Dirt Rag Magazine

Sea Otter Report: Three new 27.5 bikes from Norco

Norco

Norco embraced 27.5” wheels in a big way with the Sight and Range models. In 2014 Norco looks to expand that embrace even more. We got a glimpse of what lies ahead, check it out!

Sight Carbon

In case the big-ass prototype sticker didn’t tip you off, this isn’t a production model yet. Norco has been taking its time developing carbon mountain bikes. The Sight is already a sweet trail bike, but the carbon model should drop 25% off the current alloy frame, while being strong enough to handle the rough and tumble nature of Norco’s home trails in British Colombia.

Prices and specs aren’t set in stone yet, but expect two to three models from $4,000-$7,000. Carbon Sights should be In shops in early fall 2013.

Revolver 27.5 carbon hardtail

The Revolver name is currently used for the 100mm travel 29er full-suspension XC bike in Norco’s lineup, but this hardtail shares the name and little else. This is a completely new frame design, noticeably different from Norco’s current Team 29er carbon hardtail.

To me the biggest news with this frame is the use of different length chainstays for each size, what Norco refers to as Gravity Tune. First seen on their full suspension bikes, chainstays get longer as frames get bigger, keeping ride feel consistent between sizes. Since carbon frames use a different mode for each size, it seems odd that no one else is doing this.

The front end of the bike is big and beefy, but the svelte looking chainstays offer the promise of a compliant ride. Norco claims this is a sub 1000 gram frame, but is also the stiffest frame they’ve ever made. Again, nothing set in stone for trim levels, but expect prices from $2,200 to $5,600.

Fluid 27.5

The 2013 Fluid is a 29-inch trail bike aimed at the meat of the market. For 2014, the Fluid range will include 27.5-inch models. This is a 120mm trail bike, which is really enough bike for 80% of riders on 80% of the trails out there. (I know this because I did a lot of science, put it into a spreadsheet, and made charts. Or I just made those numbers up).

Prices are should run a wallet friendly $1,750-$2,400, but these aren’t going to ride like budget bikes. Norco specs components that will handle real off road trails. Don’t expect to win any lightweight contests, but bikes don’t very ride well hanging on a scale.

 

 

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