For 2007 there’ll be 21 Norco bikes available in the UK. There are some old favourites in there, plus some considerably revised and updated bikes. Here are a few that caught our eye.
Norco’s reputation is built on big-hitting bikes, and the 2007 Shore range certainly fits the bill. The Shore 1 and Shore 2 share an adjustable 170/189mm travel frame. The new frame uses a licensed FSR back end and has some interesting constructional details. Most eyecatching is the forged headtube, apparently designed to increase the weld area at the top tube/down tube junctions. The frame is designed to run a 150mm rear hub with a 12mm axle.
The bike pictured is the £2,499 Shore 1, with Fox DHX5 rear shock, RockShox Totem Solo Air 180mm fork, Avid Juicy 7 brakes with 203mm rotors and a Syncros wheel package. The Shore 2 has a DHX3, Marzocchi 66RV fork, Hayes HFX-9 brakes and Sun wheels at £1,899.
On a lighter note, Norco pitches the Fluid as an all-rounder. It’s aimed at the rider who “craves a good long climb but still wants room for skills progression,” it says here. To that end, you get a choice of 114mm or 140mm travel at the back, again from an FSR linkage layout this time driving a Fox Float R shock on both the £1,399 2.0 (Fox 32 Vanilla, Deore/LX drivetrain, Deore brakes) and the £999 3.0 (RockShox Tora, Deore drivetrain, Hayes Sole brakes.
The new Norco XXXX looks at first glance a bit like the Fluid, but as the name implies it’s designed for 4X racing. The front end is beefed up and the travel options are 76 or 102mm at the back. The fork is a Marzocchi 4X World Cup with 110mm of travel. There are some neat touches on the frame, including a choice of derailleur cable routing for Shimano or SRAM mechs.
You’d think that the market for a specialist 4X bike was fairly small, but we’re not so sure. Rather like cyclocross bikes, 4X bikes have applications beyond their specialism. What you’ve really got here is an agile, tough but sprightly bike for throwing around, which should be just the ticket for all sorts of things. With freeride-oriented trails cropping up in all sorts of places that are only really accessible by bike, we’d expect the idea of a stout bike with enough travel to take the sting out to be a popular one. And at £1,399 the XXXX won’t break the bank…
That’s just a taste of the full range – see more at www.norco-uk.com