That’s right folks, we’ve got big news out of Canada today with the arrival of a brand new electric mountain bike; the 2020 Norco Sight VLT 29. The good news? There are four models available, and not one of them costs over $10K. In fact, two of them are actually priced under $7K, which is pretty incredible given the specifications. The even better news? We’ve got the C1 model in for testing right now, and holy cow is this one beast of a bike! Here we’ll be taking a closer look at what’s new, how the Sight VLT 29er compares to its smaller-wheeled sibling, and what our first impressions are of riding this chunky-looking e-MTB. Norco has a brand new Sight VLT 29er joining its e-MTB range for 2020. Wait A Minny Mate – Doesn’t The Sight VLT Already Exist? Yes, yes it does! The current Norco Sight VLT (now known as the Sight VLT 27.5) has barely been on the market for a year, having arrived in late 2018. As you’ll read in our long term review it’s a bike that we didn’t take long to fall in love with thanks to its superb handling, lively suspension and generous battery range. Thankfully the Sight VLT 27.5 isn’t going anywhere – it’s just being joined by a beefcake brother. Surely Norco Has Just Thrown 29in Wheels Onto The Same Bike? Nope. The Sight VLT 29 doesn’t just have bigger wheels, it features an entirely new chassis. As we’ll get onto shortly, the geometry is quite different between the two. The Sight VLT 29 takes a lot of inspiration from the naturally-aspirated Sight, building on Norco’s ‘Ride Aligned’ ethos. Like the 27.5in version, the Sight VLT 29 uses a 630Wh In-Tube battery. Why Another Sight VLT Then? There are a couple of reasons. For a start, riders are simply asking for 29er e-MTBs. While we have thoroughly enjoyed the easier handling of the 27.5in wheels on the Sight VLT (and more recently the 27.5in Santa Cruz Heckler), there’s no denying the climbing and rollover benefits of a bigger 29in wheel – something that becomes more obvious the more technical the terrain is. Also, and in case you hadn’t noticed, Norco’s been on a bit of a blinder over the past 12 months. The Canucks have rolled out an all-new Optic, and they’ve also brought back the Torrent enduro hardtail in all its steel-framed glory. Then there was the release of the totally revamped Sight, as well as the arrival of Norco’s biggest and baddest e-MTB yet; the Range VLT. With that last bike (an absolute monster of an e-MTB with 180/170mm of travel, coil suspension and DH-worthy geo), Norco created a pretty significant gap in its full suspension e-MTB lineup. And so to fill that gap between the Sight VLT 27.5 and the Range VLT, we now have this brand spanking new Sight VLT 29er. As you’ll see, it does share a few things in common with the 27.5in version, though there are some significant differences too. The Norco Sight VLT 29er – Give Us The Lowdown First, let’s start by covering off what carries over from the 27.5in version. In terms of suspension travel, it’s exactly the same as the Sight VLT 27.5. So we’ve got a 160mm travel fork on the front, and 150mm of rear wheel travel courtesy of a four-bar suspension platform. The motor and battery system are also the same. There’s a Shimano STEPS mid-drive motor integrated into the frame, and a non-Shimano battery that is stowed inside that huge downtube. As with the Sight VLT 27.5, Norco has gone for a big 630Wh rechargeable battery, though unlike a lot of other e-MTBs on the market, it isn’t designed to be easily removable. This does mean the frame can be built lighter and sleeker. There’s 150mm of rear wheel travel via a 4-bar suspension design. Because of the motor, the chainstay length is over 20mm longer than the regular Sight. Up front is a 160mm travel reduced-offset fork and a beefy 2.5WT Maxxis Minion DHF. So What’s Different Then? Aside from the obvious wheelsize difference, the biggest change with the Sight VLT 29er is the geometry. Much like the new Optic, Sight and Range VLT models, the new Sight VLT 29 shares Norco’s new-school geometry concept with a significantly slacker head tube angle, a longer top tube, a steeper seat tube angle and a lower BB. Consequently, the wheelbase has expanded. Big time. For those wondering, here are some of the headline geometry figures of the Sight VLT 29 and how they compare to the Sight VLT 27.5; Head Angle: 64° (vs 66°) Seat Angle: 78.3° (vs 75°) Chainstays: 458mm (vs 440mm) Reach: 455mm (vs 440mm, Medium) BB drop: 25mm (vs 15mm) Wheelbase: 1246mm (vs 1184mm) We love the current Sight VLT 27.5, and thankfully it isn’t going away – the two Sight VLTs will coexist. For now at least. Given those differences, we can see why the Sight VLT 29 and Sight VLT 27.5 will coexist. For riders who want a more playful and easy-handling bike, the 27.5in version is likely going to remain the more logical option. For those who are chasing all-out speed and stability, the 29er appears to be the sled you’re looking for. One other thing to note on the geometry is that while it is very similar to the naturally-aspirated Sight (a bike that we just finished reviewing), the rear centre length is the same between all four frame sizes (the regular Sight has a different RC length for each size). This is purely down to the mid-drive motor, which unfortunately makes it impossible to change the BB location to extend or shorten the RC length. 