Norco Previews 650B Mountain Bike Development
Earlier in the year at Sea Otter, Norco had a new All Mountain 650b prototype on hand that got everyone talking about the possibility of a 2013 Norco Range 650. Norco is now offering a little more information on the new bike, but still just enough to get you excited. What’s known? It will be 650b, it’s based on the current Range though Norco claims nearly everything has changed. Word on the street is the new bike will be officially launched at Crankworx, we’ll keep you posted.
More details from Norco after the break.
When it comes to mountain bike wheel size it is difficult to see the big picture and how it all fits together. The world has been using 26″ wheels for so long that the adoption of 29? took much longer than expected; and there are still nay-sayers on any alternative to 26″.
When it came to redesigning the 2013 Norco range it was not about building a bike around a certain wheel, but rather building a bike that is the best performing machine possible in its intended use. Wheel size came later.
Starting conceptually on a whiteboard the Range is a bike that pedals extremely well on the way up, handles the bumps on the way down and can excel pretty much anywhere in between. This is the ultimate all mountain machine. In order to make this vision a reality there were a few key aspects of design that needed to happen.
To make the Range perfect, Gravity Tune needed to be utilized. Creating a unique geometry that varies with the size of the bike can guarantee a frame that fits a rider of any height. Frame stiffness is also important. Adding a Sytace X-12 Axle, hollowform linkarm, tapered headtube and an uber-stiff tubeset helps keep it all together. Choosing the perfect geometry was also crucial as well as the integration of A.R.T. Suspension to propel the rider up the climbs while soaking up every last bump on the decent
Taking fit, stiffness, geometry and suspension together as a whole package left a problem. Stiffness and maneuverability could not be achieved using 29? wheels and the 26? wheel would not have the rolling capabilities necessary to truly make this bike shine. Enter 650B.
With a 650B wheel, the XS frame can use the perfect chanstay length for the rider while the XL can accomplish the same ride characteristics in a larger sized frame. The 27.5″ wheel also gave the rolling characteristics we desired while not sacrificing our goals in strength, stiffness or an extremely long wheelbase.
Rather than rambling on for too long about this newly designed bike, we have a video for you to enjoy about the making, testing and production of the New 2013 Norco Range. Watch for more information on this and other 2013 models very soon.