Norco Performance Bikes gave us a preview of their 2010 lineup at their base in Vancouver, Canada. Here’s a brief look at what they have in store...
Norco have a new line of carbon road bikes for 2010, the CRR SL, CCR 1, CCR2 and CCR3. They have incorporated some interesting new technologies to create a set of serious race-ready machines.
All the frames have High Toughness Resin impregnated into the carbon mesh that allegedly increases impact resistance by 20 percent over regular resin.
Both the CCR SL and CCR 1 also get anti-fracture ThermoPlastic Mesh in high-stress areas, such as the head tube and bottom bracket.
Other features include:
- Light and stiff oversized carbon tubeset
- Stainless chainstay protector
- Integrated carbon seatpost on top model
- BB30 oversized bottom bracket on CCR SL and CCR
- Tapered steerer tube (1.125 to 1.5-inch)
- Internal cable routing
The alloy road frames get aesthetically pleasing smooth welds and, more importantly, a lightweight double-butted aero tubeset on all models.
Jumping on the cycle courier fixie bandwagon, Norco bring us the Spade. It combines a 4130 chromoly frame with a flip-flop hub, a smattering of blue anodised and chrome parts, and a custom WTB Silverado saddle.
Belt-drive is seen in some quarters as the next big thing in bike design, and Norco have been quick to respond with the introduction of two new models, the Ceres, which comes with an eight-speed Nexus hub gear, and the Vesta singlespeed.
The belt is made by Gates Carbon Belt Drive and uses carbon fibre to improve performance under lower tension. The cogs have 'Mud Ports' to allow any mud or debris to fall through, thus keeping the belt clean, clear and wear free. Here are the bikes' main features;
- Reynolds 525 tubing
- Custom vertical dropouts
- Detachable drive side seatstay so you can get the belt on and off
- Integrated belt tensioner
Norco have always made bikes designed to excel in their backyard, the North Shore just outside Vancouver, where the trails feature steep, tight, technical descents with wooden ladders drops and skinnies. In the past this resulted in bikes that were short and had relatively steep front ends. This meant that when you rode them on faster, more open trails they could feel skittery and unstable.
Since those days Norco have continually improved their downhill and freeride bikes so they ride well in all areas and on all kinds of terrain. This year’s incarnations of the Team DH, DH, A Line, Shore and Empire have been improved again with the help of another year of feedback from customers and team riders.
The Team DH and DH have a new larger diameter hydroformed down tube which provides a solid backbone for the rest of the frame. The top tube is lighter and has less of a downward swoop than last year’s frames. Other new features include an integrated 1.5-inch head tube, forged frame yoke to add tensional stiffness, new shock mount and a Maxle-compatible 150mm/12mm rear end.
The A-line gets a thicker gauge tubeset and anodised finish to cope with the rigours of bike park and uplift riding. Norco have designed this bike to be ideal for rental fleets at bike parks and people who wants a bike that will withstand thousands of feet of descending but without a huge price tag.
The Shore, Norco’s 7 inch-travel freeride bike, has been one of the most popular bike park models for some time. Norco rider Jay Hoots said: “It’s my ninth year riding for Norco and I’ve been involved with the Shore since it began. The Shore has been through four different models since its inception and now in 2010 the frame has a proven platform and geometry, but this year it’s all about expansion, with new tubing and a new frame yoke. It has been fun riding the Shore with different setups including the new Hammerschmidt, etc. I love how great the bike pedals and how it feels like a 5-inch bike in a 7-inch package.”
Its main features are:
- Subtle graphics with colour matched components
- Hydroformed top and down tubes, as on the downhill frame
- Integrated 1.5-inch headset
- One-piece forged link
- 150mm/12mm Maxle rear end
The Shore 3 is the lowest model in the range and is more conventional, with regular tubing and a 1 1/8-inch headtube.
Norco cater for kids getting into freeride with the B-line, a 5.5 inch-travel frame with a light tubeset and lower standover height. It should be perfect for youngsters getting into the world of jumps and drops.
Norco’s Empire 5 bikes are created in close conjunction with team riders Dylan Korba and Ben Boyko. Designed for new-school jump trails and slopestyle competitions, the Empire has a steep 68.5-degree head angle, 5 inches of travel and comes in around the 35lb mark.
Short chainstays, a low standover height and low centre of gravity are other characteristics designed to make the bike perfect for doing tricks off whatever size drop, jump or wallride.
The 6-inch LT is impressively specced for 2010. All models get RockShox suspension, including the new 150mm travel Revelation fork which we were lucky enough to ride early in the season and were blown away by the quality of travel and its versatility.
You get a Hammerschmidt planetary gear system on the top model as well as a Crank Brothers Joplin telescopic seatpost. All models have an adjustable seatpost compatible 34.9mm seat tube, Avid Elixir CR brakes and high-volume RockShox Monarch rear shock. Other spec highlights include:
- Tapered head tube and steerer
- New forged seatstay yoke for improved tyre clearance and reduced weight
- Adjustable Travel: 5.5-6.1 inches
The more cross-country oriented 4.5-5.5 inch travel Fluid has a fully butted M6 hydroformed mainframe, seatstays and chainstays, designed to be light, stiff and strong. This is backed up by forged link arms with a cross-brace, and matching brand front and rear suspension.
The 120mm travel Faze bridges the gap between cross-country race and all-mountain bikes. It's essentially a short travel version of the Fluid, and also has an M6 butted frameset. The top two models, Faze SL and Faze 1, have a new one-piece carbon link arm while the rest get an alloy link.
Norco have two carbon cross-country hardtails this year, the Team and the Torrent. Both feature the same carbon technologies used in the carbon road bikes and come with BB30 and SRAM’s all singing, all dancing XX groupset.
New for next year are the 29er hardtails. The Jubei 1,2 and 3 have a hydroformed down tube, double-butted top tube and seat tube, and a wide 685mm bar.
Norco also have a belt-drive 29er, the Judan, running the Gates Carbon Drive belt on a Reynolds double-butted 525 frame. This bike is going to have a lot of people drooling.
Norco have worked closely with team rider Darcy Turenne to create a women-specific freeride bike, the Vixa. After a hugely successful first year the Vixa remains largely unchanged for 2010. The size large frame gets 5mm added onto the top tube but that’s about all the change other than a great new ski/snowboard inspired paint job. Other Vixa specifics:
- 6 inches of travel
- Women-specific saddle
- Adjustable reach brake levers
- Low standover height
- XS size
- Short cockpit
- Lightweight alloy tubeset
Norco's women’s all-mountain bike, the Phena, is a 112mm-132mm travel LT styled frame but with women-specific geometry and a lighter tubeset. Coupled with lightweight and a low standover height, it's a true female-specific all-mountain machine.
For more information, visit www.norco.com.