2020 Norco Sight VLT 29 Geometry Moar Battery! Moar Water! Moar Alloy! Geometry aside, there are some other functional differences to be found on the Sight VLT 29. Whereas the current Sight VLT 27.5 is only available in carbon fibre, the Sight VLT 29 comes in both alloy and carbon variants. The addition of two alloy models helps to bring the cost of entry down significantly, with the cheapest A2 model coming in at $6,199. We’ve got specs and pricing on all four models below. One update that is likely to make many riders happy is the provision of a water bottle cage inside the mainframe – something that the current Sight VLT 27.5 misses out on. This has been achieved by twisting the rear shock by 90°, which helps to increase clearance for a bottle while still accommodating the shock’s piggyback reservoir. Also good news is the option of running a range extender battery pack. Just like the Range VLT, this additional 360Wh battery is designed to sit on top of the downtube and plugs into the frame just above the Shimano motor. The battery sells separately for $699 and increases total capacity to 990Wh, which is an extraordinary amount of juice. If you do choose to run a range extender battery, you will have to forgo the water bottle though. Unlike the 27.5in version, the Sight VLT 29 comes with water bottle mounts, and it’s also compatible with Norco’s aftermarket range extender battery pack. Which 2020 Norco Sight VLT 29 Models Are Coming To Oz? There are four different Sight VLT 29 models available in Australia – two carbon (the C1 & C2) and two alloy (the A1 & A2). Norco also makes a cheaper C3 carbon bike, but we won’t be seeing that one locally. Oh, and unlike all the other new bike releases we’ve covered for the start of 2020, not one of Norco’s Sight VLT models will sell for over $10K. Phew! We suspect there’ll be a lot of demand for the A1 model in particular, given its super competitive $6,999 list price. For your monies, you’ll get the same Shimano E8000 motor as the carbon models, a proper RockShox Yari fork, a piggyback rear shock, 1×12 drivetrain, 4-piston Shimano brakes and high-end Maxxis tyres, complete with the heavy duty DoubleDown casing and sticky 3C MaxxGrip rubber compound. Ticks a lot of boxes hey? Read on for a closer look at all four models that are hitting our shores over the coming months; The top-end Norco Sight VLT C1 29er is decked out with a Lyrik Ultimate RC2 fork, DT Swiss wheels and a Reverb Stealth dropper post. 2020 Norco Sight VLT C1 29 Frame | Carbon Fibre Mainframe & Seatstays, Alloy Chainstays, Four-Bar Suspension Design, 150mm Travel Fork | RockShox Lyrik Ultimate, Charger 2 RC2 Damper, 42mm Offset, 160mm Travel Shock | RockShox Super Deluxe Select+, DebonAir, 185×55mm Drive Unit | Shimano STEPS E8000, 70Nm Battery | In-Tube 630Wh Wheels | DT Swiss E 1700 Hybrid, 30mm Inner Rim Width Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHF DoubleDown 3C MaxxGrip 2.5WT Front & DHR II DoubleDown 3C MaxxGrip 2.4WT Rear Drivetrain | SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 w/Shimano XT 34T Crankset & NX Eagle 11-50T Cassette Brakes | SRAM Code R 4-Piston w/200mm Rotors Bar | Deity Ridgeline 35, 25mm Rise, 800mm Wide Seatpost | RockShox Reverb, 34.9mm Diameter, Travel: 150mm (S), 175mm (M), 200mm (L/XL) RRP | $9,799 The C2 utilises the same carbon chassis as the top-end C1, but specs a Shimano XT 1×12 drivetrain, a cheaper fork damper and a TranzX dropper post to lob a grand off the price. 2020 Norco Sight VLT C2 29 Frame | Carbon Fibre Mainframe & Seatstays, Alloy Chainstays, Four-Bar Suspension Design, 150mm Travel Fork | RockShox Lyrik Select, Charger RC Damper, 42mm Offset, 160mm Travel Shock | RockShox Super Deluxe Select+, DebonAir, 185×55mm Drive Unit | Shimano STEPS E8000, 70Nm Battery | In-Tube 630Wh Wheels | Shimano XT Hubs & e*thirteen LG1 DH Alloy Rims, 30mm Inner Width Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHF DoubleDown 3C MaxxGrip 2.5WT Front & DHR II DoubleDown 3C MaxxGrip 2.4WT Rear Drivetrain | Shimano XT 1×12 w/XT 34T Crankset & 10-51T Cassette Brakes | Shimano XT 4-Piston w/203mm Rotors Bar | Norco 6061 Alloy, 20mm Rise, 800mm Wide Seatpost | TranzX YSP-39JL, 34.9mm Diameter, Travel: 150mm (S), 170mm (M), 200mm (L/XL) RRP | $8,799 Prefer metal? The Sight VLT A1 is sure to become a best-seller given its $6,999 price tag and the fact that it comes with proper suspension, proper tyres and proper brakes. Plus it has the same motor and battery as the carbon models. 2020 Norco Sight VLT A1 29 Frame | Hydroformed Alloy, Four-Bar Suspension Design, 150mm Travel Fork | RockShox Yari RC, Motion Control Damper, 42mm Offset, 160mm Travel Shock | RockShox Super Deluxe Select+, DebonAir, 185×55mm Drive Unit | Shimano STEPS E8000, 70Nm Battery | In-Tube 630Wh Wheels | Shimano Deore Hubs & e*thirteen LG1 DH Alloy Rims, 30mm Inner Width Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHF DoubleDown 3C MaxxGrip 2.5WT Front & DHR II DoubleDown 3C MaxxGrip 2.4WT Rear Drivetrain | SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 w/Shimano FC-E8000 34T Crankset & NX Eagle 11-50T Cassette Brakes | Shimano MT520 4-Piston w/203mm Rotors Bar | Norco 6061 Alloy, 20mm Rise, 800mm Wide Seatpost | TranzX YSP-39JL, 34.9mm Diameter, Travel: 150mm (S), 170mm (M), 200mm (L/XL) RRP | $6,999 As the entry-point into the Sight VLT lineup, the A2 may well be one of the most capable e-MTBs going at this price point. 