Ed’s Note: This bike is part of our annual, sub-$3,000 bike test where the Dirt Rag staff spends significant time aboard less-expensive but fully capable offerings that we’d seriously consider buying ourselves. The final review will be out early 2016 in issue #189. Subscribe today so you don’t miss it!
The Torrent name is not new to Norco but the plus-size tires certainly are. The Torrent name has been in and out of the Norco line since the 90s and was last used on a carbon 26-inch hardtail that looked like this:
I know which one of those two I’d pick.
The Torrent is a return to the all-mountain hardtail, a niche market that is near and dear to my heart. Say what you will about plus-size tires but they have companies reconsidering what a modern hardtail can be, and the Torrent is a excellent example of this new breed of bike.
There are lots of well-thought-out details on the Torrent, including Boost hub spacing front and rear, a hugely adjustable fork, internal dropper routing and sleek rear caliper positioning.
So far, the Manitou Magnum Pro fork is very plush, although I’m still trying to properly tune it to use more travel on big hits.
The Schwalbe Nobby Nic is, hands down, the best tire I’ve ever ridden on leaf-covered trails.
The 16.7-inch chainstays are one of the reasons this is among the most playful bikes I’ve ridden. That nimbleness is balanced with a good bit of stability from the long front center (29.3 inches) and 67-degree head angle. The dropper post, stout fork and aggressive tires are treating me right, as well.
You’ll have to wait for the full review but, so far so great. See Norco’s website for more info.