Long Term Test: Tweaking Our Norco Sight

The latest range of Norco suspension bikes have been so good. First, it was the short travel Optic, then the long travel Range and the Sight in the middle. Using a new frame, great spec and a very well received approach to geometry, they’ve been popular!

We sat down with one of Norco’s bike designers, Owen Pemberton, chatting about frame geometry, wheel size and suspension, it’s an excellent read. “I spent months working on a study, staring at excel spreadsheets trying to work out geometry and how we could make it work – on paper, could we get a 29er to handle as well as our 650b bikes?”

Have a read of that piece here – Talking geometry and wheel sizes with Owen Pemberton from Norco. 

Read our review of the short travel Optic here – Norco Optic C 9.2.

We put the Norco Range vs the Trek Slash in a big travel 29er faceoff, have a look at the outcome here – Norco Rance C 9.2 vs Trek Slash 9.8.

And the Sight before we began swapping parts for testing – Norco Sight C 9.2 review.


Norco’s mid-travel trail bike, the Sight comes in 29″ and 27.5″. We are very much a fan of the 29er. Currently as pictured here it is 13.84kg including the ShockWiz and Shimano XTR pedals.
One of the most engaging and lively 29ers we’ve ever ridden. Big love for the Sight.

What’s changed with our Sight then?

Wheels – Wheelworks Flite Wide Alloy Trail 29.

While the wheels from custom wheel builders Wheelworks use the similar rims to the stock spec Raceface ARC 30, these have 35mm internal width rims and have been handbuilt with bladed spokes, they also use high-end hubs with a very positive freehub engagement. There was quite a discernable difference in the ride quality with the wheel change, especially on loose surfaces where we could drop the tyres down a little further to give us more traction.

Going to wider rims are an absolute no-brainer for anyone looking to add composure and confidence to their bike, we’ve been super happy with these.

Wheelworks Flite Wide wheels, 35mm and tough.

Read our full review of the wheels here – Wheelworks Flite Wide Alloy Trail 29.

Drivetrain – BOX One 11-speed drivetrain.

This was an interesting one for us, our first ride of the BOX One drivetrain, a brand previously known mainly for BMX components. The drivetrain is 11-speed with an 11-46 tooth cassette, a black KMC chain and it uses a few unique approaches to the classic task of shifting; the most obvious one is how you shift with your thumb. Instead of two paddles that shift up, and the other shifts down, the BOX One uses one paddle that can be downshifted like normal, but to upshift you ‘poke’ the L-shaped thumb lever inwards towards the shifter. It took a few hours to get used to, but the shifting is actually very smooth and precise, the chain glides up and down the cassette quietly and with a fairly consistent jump in teeth size (unlike the Shimano 11-46 cassette it replaced) we liked its light and slick shifting feel.

We fitted a BOX One drivetrain to the Norco, we were very curious!

It only took a few hours of riding to get used to, the shifting is actually very smooth and precise, the chain glides up and down the cassette quietly and with a fairly consistent jump in teeth size (unlike the Shimano 11-46 cassette it replaced) we liked its light and slick shifting feel.

The rear derailleur not only looks vastly different from Shimano or SRAM, but it also uses a different approach to chain retention, too. While BOX does suggest using a chain guide with the system, we didn’t drop a chain despite the derailleur’s tension feeling significantly lighter than the Shimano it replaced.

The clutch tension feels very light, but the shifting is very smooth as a result.

Our biggest gripe with the shifter is how it meshed with the Shimano XT brake lever, the architecture of the mount didn’t allow us to roll the shifter upwards to our preference. Though we doubt that would pose an issue for everyone. Overall we were happily impressed with the drivetrain, though it may not stand forth as a stronger option to the other big guns, it’s nice to try something different.

Geeking out with the ShockWiz.

This is one very interesting little device, we’ve had this fitted to the fork and shock for quite some time now and are really beginning to understand how it works. Interestingly though, one thing we take away from deciphering the ShockWiz feedback is to back off the rear shock’s compression even when it’s in open mode and decrease its progresivity by removing volume spacers. This proves the point that the Sight’s suspension is quite supportive and firm, we’re going to delve into this a little deeper in our next long term test update.

The nifty little data collection device, helping us get the most out of the 130mm of travel.