2020 Norco Sight VLT A2 29 Frame | Hydroformed Alloy, Four-Bar Suspension Design, 150mm Travel Fork | RockShox 35 Gold, Motion Control Damper, 42mm Offset, 160mm Travel Shock | RockShox Super Deluxe Select+, DebonAir, 185×55mm Drive Unit | Shimano STEPS E7000, 60Nm Battery | In-Tube 500Wh Wheels | Shimano Deore Hubs & WTB ST i29 Alloy Rims, 29mm Inner Width Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHF DoubleDown 3C MaxxGrip 2.5WT Front & DHR II DoubleDown 3C MaxxGrip 2.4WT Rear Drivetrain | Shimano Deore 1×10 w/Alloy 32T Crankset & Deore 11-42T Cassette Brakes | Shimano MT420 4-Piston w/203mm Rotors Bar | Norco 6061 Alloy, 20mm Rise, 800mm Wide Seatpost | TranzX YSP-39JL, 34.9mm Diameter, Travel: 150mm (S), 170mm (M), 200mm (L/XL) RRP | $6,199 The Sight VLT C1 comes with a SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain, though a cheaper (and heavier) NX Eagle cassette. Compared to the 27.5in version, the Sight VLT 29 is considerably longer and slacker. It’s also lower in the BB too. First Impressions The model we’ve got our hot little hands on is the top-end C1. In terms of its overall shape and geometry, it shares a lot in common with the naturally aspirated Sight – a bike that I only just finished testing. The reach and head angle are identical between the two, but because the Sight VLT 29 has a slightly steeper seat angle, the cockpit does feel shorter and more upright in direct comparison. With the same bars, grips and 160mm Lyrik fork, the front-end feels reassuringly familiar. The saddle is an e-MTB specific number from Ergon though, with a pronounced scoop at the tail that’s designed to provide a stronger platform for your sit-bones while seated on steep, technical climbs. It’s comfortable, though I’ll be playing around with saddle tilt and fore/aft positioning to get it dialled in properly, as right now it feels like I have too much weight on the grips. One other key geometry difference is the rear centre length, which is over 20mm longer on the Sight VLT 29 (458mm vs 435mm). On the climbs, this helps to keep the front end from pitching, and it all feels very steady and calm. On the descents, the longer back end does give the electric version a bigger footprint on the trail, and it also helps to shift a little more weight distribution onto the front tyre. This is complemented by the extra weight of the battery and motor, giving the Sight VLT 29 an enormously planted feel at speed. Despite only having one solid ride on it so far, I’m already feeling very comfortable – something that took me a few rides on the regular Sight to achieve. 800mm wide riser bars from Deity, along with Ergon GE1 grips and SRAM Code R brakes. It’s a tough-looking cockpit, if quite messy with all those Shimano Di2 wires. For those wondering, our medium sized Sight VLT 29 weighs in at a not-feathery 23.43kg. Part of the weight comes down to the Maxxis Minion DoubleDown tyres, which tip the scales at 1.23kg for the DHF and 1.17kg for the DHR II. They also feature the mega-sticky 3C MaxxGrip rubber compound, which offers an insane amount of grip, albeit with a noticeably slower rolling speed. Not as big of a deal when you’ve got a 70Nm motor between the crank arms though. We’ll be testing the Sight VLT 29 over the coming weeks, and I’ve got a few big rides planned to see how it’ll handle a variety of trail types and conditions. Norco also supplied us with a range extender battery pack. According to the workshop scales, this weighs in at 2.3kg, which brings the total bike weight close to 26kg. Yeesh! However, it does give you nearly 1000Wh of battery to indulge in, which opens up some pretty cool riding adventure opportunities. Your suggestions are welcome! Stay tuned to the Flow website for the full review, though in the meantime, by all means shoot us through any questions you’ve got, and be sure to tell us your thoughts on the new 2020 Norco Sight VLT 29. The range extender battery pack sells separately for $699 and adds 2.3kg of mass to the bike. It does jack up capacity to 990Wh, which opens up some the possibility of bigger adventures. Mo’ Flow Please! Enjoyed that article? Then there’s plenty more to check out on Flow Mountain Bike, including all our latest news stories and product reviews. And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up to our Facebook page and Instagram feed so you can keep up to date with all things Flow! The post First Ride | Norco Releases All-New Sight VLT 29er appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.
