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First Impressions

2020 Norco Sight – Build Your Ride

Words AJ Barlas
Photos AJ Barlas
Date Feb 27, 2020
Reading time

Norco lifted the veil on the much anticipated 2020 Sight in October 2019 and its since been generating heaps of interest. For years, the brand has been mindful of the various frame dimensions required by different sized riders but their latest models have stepped it up considerably. Previously, Norco focused on front and rear weight distribution with lengthened rear centres, something most of the industry seems indifferent to, but in 2019 they moved toward a more holistic approach.

This focus has seen their MY20 Optic and now Sight leap ahead of many brands in terms of geometry and fit but they also include carefully considered setup guides targeted not just to rider weight but also body-type and composition. Beyond that users can nail down setup using skill level and riding style. It appears Norco is looking to give customers the best experience possible from their bikes, with less of the guesswork. Other manufacturers aim to do this as well but few appear to be digging as deep. While attempting to reach this goal, Norco spent more time on each model in the Sight range to provide what they feel is the best setup for a given parts package. That’s something we can all get behind because when better equipped to set up a bike, there’s more time to enjoy the ride it provides. Of course, this is provided the setup guides work.

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The dark red/copper colour is one of my favourites from the new range, so I'm pumped to be set up with one for this review.

Although the latest Optic and Sight models have been receiving plenty of praise, the concept behind Norco’s Ride Aligned system is still relatively new to the majority of folks looking for a new bike. Demo days and the local bike store are going to play a huge part in helping riders understand this new era in mountain bike geometry, one where we see less influence from bikes of yore. We're finally starting to ride mountain bikes with shapes designed for their intended use – on the trails. Imagine that…

Highlights

  • Carbon front triangle and seat stays w/ alloy chainstays
  • Ride Aligned System: Geometry and setup specific to rider body type, skill level
  • Ride Aligned setup assistant provides steps to help achieve optimal setup
  • 29 and 27.5-inch wheel options for each model (29-inch being tested)
  • Long travel dropper posts on each frame size
  • Bottle mounts beneath the top tube for an extra bottle or accessory carrying solutions
  • Women’s models for each parts package
  • Build Your Ride custom builder
  • Four-piston brakes on all models
  • 150mm rear / 160mm front suspension travel
  • Weight: 15.4kg (Size XL 29er w/o pedals)
  • Price: 3,599 CAD / 2,799 USD (A3) – 6,999 CAD / 5,199 USD (C2)
  • Build Your Ride Pricing: 5,897 – 9,097 CAD / 4,997 – 7,097 USD (7,597 CAD / 5,897 USD shown)

norco-sight-230120-ajbarlas-07828.jpg

A moment of quiet on Norco's version of Toronto's 401 highway. This is apparently the busiest spot in their warehouse but between all the forklifts it makes for a great shot.

2020 Sight Model Range

Norco has seemingly endless options available for the new Sight. The line starts at 3,599 CAD (2,799 USD) with the base alloy option and goes through five models, including a women's option for each, up to 6,999 CAD (5,199 USD) for the top carbon C2. Models are fitted with a mix of RockShox or Fox, providing choice for riders who swing one way over the other. Drivetrains and brakes vary throughout but the majority are equipped with SRAM. That is until the C2 models, which are equipped with Shimano’s new 12-speed XT drivetrains and SLX brakes. Oh, and each model is available with 27.5 or 29-inch wheels, allowing you to pick your poison.

Every model is fitted with reliable Maxxis Minion tires – DHF front and DHRII rear – with the top spec’ed C2 bumping up the casing to the new EXO+. Size small models are equipped with a 150mm dropper, medium and large bump up to 170mm droppers and the extra-large frames come with a 200mm dropper. The dropper throughout the entire range is the Trans X.

norco-sight-230120-ajbarlas-07889.jpg

The model I'm testing is one from Norco's Build Your Ride program, which gives you the choice of any of the model range frame colours, suspension from Fox or RockShox, and Shimano or SRAM drivetrains, including AXS.

Build Your Own

If there isn't a stock Norco Sight that tickles your fancy, there are two ways to build your own. You can buy a frame only, in the burgundy seen here, or you can choose Norco's Build Your Ride program which makes use of predetermined packages available on the Norco website. This option won’t provide the unlimited flexibility of a full custom build but it gives customers great options, mixing and matching part kits using components from SRAM, Shimano, RockShox, and Fox.

If an alloy frame with the best suspension and a lower budget drivetrain is of interest, you can do that. Maybe Fox suspension is your preference but you don't want to spend the extra money on Kashima coating? You can do that too. Any of the frame colours shown for various models in Norco’s predetermined model range are available and customers can select between carbon or alloy frame materials.

Once frame material, colour, wheel, and frame size have been selected, there are four suspension packages to choose from. The top package is a Fox Factory kit with the gold Kashima bling, or you can opt for the Performance level Fox 36 and Float X2. There are also two options available from RockShox, each including a version of the Lyrik and Super Deluxe rear shock.

