a Cross Country Rider
from Victoria, B.C., Canada
Date Reviewed: July 14, 2000
Strengths: Fork Cranks Components(for the price)
Weaknesses: Frame broke going into 1/2 foot ditch. Craked on top tube and folded on bottom.
Great bike for a good price, nice bike to ride, yet the frame can't hold the weight of a 14 year old that weighs 135lbs. Before buying Norco make sure you look into their "life time, no questions asked" warrenty, because if you put to "force" on the frame Norco won't warrenty it. If you buy Norco and although your a Novice rider who's been riding for barely a year, who doesn't do drops or tricks, Norco will have their "analists look at your bike and tell you you've neglected it. If you've had the same problem email me at: [email@example.com]
Favorite Trail: Hot Cherry, Hartland Landfill, B.C.
Duration Product Used: 1 Year
Similar Products Used: Norco Torrent Kona Caldera
Bike Setup: Bomber Z3's, Full XT, Race Race Cranks (pretty much as it comes)
a Cross Country Rider
from Vancouver, BC, Canada
Date Reviewed: May 15, 2000
Strengths: Reynolds 631 Tubing (not as light or supple as 853, but a damn good runner up!), Componet package at this price point, 1999 Z3 Light fork = 1998 Atom Bomb!
Weaknesses: Hard to say yet, but after the first few long epics, it seems that the 631 isn't quite as supple as 853, but it still has the absorptive qualities that steel is known for.
I considered several Sloped Down Tube steel frames before deciding on the Rampage. I had owned a Voodoo Bizango prior to this steel frame (it was stolen!) and loved the steel feel. I demoed a Rocky Mountain Blizzard, a DeKERF Generation, and a Brodie Kinetic. With the exception of the Brodie, they all had that wonderful Steel Feel.
The Rampage comes in a shade heavieer than the Bizango or the Blizzard, but I can equate the weight difference to the Bizango to the componet package (my Bizango had full XTR/517's). The Rampage peformed wonders like the Bizango.
On a LONG LONG and STEEP climb I noticed how this baby hooks up on climbs and actually gives you the impression of ACCELERATING up the climbs! I was very impressed with the power transfer from the Race Face cranks to the climb. I had to move my body position minimally to keep the front end down in the steeps.
On the singletrack descents this baby shines. She responds to body english and finesse with verve. This truly is a XC machine that eats up twisty singletrack! On the technical climbs you can pounce, bounce and hop the bike over near anything!
This is a bike you can race on, and also do 5-6 all day epics without loosing your bike to the dreaded aluminum stiffness that alku gives ya!
All in all, the Rampage is one fun machine, AND Norco is a greta company to deal with! The compent spec for the money makes this a VERY attractive bike!!!!!
Bike Setup: As stock, except Panaracer Fire XC Pro Tires, and a Selle Flite Saddle, and Shimano 545 Platform SPD's
a Cross Country Rider
from Saskatchewan, Canada
Date Reviewed: January 18, 2000
Strengths: Good Price Frame Geometry Good components
Weaknesses: Lots of flex in seat stays when braking
I've only ridden this bike about 4 months but in that 4 months I have ridden quite a bit in a variety of situations and terrain. I bought the bike at a year end clearance for $1300 CDN tax included so I got a good deal. When compared to my old Hammer Race the bike has a number of differences, mostly positive. The XT shifters are a lot better than the LX's on my old Hammer Race and I now consider Rapidfire to be as good though not as intiutive as high end Gripshift. There is a noticeable flex in the seat stays and I may have to purchase a brake booster because on steep decents I never can lock up the brakes (uh... but I guess but I shouldn't be doing that anyways). Climbing is OK but not as good as my Hammer Race and it seems the bike's geometry causes you to use your glutes more during the climb. The bike is really good in singletrack and tough steep decents as you can easily shift your body forward, backward, or whatever without loosing your balance. With my old Hammer Race (which was not too big for me, if anything a little too small) my arms were always kind close to being in a locked out position which caused a neck ache after an hour or 2 of riding. This does not happen on my Rampage as you are in slightly a more upright position. After riding 2 Rocky's for several years I was going to go back to them but after comparing price, components and finding out from 4 reputable sources (one in Taiwan) that the lower end frames(i.e. sub $2500 bikes) were not hand built by Rocky in BC but in the same factory in Taiwan as Norco (and no doubt a few other brands) I went with the Norco. It doesn't seem as refined as a Rocky but the same component machine (approx. a Blizzard which is actually heavier than the Rampage) costs significantly more.