The DownRock is a brand new, bird-flippin’, trail-rippin’ hardtail that has just been launched by the crew from Curve Cycling. Joining the Melbourne brand’s existing off-road lineup that includes the UpRock, GXR and GMX, the DownRock is pitched as being the most capable and the most naughty of the lot. We’ve just received a complete Curve DownRock for a full shakedown and review, but before we get it dead-filthy like, let’s take a closer look at this lovely mountain bike to see what makes it special. Aussie brand Curve Cycling is ready to unleash its new hardtail pinner; the DownRock. Ooh Shiny! That’s because it’s titanium mate! Ti-3Al-2.5V to be exact, and from first inspection, it appears to have been masterfully welded together with some extremely neat joins on display for all to see. Why titanium? Because it offers a unique blend of strength, weight and durability, and when it’s all put together, offers a zingier ride quality than alloy, while being lighter than steel. Plus, just look at it! That ain’t no painted frame… Nice short back end on our Medium test bike. That’s A Big BB Shell – What’s Inside? Up front, the DownRock gets a shapely tapered head tube to house a clean zero-stack headset. At the opposite end, cowled dropouts are locked down with a simple 148x12mm alloy thru-axle. Partway between the two, you’ll find a huge T47 threaded bottom bracket shell – a relatively new frame standard that aims to offer the ability to fit pretty much any crank axle size, without being forced to use really tiny ball bearings. This is particularly important for cranks with a 30mm axle, which take up most of the space inside a traditional threaded BB shell, leaving very little room for the bearings themselves. T47 (named after its 47mm internal diameter) allows for larger BB cups that thread into the frame, rather than press-in like PF92 and PF30 bottom bracket systems. Structurally, it offers more surface area for the downtube, seat tube and chainstays to weld to, which creates a stiffer and stronger junction in a part of the frame that experiences high loads. Up until now, T47 has mostly found favour with smaller frame builders, though with Trek recently adopting the standard for its new Crockett cyclocross bike, there’s a good chance we’ll be seeing it on more bikes, from more brands, in the future. It’s a threaded bottom bracket shell, but a bit bigger than normal. The T47 bottom bracket shell offers a big platform to join all those tubes together, and it also allows for a variety of different crank sizes to be used. The Big Fork, Fat Rubber & Long Dropper Club Being a hardtail that’s designed to seek out the good times, the DownRock is ready to accept 130-150mm travel fork. However, Curve specs both the frameset and the complete bikes with a 130mm travel RockShox Pike Ultimate fork. With that fork, you’re looking at a 65° head angle and a very healthy BB drop of 62-66mm, depending on the frame size. Along with the generous reach measurements, the DownRock puts a big fat tick in the long, low and slack boxes. Helping to take the sting out of the trail further, the DownRock is rolling on 29in wheels all the way from the Small through to the XL size. There’s clearance for up to a 2.6in tyre in the back, though our test bike has an e*thirteen rubber combo with a 2.4in All-Terrain up front and a 2.35in Semi-Slick out back. While the DownRock has been tested with a 150mm travel fork, Curve has optimised the geometry around a 130mm fork. High volume e*thirteen rubber front and rear, with a semi-slick out back. Along with modern geometry and high-volume rubber, dropper posts have been an absolute boon for the humble hardtail. With your arms and legs playing a bigger role in impact-absorption duties, being able to crush the saddle out of the way offers a tonne more room for moving around the cockpit while bending your limbs in preparation for the next huck-to-flat. To make the most of the latest crop of big travel dropper posts, the DownRock employs a short seat tube – our Medium test bike has a 410mm seat tube, and comes spec’d with a 170mm dropper. Larger frames get a whopping 200mm travel party post! This thing looks fun standing still! Size-Specific Seat Angle & Chainstays As you’ll see below, there’s been some serious attention to the geometry on the DownRock. After all, it’s one of the most important aspects of any mountain bike, and even more so on a hardtail. To begin with, there are five frame sizes, rather than the usual four. The ‘Extra Medium’ (love that name!) slots in between the Medium and Large frame sizes, and offers up more choice for riders who have a particular reach measurement in mind. Another aspect that Curve was eager to address is the rear centre measurement, which has been scaled proportionally for each frame size. So as the front centre (reach) gets bigger, so too does the rear centre (chainstay length). The idea is to maintain weight distribution as much as possible between frame sizes, while keeping the back end compact for responsive handling through the turns. At least, that’s the theory anyway. Short seat tubes allow for long dropper posts. With the saddle slammed, it’s got a total BMX vibe about it. Stubby 35mm long stem mates to a nice long top tube. Likewise, the seat tube angle is quite different between each of the five frame sizes. And indeed on the smaller frames the seat tube has more of a bend to it, whereas it’s completely straight on the XL frame size. This is all about producing a similar effective seat tube angle (a rather steep 75.75°) when measured from the stack line. It’s no doubt a more expensive way of producing a frame, because you need different tubing for the rear of the bike for all five sizes. But it’s cool to see Curve make that commitment to maintaining consistent sizing and rider fit throughout the range. This is something we’ve seen Norco do with its latest Sight and