Dropper post – FOX Transfer.

The best dropper post we have ridden, the Transfer is so reliable, consistent and the lever fits so well on the left-hand side of the bar. We’re open to suggestions as to what could trump the Transfer as the best dropper out there if the cost was no factor.

FOX Transfer dropper, our ultimate fave of the dropper segment.

Cockpit – ENVE stem, PRO Tharsis bar, Ergon GE1 grips.

To drop some weight from the front end, we went full carbon with the ENVE stem and PRO Tharsis bar, some of the lightest available. The Ergon grips are huge favourites of ours.

ENVE stem, fancy stuff!
PRO Tharsis bar, seriously light, wide, low and subtle.
Massive fans of the Ergon grips, these are the Factory soft compound, extra tacky!

Saddle – Ergon SMA3-Comp.

Saddles are a personal thing, while the SDG saddle that came on the Norco was a good fit for our backsides, we wanted to lose some weight from the bike and try something new. The SMA3 Comp saddle comes in two widths – medium and small – we’ve got the medium on there now, and the saddle feels firm but not too hard, and the material and shape allow us to move around it as we ride in and out of the saddle.

The Ergon SME3 Comp saddle is quite flat and smooth, with a firm padding.

What’s next?

While we’re never going to set records for the lightest trail bike out there, the Sight makes it up in other areas. We’re going to try some 2018 FOX suspension, Bontrager carbon wheels, XTR brakes, TRP Quadiem brakes, Schwalbe Addix tyres, a SRAM Eagle drivetrain and try to find a water bottle cage and bottle that fits in the tight space.

Time to ride!

Shootout: Trek Slash 9.8 v Norco Range C 9.2

No, this isn’t silly, it’s amazing! And especially available from the big manufacturers, it simply says that riders are pushing the boundaries of mountain biking and the technologies involved have made them a reality.


Watch the video here.



Prepare yourself to be going absolutely bonkers on the trail on one of these bikes

Take 160mm of travel and jam in a bike with 29″ wheels, and you’ll end up with a monster of a bike that will allow you to cut sick on the descents, but on the other hand, it poses serious challenges to the manufacturer to pull off. There is a lot of stuff and moving parts to fit into a space that can be still pedalled, let alone lightweight or even to fit a water bottle in the frame; it’s not as simple as it may seem from the shop floor.

Two big rigs, head to head.

We chose two bikes that in our mind epitomise this booming segment, the Norco Range C 9.2 and Trek Slash 9.8 to review head to head, back to back, fork to fork, in a review where we took them both out on the trails. With identical setup, we aimed to determine where they would shine, how different they would be, but most importantly which one we would choose if we were to keep it.


Why put the Slash and Range head to head?

Aside from looking quite similar from a distance, both black paint jobs, SRAM builds kits, RockShox suspension all round, same travel amounts and only $300 apart, we chose these two because we both know their suspension platforms well. The Norco Range is the bigger brother of the Sight that we reviewed recently, and the Slash is the big brother of the Remedy which we have ridden countless times over the last five or so years.

The Trek is the second-tier option available in Australia with the flashy red Slash 9.9 model above in a higher spec, but in the Australia Norco catalogue, this is the top spec Range.


Who are they for?

These bikes are mighty serious, not for the faint hearted and not for a comfortable ride. Aggressive riders only need apply, or if enduro racing on the most ragged and wild tracks is your thing too, they might be your bag. But we’d strongly recommend looking at the Norco Sight or Trek Remedy if the majority of riding might not warrant such a huge bike.

We can’t go past the Trek for its looks and aesthetics, such a smart machine.

How do they differ on paper?

The Trek is nearly 1kg lighter, has a lot going on in the frame with the Knock Block system, geometry adjustment, and a full carbon construction. It’s a whopper of a bike, with a down tube that gives the bike a real ‘get outta my way’ attitude, and it’s murdered out black paint job is even more menacing.

The Norco is a heavier bike and appears much more swoopier in the tubing, especially up the front to allow clearance of the fork crowns to rotate fully under the down tube. The four-bar linkage drives a trunnion mount shock, and there’s just enough space for a water bottle. Interestingly (also took us a few days to notice) that the graphics are green on one side, and black on the other, tricky!


