Operating in the cycling industry for over 50 years, Canada’s leading brand, Norco, is no stranger to producing world-class bikes that represent great value for money.
Sitting as the Enduro weapon in the capable Norco mountain bike lineup, the Range provides riders with a long travel fork and an equally capable rear shock, wide grippy tyres and a gravity focussed geometry that’s built for shredding the downhill, but capable of getting you back up the trail to run another lap.
For 2019, the Range product line up receives a boost across the board, with all models scoring wider 2.4” rubber front and rear, whilst fork travel is also increased. 180mm front and 160mm rear on 27.5” models, with 29ers scoring a 170mm fork and 150mm of frame travel. Both alloy and carbon options are slated to hit Australian shores, with three carbon and two aluminium models filling out the local line up.
The Range A1 (RRP AU$4,599) featured here sits atop the alloy frame hierarchy, boasting an impressive build kit and fantastic value for money as a result. The A1 is available with either 27.5” or 29er hoops and features that longer length Fox 36 Performance Float fork up front. The groupset comes courtesy of SRAM in the form of its 12-speed GX Eagle groupset, whilst WTB provide the wheelset.
Redesigned in 2018 with both 27.5” and 29er wheel options, the Sight is positioned as the all-around versatile trail shredder of the Norco mountain bike lineup. The model line up makes use of a modern low and slack geometry that’s said to provide balanced climbing, capable descending and smile-inducing playfulness.
Much like the Range detailed above, the Sight also scores longer travel at the fork (150mm 29er/ 160mm 27.5”), which is a little more generous than what’s at the rear wheel (130mm 29er/140mm 27.5”). The WTB rolling stock is shod with wider 2.5” tyres as standard from the showroom floor. Seven models are slated to hit local shores including three carbon framed options, and four aluminium framed models – including one female specific model. 1x drivetrains (single chainring up front) feature across the entire range, as do dropper seatposts and tubeless wheelsets.
The Sight A1 featured here was selected purely due to the value-packed build kit and component selection. A Rockshox Pike RC fork offers plush travel up front with a Fox Performance shock keeping the rear wheel in check. The groupset is a mixed 12-speed SRAM GX/NX Eagle, whilst Maxxis provide the grippy 2.5” tubeless tyres.
Optic Trail Mountain Bike
The Optic is Norco's trail bike offering. The Optic is claimed to blend all-mountain playfulness with cross-country efficiency. Adding to the versatility is Norco's trail geometry, which balances a steeper seat tube angle with a slack headtube angle for a responsive yet confidence inspiring riding experience.
The entire range lineup makes use of Norco's Gravity Tune geometry, which keeps the ratio length of the front-centre and rear-centre the same across all frame sizes. Such a thing is rather rare, as it requires Norco to produce different length rear-ends in addition to size-specific front triangles. It’s designed to make every bike handle, ride and climb without compromise, regardless of size.
For 2019, the Optic carries over largely unchanged from the previous year, save for updated fork travel (130mm, up from 120mm) new colour schemes and minor specification tweaks. Both carbon fibre and aluminium framed steeds will hit local shores, with two composite models and one alloy steed slated to be available in the coming weeks.
The Norco Optic C2 (RRP AU$4,999) pictured above sits as the entry-level carbon offering. A carbon front triangle and seat stays form the foundation of this capable all-rounder. A Rockshox Pike RC Fork with 130mm travel is paired with a Fox Performance Float SV DPS rear shock to give control and comfort on a variety of trails, whilst the bike is finished off with a SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed groupset and grippy Maxxis tubeless tyres front and rear.
Sitting atop the recreational cross country mountain bike range, the Charger series is well suited to newer mountain bikers looking for hard-hitting trail performance. Available in 29er configuration with a modern geometry, the Charger is suited to many popular Australian mountain biking locations. This is one model family that represents fantastic value for money and needs nothing more than a willing rider atop its perch.
Related Reading: 2017 Norco Charger Mountain Bike Review
The Charger carries over into 2019 with little change from previous years, save for new colourways and simpler 1x drivetrains across the board. Just two models are slated to hit local shores, with both models set to be priced under AU$2,000.
The Charger 2 (RRP AU$1,299) featured here sits as the starting point for the local line-up and boasts an impressive specification list. An upmarket air sprung RockShox 30 100mm fork up front provides the trail munching travel, whilst a capable aluminium frame lays at the heart of the bike. SRAM take care of the shifting with an 11-speed NX 1x groupset, whilst capable hydraulic disc brakes take care of the slowing. A WTB wheelset wrapped in 2.25” tubeless rubber rounds out this impressive value-packed steed.
Sitting below the Charger in the recreational XC hierarchy, the Storm is positioned as the perfect option for a teenager stepping up to their first mountain bike, or a beginner looking for a solid entry-level package to tackle their local trails. Starting from just AU$549, the entire Storm line-up boasts an impressive aluminium frame, with more budget orientated build kits fitted throughout the entire range.
Priced at AU$999, the Storm 1 is the clear highlight, purely due to the level of the components fitted. Shipping complete with a Rockshox Solo Air 30 fork offering up 100mm of travel, with a capable Shimano 9-speed drivetrain, this is one entry-level mountain bike that is capable of tackling some more serious trails. The advantages of an air sprung fork over their cheaper coil sprung counterparts is the ability to fine-tune the desired firmness to your rider weight and reduced component weight, making for a more effortless and controlled ride out on the trail.
Fluid FS 24” Kids Trail
Do you have a young trail shredder in the family who’s outgrown the capabilities of budget focussed kids mountain bikes? Look no further, complete with 100mm of suspension travel front and rear, a rugged aluminium frame and impressive componentry across the board, the Fluid FS 24” (RRP AU$1,999) is just as versatile as it is capable. Norco is one of the few companies in the world to make such dedicated grom machines and is a strong proving point of the brand’s dedication to the mountain bike segment.
Rockshox provides its air charged Solo 30 Silver fork and Monarch shock for the suspension travel with shifting coming courtesy of Shimano in the form of its slick shifting and capable Deore 10-speed groupset. A single SunTour chainring up front paired with a chain guide keeps the drivetrain in check whilst hydraulic disc brakes paired with 160mm rotors provide the braking power on the trail. Finished off with a TranzX dropper seatpost, and durable alloy rims wrapped in big bag 2.4” Maxxis tubeless rubber, this is one kid’s bike that means business.
Search XR Gravel Bike
No stranger to producing steeds capable of traversing all manner of off-road terrain, Norco has long been an advocate of the gravel movement, first unveiling its Search adventure bikes back in 2015. For 2018, Norco added the capable Search XR Steel and Search XR Carbon to the lineup, offering larger tyre clearance, space for fenders, racks and hydration, and an altered geometry.
The Search XR family carries over largely unchanged for 2019, save for some minor specification changes and a new lick of paint.
The Search XR S Apex (RRP AU$2,199) featured here sports a retro modern fit-out. The frame is constructed from quality Reynolds 725 CroMoly steel, famed for its rugged hard wearing properties, and features space for five bottle cages, mounting points for mudguards front and rear, as well as racks for all manner of bikepacking bags. Up front, a high-modulus carbon fibre fork is said to provide a more compliant and comfortable ride, whilst out back, there’s a SRAM Apex 1 HRD groupset.
With 2019 models scheduled to hit showroom floors in the coming weeks, now is a great time to snap a bargain on a MY18 Norco. Check out the assortment of bikes on offer from leading retailers right here, at BikeExchange