First ride: Norco Shore 1

Versatile freeride rig

BikeRadar score3.5/5

Norco Performance Bikes have taken inspiration from the world famous North Shore riding scene. The Shore 1 heads their fleet of freeride rigs designed for railing the roughest terrain and being able to trundle back up for another run.

Ride & handling:Versatile, pedal-able downhill rig

Big travel freeride bikes aren’t as popular as they were, since shorter travel bikes have become more capable – and infinitely more useable for the average rider.

But the Shore’s 178mm (7in) travel and relaxed geometry – a 66-degree head angle and a 71.3-degree seat angle – offer a surprisingly agile ride. It would make a great bike for technical downhill riding if built with the right componentry.

At low speed, the Shore feels stable, but is twitchy enough for the most technical trails. This was highlighted on one ride where other riders on the Norco Team DH bike suffered on the turns and skinny stuff.

With this in mind, the Shore is still stable enough for fast and rough action – not quite as stable as a dedicated downhill frame but infinitely more useable. Mud clearance is ample too.

The Shore 2 also jumps really well. Unlike downhill frames, which tend to go through lips, the Shore is happy to pop off them, and feels incredibly well balanced through the air – the low centre of gravity being a large factor in this.

If you live somewhere with plenty of elevation and want to make the most of the downhills, but still need to ride to the top, then this could be the bike for you. You need some good steep hills to make the most of it though.

The shorter travel Fluid LT is also incredibly capable, but more suitable for cross-country thrashing than the Shore, if that’s the sort of thing you like.

Classic norco signature swooping curves: classic norco signature swooping curves

Frame: Heavy-duty chassis with a drop-swallowing 7in of travel

The Shore means business, and the heavy-duty aluminium build reflects this – it weighs a tad over 19kg (42lb) complete, which is respectable given the burly build, but dropping a few pounds wouldn’t be a chore either.

A 150mm spaced back end uses a 12mm bolt-through axle that keeps things sturdy, and the classic FSR four-bar suspension design is torsionally stiff and responsive, thanks to the Horst Link pivot on the chainstay.

A new hydroformed top tube and down tube mate with a 1.5in head tube for increased strength while keeping the weight down. ISCG 05 mounts are present on the bottom bracket shell, and are ready to take a Hammerschmidt device, like our test sample.

Equipment: This spec is US-only but UK bike will be based around same frame

We test rode the top-of-the-line model out in the bike’s birthplace, Vancouver. We won’t see this bank buster in the UK, but we will see the more wallet-friendly Shore 2 bike, which has exactly the same frame.

Priced at £2,499.99, the Shore 2 will have a RockShox Domain fork, Fox Van R shock and SRAM X-7 equipment with a double chainring Truvativ Ruktion chainset with bashguard.

A 150mm spacing through-axle means business: a 150mm spacing through-axle means business

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