2013 Norco Road & Mountain Bike Lineup – First (Official) Look at 650B & Disc Cyclocross
We saw prototypes and early versions of most of these at Sea Otter, and Saris is about to see them and more at Crankworx. Look for hands on photos and some ride impressions soon. For now, though, we’ve got the official-if-somewhat-choppy glamour shots and spec overview for the road, cyclocross and mountain bike models that get updated (or are entirely new) for 2013.
The biggest news is the introduction of a 650B-only Range and the 650B option on the Sight, which was teased in a development video. We’ve already converted our standard 26″ Sight over to the slightly larger wheel size and are loving it, but this version gets tailored specifically for the 27.5″ hoops.
The Range Killer B, above, is a 160mm trail bike that gets Norco’s Gravity Tune sizing and geometry…which means it’s intended to go down the mountain fast…
…but is designed to climb well, too. Suspension kinematics were redesigned around the larger wheels, and the hydroformed alloy frame was beefed up to handle even more aggressive riding than the original bike. The top two models get Fox TALAS travel adjustable forks, and the top Range Killer B 1 gets a Rockshox Reverb dropper post. Three models will be offered, with an X9/X0/Race Face combo on the 1.
The Sight Killer B is the 650B variant of the well-respected 140mm trail bike. Like the Range, the Sight Killer B gets revised suspension kinematics to work with the larger wheels, and it now has Gravity Tune, which fixes the ratio of front-center and rear-center across frame sizes. It also gets a bit burlier frame, letting you hit the bumps harder and faster now that your wheels are a bit bigger. Look for three models with a Rockshox Revelation fork on the top two and a Sektor on the Sight Killer B 3. Spec runs from XT to SLX to mostly Deore down the line.
We just reviewed the 2012 Norco Sight in its original 26″ trim here, and that model carries over for 2013 unchanged save for spec.
The mid/long travel 29er market is heating up, with Santa Cruz’s Tallboy LT setting the pace for now, and Norco’s revamped their 120mm Shinobi 29er to stay in the ring. The 2013 model gets revised geometry – shorter top tube, slightly taller bottom bracket and better stand over on the smaller frame sizes.
The Aurum gets some fancy new paint jobs, cleaner cable routing and revised bump stops on the top tube to better protect it from wildly spinning handlebars if (really, we mean “when”) you wreck. Detail pics of this and more in the Sea Otter coverage link at top of post.
The Fluid sticks around and, despite what we heard at Sea Otter, keeps the 120mm 26″ versions alongside the all-new 100mm travel 29er. The full suspension bike shares many of Norco’s higher end design features but is aimed at the entry level or on-a-budget rider. Features like hydroformed tubes, post mount rear brake and ART suspension make it look and feel like a higher priced bike. Note the super low standover height, too. Three models will be offered in each wheel size.
Bridging the gap to the road bikes is the Threshold cyclocross bike. Introduced as a 2012 model, it now comes with disc brake mounts and the 2nd from the top version, Threshold 1, will ship stock with discs. Unfortunately, the disc brake model won’t have the swappable dropouts that let you convert from geared to singlespeed, you’ll have to stick to cantilevers for that. For now, anyway. Spec on the 1 is SRAM Rival with an Easton cockpit, Hayes’ mechanical CX5 brakes and Alex rims laced to SRAM X9 hubs with Sapim spokes.
Perhaps more exciting for most of us is there are now three alloy Threshold models, all spec’d with disc brakes. Drivetrains are 105, Tiagra and Sora down the line, and the top two get carbon/alloy disc specific forks.
All models, carbon and alloy, get full rack and fender mounts, giving them year ’round versatility.
The Tactic road bike replaces their CRR racing road bike and takes rule of the roost. It uses their SmoothCore construction for solid carbon compaction and light weight with their ArmorLite resin, which they say improves impact strength. Geometry and fit is pure racing, though they do say the ARC seatstay design gives a bit of compliance. The line goes from the Tactic LE with new mechanical Dura-Ace 9000 down to the Tactic LTD with SRAM Red, Tactic Di2 (Ultegra) and the Tactic 1 shown here with mechanical Ultegra and FSA SL-K cranks. All share the 46T carbon frame that claims to be under 900g.
From there, the Tactic 2 and 3 get a 24T carbon frame weighing in around 1150g with Ultegra and 105 groups respectively.
Look for more detailed coverage of Norco’s 2013 bikes coming from Crankworx soon!