Frame geometry differences.

Comparing the two bikes in terms of geometry is a little tricky, as the Trek is available in four sizes from 15.5″ to 21.5″ while the Norco sticks to the more common school of thought with one of the three M, L, XL options, the Range is also available in 27.5″ wheels in a wider range of sizes too. We reviewed the 19.5″ Trek and M Norco.

Taking a look at the geometry charts the bikes are very close, though the Trek does have the MinoLink adjustment to allow 0.5-degree adjustability in the head angle which also alters the bottom bracket height by 10mm.


Norco vs Trek regarding spec.

Yes, we can hear the keyboards furiously smashing away, criticising us for comparing two bikes with $300 difference between them, but in our opinion, that is about as close as it gets.

For an extra $300 you get a lot for the cash with the Norco, the SRAM Eagle drivetrain is superb, the gear range is huge and had us cleaning the steep climbs easier with a few gears up our sleeve, and the shifting and operation is so crisp, quiet and smooth. The SRAM Guide RS brakes (S stands for Swing Link) have a much snappier lever feel, and the power delivery is excellent.

Rim widths are similar between the two, but the tyres feel vastly different when you hit the dirt – the Bontragers almost feel a little under-gunned in comparison to the meaty Maxxis Minions on the Norco. We’d love to try the Bontrager G5 tyres on the Slash to let it rumble.


How different were they on the trail?

By choosing two bikes that on paper were so close, you’d think that would reflect on the trail, right? Well, yes, they were very similar when it came to turning the pedals.

In summary, we found the Trek a more efficient bike to ride, with its low weight, fast rolling tyres, and Dual Position fork for the climbs it was an easier bike to get along with after a few hours on singletrack.

But whenever we got back onto the Norco our attitude changed, the skies darkened and we released our inner maniac. We rode more aggressively into the corners, braked later, jumped further and let it hang out more.


The tough task of picking one.

It was tough, they both are amazing bikes, nothing went wrong with either of them, and there was never a moment that a frame design, spec choice or compatibility let us down. If you were to lean towards longer rides on lesser aggressive trails the Slash would be ideal, and even on the race tracks we have here in Australia it might be a more logical choice due to its great efficiency and speed.

Pick one? This one.

Though we couldn’t go past the fact that if you’re in the market for a bike this size with this much suspension travel you’re going to want it to descend hard and fast, and that’s what the Norco does very well. You could easily find some faster rolling tyres to bring it closer to the Trek Slash, and vice versa with the Bontragers on the Slash, but we could go on forever about spec modifications, as it stands we’d pick the Norco.

Tested: Norco Sight C 9.2

The Sight in Derby, Tasmania. A truly wonderful place to ride a bike.
The Sight in Derby, Tasmania. A truly wonderful place to ride a bike.
The fluid lines and chunky shapes of the Sight are quite tidy, their latest release bikes are looking very tidy indeed.
The fluid lines and chunky shapes of the Sight are quite tidy; their latest release bikes are looking very tidy indeed.

What is it?

The Sight sits in between the Range and Optic in Norco’s catalogue, a mid-travel trail bike available in both wheel size options. The Sight could be dubbed the middle child of the Norcos, with parts, and a shape that strikes a sweet spot between the lean cross country scene and the burly enduro crowds. In fact, we’d say that this is the type of bike we would hope more mountain bikers consider instead of being attracted to a race bike, or what the pros ride.

Winding the wagon wheels up to speed on our home trails.
Winding the wagon wheels up to speed on our home trails.

We have 140mm of travel up front, and 130mm out the back (the 27.5″ version has 150/140mm), it’s a good amount, not too much, not too little, just right for riding hard on rough trails up and down, right?

The frame is quite compact, low and drew many comments from onlookers it doesn’t look like a typical 29er at first glance. The proportions are nice, the finish is very classy, and the internal cabling managed by the rubber clamps at the frame ports hold the cables from making noise inside the frame and can be easily accessed too, it’s an excellent cable management system in an area that a lot of other brands still battle with.

The frame is quite compact, low and drew many comments from onlookers it doesn’t look like a typical 29er at first glance

The Sight C 9.2 a full carbon frame save for the aluminium chainstays and two-piece rocker linkage, and with no quick release axles at either ends the profile of the bike is quite narrow – great for sneaking past rocks – but make sure you have an allen key handy for wheel removal.

