Here's our handy guide to Norco mountain bikes
For 2018, Norco mountain bike ranges cover the majority of riding options from recreational towpath riders to downhill racers.
Canada has been responsible for some of the most progressive mountain bike brands thanks to the terrain and environment. Norco remains one of the North American countries bigger brands to have broken through into other countries.
Norco mountain bikes range explained
Norco split the ranges of mountain bikes into several distinctive categories to make it easier to identify which range is best suited to your chosen riding preferences.
Norco also use a very simple numbering system to divide ranges. Lower models start with high numbers, the top end model of each range is always indicated with a ‘1’, e.g. Norco Sight C1.
In addition, aluminium framed models tend to be indicated with an ‘A’ and carbon with a ‘C’. Easy!
The availability of certain models does depend on your country of origin, with the Canadian and US markets enjoying a slightly wider range than the UK and other countries. We’ll go through the entire range so you can get to grips with what’s available.
If you are taking your first step into the world of mountain biking or looking to upgrade to something a little more capable without spending thousands then Norco has you covered with the Storm and Charger models.
The entry point Storm range consists of three main models but also includes two female specific models. Each bike uses a 6061 aluminium frame and also includes a 100mm travel suspension fork for soaking up the bumps. Wheel size is dependent on frame size, smaller sizes get 27.5″ wheels, larger get 29ers.
If you are looking to progress to the next level then the Charger is the bike for you. A simple, two bike range (female specific models are available in some countries), everything is pushed up in quality from the Storm.
In essence the bikes will ride fairly similar thanks to a shared geometry and 100mm suspension fork. So nothing too extreme in terms of handling but Norco are quick to point out that the Charger sees an increase in strength, less weight and a stiffer ride quality. All areas that point to the Charger being a touch more capable on challenging terrain. The frame is more refined than the Storm, adding including double butted main tubes to reduce weight and both models feature RockShox suspension forks and hydraulic brakes.
Norco has given the top end Charger 1 an up-to-date component list. For example the RockShox Judy Gold RL fork features BOOST spacing and a 15mm bolt through axle to keep things stiff and to improve tyre clearance. The price for the Charger 1 sits at £895.
XC Race Norco mountain bikes
Norco produces both hardtail and 100mm travel, full suspension Revolver cross-country race bikes. Neither range is available in the UK presently. All Revolver models feature lightweight carbon frames and high-end, lightweight components. Each range consists of four full bike models plus a frameset only option.
Trail Norco mountain bikes
For Norco, Trail encompasses both hardtail and shorter travel (120-130mm) full suspension bikes. Two main platforms make up the Trail category, Fluid and Optic. Curiously both based around 120mm of rear wheel travel, the difference is in the geometry and frame material options.
The Fluid has steeper angles making it more like a longer travel Revolver, whereas the Optic has its wheels closer to the slacker angled, longer travel All-Mountain bikes like the Sight and Torrent. The Optic is a higher specced range than the Fluid and also features carbon framed models.
Norco also make a hardtail version of the Fluid. This features a strengthened aluminium frame, wider 650B+ 2.8in Plus tyres and a 120mm travel suspension fork for comfort, performance and grip. It also has a slack head angle for added confidence on steeper tracks.
In the UK, only the Fluid HT and Fluid FS are available.
All-Mountain Norco mountain bikes
Norco’s All-Mountain division is taken up by two model ranges, similar to the Trail category but this time the most significant difference is in wheel size preference. All-Mountain indicates bikes with mid-length travel and slacker angles to make them more confident and capable in rougher terrain. Not as specialised as the Enduro or DH ranges, these bikes are still designed to be ridden comfortably on longer climbs and all-day epics.
First up is the 130mm rear, 140mm front suspension Torrent, runing on 650B+ wheels. The Sight is available in both (normal) 650B and 29er versions. The smaller diameter wheels get an increase in suspension travel, providing 140mm at the rear combined with a 150mm suspension fork. The Sight is also available with a carbon frame to reduce weight further.
Like the Trail range, there is a hardtail, In this case an aluminium framed Torrent HT. Geometry, wheel size and fork travel remains the same as its full suspension namesake.
Enduro Norco mountain bikes
For Enduro, think longer travel and capability on the roughest, most technical downhill tracks. The Range is Norco’s Enduro model and it provides either 150mm or 160mm of rear wheel travel dependent on wheel size.
The Range is still designed to be ridden up hills but will be more of a sit and winch machine compared to the All-Mountain or Trail bikes. It’s a perfect bike for bike parks and trail centre red and black trails. Available with either an aluminium or carbon frame, it starts with the £2300 Range A3. This model features a RockShox Yari RC fork, RockShox Deluxe RL rear shock, Shimano SLX 1×11 drivetrain and Maxxis High Roller II tyres.
Downhill Norco mountain bikes
The Aurum is Norco’s downhill bike. Designed for racing and bike park uplift it features a ground swallowing 200mm of front and rear travel. Available with either a carbon and aluminium frame, each only has one full bike build but is also available in a frameset only option. The aluminium Aurum A7 features 650B wheels, RockShox suspension and SRAM GX DH drivetrain for £2700.
Dirt/street Norco mountain bikes
Bikes built for the pump track, dirt jumps, skatepark and street riding. Norco has four range names but these are all single model (some do have different wheel size choice), so effectively they represent a single range. All are built around strong and durable frames, 100mm suspension forks, bombproof wheels and fast rolling tyres.
The Ryde is the start of the specific dirt/street models. it has a steel frame specifically built around a single speed drivetrain and is available in both 24″ and 26″ wheel sizes. Then comes the higher specced One25 with its full chromoly steel frame. At the top of the range is the Two50.
The aluminium Magnum is a little different to the three others as it has derailleur gears rather than a single speed design. It has a RST 100mm travel suspension fork and Shimano Altus 9 speed drivetrain.
Fat bike Norco mountain bikes
With Canadian weather renowned as being a little extreme in parts it’s no wonder that Norco produce several fat bikes. Their high volume tyres are designed to cope with snow, sand and extreme conditions.
Starting with the Bigfoot, this aluminium framed fat bike can take up to 5″ tyres and is also available in a smaller 24″ wheeled version for younger or shorter riders. The Sasquatch pushes the spec with a carbon fork, dropper post and Shimano SLX drivetrain. At the top of the fat bike tree is the full carbon Ithaqua range, culminating in the Ithaqua SL with it’s wishlist parts sheet including Shimano XTR, Hed carbon wheels and Race Face finishing kit.