In 2015, Canadian company Norco will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with its largest range yet.
In recent years, Norco has made a solid comeback to popularity with a range of highly competitive trail and enduro style mountain bikes that are accompanied by bikes for every other discipline.
BikeRadar recently visited Hidden Vale in Queensland, Australia for a product launch put on by Advance Traders, Australia’s distributors for Merida, Lapierre, Norco, Met and a handful of other brands. We take a look at what grabbed our attention from Norco.
Both the Sight and Range models receive updated aluminium versions that borrow design features from the newer carbon versions. The Sasquatch name has made a return to Norco’s line-up, this time in the appropriate form of a fat-bike. And we were teased a totally revamped version of the Valence, Norco’s carbon endurance road bike.
Mountain bikes: Range, Sight, Revolver and Sasquatch
Part of Norco’s returned success in the mountain bike line-up is due to its ‘gravity-tune’ design. This is simply rider size specific frames where both the front and rear triangle grow in proportion to the frame size, unlike many other companies that just change the front triangle size and use the same rear triangle across three to five frame sizes. The concept gives a more balanced ride quality and handling across all frame sizes.
2015 Norco Range A 7.1 (US$TBC / AU$3,699 / £TBC)
Serving the enduro and aggressive all-mountain market is the Range, a 160mm travel 650B platform that uses a Horst-link based suspension design. The Range frames feature custom tuned rear shocks with room for Piggyback shocks, integrated down tube and chainstay rubber guards and internal stealth dropper routing.
For 2015 the carbon version receives some minor componentry updates, but the big news is in the new aluminium platform. This version of the bike comes with a double butted and formed aluminium frame. The geometry receives a slight tweak to bring it in line with the carbon models, including a reduced standover height and a slacker 66-degree head angle.
Other frame features include a new external cable guide system that bolts securely to the frame, a new 142 x 12mm Maxle rear axle design that uses a new derailleur hanger setup. Additionally, the alloy models feature new pivot hardware, which can be tightened from just the non-drive side without having to remove the cranks for access.
2015 Norco Sight A 7.1 (US$TBC / AU$3,599 / £TBC)
A little less enduro and a little more trail is the Sight, a 140mm travel 650B bike with a 67.5-degree head angle. For 2015 the Sight gets a more hard-hitting spec with shorter stems, wider bars, chunkier tyres and the top models receive a RockShox Pike 140 fork.
Just like the Range, the Sight continues with the same carbon platform as last year's, but there’s a new alloy version that receives increased stand-over height, stealth dropper post compatibility and integrated rubber chainstay protectors.
The 2015 Norco Sight C 7.2 (US$TBC / AU$5,999 / £TBC)
One model that really grabbed our attention was the Sight C 7.2 (US$TBC / AU$5,999 / £TBC). This carbon version now features a RockShox Pike RC fork, custom-tuned CaneCreek DB Inline Air, SRAM X1 11-speed drivetrain and Sun Helix TR25 tubeless ready rims laced to DT Swiss 350 hubs.
Norco Revolver 9 SL XO1
The cross-country race-focused Revolver continues with its choice of both 27.5 and 29in wheel sizes. While the frame isn't new, the use of a colour matched RS-1 fork on the Revolver 9 SL XO1 (US$TBC / AU$5,999 / £TBC) grabbed our attention.
The Sasquatch is back
Joining the Bigfoot range of fat bikes is the Sasquatch, which features a new frame with suspension corrected geometry and tapered head tube. The Sasquatch uses a RockShox Bluto suspension fork and Shimano SLX drivetrain to bring in some trail style.
Cyclocross and Road: Threshold and Valence
In addition to the mountain bikes, Norco offers a wide range of road, cyclocross, fitness and urban bikes. The brand unveiled its new carbon cyclocross bike a few months back, the Norco Threshold.
The Norco Threshold is a new carbon cyclocross machine. Pictured is the Threshold 105
The Threshold features oversized down tube and large chainstays with a carbon pressfit bottom bracket shell in the centre to help transfer power, while out back, ‘ARC’ seat stays and a slender 27.2mm seat post are there to add compliance. The UCI approved frame has a claimed weight of 990g in a medium size at the top-end offering.
The bike looks ready for the muddiest of courses, with room for a 40c tyre and sealed internal cable guides that allow for full-length cable housing. Even little details like the clamp slot in the seat tube face forward to avoid mud spray going inside the frame.
The Threshold is full of little details, the simple low-profile fender rack mount will please those seeking a 'cross bike to commute with
To add a few further details on the Threshold, the frame features a 15mm thru-axle on the front with a 142 x 12mm axle to match on the rear. The post-mount brake mounts handle a 160 and 140mm rotor front and rear respectively, with the rear using a smaller rotor to help balance brake modulation. The derailleur hanger is said to be stiffer and stronger than previous designs and there’s an integrated chain catcher too.
Price point aluminium versions of the Threshold carry over the same geometry and feature a full-carbon fork, thru axles, Gizmo internal cable system. Norco claim the alloy makes a great commuting bike, with a flip-out pannier mount.
A sneak peak at the all-new Valence endurance bike
While we can’t spill too many details at this moment, Norco will have a brand-new Valence range, the brand’s endurance road platform. This uses many of the carbon technologies found in the Threshold such as frame size-specific tubing and ‘Armorlite’ resin, which adds impact resistance to the carbon. Other features will include Norco’s Gizmo internal cable routing system, stealthy fender compatibility and an integrated chain catcher.
For a closer and further look at the range, scroll, swipe or click through our gallery at top.