Optic models, and we’d like to see more brands share that same commitment. Curve DownRock frame geometry. Note the ‘Extra Medium’ size. Nice! Curve DownRock Frameset Features Ti-3Al-2.5V Titanium tubing Tapered Zero Stack headtube Designed to accommodate 130-150mm travel forks 65° head angle 75.75° effective seat tube angle Reach: 422mm (SM), 444mm (MD), 459mm (XM), 474mm (LG), 496mm (XL) Chainstay length: 420-445mm (size dependent) T47 bottom bracket shell Boost 148x12mm thru-axle dropouts Max tyre clearance: 29×2.6in Max chainring clearance: 32T (SM), 34T (MD-XL) Two bottle cage mounts Claimed weight: 2000g (XL size) A lovely tapered head tube hides a zero-stack headset. Room for up to 2.6in tyres back there. A post-mount disc brake and a bolt-up 148x12mm thru-axle keep the back end slim and tidy. Choose Your Own Hardtail Adventure Curve offers the option to buy the DownRock as a standalone frame that comes with a headset, seat collar and thru-axle for $3,299. There’s also a frameset package for $4,499, which adds in a RockShox Pike Ultimate RC2 fork and a Reverb Stealth dropper post. Or you can go for a complete bike, like the one we have here, which sells for $8,999. Here’s a closer look at the spec on the complete bike; Frame | Ti-3Al-2.5V Titanium, 0mm Travel Fork | RockShox Pike Ultimate RC2, Charger 2 Damper, 42mm Offset, 130mm Travel Wheels | DT Swiss 350 Hubs & Curve Dirt Hoops Wider 40 Carbon Rims, 30mm Inner Rim Width Tyres | e*thirteen All-Terrain TRSr MoPo 29×2.4in Front & Semi-Slick TRSr 29×2.35in Rear Drivetrain | SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 w/GX Eagle 32T Cranks & 10-50T Cassette Brakes | SRAM G2 RSC 4-piston, 180mm Rotors Bar | Joystick 8-BIT LT Alloy, 28mm Rise, 800mm Width Stem | Joystick Binary, 31.8mm Diameter, 35mm Length Seatpost | RockShox Reverb Stealth Dropper Post, 170-200mm Travel Saddle | WTB Silverado Pro RRP | $8,999 All cables and hydro lines run externally under the downtube with bolt-on guides keeping them in check. Is a modern hardtail like this enough to bring you over from your full suspension bike? So what do you folks think of the new Curve DownRock? Is this a hardtail you’d like to party on? Let us know your thoughts, and any questions you might have for us, in the comments below! We’ll be hitting the local test loops on the DownRock shortly, so get set for a full review coming soon. If you need more info in the meantime, head to the Curve Cycling website. And if you’re frothing on all this hot hardtail talk, be sure to check out our stories on the new 2020 Norco Torrent, and our recent feature on the custom steel hardtails from Tor Bikes in Beechworth. Mo’ Flow Please! Enjoyed that article? Then there’s plenty more to check out on Flow Mountain Bike, including all our latest news stories and product reviews. And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up to our Facebook page and Instagram feed so you can keep up to date with all things Flow! The post On Test | The Curve DownRock Is A Titanium Hardtail Built To Party 🤙 appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.
Norco Bicycles has been one seriously busy brand of late. So far in the 2020 release bonanza there’s been an all new Revolver FS platform, which is now available in both 100mm and 120mm travel versions. We’ve also seen the radical super-slack steel thrasher that is the new generation Torrent, the arrival of Norco’s biggest and gnarliest e-MTB yet; the 2020 Range VLT, and barely a week ago the Canucks unveiled a new beefier Optic platform. Joining those new models for the incoming summer season is probably one of the most anticipated bike of the lot though; the 2020 Norco Sight. Watch our video on the 2020 Norco Sight here! Recalibrating The Sight Sitting in between the Optic trail bike and the Range enduro bike, the Sight is Norco’s flagship All Mountain biffer. It’s been a popular model for the Canadian brand, with a tough chassis and enough suspension travel to cope with properly gnarly terrain, while still being sufficiently manageable to get up the climbs in the first place. The 2020 Norco Sight is the newest release from the Canadian brand. It’s no secret that we’ve been big fans of the Norco Sight here at Flow. In fact, we’ve only just returned our long term test bike that we received over two years ago! If you followed that Green Goblin, you’ll have seen our second, third, and final test updates, where we turned it into a proper Frankenbike with all manner of bits and pieces bolted to it. We really liked that bike. As you can imagine then, we’ve pretty excited to see what Norco has cooked up with the 2020 Sight, which, as you’ll see, has been completely overhauled inside-out with a new frame, a fresh outfit, and drastically re-worked geometry. For 2020, Norco has recalibrated the Sight with a new chassis, a lift in suspension travel, and a vastly different geometry set to the old bike. Welcome To The New School In Norco’s press release for the 2020 Sight, it proclaims that “Trails are getting tougher” and “Expectations of All-Mountain are elevating“. We’d agree with those sentiments for sure. As bike’s and components get better and more capable, the speed and tenacity at which we’re riding trail bikes now is basically the same as what we were doing with enduro bikes only