The third and final step of the custom build process is selecting the desired component package. There are three tiers available, from the SRAM XX1 option, which includes We Are One Da Bar handlebar and carbon rims with an AXS dropper post, to the bottom option of Shimano XT/SLX group kit with Deity Ridgeline bars, Stans Flow D rims and Trans X dropper. The mid-tier package is SRAM X01 with DT Swiss rims.

Customers can’t specify the wheels or bars from one package into another but Norco has done a great job of arming riders with options to suit many needs. The option to select Fox or RockShox with SRAM or Shimano is great and maybe in the future, there will be more customization available? The build I’ll be testing is a mix of top tier Fox suspension (though I would have been happy with the Performance line) and a Shimano XT/SLX drivetrain, which means I’ll be on Stans Flow D rims and a Deity Ridgeline alloy bar. All parts I'd be likely to opt for.

Norco Sight 'Build Your Ride' Test Bike Specification

  • 160mm Fox Factory Float 36 (GRIP 2 Damper)
  • Fox Factory Float X2 providing 150mm rear wheel travel
  • Shimano XT 1x12 Drivetrain
    • This test bike has Shimano XT cranks but the kit now comes with Race Face Turbine cranks
  • Shimano SLX brakes
  • Stans Flow D rims laced to Shimano XT Hubs
  • Deity Ridgeline 35mm bore, alloy bar
  • Maxxis EXO+ DHF and DHRII tires
  • All models come with Ergon GE10 Evo grips and SM10 saddle, Norco stem and TransX dropper.
  • MSRP: 5,897 USD (7,597.00 CAD)

Frame and Suspension Design

As I mentioned above, Norco has been providing bikes for years that grow not only in the front centre and seat tube but also in the rear centre. Previously known as their Gravity Tune, the concept was simple; keep the riders’ mass centrally located in the wheelbase. They’ve since tweaked their frames to better accommodate today's riders, moving completely away from the road bike influenced sizing structure of the past and leaping ahead with shapes specific to the intended purpose of a mountain bike, on trails, in varied terrain.

The frame design goes a step further with the layup and tubing dimensions for each size adjusted to provide the same feel throughout the range. Two discerning riders, one on a small, the other on an extra-large, should feel similar support and flex characteristics from the frame. Specialized does this, and others likely do as well, but I’m strapped to come up with any competitors that also employ the comprehensive size-specific geometry and suspension setup that Norco has implemented.

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The 2020 Norco Sight has a high starting rate and progressive curve.

When it comes to suspension, the 2020 Sight has a clean leverage curve which should make for increased tunability and consistency. Norco says the suspension kinematics were formed from an analysis of wheel force and energy absorption with an air spring. The leverage ratio starts at a relatively high rate of just above 3.2 and drops to below 2.8, resulting in a progressive suspension package. That should equate to more grip from a lighter initial touch at the top. Norco has also tuned the shock to provide improved mid-stroke support when compared to its outgoing model.

To help riders get the most out of the SIght, Norco has the Ride Aligned setup assistant. The assistant uses a series of forms to gauge what a rider is after from the bike, their height, weight, and skill level. It even includes an option to switch the front to rear suspension offset, to adjust balance to the rider's preference. Not to be confused with fork offset, suspension offset changes the balance of the bike front to rear. I generally prefer the front of my bikes to stand taller, so the default offset was my choice but for someone who prefers a more level balance, it can be changed, bringing the sag percentage closer together, front to rear. The guide makes setup as simple as possible and from there, Norco hopes riders will only need to make minor adjustments to get the bike working perfectly for them.

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The 2020 Norco Sight has a geo that separates it from much of the pack.

Geometry

Norco has grown quite progressive when considering geometry and bike shape but they haven’t pushed as far as Pole or Nicolai/GeoMetron. As a large-scale manufacturer, it’s impressive where they’ve taken things and judging by the interest surrounding the new bikes, they may be hitting the sweet spot for consumers. Of course, not everyone will be pleased by the numbers on paper but with this new direction in MTB geometry still developing, it’s early days. As more riders get opportunities to spend time on different shaped bikes, I believe we’ll see these sort of numbers become quite normal.

norco-sight-geometry-2020.jpg

All the details. The new trend in geometry clearly visible in the Sight but swing a leg over one before putting too much weight on the numbers written here.

There are some standout points to the new Sight worthy of more attention. Steeper seat tube angles aren't anything new but frame-specific seat angles are on the cutting edge. Norco measures their seat tube angles where the actual and effective angles intersect instead of at the horizontal top tube measurement intersection. In many cases, seat tube angles decline as frame size increases, but not here. Norco has developed the frames so that the STA grows subtly steeper as the size increases. As a tall rider, this is something I’m grateful for and I look forward to spending time climbing tech singletrack on the Sight with its claimed 78-degree seat angle.

