2010 Product Release HERE

www.norco.com

Quick Links: https://reviews.mtbr.com/blog/norco-09-mtn-bikes-bmx-stock-images/



July 16th

- pre-press release shots



July 17th

Test rides - Quick Review

Click on link for more ride details


xxxx - SICK BIKE - can't say enough, lower design - shorter chainstays - super fun bike.

A-Line - heavy park bike for sure - but will last forever



July 18th

Test rides - Quick Review

Click on link for more ride details

Shore One - very light - nice bike can handle the hits too

Six 1 - super fun, but a bit of flex - light fr bike, can't ask for everything

Empire 5 - Group favorite. Boyko, Dillan, other press folks here - but the TT is wicked short.

Fluid LT One - This is what an All Mtn helli drop bike should be - so awesome and fun to ride.

Mace Gear website

'09 Mace gear

Weights updated - in comment section.


Spec Sheets -

(Click on Image which will open a new page - then click image to get larger version.)


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Norco's Picts Part 1:

A-Line - B-Line - Empire 5 - Fluid One - Fluid LT Three - Six 3 - Havoc <<more images

Norco's Picts Part 2:

All the stock images for the '09 bikes. <<more images



Ride Reports -

xxxx -

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The '09 XXXX(4x) caught my eye right off the bat. It was a bike I wanted to rip down Crank-It-Up with this bike as my first run at Whistler this year. I sure wasn't disappointed. I test road the Medium frame, it only comes in S or M, which is fine, at 6'4" I felt I definitely had more than enough room in the cockpit and wheelbase to handle high speeds and turns. The geometry of the bike felt perfect to me and the wide 710mm Sunline V1 handle bar and Sunline V1 40mm stem spread my hands out far enough to give a solid steady since of control.

After my warm up down Crank-It-Up it was time to for our group lunch (late start for the day because of Norco School). We went up to the very top of the mountain for lunch and of course were expected to ride down afterwards. I wasn't expecting to take this bike for sure a full variety of trail conditions, but it was what I choose to ride. From the top, we road down some mellow single track, some bumps and rocks, then to an open sky slope that we bombed like our hair was on fire. The sky slope was loose and super sketchy and had water bars in it every now and then that we either had to hop over or manual through and suck up the impact with our legs. When the group got down to about where Original Sin/Freight Train start I received props for handling all that with a 4" travel 4x bike. Really it helped that this bike is just wicked stable and assuring to ride.

We hit Freight Train and then on to some steep as all mighty heck rock rollers and this bike didn't give one sight of slowing down. Once we got back down to Crank-It-Up I was up to speed on how this bike could really move.

As you can tell I really liked this bike, I think this is one of Norco's best this year, at least from the six bikes I road. The changes they made came directly from rider input. They lowered the shock positioning in the frame. Shortened the chainstays, new link arms with added brace, lighter top tube, lower BB height and pretty ok components for #3225. What I didn't like about the bike was purely in some components. Juicy 3 brakes and the pedals being my major complaint. Easy to chance out and not too costly. The Fox Float R handled very nicely as well. It was brand new, so rebound was fairly slow so the rear end felt like a hardtail with a bit of give on landings. The Fox Float R did rebound slowly but it was brand new. Oh, least I forget, the Intense Micro Knobby 2.25 tires are amazing. If you've not tried a pair you should.

A-Line -

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The '09 A-Line, Norco's beastly thrasher bike, got some improvements for 2009. Unfortunately a diet is not one of them. I am sure wtih some component switching the bike could drop some weight, but riding it down Goats Gully was just irritating. The front hardly wanted to move. Granted, with speed the bike did mash over just about anything. 8 or 9, adjustable, inches of travel sure helps, but flicking the bike around was just not easy.

On A-Line the bike was, funny enough, great. The weight and geometry mixed with the speed and lips of A-Line is where this bike felt at home. Improvements this bike has for 2009 are; low stand over, adjustable BB height and head tube angle, lower shock position in frame, internal 1.5" to 1 1/8th head tube that is forged (one solid piece), new forged link arms and 150x12mm through hole dropouts.