a few years ago. And as riding speeds go up, bikes need to adapt to be sufficiently comfortable and confident to pilot at those speeds. For a start, the 2020 Sight has had a slight lift in suspension travel, and now features 150mm at the back and 160mm up front. We kind of expected that, given the latest Optic has had a travel boost. All Sight 27.5in and 29in models get a 160mm travel fork. There’s 150mm of rear travel via a high-volume air shock. It’s still offered in both 29in and 27.5in wheelsize options, with all four frame sizes (Small, Medium, Large & X-Large) available with either wheelsize. However, the travel is the same between the two platforms, and the geometry is almost identical too. Slacker! Longer! Steeper! Different Rear Centre Lengths! Compared to the outgoing Sight, the new model has had a dramatic geometry update. The head angle has been slackened out by no less than 2.5-degrees (from 66° to a downhill-worthy 63.5°), and the reach is also quite a bit longer too. Norco has built each of the four frame sizes around a stubby 40mm stem length, and all models are shipping with reduced-offset forks (42mm offset on 29in, 37mm offset on 27.5in). Of note here is that the trail measurement is almost identical between the Sight 27.5 and the Sight 29. Norco carries through its size-specific rear centre length with the new Sight. Steep seat angles are very much in vogue at the moment, and Norco has totally embraced this trend with the new Sight, which has seen its seat angle steepen by four whole degrees. That puts the effective seat tube angle at 77-78° depending on the size, plonking the rider in a more central location between the front and rear wheels. Also helping to better balance weight distribution is the use of different sized rear centre lengths through the size range. Starting at 430mm for the Small and going up to 445mm for the X-Large, the rear centre length is designed to be proportional relative to the front centre. This is something that very few mass produced brands actually do, so kudos to Norco for going the extra mile! 2020 Norco Sight Geometry. Does My Dropper Post Look Big On This? Why yes it does! And that’s for two reasons. Firstly, Norco is spec’ing proper long-stroke dropper posts on the Sight. How long? The X-Large will go up to an enormous 200mm travel unit, and even the Small gets a 150mm dropper post. This has been made possible by shortening the seat tube length, and Norco’s chopped off quite a bit from each frame size. A Medium, for example, has lost 40mm off its seat tube length. And because the curve in the frame’s seat tube is quite low down, it allows for more insertion depth for these new-school dropper posts. The seat angle is drastically steeper, shorter and also fatter in diameter too. The other reason is the seat post diameter, which has been fattened out to 34.9mm. This is quite a bit bigger than the usual 31.6mm diameter we’re used to seeing on Norco full suspension bikes (most mountain bikes on the market come with a 30.9mm or 31.6mm diameter seat post). But as well as being more robust, particularly in a long-travel format, a 34.9mm dropper post also has more room for all the gubbins inside, which can offer functional and durability advantages. Given that Specialized has already embraced this fatter seat post diameter on the latest Stumpjumper, Levo, Enduro and Kenevo models, and now Norco has done the same with the 2020 Sight, we expect we’ll see more brands adopting 34.9mm posts in the near future. There’s a reasonable amount of insertion depth for the seatpost. A Wolf In Wolf’s Clothing With the new Sight getting more travel and some radical geometry numbers, Norco’s product managers have stepped up to the plate with a suitably tough outfit to match. All 2020 Norco Sight models come with 160mm travel forks, though we’re talking chunky Lyriks and 36s, rather than Pikes and 34s. And with the exception of the entry-level model, you’ll see high-volume piggyback shocks throughout the line. The Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR II tyre combo is a popular one. 4-piston SRAM Code brakes feature on nearly every Sight model. Further boosting the Sight’s descending credentials are ISCG 05 chainguide tabs, with every model getting a top guide, and the top-three models adding a bash plate to the equation too. You’ll also find huge 800mm wide bars, quad-piston brakes with a 200mm front rotor, wide alloy rims, and a chunky Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR II tyre combo. Carbonium & Metal Advance Traders, Australia’s Norco distributor, will be bringing in five Sight models for 2020. The top two models use carbon fibre frames, and are due to arrive on our shores in December. The other three models get an all-alloy frameset, and we’re told that the top two spec options (the A1 and A2) are available as of right now, with the entry-level A3 looking like an early 2020 release. Norco will have three alloy Sight models and two carbon models for 2020. Additional bosses underneath the top tube for bolting on a secondary cage or aftermarket storage. The geometry is identical between the carbon and metal frames, and the overall shape is very similar. There’s been some considerable industrial design work with the new Sight chassis, which features much straighter and cleaner lines than the outgoing model. The top tube in particular has been thinned out, and creates a pleasingly straight line from head tube to the rear dropouts. You can fit a water bottle inside the mainframe, and there’s additional bosses underneath the top tube to fit a secondary bottle, or an aftermarket storage bag for tools and spares. While all frames get a rubber chainstay guard, the carbon frames receive additional downtube armour, including a shuttle guard closer to the head tube, which is there to protect the frame when the bike is hoisted over a tailgate. Nice! The Sight C1 is the most expensive model in the line, with a carbon chassis and high-end RockShox suspension. 