In addition to the steeper STA on larger frame sizes, the rear centre grows 5mm between each size. The two work together to move the mass of larger riders away from the rear axle and should provide improved climbing grip and weight distribution across the wheels. In my experience, keeping the front wheel planted and the rear gripping makes things more enjoyable on the trail, negating bike weight to an extent. How that will translate to the Sight remains to be seen, but I should mention that it’s not the lightest feeling bike I’ve grabbed hold of.

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Cable routing is clean as it passes over the bottom bracket via clean, firm mounts attached to the lower shock mounts. My test bike has Shimano XT cranks but this drivetrain package has since been updated and now uses Race Face cranks.

Finishing Touches

As with a large majority of bikes today, the Sight features internal routing, including the rear brake line. There is a firm anchor where the cables pass by the bottom bracket and seat tube, mounting them to the lower shock mount. These mounts hold the cables snug, creating a point to pull the cable tight from the headtube.

As with the Optic, the upper shock mount rotates on sealed cartridge bearings but unique to the Sight, so does the lower eyelet. Norco appear keen on improving grip from a more sensitive initial portion to the rear wheel travel. This adds some weight to the overall build but the benefit of better functioning suspension should outweigh that.

norco-sight-230120-ajbarlas-07860.jpg

Thanks to the highway action where I shot these, I'm limited on protective frame details. So here's the XT drivetrain! Look closely and you can see the rubber seat and chainstay protection. I believe this needs work.

Frame protection has been bolstered and the Sight comes with 3M clear tape on the top tube, downtube, behind the seat tube, on the chainstays and a portion of the seat stays (where heels generally rub). It’s a great addition and one I believe adds value to the purchase price; there’s no need to seek an aftermarket vinyl wrap solution here. But the rubber protection on the chainstay and underside of the seat stay remains minimal and doesn’t provide ample coverage. I’ve added a strip of rubber mastic tape between the chainstay and chainring, which is a location that saw some damage on the Optic I tested last year. There’s a solid rubber moulded protector beneath the downtube by the bottom bracket and another to protect the downtube from shuttle pads.

Overall the 2020 Norco Sight looks great and I’m excited to get it on the trails. The Build Your Ride program is an excellent option for riders to customize the build kit, particularly for those who don’t care about carbon frames but still want decent suspension or components, this option opens up the possibilities.

Learn more about the Norco Sight or play with build options in their Build Your Ride custom builder.

AJ_Barlas
AJ Barlas

Age: 39
Height: 191cm/6’3"
Weight: 73kg/160lbs
Ape Index: 1.037
Inseam: 32”
Trail on Repeat: Changes as often as my mood.
Current Regular: Every test product spends time on Entrail

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Comments

cxfahrer
-1 Timer 4Runner1 Heathen trumpstinyhands Angu58
cxfahrer  - Feb. 26, 2020, 11 p.m.

15.4kgs is about the same as my aluminum XXL Capra out of the box, for half the price.

Reply

Heinous
+3 Heathen Shinook Angu58 Jerry Willows Jitensha Kun cxfahrer 4Runner1
Heinous  - Feb. 27, 2020, 3:30 a.m.

I warrantied 3 Capras and eventually didn’t even feel safe on mine after the third failed catastrophically on its first ride due to YT supplying a frame they knew came from a batch with issues. You get what you pay for.

Reply

Timer
+1 cxfahrer
Timer  - Feb. 27, 2020, 10:12 a.m.

Wait what? 3 frames failing catastrophically? On the first ride? An entire batch?

This is the first time I hear about anything like that. And I frequent the German forums where everyone and their dog seems to own at least one Capra.

Reply

Heinous
0
Heinous  - Feb. 27, 2020, 12:50 p.m.

The third failed catastrophically on first ride (seat stay split in half, twisted the whole rear end and folded, landed cleanly off a 1m booter). YT staff let slip that whole batch was known to have a lay up issue but they supplied it anyway to fulfil warranty. I probably still have pics somewhere.

The first started cracking along top centre of top tube after a month. The second cracked around the drop out.

After the third YT offered to warranty just the rear end so I junked it and bought something else.

Reply

Ouch
0
Ouch  - Feb. 27, 2020, 1:02 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

mats
0
mats  - Feb. 27, 2020, 7:04 a.m.

Do you happen to know if Norco is going to expand the Build Your Ride to the Optic?

Reply

AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - Feb. 27, 2020, 12:59 p.m.

I’ll check in with them and see. That would be pretty slick!

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AJ_Barlas
0
AJ Barlas  - March 1, 2020, 4:41 p.m.

I heard from Norco and they informed me there is no intention to get the Optic in the Build Your Ride program at this point.

Reply

mats
+2 AJ Barlas Velocipedestrian
mats  - March 1, 2020, 7:01 p.m.

Bummer. But thanks for checking!

Reply

gdharries
0
Geof Harries  - Feb. 27, 2020, 9:21 a.m.

What size is the bike pictured?

Reply

mammal
+1 AJ Barlas
Mammal  - Feb. 27, 2020, 11:18 a.m.