One thing is for sure, this bike will probably last longer than most riders, and will take a Bone Yard beating any day. With a $3700 MSRP the price versus quality of component choice and frame durability is very competitive. I road a Medium size while at Whistler and if you are a big boy like me 6'4", I would suggest going for the Large frame, or at least seriously considering it. The cockpit was a hair on the smallish size, at least I thought. So, sit before you buy.

Shore One -

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I got to ride a Shore One on the second day of the event. Unfortunately for me, but saying a lot for the bike, the folks that got a hold of them on the first day didn't let go. I swung a leg over a large fame with a Totem Coil and it felt great.

As far as the ride went, the bike was great. Much lighter than the A-Line and much more nimble. The single crown Totem with 1.5 steerer tube is wicked solid though I wish it rebounded a bit faster, especially for Whistler speed and stutter bumps. Up, off, and landing jumps the bike was solid in the air and while landing I felt no flex or sketchy behavior from the bike. 7" inches of front and rear travel is perfect for this bike.

Improvements the Shore One got for '09 are; new down tube shape, stronger and stiffer, stronger seat stays and chain stays, revised dropout. With a 150x12 Maxle rear axle and 1.5 head tube this is a solid, light weight freeride bike. It is still probably better for the shuttle days then the pedal days. It is lighter than last years model but, even with that and a double up front the lack of a full length seat tube reduces the variation of seat high and there for comfort up the hill. If I had one of these I'd just ditch the double up front, slap on an LG-1 and just suck up the pedaling when I have too. $5200 for the bike, comes with some pretty good stuff though so the price seem fair enough.

Six One -

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The Six One is a half step bike between the Fluid LT and the Shore. It's like freeride light. I got to bomb one of these bikes down Freight Train to No Joke to Golden Triangle. I road a size medium, which actually could have been a bit bigger, and looking at the specs there is basically no difference between the Shore and the Six except a bit steeper head angle for the Six(66.9 degree for the Six - 66 degrees for the Shore) and a lighter frame build, though it still felt just a tad bit smaller.

The Six did ride a bit more nimble for sure. The lighter weight and smaller rear triangle made the bike a bit less stable in the air and on a high speed loose section of Golden Triangle I could feel the rear flexing a bit as it bounce off rocks. Also a bit around some berms. Definitely a light freeride bike, great option for average size folks who want to be able to pedal up and bomb down. I did take this bike of the GLC drop, which is by no means a large drop, but the Six handled the landing like a champ with very little frame flex.

For 2009 the Six One gets a new forged 1.125" headtube, E-13 dual ring guide, new chain stay clevis and a new lighter, stronger, stiffer down tube. Price is $4450 with SRAM x.9 rear deraileur and x.9 trigger shiters, Sun Jumping Flea hubs, and Hayes Stroker Trail 8" front 7" rear rotors.

Empire 5 -

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The Empire 5 is the new 5" travel slope style bike with geometry design made to Ben Boyko's custom request. I was super excited to get a run on this bike, and super sad when I did. The top tube length is wicked short. I would suggest if you are over 6ft not to get your hopes and dreams up over this bike. Both the big guys are the release who road the bike, along with myself, were basically smashed into the cockpit and felt very uncomfortable when jumping this bike. I had one run on this bike and traded back for the Shore. Just too small.

Now, for everybody else, everybody who fits, this bike seems to be perfect. A couple of the other riders at the event wouldn't have let go of this bike for anything. They liked the geometry, the fact the bike is very light, super flickable, steep head angle for a bmx feel, and having watched people riding this bike on a variety of trail types, it might be very close to a do it all gravity bike.

The bike will be priced at $3650, and pretty reasonable price for a great frame with 135x12 rear axle, Marzocche 55ATA, TST Air, Sun hubs and rims. Somethings I would change out if you get the bike, especially if it is going to see some trail riding, would be the Juicy 3 brakes and the x.5 deraileur and shifter. Oh, the fork has a Space Invaders sticker theme, fairly well done actually.