2020 Norco Sight C1 Frame | Carbon Fibre Mainframe & Seatstay, Alloy Chainstay, Four-Bar Suspension Design, 150mm Travel Fork | RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2, Charger 2 Damper, Reduced Offset, 160mm Travel Shock | RockShox Super Deluxe Select+, DebonAir Spring Wheels | DT Swiss 350 Hubs & e*thirteen LG1 EN Rims, 30mm Inner Rim Width Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHF 3C Maxx Terra EXO+ 2.5in Front & Minion DHR II 3C Maxx Terra EXO+ 2.4in Rear Drivetrain | SRAM X01 Eagle 1×12 w/Truvativ Descendent 7K 30T Crankset & 10-50T Cassette Brakes | SRAM Code RSC 4-Piston, 200mm Front & 180mm Rear Rotors Seatpost | RockShox Reverb Dropper, 34.9mm Diameter, Travel: 150mm (S), 170mm (M/L), 200mm (XL) RRP | $7,999 AUD Canary yellow your jam? Because the Sight C2 looks to be one ripper of a package with a Shimano XT 1×12 groupset and Fox suspension. 2020 Norco Sight C2 Frame | Carbon Fibre Mainframe & Seatstay, Alloy Chainstay, Four-Bar Suspension Design, 150mm Travel Fork | Fox Float 36, Performance Elite, GRIP 2 Damper, Reduced Offset, 160mm Travel Shock | Fox Float X2, Performance Series, EVOL Air Spring Wheels | Shimano Deore XT Hubs & Stan’s NoTubes Flow D Rims, 29mm Inner Rim Width Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHF 3C Maxx Terra EXO+ 2.5in Front & Minion DHR II 3C Maxx Terra EXO+ 2.4in Rear Drivetrain | Shimano Deore XT/SLX 1×12 w/XT 32T Crankset & 10-51T Cassette Brakes | Shimano SLX M7120 4-Piston, 200mm Front & 180mm Rear Rotors Seatpost | JD TransX YSP-39JL Dropper, 34.9mm Diameter, Travel: 150mm (S), 170mm (M/L), 200mm (XL) RRP | $6,499 AUD With a Pike Ultimate fork, Super Deluxe shock and SRAM Code RSC brakes, the 2020 Norco Sight A1 is the top-spec alloy model in the five-bike range. 2020 Norco Sight A1 Frame | 6061-T6 Aluminium, Four-Bar Suspension Design, 150mm Travel Fork | RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2, Charger 2 Damper, Reduced Offset, 160mm Travel Shock | RockShox Super Deluxe Select+, DebonAir Spring Wheels | DT Swiss 350 Hubs & e*thirteen LG1 EN Rims, 30mm Inner Rim Width Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHF 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ 2.5in Front & Minion DHR II 3C MaxxTerra EXO+ 2.4in Rear Drivetrain | SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 w/Truvativ Descendent 7K 32T Crankset & 10-50T Cassette Brakes | SRAM Code RSC 4-Piston, 200mm Front & 180mm Rear Rotors Seatpost | JD TransX YSP-39JL Dropper, 34.9mm Diameter, Travel: 150mm (S), 170mm (M/L), 200mm (XL) RRP | $5,799 AUD The Norco Sight A2 features a custom wheelset with DT Swiss hubs and Stan’s NoTubes Flow rims, along with a very capable Fox 36 fork and a Float X2 shock. 2020 Norco Sight A2 Frame | 6061-T6 Aluminium, Four-Bar Suspension Design, 150mm Travel Fork | Fox Float 36 Rhythm, GRIP Damper, Reduced Offset, 160mm Travel Shock | Fox Float X2, Performance Series, EVOL Air Spring Wheels | DT Swiss 370 Hubs & Stan’s NoTubes Flow D Rims, 29mm Inner Rim Width Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHF EXO 2.5in Front & Minion DHR II EXO 2.4in Rear Drivetrain | SRAM GX/NX Eagle 1×12 w/Truvativ Descendent 6K 32T Crankset & 11-50T Cassette Brakes | SRAM Code R 4-Piston, 200mm Front & 180mm Rear Rotors Seatpost | JD TransX YSP-39JL Dropper, 34.9mm Diameter, Travel: 150mm (S), 170mm (M/L), 200mm (XL) RRP | $4,799 AUD Though the Sight A3 misses out on a piggyback shock, it still gets a chunky RockShox Yari fork, Maxxis Minion tyres and a SRAM 1×12 Eagle drivetrain. 2020 Norco Sight A3 Frame | 6061-T6 Aluminium, Four-Bar Suspension Design, 150mm Travel Fork | RockShox Yari RC, Motion Control Damper, Reduced Offset, 160mm Travel Shock | RockShox Deluxe Select R Wheels | Shimano Deore Hubs & WTB ST i29 TCS 2.0 Rims, 29mm Inner Rim Width Tyres | Maxxis Minion DHF EXO 2.5in Front & Minion DHR II EXO 2.4in Rear Drivetrain | SRAM NX/SX Eagle 1×12 w/X1 32T Crankset & 11-50T Cassette Brakes | Shimano MT420 4-Piston, 200mm Front & 180mm Rear Rotors Seatpost | JD TransX YSP-39JL Dropper, 34.9mm Diameter, Travel: 150mm (S), 170mm (M/L), 200mm (XL) RRP | $3,599 AUD We quite like that straight, low-profile top tube! Large ports and cleverly integrated guides watch over the internal cable routing. The entry-level Sight A3 will sell for less than four grand, while still getting the same chassis as the A1 model. While it would appear that Norco has made a lot of positive changes on the new Sight, we’re very keen to see how those changes translate on the trail. We’ve just received an A1 test bike to ride on our home trails, so stay tuned for an