While it’s not the burliest bike in Norco’s range (that honour goes to the Range and Aurum), the new Sight packs a much bigger punch than its ‘all mountain’ billing suggests.
For 2020, Norco gave its all-round trail bike a big overhaul. By bumping up the rear travel by 20mm, to 150mm, and making the frame considerably longer and slacker, it’s created a beast more suited to hammering hard descents than covering big miles.
The latest Sight comes in several different guises, with a choice of 650b or 29in wheels, an alloy or carbon frame, plus unisex or women’s build kits.
Norco Sight C2 29 frame
I’ve been riding the second-from-top-specced carbon 29er, in size large. This is a big bike, with a 485mm reach, 440mm chainstays and a slack 64-degree head angle that wouldn’t look out of place on an enduro race bike.
Norco uses a geometry system it calls ‘Ride Aligned’, where the front and rear centres (how far the wheel axles sit from the bottom bracket) grow proportionally with frame size, and the seat angle steepens in sync, to maintain a centred ride position.
It also has an online set-up guide, where you input your height, weight and skill level, and the algorithm advises on suspension settings and tyre pressures for your bike. It’s not infallible, but it’s a great starting point.
This attention to detail is followed through into the finer points of the frame. Cables are routed internally and clamped tight via a zip-tie guide on the underside of the down tube. (I did find the rubber guides on the entry ports had a habit of working loose, though.)
Another neat feature is the second set of bottle bosses under the top tube, which is ideal for mounting a pump, tube or tool. There are rubber protectors on the down tube and driveside chainstay, but on the latter this doesn’t extend far enough forwards to stop the chain chipping away at the cable guide. Thankfully, the chainstays are more wear-resistant alloy, rather than carbon like the rest of the frame.
Norco Sight C2 29 geometry
|Seat angle (degrees)||77||77.3||77.7||78|
|Head angle (degrees)||64||64||64||64|
|Rear centre (cm)||43||43.5||44||44.5|
|Seat tube (cm)||37||39.5||43.5||46.5|
|Top tube (cm)||56.4||59.3||62.1||64.9|
|Head tube (cm)||9||10||11||12|
|Fork offset (cm)||4.2||4.2||4.2||4.2|
|Bottom bracket drop (cm)||2.5||2.5||2.5||2.5|
|Bottom bracket height (cm)||35||35||35||35|
|Crank length (cm)||17||17||17||17|
Norco Sight C2 29 kit
A trunnion-mount Fox Float X2 Performance shock controls the Horst-link rear suspension, while a Fox 36 Performance Elite fork provides 160mm of travel up front.
Its FIT GRIP2 damper can be tuned precisely to preference, with independent high- and low-speed compression and rebound adjustment. The drivetrain and brakes both come from Shimano, a mix of XT and budget-saving SLX, but none the worse for it.
While the four-piston brakes provide tons of power, their on/off feel takes some adjusting to in comparison to, say, SRAM Codes.
Shimano’s 12-speed shifting again impressed with its consistency and forgiving set up. The TranzX dropper post is worthy of note for its 170mm of travel and smooth action, but the lever requires a strong thumb.
Maxxis’ Minion DHF/DHR II tyres with the tougher EXO+ casing are a great combo, and the 35mm Deity bar is a nice touch too, if a little stiff.
I found the Ergon grips hard and unforgiving, so switched them out after one ride. In contrast, the SM10 saddle with its generous central channel is very comfortable.
Norco Sight C2 29 first ride impressions
If you rode the Sight with no prior knowledge you’d think you’d jumped on an enduro bike.
The stable 1,259mm wheelbase, slack head-angle and relatively tall front-end combine to make you feel capable of charging into anything. This is helped by the rear suspension, which is amazingly supple off the top, ironing out trail chatter and giving almost unbreakable grip in the turns.
Add in the rollover abilities of the 29in wheels and you’ve got a bike that carries incredible speed – almost too much on tighter, flatter trails, where I found its length and tall front-end made it a bit of a handful to manoeuvre.
In rough high-speed sections the suspension does seem to kick back a bit too, but this did little to slow me down and it’s this ramp-up that allows the bike to be supple while keeping some travel in reserve.
At 15.56kg the Sight C2 is no featherweight, but considering it comes with chunky Wide Trail tyres, it’s not bad up the hills. A decent amount of anti-squat is built into the linkage, so even though the rear shock has no pedal platform, it’s only when you stand up and mash the cranks that you can feel unwanted movement from the rear end.
The steeper effective seat angles on the bigger sizes (77.7 degrees on my large) work well for taller riders using longer posts, positioning you nicely over the bottom bracket on steeper climbs.
Overall, the Sight is a super-fun and highly capable bike. For bike park duties or winching up climbs to smash downhill laps, it’s the perfect sidekick. But if you liked the more trail-focused feel of the old version, you may be best off looking to the Norco Optic instead.
Norco Sight C2 29 early verdict
Norco has made the new Sight less of an all-rounder and more of a heavy hitter, but it’ll deal with anything you can throw at it.
|Price||AUD $7599.00EUR €5899.00GBP £4695.00USD $5599.00|
|Weight||15.56kg (L) – without pedals|
|Available sizes||S, M, L, XL|
|Brakes||Shimano SLX M7120, 200/180mm rotors|
|Cranks||Shimano Deore XT with e*thirteen TRS Race chain guide|
|Fork||Fox 36 Performance Elite FIT GRIP2, 160mm (6.3in) travel|
|Frame||Carbon fibre with aluminium alloy chainstays, 150mm (5.9in) travel|
|Handlebar||Deity Ridgeline 35, 800mm|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano XT|
|Rear shock||Fox Float X2 Performance|
|Saddle||Ergon SM10 Sport|
|Seatpost||TranzX YSP-39JL 170mm dropper|
|Tyres||Maxxis Minion DHF 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ (f) and Minion DHR II 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ (r) 29x2.5in|
|Wheels||Stan’s NoTubes Flow D rims on Shimano Deore XT hubs|