XL, as mentioned in the "Highlights" bullet point on weight (29, XL).

Reply

gdharries
0
Geof Harries  - Feb. 28, 2020, 6:26 a.m.

Thanks! I didn't know that statement was in relation to the actual photo.

Reply

andrewbikeguide
+1 AJ Barlas
AndrewR  - Feb. 28, 2020, 9:38 a.m.

If AJ is testing it it needs to be the XL. These sit/ ride shorter than the reach numbers might suggest. The steeper STA means a reduction in real world/ effective (centre of the saddle to centre of the steerer) of 6.3 cm. But you feel really centred as a taller rider. No longer need to ram the saddle as far forward as the rails safely allow #longlivethetallpeoplerevolution

Reply

gdharries
0
Geof Harries  - Feb. 28, 2020, 1:50 p.m.

Oh wow, not me. I always have to ram the saddle rearwards as far as it can go, even with a setback seatpost. Otherwise, I can't get enough leg extension no matter how much post is showing.

Reply

JBV
+2 Heinous IslandLife
James Vasilyev  - Feb. 27, 2020, 10:04 a.m.

cue the many comments about weight. every bike review and new release is peppered by weight complaints and comparisons. it seems that long travel 29ers are going to come in around 33 (on the light end) to 36 pounds and there is no way around it if spending under 10k. maybe we all have to come to grips that materials and construction limitations for bikes that can be durable under hard riding are simply going to weigh more than bikes from 10 years ago.

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Timer
+1 cxfahrer
Timer  - Feb. 27, 2020, 10:17 a.m.

The short travel 29ers weight just as much. ;-)

Luckily it isn't that hard to build a lighter one for a lot less money if you so desire. Lighter frames (E. G. Scott, Giant, Ibis) and smart component choice goes a long way.

Unless you are heavy and super rough on gear, but then those 36 pounds won't hold either.

Reply

GladePlayboy
+1 Andrew Major
Rob Gretchen  - Feb. 27, 2020, 10:26 a.m.

Truth.... I just custom built a Firebird 29 and my estimate on MSRP is like a silly $15K... I did not pay that however... in any case you add some Cushcore and some reasonably burly tires and the weight adds up quickly.

Reply

grimwood
+1 Andrew Major
grimwood  - Feb. 28, 2020, 6:50 a.m.

I’m with you Rob. My SB150 is 36-37 pounds. Tires, inserts, and coils feel awesome, but add up pretty quick....

Reply

fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Feb. 27, 2020, 11:07 a.m.

Joe sums it up well here... https://www.instagram.com/p/B8s1oy3n29K/

Reply

andy-eunson
+3 cxfahrer Andrew Major Cam McRae
Andy Eunson  - Feb. 27, 2020, 2:50 p.m.

Mostly true. But some stuff I’ve been reading suggests that wheel weight is not that critical. Overall weight is what counts most for steady state climbing which is mostly what we do. Road sprinters are on deep section rims which if light rims were better for sprinting is the wrong thing for sprinters to do. This article concludes that aerodynamics trump wheel weight. http://www.biketechreview.com/reviews/wheels/63-wheel-performance

The weight difference between various rims is very small in comparison to the weight of the bike and rider.

Weight really matters to me when I’m trying to heft a bike out of a pickup when using a gate pad. Most trucks these days have the top of the bed at 4 or 5 feet up. At 5’ 5” that’s a tall order to hoist a behemoth out. Another reason I’m not interested in an ebike.

Reply

JBV
0
James Vasilyev  - Feb. 27, 2020, 6:35 p.m.

5 5, oi vey! that would be a bitch, and i would think wagon wheelers would feel weird, unless you were hella strong.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+3 twk AJ Barlas JVP
Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 28, 2020, 7:32 a.m.

I don't care how many formulas the guy in that post (from 2001) throws around, you CAN feel the difference between wheels with heavier rims and tires and lighter ones - and you're mentioning rims here but when you factor in tires and inserts as well, it really adds up. It's not just about acceleration, it's also braking and what centripetal force does when you're trying to affect a change in momentum or direction. This also affects vehicle dynamics in motorsports, and I'd put a century of motor racing physics and engineering up against that guy, who is the first person I've ever seen that argues that wheel weight isn't a significant performance factor.

Do small differences (say, less than 50g) make a difference to the average rider? No. Can the average rider feel the difference of 100 or 200 grams on each wheel (rims, spokes, tires)? I'd say yes - even if they don't understand HOW to translate the feeling of being faster in and out of corners, braking and accelerating, or feeling fresher at the end of the ride.

Deep section wheels overcome their weight limitations at certain speeds but aerodynamics in mtb don't really factor in until speeds none of us approach while trail riding. Sprinters use deep-section wheels because of that advantage at top speed - that's true - but ALSO because that aerodynamic advantage adds up over the course of a long stage (even while tucked in a peloton), which helps a sprinter be in position at the end of the race, and with a bit more energy in reserve. Multiply that by 19 stages over 3 weeks and it's a significant amount of energy conserved over three weeks, even if the wheels are heavier. But that's not a scenario that affects any of us.