Fluid LT One -

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Oh boy, this bike, is something else. At least from the small time I spent on it, which, sadly, was a small time. I saved it to last, and only got about an hour and half of an light xc ride on it, but the Fluid LT One is sure nice. Granted, it is also $6900, and it rides like it. Sitting on a large I felt right at home. The geometry on this bike is great. The components, other then the WTB Devo which is super hard and my butt wasn't used to it, are fantastic. I9 hubs, DT-Swiss EX5.0 rims, x.0 triggers and rear deraileur, the list of gucci components goes on from there.

Like I said, I didn't get a chance to really push this bike to the limits but I am going to see about getting a hold of one of the Fluid LT models for a longer test period. I did get to see Ryan Leech rock the Fluid LT down the Whistler trails. Besides his trails bikes, he rides the Fluid LT every where else. You might not think it, but he can ride gnarly single track dang near as well as riding an inch wide hand rail.

The Fluid LT series this year see some great improvements. New chainstay clevis, Anodized Finish, New forged link arm and clevis, New down tube for increase strength and stiffness, I9 hubs/spokes. This one I road has the '08 seat stays that can vibrate a bit under braking. The new '09 ones are square and a bit beefier. They aren't supposed to vibrate under braking force but I wasn't able to test it because they had not come in yet from overseas. This bike is fun, roomy, good downhill geometry, solid Thompson 4x Stem and 31.8 bars. This is a great helli-drop All Mountain bike.



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(Dylan Korba)

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(Darcy gets interviewed by Correy - and her new Vixa)

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(Jay Hoots and Dylan waiting around at 8am to perform for the camera - both super nice gusy)

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(Pushing up to put on a show)

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(Darcy and hip jump)

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(the amazing Ryan Leech - this dude tried a 10ft gap from the top of his trailer to that first bar in the picture, with only about a pedal and a half of speed. He almost made it. It was SICK!)

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(Ahhh, Whistler)

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18th -

After the Mace presentation this morning we hit the mountain. Got to ride a Shore One, Six, 5 and Fluid LT. The Shore One is way lighter than last years model and you could feel it. Very easy to throw around but very stable on the bike jumps too. The Six was super fun on the trail, but, being a light freeride bike there was flex in the rear but in handled the upper mountain like a champ.

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('09 CRDsl Monocoque full carbon frame - just hanging around, not getting much use at Whistler)

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(RedBull pulled up in something out of MadMax, but instead of guns and arrows out the back it was LCD displays and turntables...????)

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(09 Havoc, 5mm lowered BB, shorter chainstays, Flush mount ISCG tabs, headtube designed for integrated headset)

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(Some of Norco's '09 city/hybrid bikes)

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('09 Fluid LT One)

Some Notes: At this time I don't have an answer for when the bikes will be out and when the website will be updated with the 'o9 line. (Answer - Bikes should start rolling out late Fall and the site should be updated Aug31st.) The head bike dept. guys has gone and I'll have to get a time frame via email. I will let you'll know when I find out. Lots of little things have been changed like chainstays, seatstays, drops out, weight and of course the new colors. Out of the six bike I had a chance to ride I was super happy with the Fluid LT and the xxxx. The Shore One is a great bike and the Empire 5 is winning hearts left and right up here, but the top tube is just too freaking short for a 6'4" guy like me. Couple the other big riders here had the same complaint. And the frame only comes in S and M. The Fluid LT has great specs and geometry, and it even comes with 30" Sunline bars, point being, you can cut to your preferred size.

Highres images will be in a slide show early next week, and I'll list out specs for the Empire 5 and other bike if you request it. Also, XC fans, unfortunately Norco didn't have thier '09 XC line up here, some, but not all. I do know there is a new 29er and other nice rides. There should be images in the highres images and I've got specs in my notebook if you'd like to know.

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17th -

Just finished the first day of "Norco School". I've got the spec guide for all the bike if anyone has any questions.

