Norco Product Launch

Norco released their 2011 product line this month to an eager group of MTB press wonks and Norco dealers in North Vancouver, BC. It was the perfect setting for Norco to announce the integration of Advanced Ride Technology (A.R.T.) suspension design in select models for 2011. Our hotel was no more than 30 minutes away from some legendary North Shore trails, and Norco gave us the low-down as well as letting us sample the goods on their local trails.

What is A.R.T., and what does it do? Norco explains it as optimization of the FSR suspension design by changing the pivot points.  By moving the pivot points, Norco has slightly increased chain growth and rearward axel path at the beginning of the shock’s travel. The result, according to Norco, is a bike with increased pedaling efficiency and square edge bump compliance. In other words: climbs better and rolls faster and smoother over rough terrain.

Norco has equipped four 2011 models with the A.R.T. suspension design:

Range: a 160mm travel All Mountain bike. Other notable features include an integrated dropout with Syntace X-12 142x12mm rear axle, post-mount brakes and tapered 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″ headtube.

Shinobi: a 120mm travel All Mountain 29er with a 140mm RockShox Reba fork.

Vixa: a women’s specific geometry 160mm travel Freeride and All Mountain bike. The Vixa also uses the Syntace rear axle and tapered headtube.

We rode two days on the North Shore trails with Norco pros Sam Dueck, Jay Hoots, Dylan Korba, Ryan Leech, and Darcy Turenne along with other Norco employees. I had a chance to ride the new Range and I’ve got to say, I was impressed. It’s a bike I’d like to spend a lot more time on.

Photo by Derek Vanderkooy

While A.R.T. was the big news this year from Norco, they also touched on a few other developments to their extensive stable of bikes, including some interesting looking urban and commuter bikes. You can see them all for yourself on the Norco Blog

One of the off-bike highlights for me was Yoga class each morning with Ryan Leech overlooking the Vancouver harbor. If you’ve ever met Ryan or seen one of his performances, you know that he’s a brilliant rider, but also an incredibly nice guy. He was kind enough to hold yoga classes for all attending the product launch.

Aside from learning about their new bikes, riding killer trails, and beautiful accommodations, it was great to get together with Norco pro riders and the people behind the scenes at Norco who make it all happen. This is a group of dedicated cyclists having fun making bikes they like to ride.

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