1

2022 norco fluid vlt a2 e-mtb shimano ep8 electric
Despite the sub-$8K price point, the Norco Fluid VLT A2 features the same Shimano EP8 motor as the pricier bikes, along with the option of a huge 900Wh battery.

2022 Norco Fluid VLT A2

2022 norco sight vlt emtb electric shimano ep8
The new Norco Sight VLT is bristling with improvements, and we love the idea that you can choose the right size battery for your riding needs.
2022 norco sight vlt emtb electric shimano ep8
How does the new Norco Sight VLT compare to the old model? And how much range can you get out of that massive 900Wh battery? Stay tuned for our full review coming soon!

It appears you're using an old version of Internet Explorer which is no longer supported, for safer and optimum browsing experience please upgrade your browser.