One thing that irks us is the super-tight space provided for a water bottle cage; we’re still experimenting on what size water bottle and cage combination doesn’t come into contact with the rear shock lockout lever and rub the underside of the top tube. Suggestions anyone?

We’ve got more details on the specifics of the new bike on our feature on the Sight release here – Meet the new Sight Carbon – read further on the unique frame geometry that changes with the frame sizing and more.


27.5″ or 29″?

While we admit rolling our eyes and letting out a sigh of disdain when we have to talk about wheel sizes, who wants what size, what’s the best size for what type of trail, blah blah, options are a good thing? The Sight (along with the shorter travel Optic) are available in both wheel sizes, big for momentum, small for agility. We chose the 29er because to review, in our opinion, this category of bike is well-suited to 29″ wheels. That said if you’re after a more nimble bike to ride on the trails and a more precise and sturdier wheel on your bike, the 27.5″ version is available. We rode the Optic in both wheel sizes recently, have a look at our thoughts on the two bikes here. Riding two wheel sizes of the same bike, the Norco Optic.


How’s the spec stack up?

Norco is always pretty good at choosing the right parts for the intended use, and this is no exception. We packed this bike and took it for a week of riding – not racing – in Derby to cover the Enduro World Series, and we didn’t change a thing, and it is still completely 100% stock.

Flow's Sight in Tassie, of all our trips down there, we loved riding this bike for sure.
Flow’s Sight in Tassie, of all our trips down there, we loved riding this bike for sure.

Shimano takes care of most of the bits, with the robust and reliable Shimano XT, even down the hubs too. Unfortunately, the XT drivetrain fell victim to the notorious grinding and noise in the wet and dry, even with care taken in cleaning and lubing the chain still would grind and groan over the cassette when we got out of the saddle and put massive torque on the pedals. And we did drop the chain a couple of times too, a bummer for our confidence.

Shimano XT cranks with a 32T chainring. Not the quietest unfortunately.
Shimano XT cranks with a 32T chainring, not the quietest running drivetrain, unfortunately. It does come with a chain guide though, but ours was assembled with too much of a heavy hand and resulted in a stripped thread.

The bike is fitted with a One-Up S3 chain guide mounted neatly via the ISCG mounts, but as we assembled the bike, we found the screw holding the plastic guide to the backing plate overtightened and spinning in its thread. It’s an excellent little guide, but a plastic thread holding it together didn’t work out too well, so we had to ditch the guide and risk a dropped chain on rough trails.

The tyres are amazing too, we’ve not ridden the super-aggro Schwalbe Magic Mary on a bike with less that 160mm of travel

There’s plenty to be positive about the spec though, we loved the powerful Shimano XT brakes, the shifting was always precise, and the new 11-46T cassette may be heavy but offers up a great range of gears.

A 32T chainring with he 11-46T cassette is plenty of gears for tackling all of the trail.
A 32T chainring with the 11-46T cassette is plenty of gears for tackling all of the trails.

The tyres are fantastic too, we’ve not ridden the super-aggro Schwalbe Magic Mary on a bike with less that 160mm of travel, but in 2.35″ size on 30mm wide rims, it’s quite fast rolling yet still very grippy on the technical climbs and through the turns. Both the tyres are excellent; we found the Sight to have gobs of traction on the trails.

Tyres with real bite!
Tyres with real bite!

Suspension bits.

The new trunnion mount RockShox Deluxe rear shock.
The new trunnion mount RockShox Deluxe rear shock.

RockShox takes care of the bounce, at both ends with the new Deluxe RT3 shock with the trunnion (frame linkage mounts on the side of the shock, rather than on top) mount. We used the ShockWiz suspension setup tool on both the fork and shock to guide our setupconfiguration and with two Bottomless Tokens fitted inside the fork as standard we didn’t have to do too much to get it dialled, just fine tuning of the shock pressures was all we needed.


How’d it ride then?

This is the type of 29er that will actually win the wheel-size cynics over; it’s a very agile, quick handling and confident bike to ride. The suspension amount isn’t huge, so coming off a lot of other longer travel bikes we’re currently testing like the Canyon Strive, Norco Range, Trek Slash etc, this bike feels so light to ride and engages with the trail.