I'd also propose that your statement about steady-state climbing is not accurate for all mountain bikers, or even most. Speaking locally, when we climb up Mtn Hwy on the way up Fromme, then yes, that is steady-state climbing. But heading up a climbing trail is absolutely not the same - tons of speed and direction changes and wheel weight definitely makes a difference there.

The importance of wheel weight is an old adage for a reason - it's been proven but it's also easy to feel for yourself.

I do agree that overall bike weight is overstated, esp when considering rider and system weight, but I don't think the conventional wisdom about wheel weight is going to change anytime soon.

Reply

andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - Feb. 28, 2020, 9:15 a.m.

I agree with the acceleration feel. I never liked DH tires for those reasons because acceleration to overcome a steep pitch on a technical climbing trail is lacking. I didn’t say that wheel weight didn’t matter but that it is exaggerated. Certainly tire weight, inserts etc add. I was just trying to make the point that weight doesn’t matter that much.

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pete@nsmb.com
0
Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 29, 2020, 1:47 p.m.

I guess it depends on how much weight and our definition of 'doesn't matter much'. But there aren't many things that affect ride quality more than wheels - tires, suspension, and geometry/fit...after that I'm a hard sell.

andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - Feb. 28, 2020, 9:15 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

JVP
+1 Pete Roggeman
JVP  - Feb. 28, 2020, 9:47 a.m.

I'm with Pete 100%. I've got two wheelsets on my bike (got rid of DH bike), and I can tell you it's a massive difference on a longer ride. One is carbon with EXOs, the other is basic WTB alum rims, thicker spokes, CushCore, DoubleDowns, cheap/heavy NX cassette. 

DHR MaxxTerra on both rear tires, so same tread and compound. Seriously, the difference in how my legs feel after even a modest 2500 ft of climbing between the two setups is not subtle.

Reply

Timer
+1 twk
Timer  - Feb. 28, 2020, 3:32 p.m.

Wheels also affect suspension performance and ride dynamics by being unsprung mass.

Reply

IslandLife
+3 Sandy James Oates 4Runner1 AJ Barlas
IslandLife  - Feb. 27, 2020, 11:14 a.m.

Yep, and the people who comment "Well my bike only weighs _____ much!"  Are the same people who have never actually weighed their full bike and don't realize it probably weighs about the same or more.  They tend to stick with the manufacturers bogus weight of a small frame w/ a top spec, without pedals or proper tires.  Once you go to medium to lower spec, up the frame size to a large or XL, add pedals, EXO+ or DD tires and sealant.. = 33 to 35 pounds.

My new medium 27.5 is exactly 33 pounds with EXO+ and Cushcore XC... which I'm pretty excited about and consider it light!

Reply

tehllama42
0
Tehllama42  - Feb. 27, 2020, 11:42 a.m.

Generally agree - on EXO/TRS Race tires and enough sealant to tolerate the desert southwest, I'm on a 34.6lb bike (XXL Instinct 999) - which is impressive given fully carbon frame/cranks/wheels/bars/seat/bottlecage still puts me there.

Reply

4Runner1
+1 Timer
4Runner1  - Feb. 27, 2020, 2:59 p.m.

True. My last bike, '17 29'er Sight C2 is over 33 lbs. My new 27.5 is 30 lbs, 7 oz. The difference, sorry to say, is immediate. 

I really wanted one of the new Sights until I saw that it had been upsized, in terms of travel, length, etc. Add in the weight and it is just too much bike to be my daily driver. Looks sweet, though.

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andrewbikeguide
0
AndrewR  - Feb. 28, 2020, 10:18 a.m.

My XL 2018 Range C 29'er is 33 lbs with 940 gr Apex Protection tyres and a Huck Norris in the rear tyre. 

My 2019 XL Sight C 29'er is 32 lbs with 940 gr Apex Protection tyres.

Both bikes run We Are One wheel sets which are not exactly about the low weight more the ride precision and the total lack of needing to true a wheel in 5000 km of single track over two years.

Wheel weights do make a difference as one can feel the difference with DH cases (Assegai !!!!!) and heavier inserts. But overall energy expenditure over a climb or a full day is more about total weight and good bike fit so that riding is more natural and less fatiguing.

I am expecting my 2020 Optic to build up at about 31 lbs (same tyres) and the 2020 Sight C29 to build out at 33 lbs.

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cxfahrer
0
cxfahrer  - Feb. 28, 2020, 12:48 p.m.

I do not complain about the weight. My Capra has 15.8 - 16.3kgs, depending on tires and with coil now. 

The weight of the Norco is fine. I just did wonder why it is so much heavier than other brands bikes. A heavy frame is not more robust just because of its weight.

Reply

cxfahrer
0
cxfahrer  - Feb. 28, 2020, 12:48 p.m.

This comment has been removed.

fartymarty
+1 AJ Barlas
fartymarty  - Feb. 27, 2020, 11:15 a.m.

