Norco updates the 29in-only Range enduro bike for 2022 with high pivot rear suspension

With size-specific geometry, high pivot point rear suspension and intricate carbon frame construction, Norco hopes the 2022 Range is a no-compromises enduro machine

2022 Norco Range enduro bike

The new 2022 Norco Range is a 29in only 170mm travel enduro bike that pairs 170mm of rear travel with a virtual high pivot and an idler to make what the brand is pitching as a big mountain, enduro stage crushing ride.

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The new bike builds on the previous model’s long-travel pedal-efficient machine that, when the model was first launched in 2012, was suitable for the emerging enduro scene.

As trail bikes progressed over recent years, getting longer, lower and slacker geometry, the Sight became the brand’s burliest trail bike. This gave Norco the opportunity to redevelop the Range.

Five things you need to know about the 2022 Norco Range

  • The Range delivers 170mm of rear travel from a virtual high pivot design that is paired with a 170mm fork.
  • There are four sizes in the range (small to extra-large), each with its own geometry based on Norco’s Ride Aligned system
  • There are three models available – the Range C1, Range C2, and Range C3, all of which feature carbon frames.
  • The bike is 29in wheel only
  • The frame uses an idler to prevent excessive anti-squat and pedal kickback

2022 Norco Range suspension details

2022 Norco Range enduro bike
The business-end of the Norco Range frame.
Norco

Norco has plenty of experience implementing different forms of high pivot suspension system designs.

Its current downhill bike, the Aurum HSP, uses a high single pivot (hence the name ‘HSP’), and its freeride bike, the Shore, uses an elevated Horst-link.

The Range uses Norco’s virtual high pivot, which maintains a rearward axle path through the full range of travel. With this, the rear tyre essentially moves up and backwards out of the way of bumps.

The virtual high-pivot point moves as the suspension cycles through its travel. Norco says this allows it to control and reduce the amount of anti-rise normally found on single high pivot suspension designs with an equivalent rearward axle path.

Norco claims the suspension remains more active under braking, too, providing increased grip and control.

Isolating suspension forces and pedal kickback

2022 Norco Range enduro bike
Here you get a clearer look at the Norco Range’s suspension Virtual High Pivot suspension layout.
Norco

The Range uses an idler pulley wheel, which serves to route the chain close to where the virtual pivot point would be.

Routing the chain close to the pivot helps to reduce the anti-squat, which could negatively affect the suspension if the chain was routed directly between the cassette and chainring.

It also helps to isolate the rider from the suspension by reducing pedal kickback.

Pedal kickback – in simple terms – is caused by the distance between the bottom bracket and rear axle growing as the suspension compresses, which tensions the upper part of the chain and tries to rotate the cranks backwards.

Precise placement of the idler also allows Norco to fine-tune the pedalling characterises (anti-squat) of the bike.

Norco didn’t provide us with any leverage rate, anti-squat, anti-rise, and axle path details, but we have asked for this info and will update this story when we have it.

Norco did tell us it has designed the Range to use a coil shock, with the lineup’s models factory-fitted with a custom-tuned Fox Float Factory DHX2. This means it is safe to assume there is progression built into the frame’s kinematics.

Keeping kinematics the same across sizes

Norco has also kept the same suspension kinematics for each size frame equal, which is more complicated than you might expect.

As the rear centre grows with each increase in frame size (the Range’s head angle, seat tube angle and chainstay lengths change with each size – there’s more on this shortly), this adjusts the leverage rate of the suspension.

To compensate for this, Norco has manufactured frame size-specific ‘Linkarms’ to keep the kinematics equal across all four sizes. Norco claims this means all four sizes of the Range have the same ride feel.

The Linkarm is the lower rocker that drives the shock, and adjusting the location of the rocker’s pivots alters and controls the suspension’s kinematics.

Norco States the ‘Linkarms’ shouldn’t be swapped between frame sizes as this will change the suspension’s kinematics, and probably not for the better.

2022 Norco Range frame details

2022 Norco Range enduro bike
The Norco Range runs internally routed cable along the top tube, rather than the downtube.
Norco

Unlike a number of other models in Norco’s lineup, the Range will only be offered in a carbon fibre option.

According to Norco, a carbon frame construction means it can tune the bike to its desired strength, durability, and performance standards.

It also only comes with 29in wheels. Norco aimed to make the fastest enduro bike it could with the Range and, according to its testing showed, 29in wheels were consistently faster over the terrain most often found in enduro courses.

The brand also states its Ride Align system keeps rider weight more central on the bike. As the rearward axle path moves the rear wheel out of the way under big compressions, even smaller riders shouldn’t have to worry about contacting the back wheel with their backsides.

With this design, Norco has kept the centre of mass low, highlighting how this helps with bikes stability and agility.