This bike feels so light to ride and engages with the trail.

The Sight felt at home manualling sections of trail, hopping up steps and nosing into tight landings, we quickly felt at home on it, and natural like we were on a 27.5″ bike but relished in the momentum and traction that the 29″ wheels have. The supple-yet-supportive suspension, frame geometry and grippy tyres let the Sight keep up with bigger travel 160mm bikes but drop them on flatter trails and climbs in no time.

While we will always find 29ers a little less natural to jump, it's not hard to get used to and we were jumping loads of good stuff in Derby and at home.
While we will always find 29ers a little less natural to jump, it’s not hard to get used to and we were jumping loads of good stuff in Derby and at home.
The aggressive tyres and quick handling geometry combine to give the Sight excellent singletrack manners.
The aggressive tyres and quick handling geometry combine to give the Sight excellent singletrack manners.

The supple-yet-supportive suspension, frame geometry and grippy tyres make the Sight come alive through the singletrack when you need to think quick and maintain speed. On the amazing trails of Derby in Tasmania, we hooked hard through the perfect berms and tackled the raw and gnarly race tracks of the EWS without a worry at all.

If you watched any of the coverage of the EWS in Derby, Tasmania you’d understand the type of trails we took this bike through. While it may not have been our choice to race on – we’d opt for the bigger travel Range to let the speeds at race pace be more manageable – the Sight held its own so very well. Standing up on the pedals with one finger on the brakes the bike is confident at rolling down steep chutes, squeezing through tight gaps in massive boulders and pounding straight rock gardens at hectic speed.


What we’d change?

We’d fix the chain guide straight away, and look for a few areas to drop some weight out of the bike like the aluminium cockpit, saddle, etc. Other than that, the Sight is ready for it.


Who’d suit the Sight?

Because it strikes such a nice balance between a heavy-hitting enduro rig or a short travel trail bike, the Sight will suit quite a wide range of riders. The 29″ wheels give the bike high confidence and traction, the frame geometry is quick-handling, and the suspension supple and balanced.

Last light on the Blue Tier.
Last light on the Blue Tier.

Norco Release The 2017 Range Carbon

Joining the likes of Specialized, Trek and Evil at the long travel 29” party, the new Range offers the same fit principles they debuted with the Optic. The ideas are, regardless of what wheel size you choose, the fit and handling will be as close to identical as possible. You can read more about the concept in our interview with the bike’s designer, Owen Pemberton, here._LOW4345

The 29” variant comes with a little less travel (160mm front and 150mm rear) to accommodate for the larger wheels, and the 27.5” wheeled machine, which packs 170mm of travel in the front and 160mm in the rear, adopts a slacker head angle and longer stem to accommodate for the difference in reach.

We’ll save you the speech about how this bike has been made longer, lower and slacker than its predecessor to enhance descending confidence – we reckon you know the drill by now. What is more interesting is the employment of Norco’s Gravity Tune geometry, where the rear centre measurement gets longer as you move up the sizes, growing from 430mm to 440mm.

_LOW4331

This is what the new Range is all about.
This is what the new Range is all about.

In Australia, only the second-from-top in the lineup Norco C9.2 and C7.2 will be available, both retailing for $7299. This pricing puts the C9.2 in the same price range as bikes like Trek’s Slash 9.8, and Specialized’s Enduro Elite Carbon 29”. We’ll be putting together some comparative content over the coming months related to this segment, so watch this space! This is a pretty awesome segment, in our opinion, the next frontier of long-travel bikes.

The smaller wheeled C7.2 sits in a very hotly contested price bracket that includes bikes such as Specialized’s Enduro Carbon Elite 650BYT’s Capra Pro CF Race, Canyon’s Strive CF 9.0 Race and Giant’s Reign Advanced 0 just to name a few.

We’ve been lucky enough to receive a fresh Range C9.2 that’s ready to hit the trails, so let’s take a bit of a closer look at some of the finer details._LOW4350

That’s our first impressions of the new Range C9.2, read on for the official word from Norco on the new range of Ranges, and keep an eye out for a full review of the C9.2 once we log some miles aboard this exciting beast.