Also a mid / long travel 29er with progressive geo is as quick (or quicker) downhill as a 26 DH bike from the not to distant past.  It figures they are going weigh a similar amount.

Reply

Heinous
+1 James Vasilyev
Heinous  - Feb. 27, 2020, 12:51 p.m.

Agree. Weigh more, work better and last longer... it’s a good trade!

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+2 AndrewR Heinous
AJ Barlas  - Feb. 27, 2020, 1:02 p.m.

And depending on the bike, the geo and suspension will change how heavy or light it feels when riding it, which is far more important.

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fartymarty
0
fartymarty  - Feb. 27, 2020, 11:13 p.m.

AJ - Out of interest what does your G1 weigh in at?

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+1 Andrew Major
AJ Barlas  - March 1, 2020, 4:47 p.m.

No idea. I've never weighed it. It's built to take the abuse and bloody hell do I enjoy riding it!

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peterk
0
peterk  - Feb. 27, 2020, 2:45 p.m.

But it's across the board, even on XC bikes which aren't getting ridden hard. Maybe not with the crowd here I'm sure there is a subset out there who are lightweight and don't need the extra stiffness but would appreciate the modern touches: trail geometry, 130-140mm travel, tire sizes, etc... but with a frame weight that they were able to achieve even with the technology of 10 years ago.

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Timer
0
Timer  - Feb. 27, 2020, 11:50 p.m.

The sad truth is that it is very expensive and time consuming to engineer a truly lightweight frame, be it carbon or aluminum.

Which does not go well with two - year product cycles which often lead to entirely new frame designs or suspension layouts.

I have also noticed that a lot of people buy carbon parts for the sake of "its carbon!", even if the actual weight savings are minimal.

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mb
0
Mikey Bikey  - Feb. 27, 2020, 11:02 p.m.

Weight is  my beef with the A2 XL 27.5. My scale said 38. It's about 36 now w. carbon wheels and hope to switch out the frame to carbon to lose  another 1.5 lb. Also junked the SRAM NX 12 spd. for Shimano.
That said, the thing climbs amazingly well and maintains traction while the 63.5 head angle is crazy going down hill.

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mammal
0
Mammal  - Feb. 28, 2020, 8:01 a.m.

Wow. The XL Sight A2 is 38lbs??  I had heard they were surprisingly heavy, which was one of the reasons I went for my Rimpo AF (34lbs with NX spec). I tend to agree with most here, that a lot can be made up with a good pedaling platform... But coming from a 31lb Trance to the RAF was definitely noticeable weight difference, an additional 6 or 7 lbs would take some getting used to.

Reply

LoamtoHome
+1 AJ Barlas
Jerry Willows  - Feb. 27, 2020, 10:09 a.m.

Norco killing it lately...  can't wait to see the mini Aurum coming out.

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xy9ine
0
Perry Schebel  - Feb. 27, 2020, 11:42 a.m.

this should be sick (if a real thing).

Reply

jitenshakun
0
Jitensha Kun  - Feb. 27, 2020, 10:53 a.m.

My long standing view of Norco is a Norco will weigh more and cost less.

Reply

mammal
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Mammal  - Feb. 27, 2020, 11:24 a.m.

When looking at the Sight pricing, I played around a bit with the custom build options, and was wondering if anyone noticed the same... It seems as though the pre-spec'd builds offer a certain level of OEM value, but as soon as you build a custom version, a lot of that value disappears. It could just be the sticker shock of adding a few slightly better options over the lower spec prices, but it seemed to me that custom build option bounces you right out of the "value" bracket. 

For reference, I was looking to build a 29 Aluminum version with basic Fox and SLX. I ended up going with a Ripmo AF in the end.

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tehllama42
+1 Mammal
Tehllama42  - Feb. 27, 2020, 11:45 a.m.

Quite true, it's almost at the point where a 'delete a la carte' option would actually put some of us savvy buyers ahead.  The real value proposition for me would be to carry my current fork and wheels forward

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pete@nsmb.com
+1 AJ Barlas
Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 28, 2020, 7:38 a.m.

This is the way it should be, though. A company selling OE-spec'd parts is benefiting from OE pricing. As soon as they offer you custom options, that means they're carrying an inventory of parts, and that costs money (even if those parts were bought at OE level prices). You either get the custom option or you get the value pricing, but if you expect both, don't expect the brand to still be putting their logo on head tubes in five years.

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mammal
+1 Timer
Mammal  - Feb. 28, 2020, 8:13 a.m.

I understand the economy of scale, and cost of carrying inventory, and all that is relevant. But in the case of Norco's custom spec pricing, the actual price jump when selecting your own parts basically erases any advantage of buying OE parts. A small surcharge for the option is understandable, but you'd be WAY better off buying a budget spec, purchasing the components you want at retail, and then selling the take-offs. That's Norco making extra cash from the custom option. 

I think Norco is missing out on customers with the scale they're using for their custom pricing.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 29, 2020, 1:36 p.m.