in-depth review coming soon! In the meantime, we’d love to hear what you folks think of this new All Mountain thrasher from Norco. Be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments below, and ping us any questions you’ve got about our Sight A1 test bike and we’ll do our best to answer them for you. Otherwise, head to the Norco website for more info. Mo’ Flow Please! There’s plenty more to check out on Flow Mountain Bike, including all our latest news stories and product reviews. And if you haven’t already, make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel, and sign up to our Facebook page and Instagram feed so you can keep up to date with all things Flow! The post First Look | The 2020 Norco Sight has been totally recalibrated into a future-forward All Mountain bike appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.
The new progressive steel hardtail from Norco is built to handle plenty of abuse.( Photos: 9 )
Norco’s big-forked hardtail is back, and it’s back in a very big way! The 2020 Norco Torrent sees the Canadian brand go back to its roots to produce a properly hardcore hardtail that possesses some seriously progressive geometry numbers. Equipped with an all-new 4130 chromoly steel frame, a huge 150mm travel fork and aggressive 29in rubber, this is one burly hardtail that you definitely don’t want to get in the way of. The Norco Torrent is back for 2020, but it takes a radical departure from the previous model with a steel frame, 29in wheels and much more progressive geometry. 4130 Chromoly Steel Frame Gone is the alloy frame of the previous model, and in its place is a double-butted 4130 chromoly steel frame. To manage that big fork up front, the top and down tubes receive additional gusseting around the straight 44mm head tube. Maximising standover clearance, the low-slung top tube is also reinforced where it meets the seat tube. Out back, the Torrent gets slender seatstays that are there to soak up vibrations and impacts from the rear wheel. With a focus on durability and ease of maintenance, Norco has kept the cable routing external on the Torrent frame, and the bottom bracket sticks to the old fashioned threaded variety. No press-fit cups here! As well as two complete bikes (see the specs below), Norco will also be bringing the Torrent HT frameset into Australia for 2020. With a retail price of $999, it looks like impressive value alongside other steel hardtails like those from Chromag. Gussets for the head tube. And another one for the seat tube. Slender seatstays out back. Properly Progressive Geometry Norco has been increasingly pushing the geometry envelope with its latest mountain bikes, and the Torrent goes ahead to take the Gravity Tune concept one step further. Up front you’ll find a raked-out 64° head angle, while the seat angle is a very-steep-for-a-hardtail 76°. Reach measurements are generous, coming in at 420mm (Small), 450mm (Medium), 480mm (Large), and 510mm (X-Large). Despite the huge front centre length, Norco has kept the chainstay length tight at 420-425mm, depending on the frame size. To get the back end so short with those huge 29×2.5in Maxxis Assegai tyres, there’s a tidy forged and dropped chainstay yoke, which takes up minimal space between the tyre and chainring. The 2020 Norco Torrent HT 1 is the top-end model, and features 4-piston SRAM Code brakes and a 150mm travel RockShox Lyrik fork. SRAM Code R 4-piston brakes. That's a neat thru-axle setup. Huge 29x2.5in Maxxis Assegai tyres front and rear. 2020 Norco Torrent HT 1 Frame | Double Butted 4130 Chromoly Steel Fork | RockShox Lyrik Ultimate RC2, 150mm Travel Wheels | Novatec Boost Hubs & Stan’s No Tubes Flow S1 Rims Tyres | Maxxis Assegai EXO+ 3C Maxx Terra 2.50WT Front & Rear Drivetrain | SRAM GX Eagle 1×12 w/NX Eagle 30T Crankset Brakes | SRAM Code R w/180mm Front & 160mm Rear Rotors Seatpost | X-Fusion Manic Dropper Cockpit | Norco 6061 Alloy 800mm Wide Bars, 50mm Stem & Fizik Taiga Saddle RRP | $3,799 The Torrent HT 2 drops a grand off the sticker price by shifting to SRAM SX shifting and a RockShox 35 Gold fork. TRP 4-piston brakes. RockShox 35 Gold fork. External cable routing throughout. 2020 Norco Torrent HT 2 Frame | Double Butted 4130 Chromoly Steel Fork | RockShox 35 Gold, 150mm Travel Wheels | Novatec Boost Hubs & Stan’s No Tubes Flow D Rims Tyres | Maxxis Assegai EXO+ 3C Maxx Terra 2.50WT Front & Rear Drivetrain | SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 w/SX Eagle 30T Crankset Brakes | TRP G-Spec Trail S w/180mm Rotors Seatpost | X-Fusion Manic Dropper Cockpit | Norco 6061 Alloy 800mm Wide Bars, 50mm Stem & Fizik Taiga Saddle RRP | $2,799 Both complete Torrents get Maxxis Assegai 3C tyres front and rear. Proper head tube badge – we like. How’s the metallic paint job on this bad boy? The 2020 Norco Torrent has only just been released, so you won’t find any information on this bike on the Norco website just yet. If you’ve got any questions for us about it though, make sure you drop them into the comments below. And as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this new slacked-out steel smasher, and whether Norco is on the money with its refreshed Torrent! The post First Look | The New 2020 Norco Torrent HT Is A Super-Slack Hardcore Hardtail appeared first on Flow Mountain Bike.