Below you’ll find an interesting round-table chat with some of Norco’s big-wigs, all about the Range.


Introduced today, the 2017 Norco Range Carbon features a new frame redesigned around both 650b and 29” wheels, with updated modern Enduro geometry and improved suspension kinematics.

Bryn Atkinson on the new Range C9.1.
Bryn Atkinson on the new Range C9.1.

Building on the best qualities of the previous generation Range, our engineers applied their evolved geometry philosophy to redesign the frame from the ground up and introduce a 29er with the same fit and nearly identical handling characteristics as the Killer B.

BARange-5

The result is a geometry that is longer, lower, and slacker, with a new A.R.T. Suspension system with improved performance that is slightly more progressive. The new design is stronger than ever, borrowing elements such as the head tube design and rear derailleur hanger from the Norco Aurum.

“We looked at the way Enduro bikes are being used – yes, they’re pedaled to the top, but essentially in an Enduro event they go through four or five downhill races over a weekend. This is a bike that’s going to be ridden hard, so we took everything we learned from the Aurum, which is the strongest bike we’d ever made, and employed it on the new Range.” – Owen Pemberton, Senior Design Engineer

To achieve the renowned fit and handling of the Range Killer B in a 29er platform, the 29er is designed around the same rear centre lengths, with a longer front centre, steeper head tube angle, shorter stem, and 10mm less travel front and rear to offset the characteristics of the larger wheels.

BARange-3

When stem length is incorporated into stack and reach (a measurement Norco engineers call Reach Plus and Stack Plus), the fit between the two platforms is identical.

Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 8.45.20 am

The Range Carbon 29er is available in the widest possible size range without compromising its geometry, fit, and handling. Whether you prefer the quick acceleration and playfulness of 650b wheels or the improved rollover and momentum of a 29er – the Range Carbon offers riders choice without compromise.

For more details, visit norco.com/range.

Norco 2016 Highlights

Born in BC, Canada and still there, Norco have a core vibe about them, they feel like a small brand but are rich in mountain bike heritage. And while they have produced some fairly unsightly bikes in the past, we can only sing praises of their strong rise in recent years to become one amongst the best riding bikes available.

For 2016 there may not be too much new, (but do stay tuned for more) although what we did see when meandering through the room were bikes that were polished in all areas and ones that we could picture owning ourselves.

Here is what caught our eyes the most.

[divider]Norco Sight[/divider]

**Updated – rad our full review of the Sight C 7.2 here: Norco Sight C 7.2 reviewed.

The big news for the Norco Sight for 2016 is the bigger forks. Now a 150mm fork (previously 140mm) the front end is slackened off to a sweet 67 degrees, and with a change of carbon vendors Norco have modified the carbon layup to accommodate for the taller and stiffer forks.

With 140mm out back, and 150mm up front the Sight is a pretty dialled all-mountain bike with geometry that puts it between a hard charging enduro bike and a trail dually. In its first year the Sight Carbon wasn’t without its teething issues as we found out when testing the 2014 model. But each and every issue we had back then has been sorted, and the new 2016 Sight looks bloody amazing.

The eyeball warming Sight C 7.2 - $7999.
The eyeball warming Sight C 7.2 – $7249.

The Sight Carbon 7.2 was on display and available for demo on the sweet trails of Gap Creek, Brisbane. The two-tone matte red paint and excellent parts spec really turns heads.

Norco Sight 10
A Cane Creek Inline rear shock has a huge range of adjustment, letting riders really dial in the desired feel with excellent guidance from the Cane Creek website.
Norco Sight 6
A RaceFace single ring setup with added security via a Black Spire top guide. Canadian spec everywhere!

The Sight adopts Norco’s Gravity Tune sizing system. Where typically a bike size is determined by the length of the front end and the rear remains the same length, in Norco’s case the front and rear end of the bike will grow in length as the sizes increase. Gravity Tune sizing was developed on the Aurum doanhill bike, and is now found on all new Norco dual suspension bikes going forward.

Norco Sight Action 1
Josh from For The Riders giving the Sight a run.
The aluminium version - Sight A 7.1 for $4499.
The aluminium version – Sight A 7.1 for $4499.