Even though the shock passes through the seat tube, there’s still space to fit a 200mm dropper post (sizes L and XL).

Norco recommends a 150mm dropper for size small bikes, and a 170mm dropper for size medium bikes.

There’s also room for a 750ml water bottle inside the front triangle. There are also mounts under the top tube for bolt-on storage, tools or spares.

There is significant frame protection on the rear stays, under the down tube and on the lower rocker. This sits proud of the chaining to fend off any rock strikes or scrapes. The frame can be fitted with 180mm travel triple clamp forks also.

2022 Norco Range geometry details

2022 Norco Range enduro bike
The Range looks very smart.
Norco

Geometry is where Norco perhaps takes a different approach compared to quite a few other brands.

The brand doesn’t believe there’s a one size fits all approach when it comes to maximising rider experience.

In addition to reach and seat tubes lengths, each size of the Range has its own head tube angle, effective seat tube angle, and rear centre (chainstay) lengths.

Effective seat tube angles get progressively steeper through the size range, increasing from 76.5-degrees on the small to 77.25-degrees on the extra-large in 0.25-degree jumps.

That should help keep taller riders in a better position over the bottom bracket when pedalling.

The same is goes for the head tube angles as well, which is rare to see.

_SizeSMLXL
Stack (mm)618630641653
Reach (mm)420450480510
Head tube length (mm)100115130145
Head tube angle (degrees)63.7563.563.2563
BB height (mm)355355355355
BB drop (mm)20202020
Front centre (mm)763803842.4881.5
Chainstay (mm)440440442.5447.5
Wheelbase (mm)1203124312851329
Standover (mm)662663665695
Seat tube length (mm)370395410455
Seat tube angle (degrees)76.576.757777.25

Norco claims slack head tube angles are great for protecting the rider through high-speed rough trails but make it more difficult for shorter riders to weight the front wheel in turns. To combat this, head tube angles, decrease from 63.75-degrees on size small to 63-degrees in size extra-large, again in 0.25-degree steps.

2022 Norco Range enduro bike
You can see the bolt-on dropouts that lengthen the rear centre/chainstay as frame sizes get larger.
Norco

Reach numbers increase from 420mm to 510mm in 30mm increments from small to extra-large. Bolt-on rear dropouts are used to adjust the rear centre figure from 440mm in sizes small and medium to 442.5mm in large and 447.5 in extra-large. Expect these figures to be longer at the sag point, though, due to the rearward axle path.

Seat tubes lengths are pretty short, too, so you should be able to choose between sizes depending on your reach preference. If you’re looking for something more stable, choose a longer reach, and for a more playful rider, choose a shorter one.

2022 Norco Range model overview

There will be three models released for the Range, and a frameset too. Each features the same carbon frame and 170mm travel.

2022 Norco Range C1

2020 Norco Range C1 enduro bike
2020 Norco Range C1.
Norco
  • Frame: carbon, 170mm travel
  • Fork: Fox Factory 38 GRIP2, 170mm travel
  • Shock: Fox Factory Float DHX2 Coil
  • Drivetrain: SRAM X01 Eagle
  • Brakes: SRAM Code RSC
  • Wheels: We Are One Union Enduro rims on Onyx Vesper hubs
  • Tyres: Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip DD 29×2.5in (fr)/Maxxis Dissector DD 3C MaxxGrip 29×2.4in WT (r)
  • Price: £TBC / $8,999

2022 Norco Range C2

2022 Norco Range C2 enduro bike
2022 Norco Range C2.
Norco
  • Frame: carbon, 170mm travel
  • Fork: RockShox ZEB Ultimate, 170mm
  • Shock: Fox Factory Float DHX2 Coil
  • Drivetrain: SRAM GX Eagle
  • Brakes: SRAM Code R
  • Wheels: e.thirteen LG1 EN rims on DT Swiss 350 hubs
  • Tyres: Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip DD 29×2.5in (fr)/Maxxis Dissector DD 3C MaxxGrip 29×2.4in WT (r)
  • Price: £TBC / $6,999

Norco Range C3

2022 Norco Range C3 enduro bike
2022 Norco Range C3.
Norco
  • Frame: carbon, 170mm travel
  • Fork: RockShox ZEB, 170mm
  • Shock: Fox Factory Float DHX2 Coil
  • Drivetrain: Shimano SLX/Deore 12-speed
  • Brakes: Shimano MT520
  • Wheels: Stans Flow D rims on Shimano HB-MT 410 (f), Shimano FH MT510 (r) hubs
  • Tyres: Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip DD 29×2.5in (fr)/Maxxis Dissector DD 3C MaxxGrip 29×2.4in WT (r)
  • Price: £TBC / $5,599
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Norco Range Frame kit

  • Shock: Fox Factory Float DHX2 Coil
  • Price: £TBC / $3,799