2011 Norco MTB Line Up, Better Than Ever
For 2011 Norco is showcasing perhaps their best line of mountain bikes yet. Not a single category has been left out of the mix with everything from 24″ to 29″, XC to DH, cheap to expensive, you name it – Norco has the bike for you. Not only just a bike, but killer graphics, nice color schemes, and above all else great component specs. While there might no be a Norco dealer near you just yet, keep your eyes open as I wouldn’t be surprised if there will be one soon.
Click through for all the models including the all new Norco Range!
The Norco Range is the new do everything, ride anywhere, six inch travel mountain bike. Developed in an area that a bike truly needs to do everything, the Range is a capable climber that excels at downhills, jumps, berms, North Shore stunts and anything else you can throw at it. The “all mountain” category is really heating up with bikes like the Trek Remedy, Santa Cruz Nomad, Orbea Rallon (more on that later!), and many more extremely capable all ’rounders, so you better believe Norco did their homework on the new bike. While Norco has always licensed the Horst Link FSR design from specialized, the Range gets a pivot optimization treatment Norco refers to as A.R.T. (Advanced Ride Technology). Yeah I know, it’s another acronym that you probably don’t care to memorize and I don’t blame you. Just know that special attention was paid to this bike to make sure that it rode even better than its predecessors and at least as good, and hopefully better than its competition. In addition to the new suspension tweaking, the Range features a massive tapered headtube, a new one piece rocker arm, and Norco’s own exaggerated hydro formed down tube and top tube for obvious ergonomic reasons. It will also feature the new Syntace X12 axle system with a 12mm through axle bolted through a 142mm rear hub. Ok, Ok, it’s another standard, but trust me after riding a few Trek’s equipped with 142 x 12 through axles I can assure you it’s worth it. Also look for many other manufacturers to follow suit in 2011 and beyond.
The Range is available in 4 models, the Range 1, 2, and 3, and a Range special edition with a sick color matched orange parts group. Prices will range from $2415 to $6950 for the SE.
While 29’rs aren’t new to Norco, the addition of a full suspension 29’r most definitely is. The new Shinobi is basically the Range’s 29 inch brother, and features the same suspension and a very similar frame design right down to the x12 rear axle. While 29’rs typically aren’t found on the North Shore, Norco isn’t one to say you can’t ride one there and the Shinobi just might be a great choice.
Check out the link above to Tyler’s post of the prototype Shinobi in the flesh, er.. metal. Travel on the Shinobi is cranked up to 140mm, which for a 29’r is on the higher end of things. This is most likely in part thanks to the rearward axle path of the A.R.T. suspension which gives designers more room to work and still keep the rear wheel from hitting the seat tube at full compression.
With one model at $2850, the Shinobi is poised to sell especially considering the build spec of the final production model.
Continuing with the 29’r theme, Norco continues to have a full line of aluminum 29 inch hardtails, a carbon race 29’r hardtail, and a steel single speed belt drive hardtail 29’r as well. The Jubei Sl is a high modulus carbon frame with a tapered 1 1/8 to 1.5 headtube. Like many bikes in 2011, it will come stock with a Shimano Dynasys 30 speed drivetrain. The SL frame also features a longer, lower frame design than the other Jubei’s which should make it a weapon of choice for XC racing.
One thing you may notice about the 2011 line up for Norco is the amount of aftermarket worthy parts you find spec’d on their bikes. Sure, this is their top of the line carbon hardtail, but it has EA 70 XC wheels, Ritchey controls, Kenda Tires, etc. A lot of thought and attention was paid to spec these bikes out as actual consumers might choose to, rather than loading them up with a lot of in-house product.
The aluminum Jubei comes in 3 models with the 1 being the top model, and all three being made from custom butted, hydroformed 6061 aluminum. Another bike sure to please the 29’r crowd, is the Judan, a Reynolds 525 Steel frame hardtail that comes equipped as a single speed belt drive. A smart move for Norco is continuing to eschew the traditionally finicky eccentric bottom brackets in favor a much simpler and more reliable, adjustable vertical drop out. Anyone who has ridden a single speed with an eccentric knows what I’m talking about.
