Norco Charger 2003 Hardtail

4.46/5 (13 Reviews)


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 13 (13 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rustyrazor a Weekend Warrior from Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: June 18, 2008

Strengths:    Good Value

Weaknesses:    Chain snapped right away. Spokes need to be tightened often.

Bottom Line:   
I used to ride it a few times a week but now it's down to weekends. It's great for all the single track stuff and XC ski trails. It's not too bad if you have to bike across town too.

I maxed out my budget and I think I got the best value for what I spent. I'll probably spend more next time

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Hiawatha park

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Verns

Similar Products Used:   My buddies have Trekk, Giant, Specialized, GT I'm not sure of the models but I've tried most of them and prefer my charger.

Bike Setup:   Stock except a seat post shock.

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brendan a Weekend Warrior from Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Date Reviewed: March 28, 2007

Strengths:    Great bike for the rider who wants to tackle trails that have a few small drops and obstacles but also wants to be able to climb back up the hill fairly easy

Weaknesses:    I had trouble with the derailleur hanger. It bent on me and when i tried to bend it back it snapped.

Bottom Line:   
For the price you pay, it comes with quite solid components and won't let you down. Its a great all around bike for people who are in between riding genres and wan't to tackle a bit of each.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   kelso

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $999.00

Purchased At:   Brant Cycle

Similar Products Used:   oryx forget the name similar price range,

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Merlin Toth a Cross Country Rider from Saltcoats, Saskatchewan Canada

Date Reviewed: July 26, 2004

Strengths:    Strong stiff frame, quick handling, great components for the price (on sale)

Weaknesses:    Long top tube for the size (17"), great for the climbs but a bit uncomfortable on the long level trails,

Bottom Line:   
A great bike for the price. Most of my riding is done on back roads, fire roads and cross-country ski trails. Nothing technical and no jumps so this thing suits me to a tee. Sure the back end gets a bit skippy on some of the steep rough down hills but it sure beats the heavy FS bikes going back uphill. Shifts are always nice and crisp even under moderate loads. I have seen a lot of complaints about the LX rear derailleur, the EXR Comp fork and the Shimano mech discs, but these have all worked beautifully for me, however I do all my own maintenance so nothing goes unserviced. If you are into jumps and bike bashing look elsewhere (about $1000 more elsewhere) but if you want a sweet-pedaling bike that seems to want to jump out from under you when you hit the pedals and will take you up and downhill all day long for not a lot of bucks,you can't go wrong with one of these.
Before I bought this I test rode about a dozen bikes in the $650 to $900 (US) range: Kona,Jamis,Devinci,Marin and I always kept coming back to the Charger, nothing else pedaled as nice. And when you are ten miles back in the bush on some ski trail, pedaling eficiency and dependability is what it's all about.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Duck Mountain Provincial Park

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $675.00

Purchased At:   Bike Doctor Saskatoon

Similar Products Used:   My trusty ten year-old Norco Bush Pilot. The Charger is a BIG improvement.

Bike Setup:   Shorter adjustable stem, better seat,Post-Moderne suspension seat post, sram pc-59 chain and upgraded to an LX front derailleur after my nephew trashed the original Deore, everything else is stock.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by jordan grant a Cross Country Rider from canada

Date Reviewed: April 13, 2004

Strengths:    good disc brakes.fram is strong for the most part.I do some jumps, and this bike can take the pressure.

Weaknesses:    the pedals suck.the shoscks are nice but the bottom out even when they are tightened.the seat is a sack of crap.

Bottom Line:   
this bike is a good steal. I've upgaded a bit, by i'm big and pretty hard. i've used many bikes and this is the best for my price range.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   riverside drop

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   sackville sportswheels

Similar Products Used:   sasquatch,storm,ryde,kona srap

Bike Setup:   upgraded to new seat and hydraulic disc brakes.plus bomber shock with 125mm travel.and the pedals

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Trevor a Cross Country Rider from Melbourne, Vic, Australia

Date Reviewed: February 5, 2004

Strengths:    Good solid frame, good level of componentry! handles lots of abuse and still a solid performer!!

Weaknesses:    Tyres!! Scrap them and buy some good ones!!! And put some clipless pedals on too!! Only things i've changed!!


Bottom Line:   
Buy this bike if you want value for money and long lasting quality! Good for all!!! Entry level to semi serious! I don't race so no idea there!!! Has been used on many BMX jumps and handles fantastic as well as many drop offs of good height!!! Anyone that wants a quality mountain bike and doesn't need a dual suspension for downhilling should buy this one!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   coffs harbour cross country trail

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Ride on Bikes, Phillip Island

Similar Products Used:   Many mates XC and normal mountain bikes

Bike Setup:   Standard with wellgo clipless pedals and mythos XC tyres

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Jeannot Bérubé a Cross Country Rider from Rimouski, Québec

Date Reviewed: October 26, 2003

Strengths:    Good parts, solid frame and great look. they shift very well for smooth ridind.

Weaknesses:    sterm, pedals, fork and poor front break

Bottom Line:   
a bit heavy...I have an 20 inches one. but, this is a very good bike when tuned for the rider and the trail. I recommanded it for every one who want a bike under $2000 able to do the job...

