Great sizing, quick rolling, excellent finish
When we unboxed the Norco Charger 2 we thought it was a commuter bike, due to the skinny 2.1in WTB Nineline tyres.
The small knobs are fast rolling, but don’t cut it in deep loam or sticky mud. They are easily changed though, so we won’t let them detract from what is actually a really good package.
With smooth welds and a crisp, silver frame finish the Charger 2 is one of the sleekest looking bikes here. It also has the most modern sizing and feels really roomy when you jump on-board.
Suspension fork travel is limited to 100mm and the Charger 2 also has the steepest head angle in class. It’s no slouch though, because the increased roll over of the bigger 29in wheels makes it surprisingly quick through the rough stuff. It’s balanced too, so hitting the brakes hard isn’t going to do anything unexpected to the attitude of the bike.
Those fast rolling tyres do make short work of the climbs and while the Norco does have old-school 2x gearing, if you want to clock up some serious miles, which you can easily do on this bike, at least have a small gear for the ups and a big gear for the downs.
The Charger 2 has the best attributes of the 29er wheels and is great for longer distance rides, but for anything more challenging you’ll need to splash out for some new tyres.