Continuing on the hardtail path, while Norco has expanded their range of 29’rs, they haven’t forgotten the roots, the 26″ hardtails. Starting off right at the top, the Norco Team is a no nonsense race bike. No mistaking it, from the integrated seat mast, to the full carbon frame, and the XTR 2×10 treatment this bike is meant to go fast. If features a High Modulous Carbon frame w/ BB30 Thermaplastic cups, HTR (high toughness resin) and EPS madrel system carbon technology.
The Team has some aluminum siblings with the Charger, Nitro, and Fireball, with the addition of a lower priced carbon HT, the Torrent.
In the 26″ full suspension category, the line offers slightly fewer bikes but streamlines the offerings. Obviously there is the range that I mentioned above, that is the replacement for the LT 6. The Faze series Marathon XC full suspension line receives a few tweaks, including the exclusion of the Faze SE that was available last year. For 2011 the Faze receives refined trail geometry with a slacker 69 degree head angle. The frame itself is a 120mm travel aluminum frame with a high modulus carbon swing link.
However, the Norco Phaser is a new platform which is based on 26″ wheel, an aluminum frame, and 100mm of travel. Built with MU9 custom butted tubing the Phaser features ceramic bearings and an integrated headset. It also receives the A.R.T. suspension treatment along with the post mount rear brake mount of the other new bikes. Available in three build specs, look to see this bike at your local XC race series in the future.
The Norco Fluid series also receives a slight face lift and geometry reworking. The Fluid gets another degree of slack from the Faze with a 68 degree head tube for trail and all mountain riding. Another beneficial update is the rework of the rocker arm that allows better fit of Rockshox and Fox rear shocks. This also alows the shock to be flipped so that it no longer appears upside down in the frame. This should keep the seals better lubricated on the shock and improve overall shock life.
The Norco Shore is still kicking, however its numbers are dwindling. Available in three models last year, this year it is down to two. Still a great bike, the price points have been reduced to allow groms to afford a real freeride bike and worry more about sticking that landing than paying the bill.
In addition to the A-Line above, Norco is still offering the B-line which is a full featured 24 inch wheel bike perfect for your little ripper. Go to any downhill event around the country and you are sure to see the future of the sport tearing around on push bikes, and 16 inch BMX bikes. It’s cool that a company like Norco offers a real bike with 120mm of travel that is actually capable of riding DH that isn’t ludicrously expensive. You know, so you can still feed your kid too.
Next up is the big boy line of downhill bikes. Team DH frame features hydroformed mainframe tubing, 150 x 12 maxle through axle dropouts, an Internal 1.5 headset for fit with 1-1/8â€ fork steer tube to reduce stack height. Travel is adjustable via the Forged alloy link arm with settings for 203mm (8â€) or 228 mm (9â€). Low standover, and low BB height and shock position allow for a low center of gravity. It also features an Anodized frame finish for weight savings and added durability. Astute readers my wonder what the difference is between the Team DH and the A-line, as they look incredibly alike. This is due to the fact that they are the same frame, with the exception of tube wall thickness. While the Team DH has thinner tube wall for light weight, the A-Line has thicker walls to hold up to the abuse of shuttles and bike parks.
Not to be forgotten, the Norco line of DJ bikes is still alive and well. The two50 is still the flagship mode, but receives an overhaul. The 100% chromoly frame features new smaller and lighter dropouts, an integrated headtube, mid BB and lower top tube for standover and getting your legs over for tricks. Finish also receives the star treatment with a durable and lightweight ED black frame finish and an included sticker pack to give your bike that custom look.
With one of the top female freeride stars on their roster, you better believe Norco hasn’t forgotten about the ladies. Still with two woman’s specific full suspension bikes, women have their choice of the Phena for XC usage or the all new Vixa for anything from all mountain to freeride. While last year’s Vixa was basically a mini Shore frame tailored to women, the new Vixa is a female specific version of the new Range. Darcy Truenne has helped create a bike that truly has women’s geometry with shorter chainstays and a shorter top tube, yet still has all the features of the men’s Range. The new bike should be substantially lighter than the old Vixa, meaning lighter riders will have an easier time muscling around the new design.
Up next: Norco Pavement