Five versions of the 2016 Sight will make their way down under:

Sight A 7.2 – $3499

Sight A 7.1 – $4499 (green version pictured above)

Sight C 7.3 – $5499

Sight C 7.2 – $7249 (red version pictured above)

Sight C 7.1 – $8499

[divider]Norco Range[/divider]

A bike that we are very familiar with here at Flow, the Norco Range is a real winner in the big travel enduro segment. Now with longer travel forks like the Sight, you’ll find 170mm travel up front for 2016.

We had the 2015 Range on long term review, check it out here: Long Term Test – Norco Range C7.2

Norco Range  1
A fresh new look for the Range C 7.2 – $7999. A RockShox Lyric fork in all black will be specced, not the Pike pictured.

The head angle is slackened off a touch to 65.5 degrees, and a modified carbon layup is used to accommodate for the extra stress placed on the frame with a stiffer and taller fork, just like the Sight.

The bike we have pictured here will actually specced with an all-black RockShox Lyrik fork.

Norco Range  7

Norco Range  14
Cane Creek’s highly tuneable Double Barrel Air rear shock handles 160mm of travel.

Four levels of the Norco Range will be coming here:

Range A 7.1 – $4699

Range A 7.2 – $3699

Range C 7.3 – $5499

Range C 7.2 – $7999 (pictured above)

[divider]Norco Aurum[/divider]

For 2016 we’ll see Norco Australia bringing in the entire Aurum range, that is a huge three carbon and two aluminium versions of this burly downhill rig.

Norco Aurum 22
The top level carbon frame Aurum C7.1 – $8999.
Norco Aurum 25
Cane Creek rear shock on the top Aurum.

The frame is littered with features, the carbon Aurum 7.2 we saw used a clever integrated fender underneath the downtube. This multi purpose feature doubles up as a bump stop for the fork crowns and a shuttle guard to protect the frame when transporting over the back of a ute tray.

All the cable routing is also very neat, and well thought out, it must be a very silent bike to ride.

With a frame weight of 3300g for the carbon and 3750 for the aluminium, the Aurum pictured here is claimed to weight under 15.5kg, crazy light for a DH bike with coil sprung suspension front and back.

Norco Aurum 3
The coil sprung RockShox BoXXEr Team up front.

With a 142mm wide rear hub spacing, the Aurum is narrower than many of the current downhill bikes out there. It’s said to increase heel clearance, rear derailleur clearance and is made possible with the use of the SRAM XO1 DH 7-speed drivetrain.

Using Norco’s Gravity Tune concept, the rear-centre measurement of the bike is shorter for the smaller sized frames and longer in the larger frames. As opposed to traditional bike sizing (which simply lengthens the front-centre or top tube measurement in bigger sizes), the Gravity Tune concept is designed to keep the rider position consistent across the size range.

Five Norco Aurum’s are on their way soon:

Norco Aurum A 7.2 – $4199

Norco Aurum A 7.1 – $3099

Norco Aurum C 7.3 – $6399

Norco Aurum C 7.2 – $7499

Norco Aurum C 7.1 – $8999

[divider]Revolver[/divider]

Norco’s 29er carbon hardtail remains unchanged for 2016, but a dual suspension version may, or may not be coming soon…

We reviewed the 2015 27.5″ wheel Revolver here: Tested: Norco Revolver 7.1.

Going forward we’ll only be seeing the 29er Revolver land Down Under, the sleek carbon beauty suits the bigger wheels for cross country racing.

Norco Revolver 4
The carbon hardtail weapon – Revolver 9.1 for $4999.

The Revolver range is consists of two 29ers:

Norco Revolver 9.3 – $2899

Norco Revolver 9.1 – $4999

[divider]Fluid 40[/divider]

Want a decent bike for your kid? The Norco Fluid is now in 20″ and 24″ sizes for young shredders!

Norco Fluid 24 4
A RockShox fork and shock, chainguide, Maxxis tyres and hydraulic disc brakes!! That’s a real bike for a little person!

Two Fluid models for grommets:

Norco Fluid 20 (20″) – $1999

Norco Fluid 40 (24″ pictured) – $1999


Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming range at the Norco website, and in the meantime get down to your Norco dealer and get hassling!

www.norco.com