First Look | The 2020 Norco Sight has been totally recalibrated into a future-forward All Mountain bike

Norco Bicycles has been one seriously busy brand of late. So far in the 2020 release bonanza there’s been an all new Revolver FS platform, which is now available in both 100mm and 120mm travel versions. We’ve also seen the radical super-slack steel thrasher that is the new generation Torrent, the arrival of Norco’s biggest and gnarliest e-MTB yet; the 2020 Range VLT, and barely a week ago the Canucks unveiled a new beefier Optic platform. Joining those new models for the incoming summer season is probably one of the most anticipated bike of the lot though; the 2020 Norco Sight.

Watch our video on the 2020 Norco Sight here!

Recalibrating The Sight

Sitting in between the Optic trail bike and the Range enduro bike, the Sight is Norco’s flagship All Mountain biffer. It’s been a popular model for the Canadian brand, with a tough chassis and enough suspension travel to cope with properly gnarly terrain, while still being sufficiently manageable to get up the climbs in the first place.

2020 norco sight
The 2020 Norco Sight is the newest release from the Canadian brand.

It’s no secret that we’ve been big fans of the Norco Sight here at Flow. In fact, we’ve only just returned our long term test bike that we received over two years ago! If you followed that Green Goblin, you’ll have seen our second, third, and final test updates, where we turned it into a proper Frankenbike with all manner of bits and pieces bolted to it. We really liked that bike.

As you can imagine then, we’ve pretty excited to see what Norco has cooked up with the 2020 Sight, which, as you’ll see, has been completely overhauled inside-out with a new frame, a fresh outfit, and drastically re-worked geometry.

2020 norco sight
For 2020, Norco has recalibrated the Sight with a new chassis, a lift in suspension travel, and a vastly different geometry set to the old bike.

Welcome To The New School

In Norco’s press release for the 2020 Sight, it proclaims that “Trails are getting tougher” and “Expectations of All-Mountain are elevating“. We’d agree with those sentiments for sure. As bike’s and components get better and more capable, the speed and tenacity at which we’re riding trail bikes now is basically the same as what we were doing with enduro bikes only a few years ago. And as riding speeds go up, bikes need to adapt to be sufficiently comfortable and confident to pilot at those speeds.

For a start, the 2020 Sight has had a slight lift in suspension travel, and now features 150mm at the back and 160mm up front. We kind of expected that, given the latest Optic has had a travel boost.

2020 norco sight fox 36
All Sight 27.5in and 29in models get a 160mm travel fork.
2020 norco sight fox float x2
There’s 150mm of rear travel via a high-volume air shock.

It’s still offered in both 29in and 27.5in wheelsize options, with all four frame sizes (Small, Medium, Large & X-Large) available with either wheelsize. However, the travel is the same between the two platforms, and the geometry is almost identical too.

Slacker! Longer! Steeper! Different Rear Centre Lengths!

Compared to the outgoing Sight, the new model has had a dramatic geometry update. The head angle has been slackened out by no less than 2.5-degrees (from 66° to a downhill-worthy 63.5°), and the reach is also quite a bit longer too. Norco has built each of the four frame sizes around a stubby 40mm stem length, and all models are shipping with reduced-offset forks (42mm offset on 29in, 37mm offset on 27.5in). Of note here is that the trail measurement is almost identical between the Sight 27.5 and the Sight 29.

2020 norco sight
Norco carries through its size-specific rear centre length with the new Sight.

Steep seat angles are very much in vogue at the moment, and Norco has totally embraced this trend with the new Sight, which has seen its seat angle steepen by four whole degrees. That puts the effective seat tube angle at 77-78° depending on the size, plonking the rider in a more central location between the front and rear wheels.

Also helping to better balance weight distribution is the use of different sized rear centre lengths through the size range. Starting at 430mm for the Small and going up to 445mm for the X-Large, the rear centre length is designed to be proportional relative to the front centre. This is something that very few mass produced brands actually do, so kudos to Norco for going the extra mile!

2020 Norco Sight Geometry.

Does My Dropper Post Look Big On This?

Why yes it does! And that’s for two reasons.

Firstly, Norco is spec’ing proper long-stroke dropper posts on the Sight. How long? The X-Large will go up to an enormous 200mm travel unit, and even the Small gets a 150mm dropper post. This has been made possible by shortening the seat tube length, and Norco’s chopped off quite a bit from each frame size. A Medium, for example, has lost 40mm off its seat tube length. And because the curve in the frame’s seat tube is quite low down, it allows for more insertion depth for these new-school dropper posts.

2020 norco sight
The seat angle is drastically steeper, shorter and also fatter in diameter too.

