Norco takes aim at a new Sight

Updated all-mountain bike now available in 27.5 and 29er versions

Norco has redesigned the Sight, making it longer and slacker while also introducing a new 29er version.

Norco Sight highlights

  • Available in 29 and 27.5in versions
  • Longer, lower and slacker than previous design
  • 27.5in Sight features 150 / 140mm of front and rear suspension
  • 29in Sight features 140 / 130mm of front and rear suspension
  • Front derailleur compatible
  • Available March 2017

A more focused Sight

The Sight is sandwiched between the Optic trail bike and the enduro-ready Range. According to Norco, an updated version of the Range is also in the works.

The big-wheeled variant is designed to mimic the handling of its 27.5in sibling

The latest iteration of Norco’s all-mountain bike gets subtle geometry adjustments to bring it up to speed. The head angle slackens by half a degree, reach grows by up to 20mm across all frame sizes and the bottom bracket is 5mm lower than the previous design. All these changes are intended to make Sight a more confident high-speed descender.

To improve the bike’s climbing capabilities, Norco steepened the seat tube angle by one degree to place the rider in a more pedal-friendly stance.

The rear suspension received an overhaul as well. The new Sight still relies on a Horst Link suspension design, but Norco’s engineers revised the suspension kinematics to increase traction.

The axle path now has less rearward movement and, consequently, less chain growth. This was done to make the Sight’s suspension more active.

“We’ve dialed back the chain tension and anti-squat in the first third of the travel,” said Owen Pemberton, Norco’s senior design engineer. Pemberton noted that some riders felt the rear end could feel a bit choppy under power.

“In the previous design, if you were heavy on the power, there was a lot of chain tension there, which could inhibit the suspension performance a bit.”

The revised upper shock link takes up less space in the front triangle
The revised upper shock link takes up less space in the front triangle

In addition to these kinematic tweaks, Norco has added a metric shock with a trunnion link. The trunnion link offers three benefits over the previous design: it takes up less space in the front triangle; provides room to run an aftermarket piggyback shock, if desired; and uses bearing mounts at both ends, which increases small-bump sensitivity.

“Choice without compromise”

The 27.5in Sight has 150mm / 140mm of suspension travel, while the 29in version has 140 / 130mm of suspension
The 27.5in Sight has 150mm / 140mm of suspension travel, while the 29in version has 140 / 130mm of suspension

The biggest news in the Sight revamp is the introduction of a 29in version. The big-wheeled variant is designed to mimic the handling of its 27.5in sibling.

Norco took a similar approach when the company developed the Optic. “Choice without compromise” is how Norco describes these parallel lines.

“When we developed the Optic, we developed the plan that we would introduce 29in wheels across the full suspension range,” Pemberton said.

Proper weight distribution is a cornerstone of Norco’s mountain bike design philosophy. In order to keep the handling similar, the company sought to keep the same relative ratios between the front and rear centers. Norco goes a step further than most other companies when it comes to keeping handling consistent across all frame sizes by lengthening the chainstays as the frame size increases.

In comparison to the 27.5in Sight, the 29er Sight has a half-degree steeper head angle and a slightly smaller trail measurement in order to keep the handling lively.

The Sight's geometry is intended to make handling similar between wheel sizes
The Sight's geometry is intended to make handling similar between wheel sizes

Suspension travel differs between the two wheel sizes. The 27.5in Sight still has 140mm of rear travel with a 150mm fork. The new 29in Sight makes do with 130mm out back and a 140mm fork.

Norco offers the 27.5in Sight in XS through XL, while the 29in version comes in medium through XL.

According to Norco, the 29in Sight is not compatible with 27.5+ wheels and tires. Plus compatibility was not a design consideration for the new bike, since the company offers purpose-built plus bikes in the Torrent FS+ line.

Shared frame features

The Sight has internal cable routing
The Sight has internal cable routing

It wasn’t very long ago that the cycling media called out the fact that a new mountain bike featured a 1x-specific frame design. Today, it’s worth nothing when a new model can still run a front derailleur.

While all three of the Sight’s trim levels have 1x drivetrains, the frame is compatible with a side-swing front derailleur.

All frame sizes use size-specific carbon mainframe, carbon seatstays and alloy chainstays. The Sight uses internal cable routing through Norco’s Gizmo ports, which can be configured for a number of different drivetrain layouts.

Norco Sight pricing, specs and availability

Norco will offer the Sight in three build levels as well as a frame with shock, all of which share the same carbon frame with alloy chainstays. Both the 27.5 and 29in Sights will be available by early March. According to Norco, full alloy versions may be in the works, but there’s no firm date on when these metal models will be available.

Norco Sight 7.1 and 9.1

The Sight 7.1 and 9.1 use RockShox Pike RCT3 forks, RockShox Deluxe RT3 DebonAir shocks, SRAM XO1 Eagle drivetrains, SRAM Guide RSC brakes w/180mm rotors and RaceFace ARC 30 rims laced to DT Swiss 240 hubs
The Sight 7.1 and 9.1 use RockShox Pike RCT3 forks, RockShox Deluxe RT3 DebonAir shocks, SRAM XO1 Eagle drivetrains, SRAM Guide RSC brakes w/180mm rotors and RaceFace ARC 30 rims laced to DT Swiss 240 hubs

  • $6,499 / £TBC / AU$TBC

Norco Sight 7.2 and 9.2

The Sight 7.2 and 9.2 use RockShox Pike RC forks, RockShox Deluxe RT3 DebonAir shocks, 1x11 Shimano XT drivetrains, Shimano XT brakes w/180mm rotors and RaceFace AR 30 rims laced to Shimano XT hubs
The Sight 7.2 and 9.2 use RockShox Pike RC forks, RockShox Deluxe RT3 DebonAir shocks, 1x11 Shimano XT drivetrains, Shimano XT brakes w/180mm rotors and RaceFace AR 30 rims laced to Shimano XT hubs

  • $4,999 / £TBC / AU$TBC

Norco Sight 7.3 and 9.3

The Sight 7.3 and 9.3 use RockShox Yari forks, RockShox Deluxe RT DebonAir shocks, SRAM NX drivetrains, SRAM Level T brakes w/180mm rotors and WTB STP TCS rims laced to Novatec hubs
The Sight 7.3 and 9.3 use RockShox Yari forks, RockShox Deluxe RT DebonAir shocks, SRAM NX drivetrains, SRAM Level T brakes w/180mm rotors and WTB STP TCS rims laced to Novatec hubs

  • $3,899 / £TBC / AU$TBC

Norco Sight 7.1 and 9.1 frame

The Sight frame is offered with a RockShox Deluxe RT3 DebonAir shock
The Sight frame is offered with a RockShox Deluxe RT3 DebonAir shock

  • $2,599 / £TBC / AU$TBC

Visit www.norco.com for more information.

Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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