Can't disagree there. They're selling convenience and a lot of people don't want to bother with buying and selling parts separately. For some a hobby, for others just another PITA.

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Jotegir
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Lu Kz  - Feb. 27, 2020, 12:07 p.m.

Unfortunately you can't do the yellow frame in the custom options. It's my favorite! There's also a really fancy looking chameleon one or something in the promo vid which does not appear to the available.  Doesn't matter though, I don't think a sight is in my future. I think I'd rather pair the optic and the HSP

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Wile_E.
+4 Andrew Major Cam McRae Mammal Jitensha Kun
Wile_E.  - Feb. 27, 2020, 1:20 p.m.

I keep reading these articles where testers set up the bike as they normally would and the bike was good but something was missing.  Then, they used the Ride Aligned App and unlocked a mode where Unicorns pranced down the trail in front of them smoothing out chunder and supporting them in railing turns. 

So needless to say I was psyched that Norco had advice for me as to how to set up my new Sight (A29 XL).  Unfortunately, the Ride Aligned App doesn't include the A3 (no help for the impoverished mountain biker on an entry level Sight), and the Ride Aligned system doesn't handle a rider weight about 240 pounds. 

As a bigger rider (tall as well as heavy) I must say the Sight is amazing at putting me in a balanced position on the climbs, feels really stable on descents, and the suspension is running pretty well... but come on, Norco.  I want the magic setup numbers too!!!!

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LoamtoHome
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Jerry Willows  - Feb. 27, 2020, 3:26 p.m.

I would send them an email.  I bet you would get a response.

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Wile_E.
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Wile_E.  - Feb. 27, 2020, 3:35 p.m.

Funny thing is I can't find an email address on their website.  There isn't any "contact us" information that I can see... I'd love to talk to one of the people who set up the parameters for Ride Aligned and see what they say.  I did try a web chat asking for suggestions. The best I got (and I don't know who was on the other side of the keyboard) was "try a little more pressure and maybe a couple more clicks of rebound.  Didn't really seem like they were offering any more than my experimenting with setting pressure to a target sag.

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StuckInUk
+2 Geof Harries Wile_E.
StuckInUk  - Feb. 28, 2020, 1:15 p.m.

Having been on the inside of Norco, I did have the conversation that people above 250lbs and 6'3" like to ride bikes too. I have had this many times over the years there.  They did somewhat listen and hence the seatpost angle changing as you go up in size.  Hopefully they will get there, but all the testers are really skinny so I am not holding my breath and folks above 240lbs riding bikes are extreme outliers according to the data, so I get it. For us larger folk though when using the the ride aligned app, just push the skill level to "semi-professional" to get your settings.  The pressure settings will work reasonably well for the shocks/fork on the A3.  It worked well for me and definitely made a difference to the way the bike rode as the suspension setup on this new geometry is geared towards higher pressures.

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Wile_E.
+2 Pete Roggeman Mammal
Wile_E.  - Feb. 28, 2020, 1:49 p.m.

Thanks for this and for the advocacy of the XXL crowd.  I'm 6'2" and 280 on the bike.  I've seen some of the Norco guys on Burke and we don't look like twins.  If I set the app to Professional and set the offset to have me riding off the back, the shock recommendation is 290 psi which is still about 25psi less than I need to attain a reasonable amount of sag.  I may need to set it up like a Red Bull Rampage rider according to Norco.  

I think all I can really do is aim for 30% sag in the rear and 25% sag in the fork and set rebound to (nearly) max (and have the shock custom tuned if it is too fast). 

I get that I am an extreme outlier in the MTB community.  I probably should get out and find a fun way to exercise and lose some weight (oh, wait, wouldn't a bike be good for that?).  I wonder, though, if part of the reason I'm such an outlier is that it's a hard sport to break into for the sized.  Trying to find pads, jerseys, rain gear, and shorts is a nightmare, before I even get to bikes that need custom tuned shocks and manufacturers who void the warranty if I throw a leg over their bike (Norco does not btw, they say I have another 20 pounds before we get there).  Really I wonder to what extent there is a "if they build it bigger, they (my kind) will come" thing here. 

I think if Cam really wants to do long term reliability reviews, he should get me testing parts... and I could scour the manufacturers for stuff that fits people who don't look like they did when they were 25.

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gdharries
+1 Andy Eunson
Geof Harries  - Feb. 29, 2020, 12:29 p.m.

Then I guess us "extreme outliers" need to stick together and advocate for one another!

I'm 6'3", 200 lbs and have a 37" inseam. As such, I have a really hard time finding bikes that fit. It's getting worse as the latest trend of XL frames is short seat-tubes and short head-tubes with extremely low stack heights.

Last summer I wrote a review of a clydesdale-sized gravel bike called ironically, the Clydesdale Team. Clydesdale just released a massive 29x3 wheeled hardtail called the Steer. It would be awesome to see some reviews of this bike by popular sites like nsmb.com so the word can spread.