The other reason is the seat post diameter, which has been fattened out to 34.9mm. This is quite a bit bigger than the usual 31.6mm diameter we’re used to seeing on Norco full suspension bikes (most mountain bikes on the market come with a 30.9mm or 31.6mm diameter seat post).

But as well as being more robust, particularly in a long-travel format, a 34.9mm dropper post also has more room for all the gubbins inside, which can offer functional and durability advantages. Given that Specialized has already embraced this fatter seat post diameter on the latest Stumpjumper, Levo, Enduro and Kenevo models, and now Norco has done the same with the 2020 Sight, we expect we’ll see more brands adopting 34.9mm posts in the near future.

2020 norco sight
There’s a reasonable amount of insertion depth for the seatpost.

A Wolf In Wolf’s Clothing

With the new Sight getting more travel and some radical geometry numbers, Norco’s product managers have stepped up to the plate with a suitably tough outfit to match.

All 2020 Norco Sight models come with 160mm travel forks, though we’re talking chunky Lyriks and 36s, rather than Pikes and 34s. And with the exception of the entry-level model, you’ll see high-volume piggyback shocks throughout the line.

maxxis minion dhr II
The Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR II tyre combo is a popular one.
sram code r brakes 2020 norco sight
4-piston SRAM Code brakes feature on nearly every Sight model.

Further boosting the Sight’s descending credentials are ISCG 05 chainguide tabs, with every model getting a top guide, and the top-three models adding a bash plate to the equation too. You’ll also find huge 800mm wide bars, quad-piston brakes with a 200mm front rotor, wide alloy rims, and a chunky Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR II tyre combo.

Carbonium & Metal

Advance Traders, Australia’s Norco distributor, will be bringing in five Sight models for 2020. The top two models use carbon fibre frames, and are due to arrive on our shores in December. The other three models get an all-alloy frameset, and we’re told that the top two spec options (the A1 and A2) are available as of right now, with the entry-level A3 looking like an early 2020 release.

2020 norco sight
Norco will have three alloy Sight models and two carbon models for 2020.
2020 norco sight
Additional bosses underneath the top tube for bolting on a secondary cage or aftermarket storage.

The geometry is identical between the carbon and metal frames, and the overall shape is very similar. There’s been some considerable industrial design work with the new Sight chassis, which features much straighter and cleaner lines than the outgoing model. The top tube in particular has been thinned out, and creates a pleasingly straight line from head tube to the rear dropouts. You can fit a water bottle inside the mainframe, and there’s additional bosses underneath the top tube to fit a secondary bottle, or an aftermarket storage bag for tools and spares.

While all frames get a rubber chainstay guard, the carbon frames receive additional downtube armour, including a shuttle guard closer to the head tube, which is there to protect the frame when the bike is hoisted over a tailgate. Nice!

2020 norco sight c1
The Sight C1 is the most expensive model in the line, with a carbon chassis and high-end RockShox suspension.

2020 Norco Sight C1

2020 norco sight c2
Canary yellow your jam? Because the Sight C2 looks to be one ripper of a package with a Shimano XT 1×12 groupset and Fox suspension.

2020 Norco Sight C2

2020 norco sight a1
With a Pike Ultimate fork, Super Deluxe shock and SRAM Code RSC brakes, the 2020 Norco Sight A1 is the top-spec alloy model in the five-bike range.

2020 Norco Sight A1

2020 norco sight a2
The Norco Sight A2 features a custom wheelset with DT Swiss hubs and Stan’s NoTubes Flow rims, along with a very capable Fox 36 fork and a Float X2 shock.

2020 Norco Sight A2

2020 norco sight a3
Though the Sight A3 misses out on a piggyback shock, it still gets a chunky RockShox Yari fork, Maxxis Minion tyres and a SRAM 1×12 Eagle drivetrain.

2020 Norco Sight A3

2020 norco sight a3
We quite like that straight, low-profile top tube!
2020 norco sight a3
Large ports and cleverly integrated guides watch over the internal cable routing.
2020 norco sight a3
The entry-level Sight A3 will sell for less than four grand, while still getting the same chassis as the A1 model.

While it would appear that Norco has made a lot of positive changes on the new Sight, we’re very keen to see how those changes translate on the trail. We’ve just received an A1 test bike to ride on our home trails, so stay tuned for an in-depth review coming soon!

In the meantime, we’d love to hear what you folks think of this new All Mountain thrasher from Norco. Be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments below, and ping us any questions you’ve got about our Sight A1 test bike and we’ll do our best to answer them for you. Otherwise, head to the Norco website for more info.

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