The Sight is Norco’s conventionally (26”) wheeled 140mm trail bike. The magic numbers; 140mm of travel front and rear pitches it straight into the hotbed of one of the most competitive and fiercely fought categories in the MTB market. 5.5” of travel is widely regarded as the holy grail – not too much to turn the bike into an in-efficient climber but enough so that you’re able to fully enjoy a steep technical decent. It’ll be squaring directly up to the likes of Lapierre’s Zesty, Orange’s legendary Five and Yeti’s 575 in a bid to take the UK trail bike crown… take the crown is just what it’s done – being crowned What Mountain Bike magazine’s ‘Trail Bike of The Year 2012’ and also getting a rare 10/10 from the guys at MBR… in the very same month, no less!
So, just what is it about Norco’s Sight that ticks all the right boxes and makes the magazines not want to return demo bikes?! Let’s take a closer look at the nitty gritty…
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British roots (well, sort of)! The Sight is the second of the Norco MY2012 bikes (the other, the Aurum DH) to be designed by British expat, Owen Pemberton (ex Rolls Royce aerospace engineer). Here Owen talks about some of the design philosophy behind the new Aurum DH.
The Sight 2 sits in the middle of the pack @ £2499.99srp and comes equipped with a full new Shimano XT groupset with the all-mountain 28/36T double chainset. Well balanced and a shedload fun – the figures back it up (67.5° HT /74/72.5° ST Effective/Actual).
Sight 2 SE – is an Evans-tweaked and upgraded spec based on the standard Sight 2. Everything’s the same bar the fork upfront.
For the second drop of Sight 2’s we decided to plump for a Fox 32 Float RL FIT 140 mm QR15 Tapered steerer upgrade upfront (as opposed to the RockShox Revelation RL 140mm on the standard, international spec Sight 2). A nice, UK-exclusive spec for Evans customers at no additional cost (original £2499.99srp remains unchanged)!
Most of Norco full suspension platforms use a modified version of the FSR platform – licensed by Specialized. Horst Leitner began working on the problem of chain torque and its effect on suspension in the mid 1970s with motorcycles. In 1985 Leitner built a prototype mountain bike incorporating what became known later as the “Horst link” – Specialized snapped up some of Leitners’ patents in 1998 and now license them out to other manufacturers under the ‘FSR’ moniker.
Upfront the frame is bolstered by a tapered headtube (1.5” – 1 1/8”). This design allows for larger tubing at the front end where the headtube meets the downtube – making it stiffer and more resistant to side loading, ensuring precise steering and bicycle control.
The Sight 2, 1 and range topping LE models all come equipped with a Syntace 142 x 12mm rear end to help stiffen things up. The integrated derailleur hanger is stronger and much stiffer than conventional designs – helping to giving crisp shifting and resisting knocks.
Direct mount brake: Get rid of half the hardware from a normal brake and while you’re at it, toughen things up a bit and improve braking performance. Better braking, lighter system = more fun to ride.
One question everyone asks is “what’s that bolt attached to the downtube do”? (just to the upper left of the BB in the pic above). Well, the Norco engineers have thought of everything – that’s a spare/replacement mech hanger bolt (the equivalent of having a spare mech hanger attached to your frame). Very neat and oh-so handy!
The one-piece hollow formed rocker arm link is a move away from the older, two-piece designs. This hyper-rigid link arm provides uncompromisingly stiff rear end that keeps the bike tracking straight and true through any terrain.
The Sight models use Shimano’s new generation of direct mount mtb front derailleurs (liken them to your roadie braze-on front mech). To allow the front derailleur to follow a more natural path as the suspension compresses, Norco have integrated the front derailleur mount onto the chainstay – improving chain clearance between the front and rear cage plates as the bike moves through its travel. You’ll also see an ISCG05 chainguide mount poking through at the bottom (available on all Sight models) making the Sight models chain-device ready!
Short and wide! With Canadian terrain and riding styles pretty similar to those here in the UK, you’ll not find many long stem and short handlebars combos in the mtb range. The Sight 2 comes equipped with a 740mm wide 6061 butted alloy handlebar with 25mm rise and a short reach 3D forged stem.
The Sight uses custom hydroform tubing throughout, enabling Norco engineers to shape and manipulate tubes and to accurately save weight where it’s not needed and increase tubing wall thickness where it is. The sculpted toptube drops towards to the back to give increased standover clearance. Also note the dropper seatpost cable routing – ready for the upgrade!
So there you have it – what makes the Norco Sight tick and one of the most capable, fun-inducing rides of 2012. Don’t just take our word for it, check out what MBR and What Mountain Bike think of it here and here!