Hey @cam_mcrae if you are interested, let me know. I can send you the email of one of the company owners.

gdharries
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Geof Harries  - Feb. 28, 2020, 6:30 a.m.

Finally, someone bigger (taller/heavier) than average chimes in.

What's your height?

I ask because so many bikes now come with very short seat tubes for the very largest frame size. I'm just wondering how much post you have sticking out of its 465mm seat tube.

My hardtail has a 530mm seat tube and with the dropper post slammed, it's still more than enough space. I fear if I rode a bike with a 465mm seat tube, I'd snap the post right off.

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Ouch
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Ouch  - Feb. 28, 2020, 12:44 p.m.

I have the Sight A1 XL, which comes with a 200mm dropper. I'm 6'2" and 5mm is exposed from being slammed. Also the post is 34.9mm diameter, so it feels very solid.

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Wile_E.
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Wile_E.  - Feb. 28, 2020, 1:54 p.m.

At 6'2" on the Sight, I have a little seatpost out, but not much (5-10mm).  I really appreciate that Norco put a 200mm dropper on this bike.  When the seat is down and I'm standing on the pedals, there is acres of space to move on this bike.  When the dropper is all the way up, I'm still centred on the bike and it is planted as opposed to my old Genius which placed me way over the back and made keeping the front wheel down on climbs a real struggle. 

The Sight is heavy and I feel it, and it feels slower on the climbs than my Genius which was several pounds lighter... but my times on the climb are all quicker on the Sight and I'm getting over stuff I couldn't on the Genius (and I don't feel like I've worked as hard).

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oudiaou
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oudiaou  - Feb. 28, 2020, 10:31 p.m.

I’m 6’4” and riding a bike with 465 mm seat tube. My 185 mm dropper post is at min insertion and I’d prefer to have another 0.5-1 cm. It’s holding up fine so far, but I am set on not buying a bike with super short seat tube again even though this limits my options

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JBV
+2 twk Mammal
James Vasilyev  - Feb. 27, 2020, 6:49 p.m.

they are hard to contact, like most bike companies. they want you to contact their dealers. if you go to 'inside norco' you will find a help button on the lower left. type in contact and you will get a contact form to put in your email and subject line.   i've contacted them by faking applying for a job and then asking a question and had a response. or find a senior employee's name and ask them via linkedin, etc.  basically you have to think guerrilla in order to contact a company in the modern era. make it a challenge, send them a post card, mail a letter, stake out their headquarters and hit up an employee headed home from work, etc. go mission impossible on them, it can be done.

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cam@nsmb.com
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Cam McRae  - Feb. 27, 2020, 11:06 p.m.

So good! I love that kind of ingenuity. 

Wile E. - if you are local you could try going to John Henry since they are owned by Norco.

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Timer
+1 twk
Timer  - Feb. 27, 2020, 11:58 p.m.

Or go the upper class route, buy some parts of their company and ask your questions at the shareholder meeting.

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pete@nsmb.com
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Pete Roggeman  - Feb. 28, 2020, 7:45 a.m.

Not everyone knows that Norco's parent company is Live to Play Sports but if you google it, then you get this:

https://www.livetoplaysports.com/en/contact-us/

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cyclotoine
+2 AJ Barlas Pete Roggeman
cyclotoine  - Feb. 28, 2020, 9:57 a.m.

Just want to say I was stoked to see this review forthcoming. I'm similar in height to AJ (1cm taller I think) and similarly apey. I'm about 25 lbs heavier (damn dude, you are roadie svelt!). 

Anyway, the sight is the most exciting new bike from a major brand for me. The only other bikes that have me interested are those from Privateer, Pole, Nicoli etc... european brands pushing the geometry envelope. Currently, I'm on an XXL sentinel and it doesn't climb the best. The geometry numbers of these two bikes are very similar with identical reach, head angle and fork offset, but norco pushes the rider further forward (17mm shorter ETT!!!) and extends the chainstays by 10mm. I think this will translate into better climbing traction for tall individuals and I wonder if the further forward position will also make it feel a little more spirited on the climbs. The sentinel can feel bogged down if your shock PSI is not at the higher end of the scale, which has the trade off a bit less planted and stable on the downs. My XL Pole Taiga fatbike has 470mm chainstays and the traction is otherworldly coming off the conventional XC fatbike geometry. This has me convinced that longer chainstays are going to improve climbing for taller riders. My other data point for the benefits of longer chainstays for taller riders is going from a 2015 XXL Instinct BC edition to a 2018 XL Instinct the chainstays got significantly shorter (452mm RC to 436mm) and the 2018 was a far less stable downhill smasher than the 2015 was even though travel numbers and front center numbers were similar.

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Varaxis
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Dan V  - March 14, 2020, 8:42 a.m.

Excuse me for being kind of new around here, but I just was shocked that no one mentioned how impressive the photos are. The lighting looks so good, considering the setting. Is this quality level the norm here, that people expect it or something?

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