Some of the main focuses of Norco for the '09 series are

  • Lighter build on all bike where possible. Slope style, dh, Fluid, Fluid LT, XC bikes, Shore bikes. Park bikes like A-line are still on the heavier side so they can be abused more.
  • Color - Norco has worked with a bunch of manufacturers, Funn, Marzocchi, Truvative to create a full package bike that works great and look good too. Some of the colors are out there though, but that is mainly for the gravity folks. All Mtn riding like the Fluid and Fluid LT has good coloring but much more tame. Speaking of the Fluid LT bikes, that is Leech's do it all bike while traveling.
  • Small tweaks here and there to lighten the bike, make parts stronger. Like the 250 now has an integrated seat post clamp in the toptube. Super clean looking, super bmx influence.

Be back with a ride report on some of the new bikes and pictures later.

Daily questions answered.

The name of the dh bike is Team DH. It is 37.5lbs stock build, but, that is with Saint cranks, 68mm BB. You could for sure switch to something lighter. Though, that wait is with 2.35 Kenda tires.

The Empire 5 is $3650

Hey jordan, who is J.W.?

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(To give a quick props to Dustin, this one man has been keeping our bikes, like 40 of them, working for a week, with a smile! This guy is awesome.)

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(The '09 4hun.)

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(the new Shore One, something strange?)

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(Shore Two and Three - man these have got some color.)

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('09 250 - man this is one good looking bike!)

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(integrated seat post tensioner)

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('09 Rampage - interesting color choice?)

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(CCXTwo)

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(The 6 series - light freeride - Norco has done a lot of tweaks to lighten up this bike. I hope to ride one tomorrow to get a feel and let you all know.)

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(some more of the color from the new hardtail bikes.)

What I road today:

I started off today on a xxxx and what can I say, this bike is sweet. At $3225 it is a pretty good package, but, the Juicy 3's don't really cut it, and the Marz 4x is just so so. But I road that this bike all the way down from the top of the mountain. Some Freight Train down do some steep gnarly rollers on so crazy trail and some harsh single track, this bike, though bouncy, rocked it. The Intense Micro Knoby tires are really sick! Ben Boyko and D were stocked to check this bike out when I met up with them at the lift, almost more stocked then on the 5...but not quite.

After the xxxx (I busted the drop-out) I got a hold of the new A-Line for '09. Well, it was heavy, not too thrilled to ride this bike for a couple hours, but, I am sure with better suspension tuning it would have been better. Unfortunately, it's heavy. At $3700 it could use a bit of a diet, but the parts are solid. An A-line park with a 66 up front will be sick.

Tomorrow I should be able to get on a Six, Shore, 5 and a Fluid LT to give a report.

16th -

4am - Well it is pitch black outside and cold. Time to get up and get to the airport. For some reason I thought a 7:45am flight was a smart idea. What was I thinking?

Landed - Drove to Whistler - got some pre-press shots of the bikes and of course had some fun! Here are a few shots - more to come later - stats for the new bikes to come as well. One thing that for sure, Norco is definitely stepping up the game as far as color goes! Some of these new bikes just scream "HEY LOOK AT ME!"

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(some road construction for the 2010 winter games - slowed the trip from the air port down a bit.)

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(Norco is going for the bling this year with the gravity bike colors. the xxxx)

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(the Vixa 6" travel freeride bike for the ladies. basically a Norco 6 with shorter stand over, top tube, and pretty much everything. It has some great geo design and is very light weight)

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(new dh bike, 38lbs stock build. unfortunately there is no demo model here to test - very sad - but what a sweet looking bike!)

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(Empire 5 - Ben's new bike. basically a 5" travel bmx bike. Norco did bring along test demo versions for this so I'll let you know how it rides tomorrow.)

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(bmx bikes are here - but we can't demo them. Too bad, the skate park here at Whistler is killer.)

Follow MTBR as we cover the Norco '09 product launch at Whistler July 16-18th. Daily update, videos, blog post and forum coverage.

We'll be covering the new "5" and there is rumor of a ladies specific freeride bike! How cool is that! Something super sick for the ladies for sure!

If you have questions or comment post'em up and I'll do my best to answer or get an answer for you.

In the mean time - a snap shot of the 5 from MTBR coverage of Sea Otter '08 and a video

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