A great frame will always trump great components

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Norco Storm 4

Pros:

  • Bigger 29in wheels smooth out the bumps. Great size range

Cons:

  • The build kit doesn't maximise the frame's potential

Product:

Norco Storm 4 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£350.00

The Norco Storm 4 is our only 29er on test and as such it gets off to a good start, rolling over rough ground more easily than the 27.5in wheel bikes.

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While the Carrera Vulcan’s standout feature was its spec level, to the detriment perhaps of the frame, on the Storm it’s the other way round. Canadian brand Norco has produced a sumptuous frame that, on pure sizing and fit, is the best on test, but poor spec choices drop it down the rankings.

The standover height is really low meaning the bike never gets in the way when you’re descending, while there’s plenty of room in the cockpit to lend confidence to your riding. It’s a comfortable bike to ride too, and although the chainstay is starting to look a bit tatty as the chain whaps into it this could be easily solved with a chainstay protector.

Sadly the components aren’t half as good as the frame itself. The Suntour XCE28 suspension fork doesn’t have the plusher feel of the Suntour XCM and certainly not of the superlative RockShox XC30, while the cable actuated brakes aren’t strong enough to stop you unless you use two fingers.

Norco gets the same score as the Carrera Vulcan then, but for different reasons. But it’s the Storm that’s the better bike because it’s prime for upgrades as bits and pieces wear out over time. A great frame will always trump great components, it’s just a shame Norco couldn’t spec better parts.

norco storm

Details

Frame:Noroc aluminium
Fork:Suntour XCE28, 100mm travel
Wheels:Joytech hubs, WTB SX19 rims, WTB Starflight 29x2.25in tyres
Drivetrain:Shimano 42/32/24t chainset and EF500 shifters, Shimano Tourney mechs
Brakes:Tektro M280 mechanical, 160mm
Weight:14.54kg (32.1lb)
Sizes:XS, S, M, L, XL
Size tested:XL
Contact:evanscycles.com