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Rimouski River

Duration Product Used:   6 months

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Boutique la mise au point

Similar Products Used:   most of XC bike between $1000 and $1500

Bike Setup:   changed for front hydraulic break, add clip pedals, down the bar by switch up sterm up to down, cut the bar 1,5 inches and cut the elastomer 1/4" for smoother travel of fork

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jordan a Cross Country Rider from Guelph, Canada

Date Reviewed: August 15, 2003

Strengths:    Solid framework, mix of components, good mechanical discs, solid fork, wheelset

Weaknesses:    Axiom stem makes you feel like you are sitting too upright on the bike. (Replaced it with a longer, flat Titec Big Al stem). Forks need spring tension stiffened, but after that is done it is fine.

Bottom Line:   
This is a great xc bike and should only be used for that purpose, but for racing it is a touch on the heavy side. A solid mix of components for the price, but for bigger riders, you may need to replace the stem with something longer and more solid. This is definitely a bike to look at and test if you are in the $1100 price range - you won't be dissapointed.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Guelph/Cambridge Trails

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $1099.00

Purchased At:   Bits and Bikes

Similar Products Used:   Norco Cypress customized, Trek 4900, Rocky Mountain Fusion

Bike Setup:   Stock, except axiom stem replaced with titec big al

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by pete from australia

Date Reviewed: July 12, 2003

Strengths:    everything

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
it is awsome i would recomened this to anyone who likes cross country riding

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   secret

Similar Products Used:   many

Bike Setup:   at the shop

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jackass 316 a Weekend Warrior from Asia

Date Reviewed: July 4, 2003

Strengths:    Cheap, good handling, takes good beating

Weaknesses:    a little on the heavy side

Bottom Line:   
its great bike, great looks with great parts. worth the buy.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   secret

Similar Products Used:   GT backwoods

Bike Setup:   XT front and rear de,truvativ stylo team cranks,chris king headset,ea 70 bar.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brandon a Downhiller from Swan River, MB, Canada`

Date Reviewed: May 22, 2003

Strengths:    Strong, light bike, good tires, pedals work good for jumping and strong rims

Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
best bike i have ever bought under 1200$ dollars and it should be bought by a lot of people

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Thunder hill

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $912.00

Purchased At:   Akinson

Similar Products Used:   rocky mountain grind


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by mark b from winnipeg, canada

Date Reviewed: April 21, 2003

Strengths:    looks nice. easy to adjust fork travel. pretty tuff and tight suspension, felt good. rode for two hours without gloves and my hands felt great. did a 5 foot drop to concrete. handled it smooth but the shocks bottomed out both times, i figure they were set to low. tightened them after and they felt better. discs are sweet, good specs for the bucks. easy to jump.

Weaknesses:    nothing really special. bars are way to long for tight trails. cheap looking pedals but they did the job. shifting gears was not as smooth as i had hoped. didn't feel to hot in the dirt trails.

Bottom Line:   
i think i might need something with a little more nutsack. i want to take the cross country trails fast, and this is the bike to do it, but i don't think the charger can handle the urban drops and dirt jumps that i would like to beat myself up with. looking at the sasquatch and kona stuff. any help would be much appreciated. love the front suspension. if you want speed with nice forks and good specs, this is a good ride.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   birds hill, river trails

Duration Product Used:   Tested or demo'ed only

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Similar Products Used:   i tested a bunch of bikes. jamis durango sx, brodie fury(no disc)sweet ride but didn't have the frame size for me. a marin pallisades trail. kona stuff, loved the test drive but thought i might want something lighter. this is the second time i have taken it out for a ride. rode all the river trails around the forks, down past the 'ledge and so on. good on straight stuff.

Bike Setup:   stock

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Brandon Stock a Downhiller from Canada

Date Reviewed: April 15, 2003

Strengths:    Very good bike.
lots of conponents


Weaknesses:    none

Bottom Line:   
the best hard tail under 1100$

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   thunder hill

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $900.00

Similar Products Used:   rocky mountain grind


Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Steve a Cross Country Rider from Brisbane, Australia

Date Reviewed: April 3, 2003

Strengths:    Long top tube (if you like that sort of thing). Looks good.

Weaknesses:    Heavy like lead. Corners cut all over the place in sneaky places.

Bottom Line:   
This is not a XC race bike, despite being marketed as one. It is way too heavy. The Easton bars weigh a ton (unlike every other Easton product I've tried). The brakes (Shimano cable discs) are very good, but too heavy. The forks are absolute rubbish (Marzocchi should not have called these bombers, they're just coil and elastomer (unlike every other bomber model) and only move about 2 inches despite claiming 4 inches of travel), and are very heavy. The Firex cranks are good but they've left out the nice alloy chain rings and substituted nasty heavy steel ones! I didn't even get the SRAM chain as claimed in the spec, just a crappy Shimano one which are renowned for breaking. As you can see I'm not real happy with it, the perils of ordering a bike you haven't seen. I just can't believe a company like Norco would claim this is a XC race bike.

Good points? Well it does have a nice long top tube, longer than anything I've seen (24" for the large size) which allows you to run a slightly shorter stem. And it does look good. But that's not enough really is it?

At the end of the day there are much better specced bikes around for the same money.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Naseby Forest, New Zealand

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   Secret

Similar Products Used:   Many

Bike Setup:   I've replaced almost every part because the original spec is all rubbish.

Reviews 1 - 13 (13 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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