Norco is best known for its many associations with the big-mountain scene around its home in British Columbia, but the Canadian brand also produces some great 700c bikes, too. Case in point: the 2018 Threshold Carbon Force 1 with high-end Easton parts.
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2018 Threshold Carbon Force 1 highlights
- Frame: Threshold Carbon (flatmount; 12x142)
- Fork: Threshold Carbon (flatmount; 12x100)
- Drivetrain: SRAM Force 1
- BB: PF86-92
- Wheels: Easton EA90 SL Disc
- Tires: Clement Crusade MXP 33mm
- Seat: WTB Volt Pro
- Size Options: 48, 50.5, 53, 55.5, 58, 60.5
- Weight (size 55.5): 17.46 lbs / 7.92 kg
- Price: $4,199 USD / £N/A
Norco sent me the new bike as a frame and a parts kit, requiring a complete build. The ability to scour every inch of the bike presented the opportunity to evaluate the bike on more than just ride quality and spec, and it’s obvious it’s going to be a fierce competitor in the upcoming Best Cyclocross Bikes feature on BikeRadar.
The bearing interfaces were all precise, internal cable routing was easy, caliper mounts were faced cleanly, internal frame assembly was very tidy - the details of quality control were met.
Despite the brand's humble “mid-modulus” marketing callout on the frame (which I think is awesome), the Threshold appears
The complete package?
Not many of Norco's competitors are putting carbon bars and top-shelf carbon cranks on their comparable Force 1-equipped bikes. At $4,199 (UK pricing not yet available), the Threshold isn't cheap, but the value is relatively high.
The hour of power that is cyclocross is essentially two things: repetitious accelerations, and navigation of challenging terrain. Based on tube shapes and industrial design of the Threshold, Noroc clearly put emphasis on acceleration and handling.
The rear end of the bike has massive chainstays and curved seatstays. The former adds to incredible acceleration, while the latter makes for vertical compliance without a loss in rear-end stiffness for leaning into turns or holding off-camber.
Designers were also mindful of the new demands of tire clearance, as the bike will have no problems clearing a set of muddy 33mm tires. And for the sake of versatility, they clear 40mm tires no problem.
Norco also went to the effort of making the bike fender compatible, which is a nice touch. There’s also a front derailleur braze-on mount, and even an injection-molded chain catcher, which I’ve yet to install.
Norco literally printed “Mid-Modulus” carbon on its new Threshold frame and I admire the authenticity. In an age where everything has to be bigger and better — and carbon high and ultra-high modulus — the 50-year old Canadian company calls it what it is…a nice bike.
Pricing and availability
The 2018 Norco Threshold Carbon Force 1, and other cyclocross models, are currently available from Norco retailers worldwide.
US pricing is $4,199 and UK pricing has not been announced.